Walking With Your Baby for Health

Moms Walking with Jogging Strollers and Babies
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Enjoying a walk with your baby is a great way to get out of the house and on the road to losing weight, if that is a goal for you. Walking can help restore physical fitness, boost your mood and energy level, and connect you with your neighborhood, nature, and maybe some fellow parents too.

What You Need for a Postpartum Walk

It can take some planning to be sure you have everything you need when you begin to walk with your baby. Bring water for you and a bottle for your baby, if you use bottles and it's closing in on feeding time. You'll need diaper-changing supplies too . As your baby grows older, you may want to bring snack and a toy or two.

Stroller

A stroller that works for walking or jogging should be high on your baby shower wish list. Backpacks are an option, but most families find that the baby quickly outgrows comfortable carrying. Look for these stroller features recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine:

  • A deep seat and a seat belt
  • A safety wrist strap to keep the stroller from rolling away from you
  • A sunshade to protect the baby's skin
  • Locking brake to use whenever you put the child into or take the child out of the stroller
  • Sturdiness and durability

Walking Shoes

Pregnancy may have led to permanent changes in your feet. It's a good idea to take a trip to the best running shoe store in your area and get fitted again for athletic shoes. Good shoes make for enjoyable walks.

Find a Walking Companion

Parents who walk with their partner and their baby find it a time to connect, to build the family, and to unwind from a day at home or work. It's a natural way to build your relationship and have time for conversation while the baby is along for the ride.

You also need to connect with other parents as much as your child needs to play with other babies. Rather than meet at each others' homes, make it a date to get out for a walk. It can be as simple as circling the block or the inside of a shopping mall.

Your parents, in-laws, and siblings want to spend time with you and the baby. Make the time together an active time by going out for a walk. If you need a break, you can send them out with the baby and stroller while you relax at home or get in a solo workout.​

Make the Most of Your Postpartum Walks

To put together the best walking plan for you and your baby, take these recommendations into consideration. You'll enjoy your outings more with a little preparation.

Choose the Right Path

Do not take the stroller on gravel or rough paths. The vibration and bumping are not suitable for either the child or for your wrists, arms, and shoulders when pushing the stroller. Stick to sidewalks and asphalt.

Find a paved path that goes through a park or natural area where you can see greenery. Studies show that walking in natural settings reduces stress and has more benefits for your mood.

Consider Duration

You can get your recommended amount of physical activity by walking briskly for 30 minutes per day. You can break that up into sessions of 10 minutes or more. For weight loss, it's best to walk for 30 to 60 minutes continuously, most days of the week. If that's more than you can do at first, start with just 10 or 15 minutes and adding five more minutes to your walking sessions each week.

Increase Intensity Gradually

Pushing a stroller increases the intensity of your walk, so lengthen your walks gradually. Walk at a moderate intensity, which means that you are breathing a little harder but still able to carry on a conversation.

Once you are comfortable pushing a stroller for 30 to 60 minutes, you can try picking up the pace. Or, alternate some short (30- to 60-second), fast intervals with longer (1- to 2-minute) recovery intervals at a moderate intensity. Increasing intensity will help with losing weight and building your fitness level.

Watch Your Posture

Jogging strollers can produce poor posture habits. Your center of gravity was shifted by pregnancy, and now you need to regain good posture. Concentrate on maintaining proper walking posture and avoid leaning either forward or backward.

A Word From Verywell

By walking with your baby, you are instilling regular exercise habits from the start. You can even enter fun runs and charity walks that allow strollers. Your child could have a wall full of walking medals even before ever taking their first step. What a great gift for a parent to give their child!

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2 Sources
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  1. Segal NA, Boyer ER, Teran-Yengle P, Glass NA, Hillstrom HJ, Yack HJ. Pregnancy leads to lasting changes in foot structure. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2013;92(3):232-40. doi:10.1097/PHM.0b013e31827443a9

  2. Dipietro L, Evenson KR, Bloodgood B, et al. Benefits of physical activity during pregnancy and postpartum: An umbrella review. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2019;51(6):1292-1302. doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000001941