Getting outdoors with kids: how to keep active and stay sane!
Just because you are a parent, doesn’t mean you suddenly don’t like the activities you enjoyed before baby. Sure you probably have less energy and weird stains on your clothes now, but you are still you under that messy mum bun!
New Zealanders are famous for their love of the outdoors and are blessed with a spectacular back yard to adventure in! Kiwis also tend to enjoy camping and this can be a great option for a low-cost family holiday. Showing your children the beauty of nature by getting amongst it is great for their brains, bodies and souls. Not only that, you set a positive example for your kids about self-care, with a commitment to getting active outside regularly.
Tramping with kids
There any many inspiring places to tramp in NZ for all fitness levels. Great places for tramping with your family are listed on the DOC website
If you have a toddler, a carrier like the phil&teds escape carrier is a must have. The escape can carry children up to 18kg (around 3 years), as well as all your other gear. So you can walk at normal speed in comfort! Children get tired and distracted so easily, and many walks have stairs, so you won’t get very far without a carrier! Kids love sitting high in the escape carrier, they are protected from the elements with a sun hood & even enjoy foot stirrups so their little legs don’t get pins & needles on the way.
Remember to research the walk first, tell someone when and where you’re going and when you’re expected to return. Pack more snacks and water than you think, don’t go off the track, watch your footing and be prepared for bad weather.
Camping with kids
Kids love camping, but it can be hard on parents. The key is to be prepared and bring a lot of food! One of the challenges of camping with an infant is the difficulty of sterilising items like dummies and bottles. So even though it sounds crazy, you might want to consider scheduling a camping trip for when you are still breastfeeding baby (if you do so).
The other main challenge can be sleeping. Most parents cringe at the thought of doing anything to upset their hard won child’s sleep routine. The phil&teds traveller cot is ideal for camping as it is very compact to save space in your car boot, as well as not hog room in the tent. The traveller cot can also be used outside with the optional shade mesh (which also keeps bugs out).
Use the traveller for several naps before your adventure so baby is used to snoozing there and have fun getting back to nature!
Jogging with kids
If you enjoyed jogging before baby, why not try it with your buggy? Be aware that Mum’s body may be healing and even the smoothest terrain can jiggle a very young baby when jogging. Talk to your health professional before starting any fitness routine, but generally 3-6 months post-partum is ok for light exercise for you and baby.
The phil&teds sport buggy has been well-loved for decades, as an all-rounder for active parents. This means that unlike a dedicated running buggy, the sport is also ideal for general use round town. The sport is easy to steer and slim (only 59cm wide) so fits through shop aisles with ease.
To prep for a jog with the sport buggy, check the tyres are firmly inflated to 22psi, adjust the handle height to suit you, strap baby in and ensure they are warm (as you will get hot with exercise, they will not). Pop your drink bottle in the sun hood pocket and put the wrist strap on. You may want to lock the front wheel for tracking straight (this will depend on where you are jogging.) You are ready to roll! Take breaks to check on bub and enjoy your ‘you time’
Not into jogging? A power walk can be just as good! There are also a range of buggy exercises available here if you want to stay in one place.
Have fun outside with your little ones!
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KIM: My journey to becoming a foster parent goes right back to when I was 15. I have always wanted to be able to help a child in need. I have been married for 30 years and have four children of my own, as well as one grandchild.