FAMILY: How you can lose that 'baby belly'

Emma HarrowingAfter giving birth trying to get back in shape can be a struggle. Now there is an exercise class new mums can do with their baby to help boost energy levels and get rid of that 'baby tummy'.Emma Harrowing

After giving birth trying to get back in shape can be a struggle. Now there is an exercise class new mums can do with their baby to help boost energy levels and get rid of that 'baby tummy'. EMMA HARROWING reports.

It's a cold, frosty Wednesday morning and there is a light mist covering the vast area of Sloughbottom park. It's the kind of day that would leave you wanting to have a duvet day; snuggled in the warm with a hot cup of tea and getting a large dose of morning television.

But for ten new mums it's the morning to get fit and active to lose the baby weight they have gained during pregnancy.


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Wrapped up in jogging bottoms, fleeces, gloves and scarves the mums walk, jog and stretch their way around the park using one key piece of apparatus - their baby's buggy.

If you have recently given birth the thought of exercise might fill you with dread, especially if you have had your baby by C-section and you need time to recover. However, being stuck in the house and having very little exercise can make you feel tired, moody and make you snack more, all adding to you feeling fat, bloated and sluggish.

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Now there is a way of getting back into shape a few weeks after giving birth without having to resort to a celebrity extreme diet and fitness fad. It also helps you tone up and look after your baby at the same time so that you don't have to organise child care.

Buggyfit is a nationwide fitness class aimed at getting new mums back into shape after giving birth. The class helps you burn fat, improve your posture and stability, strengthens your pelvic floor muscles and helps you tone up. The only equipment you need is a pair of trainers and your buggy!

Victoria Toone is Norfolk's only Buggyfit instructor. She holds weekly classes for mums and their babies at Sloughbottom Park on Drayton Road and Waterloo Park on Angel Road.

'The classes are aimed at new mums and mums expecting their next baby,' says Victoria. 'During the class you will be getting your heart rate up enough to burn fat. You will be doing exercises with bands (that are provided) and using steps and benches around the park. It's a mix of cardio-vascular and strength training exercises which help improve posture and stability.

'It's also a good chance to meet other mums and have a chat while you get back in shape. And as you can wear layers you can hide your lumps and bumps rather than feel like you have to wear figure hugging gym wear.

'Your baby also benefits as according to Dr. Robert Winston, getting 20 minutes of fresh air a day improves baby's IQ. The fresh air is also good for both of your immune systems and will improve your mood.

'It's also worth knowing that you can burn 20pc more calories exercising outside than inside.'

Buggyfit classes take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The classes cost �5 per lesson or you can book ten classes in advance for �45. Classes last one hour. For more information go to www.buggyfit.com

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