First Trimester Fitness

Oh my goodness, you have a child growing inside you! What next if you are a regular exerciser?

Firstly, don’t feel you must be confined to sofa eating for two throughout your pregnancy.  The right kind of exercise is a great way to make sure you’re fit and healthy for your pregnancy and beyond. If your pregnancy is ‘low risk’ pregnancy and if you already exercise regularly and have had the green light from your GP or midwife, there’s no reason why you can’t continue with an adapted regime.

During that first 12 weeks especially every pregnancy is unique so learn to tune into your body about what feels right. You may find you have really bad nausea or you feel exceptionally tired and exercise is the last thing on your mind! Some gentle exercise is a good way to stay motivated otherwise it can become a vicious cycle feeling you are too ‘tired’ to exercise when actually the exercise will give you more energy.

BUT don’t try to work yourself to your pre-pregnancy level. You are growing a human being inside you, so naturally you’ll need to slow down a bit.

It is common for your resting heart rate to be higher due to the increased blood volume, so make sure you gradually build up with a slightly longer and slower warm up.

There are exercises you should avoid, steering clear of contact sports or anything with a high risk of falling, a high altitude, or deep under-water. Basically, stay off the horse, pack away the skis and climb down off the high diving board, take off the scuba equipment and snorkell.

If you are attending group fitness classes or seeing a personal trainer or attending the gym, you’ll need to complete a Pregnancy PARQ form, with all information about your pregnancy and any injuries or aches and pains.

When attending group classes just make sure you approach your instructor about any concerns you have or any injuries before the class. This isn’t a good time to try a class you haven’t tried before, unless it is specifically for mums-to-be. Take a look at gym timetables and see if there’s a pre-natal class you can join.

Tip: Good Posture during Pregnancy

Good posture is essential during pregnancy to ward off back pain. Your uterus expands up to 1,000 times, combined with the added weight you have to carry around, this throws out your centre of gravity and puts huge strain on your back muscles. These tired muscles then become painful and your posture becomes poor, leading to a hunchback form! Not only that it can also lead to sciatica. To prevent back pain and sciatica you need to:

  • Strengthen the postural muscles, known as your core
  • Stretch tight hip flexors
  • Stretch hamstrings

Follow these tips to help maintain your posture, which will help prevent that pain in the back during pregnancy and post natal!

  1. Keep your knees ‘soft’ so they are unlocked and relaxed. Slowly rock forwards and backwards between the balls of your feet and heels, distributing your weight evenly towards the arches of your feet as you slowly stop.
  2. Tilt your pelvis back at the same time draw your navel into your spine so it feels like it lifts upwards and backwards. You should feel your lower back lose some of the natural arch.
  3. You may feel like you have grown an inch.
  4. Let your shoulders drop down and feel your neck relaxed.

Avoid wearing high heels, as this accentuates the curve of your lower back and pushes you further forward and makes you even more unstable!

How to ward off a cold this Christmas

Being such a busy time of year and with the cold weather reallly kicking in so many of us and our kids come down with colds, coughs and the flu as our immune systems are lower and our bodies less fit to ward off the illnesses!  Boosting your immune system is key to not only recovering faster but also means you have less chance of catching the cold and sickness bugs in the first place.  So I picked our Scrummy Mummy, Nutritionist’s, Steph Ridley’s brains for her top tips to ward off colds and flu this Christmas so you can enjoy the festivities and not have to spend it in bed with a box of tissues!
 
Vitamin C and ‘antioxidants’ are key to boosting your immune system. These are found in fruits and vegetables and whilst your diet may include plenty of these the amount of actual vitamin C your getting from your fruit and vegetables may not be as high as you think. Vitamin C is water soluable and heat sensitive so these elements deplete their levels. Any heat processing, which occurs during the manufacturing process of juice, and boiling or cooking vegetables reduces the vitamin C content.   

