Dear Diary,

When was the last time you worked out? I understand how hard it is to exercise while caring for family, maintaining a household and working a full-time job. It took me an entire year to create a regular workout routine. Want to know how I did it? I turned playtime into workout time! That’s it. I didn’t join an expensive gym or hire an even more expensive trainer. I exercised when my daughter and I played together. This simple adjustment has allowed me to lose and keep the baby weight off. It has also given me the strength and energy to keep up with my busy toddler. Here are some tips on workouts for new moms.


One of the easiest ways to workout with your baby is to strap her into their stroller and head outdoors. Do a few laps around your neighborhood or your local park. Point out familiar objects and sounds. Sing the alphabet, a favorite nursery rhyme or practice numbers. You will get your steps in, and your baby will enjoy the fresh air, movement and interaction. This quick outing may lead up to a long nap or good night’s sleep. If you need a more intense routine, try intervals of running and walking. Also, mix in jumping jacks and squats using the stroller for support. With older kids play a game of tag, hopscotch or race. Let them win sometimes. Sometimes!


My daughter Zoë loves yoga time with mommy. She gets a kick out of seeing me attempt a new pose. When I collapse, she falls out laughing. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and let your kiddo join in on the fun. Put your little one face up on your yoga mat or next to you. Do poses, such as downward facing dog, cat or happy baby above them. Depending on your child’s height, they can even sit up while you do these poses.


I have a fear of deep water, so even though I know how to swim, I rarely dive in. This will not deter me from enrolling Zoë in swim classes. While in the pool with your little one, be sure to keep your legs moving at all times. Simply raising your legs up and down will burn calories. Imagine adding your child’s weight. If you have a fear of water like I do, take a swimming class.


Little ones love to crawl nonstop. Get down and join them. Crawl fast, slow, forward, backward and side-to-side. To up the ante, place your little one your back. Trust me, after 10 minutes you will feel the burn.


Zoë falls out laughing when I do jumping jacks. I must look pretty crazy to her. Then one day she jumped with me. Now that was funny. As a modification, I jump up and down and sometimes hop, which she can easily do. I add in one-leg hops for myself and that gets her cracking up again. Whatever works, she’s happy, and I am revving up my heart rate. We are both winning.


Roll or kick a ball back and forth. The first time I told Zoë to go get her ball and she went I cried. Who knew she understood what I was saying. We roll it and she attempts to through and kick in her own special way. Watch out for daddy’s big screen.


Place your little one on or in between your legs while you do sit-ups, planks and push-ups. Do squats or lunges while they are lying on the mat below you. Want to pump up the benefits: Hold your little one while doing these moves. You may have to do fewer reps but you will feel the burn. Zoë is 25 lbs. Trust me it hurts so good. Wall Sits are so hard. When I add my 25 lbs. of baby girl love they become BEAST. Try this move for 15-20 seconds. Work your way up to 30 seconds or more. Distract yourself by making funny faces or singing with your little one. You are probably closer than you think to having First Lady Michelle Obama’s fabulous arms. Just lifting Zoë for these past 16 months have toned my arms. I do arm lifts and curls with her in hand. I also lift and gently swing her side-to-side simulating a kettlebell move. Dance Crank up her favorite tunes or yours. We dance to Baby Einstein radio, calypso and house music via Pandora and SoundCloud. We go for about 45 minutes. I try to get this in before nap time if we don’t go out for a run. She is exhausted after.

See how easy it is to get a workout in with your little one? Get started today and celebrate your progress as you get stronger and leaner.

Hey DFTM Fam–How are you instilling fitness and health goals as a priority in your children’s lives?

About The Author

MJ Levine
Fit Mom/Community Relations Manager

MJ is a married mom raising an 18-month old daughter and an 8-year-old daugter in Atlanta, GA. She writes about fitness, food, life, love and getting to know Atlanta with her toddler in tow. She loves being a mom, because it gives her joy to explore the world with her daughter while preparing her to follow her dreams into adulthood. Being a mom has started MJ's journey to live her own dreams. When not writing for DFTM, MJ enjoys all things toddler, cooking, exercising and living life in a new city. Shealso blogs at FAB Haute Mama ( In her spare time, she mentors young adults and assists them with job preparation.

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