Personal Trainer Advice For Mums – Ready Steady Mums

Expert Advice from Ready Steady Mums Personal Trainer Lucy Howlett

Screen-shot-2013-10-29-at-15.39.47Lucy Howlett is one of the experts behind the Ready Steady Mums exercise programmes. She is an advanced kettlebell instructor, dancer, has trained in postural correction and is an expert in post-natal exercise. I love working with her, she is incredibly creative and is constantly developing new ways to help Ready Steady Mums members to actively embrace motherhood.

Today Lucy offered to share some of her experience and expertise as a personal trainer just for mums

Q: What challenges do mums most commonly ask you to help them overcome?

Lucy: Most commonly, my post-natal ladies are looking to get their pre-baby body back as fast as healthily possible. They simply want to reinforce regular fitness training into their life again and with the knowledge that they are doing the right exercises as well as following a healthy diet with the guidance of a fitness professional.

Q: What are the most effective tips you give new mums to help them get started and stay motivated?
Lucy: I advise them to have a healthy diet and do little bits of exercise each day; even just stretches and gentle mobility work. A great initiative is to place post-it notes around the house with words on (pelvic floor, posture: shoulders back & chest up, squats x 10) to encourage adding exercise into your day when you have a minute or two. (Try it and let me know how you get on!)

Q: What parts of the body do mums like to focus on most?
Lucy: I like to train the body as a whole and to use functional training wherever possible as well core conditioning but generally clients ask to focus on …

  • Stomach — to lose weight, tone up and help get the abdominals back in shape.
  • Arms — to have shapely shoulders when wearing nice tops and dresses.
  • Pelvic floor — to condition the muscles again and regain control.

 

Q: Which mums are the most inspiring?
Lucy: I think each Mum who sets time aside to train while bringing up children is inspiring. Also those who are at peace with what is going on in their life with a new baby. Yes, the body is out of shape and that can be very hard to accept but your body has done this amazing thing of growing and giving birth to a wonderful baby. Relax and enjoy the journey towards your goals, however distant they may seem. Little steps still make progress and perseverance is key!

Q: What benefits do your clients most value about getting active?
Lucy: The benefits they enjoy are numerous; increased confidence, feeling invigorated, improved energy levels, relieving tight muscles and postural imbalances (due to lifting children, sitting lots, breast feeding, etc), getting fitter, stronger and healthier for greater vitality! Do contact me if you have any questions or if I can help with your training goals!

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Lucy provides virtual personal training by phone, Skype and email, providing extra motivation and support – in particular if you are following one of the free Ready Steady Mums programmes. Mums who work with Lucy report seeing their energy go up and their spirits soar! She is passionate about helping you to fulfil your potential and you can get in touch and find out about her services and pricing by emailing lucy@liftpersonal-training.co.uk.

Advice From Katy’s Doula

Screen-shot-2013-10-29-at-15.20.55Becca Wickham was with me for my son’s birth, and she’s amazing!

She is a qualified and recognised Doula, having trained with Paramana Doula, and supports mums before, during and after childbirth.
Today Becca shares her advice on coping with, and recovering from childbirth. She draws on her experience helping women to prepare for birth, attending the birth and following-up with mums to make sure they are recovering afterwards.

Q: How does a Doula support mums before, during and after childbirth?

Becca: I provide advice and guidance on how to prepare for birth, physically, mentally, and emotionally. This can include devising and writing a birth plan, giving massage or yoga tuition, and talking through fears, concerns and wishes. Then I offer emotional support and act as the mum’s protector during the birth itself. Then afterwards I help women to regain control and feel like themselves again.

Many mums find their attitude to themselves changes throughout pregnancy and birth. Often they feel an instinctive need to look after themselves more, even if they’ve never focused on fitness, well-being and health before. On the other hand, lots of women who are used to having a lot of control in their lives can find motherhood entirely unfamiliar, and even feel quite lost. My job is to help mums navigate through by being a consistent, caring support.

Q: How do mums usually feel after giving birth?

Becca: Birth is a challenge, physically and emotionally, whether yours is a walk in the park or an absolute slog. It’s the most amazing thing your body will ever do.

Mums may feel overwhelmed by the experience of birth – then add to that the challenges of breast-feeding, a lack of sleep, rushing hormones… Most women say they never predicted how much their body would feel it had changed. They want to do something to feel better again, but it’s often tough just to get started and get active.

Q: How can mums actively embrace motherhood from day 1?

Becca: Most of the mums I have worked with are really grateful for a massage or a hug. It sounds really simple, and it is! Just a way to help mums start to feel better in their new bodies. I also always recommend getting out for a walk as soon as mums feel able (even if it’s snowing like it was when your baby was born Katy!).

Mums need to understand that the more relaxed and happy you feel in yourself the better you’ll get on with motherhood. Give yourself the time and space to do whatever you love doing. Ask for help and take time out to walk, sing, cook, surf the Internet, read – whatever works for you. If you can find activities you enjoy to do with baby too you’ve solved a key early problem. Try dancing round the kitchen?!

Just because you’ve had a baby don’t think your needs no longer exist. I’ve seen women act like they’re under siege. They think they’re solely responsible and guilt is such an issue. Loved ones and friends are critical in many ways, ask them to help. So many mums neglect themselves because they feel that their entire raison d’etre is baby. Keep up friendships and positive activities.

Q: What is your top body tip for new mums?

Becca: Be proud of yourself, your baby, and your body. Stay positive and don’t beat yourself up! If you’ve put on a lot of weight, or think your body has changed beyond recognition, don’t worry. You’ll build it back through progressive exercise and healthy eating. Just take the time to do it properly.

 

Best tips and advice for getting fit as a new mum

Mums exercising Socialcise

I’ve been tweeting and Facebook-ing for four years on pre and postnatal exercise. A few of the tips I share have had more than their fair share of discussion, retweeting and liking…

So to save your trawling social media for advice on exercise post-pregnancy, here are my super-tips – a bit like super-foods (?)

  • Do something active every day
  • Celebrate what you have done, instead of lamenting what you haven’t.
  • Declare you’re getting fit, get your supporters on board
  • Talk to other mummies, encourage them even if they don’t look like they need it
  • Remind yourself that your body made your baby.  It’s amazing.
  • Take photos and measurements now, embrace them as your start-point, and love watching them improve.
  • Say yes to invitations to exercise with other mums
  • Be nice to yourself – sleep, eat , exercise, socialise
  • If something doesn’t feel right with your postnatal body, ask a medical professional.
  • Be a positive force on your community, find friends, inspire friends, and be inspired to actively embrace motherhood together
  • Wear 2 bras if you don’t have a sports bra
  • Check your buggy handle is level with your belly button
  • Involve your partner in your get fit plan (six-minute six-pack workout anyone?)
  • Avoid backache, put your changing table higher than you think
  • Give someone a big kiss today