You’ve got a much-loved baby and never-ending piles of laundry to do, but you’re ready to return to working out. What’s a new mama to do? Here are a few tips to help you find time to work up a sweat and squeeze in a little exercise here and there. Hint: Consider your baby not only your biggest obstacle to working out, but also your new fitness partner.

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Photo: Vasile Cotovanu via Flickr

1. Walk It Out
Go for a hike or take your baby on outings where you’ll have to walk, like the zoo or, when it’s cold out, to a museum or even the mall. Make sure to pack your carrier. It not only makes strolling with a wee one easier, but hefting that extra baby weight burns extra calories.

2. Try an App for That
Make naptime workout time using Sworkit, an app that leads you through short, customized exercises. You set a time, as little as five minutes, and go through a series of guided stretches, cardio, or strength training exercises (you pick!) you can do anywhere and anytime.

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Photo: Nelson Kwok via Flickr

3. Make the Most of Tummy Time
Make tummy time exercise time by fitting in a few planks and crunches while your baby is doing her workout on her belly. Then, squeeze in some squats and lunges, using your baby as a weight. Chances are, she’ll find the up and down motion as you hold her quite entertaining.

4. Mama Date
Make it a play date. Invite a fellow-new-mama friend to join you for a walk around the park for you, then a session on the baby swings for the little ones. Having a buddy helps keep you accountable and you can up your commitment by signing up for a 5k and working toward that goal together.

5. Channel Your Inner Tiny Dancer
Put on some music and have a dance party, getting your heart rate up to your fave tunes. Let Baby watch from his bouncer or pick him up and make him your partner. Older babes can join in with a few claps and bounces of their own.

Photo: Autumm via Flickr

6. Try Yoga Together
Mommy and me classes for new mamas abound, and yoga classes for new mamas are a great way to ease back into exercise. Plus, you’ll get the chance to meet other new mamas and, since they’re full of babies, no one will mind if your kiddo loses it in the middle of class.

7. Have a Living Room Sweat Fest
Can’t make it out of the house? That’s okay. Thanks to the magic of the internet, there are hundreds of at-home workouts you can do in your own living room. Here are a few of our fav workout videos to do with your baby.

8. Enjoy Baby-Free Time at the Gym
If you have the time to make it to the gym, be sure to find one with childcare so you can break a sweat while your little one safely plays or snoozes. You’ll get there twice as much if you know that your baby will be safely cared for while you use the treadmill. No judgements if you take an extra long baby-free shower while you’re there too!

Photo: Serge Melki via Flickr

9. Pimp Baby’s Ride
Splurge on a good jogging stroller. You’ll be able to get back into running with your kiddo (when she reaches six months and can safely ride in the jogger), take stroller classes, or just push your little one to the park in cushioned comfort.

10. Ease In
Most important, go easy on yourself. Wait to do serious workouts until you have your doctor’s green light – usually six to eight weeks after labor – and remember: there are days that just climbing up the stairs will be all the exercise you can manage. You’ve got this, Mama!

What helped you find time to exercise as a new mom? Share your secrets below.

-Oz Spies