Is it time to start working on getting your body back in shape after your baby but you can't seem to find the time? Or a babysitter? The truth is if you have a stroller and only thirty minutes you can create a thorough fitness routine with your baby as your workout buddy! Who loves you more unconditionally anyway?
Of course, if walking or jogging is your preferred activity then you can simply push your stroller along as you keep the pace. A good way to take this to the next level is to interval train while you walk. Make sure you have some sort of stopwatch to keep time and speed walk for 1 minute then slow your pace for the next minute. Use whatever time sequence that works best for your fitness level, beginning with 30 seconds for beginners and up to 3 minutes for those further along in their fitness level. Continuously change your pace for the entirety of your walk, creating a more cardiovascular aspect to your walking by raising and then maintaining your heart rate.
There are also many exercises you can do using your stroller for balance and alignment while working out your muscles and burning calories. It is best to be prepared for your stroller routine. Have a pen and paper handy to record your repetitions and time spent on each exercise.
Take about 5-10 minutes to do a slow easy walk and get your muscles moving. Be sure to hold yourself tall and straight- do not hunch or lean your weight onto your stroller. This helps to strengthen your core abs as well as maintain proper posture during your walk.
Lunges are probably the best exercises a woman can do to tone and strengthen her lower body. One lunge can effectively strengthen several muscles all at once. A proper lunge will stretch and work your quadriceps (the muscles at the front of your upper thigh), your hamstrings (the back of your thighs), and your gluteus maximus (your booty). Grip your handlebars shoulder width apart and slowly push your stroller forward while lunging forward with your right leg. Lower your body and bend your knee to a comfortable level making sure your knee does not bend pass the point of your toes. Hold this position for 3 seconds and then return to your upright position. Repeat the lunge with your left leg. Alternate legs for 10 lunges on each leg. For a more advanced exercise, lower the opposite knee to the ground while in the lunge position, raise for a count of 5, and then switch legs to alternate.
Squats are not only the best possible exercise for your quads but they also stress many other important muscles throughout your entire body including your glutes, hamstrings, abdominals and lower-back muscles. This is a relatively easy exercise to perform but your form must be strong and steady to perform it successfully. First, stand with your feet almost shoulder-width apart, toes facing forward but slightly out. Your thighs should place your kneecaps roughly in line with your second toe. Stick your butt out and keep your lower back slightly arched. Pull your belly button in toward the spine. Slowly lower yourself down to the ground not exceeding a comfortable sitting position. Hold for 3 seconds and then with the strength of your upper thighs push yourself back up into your starting position. Repeat the squat for a count of 10.
Standing Calf Raise:
Facing your stroller, grip the handlebars and raise yourself slightly onto the tips of your toes. Slowly and applying your own friction raise your heels as high as you can go and you feel the stretch. Lower your heels till almost touching back on the ground but not quite. Raise and lower for a count of 10.
Together all three of these exercises are your stroller fitness leg routine. Perform each exercise one after the other then take a 30-second breather. Repeat the routine for 3 rounds to complete your leg strength training exercise.
This exercise is most effective when performed on an incline of some sort. A small hill (a grassy, dry ditch or a high school running mound for the footballers) or a ramp will work just fine. Place your stroller at the base of the incline and slowly push forward and return back to you. This exercise can be done with both arms or with one arm at a time. Do this for a count of 10.
This exercise is most effective when performed on a decline of some sort. The top of a small hill (or grassy ditch) because your stroller will need to face downward. Allow your stroller to slowly roll forward as it stretches out your arms as far as they will go. Pull in to your chest, keeping your abs tight and your back strong (no hunching) and carefully let the stroller return to the outstretched position. Repeat this exercise for a count of 10.
Stroller Side Pull:
Face your right side to the front of your stroller. Stand still and tall while gently pushing out the stroller and raising your left arm above your head. Crunch to your left as you pull your arm down touching your elbow to your side and allow your left abs to pull the stroller towards you. Concentrate on pulling ribs to hips. Left rib to left hip and follow with the right side. Do this for a count of 10 and then switch to your other side.
Together all three of these exercises are your stroller fitness arm routine. Perform each exercise one after the other then take a 30-second breather. Repeat the routine for 3 rounds to complete your arm strength training exercise.
Ideally, these exercises should be done before or after a good 20-30 minute walk to have a full stroller fitness routine. However, if your time is limited and you can only do either one or the other then it is more effective to choose a walk or your strength training rather than no activity at all. In fact, even if your baby is feeling a little tired or under the weather, this is still a safe way to get a little exercise without getting you both out of the house.
At Strollers Direct there is a variety of strollers to choose from that are designed to accommodate an active lifestyle. Some may prefer the more lightweight and ergonomic designs while some want a more weighted stroller to provide a heavier workout. Check out our broad range of jogging strollers and all-terrain strollers to start your stroller fitness routine today!