When those two lines appear in the pregnancy-test result window, the first thing many people think is, "It's time to move to the suburbs." But for a new family, the city may be better. Living in a busy metropolis can make you feel less isolated--just step out your door and there's a world of people to amuse you and your baby. And plenty of research has pointed to suburban sprawl as a contributor to the obesity epidemic; city dwellers are more likely to use their feet to get from place to place. Of course, if you choose to move, there are plenty of healthy options. When house hunting, ask yourself:
• Are the sidewalks plentiful and in good shape?
• Are there enough traffic lights and signs to cross main roads? How about bridges for pedestrians?
• Do drivers stop for pedestrians? For bike riders?
• Do speed limits seem conducive to biking?
• Are there any bike lanes, bike routes or walking paths?
• Are neighborhood shops, parks and/or schools within about a quarter mile of your home so that you could reasonably walk to them?
Easy baby-weight banishers (no sitter required!)
Share tummy time! Put your baby in front of you and get in Plank pose, aka the start of a push-up: Place your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart and straighten your arms (without locking your elbows). Your legs are straight behind you, weight resting on your toes. Keeping your back flat, make faces at your baby; try to hold the position for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Drop gently to your knees, give your baby a kiss, and come right back up again. Repeat 5 times.
Do some squats with your baby in a front carrier. Start with your feet hip-distance apart, toes forward--hold on to a couch or chair with one hand for balance if you need to. Lower your tush (like you're going to sit down), keeping your weight on your heels, then come back up. Aim for 2 to 3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.
Power stroll at the mall. Instead of hitting the stores immediately, do a once-around first. Exercise your abs at the same time by contracting your core muscles, as if you're pulling in your bellybutton. Keep your shoulders down and back straight for a hunch-free stride.