Mommy and Me workouts

Exercising with kids in tow can be easier than you think

While it’s back to the classroom for area schoolchildren, many parents still don’t have a completely empty nest.

But just because you have little ones in tow, doesn’t mean you can’t still get in a good workout. Local parks, recreation centers and, even, yoga studios have activities and classes designed for parents and their little ones to enjoy together.

Have stroller will travel

With crisp autumn days quickly approaching, it’s a perfect time to take a stroll and the MetroParks Stroller Struts at Cox Arboretum make it easy for parents and, even, grandparents to get in some exercise while the little ones enjoy some interactive learning. The casual strolls are designed for parents or caregivers and children from infants to 3 years old. Stroller struts incorporate a nature theme with each walk and are free.

Part workout, part play, the new Stroller Fit classes at the Kettering Recreation Center are a fun and innovative way for parents and young children to exercise and play together. Whether there’s a little unwanted baby weight you would like to shed or you simply want to tone up a bit, stroller fit instructors will take participants through a series of exercises designed to strengthen and tone muscles and help you lose fat during each four-week session.

Parents who would rather carry than push their baby might want to try the MetroParks Backpacking Baby series. Upcoming walks at the Sugarcreek MetroPark take hikers along trails that are not stroller friendly, so baby carriers are required.

Parents can check with their local park district or local recreation center to see what classes or programs are offered in their community.

Yoga for two

It’s not always quiet, and meditation might be a bit challenging, but Mommy & Me Yoga has some added perks.

“You’re spending time one-on-one with your child, and you’re connecting with other parents, so the sense of community is really unique,” yoga instructor Mari Jo Sellers said.

Sellers teaches the Mommy & Me class at Inner Dance Yoga in Oakwood. The class is designed for parents — as dads are welcome, too — and their children 18 months and younger.

“We incorporate the child into the practice, using them as resistance and added weight,” Sellers said. “It’s a very different type of class, but it’s a lot of fun.”

Baby is also welcome at the Day Yoga Studio in Dayton in their Baby and Me Postnatal class, a gentle yoga class with stretching and relaxation for baby and caregivers alike.

A little independence

Bigger kids, ages 3-5, might enjoy the MetroParks Tike Hike series encountering nature with their parents at a variety of locations. Families can take a hike and take in the beauty of fall season at the same time. You might even meet up with a turtle, a screech owl or some other woodland resident.

Greene County Parks also offer interactive programs for children like Preschool Nature Play and the Toads and Tadpoles Night Out at the Narrows Reserve Nature Center in Beavercreek.

So whether it’s a morning stroll, an afternoon of meditation or an evening hike, there are plenty of opportunities for parents to get active and stay active with their own little workout buddy by their side.

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