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Could you benefit from buggy fitness at Ipswich park?

PUBLISHED: 11:30 29 January 2020

The buggy fitness class in Christchurch Park, Ipswich  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The buggy fitness class in Christchurch Park, Ipswich Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

Trying to keep fit while looking after a baby is a challenge for anyone - but a class in Ipswich’s Chirstchurch Park is helping busy parents juggle fitness and parenthood by turning buggies into an exercise aid.

Parents young and old join in the buggy fitness class.  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDParents young and old join in the buggy fitness class. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

However a class held at Ipswich's Christchurch Park is helping busy parents juggle fitness and parenthood by turning buggies into an exercise aid.

Rachel Robbie has been holding the hour-long sessions for 10 years, allowing parents to park up their buggies nearby and keep a watchful eye on their tots whilst they burn calories.

Whatever the weather, come rain, snow or sunshine, the class has never been cancelled - as Rachel says the meet up is so essential for some of the parents.

"It gets them out of the house and into the fresh air and it even teaches the kids early on that its good to be fit," said the fitness instructor.

Buggy fitness provides combines looking after the children with a good exercise regime.  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDBuggy fitness provides combines looking after the children with a good exercise regime. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

"A lot of the mums I see are very sleep deprived and suffer from post natal depression. For some of them, it's the only thing they'll do today.

"Over the years I have seen a rise in the mental health issues brought on by the pressure of going back to work and managing everything - but the difference now is that is it talked about more."

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Rachel's daughter is now 13 but when she was born, there was much less support.

Buggy fitness in Ipswich is a different way for parents to keep fit.  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDBuggy fitness in Ipswich is a different way for parents to keep fit. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

She was asked by the midwife if everything was okay and she gave the standard response of: "I'm fine, just a bit tired."

She added: "We do see dads as well, even grandads sometimes.

"It is harder for the men to talk about it if they have post natal depression. There is much less support for them - but there are more specific support groups cropping up, which is good to see.

"It could be the only time they leave the house that day and they rock up bundled up in layers with the kids in tow just to get together and be around like-minded people."

Parents taking part in buggy fitness in Christchurch Park.  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDParents taking part in buggy fitness in Christchurch Park. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Some of the children who now come have been attending the sessions for their whole life and have gone from being in the buggy to joining in with the routine.

"It's so lovely to see the older kids at three or even four years old becoming more aware and when the babies start crying, they go over to comfort them and it's really sweet."

The first buggy fitness class is free, with no obligation to come back, and classes are held between 10am and 11am on Tuesdays and Fridays.


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