Stroller Walking Lets New Parents Get in Shape with Baby on Board

Having a baby is one of the most rewarding experiences people can have, but it also brings many challenges. After the first two months of late-night feeding, endless diaper changes, and lack of sleep, how can new parents get back into shape? The answer: stroller walking!

Stroller workouts allow busy and time-pressed parents to get a solid workout without losing precious baby time. And involving your child in your workouts helps stimulate the baby’s growing brain. For new mothers struggling to lose weight and get back into shape, stroller walking is the perfect activity.

While pushing your baby’s stroller, you can burn calories and even get in some cross training, all while engaging your baby with the world around you. In fact, pushing a stroller actually increases the benefits of walking. A University of Wisconsin study found that women who pushed strollers while walking on treadmills burned 20% more calories than women who didn’t push strollers.

Prepare to Have Tons of Fun with Stroller Walking

Stroller walking lets you have all the healthy benefits of walking for fitness without losing quality time with your baby. Naturally, new moms should not begin exercising until after your 8-week post-natal check-up. You will also need some basic equipment before exploring the world with baby:

  • Comfortable workout clothes
  • Good walking shoes
  • Reusable water bottles
  • A durable but lightweight stroller
  • Stroller toys for your baby

Some strollers are made for stroller workouts—they are lightweight and have heavy-duty wheels. Choosing good locations to walk with your baby can be challenging. Walking in circles around a park might be ideal at first, but your baby can get bored (and so can you!) always looking at the same scenery. Try to vary your route to include different streetscapes and landscapes.

An ideal walking time is about 30 minutes. Many parents like to engage their infants when walking, describing all the sights and sounds and keeping up a constant chatter. When walking for fitness, aim for your target heart rate. If you can’t speak in sentences, you’re walking too fast.

Stroller Workout Ideas That Get Results

A common mistake many new mothers make when stroller walking is to fall into bad posture habits. When stroller walking, you won’t be able to use your normal walking stride with your arms swinging at your sides because you will be pushing a stroller! The ideal posture for stroller walking is to keep your elbows close to your body near your waist. Don’t extend your arms fully, even if you have to walk uphill. This bad posture can cause back and neck injuries.

Inject a little cross training into your stroller walking routine:

  • Squats: Stand behind the stroller holding the handles with feet and knees forward; squat down as if sitting, knees above ankles; flex your glutes while standing.
  • Lunges: While standing behind the stroller and holding on, lunge forward with one leg while pushing stroller ahead of you, knee above ankle, thigh parallel to the ground; repeat with other leg.

Stroller Walking Evolves With You and Your Baby

The best thing about stroller walking is that with a little imagination and creativity, you can keep it interesting and engaging to both you and your baby as time goes by. As your baby gets older and more mobile, he won’t want to stay in the stroller the whole time. Plan some playground or park time between walking sessions.

You can also find other stroller walkers in your area and form or join a stroller walking club. In hotter months, you can bring the stroller to a mall and work out in the air conditioning. You can even go from stroller walking to stroller jogging. The possibilities are only limited by your energy and imagination.