If you’re interested in stroller fitness but aren’t sure of where to start, you’ve come to the right place. From the how-to’s to the what if’s, these three stroller fitness experts answer key questions about how to exercise with your stroller. Then, I give my first person point of view of implementing the experts’ advice, while using the ultimate stroller for exercising, the BOB 2016 Revolution Pro, to prepare for the strenuous walking I’ll be doing on an upcoming trip to Disney World.
Stroller Fitness Tips from 3 Experts
Whether you have a newborn or a toddler, stroller fitness can play a big role in helping women stay fit. To determine how to best approach working out with a stroller, I received expert advice from a fitness instructor, a health coach, and a registered nurse.
Expert #1: Lauren Trinsey
In addition to becoming a mom in November, Lauren Trinsey also has a decade of experience as a professional outdoor fitness instructor. She owns FitRX, a physical fitness company that focuses on moms and moms to be.
When it comes to the frequency of exercising, she says, “It is best for anyone, particularly a new mom, to obtain medical clearance from a physician before jumping into a workout routine. However, some is better than none, and early ambulation is far less deleterious than bed rest and can especially help in the postpartum recovery process.”
She continues, “When ready, a healthy mom should engage in 20-60 minutes of physical activity a minimum of three times per week and work at an intensity of 5-7 on a 0-10 scale. Zero of course feeling as one would while cozied on the couch during a Netflix binge, and ten being an all out, mile long, sprint. If just starting out, to ensure adherence and a high level of motivation, mom should take fetal steps by working at a lower intensity and gradually increasing frequency, duration, and intensity over time.”
After asked whether you can use a stroller for year round exercise, she goes on to explain, “Strollers can be used any time! They are not just for the outdoors, strollers can be used in workouts in the comfort of the home, or one my favorites, the mall. Especially before shopping hours, the mall is a great place: it is temperature controlled, not affected by any weather elements, and provides an easy surface on the joints for any walking/jogging or strength training.”
“If outdoors is where you want to be, parks are wonderful. When it rains or if the sun is high, find a gazebo or other covered area. And, in the winter months, layer up — remember to layer the little one!”
Expert #2: Robyn Lanci
As a fitness enthusiast, Robyn Lanci is a certified health coach (as you can see on her Facebook page) with a goal to help moms not only get fit, but also live a healthy lifestyle. Regarding stroller fitness, she explains, “I’ve learned how to make the most of what’s around me. I’ve used playgrounds, hockey fields, and tires for workouts – you can make just about anything work with a little creativity. ”
For some good exercises to try, she suggests, “Lunges – use the stroller as you normally would, but instead of walking behind it as you push, do alternate leg lunges, touching your knee down as close to the ground as possible.”
She continues, “Throw some weights into the bottom storage section of the stroller. Next, push forward and push back to work your arms. Free weights are great because they don’t take up much space, so as mom gets stronger, she can up the pounds on her weights without taking up valuable extra space below the stroller. ”
Expert #3: Elisabeth Almekinder
With over two decades of experience of working as a Registered Nurse, Elisabeth Almekinder (who owns The Diabetes Council), is a certified diabetes educator. She explains how to go about a stroller fitness routine by starting, “with an easy walk, gradually picking up your pace for every minute that passes. The most important part of the warm up is to get your body and muscles ready for the workout.”
“Many women suffer from postural problems due to hunching over when pushing a stroller, so I recommend my patients to be mindful of their posture. Try to keep your shoulders down and back, chest forward and back straight.”
She continues with an explanation of the Stroller HIIT workout, and she says, “Walk 3 minutes. Following an interval style training, you work for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds. While pushing the stroller (and maintaining good posture!) walk as fast and as hard as you can for 30 seconds, then rest and recover by slowing down a little for 30 seconds. Repeat this until your time is up. To challenge yourself or make this exercise harder, try to perform it while pushing uphill.”
Stroller Fitness: My First Person Experience
To prepare for a family trip that involves four days of walking around Disney World, I tried out the BOB 2016 Revolution Pro. Visiting theme parks can require extensive amounts of walking. For adults, this means that you need to be as fit as possible, and children who are too old for strollers need to work on their endurance as well. Since Georgie is three years old, she’s the perfect age to be in a stroller during such a long adventure during the hottest months in Florida.
This is the ultimate stroller for exercising. It offers excellent safety and protection for kids, with an easy to use parking brake, a handbrake, and a wrist strap. You can alternate between a jogging mode and a walking mode.
When I took the stroller on a jog around the neighborhood, I was impressed. You can’t always protect your kids from bumps, bruises, and scrapes when they’re playing, but with this stroller, you at least know that your kid is safe while they’re inside it.
I warmed up, practiced good posture, and ran in intervals. Doing 30 seconds of fast running with 30 seconds of walking afterwards was perfect for me since I had Samantha there too. She could keep up with me, build her endurance, and not get too exhausted.
Not only was this stroller awesome for jogging, it was also great for trying a variety of exercises. I tried out squats and lunges, and I even added a few weights to the bottom to help with strength training. All the while, Georgiana was comfortably resting in the shade. One of the best things about this BOB stroller is that it comes with a free week to Stroller Strides, which provides an excellent, well organized training program for moms. After learning so much about stroller fitness, I’m super excited to exercise more regularly so I can better enjoy my trip to two fun theme parks.
Have you started a more rigorous exercise routine to prepare for a vacation this summer? Share your story in the comments!