There’s no time less glamorous than when you’ve just had a baby. Between the milk stained clothing and day long bed hair, you really need to take any chance you can get to feel better. Once you’ve been given the all clear by your doctor, finding a way to get even 15 minutes of exercise into your day can be the pick-me-up you need, to help you to feel good – inside and out.
Thanks to the wonder of improvements in pram design, there are now more ways than ever for mums and bubs to get a workout together, giving you a great bonding experience while your body and mind reap the benefits. All you need is some quality walking shoes, a pram or carrier, and your baby, and you’re ready to go.
1. The Walk and Carry
For those mums who swear by a carrier or wrap, a walk around the neighbourhood with baby in tow can be the best use you’ll get out of it. The beauty of taking your baby out in a carrier is that you have your hands free so you can make a phone call or get some arm and shoulder stretches in as you walk. The safe wearing of a baby in a carrier is one of the easiest ways you can calm a crying baby, so this is a great method for an unsettled bub, too.
2. Interval Training
When you’re ready to push yourself a little harder than a casual stroll, you might like to implement some interval training into your walk. Experts believe that HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is the most effective exercise for weight loss, but as new mums might not be ready to get stuck into burpees or mountain lunges, you can use the interval training method with your pram walking. Start the program with just 30 seconds of running to two minutes of walking, and increase up to a minute of running when you get fitter.
3. Lunge Walking
As one of the most effective ways of toning your lower body, incorporating lunges into your daily pram stroll can be hugely beneficial. To lunge walk, take a long stride while holding the pram and lower yourself down until the thigh in front is parallel to the ground while making sure your opposite knee comes forward no further than the toe. Alternate legs and try to do this for three minutes, with a total of three lunge breaks through a half hour walk.
4. The Stroller Club
There are plenty of mums just like you who love to hit the pavement with their pram, and thanks to the wonders of modern technology you can find ones in your neighbourhood. Kidspot has listings for pram walking groups in every state, or you can check out mums’ groups on Facebook in your area for details.
5. Stop and Squat
This one is great, not just for when you’re out walking the pram, but all day long, too. The “stop and squat” is as simple as stopping what you’re doing and performing some squats, be it 10 or 50, whenever you have the time or as you walk the neighbourhood. You might not realise it at first, but over time this will have a huge impact on your lower body strength.
6. Casual Stroll
There’s no need to go hardcore every time you work out, and sometimes all you need is a leisurely stroll around the neighbourhood just to feel better. You might even like to take along your dog or partner with you for a late afternoon walk, and use this as a time to catch up on the day’s events.
7. The Run
If you’re a mum who enjoyed running B.C (Before Child) and you’ve been itching to get back out there, there’s nothing stopping you just because you have a baby. There are plenty of prams designed exactly for mums like you, with fantastic shock absorption and handling that let you run to your heart’s content with a baby in tow. Just be sure you have the OK from your doctor, so you don’t go pushing yourself too hard before your body is ready.
Make it Fun
The easiest way to stay motivated with an exercise plan is to love what you do, so stick some headphones in your ears and make it enjoyable when you’re out for a walk. After just a few days, you’ll find that your daily stroll is what you look forward to most, and the results will start to show soon enough.
No matter which of these exercises you prefer, they’re all great for getting you out of the house, into the fresh air, and feeling better about yourself inside and out.