  •  So, always buy a juice which says ‘NOT from concentrate’. Orange juice from concentrate is more radically heat processed. Better still squeeze your own from pure oranges.  
  • Drink a mug of hot water every morning with lemon and manuka honey will give you a real boost. The lemon contains vitamin C and the manuka honey is a natural antibacterial agent.
  •  Steam your veg – we often think by eating vegetables and fruit we are having vitamin C but if these have been subjected to prolonged heat this destroys the vitamins and nutrients. Steaming and stir-frying your vegetables is the best way to retain vitamins as they are quicker cooking methods.
  • Add a daily handful of berries such as blueberries, blackberries or Strawberries to your breakfast or snack you’ll be taking in more antioxidants to boost your immune systems
  • Eat plenty of green vegetables in particular brussel sprouts – these have high levels of vitamin C.

For a lovely green vegetable recipe which takes just ten minutes to prepare, go to the Beez Kneez recipe binder on the bbc good food website.
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/5823/indian-spiced-greens

Get fit with five fun outdoors exercises

Outdoors exercise means a bout of Vitamin D, a release of endorphins and a great way to get fit ready for your holidays.  Here are five ways to improve your post natal fitness.

1. Fartlek

This is Swedish for ‘Speed Play’ and is a form of interval training. It is unstructured so great for everyone and if you are just getting back into jogging or running after a baby as you can vary your speeds and distances.

Here are some examples:

Watson Fartlek
Suitable for 10k, 5k, 3k and cross country.

  • 10 minutes warm up
  • Run hard for 4 minutes with 1 minute jog recovery – repeat 6-8 times
  • 10 minute cool down

Gerschler Fartlek
Combine this with steady running sessions to improve fitness quickly.

  • 10 minutes warm up
  • Repeat 3 times – run hard for 30 seconds, jog 90 seconds. Repeat with 15 second decreases in recovery jog e.g. 30-90, 30-75, 30-60, 30-45, 30-30, 30-15 and 30-15-30
  • 10 minute cool down

2.   Jogging

A popular activity and the one most people associate with exercise. It is a good and easy way to get into shape. To be safe, there are some recommendations for running after you have had a baby (no matter when you had your baby). You must get pair of running shoes (ditch the ones that have been in the loft that you had for 3 years) and sports bra and you must improve your leg and pelvic floor (i.e. you are not having any ‘leaks’ when you walk, cough or sneeze, lift objects) and core strength (neglect your core post baby and you risk injury) before doing any jogging or running (usually 6 months after a baby).  Start slow with a 10-15 minute jog and then walk for 10-15 minutes making it a total of 20-30 minutes’ activity.

To run well and improve your performance you need to have a strong and well functioning core. One of the common misconceptions is that the core is solely your ab muscles. The core is in fact the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex, consisting of 29 muscles! The abdominal muscles are only a small portion of the total musculature involved in the core.  Adequately training the core involves a lot more than just doing crunches and sit-ups. In fact, you can strengthen and develop your core without doing a single sit-up!

All human movement originates from the core whether it be crawling, walking, running, swimming or kayaking. A well-functioning core is the base from which the rest of the body moves.

3. Cycling

Cycling outdoors is perfect for getting fit – cycling in parks is more strenuous as some namely Richmond Park have some great hills!  Plus you haven’t got the traffic and you can take your little one with you on the back of your bike (ensure you have a good child’s bike seat). Alternatively ditch the train/tube or car and  ‘commute cycle’ to work also saving you time and money. Cycling really helps tone your bottom and thighs.  Wear a helmet and start slow and increase speed and distance over time.

4.  Bodyweight Circuits

A great all over conditioning and fat loss form of exercise. Structured classes are enjoyable as you can go with a friend and you only need a mat. Try TheBeezKneez for outdoors classes.

5. Outdoors Park Gym Equipment

Some of the local parks now have fitness equipment and cardio machines.  If you children are playing in the park at the time, it’s a great way for you to get fit. Be sure to wear full fitness gear and good quality trainers and know how to use the equipment – start slow, then build up your speed or time as you get fitter.

 

7 Delicious Healthier Ways to Eat Chocolate..but still get your fix

Most females like their bout of chocolate and chocolate seems to get a lot of attention. From dark to caramel, from chocolate lovers week-ends away to Charlie and the Chocolate factory and last week it was National Chocolate week!

