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Becca

My Mummy MOT…

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On Friday last week I went and had a Mummy MOT and now I’m going to tell you all about it and basically tell you go and have one done!  It was AMAZING…and I’m 2 years post baby, just wish I’d had one done years ago.

A few months back, I was contacted by a lovely lady called Felicity about joining my Beginner Running Club but dates/times didn’t work but we got chatting and she told me all about what she does.  She is a women’s health physiotherapist who works both for the NHS and privately out of the Pilates Rooms in Urmston and offers post natal physiotherapy assessments of the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles – a Mummy MOT!

So we got chatting on facebook and decided to meet up to see how our two businesses could work together.  Over a coffee (in the lovely Café Rose in Sale Moor!!) we talked about how our two businesses could work in unison – recommending each other to our clients but we decided that before I could recommend a Mummy MOT to people, I’d actually have to have one!!  EEEK!!

A few weeks later (bloody crazy diaries!!) we finally managed to get a date in for me to come across to Urmston to have the check up.  I managed to get a friend to have Harry (thanks Alex!!) as it’s the kind of thing you need to concentrate on and having a toddler there would have been a disaster.  Obviously having a little baby there in the pram would be fine, but not a crazy active 2 year old!!

So what did it involve…first off it was just a talk through any issues, pain, problems, etc that I’ve had over the last few years since having both Chloe and Harry.  I talked through my pelvis issues and about the fact I still had a “mum tum” as I didn’t think my stomach muscles were back together – nothing luckily too major from my side.

Then the main examination started – Felicity was so lovely and was amazing at putting you at ease. There were 3 elements to the consultation.  The first one was just to stand there in your knickers (top still on, it’s not that bad!!) and Felicity assessed my “alignment” I say alignment loosely as she doesn’t like to use the term but she looked at how things were when standing – was my pelvis level, did my rib cage look normal, were my legs standing straight, were my feet in the normal position, etc.  In my case, my left rib cage is slightly higher than my right and my bellybutton is slightly off centre.  All of my “issues!!!” seem to be with my left side so there was no real surprise there

After that, it was the pelvic floor examination (yes, finger up there…but after childbirth, who cares right??!) It wasn’t the most pleasant thing I’ve ever spent my Friday morning doing but it didn’t hurt and it wasn’t horrid and because I wanted to know if it was working properly, it was a means to an end.  Again Felicity was fabulous.  So she checks how your pelvic floor is working – both your automatic pelvic response as well as your squeeze capability.   Mine was pretty good (phew!!) but I have been actively doing my pelvic floor exercises for a good 6-9 months now and from all the running I do, I have built it back up quite well – but there is still an element of stress incontinence so there is still work to do!

Felicity has given me a number of exercises to do and sent me off with a few great resources for me to go and do some more research into things to help improve it.  It was great to learn how to actually do your pelvic floor raises properly – whilst breathing…because randomly (and unconsciously) I seem to hold my breath to do them which is very odd!!  Shockingly 1 in 3 of us have issues with stress incontinence and as much as it’s become the norm – it really shouldn’t be.  You can fix it, and you don’t have to live with it (*rant over)

After the pelvic floor exam, you put your knickers back on and then it was onto the abdominal exam.  Lying on the bed first off, Felicity did the discitis recti test to see how separated your stomach muscles are.  Everyone’s muscles separate during pregnancy – it happens naturally as the baby grows but there are a lot of factors which can prevent them returning back to normal and sometimes they need a bit of assistance in the form of exercise to get them as close together as possible.  Not everyone’s will return exactly as they were before pregnancy, but with the right help, you can get them pretty darn close.  So my muscles aren’t back together (boo ☹) which I knew, but it was nice to get confirmation of that.  There’s a 2 finger gap above the belly button, 3 fingers at the belly button and only a 1 finger gap below it.

