You may have read previously that I didn’t think there were enough fitness classes for new mums with babies outside of London. Well I was pleased to see a new class start up in Witney, Oxfordshire this January to do just that. It’s part of the One Fit Mama chain and they are popping up all round the country. You only have to search for them on Facebook to see how many classes they have.
I went the other week and was really impressed with the class. It is perfect for new mums who are just starting out on their journey to get back into shape. It’s held at a local church in Witney (Ceewood Hall), with decent baby changing facilities and free parking.
Carlene, the instructor, runs it as a circuit class and is a mum herself. It is first and foremost a circuit class, but don’t let that put you off. All the circuit stations are set up around a circle and a load of mats and ball pits for the babies are placed in the middle. Circuit moves include things like mountain climbers, wall squats, lunges and other grueling, but satisfying exercises. You can go at your own pace, but Carlene is there to help you and ensure you are doing the right moves for your level, especially if you are recovering from a c-section etc.
What I like about the class was that the babies could really get involved. They didn’t just have to sleep in their prams, they could sit in the ball pit and watch mummy workout. Not only does this pique their interest and keep them quiet (at least for a few minutes anyway) but it is also instilling good values in them from an early age about fitness, a healthy lifestyle and movement.
The class was chocka block and the mums were all clearly enjoying a good workout and some much needed time for themselves, whilst their babies played with the toys provided. Carlene also walked around each of the workout stations and offered to take any grisly babies away for a walk around, this was a godsend when Amelia started to cry. Little touches like that make all the difference and reassures you that it’s ok if your baby kicks off as it won’t mean you miss the class.
It was only after the class, when I was having a chat to Carlene, that she told me about the postnatal depression (PND) referral scheme as part of One Fit Mama. This blew my mind. She is working with health visitors and GPs who have a form to complete if they would like to refer a mum for classes free of charge if they are showing signs of PND. They just need to sign the form. She will then call them to confirm and then the mum can come for six consecutive free classes. A mum can also complete this form and send it to Carlene personally but it does require a signature from a health visitor or GP and a quick follow up phone call to confirm. I love this. There are so many women out there suffering in silence and confined to their houses so something like this is great to get them out and about and give them some ‘me’ time back.
Carlene explained that One Fit Mama has started a PND charitable trust which will hopefully be given to the franchises to be able to offer more spaces. This charitable trust also donates money so they can help treat mums who are really suffering by maybe offering them a free haircut, redecorating their bedroom or something similar. Anything they feel may help them and is for them personally. It’s really impressive.
You can find out more about the trust here – https://www.onefitmama.co.uk/charitabletrust
Carlene is doing so well, she even made the Oxford Mail the day after her first class. Check out the pics to see me and my mummy friends working out here: http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/15818407.Mum__39_s_fitnesses_classes_aim_to_take_the_pressure_off_new_mothers/
And to join the class check out their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/OneFitMamaSWOxford/
Or find one in your local area, see their webpage here: https://www.onefitmama.co.uk/