Hey moms, remember that time you tried to jog with a regular sports bra while sporting your new milk-filled double Ds? Total disaster, right? Between leaking through your shirt and the weight of your new breasts (seriously, it’s like having two bowling balls attached to your chest), going for a quick run isn’t exactly the invigorating, restorative experience you imagined. Throw kids into the workout mix, and, well, exercise probably isn’t happening at all. That’s why mom-friendly workout gear is a must-have. If there’s a product out there that makes it easier for me to get my mom sweat on (a winning scent that’s equal parts spit-up, dirty diaper, and my own natural musk), I’m all over it. So listen up, ladies: If your kid’s knack for skipping naptime is stopping you from exercising, I can’t help you with that because my kid never naps. Ever. But if the only thing holding you back from regular exercise is a lack of the right gear, we’ve got a roundup of the best workout gear designed specifically with busy moms in mind.
As a mom, the only clothes I now wear hold everything up and in, and preferably have an elastic waistband. That’s even more important when working out, especially if you recently had a c-section, since you’ll want to provide support for your incision as it heals. I love these high-waisted leggings from Spanx ($88). Spanx is the first name in supportive clothing, so you know they’ll hold everything together. From sizes XS to XL and 1X to 3X, they’ve got a wide range of figures covered. Even though I got back to my pre-pregnancy weight pretty quickly after giving birth, my body is just different now. I have a lot more jiggle to love, and I definitely need more supportive clothing. Bye-bye clearance sports bra! I love the Anita Active Dynamix sports bra ($76), because it allows me to nurse on the go if I need to and provides super support without hurting my back.
Sometimes milk isn’t the only thing leaking out of you. I’ll just be frank: Even if you religiously did your kegel exercises, you’ll still pee on yourself, especially if you had a vaginal delivery. If the thought of wearing bulky pads or disposable undies makes you cringe, then give ICON pee-proof undies ($28–$39) a try. They’re designed by THINX, the makers of period-proof panties, and are designed to withstand small bladder leaks. One woman described them as “wearing a swimsuit with a panty-liner,” so they aren’t too bulky. Plus, because they are a thicker fabric, they may provide a little extra support.
Insulated Bottles for Both of You
If you’re formula feeding, one of the most annoying things is having to stop and mix a bottle mid-workout or lug a big cooler full of ice and pre-made bottles to the gym. But with the Pura Kiki Insulated Bottle ($25), you can keep formula or breastmilk fresh for hours. Pura Kiki also designs bottles for toddlers, bigger kids, and adults, so there’s an insulated bottle for everyone in the family. Nursing can make you so thirsty, especially if you’re also working out. This personalized water bottle ($20+) from Etsy seller Limboae Designs is made to remind you to drink your water every hour. It’s must-have workout gear for any new mom.
Kettlebells are having a workout moment right now, and for good reason. They’re great for strengthening your shoulders, back, and legs. Plus, you can do kettlebell workouts at home, which is great for busy moms who don’t want to spend $20 for babysitting during a trip to the gym. I have zero upper body strength, so I started with extremely small kettlebells and worked my way to heavier kettlebells as I got stronger. I recommend investing in a kettlebell set, like this Fitness Gear Adjustable Kettlebell ($50). That way, you can easily move up to heavier weights without having to find a place to safely store several kettlebells away from baby’s grasp. Ready to try kettlebells? Give our kettlebell workout series a try!
“I don’t need a yoga mat! I have the living room rug!” That’s what I said when I was gifted a yoga mat during my pregnancy. But boy, did I eat those words. My yoga mat has been a workout lifesaver now that I’m a mom. A good yoga mat is must-have workout gear for moms, and not just because it doubles as a great nap pad for littles. With a yoga mat, you can take your workout anywhere. I love to take my little nugget to the park where we do a yoga flow together before strolling around for a well-deserved nap (for the baby, of course—moms know no sleep). I like the Manduka eko lite mat ($72), which is biodegradable, made of eco-friendly rubber, and weighs just 4 pounds.
Even if you don’t run, a jogging stroller is a must-have workout accessory for any mom. It’s great for off-roading on trails or the beach, and baby gets a nice, smooth ride. Babylist, an online resource that I’ve used to help figure out the best type of baby products for my munchkin, rates the BOB Revolution SE Stroller as the overall best jogging stroller. But at a price point of $459, I better be able to use this stroller ’til my kid goes to college. A more affordable option is the Graco Fast Action Fold Jogging Stroller at $179. This stroller works with all Graco car seats and really does live up to its name; you can easily unfold it with one hand while you hold baby with the other.
Baby Bike Seat/Trailer
If jogging just isn’t your thing, consider cycling for exercise. It is recommended that you wait until baby is at least 9 months old before they ride along with you. For younger kids, the front-mounted Thule RideAlong Mini ($170) is a great option because it allows you to easily check on and talk to your child. For longer rides, where your child might fall asleep, most bike enthusiasts recommend a rear-mounted seat like the Thule RideAlong seat ($230), which reclines for more comfortable napping and can fit children who weigh up to 48 pounds. If you have more than one child, a bike trailer is probably your best bet. The Burley Bee bike trailer ($299) is one of the top-rated bike trailers. Its bright yellow color makes it easy for road traffic to see, and it has tinted shades to protect your tykes from the sun. So get out there, mamas, and get your sweat on! And, if you have any tips for nap time…well, I’m listening!