One thing Mumblers often want to know is if there’s anywhere they can go to exercise with their little ones in tow. There’s a section on the website dedicated to Working Out with Babies (see here) but given its that time of year when we dust off our running trainers and reset our fitness goals, we set about trying 4 different types of exercise with built in childcare. Here’s how we got on!
The Tytherington Club
I’d heard loads of good things about the Tytherington Club so when I saw they offered a creche service on top of all the snazzy bits I’d been told about, I couldn’t wait to go and try it out. I wasn’t disappointed!!
Upon arrival the smiley lady on the reception desk showed mini Mumbler and me to a table overlooking the pool where we waited for David, the Duty Manager, to come and show us round. Before long David came to collect us and couldn’t have been more welcoming. Our first stop was, of course, the creche, where (I was hoping) mini Mumbler would stay and road test whilst I checked out the Club.
In keeping with the rest of the facilities, the creche was pretty impressive. There were tables laid out with crafts and paints, murals on the walls, a dolls house, loads of ride ons, a dressing up rail, a kitchen and all sort of other bits and bobs to keep the little ones entertained whilst their big people worked up a sweat.
One of the nursery nurses, Clariss, explained that they worked on a rota system but that the least amount of time someone had worked there was 10 years (!!) with one lady having been there 20! As a result, continuity of care is pretty much guaranteed with members having their 2nd and even 3rd children looked after by the same ladies that looked after their 1st. All the kids in the creche seemed content – Clariss immediately put mini Mumbler at ease and she waddled off to explore, giving me a chance to have a mooch round the Club with David.
The Club’s offerings include a golf course, gym, pool, spa, members lounge and cafe which is open to the public. The gym had a £350,000 refurbishment last year and it shows – all the equipment is state of the art and works alongside an app you can download to keep track of your fitness progress/weight loss. I was introduced to a couple of the trainers who were really friendly and explained that upon joining, they devise a personal programme for you based on your fitness goals, and give you a couple of review sessions. I asked about pre/post natal training and was assured that every trainer was qualified to advise and help new mummies or mummies to be on how best, and safely, to reach their goals.
I didn’t go into the pool area but it looked pretty impressive and I’m told features a steam room and sauna – a perfect way to wind down after a work out. We popped our heads into the spa which looked like one you’d get in a hotel and offers both pampering treatments like facials and massages alongside eyebrow shaping, waxing and spray tans.
It was then time to pick up the mini one from the creche. Since I hadn’t heard my name be called out over the tannoy I was hopeful that her time there had been a success, and I was right. She was pottering round on a ride on when I arrived and I was told she’d been playing hide and seek with her new friends. In fact, she’d had such a good time I had to entice her away with promises of lunch and took her to check out the ‘Pulse’ bar before we headed home. Pulse does a pretty extensive kids menu and gives the little ones crayons and colouring packs to keep them entertained. There were loads of mums and kids in there including a fairly sizeable group of new mums with their little ones complete with buggies etc. All in all, it seemed a pretty child friendly place to head to for a coffee or lunch even if you’re not a member.
The Tytherington club isn’t cheap – membership starts at £80 – but you really do get what you pay for. The facilities are fantastic, the staff are friendly and welcoming and with the onsite creche, you could easily make a morning or afternoon of your visit by hitting the gym followed by a relaxing swim/sauna or coffee whilst your little ones are entertained. Bliss!!
Members can use the creche for up to 2 hours a day and can book a slot up to 6 days in advance. I was told by the staff that members usually get their slot of choice.
The Tytherington Club, 90 Dorchester Way, Macclesfield SK10 2JP
For more information check out the website or call or call 01625 506000
Cross Fit Silk and Inner Strength Pilates
I admit I was pretty surprised when my research threw up a Cross Fit box as having a creche. In fact I was so surprised I gave them a call to double check. Sure enough, Doug (who owns the gym with his wife Candice) confirmed that they were really keen on being accessible to families and had a dedicated creche. So, buoyed by what I had heard, I arranged to visit the gym to see what it was all about and took mini Mumbler with me to try out the creche…
The creche is located next to the gym so you’re not more than a stones throw away from the little ones. There’s a play kitchen, a tv and loads of toys for the little ones to play with. Doug explained that they’d tried a few systems for the creche but had settled on the current one where they have 2 regular members of staff to ensure continuity for the kiddies and give the parents the best possible chance of getting an hour’s work out done without being called upon to settle their mini ones. Sure enough, all the little ones looked content when we visited and after about 5 minutes, mini Mumbler had wandered off to find a dolly for the pushchair she’d commandeered giving me the chance to have a walk about with Doug and see what its all about….
When I was arranging my visit, Doug had invited me to try out one of the classes. My impression of cross fit was that it was for super fit olympians so I made up an excuse and said I’d just watch. On arrival however I was struck with how diverse the class was. There were only 4 people taking part ranging from an uber fit ninja type to a new mum getting her fitness back post baby (I was told that quite a few of the members were pre and post natal mums). Doug explained that the deliberately small classes meant the instructors could tailor each exercise to the individual’s fitness to ensure everyone worked out at their own pace. I was really impressed by how invested the trainer seemed to be in each person’s work out – it was like watching a personal training session but with a few participants.
