Walking with Little Ones

I can’t believe we are entering the second month of 2013 already!  I am among the many people who welcomed the new year by re-examining their hopes and goals for the upcoming year – and just like so many others – that included my health and fitness.  I’m an urban mama and that means that I travel on foot a lot.  I walk everyday!  I take the kids to music class, the library, the playground and the grocery store.  Still, all that walking isn’t always getting my heartrate up.  What we do usually resembles more of a leisurely stroll than a brisk powerwalk (unless we are running to catch the bus, then it’s a comical sprint).  So, at the beginning of this year I decided that I was going to try to make all those steps count by trying to take them a little more quickly and deliberately.  I’m hoping this makes them a better workout that naturally fits into my life – and maybe I’ll even end up with some extra minutes for myself since I’m shaving time off my commute.

Now, nearly a month into this resolution I’m starting to identify the factors that slow me down.  The main culprits are my two year old and my six month old – naturally.  Leo, the two year old, is at that stage where he really does want to walk – but isn’t too quick about it.  Zoe, the baby, is pretty happy to be strapped into the carrier – but I am realizing that she needs to be on my back rather than in the front for these longer walks.  That’s a big milestone for a little baby!

So with Zoe strapped to my back I just need to pop Leo into a stroller and I can walk at a brisk pace.  Now it’s on me to keep my feet moving at a rate that will get my blood pumping.  Here is my plan so that I can keep up my end of the bargain:

1. Make sure everyone is dressed appropriately for the weather.  Kids need hat and mittens this time of year and I am loving the Ergo babywearing coat to keep me toasty.

2. Carry plenty of water.  We all need to stay hydrated.

3.  Set a timer.  This way I can have an idea of how long it takes me to walk 10 blocks and try to beat my best time.

4.  Wear layers.  When I get to my destination and step into the heat from the cold it’s likely I will get overheated.  Being able to take a couple layers on and off as my temperature regulates will keep me from getting too sweaty and flushed.

5.  Make it fun.  Try to take new routes to keep the scenery fresh, sing songs, or put some hop/dance in my step.


What was your resolution for the new year?  Has babywearing helped you keep it?

Sandra Telep is a West Philly Mama (not born and raised, but she does spend most of her days on the playground). She is a former professional activist turned stay-at-home-mom. Sandra is happily married to her best friend; they have a precocious toddler and are expecting baby #2.

She blogs about parenting as a queer, Latina, feminist reclaiming family values at www.westphillymama.com


February 4, 2013