Category Archives: Exercise

Slingthing Slingswing

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Slingthing Slingswing

Two things

One- I’ve got another sling- I wanted to try a Linen blend! It’s been here a few weeks and it’s lovely. I’ve heard about <a href=”http://www.firespiralslings.co.uk/”>Firespiral</a&gt; cotton being wonderfully soft and no word of a lie, it’s like it’s made of clouds! The linen has surprised me. It started out a little crunchy so I bravely washed the wrap and have been wearing it and braiding it and doughnutting it. Instantly the weave was tighter and less likely to pull (Fispi’s also pull easily) and it’s definitely softening up on the linen side. It’s a size four so I’ve been trying new things with it. In particular I like Double Hammock tied at Shoulder and have been making things up a bit. Sadly it’s too thin really for my sling rings, I need to buy some medium ones.

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Daddy even took it out for a wander in a FWCC TUB (Front Wrap Cross Carry Tied Under Bum) when a certain small person got too tired to walk.

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One of the things I was looking for in this particular wrap was something with a distinctive flip side which I love for things like shoulder flips on a double rebozo or kangaroo or even just for tying a ruck Tibeten to show off both colours.

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Here it is in all it’s bronze and purple Glory.

Ironed and everything

Ironed and everything

This wrap is the Blooming Babies Irish Babywearing Conference Exclusive. All my wraps have short names (Oki, Raja, Pfau) based on the name of the patter/blend/colourway but I call this one either just Fispi or Irish.

I’ve also been having fun when I can on a Friday morning at <A href=”https://www.facebook.com/slingswingreadingandwokingham”&gt; Sling Swing </a> in Bracknell. It’s held at the same venue as our sling meet by the lovely Jen who guest blogged for the <a href=”https://bracknellslingmeet.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/qa-guest-post-jen/”&gt; Sling Meet/ Library last month </a>.

“Sling Swing is an exciting gentle┬ámovement and dance class for mums and dads or carers with their babies and toddlers in soft structured slings and baby carriers or wraps.

Musical styles include pop, hip hop, Charleston, Cha Cha, Salsa, Swing, Disco, Motown, 90s, Musical theatre and much more. Participants are encouraged to wear their little ones in high quality slings and carriers and spares are always available for people wanting to try one out.

Classes are fun, exciting and innovative. Come along and have a boogie!!”

How could I resist that? It’s a fun, informal class with a bit of gentle movement to some funky music. I take small along and he likes to join in the dancing himself for a bit and then eventually wants to come up like the other (mostly smaller) kids there.

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When he decided to come up!

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Joining in the dancing

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Annual fitness update

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Time for my annual exercise update!

In 2015 despite having a small person I completed about 653 1/2 hours of exercise (most to date!)- covering about 1540 miles (245 by bike, over 1000 walking, 70 running and a few others too). Most of it was walking to the shops, to visit friends or for the sake of walking, and 53 buggyfit classes.

Most of those miles include pushing or carrying baby.

Most active month was October with around 50 hours of exercise!

New things- didn’t try many new things this year but did attend 2 days of Gilly’s festive bootcamp and tried my first two boxercise sessions. Enjoyed a little Ice Skate on the Isle of Man too.

And I bought some new leggings too!

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Review: BUGGYFIT

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Something I’m always talking about because it’s the one constant in my weekly routine since October 2013 is Buggyfit.

I’m an active outdoorsey kind of person, so when I heard about a weekly exercise class to encourage new mums to keep fit and get out of the house, I signed up in a heartbeat. I’m really lucky that my local class really is very local. I resent driving anywhere to do exercise and don’t have the use of a car most of the time anyway, so the fact that Buggyfit is run at South Hill Park which is exactly a mile’s walk from my house is a huge bonus. I called the class weekly but actually GLF Fitness run a number of buggyfit classes throughout the week- two at South Hill Park on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am and one California Country Park in Finchampstead at 10:30 am on a Wednesday morning.

This is only going to be a positive review, let me tell you now!
Things I LOVE about buggyfit:

*It gets you out of the house
As a new parent whether it’s your first or subsequent child, getting out of the house is something most people actively crave, though don’t always have the motivation to do so. It’s really important not only for physical health but for mental health too- To go from an active adult with a busy work and social life to being a mummy where you might feel you’re “stuck” at home all day in the totally new environment of having a baby to look after is a huge change that can really affect mental health and happiness.

It’s hard to get out with a new baby- knowing what to take, getting them ready, choosing their layers of clothing (forgetting your extra layers), sorting snacks and drinks, working out when you’ll be able to feed them, planning outings around nap times and so on. Not to mention the utter exhaustion of parenthood which can lead to entirely forgetting your own name, let alone a water bottle for an exercise class. When R was little, we went out every day – even if it was just a short walk. We went out in any weather but then I know I’m that kind of person who will find the motivation to leave the house and get some fresh air and exercise. However, like I said before- this is the one permanent fixture in my diary- I am officially busy on a Thursday morning doing Buggyfit!

