Chorley gym starts parent and baby workouts to help families recover from pandemic lonliness

Getting back into exercising after having a new baby can be a challenge for any parent, but one gym in Chorley has set out to change that.

The Gymnasium's designed a twice-weekly baby bootcamp, where not only are little ones welcome to come along, they can also form an important part of the workout.

New parents can use their little ones as weights - or let them run around and play. Credit: The Gymnasium Chorley

"There are great benefits to working out with your baby," explained the gym's owner, Antony Monks, "You're using their weight to carry out the lifts, so working your muscles and getting strong, and getting into training again. But also you're bonding with the baby, getting them involved, holding them close, it's just brilliant".

We asked three new parents how they found the classes:

The pandemic and three successive lockdowns have certainly complicated the first few months of parenthood - with many traditional support sources such as mother and baby groups being unable to meet in person.

Gym staff wanted to rebuild parents' confidence in getting out and about, and say the mental health benefits are equal to the physical.

Gym staff say it's not only a great workout - but great entertainment for the babies and toddlers. Credit: The Gymnasium Chorley

Yvette Owen is a personal trainer at The Gymnasium and runs the parent and baby classes. A mum herself, she knows how important the social element can be.

"Becoming a mum for the first time is incredibly difficult in the best of times, but when you throw a pandemic into the mix.... a lot of these mums have spent months at home, some quite isolated, not able to get any kind of fitness. So to be able to do this and to bring them all together - even if it's just for socialising, it's so important."