Fitting workouts in around a busy life with kids is tricky enough. Many mothers choose gyms and fitness studios based almost entirely on their crèche facilities (just me?) but now that we’re all confined to home, suddenly our workouts are even harder to come by.
Thankfully, the online studio is here to save us. We spoke to Bodylove founder Ali Handley about how to take your workout online, how best to manage with kids, and why exercise is more important now than ever.
Tell us about the online studio you run and what kind of workouts we can expect?
Way, way, way before Bodylove the studio, I created an online studio called Bodylove Online with 300+ mat pilates workouts – Prenatal, Postnatal and beyond. The workouts follow my genuine journey through my second pregnancy with my son, to the day I delivered, up until he is two and I moved home from New York. My postpartum After Birth Training Program begins the day I get home from hospital after delivering Henry. These 10 minute video workouts are designed to reactivate and safely recover your body after pregnancy and childbirth. It is absolutely my genuine experience – no filters, no editing, no faking the progress. We also have postnatal and strong mama collections, of workouts that are ideal for any pilates lover! They’re very similar to the mat classes you can take at Bodylove. You can filter the workouts by time, body part, prop or special conditions, which include SI joint pain, and a labour preparation collection.
What are your tips for exercising online - when should busy mums do this?
I think every stage of motherhood allows for a very different schedule. My preggies have time on their side – so whenever they can, but every day! With new babies, I will always tell my clients, as soon as you put the baby to bed – before you put a load on or unstack the dishwasher – get in front of the computer and do your workout. You never know how long you will have. For my mums with slightly older toddlers and kids, their screen time might be your screen time! Or better still – hubby walks in the door you disappear and get moving. Bodylove has really great filters (including long and short workouts) and a huge mega menu that has a host of different collections.
How important do you think exercise is right now for managing stress and anxiety?
So, so important. Never more so. Just taking 10 minutes to move your body, breathe, and connect, will melt away stress! Every class at Bodylove Woollahra begins with breath, calming the nervous system and just bringing consciousness into the body and away from the outside panic. When you do Pilates you are working hard. You need to focus, so for that period of time, the worries take a back seat.
What are your favourite at home Pilates moves?
I love a good standing flow – moving through planks, squats, lunges and plies. Everyone sits too much!