when you can’t make it to the gym…

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i’ve been keeping to the goal i set for myself over a year ago to getting to the gym at least 3 times a week. continuing to keep my body active and strong has become a big priority for me as i’ve grown older and especially as i’ve had children and realize how much i want them to stay healthy and strong throughout their own lives. one of the biggest things josh and i have observed over the last few years with all three of them watching our every move, is that they learn by example.  so if i want to teach them to prioritize their health and taking care of their bodies, i have to start with myself. so sometimes when i’m not able to get to the gym, it’s fun to sneak in a few circuits at the playground in between chasing them around and playing.

before i get any further though, i want to preface this with a big disclaimer that while having kids basically means you get a cardio workout at one point or other during your day whether you asked for it or not, i must confess that there are plenty of times where i enjoy taking them to the playground just so i can sit down on the playground bench and completely vege out for a few minutes. it’s basically like being at the spa, you know? ;) but occasionally throwing in some lunges in-between catching someone going down the slide, or using the seesaw as a base for a couple of squats, makes me feel like i am freaking conquering the world!!!!!!! and that is a pretty amazing feeling.

i think everyone who reads this blog of mine is probably well aware of my love for j.crew. i shop online and in the store regularly because i love their use of bright and bold colors and how they aren’t afraid of patterns or a good stripe. their kids line is one of my favorites for both boys and girls as well. i was so excited when they asked me to showcase two looks from their newest collaboration with new balance! the active wear collaboration is so good, you guys. i don’t know about you, but sometimes fun and pretty active wear is a big motivator for me to just get moving and exercise. the newest line is full of some of the prettiest warm pink colors and you can never go wrong with a good navy stripe!

below, i’m sharing a few of the work outs i do at the playground sometimes, as well as two looks from the new balance x j.crew collaboration!


do i get extra points by doing something active with conrad on my back?? usually he has no interest in this sort of thing, but i think since papa had the camera out, he wanted in on the action and would not get off me!


i don’t know if this pertains to all children around the age of 2 or just mine, but all three of my littles have been obsessed with the seesaw and could spend a solid 20 minutes going up and down! when you get tired and try to get off, they just keep begging for more! you can absolutely sneak in leg squats while chatting and making silly faces at them and basically kill two birds with one stone.


also, throw in a couple of side lunges while you wait to catch you babies coming down the slide. ;)


grabbing one of my favorite green smoothies in the city in this second look. (i shared our favorite green smoothie recipe here if you’d like to try to make one at home!) we make a smoothie at home for everyone pretty often and i usually crave one after a solid workout.


that moment when you try to do pull ups on the monkey bars and totally can’t. also that moment when your toddler sees you struggling and runs over and is all, “mama, i help? i help?” thank you, conrad. for the record, there was a hot second last year where i was able to do these just fine at the gym, but it’s been a while and i totally failed on this day. but if you can do these, the playground has so many spots where you can find bars to use to get a few in!


i feel like the next best thing to do with benches besides sitting on them, is doing dips! conrad was so funny trying to do them along side me. it’s really motivating to see my kids watching me and know that they’re learning (some of the time!) from me about working out and taking care of your mind and body. if it’s too difficult to do dips with your legs all the way straight, then try bringing your legs half in (how i prefer to do them so i can feel my core truly activating and not strain my back.)LOVE TAZA JCREW-11

don’t forget some push-ups!!

you can also use any bench in the park for step up leg jumps! i try to do 20 leg jumps at a time, and repeat 3 times with rests in-between. same with variations of crunches and ab workouts like the one below. (also please raise your hand if you are still trying to find those abs after giving birth over two years prior!…ME.)


sometimes we joke that the entire city is like the kids playground. i also joke that it is my gym. between the miles we walk and the stairs we climb alone, it’s a good workout. i hope my kids always know how lucky they are to have healthy and able bodies and i hope i’m able to help them see that by setting an example with how i move mine. last fall, when i was able to go to the white house and meet with the first lady mrs. obama, i remember her sharing how important it is for us as mothers or parents or individuals to start small when it comes to trying to instill healthier habits and a love for staying active in our little ones. she said the biggest place to start is “in your own personal universe.” doing my best to do just that, even if i feel like an idiot doing some occasional squats or crunches at the playground. ;) let’s move!

thank you so much to j.crew for sponsoring this blog post.

first look: scoop neck sports bra in pink, pink long sleeve t-shirt, navy capri leggings and new balance for j.crew mesh sneakers in confetti (pink).
second look: stripe crop topnavy pullover, capri leggings in heather grey and  mesh sneakers in navy.

  1. vicky

    you’re truly amazing! 3 babies later and you look fantastic. way to go, mama!

    ps: those heather grey capri leggings.. probably my favorite! too cute.

  2. Victoria Stilgoe

    That bottom though!! Buns of steel! You go girl! You are such a great example of healthy and fun living!

  3. Natali

    Oh yes, great post! Even if you can’t find time to make it to the gym, you can still do so much to stay active and lead a healthy lifestyle.


  4. Emily

    Seeing as you brought up talking more about photography in the future, I need to ask, how did you take/edit the pictures of you in the navy? I really love the soft sort of colouring in those ones. :)

  5. Agnes

    You look so beautiful!

  6. Allie

    It’s hard to believe you have 3 kids with that body! You look great and I bet with keeping up with the exercising and eating well you feel ever better. You go girl!


  7. Megan

    Love your cute workout outfits! And I agree, it’s so important to fit in a bit of exercise each day, even if you can’t make it to the gym.

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Sheriden

    The fact that three babies came out of that body, wow! I know you were giving us exercise tips, but I couldn’t stop admiring how those leggings are making your booty pop. Need a pair of those in my life, now!


