Planning a walk with your baby into your day is a great way to get out of the house and get on the road to regaining your pre-pregnancy condition. You can do it, world-class racewalking mom Michelle Rohl increases speed with every baby.
Moms who walk with dad and baby find it a time to connect, to build family, to unwind from a day at home or at work.
Strollers: A walking/jogging stroller should be high on your baby shower wish list. You will need to exercise regularly when the baby arrives to get back into condition. Backpacks are an option, but most families find that the baby quickly outgrows comfortable carrying. Look for these features recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine:
- Deep seat and a seat belt.
- Locking brake to use whenever you put the child into or take the child out of the stroller.
- A safety wrist strap to keep the stroller from rolling away from you.
Check the stroller for sturdiness. A sunshade is essential to protecting the baby's skin from sunburn.
Heart rate: To lose the weight and build fitness, you can now gear back up to walk at your target heart rate for either weight loss or for conditioning. Pushing the stroller can help raise your heart rate at lower speeds. However, you may not be able to achieve high enough walking speeds if you are already in good condition.
Posture: Jogging strollers can produce poor posture habits. Your center of gravity was shifted by pregnancy and now you need to regain good posture. Concentrate on maintaining proper walking posture and avoid leaning either forward or backward.
Get Your Baby Started Right: By walking with your baby, you are instilling regular exercise habits in your child from his/her first memories. This is a gift every mom should give their child. At AVA/IVV walking events, babies in strollers can earn the event award. Your child could have a wall full of walking medals and patches before ever taking his/her first step. AVA/IVV walking events are always rated as to whether they are stroller accessible.
Paths to Avoid: Do not take the stroller on gravel or rough paths, the vibration and bumping is not good for either the child or for your wrists, arms, and shoulders when pushing the stroller. Stick to sidewalks and asphalt.