Many new mothers find they have some pregnancy pounds to lose postpartum and little time without baby to get in their exercise. Just because you are now a mom does not mean it is time to hand over your fit figure and take on the “mom clothes” forever. You can reclaim your pre-pregnancy body, become healthier and still be with your baby while doing so!
Certified trainer and fitness expert, Tara Zimliki is no stranger to running with a stroller. She has spent countless miles and hours running with her three children in a stroller. Her eldest daughter, Ava, now 7 and a runner, still has fond memories of these runs, and second child, Ella, now 5, recalls long runs involving her and her sister chanting “mom, run quicker.” Newest addition, Brent, 9 months, has many memories to come. Tara weighs in on how you can begin running with your children to lose those pregnancy pounds, get healthier and have fun with baby while doing so!
12 Tips for Running with Baby
1. Stroller specific. Research the right running stroller for you. Find a stroller specific to whether you are running on trails or road. There are so many brands and models on the market, so find the best one for you and your needs.
2. Take baby steps. Begin running as much as you feel comfortable since you will take time to adjust to running again postpartum and also some time to adjust to running with a stroller. Make sure you begin running after your doctors clear you at your postpartum check up (usually 6 weeks).
3. Run tall. Make sure to maintain a healthy posture. Do not lean down onto the stroller as this can not only put pressure on your back but also may allow the stroller to tip.
4. Age appropriate. Make sure baby is old enough. Different strollers have different age guidelines but most recommend to wait until your baby can support his or her neck.
5. Ditch the iPod. Run without the iPod so you can sing to your child, talk to them, and most importantly, make sure they are not crying.
6. Dress for weather. Bring a blanket and a jacket for your baby. You can use the storage area at the bottom of the running stroller for a jacket and a blanket in case the baby gets cold. Just because you are warm while you are running does not mean the baby will not feel cold or feel the breeze while you run, so be prepared.
7. Pack toys and snacks. I always pack toys for the baby to be entertained while I run and also a snack like puffs. If the baby gets hungry mid-run, you can stop for a few to give him a little snack.
8. Umbrella-ella. Invest in a rain cover. Sometimes weather looks beautiful at the start of the run and midway it starts to pour. Sometimes even the weather predictions are off, so be ready for anything and pack a rain cover. Most running strollers have this as an optional add-on designed to fit your stroller.
9. Be prepared. Bring baby wipes and a diaper. If you are out on your run and the baby has “to go,” make sure you are prepared. You can recline the stroller and change your baby with no problem if you are prepared.
10. Don’t push it, har har. Do not try to have running PR’s (personal records) when running with your stroller. You should be running not sprinting.
11. Streeeetch. Make sure to stretch pre- and post-run. Stretch out your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps.
12. Have fun! When running with a stroller, you can get back into shape, take baby along for the fun and fresh air and not have to worry about separation anxiety for you or the baby. So get out there and have a great run!
Start gradual, be safe and have a great time! Running with a stroller has so many benefits for new moms so take advantage of this time. So now that you have these great tips what are you waiting for? —Tara
Tara Zimliki is a nationally recognized weight loss expert, personal trainer, health coach, health writer and founder of Tara’s Bootcamp, the Premiere Bootcamp of New Jersey. Tara has nine years experience in helping countless clients lose weight, better their health and change their lives. For tips on health, nutrition, motivation and workouts, visit www.funfitmama.com.