Mummy Fitness

Local Mums’ post-natal and mummy fitness expert Jo Cullen blogs about the best ways for us mums to shape up. 


Entry ten
Welcome to the Spring/Summer Mummy Fitness blog.  

To be totally honest this weather has been pretty awful, but hopefully now we will start to see some good dry weather. Hopefully this will get you thinking about doing some exercise to get your body ready for those shorts and T-shirts (and dare I mention the word bikini!!)

Recently there has been an interesting debate about how much exercise we all really need and how long it should take us.

We all feel we should do more, but how do we fit it in to our busy lives?

Some people enjoy nothing more than a long run in the park or a few hours cycling, but for most of us this is just not feasible. I know for me, as someone who does enjoy exercising but has three demanding children with busy social schedules, there simply isnʼt enough hours in the day.

So, enter in the short INTERVAL training..........
10 MINUTES, is all you need in the morning and evening.

If you can equip yourself with the right exercises for you and suit these to the areas of your body that you want to change it is as simple as that.

If you also want to lose some weight you will have to play around with your diet - we all know this so donʼt think by doing a little exercise you can still eat those 4pm cakes with your tea, it wonʼt help you in the long run!

So, Letʼs think about what we can achieve in 10 minutes.
We want to get the heart rate up, increase our metabolism, burn fat and tone.
Here are some exercises you can do in these 10 minutes that will help to achieve that:

Jogging - either on the spot at home or outside. Running up the stairs
High impact jumps or squats
Jumping Lunges.

Star Jumps (watch that pelvic floor!)

Have a 10-second rest and then do a low impact exercise, for example


Then repeat your Pulse Raising ( Cardio) exercise again to increase the heart rate. Follow with the Low Impact exercises a stomach exercise, for example


This should take you no longer than 10 minutes.

If you can do these exercises first thing in the morning before breakfast, then you will be increasing your metabolism, burning fat & toning your body quickly and simply.

If you can do again in the afternoon or evening, you will be really heading towards a stronger, fitter and healthier body in under 20 minutes a day.

Make sure you hydrate yourself and have a good protein based snack or breakfast after your workouts to feed those muscles.

GOOD LUCK.......and for added incentive, I have filmed a short example of a workout that you can do at home, so do use it, post your results and let me know how you got on.

Watch out for more short exercise videos that will help you tone that body!

Jo Cullen

Legs, Bums & Mums

Entry 9

I keep thinking about what interesting exercise routines and techniques you can do at home in the winter weather. However today I have just returned from a class in the park and it was 10 degrees centigrade out there, so really I donʼt think we have any excuses not to still use our great outdoors to do some running, power walking or cycling.

If you are running outside please be aware that with all the leaves on the trees dropping it can be a bit slippery, so take care. Also if you are running in the evenings do get yourself some high visibility clothes and be safe. Stick to the main roads at this time of year.

Also for those of you who do enjoy running and go to Beddington park, they have now set up four outdoor gym stations next to the playground. Itʼs a great spot to stop and do some conditioning work.

Exercise bars - Tricep dips and Standing Press Ups - are a great way to develop strong triceps while also working the chest. 

Skier - Fun and invigorating to use - strengthen the lower back and abdominal muscles while improving flexibility. 

Rider - A full body cardio workout. Aimed at all ages, perfect for trimming up and maintaining a healthy body and figure. 

Body Twist - Improves and tones your tummy and is great for improving flexibility of the lower back and hips. 

Have a run around the park and then stop to use this great equipment, or even let the kids have a play in the park while you do some training. You can set yourself a simple session of two or three runs around the playground (keeping your eyes on the kids), mixed up with one minute workouts on each of the outdoor gym stations.

It’s great if you can do exercise with your children involved as it shows them the importance of keeping fit and healthy and means you can have fun exercising together.

If you have older children they can also train at out local gyms once they are 11 years old and there are specific sessions for 11-16 year olds where a gym instructor is on hand to help with technique and motivation.

