My Exercising Saviours
Life before Nella was definitely simpler and of course I wouldn’t change it but one of the things I miss the MOST is being able to exercise freely. I WISH there were more baby friendly classes that didn’t cost the earth; where you could switch off and workout. It’s brilliant living in London because there are classes available but definitely not enough.
My two absolute saviours have been APPI Pilates here in Wimbledon (only a 10 min walk from me hurrah) and Mumhood online videos. It’s down to both of these I managed to get rid of my abdominal separation. I also credit them for helping me feel a little more like me.
Jess, the women’s health physio at APPI is AMAZING! She teaches all the pre/post-natal Pilates classes throughout the week – mat and reformer circuits (often whilst carting around a crying baby). I went to Jess’s classes throughout my pregnancy and subsequently when Nella was about 10 weeks. I booked to see Jess for a 1:1 assessment post birth to have my pelvic floor and any muscle separation checked. (APPI advise all returning mothers to do this prior to restarting classes.) This means Jess knows everyone’s capabilities and can always tailor classes appropriately.
I’ve been to other postnatal classes where all I’ve done is lie on the floor doing breathing exercises; a real source of frustration because I can lie on the floor at home anytime without the hassle of getting out! Jess’s classes are not like this at all, you actually feel like you’ve exercised. The reformer circuit class is my favourite and it is TOUGH! Plus you get a good chat to the other mums which is always an added bonus. Babies hang out on a mat next to you; just bring LOTS of toys to distract them! And the younger they are, the easier this is; Nella used to happily fall asleep on her mat but now she’s trying to crawl everywhere so it’s proving more of a challenge.
Mumhood videos, set up by the women who founded Frame are absolutely fantastic for home workouts. I have now done all their online videos starting with the Phase 1 & 2 Postnatal through to their Fit Mums programmes. (They even featured me as Mumhooder of the week, yes I am a little proud of this although I’m not sure I’m deserving but THANK YOU Mumhood!) The early videos are gentle with a focus on helping your muscles and ribcage draw back together properly, the later videos become increasingly harder as you build your strength.
The best bit; they’re short and they provide you with any equipment you need – Pilates ball, bands, gliders. So you really can fit them around your day; no video is over 28mins and most are under 20mins. In the early days, I’d pop Nella on the mat next to me and do my exercises but now I put her in her bouncer to catch up with Iggle Piggle and the gang in In the Night Garden.