New parents walk more than the average person. Around the block with a sleeping baby, to the park with a sleeping baby, back from the park with a crying baby, walking is an activity that can help the kid sleep, get everyone some fresh air, and burn some calories. But is walking exercise, really? Can you lose weight or get fit by simply putting one foot in front of the other?
When you walk, you burn in the ballpark of 450 calories an hour. That’s pretty good. Things get even better when you engage more of your muscles: Throw in some deep lunges, add high knees, and follow the other exercises outlined below, and you’re looking at about 600-700 calories an hour, or 300-350 in just 30 minutes. That’s a real workout, on a walk you’re going to be taking anyway. If you’re pushing a stroller, be sure attach a lanyard from the stroller to your wrist and make sure your baby is properly strapped in. Now, get ready to turn your daily 30-minute walk into a full-on workout.
Jog-Walk (6 minutes)
Begin your walk by…walking. Stroll at a brisk clip for a minute, then switch to an easy jog. If you haven’t run with a stroller before, shorten your steps at first since longer strides might cause your feet to hit the frame. Jog for one minute, then walk again. Repeat the off-on sequence three times.
Lunge Walk (4 minutes)
Find yourself a bit of space, whether on a quiet block, empty parking lot, or local park. Lean into the stroller and push it out in front of you, holding on as you take a big step forward with your right leg. Bend your right knee, using the stroller handles for balance, but not to bear weight. Straighten to standing, bringing your left leg through as you do and stepping into another deep lunge. Continue in this way, taking giant steps and bending and straightening your front leg.
High Knees and Butt Kicks (5 minutes)
Resume walking with your stroller, but instead of taking normal strides, lift your knees as high as you can to your chest with each step. Keep your spine straight and contract your abdominals with each knee hike. Do this for 30 seconds, then break into an easy jog, kicking your heels to your butt with every step. After 30 seconds of butt kicks, return to high knees. Complete five sets.
Squats and Squat Jumps (4 minutes)
Apply the stroller brake. From a stationary position, hold the stroller handles for balance and place your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Bend your knees and drop your seat toward the ground, aiming to get your thighs parallel with the pavement. Straighten to standing. Do this for one minute, then step around so you face the carriage. From here, drop into another squat (this time, not holding onto anything), then spring up into the air in front of your delighted baby. Land back down in a squat again, and repeat the jump. Do for one minute. Repeat both moves.
Sidewinders (3 minutes)
On a flat surface, turn so your body is sideways to your stroller. Holding onto the handlebar with one hand, begin to jog in a sideways motion, scissoring your feet in front and back in a sort of grapevine pattern. Every 30 seconds, switch sides, until you reach three minutes.
Arm Press and Stroller Row (8 minutes)
Find a small hill or ramp. Face the incline, take hold of the stroller with one hand on the handlebar, and push. Charge your way up the hill, focusing on keeping your back straight and engaging your pec muscles to drive that kid forward. Once you get to the top of the hill (or about a minute later later) stop and turn so you face the downward slope. Resume the two-hand grip. From a wide-leg stance, bend your knees and let the stroller roll slightly away from you until your arms are fully extended, then pull it back toward you as you straighten up. Repeat for one minute, then quickly walk to the bottom of the hill. Begin again to push the stroller to the top of the hill, this time using your opposite arm. Repeat the whole uphill-downhill sequence a total of four times.