Monday, March 12, 2012

Choosing the best fitness class for you and your baby

Spring marks the beginning of more class variety at Fit 4 Two. Before you register for a class, let's talk about the best choice for you and your baby.

1. Body Readiness
After having your baby, vaginally or by cesarean, you will be encouraged to do pelvic floor exercises, go for light walks and stretch.  If you had a vaginal birth, your health care provider will ask you to wait until your lochia (post partum bleeding) is complete, and the initial veil of fatigue has passed, before easing into a regular fitness program.  If you had a cesarean birth, your doctor will ask you to wait until s/he gives you the green light at your 6-week post operative check-up.

2. The Early Days
Are you body ready (see above)?  If you answered yes, then this is the time to ease back into fitness and establish a good base of muscular endurance.  Pregnancy, childbirth, post partum hormones, fatigue and the physical demands of parenting make your joints more vulnerable and susceptible to injury.  The following classes are excellent choices:
Indoors: Mom & Baby Fitness, Mom & Baby Spin and StrengthMom & Baby Fitness Fusion, Tummies 4 Mommies, Stroller Fitness
Outdoors: Stroller Fitness

Check your local Fit 4 Two page to see what class types are being offered near you.

3. As you progress
Once you have eased back into a fitness routine and have been able to keep at it regularly (cardio and muscular endurance training at least 3 days a week) for at least 6 weeks, then you have a couple of choices.  Continue attending your current class and choose the more challenging options or try one of our boot camp style classes. 

Indoors: Mom & Baby Bootcamp
Outdoors: Stroller Bootcamp

Check your local Fit 4 Two page to see what class types are being offered near you.

4. As your baby grows
Your baby's age and stage also factor into which class you choose.  Once your baby becomes mobile, you will need to choose one of our classes that can safely accomodate mobile babies: Stroller Fitness, Stroller Bootcamp or Mom and Baby AquaFit

5. Aquatic classes
Fit 4 Two Mom & Baby AquaFit is a fun way for moms to get in a full body workout while babies (6-24 months-old) get a positive introduction to the aquatic environment.  This unique class is offered in Winnipeg-West.

We hope you will find this information helpful as you register for spring classes.  Questions and comments are always welcome.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Coming to Class with a Newborn and an Older Sibling


No doubt about it, many parents are intimidated by the idea of working out with more than one child.

I remember my own experience easing back into fitness after my second babe. I was attending Stroller Fitness classes as a participant, pushing my Mountain Buggy Double packed to the gunwhales with snacks, diapers and a yoga mat. Fifteen minutes into my first class, I was sitting on the front nursing my youngest while passing Cheddar Bunnies to the other... a ton of work, indeed, and I wondered if I would manage to get any of the exercises in! But I stuck with it and I quickly learned to show up ahead of class to give my newborn a feeding on the park bench while my older daughter burned off a bit of energy at the playground, followed by a pit-stop & diaper change. At the beginning of class, I gave my eldest a Snack Trap full of granola and a sippy cup, while my youngest would soon doze off when we started moving. By the end of class, my eldest was happy to get out of the stroller to do her 'stretches' with the grown-ups and be a helper when I needed to attend to her little sister. It wasn't long before I was reaping both the physical and mental benefits that I so often preach as an instructor!

I've had many parents attend classes with siblings successfully, and here's what works:
  • Class Types? Stroller Fitness and Stroller Bootcamp are both safe options for attending with a mobile older sibling.
  • Try it out first! Two schedules, two sets of needs... consider trying class as a drop-in first to see what works. Contact your local instructor to be sure that the class type you are attending allows drop-ins.
  • Be prepared. The night before, pack your diaper bag and stroller so getting out in the morning will be that much more stream-lined.
  • Make it special. One very successful mom used to bring special plaintain chips for her older daughter to munch on while she worked out, and she reserved this snack as 'Stroller Fitness Only' - her 2yr old quickly caught on! This also works with special toys or new library books.
  • Make a day of it! Since it takes so much work to get out in the first place, plan to make the day an outing. Visit the playground or indoor play gym ahead of time to burn off the energy of an older sibling. Pack a nutritious lunch for afterwards and have a picnic!
  • Involve Your Child. Keeping safety in mind, let your older child be part of your workout. Let him help count out your reps, or have fun naming the exercises that you're doing. During core & stretch, encourage your older child to get down on their own 'mat' (diaper change pad, blanket, etc) and do the exercises with you - as you can see below, it's never to early to be a positive role model for your child!


What has worked for you?