Are you looking for a workout that is effective, yet you can do it with your baby or child?
by Kristine Lopez
Try working out with your stroller and baby. There are several exercise programs out there such as Stroller Strides (www.strollerstrides.com) or Stroller Fit (www.strollerfit.com). These programs use your body, your baby, a stroller, and the environment around you to get a workout!
I can personally attest that these programs are effective and fun. I began working out with Stroller Strides when my 4 year old was 3 months old and continued to do it till well after my second son was born. I lost all my baby weight and then some, plus made some great friends! In fact, I found it so effective and fun, that I purchased a Stroller Strides franchise for a short time.
I have to admit; I still occasionally teach classes and bring my 4 year old and 20 month old along. So, don’t think you can’t do this type of program just because your child is older. As long as your kid will go in a stroller, these types of workouts are for you!
What makes these types of programs effective and fun? First off, you don’t have to leave your baby in a gym at 6 weeks old worrying about what he/she will be exposed to. Many times, new Moms – whether it is the first time or 5th time – NEED to get out. This is a great opportunity to do just that without having to worry about your baby being “exposed” to other people and get a workout with other people in the exact same boat as you. Another bonus…your baby/child will have other children to socialize with! These types of groups typically have activities for the children after the workout is over.
So, what if you don’t want to join a group like this, and/or don’t want to spend the money? Do it yourself and ask a girlfriend to join you! Here is what you need and a sample routine to get you started:
What you Need
1) Exercise Tubing – you can get these at a sports store or online (try www.spri.com)
2) Stroller (preferably a fitness stroller, but any will work)
3) Yourself and Baby
4) Sun block!!!
Sample Exercise Routine
NOTES: When walking, keep your stroller close. Your arms should be near a 90 degree angle, your torso tall, shoulders back, tummy tight. Your stroller form will protect your back and make your exercise more effective.
1) Warm Up with a 5-10 minute brisk walk
2) Station 1: Walking Lunges
a.Holding the stroller, stand tall with your abs engaged to support your body. Step your right leg forward pushing the stroller with your step so that you have a wide distance between your feet. Bring left foot to your right so feet are together and repeat on the other side completing 15 full lunges.
b.At the end of your 15 lunges, pulse down for 10 on each leg and repeat the process one more time.
3) Walk – 5-10 more minutes – if you find a hill, do it. Hills are booty blasters!!!
4) Station 2: Biceps
a. Biceps: Hold the handles of each end of your resistance band in each hand. Step on the band with both feet and curl your arms as if you were holding 2 dumbbells. Do the motion SLOW and controlled. Do not let the band snap back. Control with the bands is key! Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
5) Walk – 5 minutes
6) Station 3: Squats with Overhead Presses
a. Squats: Take your resistance band as you did with the bicep curl. Now instead of curling your arms to do a bicep curl, bring your hands up to your shoulders (or waist for less resistance) and begin squatting. Be sure to stick your booty back, tummy tight and shoulders back. When squatting, do not let your knees go over your toes. If they are, don’t squat as low, or push your booty back a bit more.
b. Overhead Press: Take your resistance band as you did with the squat bringing your hands to your shoulders. Now press both hands up extending arms straight up overhead. Bring them back to shoulders and repeat.
c. Do one set of 15 reputations of squats, then 15 overhead shoulder presses, and then repeat the process one more time.
7) Walk 5-10 more minutes followed by more walking lunges if you want!!!
8) Always end each workout with a good stretch. Use your stroller for balance.
Whether you get moving by yourself, with a friend, or with a group, the single most important thing to remember?? Get moving – after your doctor’s approval or course! You will find that exercising – especially with your kids - will give you extra energy, confidence in yourself, and not to mention, you are being a great example and role model to your child!
NOTE: For guidelines on how long you should wait to get back to your exercise routine, check the ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) website (www.acog.org).