My oldest son has just turned 11 and he really felt like a big boy having an induction in the gym and learning how to use the equipment. Itʼs also fab for me to be able to go with him and train next to him, much more interesting than working out by yourself and by creating a regime for them. They will hopefully keep this up as they get older. I think my son would also say he does enjoy sneaking in some extra television while using the machines!

As the weather changes too it means you can still workout inside at the gym.

If you donʼt enjoy the gym or want to do some exercises at home, now is a perfect time to have a look at some fitness dvd’s. There are hundreds out there. Try and remember not to get caught up in the idea that your favourite celebrity will be the best. Look for good, reputable fitness trainers and look at the different types of exercise routines that you will enjoy and will be able to do over and over again.

Maybe this is something you can add to your Christmas list?

Entry 8

Today is the first day that I have put the heating on and now I am starting to think whether I really want to get myself out there jogging, running and sprinting in the fast approaching winter months.

I teach outside come spring, summer, autumn and winter and to be fair I think I have lost three classes over the last whole year to bad weather! We all seem to have the opinion that we have terribly miserable and long winter months in this country but actually this is a myth. You will find that if you get out there, walk the dog or take the kids to the park it is not very often that you are rained or even snowed off!

So there is really no excuse to get yourself out there still and enjoy the colours of autumn and treat yourself to a hot chocolate for your efforts. You may just need to run a little faster and keep up your jogging so your muscles stay warm and treat yourself to a pair of running gloves ( you can pick them up locally very cheaply Lidl at the moment. 

It is very important that you keep yourself warm all the time, so keep a slow jogging pace rather than stopping and if you finish before you get home walk at a good pace to cool down, so you donʼt stiffen up.

It is very important to balance your fitness workouts with the other things in life you enjoy. We all look forward to that G and T or glass of wine on a Friday night and it is important to reward your physical efforts with pleasures. So donʼt deny yourself. Keep it in perspective and balanced, work hard and treat yourself when you feel you deserve it.

As it gets colder it is very easy to hibernate, get hooked on the reality shows and bed down for the winter. But you must remind yourself you still have goals at this time of year. We all want to look fab at our Christmas do and will enjoy hunting for that sparkly dress for the festive season. So you can use this to motivate yourself and have a goal that will help get you off the sofa and fit for the festivities.

If you really donʼt fancy getting outside look for other exercise regimes and classes that will suit you. Check out things that are on locally. There are lots of new classes starting up all the time and they often mean you can have a really good boogie while burning off the calories and have fun.

I am currently training to teach RPM/Spinning which brings the bike indoors and puts the routines to music. This is great fun and hardcore without the miles to get home. So find a class near you, if you would rather keep it indoors. I can tell you it is a fantastic workout.

If you not happy about being in a class environment then set yourself a plan that you can do at home. Think about what changes you want to achieve to your fitness levels or areas of your body youʼd like to work on and make up your own program.

I have mentioned different exercises you can do simply at home, so apply these to your program.

You need to include certain key exercises that will really help tone and strengthen your body.

Cardio: Get up and down those stairs at a good pace until you feel a little out of breath.Then do some of the toning exercises we have talked about previously. Itʼs important to mix these up a bit, so go back and attack those stairs again throughout your workout.

Keep up the good work!

Entry seven

As I am sure you will all agree, it’s very nice to have the children back into a routine after the summer holidays. Also, for all the mums who have children starting school for the first time this month, it’s great to finally have a little free time (I can vouch for this!).

Itʼs also the perfect opportunity to get back into the lapsed fitness routines after the excesses of the summer holidays.

The weather is still quite mild and dry, so there is no excuse not to get out there and hit those parks for a run. With the children back at school it will be a lot more peaceful. It is a beautiful time of year to get outside as all the leaves begin to turn and the autumn colours are flourishing.

Why not try some interval training? This is where you have short fast runs mixed up with longer jogs. Begin with 15 or 30 seconds sprints; you can increase over time to one minute.

Interval training is a great, quick way to improve your fitness levels, boost your metabolism, burn off that extra fat and help you achieve the goals that you have set yourself.

It is about mixing up high intensity training with moderate intensity training. So you need to just measure this for yourself and work out at the correct intensity for you.

