The baby, child and parenting experts Kiddicare are keen to do more for new mums, so they teamed up with some great experts to bring together that thing that so many people ignore – postnatal fitness. Together with Instructor Live and Kimberly Wyatt of the Pussycat Dolls, they put on a fab event for some mummy bloggers, which I had the privilege of attending.
Kimberly Wyatt and Instructor Live have put together a fantastic new HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout designed especially for mums. They appreciate that mums are busy, we don’t have time to spend two hours a day at the gym, but we also want to be fit and healthy and attempt to get our pre-baby bodies back. The Mum on a Mission 24/7 programme does exactly that. Each HIIT session is 24 minutes long and designed to be done every day. So 24 minutes a day is probably about how long it’d take me to pack my gym kit and walk to the gym.
The Mum on a Mission fitness programme is 8 weeks long and the idea of Instructor Live is that you can stream the workout from wherever you like. It costs £5.99 a month to sign up and you can watch the videos as many times as you like from your smart tv, tablet, phone or laptop. The routines start off gently and increase in intensity over the 8 weeks, in order to tone up your abs, legs, bum and shoulders.
The exercises are simple to follow and vary in intensity, so you can push yourself as much or as little as you want. They also have a dance based theme (and you’d expect nothing less from a Pussycat Doll), which adds to the fun element.
As someone who has NEVER attempted a HIIT workout before, I was sceptical, but I set off for London to give it a go. We began with some stretches to warm up our muscles and get our heart rates up. Then Kimberly and personal trainer Glenn went through the basic exercises slowly. Once we’d given each exercise a go, we tried them all two more times at stronger intensities. My own coordination isn’t the best when it comes to your arms and legs doing different things, but I MOSTLY managed to keep up. I could feel the stretches and I felt the workout as beneficial to my body, yet I didn’t feel like I was dying afterwards. I really enjoyed it.
(I’m the one in the purple top with the clashing orange and white shock absorber!)
We also had a great Q & A session where we got to ask the experts the importance of a good fitting sports bra, the right nutrition to accompany HIIT training (including for those breastfeeding) and the ins and outs of biomechanics when it comes to trainers.
The panel was made up of Luke Walker, co-founder of Instructor Live, postnatal fitness instructor Margarita Bennett, Lynn Coates – head of commercial at Kiddicare, Mike – marketing executive at Asics, and Dan Cartner – marketing executive at SportsShoes.com; as well as Glenn and Kimberly.
In short, we learnt:
Get your feet assessed for the right fit of trainer – you can get 3D mapping and gait assessments, allowing you to buy trainers which give your feet the right level of support. Different people can have different levels of arch collapse and need support on different parts of the foot. Pregnancy can alter these things so you should get reassessed postnatally.
Make sure your sports bra is the correct size, fit and support level for the type of sport you are undertaking. Don’t forget that pregnancy, breastfeeding and also weight change can change the size of your breasts – so get measured regularly. I actually already knew this as I had a job as a qualified bra fitter years ago – so don’t underestimate the importance of getting the correct fit, because it can affect your back, shoulders and posture, as well as your breasts.
Nutritionally speaking – try to avoid sugary snacks, eat balanced meals and if you feel the need to snack – go for fruit. After HIIT or other high intensity exercise you should make sure you eat foods which are high in lean proteins for muscle repair and carbohydrates for energy. DRINK MORE WATER. Particularly with HIIT regimes you should drink a lot of water. Sometimes the body can trick you into thinking you are hungry when actually you are dehydrated.
You can also click here to read a more personal Q&A with Kimberly Wyatt and Kiddicare, on her life as a mum and a dancer and the impact of pregnancy on body image.
Here’s a short video of the exclusive Mum On A Mission taster session we experienced in London…
The day after…
I have woken up a little stiff, but not to the point of pain. Remarkably I feel like my posture has improved already. My shoulders feel stronger and in turn, my boobs feel a bit perkier. My bum… well I feel like I have buns of steel. My thighs are the achey part, but I simply feel great today. If I feel this good after ONE session of the 24/7 workout – how good am I going to feel after the 8 week course? And how good is my body going to look?
I’ve recently discovered, since taking up running, that a little exercise each morning has eased all the symptoms of my depression, it makes me more alert, more motivated, happier and more ready to face the day. But I don’t run every day (because I don’t have the time), so I really think I’m going to take up the Mum on a Mission challenge myself and combine it with my running and see what happens over the next 8 weeks.
Whose with me?
You can see what people are saying about the Mum On A Mission 24/7 programme on social media by looking at the hashtags #mumonamission and #newmumfitness
You can have your own say on how you felt about fitness and your body after having a baby, by completing this one minute survey.