When you’re sleep deprived and struggling to meet the needs of your growing baby, the last thing on your mind is probably working out. But exercising with your baby is a great way to get back in shape, enjoy time with your little one and meet other new moms. Here’s how to get started.
Baby & Me Fitness
Providing an opportunity for moms to get together has always been a goal for Skylar Hill-Jackson, who founded Toronto’s Baby & Me Fitness in 1987. “I want to provide an environment that encourages moms to connect and develop friendships, so each class includes time for informal discussion and parenting information.” Not only do classes give you a chance to get your pre-baby body back, but, long after your infant has grown into childhood, the friendships you make with other moms may continue. “I can’t tell you how many women have come back to me to say that the fitness class was their parenting lifeline,” says Hill-Jackson.
Strollerfit In The Park
At Hill-Jackson’s Strollerfit in the Park program, moms work on strength and stretching while their babies are safely tucked into their strollers. “Babies love being outside, with the wind blowing in their faces and the sun shining, looking at the birds and chipmunks,” she says.
In a few months, when your baby hits the toddler stage, more interactive classes will be possible. At Salsa Tots classes held in a number of Canadian cities, moms and toddlers dance up a storm to Latin music created especially for the program. “My main objective is to have music that gets moms dancing, too,” says owner Jennifer Torres. She says that expectations are different from those of a traditional gym workout, but the message you send your child is powerful. “It’s not like going for an intense hour-long gym workout,” she says. “But it’s leading by example and showing your child that being active doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym and be on a machine, it can be incorporated into your daily life. At my house, we have music on all the time. It can be fun, spontaneous and silly!”