The American College of Gynaecologists lists the benefits of exercise for postpartum women as the following :
• It helps strengthen and tone the abdominal muscles
• It boosts energy
• It may be useful in preventing postpartum depression
• It promotes better sleep
• It relieves stress
I know from my own experience as a mother who struggled with postpartum anxiety after the birth of my third child, just how important exercising and socialising are on the path to gaining good mental health and feeling strong enough to deal with the myriad of challenges that parenthood can present you with. When I recently surveyed a group of mums asking how they feel about themselves since having a baby 83% reported issues with body image and 90% had received no help with this. It saddens me greatly that so many women feel unhappy with their bodies having created life with them. Currently I am working in the community and see every day the positive affect that both exercising and socialising has on women.
Harriet, mum of two, had this to say “My time with Aspire has honestly been life changing. I struggled to walk to the bus stop and since completing the Introduction to Running Course I can run 5K. I have a lot more confidence in my body and more drive to do every day things. I have generalised anxiety disorder and post natal depression, both are massive energy black holes and steal my motivation. I’ve found that exercise has certainly made my moods more stable and being able to bring my brood along makes it more accessible. Even a half hour class with like minded people can turn a bad day good. Helen’s classes are great for getting back into peak fitness after child bearing and even though you are part of a group you still get tailored care and workouts.”
Kirsty started with Aspire Personal Training after the birth of her son Max “I was very nervous starting to exercise after my little boy. That’s why I chose to start with Helen a friendly face who put me at ease straight away. The exercise class was a great start for me. Easier options were available so I didn’t feel singled out if I couldn’t manage. This boosted my confidence. Also the first step was the hardest. Coming away feeling good about myself was great and knowing I was going to enjoy the class. My partner noticed a difference too in the boost and encouraged and supported me. Walking into a room with all shapes and sizes with no one judging you was great and having a laugh is just the postnatal tonic that I needed.”
Wendy said this “I joined Aspire in February this year. After three children I was keen to get fit again ( or at least be able to chase after them without getting breathless) With two pre school age children I found it difficult to exercise, Aspire offers fun, relaxing classes that fit around my young family.I have gained confidence in my body while developing my core strength. Being able to bring my children to exercise classes has been a positive and comfortable experience which we all enjoy.”
Having qualified in Designing Pre and Postnatal Exercise Programmes, I am able to help women strengthen their core which is so important in retaining continence which can be very important for their confidence and I’m also in a position to tell them what is normal and sign post them to the correct services if they are experiencing physical or mental problems that they need professional help with. Many women needlessly suffer in silence due to embarrassment or lack of awareness around what is normal.
82% surveyed would like to join a group of local mums and 69% would attend an exercise class they could bring their children to. That is why I’ve opened up a lot of my daytime classes to children to allow mums the space to keep fit. Mums are always looking after everyone else and I provide a space where they can look after themselves too.