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Whether you're pregnant or a new mum, sessions at Movers & Shapers can help you be your happiest, healthiest self during pregnancy and beyond.

"The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It will also help you to cope with labour and get back into shape after the birth" states the NHS. This is all well and good and definitely makes sense. But exercising when pregnant or post-natally (when our bodies are a bit...delicate!) can be daunting. You want to be doing everything you possibly can to be fit and healthy (and anything that can help you 'cope' better with labour is a definite plus) but you also don't want to take any risks. It is often this fear of the risks and a general lack of understanding about what we can and can't do at the various stages of pregnancy and post natally that puts many of us off. This is a real shame because exercising when pregnant and post natally can actually really help both physically and mentally.

A great way to make fitness a part of our lives during this period would be to hire a Personal Trainer. That however, can be very very pricey (when there's already a lot of other stuff to be saving for...buggies, prams, clothes!!) and it can also be a bit lonely. Just you, the Trainer and the bump/baby!! Group Personal Training however, allows you to exercise in the comfort of receiving personal training at a fraction of the cost and in a group setting – so much more fun! Movers & Shapers offers Group Personal Training sessions that pre and post natal clients are more than welcome to participate in. And if you fancy exercising with your NCT friends in a group session (before or after the big event!) that can easily be arranged with the studio and we normally offer discounts to NCT groups. Or you can just join one of the many 30 minute sessions available throughout the day.

Studio Manager Nicky is fully trained in pre and post natal fitness and explains Movers & Shapers' approach to fitness pre and post natally: "In terms of our pre natal clients they will have a consultation with us before their first trimester, before their second trimester and before their third. Their bodies will be changing in each trimester which will impact on their training – hence the consultations at each stage. We will go over with them in each consultation how they should adapt and what to look out for.

Clients can exercise throughout their pregnancy. We have clients that exercised up to two weeks before birth - however we make sure they take it easy as at this stage as it's all about maintenance. In terms of post natal they will need to have their six week check with the doctor for natural birth and 12 week check for caesarean but after that we welcome them back to exercise with us. A doctor should always check their stomach muscles and we ask our clients to request this as unfortunately this isn't always standard practice. That way they can really be sure their bodies are ready - however if this doesn't happen for some reason we have trainers on hand to do this."

NCT Co-ordinator Emma van Klaveren Finlay joined Movers & Shapers a year ago to get fit post-natally: "The membership is predominantly female, an atmosphere I like working out in. The classes are quick and effective if you have little time with kids around. They have a great crèche at the Balham studio and also some classes are kid-friendly-you can bring your children (over 3 years old) to watch. The instructors are very friendly, fun and well trained. The classes are small so you get lots of guidance and personalised teaching. They are also aware of body parts that need working to on postnatally!"

Clients at our Balham studio can also take advantage of a free posture check from a Chiropractor who specialises in pregnancy and paediatrics (Polly Hand – Chiropractic By Hand), a mini chiropractic consultation with baby when he/she arrives along with other discounted therapies including pregnancy massage, reflexology, reiki and nutritional therapy. As well as the on-going nutrition advice and goal setting that is offered to all clients. There is also an on-site crèche so that if you want to continue your training as your little one gets a bit older you can easily do so. 

NCT Members can receive a 20% discount on their first purchase of sessions or the first month of their monthly subscription*. Enter code NCT20 at checkout. Our Balham studio is holding an Open Day on Saturday 18th February from 9am – 2pm. For details of other location Open Days please contact them direct. Pop in for a chat or contact the studio to arrange a free first session at a time that works best for you/your NCT group!

Terms and Conditions: Offer cannot to be used in conjunction with any other offer and is subject to availability. Discount applied to first purchase of sessions or first month only on a monthly subscription after which normal rates apply. Minimum monthly subscription 3 months. Full T&C at www.moversandshapers.co.uk/terms 

“You've probably heard me say it a million times, but protein and healthy fats are the key to maintaining steady blood sugar, keeping your energy levels up and helping you make healthier food choices as we head into Autumn." says Nutrition & Health coach Abi

"Which makes these sesame peanut power balls the perfect snack. I suggest making a double batch as they disappear pretty quickly in my house!”

