NCT Relax, Stretch and Breathe

Libby sent me a lovely email asking if she could let you all know about the Relax, Stretch and Breathe classes. Here is her post:Relax, Stretch and Breathe

Many thanks to Louise for letting me post about NCT Relax Stretch and Breathe (RSB), it’s such a great idea to have local activities listed for local parents.

I am Libby, a Basingstoke mum with 4 children aged 10, 8, 6 and 19 months. I am a fully qualified NCT Antenatal Teacher and Relax, Stretch & Breathe Teacher. I love working with expectant mums at RSB, seeing women from all backgrounds coming together regardless if they are preparing for the birth of their first baby or 4th or more!

It’s great to hear women’s truly positive birth stories when they come back to class to introduce their baby, whether it be using a relaxation to help stay calm while preparing for a caesarian birth or using a breathing awareness to work with a contraction.

Myself and Hilary (a fully qualified Antenatal / RSB and Yoga for Pregnancy Teacher and Birth Companion) teach the classes at Brookvale Village Hall Lower Brook Street, RG21 7RU (behind BCOT), just a 5-minute walk from Festival Place and the bus and train stations. There is a large free car park available during the session.

We are absolutely delighted that due to high demand for our established 7.30 – 9.30pm Tuesday evening class we have just started a second class running from 5.30 – 7.30pm on Tuesday evenings. Both classes have the same content, so it’s really up to you as to which class you would like to attend.

We do have a short waiting list for the 7.30-9.30pm class but a couple of spaces are currently available at the 5.30-7.30pm class. Please contact Libby for more information or to book, at  rsb@basingstokenct.org.uk stating which class you would prefer to attend or go to www.nct.org.uk/course/15523790 to fill in the online form.

The classes focus on gentle postures, breathing techniques, positions for labour and relaxations. The aim is for you to have an enjoyable and relaxing time, whilst improving your physical and emotional well-being and helping you feel more confident and positive about birth.

The postures are very gentle, specifically designed so you can attend throughout your pregnancy (after 12 weeks) and can be adapted to individual needs.  They can be taken on their own or as an add-on to our other antenatal classes. The classes are suitable for ALL women, regardless of their fitness level.

The cost is £10 per 2 hour session. Everyone is welcome, you don’t have to be a member of the NCT. We would like to make sure every parent can benefit from our courses. We therefore have lower prices for parents on lower incomes, young parents and/or in receipt of certain benefits. These concessions vary, from small discounts of 5% to a maximum reduction of 90% off the full course fee, see www.nct.org.uk/courses/course-prices/reduced-price-options. Please ask about these discounts which also apply to all NCT courses www.nct.org.uk/courses .

Thank you for reading and we hope to welcome you to a class soon!

Libby

*NCT is a registered charity Reg Charity No (England and Wales): 801395

Stretch n Grow

I met Kate when she came along to the NorthHantsMum Meet up last month. I can confirm that she’s lovely! I didn’t get to chat to her for as long as I would have liked but she’s very enthusiastic about Stretch n Grow and you can see that she loves children. These classes sound so much fun! See further down the post for the exclusive offer for NHM Readers.

2012 SNG logo

Why Movement Matters by

The Worlds Leading Fun Fitness & Health Programme for Children!

**Fun Classes, Birthday Parties & Holiday Clubs for Young Children are all available through Stretch-n-Grow.

In my job, it’s not hard to get out of bed in the morning. I can’t think of many jobs that involve spending the day wriggling around on the floor, jumping around the room and singing loudly with a bunch of energetic toddlers and preschoolers who just want to have FUN!

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And we do have fun, buckets of it, but one of the best bits of my job is that underneath the laughter and noise, there is a very serious purpose to what we do. The biggest kick comes from knowing that not only can our work help children to develop fine motor skills, but by educating them about their body, good nutrition and the importance of keeping active, we can encourage them to develop good habits that can impact on their longer term health. Essentially we can increase their chances of a healthier life.

