Feel the burn, mummy
What are the best ways to gain some postpartum fitness?
In short? NOBODY KNOWS! Postpartum fitness is something that even experienced gym bugs may struggle with. Whether you are a first time mum or you’ve just added to a bumper brood, there is probably something out there for you… if you can find it!
Zen Fitness (Yoga)
I was looking to regain my pre-pregnancy fitness and practice a little self care, so I tried some things out. There are some targeted mum and baby sessions which I found particularly helpful. At only a couple of months postpartum, myself and the other mums from our NCT group signed up to a class based locally to us in Hythe, Kent.
Having always loved yoga I was really excited to give this class a go. I had a great time but I did not expect it to be so hard! I could definitely feel the burn!
Using the baby’s weight as your weight, the class gets tougher as the weeks go by. If you miss a week you certainly know about it – the next one is so much harder! I remember thinking “oh, she’s only gained a couple of pounds since last time, it won’t make that much difference”… Well, yes. Yes it did.
The best part about Suzanna’s group was that she was so understanding about needing to take a break to feed baby, or even to stop baby rolling onto other babies… I felt really welcome at her groups, and she was fantastic at making sure everyone could handle the workouts if you were a beginner or had been a regular!
So, that’s one way of really feeling that exercise, releasing endorphins and starting to recover the wellbeing of your body and mind.
A popular class for postpartum fitness is BuggyFit. There are similar groups up and down the country, and you attend with your pushchair or pram. The group focuses on cardio exercises (usually outdoor) that you do whilst pushing a buggy!
These groups are also fabulous. Unfortunately I only went once, because of my incredibly busy schedule in the year after my daughter was born, but it was brilliant. With these, you’re not using baby as a weight, but more as a balance when squatting or a resistance when running.
One exercise that I found to be particularly cheeky was the reps of calf dips. With the beautiful beach backdrop, we stood on tiptoes at the edge of the pavement gently dipping up and down. It didn’t feel much then, but the next morning my calves were on fire!
This type of group is casual, so if nobody is running one nearby you can set one up yourself! All you need is few mummies wanting to have a go at some postpartum fitness – you can meet in the local park! It is possible that an informal group may already be set up locally, so check on Facebook!
Finally – and this one is not limited to mums/dads/parents/guardians – I just have to say how FANTASTIC the park run is! Seriously, go online (but open up a new tab and keep this one up and keep reading!) and Google where your nearest park run is <– or just use that cheeky little hyperlink I’ve stuck in there. My other half, being in the army, has been doing running for years and he is a seasoned pro, so although he leaves me far behind when I’m running with the pushchair, it’s a great, fun activity to do with the whole family. We even took my stepdaughter a couple of weeks ago and she loved it! You can race each other to make it fun, or take it at a leisurely pace. I’ll be honest, I have to keep a pretty slow pace to complete the 5k course!