Think about it on a scale of 1 to 10. You want your moderate training to be around 3 and your high intensity training to be right up there at 9.

If you’re going for a 20 minute run then try to give yourself about 8 short sharp sprints at the top level for around 15 to 30 seconds and the rest of the time keep a good low  jog (3).

Remember itʼs very important to warm up and stretch your muscles in the legs and the arms before you embark on a long run.  It’s also important to stretch afterwards so you are not stiff the next day. Warm down slowly when you get home by adding some toning exercises for the areas you wish to tighten up.

Tricep dips for the back of your arms and press-ups for the arms and abdominals.

For toning the abdominals: If you have a willing child then get them to hold your feet while you do some sit-ups. Let them challenge you to see how many you can do! 

If you are struggling to come all the way up or itʼs uncomfortable in your neck then start at the top and lower backwards rather than lifting up from the floor. Listen to your body and donʼt go any further down than your bra strap; if you work between the top and here you will really work those tummy muscles intensely without causing problems in your lower back and neck.

You can also add some squats and lunges to tone up the legs. Remember good posture and lots of squeezing!

If running or power walking isnʼt your thing, have a look around at all our local church halls and centres, there are some fabulous new styles of classes popping up everywhere. Some are toning-based and some high energy latin and brazilian dance-based classes. 

These are amazing classes for toning and tightening your middle. (Just be aware you may need a bit of co-ordination, but they are a whole lot of fun!)

We will be keeping you posted over the autumn and winter with new exercises and ways to keep up your workouts - whatever the weather!

Entry six

What amazing weather weʼve been having. There is absolutely no excuse not to get out there, enjoy the sunshine and do some outdoor exercise.

There are so many fun classes and types of exercise you can do outdoors. I have noticed many new netball clubs starting up - for you to rekindle your school netball competitive side!

Also, we have some great tennis clubs locally that arenʼt ridiculously expensive....or cliquey.

Tennis is great fun and we have brilliant local facilities for this. You can either play at one of the local parks (Carshalton Park and Beddington Park both have courts - which are free of charge). If your children are a little older they can either have a play themselves, walk the dog or take themselves to the playground while you have a knockabout.

There are also tennis club days at local sports centres where you can play other people. This is a fab way to challenge yourself and if you play doubles, you will soon find yourself running around that court not wanting to lose your partner or that point!

I can verify this: My poor spouse who works all week in an office and is desperate to get out and do some sport, has managed to get me away from my usual exercise routines and onto a tennis court in a great local club. I was pretty terrified the first time. As a mum of three young children I hadnʼt been able to play properly since leaving school. What with being pregnant or breastfeeding and then just having someone to watch over them while I played was all but impossible! But it was a good challenge and I felt quite pleased with myself once I had overcome my nerves.

It is amazing how a small change in the type of workout that you do can have a profound affect on your fitness levels. It is extremely important to do all types of exercises to give yourself an all round healthy body. You should incorporate:

Strength work i.e. types of slow weight training. This includes using your own body weight in types of exercises like tricep dips, at a slow pace or using weights. You can use simple things in the home like bottles of water to increase strength, or keep an eye out for deals at sports shops on hand weights.

Cardiovascular exercises like running, cycling or an aerobics/dance class, jogging or running. (Remember some INTERVAL fast and slow training here is great to improve your energy systems, lungs and heart health).

Toning exercises - which we have talked lots about in previous blogs: squats, lunges, chest presses and sit-ups.

And of course the good old CORE strength work for you abdominal area: The Plank, pelvic tilts, slow curl-ups and pelvic floor exercises.

By entering yourself into club days or joining a local netball team the exercises you do become competitive and therefore you will push yourself just that little bit more and all the core and pelvic floor type exercises we talked about in my previous blogs will come in very handy here as you dash for the ball!


If you have had children, you will be aware that the Pelvic floor muscles are extremely important in supporting all your abdominal organs and continence.

Also as we go into the menopause our body produces less oestrogen and so the pelvic floor function is weakened. It is so important to get yourself into the habit of strengthening your pelvic floor in every day life.