So that’s why I have particularly enjoyed February, the month of love! At Stretch-n-Grow, the learning worksheet module for the month was children’s heart health. In the different settings we visit we speak to the children, (even as young as 1!) about their muscles, healthy eating and what their heart does. We also got their pulses racing with fun movements using active adventure stories & routines, exciting music, age appropriate props & even some obstacle courses & parachute fun. All this is always based around an imaginative theme!

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By teaching children in their formative years about the importance of healthy eating and taking the right amount of exercise, we are hoping to have some healthier hearts in years to come. 😀

So, I hope you were showered in flowers, chocolates and romantic gestures this Valentine’s Day, but let’s show some more love for our your children’s hearts by taking them for a walk up a hill, an adventure in the park, a jump in some puddles, OR even come along to a STRETCH-N-GROW class and let us help make their “Hearts Happy & Bodies Healthy”!

**NEW drop in STRETCH-N-GROW CLASS NOW RUNNING WEEKLY!

For families with children aged 18mths and above. (younger siblings welcome) Wednesdays in Term Time, 1.30 – 2.15pm, at Curves Studio in Brighton Hill (free parking at Asda.) This class has the option of a pay-as-you-go drop in price or offers are available for advance bookings, whichever suits you.

FREE TRIAL FOR NHM READERS! 😀

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Stretch-n-Grow classes are Fun Fun Fun! They are designed to help the development of your child in exciting & interactive ways. It’s all about fun & imagination…our disguise for hard work & strength building. We keep it fresh & exciting every month by creating new & challenging routines to themes our “Stars” will love! 🙂 Our curriculum is endorsed by fitness & child development experts around the world and links closely to the goverment EYFS framework. Each Stretch-n-Grow coach is a certified youth fitness specialist and has only one passion – to show our Stars an Ex-ER-citing time 🙂

**EASTER CLUBS WILL ALSO BE RUNNING IN THE EASTER HOLIDAYS!!

At Chineham Village Hall, for ages 3 -7yr olds.

Children are left with us for 2 hrs of Easter Stretch-n-Grow FUN!

 I look forward to Stretching-n-Growing with your children (& maybe even youJ)

Come and see why Children and Families Love Stretch-n-Grow!

Please contact me for more information on our Fun but Educational Programme, or why not Like us on Facebook:   ‘Stretch-n-Grow Basingstoke’ 

Kate, 07887 993207

Email: basingstoke@stretch-n-grow.co.uk. Website: www.stretch-n-grow.co.uk

NetMums: http://www.netmums.com/north-hants/local/view/preschool-classes/sports-and-action/stretch-n-grow-basingstoke

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The New FitMama Studio

So, do you have your New Year’s Resolutions sorted and are you raring to go? If exercise is high on you new years resolutions, check out the new FitMama Studio in Stroudley Road.

The studio is run by Marie Bahena and Lola, the ladies who have very successfully developed the FitMama Method. See a previous blog HERE about FitMama.

(I stole this from the welcome page of the FitMama studio, but I don’t think Marie or Lola will mind! ;-)):

 The FitMama Studio, Basingstoke, is a place where exercise meets motherhood!  It is a home away from home, a support structure and place of self discovery, a hub of health and helping hands to get you to your goals.

We may not have hairdryers and steam rooms, but we do have your goals and ambitions at heart, and will be with you through your journey of motherhood, whether you are pregnant or the mother of a 24 year old!

With lashings of advice, honest assistance and downright good fun, we will never judge you, only help you. We will never give up on you, only continue to support you. We will be a shoulder when you need it and a jolly good laugh when the time is right.

So don’t feel frumpy and alone, become a member of The FitMama Studio and start spreading the Fitmama Love… cheesy? yes, of course!!!!!

 The FitMama Studio is the Basingstoke HQ of the Fitmama family, including The FitMama Method Book (Souvenir Press) and Fitmama Ltd.  All of which are dedicated to the health and well being of mothers and the professionals who work with them.

