In year 9 P.E I suffered severe psychological damage which I believe has impacted upon my relationship with exercise; I was hit in the face with a rounders ball.
Since then, I’ve never really had what you might describe as a friendly relationship with exercise. We’re much like acquaintances who meet up so infrequently that we never build a proper, lasting friendship and ultimately drift apart, only to reunite a few months later and repeat the whole stop and start process again.
Pre-baby it wasn’t all that difficult to stay slim but now my skin has been stretched to the mother of all limits it’s another story all together and it’s about time I got my sorry arse in gear and got a little more active. Last summer I started, and subsequently abandoned Couch to 5k when it turned a little cooler -I’m not about that running in the rain malarky. So when Flex TV* asked if I was interested in reviewing their online classes I shrugged off my usual excuses, dusted off my trainers and signed up.
I’ve tried a couple of fitness DVD’s over the past year, but one of two things has always happened:
- I’ve quickly become bored of the repetitiveness of doing the same routine everytime you put the DVD on.
- *Someone* – not mentioning any names but rhymes with MARL – thinks that since it’s a DVD and can be paused, it’s ok to interrupt in the event of a number two nappy.
With Flex TV I didn’t have these issues. Once you’ve joined, you’re able to select types of exercise you’re interested in and the times you’d prefer to do a class and classes will be recommended to you, or you can browse what’s on using the menu. There’s loads to chose from including barre, pilates, HIIT, yoga, and dance…Then you just stream the live class using any device connected to the internet – If you use your phone don’t do what I did and forget to switch it to ‘do not disturb’ because it’s really annoying when you have to interrupt your amateur plié to deal with your ringing phone.
Because you’re actually ‘booking’ a class, even though you’re doing it at home I think it’s more of a commitment that can’t be interrupted, almost like having an exercise buddy who you don’t want to let down. You can also invite friends to join the class too, so you’re working out together but from your own homes. And since no one can actually see you, you can do it in your pyjamas. Heck you could do it completely starkers if you so wished. All the classes I did were about 30 minutes long, which is perfect for me to fit into even the shortest naps.
The first class I tried was a post-natal core workout which left me aching for days. But despite my complete lack of core strength it felt do-able and the ache was strangely satisfying. The instructor was great at explaining how to ensure you’re getting the most out of the workout, offering options for different levels. I also tried Barre and Pilates, both of which were enjoyable, and the perfect length at 30 minutes so I could squeeze them into a naptime, although there are classes ranging between 10 and 60 minutes.
I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed it, and how good it felt to get moving. Sometimes the gym can be a bit intimidating, especially if you’re trying something completely new like barre was to me. I’m so uncoordinated that I’d never have dared go to an actual class but with Flex TV I’ve found a way to exercise that I don’t just not hate, I actually like, which after 29 years is a pretty good result.
The only problem I experienced was that any thing that involves jumping or banging around isn’t really a go-er for me when I’m doing it during a nap, because my house is tiny and my child is the worlds lightest sleeper. But since most people don’t have this problem don’t let that put you off! I’ve been picking up the pace with my walks a little to try and get my heart rate up, or walking with Henry in the carrier to add a little weight and once the mornings are a little lighter I plan on trying the couch to 5k again, running before Carl goes to work.
Flex TV is a great option for Mama’s because it allows even the most reluctant of us to get back into exercise without having to worry about childcare. Going out to do a gym class would probably take almost double the time of the actual class when travel is factored in. With Flex, you just sign up to a class and get on with it, leaving more time for changing nappies, prevention of electrocution by sticking fingers in plug sockets, saving the pug from being run over by the V-Tech Train and everything else I fit into a day. Flex TV are currently offering a 30 free trial which you can sign up to here.
*In collaboration with Flex TV – all thoughts my own.