Following last weeks theme of getting back into exercise after having a baby I asked one of our buggy walkers, Sally Saville, how it was for her.
‘I have 2 children, both by c-section – the youngest is 3 months and the older 2 years. Before having children I was always an active person, I liked to stay slim and used walking and running to keep me in shape.
After the first child, the whole experience was a total shock. It was also Winter so it was cold, dark and depressing. It took me about 3 months to gain the energy and the will to start exercising. Buggy walk was one of the first activities we took part in with the aim of shedding some pounds and meeting some new people. I walked everywhere with him in the buggy. With my second child things seemed a lot easier. I was dying to get back into shape and started Buggy Walk right after my 6 week check. It has surprised me how much easier it was to get back to my old self after my second child than it was after my first. It was also quite a shock that the baby weight didn’t just go after having the baby!
I would love to get out running again but I am still heavier than I was before I had the children and with the sleepless nights and looking after two little ones I never seem to find the right moment.
Doing the “Buggy Walk” in the park is a great way of exercising. It is also a great opportunity to meet other mums in the same situation.
Returning to fitness is very important to me. It has not only helped me feel better about myself physically but the fresh air gives me a feel good boost too. Being fit helps to raise my self esteem and to be able to fit back into all my old clothes!’
Getting back into exercise after having a baby.
After having a baby life just isn’t the same, no doubt exercise isn’t top of ones ‘must do’ list. However, in time getting back into a healthy routine of regular exercise not only helps mum but will help baby too.
What is the best way forward? This will depend on how much exercise you were doing before and during your pregnancy. If you managed to exercise right up to the end of your pregnancy, you can start light exercise right away.
Of course all new mums can start exercising pelvic floor and lower stomach muscles as soon as they feel ready. When you feel up to it a gentle walk with your ‘baby in buggy’ would be a good way to get back into some exercise – this can also lift your mood.
Walking is an excellent start as you can extend the distance or increase the pace very easily to suit your level of fitness.
Swimming is best avoided for the first six weeks to avoid picking up an infection.
Once you have had your 6 week check you can join an exercise class – best to avoid sit-ups or high impact exercise such as running until your pelvic floor has recovered.
A good goal in terms of exercise would 3 times a week of about 30 minutes.
Regular exercise and eating sensibly will help you to return to a healthy weight. However, don’t rush into shedding that baby weight through excessive dieting especially if breastfeeding. This may cause more harm than good. Allow yourself a year to return to pre pregnancy weight – a goal of half a kilo a week would be sensible. Losing weight more slowly makes it more likely that the weight stays off.
It’s important to exercise safely during pregnancy
I have just found out that I am pregnant. I used to do a lot of running; however, I have not done any recently – just a bit of walking. I have been told that it is a good idea to keep fit during pregnancy to reduce the discomforts of pregnancy and labour. Also, I don’t want to put on loads of weight. I have heard swimming and yoga are good for you during pregnancy. Can you advise me on a good exercise programme to follow for the next 9 months?
A ‘pregnant lapsed exerciser’.
Dear pregnant lapsed exerciser
Firstly, you should check with your GP that there are no medical reasons why you shouldn’t exercise at this time. You are quite right; keeping active during pregnancy can provide numerous benefits. However, if you have not run for some time this would not be the time to start again. Walking & swimming would be ideal ways to improve and maintain your fitness. Remember to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise. Avoid over heating as it is important that your core temperature does not increase. Warm ups and cool downs should be carried out – gentle stretching is an ideal way to complete a session. Avoid exercises which may cause you to lose your balance – walk on flat, even ground. Wear comfortable loose fitting clothing with a good supportive bra. Stop exercising if you have any of the following: vaginal bleeding or fluid leaking, contractions, light-headed or feeling faint, shortness of breath, dizziness or nausea. It is important to be able to hold a conversation whilst you exercise to ensure the intensity is appropriate. Your metabolism will increase during pregnancy – ensure you follow a healthy diet.
