Running with gratitude

Running with gratitude (the slightly less cool version of running with attitude)

The exhilaration of a bit of time to myself is matched by the wonderful feeling of freedom running along the beautiful Northumberland coast.

But on some days I’m exhausted. Emotionally and physically. There can’t be many jobs that require you to walk around doubled over, both hands occupied by a small want-to-be-toddler. Simultaneously dealing with the capricious whims of 2-year-old want-to-be (insert interchangeably dancer, doctor, shop keeper, member of Peppa pig) Parenting is amusing, beautiful and ever-changing, but relaxing it is not.

Some days getting out the house to soft play is a 45-minute ordeal. Getting my trainers on at the end of Mummy duty (or rather the evening break before night shift starts) requires a little effort.

But then I remember. I am so lucky to be able to run.

To do this thing that I love, that is also good for my body physically and good for my mind emotionally (I’m still talking about running, tsk no smut here.)

I’m so grateful because after the birth of Pumpkin I wasn’t sure I would run again.

Two weeks after the birth of my gorgeous, and hefty 9 pound 2 baby boy, I discovered I had a third degree uterine prolapse.

As a medical professional I was fairly sure of the diagnosis even before it was confirmed by my GP. I knew that it could potentially result in bothersome but ultimately not serious symptoms.

As a women I cried a little. I quite liked my organs where they were. Most of all I cried because I was worried I would never run with freedom again.

Running has always been part of my life. I would not consider myself a serious runner. I usually ran alone for enjoyment rather than competition. However, the thought of not being able to run without risking further damage to my pelvic floor was difficult.

Of course I like to think if running wasn’t to be I would have coped graciously. Loss of running pales into insignificance in comparison to many of the things I see at work.

But I was lucky.

My prolapse dramatically improved and by the time I attended for my 6 week postpartum check it had almost fully resolved.

So when I lose motivation or when I’m tired at the end of the day sometimes I curl up on the sofa and enjoy precious time with my husband.

Even on those nights. I know how lucky I am. That at any time I can put on my trainers and go out for a run. The freedom that could have been taken away from me is a constant motivation to go out and exercise.

Of course I am also human. Some days when I run I am tired, achy and disinterested. But mostly these days I run with gratitude.

How do you feel about exercise? Is it a chore when you are too busy or is it something to look forward to as a bit of an escape and time for yourself?

Please note this is not a formal review of evidence about running with prolapse. I will be writing more on this topic later. This post was primarily focussing on my emotions.  I hope some of the following might be of interest if you are concerned about running and prolapse. 

Running in Lavender

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Fitness 4 Mamas

7 tips for finding time to exercise

How to find time to exercise in a busy life

Like many of you I have a life that feels full. Full of the wonderful, demanding and chaotic time with my family, full of the mundane  housework and shopping, full of amazing friends with whom I can spend some precious adult time. I am fortunate to currently be on maternity leave but soon the pressures and commitment that come with work will intensify the demands on my time.

I am lucky to have all these things clamouring for my time. I may not always feel this when I’ve been up at night with a grumpy baby, trying to cook dinner and entertain a toddler who often needs a potty trip at inopportune moments, but I am grateful that life challenges me to balance so many things on a daily basis.

Finding time to exercise is just another of the challenges resultant from a busy life .

Actually this is a two-part challenge – firstly motivation to exercise is required ( I find this motivation occasionally goes into hiding somewhere under a pillow, much as I would like to after a bad nights sleep).

Secondly, I need time to put this motivation into practice.

I’ll be looking at motivation to exercise later this week, but here are some practical ways to exercise when time is very precious.

7 tips for finding time to exercise

1. Short workouts at home: As the name of my blog implies just finding ‘ten minutes spare’ is often enough to achieve something worthwhile. When I am really struggling to find adequate time I do a ten minute exercise routine that doesn’t require any equipment at home.

2. Exercise DVDs: I’ve already written a little about my experience of learning Pilates at home using exercise DVDs. There are also numerous youtube videos to keep you motivated without needing to attend a gym class.

3. Early morning exercise: At the moment my precious sleep is frequently interrupted by baby Pumpkin so there is little chance of me voluntarily getting out of bed before he is awake. Mr R, however, often does a workout first thing in the morning before the chaos commences for the day.

4. Easily accessible exercise equipment:  Mr R has a bar for pull-ups over a door frame in our house. Glamorous it may not be, not practical and easily accessible it certainly is!

5. Running: I do find that this is one of the most time efficient ways to exercise, its quicker to simply on a pair of trainers and get out the door than to attend a gym. It’s also possible to go whenever you have a spare moment rather than struggling to make a timed class or group.

6. Cycling to work: I am currently on maternity leave but Mr R cycles to work once a week.

7. Walking: I walk on a daily basis, usually pushing a heavy double pushchair. This is not something I would have considered exercise pre-children, but I do now count it as physical exertion. Extra credit if done with a shopping-laden pushchair, one-handedly, whilst clutching a toddlers hand, with a baby strapped to the chest (yes I have done this…on more than one occasion)

Exercise as a new Mum brings extra challenges. Your body has undergone immense changes and it is advisable to wait until after the 6 week post-natal check before commencing a formal exercise regime. Once you have the go-ahead to start working-out the following are some of the options for exercising with a baby.

  • ‘Bring your baby’ exercise classes: There are often local classes organised for Mummies where baby’s can be brought into the exercise room. There are also some classes where babies can be worn in slings
  • Gyms with crèche facilities
  • Outdoor classes where you can exercise with a buggy
  • Home workouts with your baby. I have enjoyed reading the baby wearing workout from breaking muscle.com. I have never personally done any formal exercises whilst baby-wearing, but simply carrying your baby is in itself a form of exercise.

I am constantly inspired by some of my amazing friends and acquaintances who have achieved fantastic exercise and health related goals in their busy lives. Later this week I will be writing about motivation to exercise, which consists of having goals and inspiration. I am blessed to have both reasons to want to remain physically fit and to be surrounded by inspiration.

30 Second Summary: Finding time and motivation to exercise can be a challenge. Here are 7 tips for fitting exercise into a busy life.

Please do let me know if you have any tips for how you manage to find time to exercise in your life when things are busy? I always enjoy reading your comments.

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