*The trainers are GREAT
Gilly and Becky run my local Buggyfit classes and they are both brilliant. They are well organised, friendly and very knowledgeable, particularly on the kind of exercises new mums should and shouldn’t do, but also generally within the fitness arena. Both can gauge fitness and strength levels of a participant very quickly and will use that to support you through injury or tiredness and push you if you want to work hard. I want to work hard but need a little motivation and they keep me going throughout the class. They’re both also great with children so whilst you’re taking part in circuits or a short run, they are happy to jiggle the prams and keep the small people amused.

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*The classes are varied
As Gilly and Becky run other classes too, they have lots of equipment and ideas to keep the classes interesting. We do a mix of fast walking, circuit training, work with bands, light handweights, some boxing, partner work and the odd bit of running for those who want to. Although you get to know the general format of the class, you never do the same route and exercises two weeks running.

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*Beautiful locations
Both California Country Park and South Hill Park are really lovely places to hang out, and the lovely manicured gardens and forested walkways at SHP make the exercise all the more enjoyable. Sometimes we have to dodge the swans around the lake, but we always have tree cover for the hot sunny summer days and somewhere to shelter on the really soggy ones. Surprisingly we don’t get that many really cold wet mornings, but the classes go ahead pretty much no matter what the weather, and people attend!

*Great people
I’ve met some really lovely friends through Buggyfit- likeminded local mummies (And daddies!). There’s always a great camaraderie in the group and when we can we pop into the cafe for a cuppa afterwards. Now my little boy is a bit bigger, he wants to run around the play park afterwards which makes heading in for a hot drink a bit more challenging, but it’s fun nonetheless.
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*They run other classes too
This has sparked a very surprising (for me) love of Boxing! We do a little boxing sometimes as part of Buggyfit with gloves and pads, and I shocked myself by loving it. It’s a great combination of cardio and strength using lots of core muscles and I find it very engaging. As a result, I’ve now attended two of Gilly’s Saturday morning Boxercise classes at Pinewood Scout Hut before Christmas and plan to attend more in the new year to build on my strength.

I also signed up to a couple of days of Gilly and Becky’s intensive 8 day Christmas Boot Camp. As we were away for much of the christmas period (and then I had a big birthday), I only attended two consecutive days (unlike the amazing hardcore lads and ladies who did all 8). However it was great fun, despite being -4 both mornings and us completing our circuits (the first day I did) and boxing (the second day) outside on frosty ground. It was a huge friendly group with a great focussed attitude. Gilly even provided us all with Epsom Salts for a nice muscle relaxing soak afterwards!

*Inspiration
I’ve been inspired to not only try Gilly’s other classes but get out a bit more by myself outside of that time. Whilst I tend to maintain some level of fitness, the lack of cycling over the last 16 months has been hard on my fitness levels and strength. So I have taken up a little running etc when I have a chance. Gilly is herself an inspiration- on her last big birthday I actually thought she was 10 years younger than she actually is! If i can be half as fit and look half as good as her when I reach that big birthday, I will be pleased!

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More info on GLF Fitness Classes here: http://www.glffitness.com/ .
Come along and try one!

Photos copyright Marla White (link to Flickr account)– taken at the Festive Bootcamp in the frost!

Catching up again

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The good news is that the car arrived in time for the wedding trip oop north (phew!). It arrived just over 24 hours before we needed it (and just 264 hours after we were promised it…..). We now have a baby car seat permanently in the back! Eek!

Another lovely wedding- during which pregnancy hormones (and genuine emotion) got the better of me again! Damn not having enough time to recover from first sighting of the beautiful bride before having to do a reading! We managed to do a lot of relaxing on our trip (people keep lecturing me about “slowing down”- though I fear most of them are judging me by their own standards rather than what my body is used to….)- including spending about 3 hours on Saturday afternoon in bed watching the athletics. It was great (and was after walking 3.5 miles to/from/around the lovely York)- guilt free relaxation!

I now have 1 week left at work *gulp* and it’s very scary!

Baby room is finished (hurrah!) and looks a little like this:

Basically very yellow and green and orange! All the good colours!

Managed to cycle to and from pregnancy yoga last night and still enjoying being on the bike at 35 weeks pregnant. I’ve not noticed any balance issues- and it’s only really fitness that holds me back.

Despite being pregnant, I’ve managed 179 hours of exercise so far this year (and we’re 266 days in according to day counter)- which means I’ve managed more than 30 minutes exercise a day on average ­čÖé

Still no babies from the September 2013 mumsnet thread- though I believe that may change by the end of today! My colleague has had a lovely little boy called Harry and one of my yoga friends had a little girl called Holly! Both lovely names, and I’m very excited for them!

That’s a bit of a random update- hope all my blog followers and readers are well!

Another one

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I knew this time would come, but am surprised it’s taken so long!

