Recently, I had the pleasure of working with a early Post Natal client with a Diastasis (tummy gap), Pelvic Floor issues, back pain and who also experienced urinary incontinence on impact....who, towards the end of our first session together uttered one of the top Post Natal fitness questions: 'So, how long before I can get back to running longer/faster/harder?' !!!!
Well, you can imagine my mild shock and confusion and then my delay in my answering this question as I chose my words well. But ultimately I thought, why would you want to do something that would harm you/have lifetime repercussions or at best massively delay your healing? Why would you want to run when it makes you pee and makes your belly bulge? Why would you want to do something that produces exactly the opposite results of what you are trying to achieve in your current life phase?
A few evenings ago, I watched the most shocking documentary about a beautiful young man who almost lost his life in a snowboarding accident....this piece in the Telegraph 'The Perils of a Passion That Could Kill You', gives an indepth account of this tragic tale and below is a trailer for the documentary.
This brilliantly brave young man was hell bent on getting back to his previous profession/passion even though his family begged him not to.....a bit dramatic you might think as this is a blog about Pelvic/Core Health and maybe your clients' family are not BEGGING them to stop running but ultimately, we will all live to regret the poorer choices made NOW later down the line especially when we cut short our vital healing phase after injury/illness and IGNORE our bodies' true needs and force a return to a previous level of activity before it's time.
Insisting on continuing to run, attend bootcamp or doing anything that makes you pee or builds pressure against your healing core/Diastasis is not totally a life and death situation but....in terms of the misery that many women endure once their incontinence really starts to affect their lives, it could be! And we don't even want to talk about what happens after people undergo surgical intervention to repair conditions such as Pelvic Organ Prolapse. It appears that even surgery and clinical intervention once things have gone really down hill isn't a 100% guarantee that your situation will be fixed and you will return to total Pelvic Health, even after multiple attempts.
So, one of my winning sentences when trying to convince clients of the need to push their Pelvic Floor/Core Health up their list of priorities is an analogy with the wearing of dentures! It goes like this:
We all clean our teeth 2-3 times a day even though we know we could buy dentures or have implants and veneers if all our teeth fell out but there are no replacement Pelvic Floors and this area of the body isn't easy to fix when it goes really wonky yet many women never give this vital set of muscles/connective tissue a second thought from one year to another until there is a malfunction. When women have continence issues or end up with a 'pressure belly' or enduring Diastasis because they don't get great advice, prioritize their HEALING over INAPPROPRIATE EXERCISE - THEY ARE MISERABLE!
So next time, a client who you KNOW isn't strong enough to run, star-jump or plunge straight back into their pre-pregnancy programme, try the 'denture' quote. Help your client via EDUCATION, RECONNECTION then APPROPRIATE 'core-conscious' movement and gradually progress their programme and bring them back home to full strength and function.
Ultimately, your capacity to clearly and gently explain where their current backpain, leaky Pelvic Floor and poochy belly could end up in over the next 40-50 years of their life should do the trick. This is a great resource for those of you with concerns re: Pelvic Organ Prolapse. And here's another amazing resource where you can watch video's that clearly illustrate the various kinds of POP.
**UPDATE** PS, I wrote this blog in 2013 and in 2016, under the strangest of circumstances, I had the pleasure of meeting Kevin - the young man featured in the video above - and his brother in San Diego!! I showed him this blog....he is still an amazing your man. Now fighting hard for rehab strategies for people who have suffered brain trauma.
You might also be interested in this blog too: Running, When's The Right Time After Birth? It includes a great EXERCISE VIDEO
Are you a fitness or wellness professional serving women with these concerns? Would you like to be part of a team of Women's Wellness Professions dedicated to going deeper and providing a conservative and Holistic solution to the simpler end of Urinary Stress Incontinence for all women throughout their lifetime as well as solutions for Diastasis Recti and C-Section recovery, then Holistic Core Restore® Coach might be an ideal fit for your business.
At Holistic Core Restore®, after we get women connected with a 6-week programme programme that truly gets results called 'Every Woman' we then teach them to move with total core consciousness and confidence and burn a little fat at the same time in our Holistic Core Restore® Heat programme. Both programmes are ground-breaking but simple at the same time with a huge emphasis on helping women to move and exercise with confidence, feel fitter and be 100% ready for the real life situations they deal with in their daily lives.......
You might also be interested in this blog too: Running, When's The Right Time After Birth??