5 Minutes With: Baby Body Fit

So you’re a mother, you have little people pulling at your every limb every moment of the day, craving food, the toilet, or a cure for boredom. So in amongst all the chaos that is parenting, where does one find the time to work out? It mightn’t seem like a priority, but you are a priority in your family’s life, and keeping you happy and healthy is just as important. Luckily for mums in Ireland, there’s Baby Body Fit, a place for mums-to-be and full-fledged-winning-at-nappies-mums to go and work out with their children. We caught up with Airike who runs the Galway branch to tell us all about it.

1. How did you get involved with Baby Body Fit?

I first discovered Baby Body Fit when I had my son 5 years ago. I gained a lot of weight with my pregnancy (30 kg) and was very unhappy with my body image. I saw BBF on Ireland AM the time and decided to give it a go. My son was 6 weeks old when I started, and I hated and loved it at the same time. It’s hard to get started when you have no exercise background but it gets easier after few classes, and then you start seeing results and you’re hooked.

I developed a passion for fitness and I started my Personal Trainer course in Dublin when my son was about 1 and a half. I got my qualifications done and was working in few gyms but BBF was always on my mind. I thought it was a great concept. You can bring your baby to class, meet other moms and just do something for yourself in that early motherhood madness.

When I moved to Galway with my family in 2015 I decided to buy the BBF franchise. I wanted to share the experience with Galway moms. So in April 2015 Baby Body Fit Galway was born.

2. How would you describe what you do?

We provide exercise classes throughout maternity cycle. Our classes consist of strength and toning exercises combined with light cardio. The intensity of the class is totally up to moms as we encourage everyone to go at their own pace, and take extra breaks when needed.

But exercise aside, we also bring moms together. It’s a group of people who are in the same boat, they understand each other, and I’ve seen some great friendships blossoming in our classes. Our class environment is judgement free. If your baby cries, that’s ok, no one is going to point a finger at you. If you need to breastfeed in class, absolutely, we encourage it. If you need to sit down and take a break, do it. Listening to your body is important!

Emotional and physical health are equally important. I’ve suffered postnatal depression myself, and exercise and like-minded moms around me was the thing that gave me my sanity back. I want to provide the same for my mamas.

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3. What’s the best part about your job?

Where do I start? Everything!

I love welcoming new babies. I love watching toddlers and pre-schoolers crawling/running around. I love the laughter and chatting. I love the proud feeling I get when I see my moms progressing. And I even love the sadness I get when they go back to work and say their good byes. I know they’ve enjoyed their journey with us. And few times now I’ve loved welcoming them back with new babies.

4. How do you entertain children and work out?

To be honest, they’re easily entertained. Babies either choose to sleep in their car seats or just watch their moms exercising. Toddlers crawl around or just sit on their moms to give them some extra resistance, and make them work harder. Older ones often join in and exercise with us. But every now and then when a baby cries and is just not settling we do add them to our exercises. And they all love the lifting and swinging.

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5. How much exercise can you do when pregnant?

Our prenatal classes are once a week and this is definitely not enough. It all depends if you were exercising before and if you have a healthy pregnancy. If it’s a straight forward healthy pregnancy you can exercise daily by 20-30 minutes. It’s all about listening to your body. I’m expecting myself at the moment and I try to get a workout in every second day.

Pregnancy is not an illness so you can lift weights and do cardio. But again, it all depends what you’re used to and how far are you. You will need to slow down and reduce the load at the end. It’s all very individual so there’s no 1 answer to this question.

6. What else does Baby Body Fit offer apart from classes?

We offer a complimentary Starter Pack with our courses. It’s a weekly email guiding you through nutrition, exercise and motivation basics. Plus few recipe books, to give you some healthy ideas.

We have a private Facebook group for all moms who participate in our classes. Just for motivation and discussions.

AND there is also a home personal training option available.

7. What would you say to women to encourage them to join?

Just to keep an open mind and take the first step. I totally understand it can be scary to come to a new place with loads of strangers. But all our moms are super friendly and always excited to see a new baby joining the tribe. Yes, it’ll be hard at first but just take it one class at the time, and you’ll be flying it soon. I see it happen daily, so that’s a promise!

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8. Where can mums join your classes?

You can find BBF in Dublin, Cork & Galway. In Galway we have 4 locations – Renmore, Oranmore, Claregalway & Salthill. All our postnatal classes are in the mornings when you’re energy levels are up and older kids in school!

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