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Local Heroes – Southampton

BUGGY MUMS – MOTHERS GET ACTIVE WITH BABIES IN TOW

An increasing number of mothers in Southampton are bucking the trend and seeking new opportunities to be more active despite having babies in tow. Buggy Mums is the latest class programme from ParkLives to hit Southampton for local mums.

Funded by CocaCola, ParkLives has been launching free, outdoor fitness sessions across Southampton in partnership with Active Nation, since 2016. Together, we champion opportunities to exercise in the City, which are convenient and designed to suit the whole family.

Following it’s original pilot in May last year, the group size keeps on growing. Last week, 18 mums and babies joined Christine on the Common, and we spoke to them about why they keep coming back.

Georgie Tapley joined the sessions with her 8-month old baby Maisy regularly and has lost a full stone since September 2016. Justine Wibroe who comes with her 3-month old daughter Rose has had a similar experience: “I love the classes and I especially love Christine. I have been to a few different Buggy Mums sessions and this is by far the best. Christine has got a daughter as well which make a difference, she really understands our needs!”.

Becky Potter and 7-month old Leia were persuaded to try out a class by friend Ariane, mum to Harry, also 7 months. Ariane had heard about the sessions through her local NCT [National Childbirth Trust] group and brought Becky along for moral support. Ariane told us that they love the classes because they’re free, outdoors and always different: “Not only does it give us a great workout, it also keeps the baby’s entertained for the hour too – I think they like the spectacle of all the mums lunging across the park!”.

 Mel Channon, who comes with 10-month old Lyra, is one of the longest standing Buggy Mums. She has been coming since June last year and heard about the sessions through Facebook: “I love the fact that the sessions are outdoors – and Lyra loves being outdoors too. Christine is so friendly and enthusiastic – she gets you to work harder than you think you can. I even managed a few press ups which I could never do before Lyra was born!”

 As Hannah Cockle, Project Coordinator for ParkLives Southampton at Active Nation explains: “We couldn’t stop the sessions over the cold, winter months because the mums were so keen to carry on, so we kept the two sessions every week. We are so pleased with how much the mums and babies are loving the classes that we’re also looking at starting a pre- and post-natal Pilates class from this summer to accompany it.”

ParkLives Buggy Mums sessions happen every Wednesday on Southampton Common and Thursday on Weston Shore, both at 11.30am for sixty minutes.  As Session Leader Christine – who is quite the hit – explains: “Absolutely every one is welcome… including Dads!”

To sign-up for the next Buggy Mums class or to search for other free sessions in Southampton visit http://activenation.org.uk/parklives/ or www.facebook.com/ParkLivesSouthampton.

About the author

Active Nation

We’re Active Nation, a registered charity who are wholeheartedly committed to a bold and exciting mission to persuade the nation to be active.

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