Take a look at Ipswich 'buggy fitness' classes helping mums stay fit
PUBLISHED: 19:00 05 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:31 09 September 2019
Finding the time to keep fit when you have a baby in tow can be a challenge, as any mum or dad will testify. But now a personal trainer in Ipswich and Kesgrave has come up with a unique way of helping parents keep in shape - by turning a child buggy into a fitness aid.
James Colchester's innovative approach to fitness involves "peek a boo squats" - where mums crouch and keep their babies entertained at the same - and long walks using buggies as resistance.
The 35-year-old, who runs 13 Fitness, found there were lots of mums who still wanted to exercise but wanted something low impact and low pressure on top of their parenting duties.
He also found pushing a buggy round for most of the day was seen a hindrance - but, in his view, could be the opposite.
As a result he has created a weekly Buggy Fitness class, which has grown in popularity in Kesgrave over the past year or so.
"Far from a hindrance, there are lots of exercises that encourage use of the buggy," he said.
"It's extra resistance, but gives mums the opportunity to spend time with their child.
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"In a lot of the power walking exercises we do, mums would make use of the buggy. We also do peek a boo squats, where you squat down and say 'peek a boo'."
The buggy can also be used to help with stretches to strengthen muscles and "keep up with the demands of motherhood".
Yet Mr Colchester said the benefits of the weekly sessions - run alongside Kesgrave's Farmhouse pub, which provides a venue for refreshments afterwards - are not just physical.
Mums also find the sessions invaluable for talking about parenting experiences, even using a WhatsApp group between them to share tips.
"The whole idea came about when I was having dinner with friends and one person said she wanted me to organise a group that would be low impact, with no stress and pressure and childcare for her and her friends," Mr Colchester said.
"It has grown really quickly. We managed to create a partnership with The Farmhouse pub and they go there afterwards for an opportunity for them to talk and have coffee."
The sessions take place 10am every Monday, meeting at The Farmhouse pub in St Isidores, Kesgrave.
The first session is free, with sessions costing between £7 and £8 thereafter.
For more information, email Mr Colchester here.