There are many ways to train the pelvic floor, I am going to give you a few simple ideas to think about:

THE KNACK: The PF muscles should always be tightened when coughing, sneezing or lifting to withstand the increased pressure. So whenever this happens, remind your self to draw in and up as if your stopping yourself from urinating. Over time you will automatically do this and thus protecting and strengthening those muscles.

Also just drawing in and tightening and holding for about 20 seconds (donʼt forget to breathe) works the strength of the PF muscles (preventing prolapse) and quick contractions of the PF muscles as high as possible (8-10 times) helps to control leakage and support the continence system.

Check out my Facebook page for a great pelvic floor training video.

Next time I will be giving you some of simple tips on keeping up your fitness regime during your summer holidays and on the beach!

If you have concerns or questions about any of the topics discussed in my blogs, please do not hesitate to visit my website or contact me by email.

Entry five

Breathing your way to great abs:

Last time I talked about poor posture and how this can really affect your pelvic muscles. I also talked about how improving your standing positions you will help keep that tummy stronger and flatter.

Once you become more aware of how you hold yourself you will also become more in tune with your breathing and how this affects your posture and abdominals.

When you watch a baby or young child breathing you will notice that their tummy lifts and lowers as they breath in and out. This is called ‘diaphragmatic breathing,’ which basically means you are using your diaphragm as you breathe. The diaphragm is situated under the chest forming the roof of the abdominal cavity and it is umbrella shaped. It relaxes when you breathe out and contracts when you breathe in.

Good breathing will activate your abdominal muscles and encourage them to work much more effectively throughout the day. Bad breathing will restrict the movement of the diaphragm and this is can affect how your abdominal muscles work.

If you can train yourself to engage your abdominal muscles even as you breathe you will be well on your way to a leaner middle without even thinking about it!

It is also important to remember your tummy muscles main function is to support everything in your abdominal wall, this includes all your organs and your spine. So, if you have problems with your lower back it will be a great advantage to improve the strength or your abdominals to support all the movement in your back.

Trying to remember each time your pick up something heavy, like a crying child, or a baby in a car seat: pull in those tummy muscles and take the pressure off the lower back.

Good breathing techniques:

Place your hands on your lower ribcage with your fingers facing inwards.

Breathe in, taking your breath down into your ribcage and abdomen, keep your muscles in the tummy relaxed.

Feel your ribs opening sideways and the tummy swelling. As you breathe out, relax the ribcage and feel your diaphragm lifting.

Try to do 10minutes relaxed deep breathing each day (I know this is hard in our busy lives but if you re-train yourself to do this naturally it will have huge benefits).

Incorporate these techniques into your day as much as possible and use this technique in times of stress to calm you. Using this method you will automatically begin to ʻStrengthen your COREʼ and if you then add some simple functional abdominal exercises you will be well on your way getting a strong, lean centre.

Starting position:




Get your self a mat or towel and lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor, hip distance apart.

Be aware not to arch your back or have it completely flat to the floor, find your NEUTRAL spine position by gently rolling your hips forward and back until your find your natural spine position.

Lift both knees to a 90 deg angle (keep the knees over the hips, but not over the tummy).

Breathe in to prepare and then as you breathe out draw in the abdominal area around the tummy button and lower the right leg towards the floor, moving from hip not the knee.

Donʼt let your lower back lift up from the floor. Return and repeat on the other leg. Begin with small movements and then increase as your stability improves.

Put your hands on your tummy so you can feel that it is controlling the movement and make sure you donʼt arch your back up as you lower the toe - otherwise your abdominals wont be working and the lower back will take over. If it is too hard, then make the movements smaller and build up to bigger and longer toe tapping away from the body.



In the same position, but with the feet on the floor and the knees together.

Breathe in to prepare and as you exhale draw in the abdominal area around the tummy button and lower the knees to the floor on the left, allowing the right buttock to lift but keeping the ribcage to the floor.

Pause and then return the knees to the middle and repeat on the other side.

