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Christian Living

Health

Speed Strolling

If you are a mom to a baby, you probably have trouble finding time to work out. That’s OK because most moms do find time to take their little one out on a stroller walk. Why not turn that walk in to a workout by adding intensity and a variety of exercises?

I teach various exercises that you can do with the stroller, including a stroller squat, lunge, and more. If you’re ready to hit the road, take a look at these tips to help you find the right stroller.

Many moms have a fleet of strollers for different activities. It ’s easier to use just one, but it must suit all your needs. I use my Stroller Strides Fitness Stroller for everything, from exercising to trips to the mall. Since it has an infant car-seat attachment, I’ve used it since my baby was very small.

Some strollers are better than others for working out. Since this is your most-used baby item, it’s important to get one with the most helpful features. Look for these things:

  • Revolving front wheel. A static wheel is great if you’re moving in a straight line. But, if not, you have to lift the back wheels to turn. Swivel wheels strain wrists less because you can turn the stroller with one hand. A good model also locks.
  • Adjusting canopy. Most strollers have canopies, but many are not fully adjustable. Depending on the position of the sun, you’ll want to be able to pull the canopy partially or all the way down.
  • Padded harness. For baby to have a comfortable, enjoyable experience, look for padded straps. You can add a snuggly insert to make it even cushier for him.
  • Adjustable handles or appropriate height. Your stroller should allow you to walk with good posture, and not cause you to hunch over or reach forward uncomfortably. If you’re very short or very tall, your options may be limited.
  • Lots of storage. Moms carry a lot of stuff. Make sure there are ample compartments for diapers, spare clothes, etc. and a console to hold water, keys, and exercise tubes.
  • Shocks. There has recently been concern (but no proof) that a baby can get Shaken Baby Syndrome from bouncing in the stroller. Choose a model with shock absorbers to keep the ride smooth.
  • Brake. Look for strong brakes. Many moms prop their strollers against something to keep them from rolling. You wouldn’t drive a car with bad brakes, and you shouldn’t drive a stroller with bad brakes. A foot brake is more dependable than a handlebar brake.
  • Wheels. The kind of wheels you need depends on the kind of terrain you’ll be covering. Most likely this will vary from rolling on a smooth sidewalk to dirt. A tire with tread better handles all terrains. A no-tread tire is better for flat, smooth roads.

FAITH AND FITNESS WHILE YOU STROLL

Ideas for exercising with baby from Faith & Fitness Magazine

  • Make it a time of fellowship and friendship. Look for others who have a baby and want to join with you in strolling. Designate a day or time that you come together as a small group. Focus your conversations on spiritual needs, opportunities to serve, and faith-related topics rather than gossip.
  • Let your baby experience the art of prayer. Studies show that babies respond to your voice. Show your child how to pray.
  • Select praise or worship music for listening while strolling. Use a player that has a small speaker rather than headphones so that you and your baby can enjoy the tunes. For an alternative listening experience, switch between music and the recorded reading of the Bible.
  • Reach out and share the stroll with others. Invite a parent, friend, senior, or coworker that doesn’t have a child to join you. Select a route (in a park, in the mall, etc.) where you will be a presence among others. When they are drawn to you and your baby, take the opportunity to talk and be friendly.

 From Faith & Fitness Magazine August/September 2007. Reprinted with permission. Copyright © 2007 Faith & Fitness Magazine and Lifestyle Media Group. Faith & Fitness Magazine is a lifestyle resource to build physical and spiritual strength. It helps readers make connections between the Christian faith and the fitness lifestyle. To contact the publisher of Faith & Fitness Magazine, Brad Bloom, for reprint permission, e-mail [email protected].

 

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