After you have a baby, it can be tough to find time to exercise. But if you have a stroller and 30 minutes, getting back into shape can be easier than you think. Walking is one of the most convenient and safest ways to break a sweat postpartum. Once you’re ready for something beyond an easy stroll, try one of the following workouts. Remember to get the clear from your doctor or healthcare provider before jumping into a new exercise routine.
Workout #1: Lower Leg and Butt Burner
Ready to work the muscles in your lower half? This workout combines strength training and cardio to maximize your time. Begin with a ½ mile walk or run. Then stop and complete 10 reps of the following exercises: walking lunges, squats, calf raises, and burpees. That’s one circuit. Complete each circuit 4 times for a total of 2 miles and 40 reps of each exercise.
Do the strength exercises while facing your baby - they will love to watch you move!
Workout #2: Stroller Arms
Carrying around babies and small children is hard work! This workout will strengthen your upper body and hopefully make all the carrying a little easier. For this workout, an ideal location would be a park or playground. You’ll need a grassy area and a bench or stairs for the strength exercises. Begin with a ½ mile walk or run. Then stop and complete 10 reps of the following exercises: push-ups, plank pose with arm reaches (face your baby and alternate holding one hand on the ground and one hand reaching toward your baby), tricep dips, and mountain climbers. That’s one circuit. Complete each circuit 4 times for a total of 2 miles and 40 reps of each exercise.
Workout #3: Walk-Jog-Run
Ready to increase your endurance? This 45 minute cardio workout will help you go the distance. Choose a route that’s relatively flat and traffic-free; you’ll want to avoid stopping if possible. Complete the following: 15 minute walk warm-up, 5 minute jog, 1 minute run, 5 minute jog, 2 minute run, 5 minute jog, 1 minute run, 10 minute walk cool-down. The walk portions should feel easy, the jog portions should feel moderately hard, and the run portions should be close to your fastest pace.
Workout #4: Speed Sprints
If you’re looking for a challenge, this workout will get your heart pumping. Begin by warming up with an easy walk or jog for 10 minutes, then power walk or run fast for 4 minutes, followed by 1 minute of easy walking or jogging.That’s one set; complete 4 sets. Cool-down with a few minutes of easy walking or jogging.
Make sure you’re working hard enough on the sprint portions - you should only be able to speak in short sentences.
Workout #5: The Out-and-Back
Begin your workout by power walking or running at a moderate pace. When you reach 1 mile, take note of your time and turn around. The goal is to walk or run the second mile faster than the first. Advanced exercisers can increase the distance of this workout; try walking or running 1½ or 2 miles before turning around.
No babysitter? No problem! Try these stroller workouts and you’ll be able to fit in quality time with your little one and a sweaty workout. Happy Strolling!
Megan is a writer, RRCA certified running coach, and new mom living and training in rural upstate New York. She competed in DIII track and cross-country at Wesleyan University and now focuses on the half-marathon and marathon distance.
Main Photo Credit: wavebreakmedia/shutterstock.com; Second Photo Credit: Oleksii Khmyz/shutterstock.com; Third Photo Credit: 2xsamara.com/shutterstock.com