Remember to keep the movements small at first, slow and controlled and think about the part of your body your working, donʼt forget to breathe and feel what is going on with your hands on the tummy.

All the time remind yourself to control the movement with your abdominals and if you want to challenge yourself some more you can move the head and arms in the opposite direction - this then becomes an all over dynamic body exercise.

Good luck and remember slower is stronger, never rush these exercises, protect your back and feel the tummy tightening, use these simple exercises each day to trim up those abdominals.

Next time we will hit those Pelvic floor muscles and talk about local clubs and sporting activities in our area.

Entry four

I am writing to you from the comfort of my sofa - with my feet up, as I am still recovering from the Moon Walk for breast cancer that I completed this weekend.

What a wonderful experience and what a lot of fantastic outfits and lots and lots of bras! It occurred to me that this is another fabulous way of giving yourselves targets and there are so many charity events  that you can sign up for, train for and achieve - all for a good cause.

I thoroughly enjoyed the walk (although I think my hips would disagree) and it was truly magical walking all around London, especially past Buckingham Palace at 3am! There was great camaraderie throughout and lots of people cheering you on and beeping their horns as they passed. There were also a large number of men in bras too - joining in or cheering on their loved ones.

A lot of ladies I teach fitness classes to are now signing themselves up for the Race for Life. This gives them a great challenge ahead and lots of training to be done to get ready for their event. Why not have a look out there and find a fitness challenge event that you and a few friends could attend. You could also make a bit of money for a charity that you feel passionate about.

This week I wanted to bring up a  different type of exercise that you may not have thought about and which can be a bit of a taboo subject. As I am reaching my 40th year I am becoming aware that maybe my pelvic floor muscles are beginning to need a bit of care and attention!  As we get older the pelvic floor function becomes more compromised. This is due to a number of factors. It can be genetic, or a consequence of pregnancies and childbirth. As we age lower oestrogen levels (especially as we enter the menopause) also decrease our pelvic floor strength.

Pelvic Floor is a muscle at the base of the pelvis. It is like an elastic sling that supports the pelvis and the abdominal contents.

Did you know that poor posture is one of the  No.1 cause of Pelvic Floor problems?

When your body is misaligned it has to work so much harder to maintain an upright stance and places extra strain on the joints. The muscles become over-tight and tire easily in an attempt to counter-balance the forces and the body begins to sag.

Giving in to gravity by letting your body have bad posture pushes it into a slumped position, which switches off all your stabilising muscles. Hence the Pelvic Floor is not working properly to support all your pelvic organs and promote continence.

This is definitely enough information for you to begin adding postural and pelvic floor exercises to your routines!

So what is good posture? 


Stand with your feet hip-width apart, spread your weight evenly between both feet and distribute equally between big toe, little toe and heel. You may need to sway forward and back a bit to feel this.

Soften your knees and align them over your ankles. Find your natural pelvis (this is done by tilting your pelvis forward and back and feeling your back straightening as the natural curvature disappears. Now find the midway position between these two points - your bottom and thighs should be relaxed).

Slide your shoulders back and down and relax your elbows.

Lengthen your tailbone towards the floor, but keep your bottom relaxed.

Extend your spine upwards and lengthen through your neck.

Try this standing, sitting and as you walk along, think about what is going on in your abdominal area as you are moving. Is your Pelvic floor tightening? Are your tummy muscles drawing in? Don’t let you lower back arch. 

By incorporating postural exercises into your day-to-day life it will improve your tummy, take pressure off your lower back and even take 2lbs off your weight as you will appear much longer and leaner.

Next time we will talk about how breathing properly can also have a fantastic effect on you abdominals and add some more challenging Pelvic Floor exercises to help keep us strong from the inside up!

Keep ‘’UP” the good work and add this change to your posture to all the other exercises we have discussed in the previous blogs.

Entry three

With the children almost properly back at school, I am making a promise to myself to be that extra bit good after enjoying an indulgent Easter period in The Lake district! Although I do feel quite proud that prior to a lovely long boozy lunch by Lake Windermere I did manage to get the kids on a seven mile walk up Loughrigg Fell and they loved the challenge!

