Frequently Asked Questions
I've recently had a baby. When can I return to exercise?
Shortly after giving birth, you can start pelvic floor exercises, pelvic tilts and gentle walking. At 6-8 weeks postpartum, you can start a low-impact core restore programme. I recommend you rehab your core and stick with low-impact exercise using a resistance band and light weights until you are circa 5-6 months postpartum at which point you can usually include some high-impact activity. However, this will depend on your pelvic floor and general wellbeing as each woman's recovery is highly individual.
I like to work out at home. What home fitness equipment do you recommend?
I believe in variety when it comes to workouts so having a few pieces of equipment at home will help. Here are some examples:
Resistance bands (short and long)
It says you teach outdoors all year around. What do you do when it's really cold or really wet?
I simply ask you to dress for the weather. That means lots of layers, hats and gloves in winter, and a waterproof outer layer if it's pouring rain. For my Buggyfit classes, I do more cardio when it's cold to keep everyone nice & warm, and Pilates-based exercises when we are able to spend more time on the mat. Either way, it feels amazing to exercise in any weather and once you've warmed up, you won't notice the cold or the rain.
How are you different from a regular trainer at a gym?
I believe that exercising in nature enhances any workout. This way you get the physical and mental benefits of being outdoors such as fresh air, vitamin D and the calming effect of trees on your nervous system. I use whatever I can find in nature eg trees and logs and I'm also a mobile PT so I bring any equipment that will benefit your session.
My pelvic floor hasn't returned to normal. What do you recommend?
If you have been doing your pelvic floor exercises (kegels) and you leak when you sneeze, cough or run for the bus, then you may have stress incontinence. A women's health physio will be able to assess you internally. Avoid high-impact activities such as jogging until you've had this assessment and focus on strengthening your pelvic floor during core exercises by gently activating it as you exhale.
I'm worried that I may have a diastasis recti (abdominal separation) - can I check this myself during lockdown?
Yes, you can do a rough check on yourself at home. Have a look at my latest blog on diastasis which explains what it is, how to avoid making it worse, and most importantly, how to heal it.
What is NLP?
NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming and consists of tools to re-frame your thoughts so that they lead to healthier emotions and actions. It can be used to reduce anxiety and depression, improve communication and confidence, and to feel happier overall. Even though NLP might be a foreign acronym to many, it is actually used a lot, from coaching top athletes to helping world leaders present better. After all, it's all in the mind!
How soon can I return to running after having a baby?
It is highly individual and will depend on your pelvic floor strength, the amount of relaxin in your body (which softens all your ligaments and tendons), how well you're recovering and muscle memory. Guidelines differ widely - from 3-6 months postpartum. At Buggyfit, we recommend that you don't run before you are 5 months postpartum. There are also some strength tests that you should do before hitting the road - you can read them here.