If you've just had a baby and want to get fit, then learning to exercise around your pram is the new way to burn the post baby pounds!
Fitness for New Mums
Outdoor group classes for new mums started in the UK about 3 years ago, when Emma Redding, a 37 year old mum of 2 from Thame, Oxfordshire, set up a company called Buggyfit. "I had put on 4st when pregnant with my first son, and I felt desperate that I couldn't get any help in losing weight. I joined a gym but found it hard to fit in around my new role as a mum. Then I started thinking, maybe doing fitness stuff around my baby with other mums might work."
Emma subsequently trained as a fitness expert, and started up classes to teach other mums in her area how to fit fitness into their new lifestyles. "The feedback was great – I just found that exercising with other mums, around the pram and the baby - and not leaving either behind - really worked," enthuses Emma.
Buggyfit classes are available throughout the UK and involve 3-5 miles of walking, plus some exercises such as lunges, tricep dips, pelvic floor exercises and stretching, as well as warm-up and cool down sessions. Classes last about an hour, and only cost around £2; to lose weight effectively, it's recommended you do 3 classes a week, and follow an effective weight loss programme. "I think the Weight Watchers POINTS® system is great," says Emma. "I really found it helpful in shifting the pounds."
Taking Care of Your Health
New mums need to be careful though. You can't exercise for 6 weeks after giving birth naturally; for 10 if you have had a C-section. "It's really important you go and train with someone who is qualified to teach post natal exercise," says Liz Stuart, who runs Power Pramming classes in London, similar to Buggyfit's programme. "You need to wear a sports bra, especially if still nursing, and be careful with your joints."
Don't rush to get the weight off either, says Liz. "Celebrity mums have childcare help on tap; normal women can't hope to exercise intensively and not get exhausted. It's natural to lose the weight gradually, starting off slowly, and building up to an hour's exercise, 3 or 4 times a week."
What You'll Need:
- A good sports bra
- Appropriate trainers – in winter and in summer
- Light layers and a kagoul in winter; T-shirt and shorts in summer
- Lots of water
- Sunscreen for the baby or layers – remember to feed him or her before your class...
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