Leading a postnatal walking and exercise group – Charlotte Taylor

Charlotte was one of our first Ready Steady Mums Group Leaders, here she reflects on those first sessions… (and achieving the goal she set herself at the outset … That Honey Moon Bikini!)

I was about 6 months pregnant when I decided to set up a Ready Steady Mums group. I have always been a sporty type, and being fit and healthy is very important to me – with three months to go I was feeling pretty big and wondering if I’d ever get in shape again…   I mentioned that I was going to set one up to my NCT group and a few of the girls were very keen, then I set up the group. We decided from the outset to include exercises as well as walking in our sessions.

Ready Steady Mums – Choose a Venue

It was pretty straight forward; choose a suitable time and place (for me it is the local park, 11.00 on a Tuesday morning), then spread the word. The mum network is great where I live, and quickly we got members from three different pre & post natal groups. A few other members joined after seeing a tweet, and a couple from the flyer I stuck up I the park café.

I was a bit nervous before the first session, which in hindsight was completely unnecessary. There were seven of us, and I led the session using a post it note I stuck on the buggy which listed the exercises to do. I was struck by how quiet the first session was which made me a bit unsure, but in fact everyone was just concentrating on following the exercises. The sessions are rarely quiet now! I asked for feedback  at the end and it was very positive, which made me feel really good about myself.

There is a mixture of mums each week – often a few are away visiting family, or at the health visitor, or recovering from a sleepless night, but there always enough for a fun session, and I even managed one in the snow, with just two of us (a crazy two of us I think).

The group has grown as mums invite more friends, and other mums spot us in the park. It’s a very social activity as well as a good exercise, and we always get a coffee afterwards (*happy face*) and catch up on how well our babies are napping, what the latest preferred weaning meal is, or what our plans are for childcare when we return to work (*sad face*). I am back at work now and in the short term another volunteer has taken over and runs fantastic sessions which by all accounts are harder work than mine! As I will be going part time, my plan is to set up a second session a week on the day I’m off, so there will be even more opportunity to get an exercise/ social/ outdoor fun fix. I have hugely enjoyed setting up and running my group, and I can’t recommend it highly enough if you’re thinking about it. If you still need convincing here are my top 5 reasons to become a Yummy Ready Steady Mums Mummy!

Ready Steady Mums – Top 5 Reasons

  1. Stretch, tone, strengthen – get your body back faster
  2. Feel great outside – fresh air is brilliant for you and your baby
  3. Make friends – a joy shared is a joy doubled, a sorrow shared a sorrow halved
  4. Regain a bit of structure to your day and week – I’m a teacher and loved a bit of routine
  5. Contribute an amazing thing to your community.

Reason 6: I got into my honeymoon bikini on our first family holiday with our 6 month old. ( *Huge Smiley Face*!)

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