You’ve brought baby home and they’re settled in their new home; now it’s time to help your body recover and regain your post-pregnancy strength. Exercising after having a baby can help you get back into shape, boost energy levels and reduce the risk of postnatal depression. You can start exercising as soon as you feel up to it. NHS advice recommends gentle exercise at first and waiting until after your six-week postnatal check up to start any high-impact workouts.
Enter CARiFiT. These babywearing workouts can be done on demand at home or in live classes at selected London venues. By incorporating the baby into the workout, CARiFiT has cleverly removed some of the major barriers to exercise. There’s no excuse to bemoan lack of time or childcare options because baby comes along too. Throughout the class, your baby is kept close enough to kiss in a baby carrier, and is soothed and comforted as you work through low impact movements.
We visited a CARiFiT class & here’s what happened
CARiFiT Live takes place throughout the week at various locations around London. We visited their Parsons Green class at Slice Studios. The classes are intimate (around 10-14 people) and get booked up quickly, so we were advised to book in advance. It is advised to bring your own carrier and everyone is checked before they start the class to make sure baby is safely positioned, all strollers are left at the door. Dumbbell weights and a Pilates resistance ring are waiting for you to use throughout the session.
‘Expect to sweat, expect to feel the burn and expect to workout,’ says the website. The class starts off slow with some stretches and a warm up. Next, the music picks up and so do the movements, starting with some forward lunges to ride out the first song. All the movements are low impact and high repetition. The class suits all levels of fitness, with participants being able to challenge themselves as much as they choose to or take advantage of CARiFiT’s modifications and keep going. This allows the whole room to move as one.
It’s all about progression, with an emphasis on strength and endurance. The instructor – who is qualified in pre and postnatal fitness and has undergone babywearing training – engages the class in different stretches and exercises, then monitors the participants ensure the movement is being carried out safely.
The CARiFiT Live playlist has been designed with the help of an early year’s educational specialist. The music is upbeat and modern with bursts of sensory sounds for the babies. Baby feels safe kept close to your chest and is soothed by the music, your heartbeat and your movements.
30 minutes later and the class comes to an end. There’s a sense of achievement around the room and many of the babies are asleep or slowly waking up. The instructor tells us that the classes only last 30 minutes because that’s how long the music and movement can hold a baby’s attention. It’s enough though, everyone feels as though they’ve done a good workout and challenged their bodies.
Where do I sign up?
CARiFiT hold live classes across London and events around the UK. There are currently classes in Balham, Clapham, Parsons Green, Victoria and Wimbledon. You can sign up by visiting the CARiFiT website.
For those that prefer the flexibility of working out at home at times that suit them, the CARiFiT Online subscription package offers fully supported unlimited workouts, nutritional advice and tips and members only benefits that you can access at any time. Find out more here.
CARiFit are offering a 20% discount on all 6-month memberships for My Baba readers throughout September. That’s 24 weeks of workouts to kickstart your postnatal fitness journey.