The FitMama Studio is the flagship venue for all Fitmama classes, and used as a training centre for our exceptional FitMama Trainers who are expanding across the UK.

The FitMama Studio Ltd, Unit 41 Basepoint Centre, Stroudley Rd, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 8UP

The studio is incredibly Mum and Baby/Toddler friendly. They have classes in the evening time and during the day and also hosts one of the only Sling Meets in the area. You can join as a Pay as you Go member or you can pay a monthly fee. For more details, check out the FitMama studio website.

If you would like more details about the Studio, please contact Marie, Lola and their team on the following: 01256 369 291 or email hello@thefitmamastudio.com.

It’s on my list of things to do to check out one of the classes at the Studio very soon!

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Children’s Bike Seats

Getting a childs bike seat sorted has been on my to do list for a very long time, but I just never seem to get around to it. I want to go in to Basing Cycles in town and have a chat with them as they specialise in Specialized bikes, which is the bike I have. I was also hoping that I might be able to see if they are interested in doing a discount for NHM Readers also looking to buy a child bike seat.

I’m finding that a childs bike seat might be like a sling. I really want one and I just want someone to tell me which one to get, but we will probably end buying a really expensive one (like we did with the sling)  because we don’t know any better and then we will probably only use it twice (like the sling).

I’ve also been trying to put together a post about Children’s Bike Seats since March this year! In an effort to pull my finger out and get the post started AND completed, I put a request out on Facebook to see if you wonderful readers would be happy to provide your insights. This is what you came back with:

Wendy made an excellent point “The first thing you have to consider is your bike. Not all seats fit all bikes.” Amber also made an excellent point “It’s worth emphasising that ALL children should have cycle helmets along with their parents whenever they are cycling.”

Matt, a keen cyclist, said: “My recommendation is the Co-pilot Limo seat, RRP £109.99”. Lesley also recommended the Co-pilot Limo child seat. She said “We did a lot of research when looking to purchase a seat for our daughter. She was 2 years old at the time (now 4). The seat has a lot of protection, just I case your bike topples over. At that age she tended to fall asleep after a while, but the side protection, meant she could rest her head comfortably. The seat also grows with your child, straps move to deal with growing legs. And, a final bit of usefulness – the seat doubles up as a seat off the bike too. We would stop for a picnic, and our daughter was able to sit comfortably and securely for her meal. (equally-it can be a handy retaining option if you are on your own and don’t want your child to toddle off while you tend to your bike). 5* as far as I’m concerned. Daughter now cycling using her own Steam, and she asks to go to places we used to take her on the back of our bikes.”

Karen recommended a Hamax child seat “I’ve got a hamax one – very pleased with it. What about some research on the difference between rear and front seats- the ones that go near the handlebars- they look pretty dangerous to me! Amber also recommended a Hamax seat “Both my husband and I are very keen cyclists and did a lot of research before buying ours for our daughter and as Wendy says, not all seats fit all bikes…. We bought a Hamax Sleepy which is great, they are very robust seats with adjustable footrests and harness so it growns with your child. With hindsight I wish we had got the Siesta model which reclines further than the Sleepy as she invariably nods off in it and she just lolls forwards in the seat. She doesn’t seem to mind that but it is a little disconcerting!”

Charlotte suggested the Wee free ride, “We have wee free ride. Lo sits on the cross bar in front of you. Very safe for them as they’re inside your arms and they get a great view. BUT it doesn’t work well on small frame bikes as you have to ride with your knees out wide! My bike at 16″ frame is too small. My husband’s at 17½ is just about OK.”

I was originally leaning towards a Wee free ride but I have a small bike frame so I don’t think it will be suitable. I would love a Co-pilot seat but I had a quick look on Amazon and the Hamax seat seems to be a bit cheaper. If anyone has any other suggestions please do add a comment.

I hope to do some more research this weekend and will add any links I find into this post. I’m hoping that by getting this post out there it will help me get my butt into gear about getting a bike seat sorted!!! 😀

Further Reading

Which Cycle Seat Guide

Mumsnet Child Bike Seats

Carrying Children on bikes

What is the right age for a baby bike seat?

