If you can recommend any exercise classes, please let me know on email@example.com.
I was a gymnast (started when I was 4 years old) and did a lot of it for many years including competitions. I have always been very active and love moving, walking, skiing (I grew up doing cross country skiing on weekends in my native Sweden during winters). However, I am not good at motivating myself to exercising alone at home or outdoors.
Despite having done a number of runs for charity since becoming a mother, I actually don’t like running (unless it is a race and I am doing it for charity). I have been told on a number of occasions that I am a good and natural runner, and that I should go for runs as part of my weekly exercise. I know myself though and rather than saying ‘I will’ and then spend time feeling guilty about not going for a run, I am brutally honest and say ‘I don’t enjoy it’ and feel better mentally as a result.
Over the years, I have learnt that working with a teacher 1:1 is what works best for me. I would rather exercise in a way that works for me and also do something I enjoy at the same time: i.e. moving. I love feeling my core getting stronger, my energy levels building up and it also helps my mental state of mind. Exercising was a big part of my recovery from postnatal depression.
I know for many of you it is the opposite: going to group classes is what motivate you and energise you.
Regardless of whether it is a 1:1 session or a group one, I believe that working with someone is a very personal thing. When people ask me for recommendations, I always tell them to try a few different PTs, yoga or Pilates teachers or group classes with different teachers, to find the one that feels like the best fit for them.
Personal Training (PT)
Alvaro Castano is a great PT with whom I regularly work. He works with everyone including children and his attention to detail is amazing.
Justin Coffey is a great trainer with his own gym by Baker Street and I work with him regularly too.
Tamsyn Hamilton Personal Training has a great team of people who can help you with everything from training to nutrition. Tamsyn is also a mum so truly understands what women go through physically during and after pregnancies.
Vivian Da Fonseca is a highly qualified personal trainer with a wealth of experience across prenatal and postnatal functional training, weight-loss, performance training and rehabilitation. As one of Brazil’s best known fitness instructors, her work has taken her to Canada, the USA and the UK. She even won Tatler magazine’s prize for “Best Bottom Class”.
One of our mums, Emma Sharav, another great PT, runs Personal Training by Emma, and she has her studio here in St John’s Wood. I have also had sessions with her and can recommend her.
Paula Lopez de Mollein is not just one of our mums and also a PT who has helped many of our parents over the years. She is also a yoga teacher.
Outdoor Group Classes
The Hub in Regent’s Park offers a variety of mummy and baby friendly. Check directly with them what their current schedule is.
Buggy Fit – It is easy to get fit and meet other mums with Buggy Fit. The nearest places to do this are in Paddington Recreation Ground and Primrose Hill. Please note that BuggyFit is run as a franchise so even though locations are close by, the trainer might not be the same.
Buggy Fit in Paddington Rec is with Sharon and many of the mums in the group see her.To contact Sharon, please email her on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Becky runs Buggy Fit in Primrose Hill and you can contact her through her website Parkmum.
My amazing Pilates teacher Gemma Shaw is a local mum of two boys. She really understands and knows what women need to work on both when pregnant and after having had their babies. She has a fully equipped Pilates studio at her house. I have had weekly classes with her since January 2015 and just love our sessions.
Previously known as Pilates with Paulette, Paulette is now known as Restorative Movement, has a great reputation amongst local mums not just for helping them recover after pregnancy, but also to deal with many physical aspects occurring during peri-menopause and menopause. Activate your pelvic floor, tone your tummy and strengthen your back. Non-mobile babies sleep or socialise with the others whilst you enjoy some restorative exercise and much-deserved TLC. For those mummies whose babies are already in nursery or school they are most welcome to come solo and dedicate an hour to themselves.
Paulette has comprehensive training in matwork Pilates and postnatal exercise enabling her to create a bespoke blend of low impact exercises suitable for mums in their ‘4th Trimester’.
You will also learn lots of takeaway tips to ensure you don’t undo all your hard work as well as gain nutritional information to accelerate healing and improve energy. Paulette’s courses run in school term times. She also does private classes.
Yoga for Adults & Children, Bootcamp, Zumba & PT
Several NW8-mums do yoga classes, bootcamps, Zumba and PT sessions with the lovely and energetic Paula of Yoga4Happiness.
Carla Pozner is one of our mums and she is a yoga instructor as well as a highly regarded osteopath.
Netta Imber is also a local mum and yoga instructor.
Venues – Gyms & Studios
Rebel, located on St John’s Wood High Street, is already a firm favourite with many locals.
The Garuda Yoga & Pilates Studio here in St John’s Wood is a wonderful place. I have done both matwork and apparatus work there. What I found most inspiring there is the fact that there is no music playing which means I am focussing entirely on my mind and body. Very refreshing in today’s world where everything is so loud and fast.
Heartcore is another popular place for members of NW8-mums to go.
Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre has a lot to offer in terms of exercise. It is best to check with them what there is on and what types of membership schemes they have.