With this in mind, Felicity gave me 4 different exercises to do initially and then how to enhance those to improve the gap and so now I am on a mission!  She has recommended just doing 10 mins of the exercises per day and so I will keep you posted on how that goes.  I’m on day 3 of doing them so I’ll give it a while and then go back and get her to re-check and I’ll report back!

After the session, Felicity wrote up all the notes and emailed the summary across to me along with giving me pictures of the exercises with helpful notes on how to do them again (as no-one ever remembers every exercise properly when they get home!!) and she has given me a fabulous leaflet all about abdominal separation which I am going to dissect and start sharing with you bit by bit.  If anyone would like the leaflet sending to them – please drop me a note and I’m happy to share it with you.

So all in all what do I recommend?  Go and have one done.  It has put my mind at ease on so many things.  There are pro’s and con’s of going as I suppose it could make you feel a bit down if you thought things were ok and they’re not but I’d personally rather know.  The session cost £75 which might seems like a big expense…but think about things long term – especially if you have pelvic floor issues or you’re worried about your stomach.  In theory every woman should have these checks after having a baby as part of the 6 week check but that doesn’t happen, we all know how bad the 6 week check is – it’s all about the baby and not anything to do with us as mums.  You need to look after yourself physically and mentally and I have learnt so much about myself and so much about how I can help you guys even more.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask – as you can read from above, I’m not shy with sharing!!! Ha ha

Felicity’s contact details are and she’s based in the Pilate Rooms, The Old Police Station on Station Road in Urmston:

07835157104

info@pelvicphysiomanchester.com

www.pelvicphysiomanchester.com

Baby Loss Awareness Week

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This week is Baby and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Week – a subject close to too many of our hearts.  Ridiculously, miscarriage and baby loss is still often seen as a “taboo” subject and it shouldn’t be.  I personally haven’t had to go through the utter tragedy of losing a baby but I so many of my friends have and I know from the sheer number of you that tick “miscarriage” in the box on the prescreening form which I ask you to fill out, I know that this will be a subject close to many of you as well.

Yesterday I had a look at the babyloss-awareness.org website to see what this week is all about from their perspective.  Their definition of the week is to “provide the chance for bereaved parents, families and friends to commemorate the loss of their babies lives alongside raising awareness about the issues surrounding pregnancy and baby loss in the UK” and there are so many ways we can support them.

Firstly, the one that EVERYONE can take part in – the Baby Loss Awareness week finishes on Friday 15th October at 7pm, the charity which is a conglomeration of over 40 charities is holding a “Global Wave of Light”.  All you need to do is simply light a candle at 7pm and leave it burning for at least 1 hour.  This candle is lit to remember all those babies that weren’t with us for long enough and gives you a time to think about your own situation or that of others you know have suffered or are currently going through their own hearbreak.  If you want to, post a picture of your candle on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the #WaveOfLight and their hope is to have a huge impact on raising people’s awareness and help to break the silence on what should not be a silent subject.

One other thing which I thought was such a fabulous idea on the website was the Sands Charity who were asking mums to email in to “Tell us about good care?”.  They want to raise the standards of care and the only way they can improve is to hear from those who have been through it.  About their experiences.  They want to know about the times when someone said or did something which helped you after you lost your baby – a few sensitive words or a small gesture, it could be anything which somehow made the most horrendous situation imaginable slightly more bearable.  They are asking for your personal stories about your experience from anyone who might have helped you – midwives, friends, families, colleagues, strangers.

Your story needs to be limited to 150 words and then emailed over to babyloss@sands.org.uk.  For more guidelines please go to www.babyloss-awareness.org/get-involved/#wave-light

Sharing stories about the good things can only improve the help that mums get when they go through losing a baby and that’s surely got to be a good thing?

I know that some of you feel that there wasn’t/isn’t much support out there so I really hope that remembering and commemorating their lives this week and on Friday at 7 will help in some way.

