Happy, Healthy Baby: Why We Love Mommy and Me Exercise Classes

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Xaviana and I have a long history of exercising together; when I was pregnant, I delighted in feeling her little movements as I did the All-Belly Pregnancy workouts and practiced prenatal yoga. Now, Xaviana is an active participant in my at-home workouts, laughing at my burpees and ab exercises, and even throwing in some planks and tabletops of her own every now and then. I swear, I caught her doing an upward facing dog the other day!

Even though I love exercising at home, I had to admit that it was beginning to feel a bit monotonous. I wanted to return to the gym, but our schedule only allows me to go once or twice a week. This is a common complaint for so many moms–and that’s why mom and baby exercise classes are so fabulous. You don’t have to worry about childcare or coordinating schedules with your partner. Plus, it’s the perfect way to meet other moms and babies, and to teach your little one the benefits of fitness from an early age!

I found a group of fit moms on meetup.com, and started attending biweekly exercise classes…and it was revolutionary.

Here I am (5th from left) with this fun group of fit moms and babies in my first-ever barre class.

Here I am (5th from left) with this fun group of fit moms and babies in barre class.

The first class I tried was a Babies on Board Barre class at Xtend Barre Encinitas. I was new to barre, and never took ballet as a kid, but it turns out that dance background doesn’t matter all that much. True, you might have prettier form (I’m still working on that, admittedly.), but you really don’t have to be a prima ballerina to reap the benefits of this intense cardio and toning workout. In the class, we wear our babies in their carriers for the barre portion, and let them loose for the core and ab training. The kids love the upbeat music and the constant movement, and the class is punctuated by whoops, giggles, and the occasional cry. Because of the bouncing and closeness to their mommies, many of the little ones fall asleep. Barre is a full-body workout and burns tons of calories, plus the dance moves and overall grace make it fun and rewarding. Xaviana and I are both addicted, and we go to class every week!

The other class I love is the FitMama and Me Fitness class at IgniteMe in Solana Beach, which incorporates babies into a strength-training interval workout. It turns out that babies love being used as weights. 🙂 Xaviana’s favorite exercises are the wood choppers and squats, punctuated by lifting her high overhead. The energy level of the class, coupled with the timed intervals of activity and high-octane soundtrack, make this type of workout a favorite for moms and babies alike. Xaviana enjoys her active involvement in the exercises as I swing and lift her in various fun and stimulating ways.

Moms out there, have you tried mommy and me exercise classes, and if so, which ones are your favorites? Which ones do your babies seem to prefer? I’d love to hear your experiences!

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