It can be difficult for most people to find the time to get regular exercise but when you're a busy mum, it can be nearly impossible. But combining a baby-friendly set-up and the benefits of outdoor exercise has led to a new type of exercise class: pramercise.
As the name might suggest, pramercise is a workout that incorporates prams! It was been designed for mums and their babies and takes place in parks and outdoor locations.
Liz Costigan of Positive Fitness set up a pramercise class in Dublin last year after coming across the concept while living abroad. She explains: "I saw the class in Australia when I was living there and thought it was a great idea for new mums. It's tough for mums to get out and exercise and this class just makes it so much easier. The classes are a great way to introduce mums to a new social network, the baby gets to meet new buddies and the 'talk therapy' is invaluable!"
The classes attract women of various fitness levels and ages but they all have one thing in common: they're all mums. Classes are an hour long and suitable for all fitness levels.
Liz says: "I always recommend mums get the all clear from their doctors before starting the class -- this is usually six weeks after giving birth." All of the exercises can be modified for any post pregnancy-related conditions.
The classes incorporate power walking or jogging with intervals of resistance and toning exercises "using the park as our gym", says Liz, then core exercises and the obligatory cool down and stretch.
This year, the Positive Fitness pramercise' ladies have been inspired by the classes to take part in the Flora Women's Mini Marathon. "We started power walking with intervals of jogging during the class and the girls really enjoy it," Liz explains.
"They saw their fitness levels and ability to run improve, so decided to sign up for the Flora Women's Mini Marathon to give them something to work towards." Some of the women have taken part in the Flora Women's Mini Marathon before but this year will be their first time to run it.
Liz has some advice for women (especially new mums) who are doing the Flora Women's Mini Marathon in June. She says: "Invest in a pair of good runners which will give your body the support it requires. Be sure to train for the event; try to go out walking or running at least three times a week. If you can, ask a personal trainer or a fitness instructor at your gym for advice. There are lots of training programmes online also."
Liz also advises adding some diversity to your regime: "Don't just walk, run or cross train, take a spin class at your gym or do a circuit training session. This will help with your overall fitness levels and stops you getting bored."
But most of all, says Liz, "Have fun! Train with friends and enjoy it. That what it's all about after all."
For Positive Fitness Pramercise classes, contact Liz Costigan on 087 773 1586 or email email@example.com