Gym class for new mums proves a huge success

Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Picture: Phil Wilkinson

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Finding the time to sleep let alone exercise is challenge enough for a new mother.

But on a quest to get her endorphins racing again, first-time mum Claire Miller, 38, from West Calder, has managed to combine motherhood and her love of fitness.

Keen to lose a bit of weight and focus on increasing her fitness, she was dismayed to find no gyms or leisure centres in the area which offered classes where mums could bring kids.

But she refused to give up and with the help of Synergy Group Fitness, an independent gym in Livingston, she arranged personal training sessions called FitMoms – where babies become part of the class.

“I was really into exercise and keeping fit before I fell pregnant so when my daughter Aela turned six months, I really wanted to get back into it.

“It was disappointing to think I wouldn’t be able to until Aela was a lot older.”

And a number of mums at a local baby group were left in the same position.

Claire said: “I decided to visit a smaller gym and ask if they would be interested in putting on classes during off peak times where we could bring our babies in their prams.”

Ross Paterson and Amy Murray of Synergy offered the mums a chance to visit the gym to test the water, before devising ‘FitMoms’.

“As a company we try to be as bespoke as possible so if there’s a request or a need or want we’ll try and do anything we can to accommodate it – go the extra mile if we can,” Ross explained.

He combined tailored exercises for mums not quite ready to go back to the full-class environment and even includes the babies.

He said: “We have so many options of equipment at Synergy but this class is a great opportunity for bonding time with the babies if the mums want to – so we get them holding on to them as extra weight during the exercises.”

Ross encourages the mums to engage the babies as much or as little as they want. He said: “It is a great opportunity for taking a break and focusing on exercising or they can pick them up and incorporate the babies as part of the exercises.”

Proving a success, FitMoms is still going 12 months later.

Ross said: “This first group have gained the confidence and are at the stage where they can join full classes now. So we are on the lookout for the next group of new mums who want to try FitMoms.”

And the class helped Claire on her route back to fitness and inspired to take on a fresh challenge by signing up to the Great Edinburgh Winter Run on January 7.

She said: “I’m now feeling happy, healthy and fit, in addition to being highly competitive,” she said.

“I have never been a runner before and thought that it would be something new that I could take on.

“I am achieving fitness levels now that I never thought possible before.”

fiona.pringle@jpress.co.uk