Mummy and baby classes are workout savers when you crave the gym but want to keep an eye on your tot.
Another bonus: “You’re role-modeling the importance of exercise for your child,” says Bela Moté, a national director at the YMCA of the USA. “And the earlier you do that, the better.” Here’s how three popular workouts handle your off spring.
At any YMCA, you’ll see the squad of parents with their kids (under 3 years old) in the shallow end of the pool, propelling the tots through water. Such baby swim classes are meant to get them used to the idea of swimming, but there’s constant motion and a bit of resistance in those 30 to 60 minutes. “It may not be a full workout for you, but there’s some low-intensity cardio involved,” Bela says.
Babies (about 6 weeks and up) act as added weights for your poses; imagine boat pose with baby lying belly down on your shins or sun salute with you hoisting baby overhead. “The ﬂow is pretty consistent—you’re able to do downward dog to kiss-me chaturanga push-up, then cat-cow into planks, so you get in the stretching, strengthening, and core work you came for,” says instructor Kristin McGee (@kristinmcgee), the creator of the BendiGirl yoga DVD, who teaches a plus-baby version (that’s her above with her workout-buddy twins). “It’s not lying around and cooing at your baby. You’ll have even more of a workout because you’re holding them as an extra weight.”
Picture yourself at barre class doing those same plié squats, leg lifts, and arm pulses—only with your tyke happily strapped to you in her BabyBjörn. That’s Mummy-baby barre classes in a nutshell. “You’ll do arm work with small weights and bands, barre work, and then ﬂoor work with baby, out of the carrier, being used as a weight for things like press-ups and curl-ups,” says creator Tori Levine, who teaches classes in central Pennsylvania. “We focus on core and pelvic-ﬂoor engagement throughout class.” In other words, you’ll hit all the same toning as your usual barre class. Check out WeBarre’s Mum & Bubs class – more info at www.webarre.com.