Aimee Rogers knows all about juggling. For the past five years, the busy mum-of-two has juggled family life with running her own business - and has still managed to make time for fitness.
But Aimee reveals it hasn’t always been easy and that her experience of parenthood, and its unique pressure on priorities, was behind her decision to launch a fitness regime in Sheffield with busy mums in mind.
“Kids, work, family, as we get older they all get priority of your time, meaning exercise gets pushed further down the To Do list,” explained the 30-year-old, of Outibridge.
“When my son Finn was born four-and-a-half years ago, I went from living an active life as a fitness trainer to suddenly being an exhausted new mother, too knackered to do so much as a squat.”
Aimee decided if she was struggling, other mums must be too. That was all the motivation she needed to launch Revitalize Fitness - a city-wide series of classes and coaching sessions, tailored to suit busy mums and their hectic schedules. Aimee, a fully-qualified trainer with a degree in Sport and Exercise Science, combined her fitness knowledge with her personal experiences of parenthood to develop classes that she knew would work for mums in the city.
She said: “How do you strike that balance if you are sick of feeling shattered, fat and maybe even depressed, but you don’t have the time to change anything? I’ve been working in the fitness industry for over ten years and I’ve worked with hundreds of women, so I know what works and what doesn’t. I knew I could help these women and, since Revitalize launched in 2010, we’ve had a lot of success doing just that. 80-90 per cent of my clients are mums and I get to watch as they grow stronger and more confident with every passing week.”
How do you strike that balance if you are sick of feeling shattered, fat and maybe even depressed, but you don’t have the time to change anything?Aimee Rogers
Revitalize’s class schedule includes Sling Fit classes - where mums work out with their babies strapped to their bodies in slings - and Fit Mums classes - where mums can bring their kids along with them.
Aimee said: “My Fit Mums sessions are ideal for busy mums who struggle to find the time to exercise. Mums bring their children along with them and they can either play with the toys provided or join in with the fitness session. That means that mums can get a decent workout without having to worry about having someone to look after the kids or paying for extra childcare.
“The Sling Fit sessions, which are the only sessions like it in Sheffield, are essentially about working out whilst baby-wearing. I’m a trained babywearing peer support worker and ‘wore’ both my kids in slings, rather than using buggies. It’s great exercise as it creates extra weight for the working out mum and also keeps the baby close and happy. I’ve seen buggy sessions where the kids are crying and anxious. With Sling Fit, the babies are exactly where they want to be - cuddled in to mummy - and most of them sleep all the way through! There is a lot of evidence that carrying your baby in a sling is beneficial for the health of both mums and babies, so combined with the added benefits of postnatal exercise, Sling Fit is really helping mums to strengthen their bodies and the bonds with their babies after pregnancy.”
Aimee, who also has a two-and-a-half year old son, is the first to admit it’s difficult to work a good fitness routine into your life as a busy parent, but insists that’s where she can help.
She said: “I know what people are thinking, but believe me this is possible and I genuinely believe I can help women to make long-lasting changes that will improve their life forever. I am confident in saying this because I have done it myself and I know I can support busy mums to do the same.”
And Aimee revealed that when it comes to mums, it’s about support as much as it is exercise.
She said: “It’s so important, I think especially if you’re a first time mum, to have a group of people who are all in the same position and can support one another. If you’re the first one in your circle of friends to have a baby, it really does help to develop that second circle of friends who know exactly what you’re going through.
That’s why Revitalize, as well as being about working out, it also - just as vitally - about a social aspect, about meeting regularly with other new mums in your area, women who are going through the same struggles as you, so you can cheer each other on.”
In addition to her regular classes, Aimee also runs a special six-week ‘All About Me’ kickstarter programme from her website. The programme features a series of calls with Aimee, a full lifestyle analysis and a personalised fitness programme.
Aimee said: “I’ve had mums say ‘I’m not fit enough to come to your classes’ or ‘I wouldn’t know what to wear.’ These are common fears among mums who’ve let themselves get out of a routine and the six week programme is about building confidence and giving women the kickstart they need and the motivation of seeing a transformation beginning to happen.
“I only take on five busy ladies at a time so I can dedicate myself to them and give them plenty of support.”
If you would like to find out more about Revitalize Fitness, visit Revitalize Fitness for more information.