As a new parent, the thought of engaging in any kind of physical activity beyond tummy time can be exhausting. But it’s time to take advantage of summer’s sunshine with these accessible, you-can-do-it outdoor workouts. You can even bring along your little one for some of them. Read on for 8 results-driven routines to help you ease back into exercise!
photo: Spacing Magazine via Flickr
1. Stroller Strolls
There’s a reason stroller-based fitness programs like Stroller Strides are so popular: Torch calories? Check. Fresh air and camaraderie? Check. Childcare? Check. Even if you don’t pay to join a formal workout program, you can meet up with other parents for a weekly power walk or carve out time in your daily schedule for a mom-and-baby energizing stroll.
2. Jumping Rope
If you think jump ropes are just for playgrounds, check out the Crossrope Starter Set. The set includes two ropes—a one-pound “intensity” rope and a lighter “agility” rope—and a reference guide to give you technique tips, starter workouts, and jump-rope challenges. This workout tool can be used anywhere, and your baby will get a kick out of watching you hop around.
3. Lifting Hand Weights
Grab a set of hand weights (this AmazonBasics set comes with its own stand) and a mat and try out this full-body isometric workout from Pumps & Iron. It’s quiet enough that you can do it with baby sleeping nearby, and you can print out the routine and stick it on your fridge for motivation. Don’t own any weights? Try her park bench workout.
4. Baby Carrier Walks
Carrying your baby turns any long walk into a workout. On warm, sunny days, you’ll love the Wrapsody Wrap DuO. Made to be worn during exercise or in water, this baby wrap is breathable, wicks water, and dries in a flash—which means neither you nor baby will stay clammy if you sweat during your walk. There’s UV protection in the fabric too.
5. App Workouts
There are lots of workout apps that can put postpartum fitness literally at your fingertips. We especially like The Super Mom Workout app. Created by a mom with a background in sports medicine and physical therapy, the app lets you choose workouts for specific muscle groups (abs, butt, arms) so you get a targeted workout in a short amount of time.
photo: Hamza Butt via Flickr
6. YouTube Yoga
There are countless YouTube channels that can help you burn off those lactation cookies. We love Yoga With Adriene, which welcomes all levels and features specialized practices such as Yoga for Busy People, Yoga for Weight Loss, Power Yoga, and Yoga for Complete Beginners. Grab your phone, step outside to a patch of grass, and hit the mat!
7. Resistance Band Reps
Head to the local playground or just step outside your home with this Black Mountain resistance band set, and prepare your muscles for a challenge! You can target biceps, triceps, chest, upper/lower back, abs/core, or legs with one or all of the five bands, ranging in resistance from 4 to 75 pounds.
Whether you opt for water aerobics with your baby or take some time for yourself to swim laps, swimming is one of the most gentle-yet-effective ways to achieve all-over muscle tone and strength. Bring along a kickboard or pull float to target arms or legs, and consider wearing a swim cap to protect delicate postpartum hair.
What’s your favorite way to exercise outdoors? Let us know below.
— Katie Brown