Here is a second blog post about keeping fit as a mum, by Alexandria Ingham! If you’ve ever thought that you can’t keep fit with a baby to look after, just follow her 5 tips for safe buggy running!
A popular form of exercise for new mums in the UK is buggy running. There are various groups set up around various parts of the country, encouraging mums to lose their baby weight and socialise with other mums at the same time.
Doing any type of new exercise safely is important. There are the risks of injury, and you need to do buggy running in a way that helps you bond with your little one.
I really enjoyed buggy running when my daughter was still in one, and will look out for a group once my second one is born. Socialising can be difficult, especially for writers, so this was just a great way to make new friends while staying fit. Here are my five tips for making buggy running safe for all.
1. Have the Best Type of Buggy
Not all buggies are suitable for buggy running. The first one I had was didn’t turn properly because the wheel axis was stationary. The second buggy was too light to use. Running buggies are specifically designed with this type of activity in mind. They are more expensive, but definitely worth it if you want to get involved in this pastime.
The best type of buggies for running have three wheels instead of four. The wheel at the front turns easily, and the back two offer support for mothers when running up and down hills or when on poorly laid roads.
These buggies will also come with covers to protect your baby from the elements. After all, you’re the one running, not her!
2. Dress Your Baby Suitable for the Weather
I was lucky to start running in the summer, so my little one didn’t need that many layers. However, as the weather closed in I had to start thinking about warmth. As I mentioned, your little one isn’t doing the running, so she needs to be protected from the elements.
Make sure she has plenty of layers if you’re running in the cold, or limit them if it is a very warm day. It’s also important to have the waterproof covering in case of a downpour.
Have extra clothes in your diaper bag in case something happens while out. Most running buggies have storage space specifically for a small diaper bag to keep everything secure while on the go.
3. Have Plenty of Food and Water
You need to replenish your own energy, and your baby needs enough food and water for your day out. If you’re breastfeeding, make sure she is fed just before you go out. You can often time your runs if you run on your own. If you’re doing it with a group, try to time your feeds so you don’t need to stop while on the go.
I always had a bottle of milk just in case my daughter needed something when I was out. It was just better to be safe than sorry. As she got older, I also made sure there were bottles of water for her, so she remained hydrated and finger snacks to eat on the way around.
For yourself, check that you have enough water to keep yourself hydrated. It is hard work running with a buggy. Snacks for afterwards is also worthwhile. I had a banana before running and then would have other fruit for afterwards.
4. Pick a Group Suitable for Your Fitness Levels
There will be groups for all fitness levels, because not everyone is starting out from scratch. I needed one that was for beginners as I’d never done buggy running before and hadn’t done exercise in a few months due to problems during pregnancy.
You will often find a contact number for the person running the group. Call before you attend to find out the level of fitness required.
Calling first will help to avoid injury. If you jump straight into high intensity workouts, you run the risk of pulling or straining muscles. It’s best to start off slow and build your fitness levels up.
5. Choose a Route that Is Safe
Most groups will run around parks, where the paths are well laid and don’t have too much foot traffic. I’ve seen some groups choose quiet neighbourhood roads, because they are safer and wide enough for all who take part.
Whether you’re running with a group or on your own, check the route to make sure it is safe. You want to avoid paths that are full of potholes and cobbles. Not only will this help you avoid injury, but you’ll also give your baby a smoother ride.
Buggy running is a great way to build a network of mummy friends, while keeping yourself fit after the birth of your child. Like any exercise, you need to do it safely. I really loved my days of buggy running, and highly recommend it to others, even just to try it once to see what it’s like.