McSport is delighted to have partnered with Belle Azzure to give new mothers different ways to get back into working out. Having a baby takes its toll on the body. Your bodies chemistry doesn't return to normal for a year after having a child. Working out is one way that you can help your body return to its new norm, postpartum. We'll be posting the links through this blog as they are done, so be sure to keep an eye on it and our Instagram where the workout videos are going up.
Who is Belle Azzure?
Dearbhla Toal, known online as Belle Azzure, is a social media star known for her lifestyle and health-focused content. Recently she gave birth to a baby boy, Cillian, and in the past few months, has been focused on workouts that will help postpartum.
Benefits of working out postpartum:
There are many reasons you should work out postpartum, including:
Strengthen abdominal muscles
It's expected that you will have weakened abdominal muscles after having a child. Your body has been put through a lot of stress, and something must give. Working out will help firm those muscles back up, giving you a stronger core.
We all know how hard it is to find energy after having a baby. Working out (while it may seem like more of an effort) works at boosting your energy in the long term. Sometimes that energy is the only thing keeping you going in those first few months, so finding a way to boost it is always a plus.
Helps to prevent postpartum depression
This is something that everyone, no matter how good their mental health is, is at risk. After having a baby, your hormones will be out of sync; you won't know which way is up for a while. Staving off postpartum depression is vital for a better mental outlook. While working out won't stop it, it will go a long way toward keeping your mental and physical health good.
We know it's tough getting a good night sleep with a new baby. Working out will help promote better sleep when you do get to rest, though. You will be better rested after working out rather than catching a few broken hours at a time.
Now that we know the benefits of working out postpartum. Here is what you will need for the workouts with Belle.
What you will need:
If you want to join Belle in her workouts, you must purchase a few workout accessories. Don't worry, though; all of these are available through the McSport website:
Hex dumbbells are great for aiding muscle regrowth and muscular coordination. The hard-wearing, anti-roll design makes these the perfect accessory to help you with your postpartum workouts. Make sure to pick up a pair of these so you can do the exercises along with Belle!
Want to know more about Hex Dumbbells? Check out our Training With Hex Dumbbells blog to find out all you need to know.
Neoprene dumbbells are another workout accessory that Belle will use in her workouts and will be needed. These dumbbells, also known as studio dumbbells, boast a hexagonal shape with an easy neoprene grip. They are colour coded, so you'll know which weight you're using easily, and even better, they're budget-friendly!
Want to know more about Neoprene Dumbbells? Check out our The Benefits of Neoprene Dumbbells blog to find out all you need to know.
Cast Iron Kettlebells
Cast Iron Kettlebells are a fantastic workout tool as their solid weight and large handle gives you the option for two-handed exercises, giving you more control over your workout. These are also colour coded with thin strips for easy recognition. These will feature in Belles's workouts, so you should invest in a size to suit you to follow along.
Want to know more about Cast Iron Kettlebells? Check out our How To Choose The Right Kettlebell blog to find out all you need to know.
Loop bands are cheap, versatile, and a great workout accessory. Using these will help your control and your form. As they are lightweight and flexible, these are perfect for getting back into working out postpartum. Belle will use these in all her workouts, and they only cost a few euros.
Want to know more about Loop bands? Check out our The Power Of Power Bands blog to find out all you need to know.
A Yoga Mat is light, easy to carry, and perfect for all types of exercises, no matter where you're doing the workout with Belle. These mats are great if you're using a kettlebell or dumbbell as they give added protection to the floor. It is also a softer surface, so you will be more comfortable when working out.
Want to know more about Yoga Mats? Check out our 7 Workout Essentials For Traveling blog to find out all you need to know.
If you want to know more on the roadmap to postpartum workouts with Belle and Aoife Hanly, a health professional. Here are a few things that were asked:
Dearbhla: What happens when your consultant says you’re okay to exercise? How do you gradually approach it again?
Aoife: See a woman’s health physio. They are the industry specialist as we check your pelvic floor, the scar, etc. We check if you are ready or if you need some rehab before working. Beyond that, we would recommend you work on your strength before your aerobics.
Dearbhla: So can people come in at an intermediate level after giving birth if they were fitter before?
Aoife: Rarely. You have to think about your stomach and pelvic. Think about how lengthened they are. You won't be able to just up and go running after six weeks postpartum. You need to start slow.
Dearbhla: How do you feel confident enough to reach for the kettlebell?
Aoife: If you can go for a postpartum coach (I don't mean a guy in the park with a load of mum working out). Other than that, you need to start slow and build your confidence in working out and grade it as you go. You need to pull the strength back into the body.
If you want to see more of those questions answered, check out Belle Azzure’s page on Instagram!
These workouts are starting on 31st October so check back here to see the first one!
To kick the workouts off, Belles brings everyone through a beginner workout. There is no workout accessories required for this.
Beginner bodyweight workout:
40 seconds WORK / 20 seconds REST
- Static Lunges (each leg)
- Side Plank (each side)
- Glute Bridges
- Bird Dog / Toe Taps