Happy New Year! I hope you had a fab Christmas and New Year, ours was wild. We were up until 4am! Lets not dwell on the fact I'd gone to bed at 11:30pm, and it was a crying baby, as opposed to a dancing all night which had me up that late. If you are anything like me then you'll be feeling a bit sluggish from overindulging on the kid's selection boxes and Christmas leftovers. I'm desperate to do a bit of exercise, I'm even itching to go out for a run. A phenomenon which lasts about 36 hours from New Years Day, only to disappear again for another year.
If you are looking to exercise, but have an entourage of a small person and their many many 'essentials' with you at all times, then don't worry. The North East has loads of brilliant options, there are actually 30 classes on each week across Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside where you can exercise without needing childcare. Many of them run by fellow mums, for parents to exercise without needing any childcare. The ones run by the councils are even FREE! I included some of them in my Gan on Bring the Bairn post about parent-friendly local companies, but since then have heard about loads more, and as it's the New Year thought it would be a good time to pull them all together in one place. Just by writing this post I'll get fitter won't I? That's how it works?
Rather than include all of the times next to the description, I've geekily pulled together a timetable of all of the classes that I know about, so if you are wondering "What's on tomorrow?" it should be easy enough to see your options. The timetable includes prices where I could find them, and it's at the bottom of this page. Please do get in touch with the companies though before you go to the classes, lots don't operate during school holidays, and whilst I will try and keep it updated, I wouldn't want anyone to have any wasted journeys due to me.
Slinga fitness is run by Maddy, a mum and fitness instructor, and classes are held in North Shields. She offers a variety of different classes, including one where you have your baby or toddler in the sling whilst you exercise - just think of how much that would work your core! If slinging isn't for you then you can do circuits or bootcamp classes too. There is even socialising time scheduled for after the exercises, which makes this class a great choice if you are on the hunt for some mummy-friends.
Keepfitmammy holds interval circuit classes in Great Park, Gosforth twice a week. From the photographs on her facebook page there is a baby area with toys and a jumparoo, but Vikki who runs the classes recommends that parents of toddlers bring their favourite toy, like a ride on or toy pushchair to keep them busy whilst mum works out. Vikki also offers personal training and will come to you, on an individual or small group basis. She really lives her brand, and has a blog including some inspiring photographs of her fitness journey.
These girls can run offer support to beginner runners. Fellow mummy blogger Missuswolf raves about them in this post, describing how they were very welcoming and friendly, and as someone who had never run with a buggy before, they put her at ease. These girls can run have groups across the North East, and provide buggy classes from their Cramlington and Whitley Bay branches, but get in touch with their other branches, as from their website they seem very open to putting on sessions to meet local demand.
These FREE classes provided by Gateshead council are a brilliant way to exercise and get fresh air. They are held all year round, but there is only one class on during winter, whereas in summer you can pick from morning or afternoon. I used to go to these classes when I'd just had my first baby. They were great, and perfect for any level of fitness as although the classes are led by an instructor everyone could go at their own pace. Whilst on maternity leave, finances can be tough, so it's brilliant that there is this option to exercise in a group for free. Just remember to take comfy clothes and waterproofs as it can get pretty mucky. Website says these classes need to be booked in advance.
Another free option, this time provided by Newcastle council, but annoyingly it's held on the same day as Gateshead's offering so it would be difficult to go to both. Held in Gosforth Central Park, it includes a bit of power walking, before getting into some circuit work. Just turn up, no need to book.
Hats off to North Tyneside council who are well and truly treating their parents who want to exercise. With four classes per week, a mixture of indoor and outdoor, and all FREE. They are only available to residents of North Tyneside though, and you'll need an Extra Ease card to be able to access the classes.
This Newcastle and surrounding areas of this national franchise is run by Debbie Donaldson, who offers classes in Gosforth, Jesmond Dene, Ponteland, Whitley Bay and Morpeth.
Exercise in beautiful Gibside National Trust with the Pramblers group, who provide a bootcamp style outdoor class.
The Barre's crawlers class, is one where you can take the baby. Barre is a fitness class combining the best bits of ballet, pilates and some other good stuff to help tone your muscles without adding bulk. Crawlers is a very relaxed class, where the babies are welcome to stay snuggled up in their car seats if they are asleep or can have a play with the toys on offer in the sessions.
There are a couple of options for mum and baby yoga classes around Newcastle. I visited Cristal Yoga and posted about it here. Cristal's classes focus on areas weakened by pregnancy, and include the baby in some of the exercises.
Happy Yoga also do a mam and baby class.
All in all that's 30 classes over 5 days where you exercise taking your baby with you. All laid out in this easy to read (albeit quite ugly) timetable. Which means the excuse of not having a babysitter won't cut it anymore. I'll need to find a better one as to why I should watch all of ITVs daytime lineup instead of doing some exercise, **starts googling least painful way to sprain an ankle* *
Tell me what I've missed? What other exercise classes can you take a baby to? I'll get this post and the timetable updated as and when I hear about other classes.
Below are screenshots of the timetable so it can be viewed easily. If you want to be able to click through to any of the classes for more details then just follow this link to the actual spreadsheet.