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Celebrity Health - Helen Flanagan

© Image of Helen Flanagan by Robin Kennedy

Actress Helen Flanagan talks to Liz Parry about her wellness programme for new mums

Actress Helen Flanagan is most well known for her portrayal of Rosie Webster in Coronation Street. Having appeared on the ITV soap for 12 years, from 2000 to 2012, she returned to the role in 2017 before taking maternity leave. The 28-year-old lives in Scotland with her fiancé, professional footballer Scott Sinclair, and their two daughters, three-year-old Matilda and 10-month-old Delilah. Here she talks about her newest project: Mumma Fit, an online postnatal fitness and wellness programme.

Mumma Fit is a programme that I’m really proud to be a part of. It’s an exercise programme but the focus isn’t on losing weight because I don’t think it’s healthy to put a focus on that. It’s more about strengthening your inner core and working on your pelvic floor and other exercises. I worked with an amazing trainer called Jane Wake who’s really knowledgeable about post-natal fitness.

Lots of exercises women do after they give birth are completely wrong. You can have a gap in your stomach, especially if you have a C-section, and things like crunches can make things worse. You can actually damage your body.

The programme includes breath, core, balance and calming techniques, as well as moves to strengthen your legs, hips and tummy. There are also cardio workouts and nutritional tips.

What’s great about the programme is that you can do it at home. A lot of mums like me don’t have nannies or childcare. I live in Scotland and my mum lives in Manchester, so I don’t get a lot of childcare. It’s nice to have something you can do at home – you can just put your iPad on and be away.

It’s hard enough, as a mum, getting out of the house on time, let alone trying to find time to exercise. Honestly, sometimes, with two children, if you’re not organised or prepared, the day can go completely upside down, so you don’t need the pressure of rushing to the gym. When it comes to my own exercise routine, I do the programme four times a week. It’s really good because I fit it in around my schedule.

I like to follow a healthy, balanced diet. I don’t obsess about what I eat. The worst thing you can do is start denying yourself things. I like to have a bit of chocolate, but I just don’t go overboard with it.

My fiancé is a sportsman so he has to eat well and healthily before games. He tends to cook more than I do as I look after the children.

As I’m breastfeeding Delilah at the moment, I’m more aware of my diet. I wouldn’t eat loads of junk food because whatever I have, she has, so I try to eat healthily with lots of fruit and vegetables. It’s good for her.

I don’t like to keep having the same meals because I think it can get really boring. Sometimes I have porridge or sometimes scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast. I do like coffee. I tend to have one a day because I’m still breastfeeding. For lunch I’ll have a sandwich or salad or pasta or soup. For dinner, my little girl’s favourite is spaghetti bolognese, so we eat that or chicken with veg and rice or fish risotto. I don’t have a lot of red meat but, if I do, I like good quality organic meat.

I think it’s really important to have a positive mindset and not to focus on losing weight after you’ve given birth. We are all different shapes and sizes and pregnancy affects everybody in different ways, so you don’t know how it’s going to take its toll on your body. Jane and I have put affirmations into our workout, like “You are strong,” “You are amazing” and “You are what your baby needs”. We just wanted to do something that was very positive and encouraging for other women.

Mumma Fit and other workouts are available for £4.99 a month at www.TV.FIT

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