PARENTS and carers now have an even bigger choice of fitness classes they can bring their babies along to while they work out.
Renfrewshire Leisure has recently decided to make many of their regular fitness classes buggy friendly and that means those attending can take their babies along and have them by their side.
The sports and leisure trust has increased more than tenfold – from six to 68 – their buggy friendly classes within their new fitness class schedule. It’s the first time in Scotland these types of sessions have been incorporated into a regular fitness programme.
One mum, Lauren Maynard who takes her one-year-son, Spencer to her classes reckons people looking after babies should keep going to their favourite fitness sessions – for the sake of their sanity.
Lauren, 28, from Inchinnan, in Renfrewshire, who aims to attend up to four fitness classes a week, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for new mums like me.
“Spencer comes with me to classes so I can work out as normal while he is sitting next to me in his buggy and I know he’s safe.
“New mums need to keep active and get out of the house and mix with people, as that’s very important for their mental health.
“After a fitness class you feel much happier, less stressed and generally it lifts your mood.”
Lauren added: “Some new mums may feel trapped or isolated if they are stuck in the house after their baby is born.
“Their husband or partner goes off to work and gets to mix with their work colleagues, but a new mum can lose contact with their circle of friends.
“So, it’s very important for a mum’s well-being to have a social contact with other people and mix with their friends. These buggy friendly fitness classes are ideal for that.
“Not everyone has family members they can rely on for baby-sitting duties during the day as they might be at work, but the buggy friendly classes can let you do this.”
Lauren continued: “What Renfrewshire Leisure has done is fantastic and a Godsend to mums with babies. They have given us a huge variety of classes you can attend with your baby.
“Some of their sports centres also have swimming pools where you can take your baby for free if they are under one year old.
“When I attend these buggy friendly classes it’s great to meet new people. Everyone is really friendly. Spencer is no bother and doesn’t make much noise, but if he does, everyone makes me feel really welcome even though I have a baby with me in the class.
“The babies seem to enjoy it as well and there is always plenty going on around them to keep them interested.”
Renfrewshire Leisure chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “We are the only local authority or leisure trust in Scotland to have opened up an existing fitness class programme to new parents who want to bring their babies in buggies along with them to a fitness session.
“We took this ground-breaking step after one of the mums who came to one of our previous buggy-friendly spin classes asked us if we could extend the idea to other types of fitness classes, so we decided to take a radical approach.
“We have gone from having six, mainly spin classes that were buggy-friendly to 68 fitness activities for parents and their babies covering most types of classes.
“We wanted to make it as easy as possible for new mums to get the benefit both physically and psychologically of taking part in fitness classes.”
The Renfrewshire Leisure buggy friendly fitness classes are held at Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre; ON-X Linwood; Erskine Sports Centre; Renfrew Leisure Centre; Johnstone Sports Hub and Ralston Community Sports Centre.
Classes include Body Pump, Attack and Combat; Zumba; Sosa Fitness; Yoga and Pilates; Spin Cycle; Metafit and even Ballroom Fitness.
Visit www.renfrewshireleisure.com for more information on the buggy friendly classes.