Finally, please remember – it’s ok to not be ok.  It’s good to talk and someone is ALWAYS listening.  You don’t have to go through things by yourself and it isn’t weak or wrong to need help – we all go through things differently but one thing is for sure – if you’re ever feeling down, please don’t filter your feelings or suffer in silence just ask for help and so many of us will come running.  I know I don’t know all of you that well but I’ve always got time for a chat/a coffee/a wine so please give me a shout if you need anything at all.

Year 1 is done and Year 2’s off to a flying start…

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Well Year 1 is well and truly done now – it’s October.  How in the world did that happen??

Thank you to everyone who came down to my first birthday party – I hope you had a fab night and hope there weren’t too many sore heads!!  I cant believe how many of you came – was so nice to see you out of your gym gear and glammed up 😊

So what’s coming up for the rest of 2017 and the start of 2018??

1 – as some of you will already know, I’ve started a new Sale class at Moor Nook Park which is going well so far – it takes a few months to gain momentum with a new class and I had 3 people down in just my 3rd week so hopefully after getting feedback from the mums in my other groups, the afternoon slot will be a huge success….fingers crossed.

2 – I’m hoping to get a few more events booked in like the Foam Rolling event.  It was such a fab evening.  15 ladies came down to be shown how use a foam roller properly by Claire from David Roberts Physio.  From knowing absolutely nothing about it until Wednesday (apart from some stuff I’d read and a few people asking me why on earth I don’t foam roll when I run so much!!) I’m a total convert – it’s amazing and I hope it will keep me injury free for a long time!

3 – I’m definitely doing the half marathon in 2 weeks – eeeeekkkk!!!  I totally didn’t think 2 weeks ago that I would be fit to do it after straining my ITB muscle (boooo – not fun) but with a bit of rest (yes, that was me “resting”) and some fabulous treatments from my chiropractor and a LOT of stretching, it’s better and strong enough for me to (hopefully) complete the half.  I don’t think I’m going to try and get the time I was originally going for but if I can get similar or slightly better to what I did last year which was 2 hours 8 mins then I will be one very happy lady!  I’ve bought some new leggings with Wonder Woman on which are utterly hilarious so give me a shout if you’re watching – I’ll need all the help I can get to get round the course!!

4 – I’ve bought some new kit so will be developing some new workouts using it!!  I’ve got some Kettlebells to introduce to workouts and I’ve also bought two little “steps” (yes, like the 90s ones but a bit smaller and more transportable!!) which are going to be a fab addition to my PT sessions to add that extra resistance.

5 – Develop the running clubs – so many people have done sooooo well with their running and it makes my heart burst with pride when people tell me how much time they’re smashing off their runs and when people text me to say they’ve run 10 mins straight for the first time in their lives or they’ve just got 3 minutes off their 5k time it’s just amazing!!  I did a survery monkey questionnaire a few months back and the results have been really really interesting so I want to develop this and improve it, enhance it and generally just take over the world!!  Watch this space on this one as it’s going to be a bit of project but I will of course keep you posted!

6 – I’ve become a member of the Sale Town Partnership group of local businesses which are involved with improving and enhancing Sale which is extremely exciting.  Not quite sure how I’m going to participate as yet, but hopefully will be something to do with Christmas as I LOVE Christmas sooooo much

That’s about all I’ve got to say on what’s next – you know me, I don’t like sitting still for too long!!  Please get in touch if you’ve got any ideas of things you want me to try/get involved in, etc

Things are better in Pairs

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Every fancied personal training but thought it was totally out of your price range?  That’s the myth that I’m trying to dispel – I want to make personal training available to anyone, whatever their budget so I’m introducing the idea of 2:1 or 3:1 training.

I’m sure you will all be fully aware of the benefits of working with a personal trainer, but just in case here’s a few of the reasons why PT’s are worth the money– they pull a programme together which is tailor made to your own personal fitness goals; they push you harder than you would yourself; they make sure that you are doing the exercises correctly; and as you know they’re coming to your house or because you’re meeting them somewhere, they make you stick at a new programme.  Now could you imagine having this within your budget??