But we all know that eating chocolate is not such a good idea if you’d like to stay in shape during pregnancy and flatten your mummy tummy post baby. The fat and sugar content from eating poor quality stuff, too much of it and too often can not only creep on quickly as extra weight (especially around the tummy) it can also lead to health risks such as diabetes. However as soon as you tell yourself that you can’t eat that piece of chocolate, it’s all you’ll think about until you realise you’ve delved right into eating the full bar! And as for the cravings you may get due to hormones, stress, emotions, being a mummy, it is very easy to reach for the chocolate as a comfort factor!

So with some creativity and research (which was fun!) I’ve put together a list of Seven Delicious Healthier ways to Eat Chocolate. So you’ll improve the quality of your chocolate ‘fix’ and  save yourself the health risks and calories.

1. Chocolate Covered Fruit
Dip some strawberries or other fruit into good quality chocolate (70% cocoa solids) and you can both satisfy a chocolate craving and add fruit to your diet at the same time. A thin coating, means not too much for your waistline, and the fruit will help satisfy your appetite to avoid overindulging. Save the calories Tip: Keep the coating thin and go for 3-4 pieces of fruit or strawberries

2. Cacao Nibs
Your healthiest choice ! Eat these whole. This is what true chocolate is made from –  cacao beans that have been roasted, hulled and prepped to be  processed into chocolate bars. Crush cacao nibs with a rolling pin and to make chocolate chips and add to natural yogurt as an extra to a snack. Or create a raw chocolate bar, blend together cacao nibs, agave nectar, carob powder, coconut oil, cacao butter and cashews or almonds (without the shell). Pour into a tray and freeze.

3. The Cheeky Chocolate Mousse from the Pure Package, London’s leading gourmet diet food delivery company. There’s three great things about this indulgent delight is that it not only tastes great, it has zero sugar and it is dead easy to make!
Full of dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants..
Check out their recipe here (taken from The Pure Package: The DIET for Food Lovers, Jennifer Irvine)


4. Chocolate Brazil Nuts
Save the waistline Tip: Just 3 of these is enough for a chocolate fix with the added benefits of the nutrients of brazil nuts containing essential healthy fats. Aim for dark chocolate coated ones.

5. Chocolate Goji berries
Goji berries are filled with powerful antioxidants that may help prevent cancer and other illnesses, including heart disease. Their antioxidants may also boost the immune system, lower cholesterol and may slow the aging process as well. I recommend this brand dipped in raw chocolate.
Save the waistline Tip:
Keep to a small handful covering half a palm as the raisins are still high in calories.

6. Chocolate and Beetroot Brownies
You won’t notice the Beetroot and neither will your kids or other half! These have around half the fat of regular brownies and the added nutritional benefit of the beetroot, which is rich in Betalian and antioxidants that help reduce risk of heart disease and cancer. Also high in folic acid (great for pregnancy), vitamins A, B-1, B-2 and C and minerals iron, calcium and potassium. Beetroot is also said to have a cleansing and detoxifying effect on the kidneys and gall bladder. This recipe still contains sugar so.. Save the Waistline Tip: Cut the brownies into small squares (1 inch by 1 inch) and eat just one.

7. Hot Chocolate Drink (Green & Black’s dark variety)
Great once a week treat – especially around this time of year. It is of better quality than your usual hot chocolate as you have the health benefits of the dark chocolate powder.  Try it with Almond Milk rather than regular milk for healthy fats.

Just remember two key things when trying these ideas:

Dark Chocolate is good source of flavinoids, which milk doesn’t have.  It also gives you a sense of fullness and rarely has so much sugar added to it.  You need at least 70% cocoa solids.

Moderation

How much? Aim for 2 squares – enough to give you a ‘fix’.
Why is that?
For information! Green & Black’s Miniatures (15g) has 85 calories compared to a snack Cadbury milk chocolate bar which has 210 calories or bag of Malteasers which has 187 calories!

