This guide to baby-friendly exercise classes is sponsored by Mama Army Playgroup Fitness.
Exercise is good for the heart, and for new moms, being around other mothers is good for the soul. That's why we love learning about group exercise options, especially ones that make it possible for moms to bring baby along with them.
Here are seven ways to get an effective workout with baby– or toddler– in tow.
1- Mama Army Playgroup Fitness Classes in Berkeley and El Cerrito – This locally-owned and operated class is designed to help you get fit and toned, create lasting friendships and become proud of your body again. Our weekday workouts take place in a safe contained space where toddlers form friendships through playing together. Babies sit in the stroller or lay on a yoga mat with their moms during core work. Take breaks any time to calm, feed or change your little one. We are all moms, we get it! These workouts will give you the endurance you need to tackle the rigors of motherhood head-on! ALL abilities welcome. Instructor Angela Warren says, “We meet each mom wherever they are currently at in their fitness journey.” Locations are at Ocean View Park (just off the 580 freeway near University Village) and Berkeley Marina. The Saturday morning family class option is perfect for working moms and dads. First Class FREE: http://mamaarmy.com
2- Baby Boot Camp – with classes at Lake Temescal, you'll bring your stroller and make your way around a circuit, led by an instructor. Jog or walk – it's up to you. The workout includes resistance bands (provided by the instructor) and good old fashioned lunges and push-ups. Register online for a free trial class. It's a good place to meet others who are on maternity leave. Website >
3- Yogalayam – There are other options for postpartum yoga, but Yogalayam offers the most tailored to new moms experience. With baby whisperers standing by to bounce your fussy baby or bring a fresh towel to clean up projectile spit up, every new mom in the East Bay should try this class once. Mom + Baby yoga is offered Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 am. (Note: due to the distraction of the babies, you may not break a sweat in this “yoga” class, but it's a uniquely Berkeley experience). Located on Alcatraz Ave.
4- The Y – Childwatch allows members of the YMCA to check their children in while they work out. Children can be as young as 8 weeks old. Worried parents, rest assured, the crying policy means that you will be summoned to comfort your babe if she is unhappy after five minutes of soothing from a childcare provider. Local mom, Aileen Clark, says, “We love the Hilltop Family YMCA. Child watch is included with a membership. I can bring all three of my kids every day (Monday-Saturday) for up to 2 hours. That means exercise AND time to read a book.”
The cost of the Berkeley Y's onsite childcare is $2.50 per half hour per child. Bonus: You can squeeze in an onsite shower while your baby is still in Childwatch. Details here>
5- The Dailey Method – A combination of ballet barre work, conditioning and stretching, this work out will certainly push you into the sweaty zone. The Piedmont and Elmwood locations both have onsite childcare for children from six weeks up to ten years old. Childcare is available M-F in the morning classes. Drop-ins and people at all fitness levels are welcome. Visit their website to reserve a spot in a class and to reserve childcare. Website >
6- Hipline Dance Studio – This totally Oakland studio is all about the community love. You are guaranteed to feel like a million bucks after one of their dance classes. A childcare room invites up to four babies or little kids at a time to hang out with a quality babysitter while mom shakes her booty in the studio. Reserve and pay for your onsite childcare when you reserve your class. Hipline's entrance is located in the Trader Joe's parking lot on Lakeshore Ave.
Thanks to Mama Army Stroller Fitness for sponsoring this guide to exercising with a baby in the East Bay. All photos courtesy of Yuli Sollsken, a proud Mama Army member.