It’s that time of year again: new schools for both my kids (one in high school, one in kindergarten, OMG), and new classes for me to teach. Next week I’m running two free trials for Fit 4 Two: Stroller Fitness on Monday morning and Prenatal Fitness on Tuesday evening. I love doing the free trials because they’re an opportunity to welcome new folks, show them what Fit 4 Two is all about and hopefully give them some take-home ideas for how to maintain or improve their fitness levels, and also to say “thank you” to repeat customers by giving them a little freebie before the new session begins in earnest.
This session is going to be a lot of fun. We’ve had a beautiful August, and I’m really hoping the weather stays nice enough to keep Stroller Fitness outside! In the event it doesn’t, however, we will use the gym at the community centre and do an indoor version of this mobile workout. With any luck, we may be able to take parts of Prenatal Fitness outside, too, since it’s still light outside well into the evening. I’m still working with some of the moms and babies who took my prenatal classes last fall. Now I’m looking forward to seeing some new faces, and being even a small part of such an important time in women’s lives. One of my favourite things to do as a fitness instructor is the relaxation segment that concludes every Prenatal Fitness class, where we take a few minutes to just be mindful of how we each feel at that moment, to focus without judgment on the transformations taking place in each of the women’s bodies, and to experiencing each moment fully without worrying about what came before or what we have to do next. I like it because, let’s face it, we can all use some relaxation at the end of a long day, and because there is no better preparation for labour and birth than learning to accept and respect your body for what it is, what it can do, and what it needs in the moment.
In addition to Stroller and Prenatal Fitness, I’m also adding a new class format to the schedule this year, Tummies 4 Mommies, which I’m pretty excited about. It’s a progressive series of classes that focus specifically on postpartum core rehabilitation. Participants will learn techniques for engaging and strengthening their core muscles from the inside out, and they’ll get handouts to take home so they can practice their technique on their own time (or not). So many people spend so much time doing a million crunches to no avail (and actually with a potentially negative impact if they experienced diastasis recti during pregnancy or if they haven’t first strengthened their deeper core muscles): I’m looking forward to working in a very focused way with women to help them activate the muscle groups that are really going to give them an integrated, effective approach to building a stable core, and help protect them from some of the problems that result from weak muscles in this area (can anyone say urinary incontinence? boo…). Core classes are also fun because they offer lots of opportunities to interact with the babies during the workout. The babies are adorable, plus this takes the pressure off the moms to try and fit their exercise in between moments of fussiness as they can continue to snuggle, play or even nurse throughout a lot of the movements! If you want to learn more about core conditioning during and after pregnancy, check out this month’s edition of Fit 4 Two’s newsletter, and remember that there are franchises operating all over western Canada, so there are lots of opportunties to join these classes.