Buggy builders: fitness for new families  
During a pregnancy and birth, a female’s body can change a million times over – but it is truly worth it when you meet your new-born baby for the first time. For many women though, it gets to a point after birth that you want to get your pre-baby body back and losing your baby weight can prove difficult. For this reason, a growing number of women are joining post-natal classes and are trying to get back into shape after giving birth to their little ones. With a new-born baby in tow, it can be hard to go back to the gym though – but where there is a will, there is a way.  
But when is the right time to start exercise again? Following the NHS’s recommendation, six weeks is an appropriate time to wait until starting exercise. The reason for this is that your six-week post-natal check-up will determine how well you have recovered. However, women who exercised regularly before pregnancy, may feel fit and well to begin working out sooner than the six-week check – each new mum is different. You’ll know within yourself if you feel fit enough to get back into your regime, don’t push yourself too soon.  
However, that is not to say that you won’t come across fitness inspiration and motivational posts on social media in those six weeks. Social media has become the heart of fitness inspiration, and post-natal fitness is no exception. The internet has inspired a lot of us to reach our fitness goals, and post-natal goals are no different. In fact, post-natal posts are becoming increasingly popular across the web, with #postnatalfitness associated with 53,003 Instagram posts.  
Until a few years ago, there was a gap in the market for post-natal fitness classes – industry professionals recognised this and began to design classes which were specifically targeted and new mums. The post-natal classes aim to provide a solution for new mums who were struggling to get back into shape after having their new born. There are now specialised post-natal exercise classes that help women get back into shape with their baby’s – an opportunity for new mums to get their pre-baby body back. Classes usually allow mums to bring their little ones along to the class with them.  
Post-natal classes have shown to have more than just physical benefits. Many mums have also revealed that exercising after having their baby has helped prevent, or ease post-natal depression as exercise has made them ‘happier’. Research would suggest this to be true, as exercise is shown to release endorphins in the body – hormones which can have positive psychological effects, such as a ‘euphoric high’.  
The founder of RGL fitness is a mum who knows a thing or two about post-natal fitness – Randi Lynn Greene has over 39.9k Instagram followers thanks to her workout and yoga routine posts that can be done by new mums who have a baby in tow. She has proven that workouts can be done by mums at home with a little one crawling around. Of course, nutrition is just as important as your workout regime. Greene, who has also appeared on Lorraine on ITV to show mums that you can exercise at your own convenience.    
Getting rid of the ‘dad bod’ 
The dad bod is something that Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine have proven to be true as wellIn a study of 10,000 men over 10 years, the university studied men through different stages of their life – from adolescents and young adults, to new fathers. The study showed that those found that men who become fathers experience weight gain and an increase in body mass index, whilst those who didn't become dads generally lost weight over the same time period. 
The term dad bod is something that is circulating all over our social media feeds right now – whilst the term describes men with bodies that are neither toned or defined and normally those who don’t go to the gym and workout, it isn’t necessarily just fathers who have this body.  
But that bod can be avoided. A clean diet and effective workout regime are key. Your diet should consist of the three main macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and essential fats. Avoid sugary and fatty treats – whilst they might give you an initial sugar rush, the energy boost won’t last long. You want to supply your body with foods that release energy slowly – being a dad can be tiring. For an extra boost before your workout, protein bars and shakes will help you push yourself harder to hit your performance goals. If you don’t have time to make it to the gym with all your new daddy duties, there are exercises you can do at home to keep yourself in shape:  
  • Plank – 45-60 seconds  
  • Jack-knifes – 25 reps  
  • Crunches – 25 reps  
  • Squats – 25 reps  
  • Jumping lunges – 25 reps each leg  
  • Sprint – 30 second, repeat 3 rounds  
  • Mountain climber – 25 each leg  
  • Press ups – 25 reps  


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