Tag Archives: exercise

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!

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……

Vitamin D and finger prints!

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One of the first things I did on finding out I was pregnant, was to find myself an app. I’m not really a phone-y person, but obviously the stuff our mobiles can now do is pretty astonishing. Especially if you think about the very first computers and what they were capable of. However, I’ve never really been an “I’ve got an app for that” kind of person, but like practical apps (mapping usually) rather than games. I got the I’m Expecting app which had good reviews and was free.

It gives you week by week updates about your baby-to-be including tips for the mother, information about what might be happening to your body, how your baby is developing and the main source of amusement (as mentioned in this post) as it’s measured in hillarious middle class fruit and veg.

Week 16 was Avocado, Week 17 was an Onion and week 18 has been Bell Pepper. Next week- we’re mango!

The other thing that blows me away is that it talks a little about what the baby is specifically developing that week. And this week, our baby is becoming an individual! He or she is growing fingerprint whorls this week! I’m stunned by that concept. I am not sure why!

This week we’ve seen some slightly nicer weather, and I’ve been out enjoying it where possible. This included getting my tummy out at a train platform whilst slumped on a seat in the sun on Friday! Baby needs vitamin D to regulate calcium and phosphate in the body to help bones and teeth to develop.

Saturday we went for a nice long bike ride on quiet back roads through stunning Berkshire countryside. We managed just under 24 miles total, and when we got back I fell asleep in the sunshine in the garden. I feel a bit tight and itchy today but that sunshine was needed 🙂


You’d never know I was 18 weeks pregnant (almost 19!) from this picture!

Scaring me now

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Another blog post to be written from bed……the shame! But to be fair I have actually achieved some things this weekend so all can be forgiven… right?

Saturday we had a lazy start to the day, and watched some telly, skyped some relatives then cracked on with some housework. I think the downstairs now looks presentable to guests. Which is a good thing really as we decided a bit last minute to see if some friends that we hadn’t seen for ages were around (they were) so we invited them over to dinner. We’d already decided to blast some cobwebs away so walked up to sainsburys and back whilst mentally concocting an interesting vegetarian dinner and desert.

Had a lovely evening with friends eating olive bread dipped in cherry balsamic, roasted mediterranean veg with home made harissa paste, couscous and salad, topped off with a home made pear and almond cake (nice one husband).

Sunday we managed to clear up the carnage from saturday night’s cooking experiments, then Husband went for a run and I decided to join him on the bicycle. It was snowing.

When we got back I decided I had the energy to trim the front hedge, but I only managed half before wimping out as I was so cold.

Since then I have gone back to bed to watch a film, and browse the internet.

Today mumsnet has been scaring me with “houserules”- a chat thread in which people discuss the rules of their house. Obviously most of these women or people have children already so it’s understandable they have a few more rules than we do. Most people seem to count wearing shoes in the house a crime, letting pets into bedrooms an utter sin, and NOT EATING AT A TABLE AS A FAMILY the end of humanity. I let the cat have the best bit of the bed (usually about half our king size), wear shoes where I like (I’ll be vacuuming) unless they’re really muddy, and although we eat good home made food, we tend to eat it in front of the telly. Whoops. We’re heathens.

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Who could deny him the best bit of the bed?

What are a sensible list of houserules?

Long time, no update!

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So the world now know my our exciting news! Reactions have been ovrwhelmingly positive, including many offers of second hand babythings and sympathy for the sickness!

Since telling everyone, we had a pretty busy weekend of seeing people, then I back to the grindstone.

Monday was a washout as there were some serious delays on the trains, and I spent a freezing (literally) hour standing (not many seats at my local station) waiting for my train to leave. It had arrived, but refused to open the doors, let us on into the warm and then leave! I had a bit of a fuzzy funny fainty turn to had to call my lovely husband to pick me up and take me home. Not very successful but I hope to be able to claim the full fare back!

The rest of the week has been pretty busy so far, but I did manage to go for a swim on Monday for the first time since getting pregnant! I only had a short time to squeeze it in as the boys were playing squash but I managed half a km without feeling too ill.

I’ve done lots of walking so far today so I hope I’m managing to stay healthy 🙂

14 weeks now, and time is starting to pass at a normalish pace.

Fit fat or fin?

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It’s amazing the difference that a few weeks of reduced exercise makes to the body. Genuinely fascinating!

Lets look at the numbers (I’m a graphs and tables kinda gal):

w/c 24th Dec:
5 hours 17 minutes exercise

w/c 31st Dec:
9hrs 15min exercise

w/c 7th Jan:
7hrs 11min exercise

(found out I was pregnant on 13th Jan)
w/c 14th Jan:
9hrs 34 mins exercise

(started feeling sick this week)
w/c 21st Jan:
5hrs 13min exercise

(sick leave started this week)
w/c 28th Jan:
1hr 11 mins exercise

w/c 4th Feb:
2hr 13mins exercise

w/c 11th Feb:
3hrs 16 mins exercise

So my average has severely dipped! Obviously this has combined with the sickness and my muscle mass has reduced quickly alongside quick weightloss. And on top of that apparently between a 1/4 and a 1/3 of my blood flow is now going to my uterus, meaning my body has to work extra hard to get oxygen and blood to the rest of my body, especially when exercising! I feel so unfit- my walking pace has almost halved and I get out of breath going up a slight incline!

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