 

 

 

 

 

Fifteen Top Tips for getting your children to eat more fruit and vegetables

Natasha Gavin is a mum and knows what a struggle it can be to get your children to eat their fruit and vegetables! Founder of I Know why it’s Yum here she provide her top tips to help you encourage them to want to eat healthier food to benefit their well-being.

Get the children to grow their own
Soil, water, anticipation, pride- all will help your children to feel positive about stuff that comes from the ground! After 12 years of low-maintenance allotment-eering with impatient young boys, I would recommend the following: strawberries, raspberries, plums, mangetout, courgettes, green beans, beetroots. All of those are usually prolific producers, with very little TLC.  Radishes are great but can get very fiery if left too long and go woody, so often not that popular with children. And in a back garden (where you can water often and keep slugs/snails at bay): tomatoes and salad leaves. And don’t forget SUNFLOWERS: plant them early enough, and they will amaze children with their tree like stems by the end of the summer, and you might get a few sunflower seeds to harvest!
Pick  fruit and veg with them
On the allotment, in the back garden, on the window ledge, at a pick-your- own farm. They won’t be able to resist sneaking a few into their mouths (make sure they are hungry before you start harvesting!), and everything will taste much better straight off the bush/tree/ plant. The flavours really ARE that much more intense. Even unripe strawberries can taste delicious.
Have fun with food
Make playing with the fruit and vegetables fun for ‘veg-phobic’ kids. Get them to pick sprouts off the tall stems they grow on, get them to pod the peas or broad beans and shoot them into a bowl, make snake tongues out of carrot peelings, play relay races with courgettes, paint your lips with red fruit. Lucy Thomas from www.MangeToutkids.com has lots of ideas that are accessible through www.tasteforlifenursery.com It might feel silly at first, but it achieves incredible results- I have seen them with my own eyes.
Explain WHY they should eat their greens (and oranges, and reds, and purples..)
This is what I believe in passionately. Kids always want to know WHY this, WHY that. So try explaining how the broccoli is good for their tummy, and raisins provide iron which they need for healthy blood. Have some nuggets at your fingertips that will amuse them, and convince them that you are telling the truth. Here are a few:

  • beans make you fart  because they are high in fibre which gets the food moving through your body
  • avocados are used in  face packs for ladies because they are so high in vitamin E – which repairs your skin
  • the staining colour of beetroot means it can be used to calculate the speed you process/ metabolise food: mashed potato with beetroot laced through it will be visible in your pink poo (it’s called the transition test!)
  •  carrots are great for your eyes but too many carrots will make your skin orange (honestly)
  • pineapples are good for sore throats as they are anti-inflammatory
  • pumpkin seeds are full of healthy fats which can improve your memory.

Each fruit and veg brings a specific health benefit, or several, that you can latch on to make your point. You can read more in The Food Doctor for babies and children by Vicki Edgson. And encourage them to achieve a RAINBOW DIET. Eating different coloured fruit and veg each day will mean their body gets most of the nutrients it needs. (Mother nature is so clever eh?)

