Exercise Resources

Exercising With Baby & Friends

 

Exercising with your baby is a great way to bond, and there are lots of options available for doing so in a supportive environment with other moms. It’s a great way to make mom-friends, and I know so many moms who swear they couldn’t survive motherhood without their fellow mamas in their stroller exercise group.

Hike It Baby (Free)

Hike It Baby is a website complete with Facebook groups by city (250 cities and growing) that gets families out hiking with their little ones, from newborn on up. Joining a group and participating in hikes is free, and if you can find a group near you, you’ll see upcoming hikes on Facebook and join the hike for free. There are Hike It Baby guides, but they’re not specially trained – they’re just volunteers, enthusiastic about hiking.

 

And let me tell you, I’m excited about hiking, too. Every time I take my little ones (my 3 year old son and my 11 month old daughter) on a hike, I realize how much they truly need regular exposure to an honest to goodness natural environment. I see their little spirits light up, their eyes wide and wondrous, and their minds focused and in the moment when we’re on the trail. Nothing calms my spirited 3 year old like a hike in the woods. And these hikes have to be real hikes, away from city sounds, away from traffic, away from our suburban neighborhood.

 

What we’re always seeking is the sound of birds and bugs and the smell of the trees. Hike It Baby is all about that, plus it provides a way to get together with other parents for a group hike. That’s important, because let’s say you’re on a hike with your 3 year old, carrying your baby in a front carrier, and a dirty diaper happens? You’re going to need some help. Plus, it’s a great way to meet like minded mom friends and nature loving buddies for your littles.

Moms Run This Town (Free)

Moms Run This Town is a free community of supportive, fellow runner moms who gather in person and on Facebook to support each other, cheer one another on, bond on runs, and share their struggles and joys of running and motherhood.

 

You can find your local chapter here. The moms in this group are moms of any age – there are grandmas in my local chapter as well as pregnant first time moms and moms with newborns.

Stroller Warriors (Free)

If you are a military mom or military spouse, Stroller Warriors can be a lifesaver. Stroller Warriors is a free program on just about every military base or post. Two to three times a week, stroller-wielding mamas get together and walk or run, then usually do some groundwork afterwards.

 

Most of the time they meet at a playground so that the little ones can play together at the end. I am a proud member of the Fort Belvoir Stroller Warriors, and it is an amazing, supportive group of mamas! Stroller Warrior leaders are all volunteers, and are not coaches or trainers. They facilitate the workouts and lead the groups.

 

An historical note: It all started in 2007 at Camp Lejeune, NC, where my very own sister was one of the first Stroller Warrior mamas!

Fit4Mom (Prices vary)

Formerly known as Stroller Strides, Fit4Mom is a national franchise that holds classes for pregnant moms, new moms (this class is still called Stroller Strides), moms with older children wanting their bodies back, and specialty classes like baby barre (using the stroller for the barre).

 

Typically, a Stroller Strides class includes a combination of running and strength training and/or plyometrics. It’s a great workout, and they keep it moving enough to keep both you and (likely) baby entertained. The cost varies by class and with different packages, but as an example a single class pass is $20, 10 classes are $160, and if you want to be a regular, you can sign up for $75 plus $79 per month for unlimited classes.

 

Most of the time the classes in your area will offer a free class pass so you can try it out before spending a dime (that’s especially important now because baby has a say in this, too!). Fit4Mom instructors are trained and certified by Fit4Mom.

Baby Boot Camp (Prices vary)

Similar to Fit4Mom, Baby Boot Camp has a similar format for exercising with baby. Baby Boot Camp also offers nutrition instruction and a 4 week course for diastasis recti recovery.

 

I have not tried a Baby Boot Camp class, and their website does not provide details about their diastasis recti program, so I can’t provide an opinion about it, but I think it’s great that women can reach out to someone for help in a relaxed and informal environment. If you have a Baby Boot Camp in your area, I’d love to hear your opinion!

Baby Barre (Prices vary)

Babywearing workouts are a growing trend, and I can totally understand why. I often do a baby-wearing workout because it is the ultimate multitasking technique for the busy mom. You can bond with baby while working out and getting baby to fall asleep, and you can do it anywhere (waiting rooms, the airport, your living room, out on a walk, you name it). Now you can add “making mom friends” to your multitasking list by doing a baby wearing workout in a class with other moms!

 

Classes are springing up everywhere. The price varies by location. Here are some examples:

 

Multiple Locations throughout the world (not all have the Babies On Board Class):

https://www.xtendbarre.com

 

Southern CA: http://www.babybumpballet.net/store/c3/Babywearing_Barre.html

 

PA: http://www.babiesatthebarre.com

 

HI: http://bodybalancemaui.com/babybarre/

Home Workout Videos

If you’re a mom, you’re busy. It pays to have a few intense, quick exercise videos on hand for times that you need to get an intense workout in, at home, with minimal equipment. Here are a few great options.

Jessica Smith TV (Free)

Jessica has loads of workouts available for free on her website. I love that she shows the time for each one and has plenty of short workouts to choose from, including many with no equipment required.

 

Often I’ll choose a few and do them together in a row (many are in the 8-12 minute range, and I’m often looking for a 25-40 minute workout, so I just string them together).

 

She also gives great advice about form without wasting time standing and talking. Her longer, professionally filmed workouts are also available to purchase from her website.

Tracy Anderson Post Pregnancy DVD (about $9)

This is a 45 minute single workout DVD that includes abs, arms, and butt/hips. It’s a great workout, and it only requires a pair of light 1-3 lb hand weights.

The only thing about this workout is that you need to be pretty far out from your pregnancy with absolutely no diastasis recti (separation of abdominal muscles). I’d wait until you’re at least 6 months out from your pregnancy and you have checked your belly for diastasis and you’re SURE you have no muscle separation (she says you can start as soon as your doctor clears you to exercise, but I disagree).

She does a lot of piking, planks, crunches, and oblique crunches, so if you have a diastasis or if yours is healing, this workout will make it worse.

Pump One (Subscription is about $45 per year)

Pump One is great because they have a huge, wonderful variety of workout types, trainers, equipment, and workout durations.

My personal favorite trainer is Declan, and his Kettlebell Basics workout is how I learned to use kettle bells (it was actually just after I had my son, and I needed some intense cardio alternatives to do at home while my son slept since the treadmill woke him up).

You can access Pump One on your computer, tablet, phone, or iWatch. Pump One will even create personalized workouts for you if you want a more personal feel. For $45 per year, it’s way less expensive than a gym membership or personal trainer!

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