Whether you’re a new mama or an empty nester, being a mom is hard work. From holding your newborn to helping your graduate move out, the role can take a toll on your physical health. In some cases, you might even experience inflammation and pain after helping or playing with your child.
Luckily, a regular fitness routine can ward off back pain and other common maladies so you can be the mom you want to be. Have fun and stay fit with a complete body workout with these unique exercises.
1. Aerial Yoga
Perhaps you’ve seen circus performs wrap themselves in ribbon or silk fabric hanging from the ceiling. They twist and fold, ravel and unravel in some beautiful aerial dance. Yes, it might look difficult, but you don’t have to try all those complicated moves on the first try. Attend an aerial yoga class to get a small taste of the kind of skill — and strength — it takes to move with grace. You might just have so much fun you’ll go back for more.
Maybe it’s time you joined your kids on the trampoline. It turns out that bouncing around can improve bone density, build strength, promote balance and boost heart health. Whether you use a rebounder or the backyard trampoline, remember to start with simple, yet impactful moves like jumping jacks and jogging in place. Most importantly, have fun and stay safe. It might be helpful to take an in-person rebounding class if you’re still unsure whether this unique exercise is right for you.
3. Water Aerobics
Need an exercise that’s just as fun but a bit easier on the joints? Try water aerobics. Buoyancy allows for greater mobility so you can move more while experiencing less pain. In fact, people who run on an underwater treadmill experience a 19% decrease in pain, whereas those who run on a land treadmill often note a 51% increase in pain.
Meanwhile, the water provides enough resistance to strengthen your joints and muscles. The best part is, you can cool off by simply dipping your head underwater. Working out never felt so good!
4. Swiss Ball Bird Dog Holds
Maybe you clicked on this article in hopes of finding ideal workout moves for moms. In this case, you’ll want to add swiss ball bird dog holds to your routine. This exercise improves stability and posture and can even relieve back pain, which is great news for new moms.
Lie with your torso on top of the ball. With your toes and palms on the floor, lift your right arm and left leg at the same time. Reach and hold for a second or two. Then, return to the starting position and switch sides. Alternate sides and repeat 15 to 20 times to complete a full set.
5. Reverse Baby Curl
If you have an infant who needs constant attention, grab your babe and try a few reverse baby curls. Lie face-up on the floor and bring your knees toward your chest. Place your little one on your shins so they face toward you. Then, tighten your abs and lift your head and shoulders off the ground, bringing your nose to your knees. Lower and repeat 15 to 20 times to complete one set.
6. Weighted Sumo Squats
Whether you have infants or teenagers, you can try incorporating weighted sumo squats into your regular workout routine. Hold your baby — or a kettlebell — close to your chest. Stand with your feet farther than hip-width apart, turning the feet out slightly. Bend your knees, and lower into a squat position. Press through your heels and squeeze your butt to return to standing. Repeat 10 to 15 times to really feel the burn in your quads, hamstring, butt and calves.
7. Dance Party
Perhaps you want a workout routine that’s less structured and more focused on having fun. Why not bust a move and have a dance party in your basement or living room? Put on a feel-good playlist and let the kids join in and show off their best moves. Whether you dance for a few minutes or a whole hour, you’re sure to break a sweat and burn plenty of calories.
If you want more in the way of led classes, try Zumba or Jazzercise. Some yoga studies even have flows set to fun dance-worthy music so you can enjoy great tunes while you work.
Moms in need of a low-impact workout will love birding. This unique exercise is half hiking, half bird watching. Grab a pair of binoculars and hit the trails. Pick one with difficult terrain or plenty of inclines to challenge yourself and improve your cardio fitness level. It’ll also give your brain a workout because you’ll have to learn and remember different bird calls, markings and migration patterns. It’s a total body workout that’s fun for anyone!
Keep It Simple
No matter how old their kids are, moms have a lot on their plate. That’s why it’s important to keep your exercise routine short and sweet. Focus on simple, compound movements that work two or more parts of your body at once. How can you get more from your five-minute or half-hour sweat sesh? If you keep it simple and put in the work, you’re sure to see results in no time.