Mum reveals she was back at the gym the day after she gave birth – and says it’s more painful NOT to work out
A MUM-OF-THREE who has two jobs and was working out just one day after giving birth has shared her secret to staying in shape – which includes using her kids in workouts.
Helene Vabo Thorsen, 33, from Oslo, Norway, is mum to Milla, 12, Markus, 9, and 10-month-old Ella, who she shares with fiance Christopher, a police officer.
As well as raising her three children, Helene also works as a personal trainer and firefighter.
Helene Vabo Thorsen, 33, from Oslo, Norway, went back to working out just one day after giving birth to her daughter Ella, 10 months.
The mum has become something of a social media sensation thanks to her high-octane and action-packed Instagram posts which feature everything from her family life to workout videos with the kids.
She has had a passion for fitness since she was just 16 years old and spends a lot of time in the gym after falling in love with strength training.
“When I was 18, I started working as an instructor at my local gym,” Ms Thorsen said.
“Then I attended the Norwegian school of sports science.
“I worked as a personal trainer and coach from 2005 and also a Nordic trainer for Les Mills.”
In 2013 she discovered CrossFit, which said was a complete “game-changer”.
She then launched her Instagram account in 2012 and now regularly posts workout inspiration videos – many of which include her three children.
The mum-of-three kept up regular workouts during all her pregnancies.
“I was alone with my oldest children for two years so I understood that if I was going to be in good shape, I had to bring them with me. And things just escalated.
“The best thing is that I can always work out and there is never an excuse.
“And of course, my kids will learn that exercising is a lifestyle.”
The mum maintained regular workouts during all her pregnancies from 25-minute circuits with kettlebell swing, burpees, steppes and air squats.
Incredibly, Ms Thorsen admits that she got straight back into working out just one day after giving birth to her youngest child.
Helene, who works two jobs as a firefighter and personal trainer, incorporates her kids into her workouts.
“She came on a Thursday, we went home on Friday and that evening I did some exercises in my living room with a band,” she said. “I was back at the gym on Monday.”
She went light at first doing simple exercises, adding that her body is so used to being active, “it’s actually painful to not be doing anything”.
However, for other women who are starting to get back into workouts after giving birth, she recommends starting small and building up.
“It’s better to start small and early than to wait and go big. Start with the small core/pelvic exercises, add a band; rowing, face pulls, small air squats, and increase slowly.”
As well as raising her three children, Helene is a personal trainer and firefighter.
Ms Thorsen said anyone can work out with their kids and suggests even incorporating bits of baby equipment into your set.
“I use a pushchair in some of my workouts or have the baby in my arms for others,” she said.
“But most often, my youngest sits in her stroller or tumbles around on the floor.
“Air squats, lunges, step-ups, ring-exercises like ring row, dips and dumbbell exercises work perfectly with the baby when she wants to sit on me.”
She has become an Instagram star.
Ms Thorsen said to just avoid quick movements that make their head unstable.
“And of course, avoid any risk for them to have weights on their heads. I don’t really do heavy weightlifting as that could put my kid at risk of being injured.”
As for her favourite exercises to do with kids, she loves circuit training which includes running for 400m, rowing, reverse lunges and push-ups.
“My oldest two kids also enjoy riding their bikes with me while I do my running sessions with Ella in her stroller.”
She works out for at least one hour a day and maintains a healthy diet which typically includes porridge for breakfast, bread rolls with some kind of ham for lunch and meat or fish with rice or potatoes and vegetables or salad for dinner.
Exercising before, during and after pregnancy
According to the NHS, the more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the better.
"Exercise is not dangerous for your baby," The NHS said. "There is some evidence that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour."
But there are exercises to avoid including some martial arts, exercises with risk of falling and scuba diving (because the baby has no protection against decompression sickness).
You can try gentle exercise, such as walking, as soon as you feel up to it.
But you should ideally wait until six week. "It's usually a good idea to wait until after your 6-week postnatal check before you start any high-impact exercise, such as aerobics or running," the NHS said.
"If you exercised regularly before giving birth and you feel fit and well, you may be able to start earlier. Talk to your midwife, health visitor or GP.
"If you had a more complicated delivery or a caesarean, your recovery time will be longer. Talk to your midwife, health visitor or GP before starting anything strenuous."
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