Compromise
Try not to adopt an ‘all or nothing’ approach. Suggest porridge with hot chocolate drinking powder sprinkled on top, lightly steamed broccoli with lots of grated cheddar on top, or natural yoghurt with Smarties! Sometimes you might get further, less painfully, if you meet them half way.
Call recipes funny names and try out wacky combinations
I found an incredible book (The great big veg challenge by Charlotte Hume). Charlotte presents her three top recipes for each veg in the alphabet- according to scores by her fussy eater son. Cauliflower popcorn is a firm favourite in our house. Tiny florets are tossed in olive oil, a tiny bit of salt, paprika, and breadcrumbs, and are then roasted in the oven on a flat tray. Another of Charlotte’s recipes is stir fried shredded brussel sprouts with garlic, bacon and ginger. I was really surprised at how much even I liked them! Beetroot and chocolate cake, courgette muffins (if necessary, don’t tell the children the ingredients until after they have eaten them!). Hiding vegetables in soup or a bolognaise sauces is a fab short term option, but not a long term solution. On the other hand, there is no need to tell them the contents of a delicious meal or cake too early, if the mere name of what is in there is going to put them off, right?
Take them on a fruit and veg adventure & empower them with choice
Visit a local ethnic veg market, or look out for unusual veg and fruit in the supermarket. Let each of your children chose one, and then have fun finding recipes to cook it. (Charlotte’s book will come in very handy here).
 Make the oldest sibling your ‘partner in crime’
Bribe them or sweet talk them into leading by example to help convince younger siblings to eat good stuff, and to set a great example by responding positively to new dishes, and veg, you present them all with at the dinner table. There is nothing worse than an older child exclaiming: “Oh this doesn’t look very nice (or worse) mum” as you are trying to convince a fussy toddler to try something new.
Take difficult meals out of the kitchen
Eat in a tent, have a picnic, in a shed etc. Consider letting your children eat in front of the TV as a treat, if they promise to eat all the green veg? ( I know it’s a slippery slope, but I try to keep these kinds of solutions for meals I really really want them to eat.)
Reward small steps
Be happy with children just ‘trying something’ and keep offering it. Even if it takes 5-10 times. I never believed this method truly worked, and just accepted that as long as my boys ate a varied diet, it didn’t really matter that I pandered to their dislike of mushrooms, or courgettes. But then I put the theory to the test, with just a couple of raw spinach leaves on my three year old’s plate every meal time- eventually I noticed the leaves had disappeared without me asking Tom to just ‘try them’. After checking on the floor, I concluded that he had just picked them up and eaten them. So now I put a couple of salad leaves on Tom’s plate whenever his older brother is getting a big boy portion. I haven’t cracked ‘salad’ completely, but we are making progress..perhaps consider using a reward chart and plan a treat at the end of a fruit and veg discovery week?
Have school dinners!
Proven to be better for you nutritionally than even the best pack lunches, school meals offer your children diversity that they almost certainly wouldn’t experience otherwise (unless you make a habit of cooking Chinese, Welsh, Indian, Mexican etc- I certainly don’t). They will try dishes (and fruit and vegetables) you might rarely or never make at home-which broadens their palates, and makes them more likely to try new things at home. I never use tinned tuna (mainly because I never think to use the tin at the back of the cupboard!), but have discovered my eldest son Michael adores tuna fajitas at school. (And my toddler discovered humus, noodles and spring rolls at playgroup) And if you have wonderful in-house catering and chefs that care about what their children eat, it is a win-win situation, well worth the £2 odd a day. (I do both actually- pack lunches two days a week, school dinners three days. It’s a compromise on many fronts!)
Cut down on taste extremes: like salty and sweet
Very salty foods (like any crisps) and very sweet foods (like cakes/chocolate) kill taste buds. Reduce the amount of salt and sugar they eat, and they will find natural food less bland, and will ‘enjoy’ the taste of fruit and veg more, or meals seasoned with garlic and herbs more palatable.( I know everyone is always going about salt, but it’s true. Our diets are far too salty (even bread has loads in it), and little bodies can’t cope with it- reduce it now, before it makes an impact on their health. High salt intake in children can lead to high blood pressure in young adults.)
Keep them HUNGRY                                                                             
Children who have snacked will NOT be as likely to try new things, or eat things they are not so keen on. You know what it’s like: if you have ever camped, by the time you have set up your tent, blown up the lilo and lit the fire,- the tin of baked beans tastes like heaven on earth.
Distract younger children
If they are young enough, this might work. If I read books to Tom he just opens his mouth like a bird, not really conscious of what is going in. If I ever have a ‘tricky’ meal to get into him, I will just promise to read him his favourite book, or better still, recently purchased Cbeebies magazine. We ‘spot the differences’, and stick the stickers everywhere. Before he has noticed, most of the dinner has gone down (And there is usually some ketchup involved too.) It’s all worth a try.
And FINALLY: Encourage your child care setting or primary school to book a ‘I Know Why It’s Yum, Mum!’ show or workshop 
I know why it’s Yum Mum (www.iknowwhyitsyummum.com) and provides Workshops and School productions aimed at getting children to remember WHY different fruit and veg (and cereals and seeds) are SO good for them, so they actively chose to eat the right stuff in the dinner queue,  or when offered it at home.  The workshops include fun activities – including  genuine fruit and veg Top Trumps cards, sticker activities, singing fruit and veggie rthymes and playing games with selected fruits and vegetables. Children learn what the health benefits are of each type of fruit and vegetable.  Natasha is not a food fascist (She loves crisps, cakes and burgers), but she is passionate about children’s diets and knows the importance it has on their health and well-being.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Secret drink to help burn baby fat, improve energy and reduce stress