We then went upstairs to the inner strength pilates studio where a reformer pilates class was taking place. Once again, the atmosphere was uber relaxed and friendly. The studio specialises in reformer pilates (pilates with benches and equipment) and is also a highly successful pilates teacher training school. They also have a specialism in pre and post natal pilates – Doug explained that pilates was excellent for helping with the abdominal muscle separation experienced by so many mums. The regular classes are suitable for any level and will be tailored to your level of fitness/pregnancy, or there are specific pre and post natal classes to try out. The studio will even schedule a class if more than 3 people want to attend at the same time – so you could get a group of mummy friends together, pop the little ones in the creche and get fit!!
What struck me was how the gym was the opposite of what I was expecting. I had teed myself up to walk into some sort of Olympic training camp but it was really friendly. Membership isn’t cheap – regular membership costs £80 – £100 a month (with discounts applied as more family members join or the longer you commit), but given that you essentially receive a personal training service, its actually quite reasonable if you can afford it. Plus, theres a pay as you go option so you can pay per session and, even better, you’re not tied into a contract meaning you can decide month on month how much you want to go/pay.
Cross Fit Silk and Inner Strength Pilates are located at 1 Lowe Street, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK117NJ
For more information email Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07427 308 338
Baby Yoga with Saffron
Saffron’s yoga classes are recommended time and time again by local mums and mums to be. Time constraints meant I couldn’t get down to try a class for myself in time to write this blog but my sister in law Hollie luckily agreed to take my lovely 7 month old niece and report back.
Hollie told me there were about 10 mums in the class which started with everyone sitting in a circle on yoga mats and pillows and talking about something good which had happened that week by way of ice breaker. Hollie said Saffron really put everyone at ease ready for the class to start. The class was a combination of baby and mummy yoga – they sang some songs and rhymes with the babies whilst stretching out their arms, massaging and stroking them and doing ‘noses to toeses’ where they brought baby’s feet up to their noses. Hollie said it was a great chance to have some quality bonding time with your little ones and that my niece laughed and cooed all the way through.
For the mums, Saffron tailors traditional yoga poses to include and integrate the little ones. Hollie told me they did the ‘Cow-Cat’ pose with the little ones lying in front of them and Saffron explained how to breathe in and blow on or kiss them as you move, which my niece loved. In another pose, the mums lay on their backs with the babies on their shins and rocked their legs from side to side – great exercise for the mums and a fun ride for the babies!
Hollie explained that when the class was coming to an end Saffron asked everyone to lie down or sit up, whichever was most comfortable, and she put on relaxing music whilst walking round blowing bubbles on the babies and talking the mums through clearing their minds and deep breathing techniques.
At the end of the class Saffron provided juice and healthy snacks for everyone and there was 15-20 minutes during which the mums could chat and get to know each other. Hollie told me it was a great opportunity to meet other local mums in a relaxed environment.
Hollie told me she left the class feeling both a lot more energised and calmer. She said it was a really lovely way to spend an hour and she could see definite benefits for both mummies and babies.
Saffron teaches pregnancy and baby yoga at a number of locations in Macclesfield including the hospital. For more information see the website here or call Saffron on 01625 432997
Sweaty Mama says it is a’unique and effective way to exercise with your child. No need to organise childcare, Sweaty Mama allows you to bond with your child whilst you undertake the workout, utilising their weight to intensify the exercise.’ I met Georgina, who runs the local Sweaty Mama classes, a while ago and had been struck by her warm and bubbly personality – I thought she’d be the perfect person to help a new mum who wanted to shift a few post baby pounds, or just get out and about and meet other new mums.
Hollie once again stepped up and took my niece to try out a Sweaty Mama class. She said there were about 10 mums in the class with babies of all different ages in slings or carriers. Georgina began by checking they were all secure before going into the warm up accompanied by loud, upbeat music and disco lights which the babies loved. Hollie told me the warm up consisted of a lot of hopping, jumping. raising of arms and legs and pretty much anything which made you work up a sweat! The class was then broken down into an exercise per track – so one track was dedicated to squat-type exercises, one to core and so on. The tracks and exercises remain the same for 6 weeks so you get to know them.
I asked Hollie to talk me through a couple of the tracks. She told me that the squat track consisted mainly of, well, squats – walking squats, leg raise squats, squats, squats, squats – all whilst carrying your little one in a sling. OUCH. For the core track the babies come out of the slings and you use their weight to make the crunches harder – so for example, you lie the baby on your tummy whilst doing sit ups. Most of the older babies obviously don’t keep still and have a crawl or waddle round, or play with the toys Georgina brings for them whilst their grown ups get on with crunching their abs. Hollie told me that as lovely as Georgina is, she isn’t afraid to push you and will get you to work harder if she thinks you can!
Georgina finished the class with a ‘Feel Good Finisher’ which combines all different types of exercises and is a great way to have one last push before collapsing in a heap ready for the final stretching track.
Hollie said she felt like she’d had a really good work out – she was exhausted at the end and ached for days afterwards!!