Stroller walking is a great way to lose the baby weight and stay fit.
An added bonus is that you get to take your baby with you to share the experience.
Getting fit while spending time with your baby makes walking the perfect postnatal fitness exercise. Stroller fitness is convenient because you don’t have to find a babysitter. You can literally walk out your front door and enjoy quality time with your child.
If you are a brand-new mom, you'll need to wait 6 to 8 weeks (depending on whether you had a vaginal or c-section delivery) before beginning any type of exercise.
Check with your OB-Gyn at your post-delivery check-up to ensure that you are cleared to begin exercising.
moms needs to make sure they are eating and drinking enough while
exercising. For great advice on the nutritional needs of breastfeeding
moms, visit the
1. Stay within your
Target Heart Rate Zone.
It’s important to keep your heart rate elevated so that you are
burning as many calories as possible. I find that I tend to slow down
while talking to my son so I use my heart rate monitor to ensure I stay
in my Target Heart Rate Zone.
2. Maintain proper posture. It is important that you have proper posture while walking to engage the right muscles and avoid injury to others. Read this article on proper walking posture for more information.
Obviously you won’t be able to keep your hands at your sides because you will be holding on to the stroller!
Be sure to keep your elbows close to your body and try to keep them down near your waist.
This will prevent your shoulders from inching up around your neck, which creates a lot of tension in your neck and shoulders.
I often see moms with their arms completely extended, bent over at almost a 90 degree angle when pushing their stroller (especially uphill).
Not only does this increase your chance of muscle strain by putting too much tension on your shoulders and back, but you lose the benefit of working your core muscles because you are using your back instead.
3. Bring snacks or toys to entertain baby. My son loves to relax in his stroller and eat his favorite snack during our walks. Toys or snacks will help keep baby occupied.
4. Find an interesting place to walk. You may love the path with the beautiful flowers and trees, but baby may find that just plain boring!
If your baby doesn’t have the same appreciation for nature that you do, find a place to walk that is more suited to baby’s interests.
For example, walk near a school where there are children to watch. I often try to walk near the road so I can point out buses and trucks to my son.
5. Talk to your baby. Make stroller walking time educational. Point out the sights and sounds around you. There is no sweeter voice to baby than yours. Use this time to encourage baby’s language development.
6. Get creative. You may need to get creative as your baby gets older. My son loved being in the stroller until recently. Suddenly, as a very active toddler, he no longer wants to be in the stroller. In fact he says “out” every chance he gets!
I had to change my walking routine to include a trip to the park. When he now says “out”, I tell him he can get out at the park, which seems to pacify him.
Instead of a solid half hour of walking, we now take a 15-minute route to the park, play for a while at the park, then take a 15-minute route home.
For more ideas on how to exercise with your baby, find several tips on baby activities here.
To begin stroller walking, I recommend buying a jogging or walking stroller. When I began stroller walking, I used my traditional Graco stroller, which has 4 plastic wheels. Although it’s great for shopping and strolling, the Graco is bulky and cumbersome to steer and push uphill.
I noticed a huge improvement when I switched to a jogging stroller. It has rubber wheels, which makes it easier to go over uneven surfaces that I encounter on sidewalks and paths. Jogging strollers are lighter, which makes them much easier to push, especially uphill.
I also find that it’s much easier to go up and down sidewalk curbs with the jogging stroller. In addition, may of these strollers have a handbrake, like a bicycle, to help you slow down when walking downhill.
I recently switched to a walking stroller and
love it even more than a jogging stroller! It is a wonderful all-purpose
stroller that I can use anywhere. Read my own personal
BOB Revolution Stroller Review.
If you are considering buying a walking or jogging stroller, read this article on walking stroller buying tips. I’ve provided some of the features in a jogging or walking stroller that you should look for that will make your walks more comfortable and enjoyable for you and baby.
Looking for the best rated walking stroller for your walks? Read this article about my picks for the
top 3 best rated walking strollers.
Stroller Walking Groups
If you would like to connect with other new moms and get support and encouragement, consider joining a stroller walking group. To find a stroller walking group in your area, simply do an online search for “stroller walking group + your city” (without the quotes). Stroller Strides is a wonderful group and is available in many cities throughout the United States.
I’ve taken a Stroller Strides class and I can tell you it is a great total body workout! Not only do the moms get together for fitness walking, they also have moms night out and baby play groups. Stroller Strides truly is a great support system for new moms.
These stroller walking tips will put you on the path to stroller fitness and weight loss. You'll get a good workout and enjoy special time with your baby.