Local Bike Shops

Basing Cycles – Basingstoke

Winklebury Cycles – Basingstoke

Pedal On – Tadley

AW Cycles – Caversham, Reading

Guest Post Wednesday: FitMama

Marie contacted me and asked me if I could publicise the details about FitMama on a “Guest Post” Wednesday. I wish I’d known about FitMama when I was pregnant!

Please can you tell all your NHM Readers about our lovely pregnancy and postnatal exercise & support courses, which are open for new bookings for May 2012. All details of our courses which are run out of the chineham business park, Basingstoke, are online and open for booking

  • Pregnancy Exercise and Education
  • Pelvic Floor & Tummy Repair
  • Postnatal Pilates
  • Functional Fitmama (for way past postnatal)
  • Personal one 2 one advice and support

We also specialise in helping women all types of Pelvic Girdle Pain, Hernia, Diastasis, Prolapse, Bladder Incontinence and any other maternity related problem.

Nutritional support for mum and baby available too. We love our mums, and hope you will support us by spreading the word… x

 http://www.fitmama.org/

I had a look at the website and it’s interesting to note that some of FitMama’s clients believe they are a great alternative to the NCT antenatal classes. So if you think NCT isn’t for you, FitMama might be!

Thanks for the details Marie!

Local Parks and Open Spaces

I stumbled across this website whilst I was researching this weeks “things to do” post. As the weather was so fabulous this weekend I was researching things to do outside and this website popped up with a list of Local Parks and Open spaces in Basingstoke.

I learnt of a few new places, such as Beggardwood Park which has a maze and ampitheatre, that I didn’t know about that I’m hoping to be able to investigate when Spring really kicks in. Hope you find useful.

Local Parks and Open Spaces

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Pushchair Friendly Walks in Basingstoke

Pushchair Friendly Walks near Basingstoke

Exercise Strategies for Busy Mum’s

Anyone who knows me knows that I am the LAST person to give any advice about fitness. However, as it’s a new year (how can we already be two weeks through 2012!?!?!) I thought I’d do a quick post on the strategies I’m trying to use. I’m having a bit of trouble making time to do exercise in an already packed schedule, but I am desperate to lose the extra baby weight because I can’t afford a brand new wardrobe!

Often I find it’s really difficult to carve out a dedicated hour to do some exercise. I’m trying to combine it with doing other things like going for a walk with friends instead of sitting in a coffee shop eating cake and drinking calorie rich drinks! I’m also trying to change my mindset to think that actually, exercise is really important for me because without it I’m not going to be as fit and healthy as I need to be to look after my family.

I use all the classic tips like, walking whenever I can, taking the stairs and not the lifts, etc. I’m also trying to do 10-20 minutes of yoga every evening. I don’t need to leave the house for this and I can fit this in at the end of the day. I have a yoga DVD (in fact I have a few fitness DVD’s, but this is the only one I can cope with at the moment!) which has exercise sessions that are all 10 minutes long. Doing small bite sized chunks means I’m more likely to do it.

I have a pedometer which I bought from Amazon. It cost me a tenner and it’s been an enlightening experience. I try to walk during lunchtime, even if its just for 15 minutes. I can average about 8,000 steps a day if I make a concerted effort but it’s normally between 5000 and 6000. You are supposed to do 10,000 steps to be healthy and 15,000 steps to lose any weight. Unfortunately I just don’t have two hours a day to dedicate to walking but I figure that something is better than nothing.

I have signed up to a dancing class. I have negotiated with my husband that when our little one is in bed I can have an hour on a Tuesday evening to go to a dance class. It starts at 8pm and finishes at 9pm, so by the end I am practically crawling out of the door, but without doing the class I feel sluggish all week. Initially I felt guilty about going out for an hour, but I’ve learnt that this class makes me a better Mum because I need this time to make this investment in myself.

