Mums fight the flab: Hearld Sun

Herald Sun 28th April 2008

NEW mums fighting the flab are leading a fitness frenzy among women to drop their pregnancy kilos.

Mums can choose from pilates, tai chi, yoga, aerobics, walking clubs with prams, swimming and aquarobics.

Dozens of companies, such as Bootie Call Fitness and Aquamums, are specialising in fitness for mothers and babies. Most either provide creches or involve the babies in the workout. Other community organisations, such as the YMCA, offer fitness programs for all the family.

Women aged 25-35 now do more exercise than men, with one in three working out more than twice a week compared with 27 per cent of men, ABS Australian Social Trends Data shows. Walking is the most popular activity, favoured by one in four Australians over 15 and twice as many women than men. Next is aerobics and gym workouts, which have hooked 13 per cent of the population.

North Carlton mother Caroline Sharpe, 31, is a member of the Baycity Strollers, a pram-based fitness group for new mums. Members pay $390 for a three-month membership, and can attend up to five group sessions with a personal trainer once a day.

Ms Sharpe, whose daughter, Kristina, is nine months old, welcomes the social interaction and physical challenge of the group.

“We do a bit of running with the prams and boxing, and a circuit working with the benches and tricep dips,” she said.

“It’s great because I can take my daughter, but some days, I tell you, it’s a challenge getting out of the house to be there by 9am.”

Baycity Strollers director Todd King said there were more exercises for new mothers.

“Twenty years ago mums were playing netball and the kids were inside in creche, but now it’s a pretty different mindset.

“Mums can now take their child along and there’s no child-minding facilities.

“It’s a good role model for their children and it gives them invaluable outdoor stimulation.”