Published Thursday 25 June 2015 at 10:33
An exercise class for new mums which allows them to bring their babies along for the ride is proving to be a big hit!
Local ‘Buggy Buddies’ classes provide specific exercises for new mums who wish to gradually increase their fitness levels, reduce any extra weight gained through pregnancy, improve emotional wellbeing and meet new people without having to leave their babies at home.
The classes run at Darwen Leisure Centre every Tuesday from 11-12pm by the local Wellbeing Service’s HealthWISE team as part of Council’s re:fresh programme with a special ‘Buggy Bootcamp’ class running at Witton Park Arena on Fridays from 10-11am. All classes are free to Beez card holders.
Two mums who have signed up to be buggy buddies are Rachel Knight, 32 and Natasha Hesketh, 26, both from Darwen. The pair have been attending the classes for several months and are experiencing the full range of benefits.
Rachel said: “I’d put on weight with my first pregnancy and wanted to do some exercise. I started off going on the Tuesdays and then to the boot camps at Witton Park as well. The classes are made up of one minute exercises interspersed with cardiovascular work. They’re specifically designed for the post-natal body and for different levels of fitness.”
Says Natasha: “The way the classes are run is brilliant. The instructors are so encouraging, they know everyone has different fitness levels so they tailor the exercises to what each woman’s body is able to do. There’s only 16 in a group and that allows for the personal touch – they push you and help you to achieve your individual goals.”
And it’s not just the physical benefits that Natasha and Rachel have experienced but the benefits to their emotional wellbeing as well.
Says Rachel: “You build really strong relationships with the other mums and form little support groups which is nice. We go for a coffee afterwards and it just gives you that opportunity to network and meet new people.”
Adds Natasha: “It wasn’t purely about the exercise for me, it was a chance to meet other people and get that social side. I think if you’re at home with the kids all the time, the four walls can start to creep in a bit and I think being active really helps keep your mind active and offers a bit of a break from the monotony. It’s provides a bit of a routine for the week as well.”
One of the major benefits of the classes the pair found was being able to bring their babies with them. Says Natasha: “A lot of the mums here are on maternity and for the first year you don’t want to leave your baby, you feel selfish going off to the gym on your own, so to discover these classes was amazing. It’s also great for the babies to come and interact with each other.”
Councillor Mustafa Desai, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said:
I think it’s fantastic that Rachel and Natasha and other new mums are feeling the benefits of this service. They can refresh their fitness at their own pace, improve their general wellbeing and make new friends. The fact they can bring their babies too and introduce them to the idea of health and exercise at such an early age can only be of benefit as well.
Help to get fit is just one of a wide range of services available via Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Wellbeing Service to support the health and wellbeing of local residents.
Whatever the health or wellbeing-based concern, the Wellbeing Service will be there to put you in touch with the best people to meet your needs.
To access the help available, you just need to be over 16 and live, work or have a GP in Blackburn with Darwen.