  9. Mariya

    You are so beautiful!!!

  10. Jessica

    Yay for perfect timing! I spent last night looking up workout inspiration (I made no resolutions for January but now it’s time to move!!). So happy To see a mom that’s past her 20s and looks fantastic!! The Internet is so full of (too)sexy 20 year olds working out which is just not where I’m at or where I want to be!! Also I would love to know more about how Josh learned to be a photographer? He’s so good!

  11. Mare

    Loved this post and LOVE Conrad´s whole outfit here. i have an off topic question, I would really appreciate if you could answer me. How do you get music for your videos, do you contact the owners and how exactly? I own a travel agency and have been making some videos but the music is always an issue. Thanks so much!

  12. This is so encouraging! I’ve been pretty slim my whole life and haven’t really had to work out a lot. I noticed as I’m getting older, my body is changing (not drastically but just something that I have been noticing) and I want to start taking better care of myself. Not because I think I need to lose weight or anything but just for a healthier lifestyle. And, while I don’t have kids yet, I did think it would be easier to get back into a routine after giving birth than it would be starting a new routine. So, thank you for the reminder and the encouragement! Definitely archiving this post for when I do have children because having babies is not an excuse to stop caring for ourselves ;)

    oh, she’s lovely

  13. Jordan

    Hi Naomi! What camera do you and Josh use to take these beautiful photographs?

  14. These workout clothes are so cute, and girl, you looking GOOD. I love getting outside to get moving – whether it’s jumping jacks at the top of a hike or getting in some morning yoga outdoors while on vacation. Also, I haven’t been able to do a pull up since I was like, ten years old, haha, so don’t feel too bad. ;p

  15. Mollie

    I love the look of those sneakers! I cannot decide if I like the navy or pink more. The photos are adorable with your kiddos as well. Absolutely LOVE!

    xoxo Mollie

  16. Sylvia

    I should have looked at this post before I went to McDonalds and bought a Big-Mac…lol. You look amazing and youre so stinking cute!!

  17. Rebecca

    Seesaw alert!! My 3-year-old constantly asks to go to a playground where there is a seesaw, but we’ve been all over Manhattan to no avail. Please, please, please – what playground are you at in the photos?! It would make her day if I could surprise her with a trip there. :) We live on the UES, so I’m guessing it is just a trip across the Park? Love the post, you look fabulous. I’m expecting our 3rd in June and you are an inspiration!

  18. Lindsay

    Love the photos in the post- too cute to watch little Conrad join you in your workout! I was totally excited about this collaboration and went to try on a bunch of the stuff, and am sad to report that the fit was completely wrong on me. Can you share your thoughts on whether it fits true to size, how you found the fit, etc? Hoping I can find a few things that are flattering on me as well!


  19. Julie

    Love, love , love the looks you presented Taza, these are definitely my style and the colours I love! I think we are spoilt now that more and more brands have come up with nice looking sports gear and I think it’s lovely to be able to still feel feminine while exercising! J Crew nailed it with New Balance, what a beautiful line. Must check it all out now! Thanks for sharing. Hugs from London, Julie


  20. That’s such a good idea to use the playground as a gym! haha! I’m totally in the camp of sitting on the bench and using it more like a spa. :)

  21. Ahh Conrad is way too cute!! That photo of him doing the dips with you is precious. What a great way to get exercise in whilst spending time with your kid! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  22. Kayla

    Look at that booty!! You go, momma!

  23. Michelle

    You look so much like Eleanor here! And you look so slim for mom of 3. I love the pictures and the color tone :) thank you for sharing!


  24. Katie

    Your bum is looking great! You should be very proud of yourself. Beautiful inside and out Mama. xo

  25. Elishia

    O these workout outfits are gorgeous, and how you look like you do after having 3 kids is beyond me. I haven’t even had one yet and I just can’t imagine how you do it! #mumgoals!


  26. Inspiring mama! Not only Josh has benjamin-button kind of secret, you too! You look hotter and better after years!

  27. Michelle

    WHERE IS A SEESAW IN MANHATTAN?!! I’ve been looking for years!


  28. Cait

    These are such pretty work out clothes! I love the blush pink and navy stripes. Yes to feeling cute while working out! About finding your abs though…I have three kids as well, and a diastasis recti, separation of abdominal muscles that is really common in mothers. I’m working to gently hear that and crunches are definitely a no-go for anyone struggling with that. In fact, I know I’ll never try them again because of how they impact your core and pelvic floor. I joined an online fitness program called fit2b, and I love the encouraging and uplifting attitude Beth, the founder, has for women, and community of their Facebook support group. I highly recommend it! Their blog has great information just for anyone wanting to know more about diastasis and how to heal it and prevent it from getting worse. (Just for the record, you don’t look like you have it, and I definitely do! It’s just that kind of ‘muddled middle’ feeling we sometimes have as moms!)

  29. You really look wonderful and happy in these pictures. I wish I would someday look like you after three kids :D

  30. Kelly

    I love their collection and a good green smoothie!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  31. Tatiana

    Ok, totally personal question, but what kind of undies are you wearing? (Am I allowed to ask that?) I have been trying to find some that don’t show lines when I’m wearing leggings, and haven’t had much luck.

  32. you are all kinds of #GOALS, naomi!!

  33. Pingback: Friday Favorites | Cupcakes and Commentary

  34. Tania

    OK, it’s official! We need a space buns tutorial because your hair is SO adorable in these shots. Love love love!

  35. nancy

    Obsessed with how cute you and your family are! I love the pink shoes, just ordered them because of reading this blog post, Great park workout tips :)