Posts Tagged ‘Mum’

Easing New Mums back into Exercise – #fit4feb

February 17, 2014

Dr. Joanna Helcké is an award winning expert in pregnancy and postnatal fitness and is the creator of the UK’s first ever online pregnancy and postnatal fitness system. She is regularly quoted as a pregnancy and postnatal fitness expert in the national media. www.joannahelcke.com 

Joanna HelckeThe What’s on 4 Me team asks Dr Joanna Helcké how new mums should ease themselves safely back into exercise…

What’s on 4 Me: In your expertise, what are some realistic expectations about when it’s safe to begin exercise? How long does it really take? And will most women be able to bounce back to their former selves?

Joanna Helcké: In terms of when it’s safe to start exercising post pregnancy, the general guidelines are to wait until you have had your 6 week postnatal check up with the GP and been given the green light to start up exercising again. Having said this, 6 weeks is the absolute minimum, and if someone has had a caesarean section then she will need to wait at least 8-10 weeks and use her judgement. In other words, if the scar has not healed properly and is still painful then starting exercise would be unwise. Likewise, water-based exercise is an excellent choice when you’ve had a baby, because it is low impact, but without wishing to make anyone feel squeamish, it is important to wait for everything to have healed up before diving into the local pool.

Once new mums have received the go-ahead from their GPs this should not be taken as licence to throw themselves into hard core, high impact exercise. Post pregnancy exercise needs to remain low impact – that means no running, jogging, jumping, skipping or – heaven forbid – trampolining! – for the first 6 months of the postnatal period. This is partly so as to look after the pelvic floor which – let’s face it – has had a tough time in pregnancy and labour, and also to protect against injury or already vulnerable ligaments, joints, and back. Having said this, I am most certainly not advocating sitting around doing nothing – with a good dose of imagination there are so many activities which are perfectly safe and will get new mums, fit, health and boosting the metabolism.

In terms of new mums bouncing back to their former selves, it’s very much a question of a quick-fix versus a measured, sustainable approach, or a super-complicated diet plan versus a healthy eating plan that is quick and easy to follow for busy mums. Quick fixes are invariable so gruelling that nobody can actually stick to them for any length of time, and complicated diets are just too much hard work for busy working mums. The trick is, therefore, to find ways of eating healthily that are enjoyable and take no time at all. It can be done!

Win 3 months membership to Dr Joanna Helcké’s tummy tightening online New Mum Pilates Programme

What’s on 4 Me: What’s your advice about easing back into your pre-pregnancy fitness routine? How much does exercise and diet really affect breastfeeding? 

Joanna Helcké: When I am helping people regain their pre-pregnancy figure, I never focus on the usual “going on a diet” approach, as this implies a short term measure which is, in my opinion, liable to be unsustainable. It is also inappropriate, given the demands of breastfeeding and looking after a little baby. In view of this I have a three-pronged system for beating the “baby bulge”: specialist, post-pregnancy, abdominal work to strengthen and flatten the abdominals, which have been stretched and weakened in pregnancy; a weekly exercise “portfolio” which is specifically designed to kick-start the metabolism whilst still being safe for the post natal period (low impact interval training, and the introduction of appropriate resistance work to build muscle, which gets the body burning lots of calories) and which is also baby-friendly i.e. no need to find childcare as this stops new mums from sticking to their fitness regime; and last but certainly not least, analysing people’s nutritional intake to ensure that it is balanced and healthy. With regard to the latter, I would suggest that for most post natal women, simply making sure that they get the correct balance and type of protein, carbohydrates, fat, dairy, fruit and vegetables – combined with the right sort of exercise – is enough to see the baby weight come off at a steady and healthy rate, without feeling hungry, tired and without having to count calories, points or swig food replacement shakes.

It is often suggested that vigorous exercise has a detrimental effect on the production of breast milk and can interfere with the success of breastfeeding but reviews of research would seem to indicate that this is not that case and that exercising has no adverse effects when it comes to breastfeeding. Having said this, it is, of course even more important to maintain excellent levels of fluid intake if you are both breastfeeding and exercising. On a personal note, I breastfed all three of my boys – the youngest until the day before his third birthday – and I also exercised regularly. Having clocked up a total of 5 years’ worth of breastfeeding and exercising I had to conclude that it had no negative impact in my case!

With regard to diet and breastfeeding, mums should remember that their babies are gaining so much goodness from them when breastfeeding. This should provide an enormous incentive to eat healthily, so that they are giving their babies the best possible start in life. The added bonus is that new mums will also be getting all the health benefits of this nutrient-rich food. Early motherhood is a tiring experience that requires huge reserves of energy (and patience!) – going on a restrictive diet is unhelpful and likely to leave mums deficient in certain nutrients, iron being a frequent problem.

What’s on 4 Me: Is it true that breastfeeding helps you lose weight fast? Can diet and exercise too soon mess up the breast milk somehow, ie, make it less nutritious?

Joanna Helcké: If a newborn baby is fully breastfed then a new mum will be burning an extra 400-500kcal per day but trying to exploit this in an attempt to shed the baby weight would leave her feeling depleted and exhausted. If breastfeeding mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet and combine this with moderate exercise, such as brisk buggy walking incorporating intervals of faster and slower walking, this is a very good basis for beginning to lose the baby weight in a manageable and sustainable manner.

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Kirsty Dee Bowerbank-Steel – nominated in 2 categories in the What’s On 4 Me 2011 Awards!

October 6, 2011

 

Kirsty Dee Bowerbank-Steel runs Work it Baby and has been nominated in 2 categories – “Best Local Sports, Health or Fitness Group” and “Most Outstanding Activity Instructor” !

Work it Baby provides exercise classes for mums, but with a difference! Not the standard postnatal type classes, Work it Baby went one step further with the ‘Mummies withTummies’ classes taking you much further beyond this stage.  Designed for mums that have never ever got back into shape and have lost all confidence to go to the norm exercise class or gym,  or simply just mums that have loss all the weight but need a class that will focus on blitzing that belly back into shape.  Work it Baby brings these like minded women together to support one and another with a class that has been created with them in mind. A high energy fun 45 minute routine designed for busy mums that generally don’t enjoy fitness.
 
Founder Kirsty says ‘ I always hated exercise and never really knew what I was doing. After having my daughter, like most women I struggled to get back into shape but even when I did  lose the weight I found I still had the wobbly bits. I couldn’t find a class that really brought together mums like my self who felt dishearten by stretch marks and loose skin and wanted to come together to feel confidence. So I decided to train in the industry and do it myself, I had no experience but a passion because of my own experience. I now love exercise and love what I do. I work with some amazing ladies and it’s very rewarding.
 
Here’s what one of Kirsty’s class members had to say about her:
 
“Kirsty is simply Inspirational. She’s a young busy mum and has a vision.  A vision that all women – whatever their shape should not feel intimidated by exercise classes, should feel part of group and feel accepted. She’s on hand to chat about worries, insecurities, health issues and wobbly bits that are an issue.  It’s an amazing concept and comes alive when Kirsty teaches, encourages and makes working out so fun.  I could go on but I’ll stop there. In short I nominate Kirsty because she makes an impact on those around her and helps us Work-it-Baby and with Love.”
 
Join Work it Baby on Facebook and Twitter  

Well done Kirsty on your nomination and good luck with your votes!  You’re an inspiration & really deserve your place in these Awards!

To vote for Kirsty – please click << here >>


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