Life is all about balance, but having a baby can throw your normal balance and routine out of sync. Graco and Living and Loving magazine partnered with fitness expert, Lisa Raleigh, to create a stroller workout and give you some tips on keeping fit.
Exercise may seem impossible with little ones running around, but fitness expert Lisa Raleigh creates the perfect Stroller workout for you. Incorporating a stroller is a fun and easy way to stay fit while still interacting with your child.
Remember to keep hydrated while you exercise and always carry a water bottle and some healthy snacks for you and baby.
With your stroller - start by taking a brisk walk. Try include a few hills if you are able. Try to increase the intensity every few minutes, if possible try to jog for at least twenty seconds before returning to your normal pace. Aim for ten minutes as a warm up or thirty minutes for a full cardio workout.
Leg lever with calf raise:
Start by ensuring that the break of your stroller has been applied. Rest both hands on the stroller in front of you. Slowly raise your left leg up and down, while learning your torso forward and pushing the stroller in front of you. Try to form a straight horizontal line with your body, arms and leg out. Raise up onto your toes of the foot that is on the floor. Hold for a moment, and then return to your starting position. Aim for three sets of 10-15 reps with each leg.
Uphill leg press
Find an incline and place your stroller, with the brakes on, facing you. Place a towel on the ground and lie on your back. (You can prop yourself on your elbows if you prefer). Start with your knees bent and feet propped on the stroller. Unlock the strollers brakes and push the stroller away from you while performing a leg press. Pause for a moment and then return to your starting position of bent knees. Aim for three sets of 10 - 15 reps.
Ab side to sides
Stand with the stroller on your right side and feet hip-width apart. Use your right hand to push the stroller away from you, while reaching overhead in the same direction with your left arm. Once your right arm is fully extended, pull the stroller back to the starting position. Repeat the exercise with the left arm. Aim for 3 sets of 10-15 reps for each side.
Stand on a gentle decline with your stroller in front of you. Place both arms on the stroller bar, shoulder-width apart. Starting with arms fully extended, slowly pull the stroller towards you, pinching your shoulder blades together as you do. Pause for a moment and then return to your starting position. Aim for three sets of 10-15 reps.
Uphill chest press
Stand on a gentle incline, with your arms on the stroller bar in front of you. Starting with your arms partially bent, push the stroller ahead in front of you until your arms are straight. Pause for a moment then draw the stroller back in towards you. Keep your arms closer together to work your arms and further apart to work your chest.
Ensure that the stroller brakes are on and get into the plank position in front of baby. Keeping your core muscles and torso tight, light up one arm at a time for a minimum of 5-10 seconds. You can interact with baby by tickling their toes or playing peek-a-boo while you do this. Swap arms and repeat the exercise. Aim for three sets with each arm.
Tips for finding time for fitness:
Not having the time is one of the biggest excuses that we all have. In order to find the time for fitness, you have to make the time. Try multi-tasking by doing our simple stroller workout while you are out with baby on a walk. This way you combine fresh air and an activity for baby while you fit in some basic exercise for yourself. Take a brisk walk around the mall while you are busy running errands. Using a baby carrier while walking can also be a great way to bond with baby and burn those extra calories. If you do all the cooking at home, try get your partner to take on a few days from your schedule. They may surprise you with some delicious meals! You can also cook in bulk and freeze meals.
Type of workouts
If you feel like you don't have an hour everyday to exercise, start by doing shorter, high intensity workouts in order to feel the burn. Our stroller workout is the perfect example. For other ideas visit Pinterest for lots of ideas and downloadable pdfs that you can save or print out. (Type in exercise with baby to get some great workouts tailored for new moms). Listen to your body and start with exercises you feel comfortable with, your fitness will slowly improve.
Being in a group setting often motivates you to keep going.Try joining a class, group or club to help keep you on track. If this class is scheduled on a specific day it will be harder for you to make excuses to miss it. Feeling accountable makes it more important for you to shuffle other things and fit your fitness in!
- Your back and abdominal muscles are weaker than they used to be. Ensure that you stretch properly before attempting any workout so that you do not injure yourself.
- Take things slow and don't push your body too hard in the beginning, it takes time to build up fitness.
- Making time for fitness is important as you need to prioritise your health too. Keeping your weight under control can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and come types of cancers.