My idea is to work with small groups of 2 or 3 people who train together with me once a week using a semi-tailored programme which will be targeted to hit your group goals and then you will individually receive a personalised programme for you to do on your own which is much more specific to each of the members target areas/goals, etc.  Hopefully giving you the best of both worlds so that you are getting active at least twice a week and really focusing hard so you can meet your fitness targets.

If you don’t currently have someone that you are able to workout with and want to get “paired” up with a likeminded exercise buddy, then get in touch!  I can put you down on a list and then contact you when a pair would work.  I would obviously only put people together of similar abilities otherwise that’d be plain wrong!

So I know you’re probably keen on hearing how much this would cost – well here’s the prices for 1 hour sessions (45 min ones are available if that suits you better)

2:1:

1 off – £25 each

5 sessions – £100 each

10 sessions – £180 each

3:1:

1 off – £20 each

5 sessions – £85 each

10 sessions – £150 each

Please get in touch to find out more.  I currently have availability on Monday and Tuesday afternoons

What a year…

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So next week is This Mum Can’s 1st Birthday – can you believe it?  I cant…someone stole the year!  Its been absolutely brilliant.  Ridiculously hard work but I’ve loved (almost) every second of it.

I hope you’ve had the opportunity to look at the “year in pictures” montage that I created – made me properly emotional pulling all that together.  I cant believe how much I’ve manged to achieve in just 12 months – feeling a little bit proud of myself at the minute which is always nice.

If you haven’t had a chance to look at it – here’s the highlights from 2016 – 2017:

  • I told you my story and created a followership on social media
  • Mum’s and their babies worked out with me over 1000 times
  • I trained 1 “Dad that can”!
  • I started a ladies only evening circuit class in Sale
  • I started a women’s running community in Sale and:
    • Trained 128 beginner runners to 5k
    • Trained 34 to 10k
    • Created a 5k improver session looking at endurance and pace
    • We did 4 Stretford Parkruns
  • I helped 8 people do the Great Manchester Run and got featured on the Great Run website
  • Created some great partnerships with Red Sky Yoga, Dynamic Chiropractic & David Roberts Physio
  • Supported Women in Sports Week 2017
  • Raised money for CDH UK and hosted the first of (hopefully) many Charity Fun Runs

So what’s next…

I’m going to be starting a new class in Sale on a Wednesday afternoon at 1.30 – 2.30pm – at Moor Nook Park which is just off Conway Road in Sale Moor.  It’s a lovely park which has had a lot going on in the last 18 months.  A new “Friends of the Park” group was formed and they have been so active in maintaining the park, improving the facilities and really raising the awareness of the park as it’s a little hidden away.  I’m very excited to start a new class there as I think it will not only be great for the park, but it will also give Sale Mum’s another opportunity to come as there seems to be a lot of baby classes on in the mornings, but not that much in the afternoons – I do listen to feedback, I promise!!

I’m also going to be running 2 competition over the next few months – one to win running club membership for the new September Beginners club which is going to be starting on the 11th September and then another competition to win some PT sessions with me – just keep an eye out on social media for these.

I’m also currently in Marketing mode for my next campaign which is going to promote working out in pairs.  Exercise is better (and easier I think) when you do it with someone else so I’m going to have a huge push on 2:1 personal training which not only will make it more fun, it will also make it much more affordable.  My aim when I started This Mum Can (and it still is now!) is to make training affordable for everyone, no matter the budget.  I’ve always had that in mind when looking at my pricing strategy as I know my target market are pretty much all on maternity leave!!  With this in mind, I’ve come up with the idea of working out in pairs or in small groups so you get a semi-tailored programme around your personal goals.  I’ll do 2 workouts for you – one for all of you to do together with me and then a personalised programme for you to do on your own.  The best of both worlds I believe…hope you’ll agree!

