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Cool mom-friendly workouts that will keep you fit

Ditch the treadmill ... now!

Moms, ditch the treadmill and the elliptical machine... now! There are some hot new workouts in town and all of them are mom-friendly!

From classes where ballet meets yoga (and no, you don't have to have the body or the poise of a ballerina to go!) to how to finally jump on the running bandwagon, check out these new ways to put the life back in your workouts.

Is that a ballet barre? In my yoga class?

Why yes, it is! But, don't let it scare you. We won't make you put on pointe shoes to do this workout! Some of the hottest new fitness classes across the nation are bringing yoga and Pilates to an entirely new level, incorporating ballet barres into the mix. Barre classes are no doubt intense, using the principles of dance conditioning and isometrics (think tiny motions, rather than big ones), to make your body long, lean and strong.

And here's the best news, you don't have to already have (or have had in the past!) a ballerina-esque body to have success at barre-based classes. Owners of The Bar Method in Seattle, WA, Maika Manring and Bev Currier tell us, "We have watched every type of person transform their bodies in the studio. Our new moms are doing better than getting their pre-baby bodies back, they're getting their best bodies ever!"

Our Parenting Editor, Laura Willard is a barre class regular! Read about her experience in Real Moms Guide: Mom Health: The Dailey Method >>

The workout that will make your preschooler jealous

How many times have you told your kids to stop jumping off the walls? Lost count? We thought so. You're going to think we're crazy for suggesting this as the newest way to revive your workouts, but it's just too cool to not share. Parkour is defined as "the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one's path by adapting one's movements to the environment." Sounds a bit like being a mother, doesn't it? In action, Parkour looks a lot like what your 5-year-old son does on a walk in your neighborhood — running and climbing on every wall nearby, launching himself off of stairs, trying to get "air" and conquer every physical obstacle that's anywhere in his path.

As a workout, there are Parkour gyms popping up all across the nation that are typically housed in huge warehouses that have now been filled with obstacles to make a mock-urban setting — things to climb over, run up and leap off of — sort of like an urban obstacle course. Parkour training teaches you how to train your body to negotiate these things and although at first glance, it seems like a reckless way to exercise, it's actually quite intentional. To read more about Parkour and how to find a gym in your city, visit the American Parkour website.

So, you want to be a runner?

Maybe you were a runner pre-kids and now you just can't seem to find the time to lace up your shoes again. Or, maybe you've never run a step in your life... other than chasing after your 18-month-old who all of a sudden can run like a gazelle. Either way, a Couch to 5K program is a great way to get some pavement under your feet and get moving. Typically spread out over six weeks, a Couch to 5K program eases you into running, helping most people reach the point where they can comfortably run a 5K (which is over three miles!), even if they've never run before.

Running coach and mom herself, Beth Baker, and owner of Running Evolution, tells us "Couch to 5K programs are great for moms. For moms, moving your body is a great self-care tool that can bring sanity to a busy life, which trickles down to the family. Happy mom, happy family."

Before you lace up your running shoes, put together one of these top 10 workout playlists to keep going >>

More on fitness for moms

Fit in exercise with a baby in tow
Mom's back-to-school fitness plan
Fun fitness gifts for new moms

Photos courtesy of The Bar Method Seattle-Eastside and Running Evolution.

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