words by Lydia Lerner
Before giving birth to my daughter last July I had no idea that completing the most basic task would now elude me. Naively, I thought having a baby would allow me the freedom to do all the things a full time job had prevented me from doing, I could feed my baby whilst taking part in a ceramic class, jog through the park as she gurgles contently, all while making my own preserves.
Yep, turns out I was wrong. Not only do I have no free time for these activities, but after the huge physical change my body went through and the shock of caring for a new born baby, even popping out to the shops is a military operation. So the thought of juggling a workout into my daily routine seemed out of the question.
The medical professionals don’t recommend doing anything too strenuous for the first six weeks after giving birth, but once my doctor had given me the all clear I was keen to look for a way to get out the house and start improving my fitness levels.
After searching the internet and speaking with other mothers I came across Buggyfit classes in my local area. The Buggyfit instructor, Christine Griffin, has been running this particular course in Waltham Abbey Park for the last 9 months. This mother of two said, “the reason I started Buggyfit classes was because I understand myself how difficult it was to get my fitness back after having my own children. It’s very important for women to be in great shape and health when raising a family. Any women attending classes should expect to regain a good level of fitness, strength and body tone”.
The class is an excellent way to ease you back into exercise. Your first post-natal work out can be quite nerve racking and it’s reassuring to exercise in a class tailored to your needs. Christine takes into account how new a mum you are and adapts the programme if you’re breast feeding. Every class provides the opportunity for a full body work out while enjoying the fresh air and will always include those easy to neglect but oh-so-important pelvic floor exercises. Most importantly though Christine and all the mothers take responsibility for ensuring the babies are all safe throughout the class. My initial misconception was that Buggyfit would involve tearing round the park with my buggy. Although lunges and stretches do involve using the pram, no running is allowed with your baby and when I was jogging I felt pleased my child was under the watchful eye of the other mothers.
Even though Christine pushes the class hard, changing the workout programme every 6 weeks; the environment is very relaxed. It’s a great way to get some fresh air with your baby and meet some likeminded mums.
I didn’t realise until recently that having a baby is a lot like starting school. You’re forever learning new lessons and my mother keeps asking me if I have made any new friends yet. At least at Buggyfit class any nerves about meeting new people are soon eclipsed by the concentration required to complete star jumps and squats and the joy that your body still allows this to happen.
Buggyfit is a great concept. Entering the world of motherhood is a daunting road to travel and I have enjoyed the friendly yet challenging environment of the classes. Physically and mentally my stamina has improved with every lesson. Forcing myself outdoors in all kinds of weather really has had made a positive impact and my daughter seems to enjoy it too. I still have a long way to go before returning to my pre-pregnancy body, but Buggyfit is definitely an enjoyable way to help me achieve it.
Buggyfit wonderfully operate all over the UK: www.buggyfit.co.uk
For more information click here.