Night time toilet trips and baby bouncing on my bladder all the time!

Enjoyed pregnancy yoga again last night- it’s a shame that I won’t have many sessions left now! Next week I’m away for work so I’ll miss one of this three week block- then there’s two weeks off before we start up again!

The good news is that I can swim on a Wedensday night instead so at least I can get a little exercise (note to self: take bike lights if you go swimming at 9pm as it will be dark by the time you leave!).

Carpal Tunnel

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So onto the next fun pregnancy symptom!

I’ve been waking up with pins and needles in my fingers every morning for the past few weeks. Over the last week or so, I’ve been finding my knuckle joints really stiff and painful when I first get up in the morning. It takes ages for me to be able to use my hands in the morning.

Apparently in Pregnancy, carpal tunnel in quite normal due to the increased blood flow and swelling in the hands. Of all the things I expected, this was not one of them!

My hands are so swollen in the heat, especially when I exercise. I can’t easily keep my hands raised when I walk or cycle so they tend to throb and swell. My rings already came off, my replacement (larger) ring also came off (which I’m gutted about as I hate not being able to wear my wedding rings) and my feet are following suit (but luckily I don’t wear any rings on my toes!)

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During exercise

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Fatty feet

Active week

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After a couple of very hot and very lazy feeling weeks (bear in mind that even putting socks on feels like a bit of a workout at the moment), I’ve finally had a good active week!

With my usual to-ing and fro-ing to the train station and back for work, I have had a low baseline of activity of 3-9 hours a week of exercise recently- mostly a little walking and cycling.

This week has ended up being very varied- with a trip to the swimming pool on wednesday night (which was lovely and quiet) where I managed 30 lengths.

Friday was a work social afternoon of off-road cycling around the lovely Swinley forest near where I live. I could have chickened out of taking part, but really wanted to join in, and my local knowledge was needed. So I cycled to the station to pick up the group and take them up to the forest. We then split in two, with one group going over to the new mountain biking trails and then I took a second group out for a slower, more relaxing ride around the less technical (but hillier!) firetracks which crisscross the forest for miles. All in all, our group did 16 plus miles including to and from the train station, and I was only defeated by one hill, which was a short sharp rise that came out of nowhere, with a very loose sandy soil.

Then Saturday was the last hen party of the year. I was organising it, with ideas from the hen- and the morning was to be outdoor watersport activities. I had been in contact with the lovely friendly Engage Watersports in Taplow for a few weeks to organise a bespoke morning and they couldn’t have set the tone and activity level better! With a mixed group including one pregnant lady and one over-65, they did a great job of keeping us entertained, looking after us on the water and providing a great structure for the day. Obviously it was key that I didn’t get injured etc so I had the pleasure of sharing a nice Stable Canadian Canoe with one of the instructors, and I was able to do some photography for the first part of the session and then do some paddling too later. The rest of the group took out kyaks and stand-up paddleboards on the lake to have a play. A few large splashes and fully wet people by the end of that session- but we were lucky with gorgeous hot sunny weather.

The next part of the day involved kyaking in tandem kyaks down the Jubilee River to a lovely pub for lunch and back. There were a few sore arms by the end of that! I was able to take part in the paddling for this bit, although I had to walk around the first part of the river as there was no easy place to get me into the canoe! After we’d carried the canoes and kyaks across the weir and road, I could get in and help out with some of the paddling. We did the samee in reverse on the way back.

I am unsurprisingly tired today, but was so grateful to have been able to take part in activities this week. It reminded me how much I love being outside, especially in good weather. I love trying new things, I love being active and being given the opportunity to do things this week has been great! So “only” a 36 mile week this week- with 24 on the bike, 7 walking, 3 in a canoe and a half mile swim!

Photos to follow……

Independence

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What a mad couple of weeks!
We’re now three weddings down for the year, and luckily I absolutely didn’t bawl like a baby (how apt) through the beautiful reading I did (Brides choice!) at J&G’s wedding. Oh no…..
*embarrassed face*
Lets blame hormones (not the beautiful teary eyed bride and groom or my immense happiness!)

There must be a decent photo of the bump somewhere, but the wondeful photographer Ange ( Ange Harper Photography) took a couple of nice shots of the face ­čÖé

Oooh ok, here’s a little one I nabbed from her website:

Saw the midwife today for 24 week appt (2 weeks late!) which was all good. In 2 weeks I get jabbed by many needles (anti-D, Whooping Cough and have bloods done). Nofun!

Lots more going in including a huge appetite, hillarious weight gain, far away toes and starting pregnancy yoga finally which is brilliant!

Although I’ve not been out so much on the bike day to day, I have two weekends running been out for a cycle around the forest. Last weekend the husband and I went out together (he went back to do some proper mountainbiking), and then this weekend we went together then split up so he could do some real mountainbiking whilst I pottered. I had so much fun out by myself. I felt like myself, like I was independent and capable!