If you are a mum then you know first hand the pressures that pregnancy puts on your body – pains, aches, stretchmarks and of course the wobbly bits that are left after the arrival of our precious bubs.
Having spent a number of years working in post-natal exercise, working with hundreds of women, I know the frustration that can come from looking in the mirror at a body that you no longer recognise.
Keeping active becomes a whole new regime as you now have your little one as a permanent companion – so finding new ways to exercise and be active is paramount to your health and your sanity too. If you are a first time mum I would recommend finding a trainer with post-natal experience to get you on your way. There are many out there and they are usually training groups of mums just like you.
After the birth of your child I recommend you go easy in the first six weeks until you have had your post-natal check up with your obstetrician. The body has gone through so much in the previous nine months so be gentle on yourself.
When you are ready to start – there are many options for you to pursue. The benefit of the Mummy and Bub type classes is that you are socialising with other mums and sharing the exercise experience and as we all know, if you have others expecting you to show up for the class, you are far more likely to be motivated to go!
There are various groups that focus on Mum and Bub classes, from stroller groups, to group fitness classes and of course yoga. Many gyms offer crèche services too but this is generally offered for older children – you would have to check with your local gym.
When speaking with Christine Groves of Mummylicious Fitness she told me that at her classes, the mums enjoy circuit training, challenge games, hill runs, fit balls, aerobics, boot camp, beach and sand training and much more. With that range you can expect to be changing things up regularly so you won’t be bored, and of course this is all done while bub is in the pram close by.
Haylee attends the Mummylicious classes with her baby, Noah. She said that she loved coming to Mummylicious, mostly for the exercise which is always different and heaps of fun, and a great workout – which you feel the next day. BUT most of all she loves the catch-up with friends each week, and meeting of all the lovely new mummies that join us.
Mums and Bubs yoga is another great option as it provides a calmer approach to exercise, a chance to focus on the pelvic floor and opportunity to relax with your child.
But what if there are no organised Mum and Bub programs in your area? Then I would suggest the following options:
1. Connect with other mums in the area (playgroups are a great way to do this or try meetup.com) and suggest a walking group. Even committing to once a week for an hour will get you motivated, and of course when you have to meet others you will be far more committed.
2. If you have a few friends that can get together at the same time, then organise a weekly workout. This could be in the park or at your homes. Borrow an exercise DVD from the local library or download a training program from iTunes or YouTube – or download one from fitnessblender.com which features some fantastic workouts and you can choose the length of time and level of difficulty that you want to incorporate in your program, plus many more options.
Whatever you choose to do, remember to be kind to yourself and see the long term goal. Some will notice quick changes while others will take longer to shift baby weight. As long as you are moving then you will benefit.
Check out these sites for inspiration:
www.gcparks.com.au and follow links to Active & Healthy
www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/whats-on and follow links to Active Parks