I have never been a runner. My favorite type of exercise is playing sports, but trying to play an hour of tennis while your toddler watches patiently is never going to happen! Since having Dylan (and before having him to be perfectly honest) it has been really hard to maintain a consistent exercise routine. This past year I was teaching and Dylan was in daycare so it was tough to find the time to workout. Breastfeeding burns calories so that counts as exercise, right? I don’t understand how working moms exercise regularly. It doesn’t seem possible to me but I am so impressed by those who do it!
Since I stopped working I have made it a goal to get in shape. However, I needed to find a workout that included Dylan. I have tried doing some video workouts at home, but Dylan is always getting into something or wanting my attention, which makes it hard to focus on the workout. I could exercise during his nap but that is my precious break and I desperately need that time to eat something, maybe take a shower, or just sit on the couch and watch Bravo! So running with Dylan seemed like the best option.
It is really hard to start exercising when you haven’t done it in a while. I decided to use the 5K Runner app to help get me started. It’s only $4.99 which is a lot cheaper than a gym membership! Each workout is about 30 minutes (about as long as Dylan will sit happily in the stroller) and includes a warm up and cool down. The app guides you through an 8 week program that increases your running endurance with the goal of having you run 5K by the end. It starts off really slow by alternating 1 minute runs with 1 1/2 minute walks, which is totally doable for someone who has not exercised in a while! Each week the running time increases while the walking time decreases. Now I’m not winning any marathons but the app has really helped me keep my exercise goal and I’m excited that I’ve been able to run longer and longer.
In order to run with your little one you’ll also need a good jogging stroller. I have the BOB Revolution SE stroller. When I first bought this stroller (when Dylan was around 2 months) I had a bit of buyers remorse. Who was I kidding, I don’t run! Why did I need this big, fancy, jogging stroller? But even though I didn’t start running with Dylan until a year after I bought the stroller, I am super happy with the purchase. Even when I’m not running, this is a fantastic everyday walking stroller. It’s so comfortable to push, has a really smooth ride, a great retractable sun shade, and Dylan always seems comfortable in it. My only issue with the stroller is that it’s heavy and doesn’t fold up very small. So when we travel or go in the car I usually bring my umbrella stroller instead.
I feel very lucky to live right next to The Minuteman Bikeway. This is a 10 mile bike path that links Somerville, Cambridge, Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford. Now I’m definitely not running 10 miles but I can always make it the mile and half to my favorite coffee shop in Davis Square (Diesel Cafe)! Being able to run on this gorgeous and relaxing path has made exercise a little more bearable.
I try and get out for a run right after Dylan eats breakfast. That way the weather isn’t too hot, sun isn’t too strong, and I don’t have to bring any snacks! The final thing I do when I run is always make sure to end the workout at the playground so the babe can get some exercise too :).