We have also tried a few times for my husband to take my little one to the “Dad’s time” class that is on a Saturday morning in our local Children’s centre. It only costs £1 and he gets a bacon sandwhich for his trouble and the opportunity to talk to other Dad’s about the joys of parenting. I get a whole hour to myself which I use to dash out on my bike for 30 mins and then come home to relax in a bath. I have to admit that this one only happens once a month if I’m lucky, but I’m realising that once a month is better than never!

Having said all this, I do know the statistic that says that to lose weight it’s 40% exercise and 60% diet. I am trying my best to focus on my diet, but as a busy working Mum, sometimes the best laid plans fly out the window. I’m learning not to be so hard on myself though, sometimes I have to recognise that I’m only human and to be human means to make mistakes. Although, next time you see me happily munching on a cake, feel free to poke me in the ribs and remind me it all goes straight to my thighs :-D!

I’ve included a link below for exercise classes and events that happen in and around Basingstoke. If you have any strategies for exercise or know of any other classes, please add in the comments. Good luck with your fitness strategies for 2012!

Exercise for Mum’s

Other Relevant Blog Posts

http://www.allbabyadvice-blog.com/index.php/2011/11/keeping-fit-with-my-fitbit-ultra/

Ballet/Dance classes for 2 year olds (Nov 2011)

Baby & Toddler Dance classes in North Hampshire

Vicky asked the question on NorthHants Mum on Facebook: can anyone recommend ballet/dance classes for 2yr olds?

I’m not able to recommend any specific classes but I’ve done some research about what is available at the moment. Details are below. If you have any recommendations, please don’t hesitate to add them. Vicky – thanks for your question, hope this is what you were looking for.

Dance Classes

Bopping Babies

Toddle-time disco fun, dance and play session for 0-5’s.

Active Life Centre

Modern Dance: The Modern Dance class involves learning dance moves to current popular music. Mondays 14.00 – 14.45hrs. Cost: £40.00 for 10 weeks

Ballet Classes

Basingstoke Academy of Dancing

One of the more professional dance schools in Basingstoke.  They hold Mother and Toddler Classes – 18 mnths – 3yrs, Monday morning 9.30am to 10.30am

J.L.D. School of Dancing

They say: Being easily accessed from anywhere in Basingstoke & Deane, J.L.D. School of Dancing has 50 scheduled classes per week and offers dancing lessons for boys and girls from 2 – 18 years of age. Dance classes for children aged 2 – 5 years are lively and fun, exploring music, movement and mime.

M&M Academy of Arts

They have a boogie babies class on Saturday morning: Pre-school Dance Classes, 45 minutes, Fun and stimulating class for 3 & 4 Years olds. These classes introduce basic ballet, tap and modern/jazz movements incorporating mime and stories.

Centre Stage Ballet

Centre Stage Ballet 3-4 years 4.30-5pm. Ballet 4-5 years 5-5.30pm. Ballet & Tap 5-9 years 5.30-6.15pm

Thursdays at Sherfield Park Community Centre.

Active Life Centre

Ballet (3-4 years): Working from the Royal Acadamy of Dance syllabus, this class involves dancing to classical and contemporary music whilst incorporating ballet steps, miming and free dance. The children have fun working to develop

Lynden School of Dance

I couldn’t find the timetable online for this dance school but I know they do Ka Motion classes at Basingstoke Sports Centre for little people and I’m sure they will have classes for under four’s. To find details you can contact them through their website.

Loose Moose – Hook

Loose Moose Theatre Arts is an exciting, vibrant and creative theatre arts school offering a range of programmes for toddlers to teens to adults.

Chandelle Stage School

I don’t have any further details about this apart from that it’s based in the Sycamore centre in Winklebury.

Stage School’s

There is also a stage school in Basingstoke:

http://www.basingstokestageschool.co.uk/

Please add a comment if you know of more dance classes for toddlers in or near Basingstoke. Thanks!

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Basingstoke Toddlers

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