Running 5K with a Baby

Sindhu N Raju

Sindhu Raju, an IT professional and nutrition advisor, is a passionate runner and a mother of two children - a 5-year-old daughter and an 8-month-old son. After the delivery of her first baby, her weight was 86 kgs which was postpartum weight retention. She faced a number of health problems including the thyroid issue. She and her husband then resolved to improve their health and change their lifestyle by attending a gym and engaging in other exercise activities. She was not in a position to run but still endeavoured to make healthy choices for herself. Her efforts made her lose 23 kgs in 8-10 months and that's when she got into the habit of following a healthy diet and lifestyle. 

Talking about her weight loss journey that she started in 2018, she says that it was running that helped her because running is not a strenuous activity, yet it is very beneficial for your health. It wasn't only the physical activity that contributed to her weight loss but there are some other factors too that played a huge role such as proper diet and healthy lifestyle. As Sindhu used to face thyroid problems, her healthy eating habits reversed her hypothyroidism which is linked to weight gain. After her second pregnancy, she waited for the doctors to confirm whether she could perform intense workouts but she was also concerned about getting back into shape. Running was her first choice in this situation. 

"If you don't give your body the things that it needs, it won't be able to support you in your activities."

She recalled the incident where she ran with her baby. She didn't expect this to happen as she was participating just to check her running performance after giving birth for the second time. That day, her baby woke up but this didn't stop her. She decided to take her son with her and thought that if not run, at least she would walk; she didn't give up on her plan to run. The baby too cooperated; she made sure that the baby was comfortable and carried him with her in a baby carrier and ran for 5 km. Sindhu was confident about carrying a baby while walking and was thrilled to complete the distance without much struggle. 

Sindhu believes that fitness should be an integral part of people's lives. In the case of her kids too, she makes sure that they too learn to work out and stay active on a daily basis. She wants her kids to look at their parents running and learn the importance of physical activity. Children observe and that’s how they learn. 

"The idea of fitness should be a normal thing. Just like we brush our teeth, we need to work out too." 

She laid down some useful pieces of advice for pregnant women and moms who want to start running:

  • Start slow. Don't aim to run 5 km in the first attempt. Gradually increase your distance. 
  • Keep small goals at first. As soon as you reach them, move on to a bigger goal. 
  • Eating well is very important in order to run. If you're not fueling your body with the right food, your body won't be able to perform tasks well. 
  • You need to focus on breathing. The sound of your steps and breath sync and work in a rhythm. Find your rhythm that works for you and pay importance to your breath. 

Sindhu is a nutrition advisor and helps people have a nutritious and strengthening diet. She says that one should identify what he/she is eating wrong. People usually have a higher carb intake in comparison to the protein intake. Protein is very essential as muscle strength holds a high significance when it comes to running. Multivitamins and omega 3 fatty acids are very important items that people generally miss out on in their diet. Sindhu helps people with lifestyle disorders that are caused by unhealthy eating practices and lifestyle errors. She has helped more than 200 people till now. 

"Diet doesn't mean giving up on things; it implies eating the right things."

Her first run traces back to 2019 where she ran for 5 km. She then mentions how she got into marathons. Her husband has always been an avid marathon runner and Sindhu used to accompany him in his marathons just to watch as she liked the atmosphere of the marathons. Every person is his/her own competitor as this is not a race where one needs to win. Marathon is a very community-driven sport where people run together and this creates a very encouraging atmosphere. Sindhu wasn't physically fit to run a marathon at that time but she started to get into running as a part of her weight loss journey. As a beginner, running 5K was a very huge accomplishment for her. She completed her 5K journey in 30 minutes. She hasn't participated in many runs as just after 2019, COVID hit. She connected with her friends virtually and they all used to run from their respective places. 

"People who want to start running, it's all about the first step that you need to take."

Edited by - Rishika Bajaj

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