This week, we bring you the first of a series of health Q&As, answered by our resident GP, Juliet McGrattan. Whether it be a mental-health question, a general-health question, or a concern for your feet, Juliet has the answer. If you’d like to haved your question answered by Juliet, send us your question to: [email protected]
I suffered a miscarriage at seven weeks last year. Although my doctor tried to assure me that running wasn’t the cause, I can’t help feeling nervous. Should I lay off while I’m trying to conceive, maybe until 12 weeks?
I’m so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Although they’re still very upsetting it can help to know that early miscarriages are very common and most women go on to have a successful pregnancy. There’s no clear proof that running, or other vigorous exercise, will cause miscarriage. Keeping active at all stages of pregnancy does have proven benefits.
At the end of the day you have to do what feels right for you. You aren’t going to enjoy your run if you’re constantly worrying. If you feel happier switching to lower impact sports for a while then do so but be reassured, whatever you decide, if you do have another miscarriage it won’t be your fault.
Body: Lingering illness
I had a chest infection recently but my symptoms pretty much ended three weeks ago. However, every time I try to run I feel absolutely shattered straight away, as if I’m still ill. It’s really frustrating as I thought I’d be able to get back to it by now. Should I just push through and persevere? When can I expect to feel right back to my old self?
A nasty chest infection can really wipe you out and recovery often takes much longer than you expect so I wouldn’t be concerned at this stage. I wouldn’t advise pushing through; you need to listen to your body. Stick with walking and core work and in another two to three weeks you should be feeling better. If you aren’t then a trip to the GP is in order.
Sole: Toe-tally fine
I started upping the distance of my long runs a couple of months ago and have ended up with a black toenail! It’s not too painful but should I do anything about it?
Black toenails are often the tattoo of the long-distance runner. If it’s not painful then just leave it alone. The nail bed underneath is very delicate so it’s best to leave the nail in place as protection. It may fall off eventually. Make sure you have correct fitting socks as well as shoes. You need to go up a half or full size in a running shoe compared to your regular shoes and look for a style that has a big enough toe box for your feet.