Friday 30 October 2015

Baby Baker Friday - A Fitness Interview With Dr Joanna Helcke

So as you know, I decided that Friday's on the blog would be dedicated to my pregnancy and now, new mummy status.

I know it's not something everyone wants to read about but it is something that I really wanted to do - so I'm doing it - after all, being pregnant and having a beautiful new baby is a huge thing to be happening in my life and I really wanted to share bits and pieces of what is going on amongst these pages.

So here we go

~ Baby Baker Friday ~

Now that my very beautiful Baby Baker is here, all safe and sound in the world, as well as re-learning what it is like to have a newborn in the house I'm starting, just slightly, to become increasingly more conscious of my figure.

I'm not too overly concerned at the moment - no where near as much as I assumed I would be by now - but it is there, this little niggle at the back of my mind making me aware that I really do need to start doing something about all of this extra baby weight I'm carrying.

If you remember, a little while ago I introduced you to a pregnancy exercise programme that I started, and was finding really useful, not so much for any kind of weight loss, but certainly to help with my pregnancy related aches and pains.

Now whilst the exercise videos were great I have to admit that I haven't been following the plan as regularly as I intended to lately, mainly because of the car accident I was involved in bringing about a form of SPD meaning that I was in quite a lot of pain for the later part of my pregnancy.

And now, since the birth, I've been getting myself over the cesarean section I had which means that obviously any sort of exercise is a big no-no at the moment.

However, once I'm up and running (not actually running!) I'll be getting myself back involved with the programme that's for sure.

But until then, I wanted to bring you a little Q&A I recently took part in with the founder of the programme Dr Joanna Helcke to give you a little insight into why it is she does what she does...

What inspired you most to focus on health and well-being?

My focus on health and fitness for mums and mums-to-be, comes very much from my own experiences as a mother of three “lively” boys. I have to confess to finding motherhood quite challenging – I love it and adore my boys yet at the same time feel as though I am running flat out 100% of the time. Exercise has proven to be an absolute sanity saver for me over the years, so much so that I wanted to pass this on to others. I deeply believe that exercise is one of the most useful tools for a mother to have in her “Keep calm and carry on tool kit”! And so after the birth of my third son – Ben – I decided to leave my job as a university lecturer and retrain as a specialist in pregnancy and postnatal exercise. It really was a case of following my heart and my dreams.

Your videos are brilliant and well informed, did it take a long time to build up such knowledge and how did you do it?

With a more academic background – having done a degree, masters and doctorate – it was a fascinating experience going back to studying as an adult but a type of learning that was of a far more hands-on, practical nature than I had ever done before. To be honest I was smitten, loved every minute of it, and was the ultimate swot in class! Once I’d caught the bug for this more practical form of learning I simply couldn’t stop and I love going on regular study days to keep abreast with new developments. In fact I’m currently following an online course and next month I’m off to Bristol to do one of the wonderful Rachel Rafiefar’s specialist pregnancy Pilates courses. In short, the building up of knowledge is an ongoing, never-ceasing process. I think that, perhaps, the advantage I have is that with my background as an academic, I love to communicate that knowledge - verbally and in writing – in a manner that is (I hope!) accessible to everyone.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I absolutely love everything I do – without wishing to sound completely corny, my job is my passion. But I guess that if I had to tell you what I find most rewarding, it is seeing the truly beautiful and lasting friendships that develop between mums who do my classes – I specifically build social elements into my pregnancy and postnatal fitness because I believe deeply that friendship breeds happiness and happiness is absolutely fundamental to overall health and wellbeing. My dream is to be able to recreate this supportive family of mothers within my online fitness.

Do you ever find parts of the career you chose difficult?

Yes – all things technical! I am very much an “ideas person” and I frequently think I have a brilliant idea and jump head first into the deep end, only to discover that on the technical front, my idea is considerably more complex (and infinitely more expensive to bring to life) than I had ever imagined. In fact, I’ll let you into a secret: I’m currently working on a physical product for pregnancy fitness and it’s an absolute case in point. I thought “wow, that’s a BRILLIANT idea”, I dived into it and 10 months later I am still working on its development. It has proven to be so incredibly complex. I still think it’s an awesome idea, though, and I’m so excited about launching early next year!

Have you personally ever found fitting exercise into a busy schedule hard to do?

Yes, this is something I struggle with all the time – with the three kids (actually four at the moment as I am currently looking after my friend’s daughter for 4 months as she is over in the UK to improve her English), fulltime work, a partner who gets home between 9 and 10pm most evenings and no family nearby, I really do have to put in place strategies to keep fit. So, for example, I cycle with the boys to school and back; I then squeeze in 45 minutes of exercise between school drop off and work and on weekends I shoehorn exercise in around my youngest son’s endless sporting activities! People always say to me “You must be really fit because you are constantly teaching exercise classes” but I firmly believe that when I am teaching I am there to look after everyone else’s fitness and not my own. I am there to help with technique and good form and not to get a great workout for myself!

Some very fabulous hints, tips and words of advice, all from a very dedicated exercise expert.

I really can't wait to get started with it all again now.

Happy exercising and see you next week

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