After having my second baby, a lack of sleep, juggling two children with running a business and lack of childcare, I was feeling pretty exhausted!  Now, thanks to a minty flavoured drink, recommended to me by one of our personal trainers, Fran Blechner I have loads more energy and can concentrate a lot better.  PhytoLife is a green drink that balances the pH in your body, detoxifies all organs and rebuilds cells and tissue. Don’t be put off by the fact it is green as it actually tastes lovely. It is a fresh mint flavour and you just add it to your glass of water. In fact it makes your water more appealing so you drink more.

Phytolife or Chlorophyll is a Vital part of getting the body to detox and start balancing the body’s Ph level.

How does Phytolife benefit you?

  • Build better immune system
  • Better digestion
  • Healthy bowel function
  • Increased fat metabolism
  • Reduced cravings for unhealthy foods
  • Overall feeling of wellbeing
  • Better able to cope with stress

Get your wonder, energy potion and help burn the baby fat by contacting Francesca Blechner  on:  info@fb-personaltraining.co.uk

Banana pancakes for the family

pancakes7Pancake Day – I love it!  Feeling the need for a healthier version to adding chocolate and sugar, I sought Stephanie Ridley’s advice on how to make my pancakes healthier!

Nutritional  Therapist Stephanie says “These are great because the banana adds a sweetness which means you can get away without adding extra sugar on top – and you get the added nutrition from the banana (vitamin B6 for energy, vitamin C for healthy skin and combating stress and manganese for healthy bones) that you don’t get from sugar. Instead, serve with a dollop of plain, probiotic yoghurt on top (to up the protein content) and a handful of fresh blueberries or blackberries, if you want.  You could also add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the mixture. Cinnamon has been shown to improve blood sugar control, so it may be particularly beneficial if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes or you suffered with gestational diabetes yourself”

Here is the recipe from Food Republic:  http://bit.ly/VHiPJi

Enjoy!

For Meal Plans for Post Baby and top ten tasty snacks, check out our facebook page

 

Save your back and body tips

After I’d just had my son, Luca, I didn’t realise that having a baby meant not only carrying them around but all their accessories and baby equipment too! Car seat, changing mat, buggy and steralising equipment!

Then there was also the picking baby up off the floor, out of the bath and lifting from the moses basket or car seat.

A new mums role is constant lifting, bending, carrying, heavy duty physical work and places stresses and strains on an already tired and weakened body! Here are my tips for body mechanics whilst changing baby, lifting and carrying to protect your body and save your back…

 

Then there’s the added factor of your unstable pelvis thanks to the excessive amounts of hormones, relaxin and elastin to widen it to deliver your baby. These hormones cause the ligaments to become lax. Ligaments are strong bands of fibrous tissue that provide support to the bones and link one bone to another in and around joints. Looser ligaments mean less support to bones and muscles.

The unstable pelvis has a ‘domino’ effect as combined with the after effects of the relaxin it puts stress on the anterior cruciate ligaments (major ligament of the knee) to balance the body and causes instability at the knee joint.

So it is with no doubt that a New mum may experience lower back pain, hip issues and knee pain post pregnancy. Being careful how you lift and carry your baby can avoid injuries or straining any already weakened muscles.

Balancing your baby on your hip is the worse thing you can do! I see mums carry their babies like this all the time – it’s the biggest factor that can lead to lower back and hip pain. It’s time to adjust the way you move your body, paying attention to your body mechanics when carrying your baby (and paraphernalia!) and respecting your pelvis! Here are some tips for saving your body and relieving your pains…

Avoid
Balancing your baby on your hip

Instead
Stand in correct posture with your spine in neutral and the navel slightly drawn in. Hold the baby with one arm resting just under his bottom and the other hand on the back of his head, so his chin is just resting on your shoulder. Avoid leaning back.

