Spinning my way to fitness – with small people in tow.
I’ve never been a gym bunny. Dancing was always my thang. Ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre, you name it I did it. It kept me occupied, fit, and really happy during my childhood and well into my teens. Even at uni I sought out ‘adult’ dance classes. I did a ballet class at the Royal Academy of Dance until I was 36 weeks pregnant with M, and a cool streetdance class between babies.
But it’s much harder to head out in the evenings now with two children at home somehow. Not only motivationally, but with their bedtimes and our dinner (sooo hungry these days), and the importance of
blogging husband time too.
So I’ve been trying to get my exercise in during the day while I’m off on maternity leave. Luckily, I’ve managed to lose most of the baby weight pretty quickly, but my big old tummy roll that housed the little blighters is wobbly as hell, and gives a muffin top a run for its money in the wrong jeans.
But where can you take the children that isn’t postnatal yoga with panpipes and tiny new babies? Something that’s a decent cardio workout too?
Well, my answer was a local studios called Strong Vibes who absolutely rock when it comes to welcoming Mums with small ones in tow. They’re so chilled about bringing babies to class, they’ve got a playpen you can stash your little one in while you exercise.
I started off doing Power Plates a few months ago on a morning M was at nursery, and while Little P was 3 months and not yet on the move. She’d happily kick about on the mat, listen to the music and stare up at the lights and funny looking ladies in lycra buzzing on machines and doing sit-ups.
But I’ve recently discovered spinning. And I am not a cyclist like my husband I may add. It is amazing for getting a sweat on and listening to some PUMPING CHOONS (musically, I still live in circa 1995!). Little P is relatively grump-free in her car seat with a bunch of toys and a few dozen rice cakes within her grabbing range – which is crazy considering she’d never sit happily in it at home for 45 mins. But there’s so much to stimulate her, the sound of wheels spinning, legs pumping, people trying not to swear…
And on the days I have no childcare for M, he comes along too – he sits outside the class where I can see him from the saddle, and gets a heavenly 45 mins playing Lego City on the iPad. He’d love it if I did a lot more exercise, let me tell you.
Anyway, this place’s relaxed attitude to bringing your little ones has really motivated me to get fit again – I really think if I hadn’t found it, I’d be mooching about in my dressing gown feeling rubbish about my rolls. So don’t be shy to ask your local gym or studios about baby-friendly classes – I think on the whole, people like the idea of a bubba to look at to take some of the pain away! Unless they’re wailing, in which case normally the music drowns them out 😉