Two or three sessions of walking or swimming each week for 30 minutes at a moderate intensity would be a good goal to achieve.
Best wishes for a healthy pregnancy.
Next week we will look at returning to fitness following the birth of baby.
Again we had a record number of participants at this months disc run – a total of 49. There were 21 new participants and an excellent 18 who improved on their time since the first disc run in August! Amazing performances. Check out the All time fastest top 10.
Thanks to Yvonne Malone, Rob Cherry and Jannine Lee for offering to volunteer at our next Disc Run on 4th December. 😆
Please consider volunteering at the Disc Run – all volunteers get 3 free disc runs!
|Fastest Saturday Disc time|
So you watched the Birmingham half marathon last weekend and are now thinking you would like to have a go next year? Or your friend did it and you are thinking if he can do it so can I? The message is start training straight away. October 2011 may seem like a long way away but 13.1 miles is also a long way to run. The sooner you start the easier it will be. Just ask your friend –did he wish he had started his training programme sooner and the answer is probably a resounding ‘yes ’.
When taking on a big challenge it is wise to break it down into smaller goals. If you have never run before you may wish to start with a walking programme. A realistic goal might be to run 3 miles continuously by Easter. This will probably require a regular 2 sessions of cardiovascular training each week. Why not try one of our 5km Disc Runs – first Saturday of each month at 9am?
With just 6 months to go, ideally, you would be running or doing some cardiovascular exercise up to 3 times each week. Another good goal would be a 10km event. There are plenty of local fun runs to choose from and the Great Midlands Fun Run held in June at 8.5 miles would be an ideal target.
After achieving 8.5 miles, 13.1 will start to feel less daunting. Through out July & early August you will want to maintain a regular 3 sessions each week. Now the hard work begins – ideally a 10 or 12 week programme aimed specifically at the half marathon. The priority during this time will be to increase your long runs until you are able to complete 11 or 12 miles.
And the reward of these next 12 months? An experience of a life time! Enjoy!
Congratulations to all our SE Fitness runners who took part in the Birmingham half marathon. What a fantastic day! Thanks to Kate, Nuala and Halina for creating the SE Fitness Supporters team…which seemed to go down well with the runners.
If you want to be in the SE Fitness Grand prix (it’s free! and there are prizes presented in July 2011) and your time is not displayed below please email your finishing time. This is the third event and there are 8 more to choose from.
SE Fitness grand prix runners:
For full results go to:
From running to walking for fitness
At SE Fitness we cater for both walkers and runners. Sometimes people have a go at the running but find it just does not suit them for what ever reason. One of the successes for me is when such a person returns to try the walking. I imagine this can be hard psychologically – turning negative feelings into positive. I asked one of our walkers to explain why she preferred the walking to the running.
Her response was:
‘Being of high BMI the impact of running on my body is greater. Whilst I was able to make small improvements over a period of time with endurance and breathing the shin splints got the better of me. I was disappointed to give up but the fast walking has given me an alternative. A fast walking pace provides your system with the same cardiac benefit; you can get a rhythm and speed it up for periods. I find the breathing easier to control on a fast pace i.e. about 4mls/hr and feel much more comfortable overall even when pushing myself to keep up a pace. I have changed from boots to running shoes because I have found that boots are not good for the fast pace; you need more flex in your feet and of course the boots are heavy. In fact I think I could probably cover more distance with a fast walking pace than on the run/walk/run/walk.
It is important to enjoy taking exercise and for me because the fast walking is within my comfort zone I find it more pleasurable. Above all I do love being in the park, which was the main driving force that kept me turning up for running for 12 months. So I will be very glad when the nights are light again.
A great turnout for SE Fitness runners in the Lichfield 10km. The overall winning time was 31 mins 50 seconds. First SE Fitness runner past the post was Colin McAulay in a time of 40 mins 42 secs. Andrea Deathridge continued her good form to finish in 2nd position in her age group category.
SE Fitness grand prix results:
|Andrea||Deathridge||42.46||pb & 2nd female 0’35 & Joker|
For full result