What’s On 4 Me 2013 Awards Nominee – Joanna Helcké, Zest4lifeUK, Loughborough

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Hi there, I’m Dr Joanna Helcké and I’m a pregnancy and postnatal fitness expert, juggling career alongside looking after my three lively boys. In 2009 I founded Zest4lifeUK and have looked after the fitness of hundreds of women working with an entire spectrum of women, from fitness novices to team GB athletes.

Zest4lifeUK offers a really unusual range of specialist exercise classes designed to help women have a happy, healthy and sociable time throughout pregnancy, into early motherhood… and beyond. What makes these fitness classes so different?

JoannaHelckeFirstly, no-one needs to worry about childcare because babies come along to all the classes – from postnatal Pilates to outdoor buggy workouts – and they are even catered for with lots of play gyms, toys and play pens for the crawlers.

“But what else is different about the Zest4lifeUk fitness classes?” I hear you ask. Well, every single one of my classes includes a social aspect. For example, BounceBack  is my mother-and-baby post natal Pilates class and this is how it works: we have a 15 minute outdoor warm up in a beautiful field (yes, even in winter, because research has proven that exercising outdoors in lovely surroundings is of great psychological benefit). We then move indoors and the babies have fun on their play gyms whilst the mums do their exercises, each person working at the correct intensity and level depending on how recently she gave birth, what type of birth she had, to what extent her abdominals have been affected by pregnancy etc. After an hour of exercise I serve tea, coffee, and herbal infusions with a mini homemade biscuit (made by me!) for the mums so that they can have time to socialise, chat, swap advice, share their worries, and relax.

Each type of class that I run includes this sort social element as I am convinced that building a strong support network is vital for the mental wellbeing of new mothers.

My passion for enabling new and expectant mothers to experience the incredible benefits of pregnancy and postnatal exercise, has led me to develop the UK’s FIRST EVER online specialist pregnancy and postnatal fitness and wellbeing system, which will be accessible to women, wherever they live. It has taken me two years to create this innovative system and I am so excited about its upcoming launch on the 12 September 2013. If you’d like a sneak preview of some of my online workouts then do take a look here.

Joanna x

Joanna and Zest4lifeUK have been nominated in two categories Most Inspirational Coach, Instructor or Tutor and Best Sports, Health or Fitness Group. To vote for Zest4lifeUK please visit the What’s On 4 Me Awards website and click the Voting Link.

If you want to keep updated and find out how to attend our glittering Awards Ceremony at Earls Court in November, as part of the Ideal Home Show at Xmas, then add your details here

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