I am sure like me you are all engulfed by the ever increasing Easter Eggs the children collect. I am attempting to hide as many of them as I can (especially from myself!) and trying to convince the kids they would like to melt them all down into rice crispy cakes. This seems to be a good way of getting rid of them a bit quicker!

With this in mind, I am aware that we may all have one more lapse in our diet and fitness plans again this weekend, but how are your new regimes coming along? 

Did you set your self realistic goals and have you been able to achieve them?

If you have done well with running or power walking but need that little bit of encouragement, booking yourself in for an organised event is a great way to give yourself that little bit more motivation. There are lots of running clubs locally you can join and www.suttonrunners.orgorganise  runs on a regular basis over the summer.

If you enjoy power walking get together with a friend and do a good 2 to 5 mile walk with them - have a good old natter and leave the family to fend for themselves for a while!

I am doing the Moon walk in London in May, which has been great fun training for as it is extremely enjoyable walking, chatting and catching up on all the girlie gossip!

If you enjoy cycling and have managed to get your partner or the kids involved - there is a great ride from Carshalton along the Wandle trail:

You can stop at Deen City Farm and then end up at Merton Abbey Mills for a spot of lunch or a nice coffee (This ride is really for kids over 8 years old as there a few difficult areas to navigate).

So far I haven’t mention you lovely Postnatal Mums or Mums with toddlers, who have your babies with you and aren’t really able to escape to exercise on your own. I am sure you are all aware that I run Mums Buggy classes in the local parks in Carshalton but you can also get yourself out there power walking around the town and parks using a little bit of shopping to weigh your buggy down and give yourself a really good workout!

Afew tips to remember:

It is really important you push your buggy correctly, creating good posture when walking with the buggy can lock on those abdominal muscles and really begin to strengthen and tighten them all the time you are walking.

Keep your tummy pulled in,  gently squeeze the pelvic floor muscles and keep your elbows at a 90deg angle when pushing - think about the power of your movement coming from your centre and not the shoulders (even if your marching up a steep hill). This will do wonders for your posture (you can lose 2lb just by creating a good body position) and ensure you use the abdominals to do the work and not the back and upper shoulders!

Power walking with your buggy

Give yourself little challenges as you walk along, power walk as fast as you can between two points and then increase this time up to 30 seconds. Find some good hills to power walk up too. You need to get your heart rate up and your cardiovascular system working in order to burn fat and increase your metabolism.

NB: Do not run with your buggy, this can be dangerous for you and your baby if you were to trip or lose your balance.

Walking Lunges (to tighten and tone the bottom and legs)

With your buggy in front of you take a big straight step forward leading with your heel, bend your knee as you step and drop your back leg down into a 90 deg. angle. Keep your back heel off the floor and then bring this leg up in front of you so the knee is hip height (approx. level with your buggy handles) and then step out onto the other foot.

This exercise can also be done at home without the buggy, just stepping forward onto alternate legs. Remember your posture and engage those abdominal muscles.

Add these new exercises to the Tricep Dips, Plank, Single Legs Squats and Abdominal curls we have talked about previously and you’re beginning get a great set of exercises that will really tone, tighten and flatten!

If you have any queries or questions about any of the exercises mentioned or you would like any advice on anything I have discussed in my blogs - don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Enjoy this wonderful weather, keep yourself focused on your fitness goals and use some good old visualisation of bikini’s by the beach for extra motivation!

Entry Two

So, how are you all getting on? As I sit here typing I am looking out onto another beautiful day, perfect weather for getting out into the open, alone or with the kids. There are lots of activities that you can do that will help blow out the winter cobwebs, tone up the old bat wings and prepare ourselves for the long summer sun ( ok....maybe I am dreaming a little about that one!)

Those few small changes I talked about last week - have they been possible? Did you start well and then suddenly realise the kids break up from school at the end of the week and it all goes to pot? Well it needn’t be that way. We have so much in this area that we can use to help keep ourselves and our little ones fit and healthy.

