4 Ways to combine playtime with a workout

Apr 29, 2010 at 1:07 p.m. ET

Let's face it, it's tough to work off those last few (or a few more) pounds that hang around after you lose most of the baby weight. In addition to having to work harder than usual to get your pre-baby body back, it can also be a challenge to find enough time to fit in a workout. If it's tough to get to the gym on your own, try one of these activities that let you get fit and play with baby at the same time.

Mom and baby yoga

1Stroller Strides

Stroller Strides is a nationwide program that takes place in parks and communities. Moms get together and enjoy camaraderie, conversation, and exercise. There is a fee associated with these classes and registration is required.

2Mom & Baby Yoga

You're still recovering from labor and delivery, haven't slept for more than two hours at a clip in weeks and the last thing on your mind is heading to the gym for a cardio workout. Instead, why not give yoga a try for you and your baby! Check out Baby Om, where mom authors Laura Staton and Sarah Perron, both dancers and yoga instructors, offer techniques to help new mothers enjoy the physical benefits of yoga while allowing them to nurture themselves as well as their babies.

3Swim time for Mom and Baby

As the weather starts heating up, we all know bathing suit season is upon us and it's the perfect time to take your baby for a dip. I remember when my son was 10 months old, we visited Club Med Punta Cana and he couldn't get enough of the water - in fact, by the end of our vacation, my arm muscles were completely toned and sore! In their first year, you'll want to hold your baby close to you while they are getting the feel for the water and by six months, you might consider enrolling them in an infant swim class. Incorporate a little extra water aerobics for yourself by jogging in place or lifting your baby in and out of the water. Invite your mommy friends and make it a mom-date, too!

4Create your own program

As your baby grows and changes, the activities she enjoys will change also. Before she's mobile, lay your baby on her back and sit spread eagle on the floor in front of her – far enough away that when you reach forward to tickle her tummy or feet, you're actually stretching your muscles a bit, too! Once she begins crawling, have crawling races with her (if your knees can handle the stress) or perform moves like a plank or squat and have her crawl under the "bridge." Once you're ready to start heading to the local park, find a few within walking distance and set a brisk pace on the way there and back.

More ways to workout with your little one

New mom & baby workouts

Exercise class for post natal mothers and baby. Class begins with a strength training workout and finishes with calming infant massage. A great combination for mother and baby.

More on postpartum fitness