Tip #3 for Moms Who Run – Breathing for Impact

We have discussed the benefit of focusing on breath and posture while running. A great rule to follow is focusing on a consistent, steady breath pattern. I recommend breathing in for 3 strides and out for 2 strides. This pattern not only keeps you breathing vs. breath-holding, but it times your exhale for the impact of your foot strike. Remember, a strong exhale facilitates healthy contraction of the pelvic floor and deep core muscles, stabilizing the trunk and pelvic organs against the impact as your foot strikes the ground. This finely times bracing is crucial for maintaining pelvic stability as you recover from birth and resume rigorous exercise. Your exhale braces the pelvic floor to lift the pelvic organs up and in, and triggers the pelvic floor and transverse abdominis to compress the pelvic girdle and spine, guarding against low back and pelvic injury. It’s not necessary, practical, or appropriate to consciously contract your pelvic floor, abdominals and spinal muscles with every step you take on a run – but adopting this conscious breath pattern will help retrain your deep core to engage when you need it. I hope you’ll give it a try, and if you have any other questions or concerns as you return to running postpartum, do not hesitate to reach out about  a consultation.

Yours in good health,

Dr. Sheri DeSchaaf, DPT

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