Now that you should have marched a bit faster to school or had a short jog round the block when your partner comes in, can you now start to think about going a bit further afield?  We have some fabulous parks right on our doorstep. If you want to do some power walking, Grove Park is a great start as it has a few small hills to power up. Beddington Park is also close and accessible; it is quite flat (apart from one little hill path) and it takes about 15 minutes to run around.

The kids love the park so what a great idea to get them cycling or scooting around while you jog or run. Try and look at the trees or lamp posts, jog, then sprint between them. If you need a little breather, stop with the kids by the ponds where all the baby birds are about to be born or even promise them half an hour in the playground if they can keep up with you!

You can use the park seats to do your Triceps (bat wings!) that we talked about last week. Try a chest press on the back or even on the grass, in a box position, or a full press-up!

Can we add a couple of exercises to our list:

Tummies: Lie down on your back with your knees bent. Take one hand behind your head and support your neck. Slow lift and lower reaching through your legs, do fast and slow lifts (always drawing in your navel). Don’t forget to breathe and take care not to arch your back. To make it a little harder, lift and hold (alternating) legs as you curl up.

Bottoms: Single leg squats. This is great to work the bottom and your deep abdominal muscle as you balance. Take one leg off the floor slowly lower and lift your body through the other leg, tightening up the bottom on this side. Do 10 and then make it even slower for 10 concentrating on keeping your balance (draw in the tummy), then change to the other leg. Try to reach your arms out in front of you to make it more challenging. (Don’t forget to pull in the pelvic floor muscles as you  do all these exercises).

Now add these exercises to the ‘tricep dips’ and ‘plank’ that we discussed last week.

Good Luck.....enjoy the weather......and I will be checking in again before Easter with some more tips.

Entry One

The sunshine is finally here, at last! 

It’s out with the black and grey and in with the spring wardrobe......but that also means: short sleeved tops, summer skirts and dare I even say it shorts!

We all love to feel good in our clothes and comfortable in our own skin, but have you been hiding away throughout the winter, covering up and hibernating?  Now is the perfect opportunity to get a little focused and use this wonderful area around us in Carhsalton to boost your fitness regime and feel great in your summer skin.

Just a few small changes to your daily routine will make a world of difference.  Whether you are a full-time working mum or have a little bit of time during your day while the kids are at school, there are lots of ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

Never walk up those stairs. A quick sprint up the stairs every time you need something gets your heart working a bit faster, increases your metabolism and burns fat. How many times do you go up the stairs each day?

If your doing the school run - walk. Ditch those car keys if you can and if the kids are on a scooter, you will have to march a lot faster to keep up with them. It’s a great leg workout for you on the way home!

If you have to shoot off to work one or two days a week, swap that walk home for a quick jog. Don’t overdo it at first - just a short 7-10min run or power walk at a good pace is a great start. Remember, if you just fit in a few exercises into your daily routine you will be more likely to keep it up. 

If you are working and don’t return until later in the day speak to your partner. Make a deal with them. As soon as they come in you go out for a quick power walk or march ( you won’t believe how de-stressing it can be to get away for even just 10 minutes).

Then when you get home give yourself a few toning exercises before you begin your chores, or even in the morning before you get dressed. Think about what areas you would like to work on - tummies, bottoms or arms - and pick an exercise for this area.

For example:

Tricep Dips:  Find a chair/ sofa/ stairs. Place your hands behind you on the chair facing forward and knees 90 degrees in front of you. Lower and lift, bending at the elbow. Think about the area you’re working, pull those abs in and be strong! Try for 25 times, building up to 50.

Tummies: Regular sit-ups ups are great but for a flat stomach you can’t beat The Plank. Simply lie on your front resting on your elbows in front of you and lift up your hips, draw that tummy in and hold for 10 seconds building up to 30 seconds. Don’t forget to breathe and watch that lower back!

Each fortnight we will be giving you lots of tips and ideas for fitting in some simple, quick and fun exercises to get you all ready, fit and fab for the summer!

Jo Cullen

Watch out for Jo’s next entry on getting fit, coming soon...

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