Need a workout with baby? You can get a cardio workout that burns lots of calories by picking up the pace from a slow walk to a brisk “stroll” with your stroller. Create our own gym outdoors using benches and tables along with exercise tubing and the stroller for balance.
Any stroller will work, with the exception of an umbrella stroller (these are not designed for stability or speed.) It’s easiest to workout with a jogging stroller, which steers more easily and allows you to maintain better posture. I’ve designed the Stroller Strides Fitness Stroller by BOB. It’s made not only for intense strolling, but is equipped with a fitness kit that includes tubing for resistance exercises. Whichever stroller you choose, make sure that the wheels and construction are solid, and that baby is comfortably strapped in.
The beauty about being outside is that your child is happily distracted—and for a moment, you’re off the hook from entertaining duties. Babies under one year are absolutely fascinated with leaves blowing on a tree and clouds moving through the sky. That’s not to say that you aren’t fun to watch. In our Stroller Strides classes, half the fun for the kids is watching the mommies do silly things!
I recommend that you do a stroller workout in intervals to keep your child stimulated. So move with the stroller, walking or running, then stop every few minutes and do one or two exercises. When you are doing your exercises, turn baby to look at a busy playground, scenic park, rushing pedestrians, or whatever catches his or her fancy. Or face baby and keep up the rapport as you whip through your routine by singing songs. Research shows that you can teach toddlers new words through songs. (You may not think you are the greatest crooner in the world, but your baby sure loves your voice!)
If your baby isn’t crazy about the stroller, be patient and firm. Do what feels right, but keep in mind that if you take him out every time he whines, he’ll learn that crying is the key to getting out. Stick to a regular schedule of specific days and times when you use the stroller. Baby will soon realize, Mom takes care of me all day long and this is the one hour I’m going to be here. If you know your baby is comfortable and not hungry, don’t feel guilty about putting him in the stroller for a short time. I’ve seen hundreds of babies our classes. Most babies love the workouts with mom. For those who fuss, the moms who stick it out and keep baby in the stroller soon have happy babies joining us.