As moms, we are faced with many challenges including how to be a great role model for these new little lives we are responsible for. When you exercise with your baby, you are helping steer those little feet onto a path toward a healthy, active lifestyle.
Any doubts of the truth of this are removed when your toddlers start doing their own workout routines at home, doing little toddler squats and taking their dolls for walks in the toy stroller, lunging along the way. This morning, my soon-to-be-2-year-old son proudly called out to me "look at me, I shuffling!" as he ran sideways across the living room. My 4-year old daughter creates new song and exercise routines for me regularly; some of them are even good enough to use in class!
My personal journey toward a more fit and healthy lifestyle would never have been the same without Stroller Strides. I would never, ever have thought it possible to run a half marathon, not even if I was being chased by a bear, but I did it (the half marathon part, not the being chased by a bear part, thankfully). I would never have thought that my husband and I would choose to spend our precious time together when the kids are sleeping doing an hour-long workout routine, but that is what we do.
I am proud of what my body can do, proud of the work I have put in to get to where I am and proud to realize that my journey is just beginning! I am in better shape now than ever before, and my two kids have been with me every step of the way. Could I have gotten here without Stroller Strides? No. For me, the social support and motivation of being with other moms and getting out with my kids in such a positive setting was the key that kept me going.
Whether you choose to exercise with a group or on your own, including your kids in the routine gives great rewards. With children leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles and childhood obesity on the rise, there is no more important time to get up and get moving. Is your infant going to crawl sooner if you exercise in front of her? No. Is your toddler going to velcro on his first pair of sneakers and go for a run? No. Is your kid going to think of exercise as a fun, regular part of the family routine? Yes! And that is a great first step.