Bending and lifting baby from the bath, cot or the floor

  • Draw navel to spine and bend your knees
  • Squat down, keeping body weight into the arch of your feet, using your lower leg muscles, thighs and gluts (bottom) to lower your down and pick baby up, bringing them in close to you.
  • Keep knees aligned with ankles (avoid pushing knees over toes)
  • Use your legs to stand back up

Bathing tips

  • Choose a baby bath that rests in the main bath. Best to fill this up in situ. Alternatively I bought a lightweight bath chair that I put in the bath first, then placed Luca in afterwards. This avoids you lifting and lowering a heavy weight of water.
  • Kneel alongside the bath to bath baby or on a small stool with towel under your knees so that you are not stooping over the bath.

Changing Baby

  • Change baby on your bed and kneel next to the bed with a cushion under your knees to protect your knees
  • Place the equipment in front of you or to the side to prevent twisting behind you
  • Place the changing mat on a surface or table that is at a height just above your waist to avoid stooping

Carrying Baby

  • Instead of carrying the baby for a length of time, use a baby sling or carrier positioned high to avoid leaning backwards.
  • These are a great way to balance the weight of the baby and prevent shoulder and lower back ache. Babies also love being close to you and hearing your heart rate as it mimics when they were inside you.
  • It’s also great if you need to wander around the house and get some jobs done.
  • Choose one that has a back-saving design and can be adjusted as the baby gets bigger.
  • Practice good posture as you walk with the sling – maintaining the neutral spine position

Feeding Baby (in day)

  • Avoid at all costs the hunchback of Notre Dame syndrome when you bottle or breast feed. Your shoulders will ache and it will place strain on your neck muscles.
  • Place a cushion between the small of your lower back and the back of an upright chair. Avoid any low or far back sofas or chairs where you would slump.
  • Place your feet on a pile of magazines or books or small footstool to raise your knees so they are level with hips
  • Have a pillow or cushion on your lap to raise your baby and bring him closer to you

Feeding baby (at night when you are half asleep and not thinking about how you sit!)

  • Sit upright as you can, and place the pillow or cushion behind your lower back
  • Draw your shoulders down and back
  • Breath in, feeling your stomach swell slightly as it fills with air
  • Breath out and draw your navel to spine
  • Try to look down just occasionally to check on baby feeding and then look up and forwards (this means that you don’t strain your neck by continuously hanging the head down).

Psyche up for your workout, here’s our playlist

Music lowers your perception of effort. It can trick your mind into feeling less tired during a workout, and also encourage positive thoughts”. Dr Karageorghis, Reader in sports psychology at Brunel University. 

‘Music is an effective psychological stimulant that can change the way we perceive the gym environment,’ says Dr  Karageorghis. ‘It can bring about significant improvements in both exercise performance and how we feel’.  Read more..

Here is our current playlist for New Year, New Body.  Fresh, fun and gets you moving! 

1. Drinking from the bottle.  Calvin Harris ft Tinie Tempah (132 bpm)

2. Something New. Girls Aloud (Seamus Haji remix) (132 bpm)

3. I found you (Max Sanna Club Mix). The Wanted (132 bpm)

4. Diamonds. Rihanna (132 bpm)

5. Thinking about you. Calvin Harris ft. Ayha Marar (132 bpm)

6. Candy. Robbie Williams (132 bpm)

7. DNA (Kat Krazy Remix). Little Mix (132 bpm)

8. Shine a light. Rita Ora (132 bpm)

9. Live While you are young. Onc Direction (gotta love them!). (132 bpm)

10. Scream. Usher

11. Club Rocker. Inna

12. Beneath your Beautiful (Radio Edit). Labrinth ft. Emeli Sande

The BeezKneez provide prenatal and postnatal classes in London which are accredited by Queen Charlotte’s Hospital. Instructors undergo very through training with in-house training providers as well as with Vicky Warr, the founder of The BeezKneez.