Getting back in shape after giving birth can seem daunting when you are simply too tired and busy to get to the gym for a post-pregnancy workout. The truth is, you don’t need a gym or fancy equipment for losing weight after a baby—all you really need is a stroller. Stroller exercises can help you get fit and are a great way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine with your new baby.
Doctors typically recommend that new mothers wait six weeks after delivery to resume exercise, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, every birth and postpartum experience is different, so it’s important to get the go-ahead from your doctor before you begin working out.
Benefits of Stroller Exercises
In the first months after you bring your baby home, it can be tough to get out of the house. In addition to providing a great workout, exercising and jogging with a stroller are good reasons to get out of the house and get some fresh air. It can also be a great way to meet other mothers, and seasoned parents will agree that sometimes it is the only thing that will lull a fussy baby to sleep.
If you haven’t done much running before, start out slowly by walking and warming your way up to a jog. Begin with a brisk walk or jog around your neighborhood, and then increase the distance as you gain more strength and stamina. You can simply stick with a straight walking and running routine, or you can mix in aerobic moves such as lunges and squats.
For simple lunges, place your hands on the stroller handlebar and lunge forward with one leg while pushing the stroller out. Step your feet back together, and then lunge forward with your other leg. Repeat this 10 times, then return to a walk or jog.
For squats, place your hands on the handlebar with your feet together. Squat down, making sure that your knees track forward over your toes. Rise and repeat 10 times, then return to walking or jogging. Be sure that you don’t place too much pressure on the handlebar when you squat down—you don’t want to jostle your baby, or have the stroller to tip over.
For leg lifts, lock the stroller in place and put your hands on the handlebar. Shifting your weight to your left leg, square your hips and lift your right leg up behind you. Squeeze your glutes and hold for a second, lower your leg, and then repeat the lift again with the same leg for 10 reps. Do the same with your left leg.
Stroller exercises don’t have to just target legs—you can also tone your arms while you walk. As you push the stroller uphill, begin with just one hand on the handlebar with your elbow bent. As you are walking, push the stroller forward, extending your arm out straight and then slowly pulling back to the bent elbow position again. Repeat this with one arm 10 times and then do the same with your other arm.
Another great option is to take your workout to the park. You can take a few laps around and then pick a spot in the grass to stop and do some aerobic or abdominal exercises. For example, lock your stroller in place and lay down on the ground in front of it, facing your baby. With your knees bent and arms crossed on your chest, do three sets of 10 abdominal crunches, playing peek-a-boo with your baby every time you raise your head. Or, bring a mat and spend some time exercising and bonding with your little one with some baby yoga.
Join a Group
Joining a stroller exercise class or group can be a great way to motivate yourself to get out and maintain a regular post-pregnancy workout schedule. There are nationally run classes such as Stroller Strides, but you certainly don’t have to pay a lot of money to get fit with your stroller. Simply enlist a few of your friends for a regular get-together. Not only is this a good way to stay accountable, but forming a group can also make for a helpful long-term support system. Exercising together will give you a chance to bond and swap parenting stories and advice.
Have you tried a stroller workout for losing weight after a baby? Share your experiences in the comments!
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