Pre-baby, I ran three to five miles daily. I had time for lengthy yoga sessions and group fitness classes. Post-baby fitness? (Insert maniacal Disney-villain laugh.) I’m lucky if I have time to take the dog on a walk around the block, much less squeeze in a fitness routine. But even a few minutes of exercise a day can be enough to boost your mood and increase your level of happiness and well-being, and happy mamas are better equipped to raise happy, healthy kiddos—making exercise time a worthy investment on so many levels. Maybe you didn’t make December goals or stick with your New Year’s resolution, but it’s not too late to make health and wellness a priority in 2018—even if you’re a busy mom. Not sure where to start? Try one of these 2018 fitness trends inspired by moms, for moms.
1. Tone your postpartum tummy.
Diastasis recti is a condition in which the abdominal muscles separate during the stress of labor and delivery. Even as you drop your pregnancy weight, diastasis recti can cause a tummy pooch until your muscles come back together. One of the biggest fitness trends of 2018 is the Dia Method, a postpartum fitness program designed by trainer Leah Keller to repair diastasis recti. The Dia Method only takes ten minutes a day to complete, meaning it’s an ideal exercise program for busy moms. You can pair it with one of Keller’s other fitness programs (all designed for pregnant and postpartum women) to up your fitness game in 2018.
2. This isn’t your mama’s Jane Fonda video.
I love group classes, but until my baby is older, I don’t want to take him to the complimentary childcare service at the gym. Who am I kidding? I let my gym membership lapse months ago. I still want to get my sweat on though, and have tried dusting off some of my old workout DVDs for fitness motivation. Unfortunately, it’s hard to ride the crest of enthusiasm when you’ve basically memorized the routine moves. Enter one of my favorite 2018 fitness trends: streaming fitness classes. Sites like the Daily Burn offer thousands of fitness classes online so you can choose a different daily workout at a time that’s convenient to you. If you need the motivation a live instructor provides, Fortë, a hot new live-streaming fitness app, is for you. For a monthly subscription fee, Fortë streams a variety of live options from barre to kettlebell classes, all at your fingertips whenever you have a free moment.
3. Get the whole family involved.
My charming child wakes up at 4:45 a.m. no matter what time he goes to sleep and has an irregular nap schedule, so sometimes penciling in solo workout time is just not an option. Luckily, one of the biggest wellness trends of 2018 is a focus on family fitness. Take your kids to a mommy and me yoga class, or use your baby in place of weights (safely) during a strength training session at home. If you like interacting with other moms, consider joining a fitness group just for parents. If you’re looking for a free or low-cost option, join a Meetup fitness group. Like meeting other moms? Try a fitness program like Stroller Strides that encourages moms to bring baby along for workouts.
4. Just breathe.
Working out is just one aspect of overall fitness and well-being. While HIIT workouts have been popular for the past few years, one of the biggest fitness trends in 2018 is all about taking a step back and incorporating mindful practices like yoga into your workout routine. Start by doing a few sun salutations first thing in the morning. According to one study, just 20 minutes of yoga a day is enough to markedly improve cognitive function (which is extremely important for sleep-deprived moms). Before bedtime, turn off all your devices (except the baby monitor, of course), and do a few light stretches, like cat–cow pose, child’s pose, and savasana. During this time, focus on your breathing as you wind down from the day.