‘But the dog ate my homework’ and other stories…


Have you ever said “I really should do some exercise” but somehow never quite managed to get round to doing it? Most of us have been there, especially during pregnancy or after having had a baby. Our intentions are good and sometimes we even join a gym or class but then we end up cancelling our membership because we didn’t get there often enough. Life seemed to get in the way!


We have become very adept at finding reasons not to exercise, most of which can be overcome with a little knowledge, motivation and support. Do any of these sound familiar?

People might laugh because I’m overweight.

Well, have you considered that most people started exercising because they were out of shape too? Why would they laugh? You’re just another fellow fittie to them! If you go to a specialist pregnancy or postnatal class everyone is in the same boat so there’s no need for you to feel uncomfortable.

My boobs are too big!

Go and get yourself measured for a supportive, minimiser sports bra. (There are some amazing ones out there now). This is especially important if you are breastfeeding so you don’t damage the tissue or ligaments in your breasts. You should also breastfeed your baby or express milk just before exercising to reduce the size and weight of your breasts. It keeps baby happy too!

I’m pregnant and should be taking it easy.

Well, yes, to a certain extent but appropriate exercise has well-proven health benefits to both you and your baby. It can help reduce or prevent many side effects of pregnancy such as fatigue, nausea, back pain, cramps, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of diabetes and strengthen your core muscles to help with labour, to name but a few.

I don’t know if the exercises will be safe.

As long as you find a qualified specialist instructor they will be able to advise you about suitable exercises and adjust any moves or programmes to accommodate your medical, physical and mental requirements. Do make sure you check with your GP that you are OK to exercise first though.

I’m too tired to exercise.

Of course it’s easier to just sit on the sofa watching TV. The trouble is that it makes you more tired and less inclined to do anything. Exercise re-energises you and releases endorphins so you feel great at the end of a session. People often say they get a buzz from exercising, those happy hormones are the reason why.

I’ve exercised before but didn’t enjoy it so don’t want to try again.

Exercise doesn’t have to feel like hard work if you find something you enjoy doing and you’ll be glad you made the effort. There are literally hundreds of classes and sessions out there for you to have a go at. Get onto Google and see what you can find in your area. Some classes offer a free taster session so you try before you buy.

I don’t have anyone to look after my baby.

You could ask family, friends or neighbours if they could help you out. Or you could try a babysitting exchange with someone so they look after your baby when you want to exercise and you do the same for them. That way you both get to have a workout. There are also gyms with crèche facilities or classes which allow you to bring your baby along. They also offer a virtual fitness training service where an instructor designs a bespoke training programme for you to follow wherever and whenever you like. Or you could simply take baby out for a nice walk.

It’s too expensive.

That depends on what you do. A walk costs nothing! Gyms and classes have various payment options so you don’t necessarily have to pay a monthly membership or a full term at a time. Lots of classes offer a pay as you go basis. You don’t need expensive kit either. A good sports bra, some trainers, comfortable clothes and a water bottle usually do the trick.

I’m not very motivated (aka I can’t be bothered with the faff!)

Why not ask your friends and family to support you and give you a gentle nudge when you need it? You could even ask one of them to be a training partner so you can motivate each other to go. Once you get to a class or the gym, talk to your instructor and they’ll be able to help keep you on track too.

I’m too busy and never have time.

This isn’t really about time. This is about your priorities. Just think how busy people like David Cameron or Barak Obama are, but they still manage to go for a daily run and workout! You need to schedule exercise into your weekly plan like you do eating, sleeping, housework, shopping, etc. Make time for it and you’ll reap the rewards in the long run.

There are lots of reasons you can come up with to avoid doing exercise, but just as many ways over overcoming them. If the dog ate your trainers, go and buy yourself a new pair and get out there. No more excuses!

Mum Plus One

As a mum to 2 toddlers I know how stressful things can get and how tricky it can be to juggle everything to keep the family happy. I always seemed to have very little "me" time, let alone the opportunity to exercise, so I decided to qualify as a pre/postnatal exercise instructor with the aim of providing a service and sense of community to other mums in the same boat.

I have recently launched Mum plus One which offers indoor and outdoor fitness sessions, virtual fitness training, a free social group and party planning assistance. Mum plus One allows you to bring your baby to any of the sessions so you don't have to find a babysitter or feel guilty for taking some well deserved "you" time as your baby can enjoy the classes or meetings too. We also offer the ability to mix 'n' match sessions to suit your mood, your available time, or even the weather!

Please visit www.mumplusone.net for more information, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Debbie Lucas – Mum plus One
Fit for birth, fit for baby!

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