Sesame Peanut Power Balls

Makes approx 16 balls

Ingredients

  • 200g sesame seeds
  • 200g peanut butter (Note 1)
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut 
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cranberries (Note 2)
  • 3 tbsp raw honey

Notes:

1   Great nut butter brands are Meridian and Biona. They contain only nuts, without any palm oil, added salt or sugars.

2   If they’re sweetened try for those sweetened with apple juice.

Preparation

  • Pop everything into a bowl and mix together well
  • Roll into balls and pop into the fridge to set

It couldn't be easier!

Enjoy.

Despite the name, you don’t necessarily have to have had a sports related injury to receive a sports massage.

The idea of sports massage therapy is that it helps flush away toxins and realign muscle fibres. The aches that we feel in muscles come from tiny micro tears. "Tears?!" I hear you exclaim… well these imperfections can be beneficial if dealt with in the right way.  Muscles build by repairing this damage after they form. The body naturally doesn’t want to waste energy repairing that tear again so each time the repair should be stronger.

This can be advantageous for a number of individuals who have worked their muscles hard from an activity; say during your FastTone sessin on the Power Plates. However it can also occur in the tightness you feel in your shoulders after spending a long day at your desk. These muscles are repeatedly being used, every day, to create the same posture. They then build to become stronger within this position but if your posture is poor they could be forming in an inefficient way. It is important to break this cycle of muscle fibre strengthening and therefore tension to reduce the stiffness that can build. This is where massage comes in, if we keep those muscle fibres aligned it means that the repair of tears can happen faster and more efficiently.

Unlike holistic or beauty massage therapy which is designed more to relieve emotional stress, sports massage works on specific muscle groups to allow stretch and aid repair. It is a more active form of treatment that often involves the patient working with the therapist during a treatment whether this be by gentle resisted stretches to create a deeper muscle release or by performing gentle movements before and after treatment in order to gain further postural information to tailor treatment specific to the individual.

Does it work?

There are many factors that affect this and one individual massage is unlikely to mean the end of that repeated shoulder tension however sports massage has been proven to reduce the effect on delayed onset muscle soreness and swelling after exercise by 30%. (Journal of Athletic Training).

It can also be beneficial in preventing further problems before they manifest. Like getting the car serviced to ensure it keeps running smoothly.

However, sports massage is not the cure to all problems, it is important to ensure there are no underlying structures, such as ligaments or joints that are causing the muscles to become tight. If the problem doesn’t seem connected with a particular posture or activity then it may be worth seeing another health professional such as an Osteopath as they are qualified primary healthcare practitioners and therefore able to provide you with a diagnosis. 

Members and non-members can have a Sports massage at both our St Margarets and Balham studios. For further information on Osteopathy or Sport Massage in St  Margarets please do not hesitate to call Sian, our onsite qualified Sports massage therapist & Osteopath on 0203 143 5051,  or email sian@totalmotion.org . For Balham, contact Gemma Hendy, Sports Therapist with Chiropractic By hand on 07847 202365 or info@chiropracticbyhand.com

Join our FREE webinar: How to Get Healthy in the Real World, taking place September 7th at 8:30pm. 

Hosted by our in-house nutritionist Abi Manders, you will learn 5 key actions to get your diet back on track - and stay on track, in amongst all the stresses and challenges life throws at you. Which let’s face it, happens every day!

To find out more or to reserve your spot, click here

Did you know 165 people have already answered our Nutrition Goals & Challenges survey? We’re so pleased with the response and will be releasing the results soon, but they will only be made available to those who filled out the survey.

So if you’d like to know:

  • The biggest challenges women face when it comes to getting and staying healthy
  • Which nutrition and lifestyle goals are most common amongst busy women
  • What is standing in most women’s ways when it comes to make these goals a reality

 Take this short survey (just 5 questions) here.

To say thank you for your time you’ll get free copies of our resident nutritionist, Abi Manders’, top 2 eBooks – Simple Steps to Ditching Sugar and Clean Eating Made Easy.

You’ll also be entered into a prize draw to win one of Abi’s favourite recipe books; The Art of Eating Well by Hemsley & Hemsley, and A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones.

The survey will close on Thursday 4th August so we can package up the results and get them back to you over the Summer.

 

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With various exercises in the 30 minute sessions you don't get bored or used to 'a routine'. I feel so much fitter, healthier and happier in myself.

Clare Lovett, London
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