It’s mid-winter and the arctic blasts keep coming. The cure? (Or at least a way to keep your sanity?) Add physical activity to your daily routine. And, yep, baby’s invited, too. Scroll down for awesome ways to get active during the cold months, from body-toning babywearing to winter walks like no other. With creativity and motivation it’s as easy as ready, set … go!
1. Take a Winter Nature Walk
When the sun is shining, get out and moving — no excuses! Winter walks can be just as interesting as spring or summer strolls, with birds visible in bare trees, new spring bulbs popping up, freshly filled creeks babbling. Bundle baby up (check out our picks for winter gear here) and hit the trail/road/sidewalk.
Photo: Sean Dreilinger via flickr
2. Drop In a Class
When the wind chill takes the temp in the negatives, indoor activity is a must. Beat cabin fever by hitting up a baby “gym” class. Gymboree Play & Music offers classes all over the U.S., or check out local rec programs with drop-in classes. Sixty minutes of fun with songs, bubbles, parachutes and climbing equipment gives baby a chance to stretch those growing muscles while parents enjoy a few minutes of quality chat time.
Photo: Messina1017 via flickr
3. Play Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
Engage in a few sessions of this classic body I.D. game with baby and feel the burn. The faster you go, the better chance of getting an actual workout. Your cutie-patootie will think it’s pretty hilarious to see you going up-down, up-down, up-down.
Photo: Jermey Tarling via flickr
4. Have a Dance Party With Scarves
Music and movement go together like Fred and Ginger, and dancing is one of the easiest ways to get active with a baby. Put on your ultimate dance party playlist, grab a set of scarves (the more colorful the better!) and start spinning. Your little one will love to shake it up. And parents, you’ll love the tail-shaking, body-busting activity time. For other great ideas about playing with scarves, bounce over to Play and Learning Begins at Home.
Photo: courtesy playandlearningbeginsathome
5. Try Baby Yoga
Sometimes you need calm before the (snow)storm. Yoga is the answer! With adorable poses like Hop Along Yogi and Downward Dog Kisses, this is not just a strength session, it’s a bonding session, too. Mama of two and yoga guru Hope Zvara offers some basic and body-bending poses. Click over to Mind Body Green for the rundown.
Photo: Elsie Escobar via flickr
6. Sign Up for a 5K
Grab your running shoes and pound the pavement by signing up for a 5K. Jogging strollers are a common sight on the race circuit and now it’s even easier with Run Stroller Run, a website (founded by a mom!) dedicated to helping parents find races where strollers are okay. Not only is this a great way to ease back into healthy activity but you’ll have a chance to hook up with other parents out for the same reason. Head over to Run Stroller Run for a full list of upcoming races.
Photo: Ian Hunter via flickr
7. Tone Up While Wearing Baby
Ever worked on core muscles while using a 20-pound baby for weight? It’s a serious body (and mind) workout and it’s as easy as finding an open space in the living room. Plies, lunches and wall squats are all part of the program. Grab your favorite baby sling and check out a great tutorial by Stroller Stride founder Lisa Druxman over at Moby Wrap.
8. Chase Your Crawler
Have you gotten down and moved around around on all fours recently? Turn this oh-so-simple idea into a game of chase for workout-worthy fun. Propel yourself forward, backwards and sideways until just about every muscle in the body is moving. Your wee one getting a kick out of seeing you down on their level.
Photo: Jill M via flickr
What are your favorite ways to get active with baby? Share with us in the comments!
— Gabby Cullen