As a new mum walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise you can do. Simply strap little one into their pram or carrier, pop your shoes on and away you go. The UK National Obesity Forum advises that the average UK adult should take between 7000 and 10000 steps a day, yet in between 2014 and 2015 just 51% of the population walked 5 days a week or more often.
Getting fit post birth
8 weeks postpartum I was keen to make a start loosing some of my baby weight and get fit, especially as I knew the time would come to take little one on her first swim, so I turned to fitness DVDs. Charlotte Crosby’s 3 Minute Body Blitz was my favourite as I could do one 3 minute routine at a time, check on my sleeping daughter, then do another 3 minutes and so on. I kept this up for a good few months, incorporating other celebrity fitness DVDs into my routine too so as not to get bored. As my daughter got a little older, I’d often do them while she was awake and she’d happily sit in her baby bouncer or lay on her play mat and watch me. It was a little trickier when she started rolling as she’d sometimes suddenly roll right into me. When she started crawling, it was nigh on impossible to do the DVDs whilst she she was crawling all around me and trying to pull herself up using my leg.
Benefits of walking
Obviously, one of the main benefits of walking is the associated health benefits that come with it. It can assist with weight loss and improve your overall mental health and well-being. On average you burn 100 calories per every mile you walk, however when you’re pushing a pram with an infant in it or carrying a baby, your load is heavier, meaning your working harder. Thus, you burn more calories!
Once your partner has gone back to work, the reality of being on your own all day with just a young baby for company can be daunting. Going for a walk with your bubba, gives you a bit of time to think, get some fresh air into your lungs and see some faces. Going out with my daughter and my dog, almost always gets a smile or a nod in the least from passers by.
My walking journey
I started walking when my dog decided he didn’t want to go on his early morning walk in the cold with my partner anymore. He’s a bit of a prince and, at the time, he was being particularly protective of me and didn’t want to leave my side following a bad time I was going through with anxiety. So, I started taking him and the baby out during the day. As my dog is only small I use a clip which clips onto the bar of the buggy, intended to carry shopping bags. We started off with 10 minute walks which gradually increased to around 25 minutes and now it’s a standard part of our daily routine. We almost always just walk around our local area, but I take different routes to mix it up a little and so we all get to see different things. At the weekend, my partner joins us and it’s nice to have a chat with him as we walk.
I love our daily walks. It gives me time to think whilst the baby and the dog are occupied by their surroundings. It’s nice to get out and about too and I intend to keep up our daily walks throughout the year.
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