Getting a workout after giving birth can be hard to do, but don’t forget, now that your child has entered the world, they need a little exercise too. Infants don’t need to start their workout routine yet, but toddlers as young as 17 months can benefit from regular movement around a gym atmosphere. They may not get through a workout regime, but they can play around with equipment made for babies and learn to use their gross and fine motor skills.

Parent/child gymnastics and exercise classes are featured at nearly all major gyms and gymnastic facilities. They are also offered at many YMCAs as well, which ensures that you will have a place to work out with your little one in your immediate area. There are a variety of different classes you can take depending on what’s offered in your neighborhood, but the most popular are tumbling and exploratory classes designed to increase flexibility, motor skills, and provide a bonding time for parents and their children.

In tumbling classes, you might experience a few different activities. For young children, it’s mostly a time to explore new equipment like large foam pieces that move or force children to practice motor skills like standing, walking, pushing, and supporting their own weight. For older children, tumbling classes involve actual gymnastic movements such as summersaults, rolling, jumping, and stretching.

Some facilities also offer things like balance beams and monkey bars so children can start using their muscles and increasing balance and fine motor skills.  In places like YMCAs, swimming classes are also available and parents can begin teaching their children to swim. Swimming is a great exercise for children and parents alike because it’s low impact and provides one of the best cardiovascular workouts.

More comprehensive classes also include singing and cognitive workouts like matching colors and shapes. Parents are led by an instructor and are also free to explore with their children. Some classes have parents workout alongside their children, and other classes are for young children that are just too young to be separated from their parents. Some classes are intended more for parents and simply incorporate young children, like parent/child yoga and Pilates classes.

Not only are these classes a great way to get exercise for you children, they’re also a fun way for you to get out of the house and meet other parents with children the same age as your little one. It’s a playdate, bonding time, and workout all rolled into one package!