Right that’s all for now, I need to get cracking as it’s going to be a busy August for me. Doing all the above and also trying to get life sorted out at home – I cannot believe Chloe’s starting school next month!  I need to get some school uniform bought me thinks…

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This Mum Can Fitness – a year in pictures

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To celebrate a fabulous first year, I’ve pulled together a montage of pictures to celebrate all that has been achieved this year and to laugh at some fabulous memories!!

(and yes, in answer to your question, this did take me forever to pull together but in my opinion, the end result is definitely worth it!!)

Enjoy 🙂

x Becca

This Mum Can in partnership with David Roberts Physiotherapy

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Got some very exciting news This Mum Can ladies…I’ve partnered with the fabulous David Roberts Physiotherapists in Sale to offer everyone a discount on any treatment that they need.

Obviously the ideal is to not get injured but as we all know, that’s a little bit impossible!!  Therefore, I’ve been in contact with David Roberts Physio and they are very happy to offer a 10% discount on physiotherapy assessment and follow up treatment sessions. The discount would take a 30 minute session to £30.60.

All of their physiotherapists are experienced in the treatment of all sports injuries but also have a special interest in running injuries, sports rehabilitation and, strength and conditioning which works perfectly with all the different training that This Mum Can offers.

It is so important to get any injuries checked out and as I tell all my runners and clients, nothing should hurt during any exercise – some things twinge and obviously aching is normal but nothing should actually hurt.  If it does, then something needs to be done about it and physio is a great option.

The other great part of seeing a physio when you are injured is for the amazing advice that you will receive on common running injuries, not only will they treat the injury, they will offer some tips on rehabilitation and more importantly prevention techniques so that once the issue you have is resolved, you have everything in place so that it (hopefully) wont reoccur!

David Roberts also have massage therapists who offer a variety of different types of massage including sports, Swedish, Indian head and reflexology. The session costs for massage are £25 for 30 minutes and £38 for 1 hour. Unfortunately they cannot offer a discount off these services.

Here’s the contact details for David Roberts Physio:

Address – 45 Northenden Rd, Sale, M33 2DL

Telephone: 0161 962 0491

Email: sale@drphysio.co.uk

Opening hours: Mon-Thurs 8am-8pm, Fri 8am-6pm, Sat 8am-1pm

This Mum Can and Red Sky Yoga…the perfect combination!!

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I hadn’t tried yoga before until I was pregnant with my 2nd baby Harry and before doing it, I didn’t really understand it or realise the huge benefits that it can have.  Yoga is fantastic.  It helps develop muscles, strength, flexibility and balance as well as help you to relax and therefore in turn reduce stress (always a bonus in my book!!)

A lot of my antenatal friends did pregnancy yoga the first time round and raved about how great it was for aches and pains and also for how much it helped them during labour with the breathing techniques that it teaches, etc so I was definitely up for trying it when I was pregnant with baby number 2!  This is when I found Red Sky Yoga in Sale.

My yoga teacher was called Phillipa and she was so lovely – just calming even to be around her!! I did a Saturday morning pregnancy yoga class pretty much religiously from 14 weeks pregnant till the end – even going when I was overdue (god I was massive then!!)  It was brilliant.  For me, it was a great way of exercising and staying active as I personally didn’t like running when I was pregnant.

The hours session was a fabulous bit of “me and bump” time without having an almost threenager by my side!  It was genuinely one of the only times I was every alone too as I was working 4 days a week at Kelloggs then and my day off was spent running after Chloe and the weekends were busy doing family stuff – you know how it goes!

Since becoming a personal trainer and starting the running clubs, I’ve done so much research into the different ways of improving your fitness and various different training methods and time and time again I kept coming back to the amazing benefits of yoga and running together.  Yoga and running to many could see like complete polar opposites but it’s proven fact that they totally complement each other.

