Having a new baby is the most amazing thing that will happen to you, but it can also be very isolating and tiring, both mentally and physically. Leaving the house with a new baby can be challenging, but trying to fit in some daily exercise is so important for your physical and mental health. Have you had a baby and are not ready to return to the exercise you were doing before? Or perhaps the gym you were going to pre-baby doesn’t have a creche? Maybe you want to get out and meet other mums or you are not ready to leave your baby? Here are the top 5 reasons you should try group exercise mums and bubs classes: 1. Expert guidance from a certified instructor One of the benefits of attending group exercise sessions is the guidance you will receive from a certified instructor. If you are attending mums and bubs classes, check if they have specific post-natal qualifications or are Safe Return to Exercise Accredited. This will give you peace of mind that they have the knowledge required to guide you back to exercise safely, without compromising your pelvic floor. 2. Focus on abdominal and pelvic floor muscles If you attend mums and bubs classes with a qualified post-natal trainer, there should be a strong focus on pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. Once you’ve had a baby, whether you had a vaginal birth or c-section, your pelvic floor muscles elongate and stretch. Depending on your birth experience, extended pushing, tearing, stitches and/or an episiotomy increase the tension and trauma to the pelvic floor, therefore making it extremely important to start rebuilding your post-natal body from the inside out! Before beginning any post-natal exercise, you should be asked by your trainer to complete a pre-exercise questionnaire. This is so that they are aware of your birth experience, any contra-indications and any current injuries, so they can adapt the exercises specifically for you. 3. Social support/connections Staying at home with a baby can be very isolating, and is a risk factor for post-natal depression and anxiety; so, joining a mums and bubs exercise class is a great way to get you to leave the house with a purpose and you can start to feel stronger and healthier again. It’s also a great way for you to meet mums in your local area and create some new connections, but equally for your babies/toddlers to socialise and interact with other babies/toddlers. 4. Accountability Being part of an exercise group, means you are less likely to skip a workout, especially if you have made some friends/connections in the group. If you have committed to attending a number of classes per week and discussed your goals with your trainer, then they will hold you accountable for attending those sessions and reaching your goals. 5. Enjoyment/Fitness with some fun Going to the gym or going for a walk is great, but it is usually something you do on your own. Being part of a group exercise class can be a fun and social environment and often the exercises are designed to have you working with a partner or in a team. You’ll get to work out in a supportive environment, and won’t be expected to do anything unsafe or too physically demanding for the postnatal body. They offer plenty of variety, with exercises that have been designed with the new mum in mind. Vicky along with the majority of our Body Beyond Baby affiliate team are now running virtual mums and bubs sessions so you get most of the benefits of above right in your lounge room and at a time when you need it the most! Vicky runs Shape Up Mums in Melbourne, VIC. To find out more about her and get in touch, click here. You can also find her on Instagram.