Yoga aids in developing muscular strength, balance and flexibility which can not only reduce the risk of injury but it can also improve your breathing efficiency which is essential for becoming a great runner.  The element of cross-training between running and yoga is fabulous.  Yoga helps to strengthen your core, eases pain/injuries and can be a fabulous way of helping you run more efficiently and staying injury free.

Many of us runners have various aches and pains, some of which can be highlighted when running – and it’s no wonder as the average runner strikes the ground nearly 1000 times in a single mile!  The constant “pounding of pavements” can mean that you have issues in your muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments and all of these can be strengthened, stretched and improved by doing Yoga.

So I’ll stop blabbering on about the benefits now and get to the point!  When I was doing my pregnancy yoga class, Sophie joined the class and we overlapped by about a month before I had Harry.  After starting This Mum Can, I kept seeing Sophie on social media and quickly realised that she actually owned Red Sky Yoga!!  So I got in contact and requested her as a friend on Facebook.  My thought process was, how cool would it be if two women who run fitness businesses in Sale could work together to complement each other

And that’s exactly what’s happening!  We had a chat (should say meeting really shouldn’t I!! It was more of a chat and play with her two beautiful boys!!) and decided it would be great to offer each other’s clients something so that they can try something different which could complement their exercise routine!

I am offering a free session to anyone who comes down with one of the special flyers that you can pick up from Red Sky’s yoga studios on Washway Road in Sale and on Hampson Street in Sale Moor.  This is for any of my classes – all my circuit training classes as well as my Monday night drop in running club

And…Red Sky Yoga are offering all This Mum Can’ers a 10% discount to any of the yoga classes that are available.  Please give Sophie a call on 07788205662 or drop her an email to redskyyoga@hotmail.co.uk and she will give you a unique code to use online when booking your session!  Let me know how you get on 🙂

I look forward to welcoming some Red Sky Yoga people to my classes in the near future.

Any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

 

#maternalmentalhealthawareness

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I’ve seen a lot on social media today about #maternalmentalhealth and I think it’s fabulous.  It’s a subject extremely close to me and I really don’t think it gets talked about enough.

It’s one of the main reason that I am doing what I am doing – to help people get through the fog and start beginning to feel like them again through exercise.

When Chloe was about 3-4 months old, I felt like I was drowning, that there was no end to the relentless cycle of a newborn baby and I really really struggled to cope.  I was lucky in that I had a supportive husband, had met some fabulous friends though an antenatal group and had some great close friends who had babies already but I still struggled.  I felt like I shouldn’t have struggled because I had all the above but I still did – and it was the strangest, most horrible feeling and I wish I’d talked to people about it.

It’s so hard to admit to yourself that you’re not ok, let alone talk about it to others

You sit in your house in the middle of the afternoon and think “so many people are coping and doing this, why cant I?” or “everyone tells me this is the most amazing time, why am I not enjoying it?”.  You make yourself feel like an outsider in your own life and that there must be something wrong with you as you should be loving every second and embracing “motherhood”!

Luckily I found something which snapped me out of feeling like this.  For me it was exercise (or maybe it was actually just doing something for me and not for the baby!!) I loved it – the feeling of being normal again and feeling like the old me.  I realised then that I needed to make time to be “Becca” and not “Chloe’s Mummy” and thankfully that realisation for me was the trigger I needed to change things for the better and I did, I managed to battle on.  I’m not saying I don’t get down every anymore, I have just somehow developed a coping mechanism for it now which is mostly running but a lot of the time it’s actually organising to go to the pub!!

I now want to help others who are going through the same (or worse) or maybe even prevent others from going through the same cr*ppy situation I went through.  I think we all need to talk more and I want every new mum to realise it’s ok to say you’re not ok and that as much as people look like they’re coping from the outside, that we’re all totally winging it in life.

Please talk to someone if you’re struggling – I just want you to know, I am always here if you need/want to offload.  Remember – someone is ALWAYS listening you are not on your own.

And finally – just in case you havent heard it today – YOU ARE DOING A BRILLIANT JOB!