I’ve always been a walker. It is my favorite mode of transportation and favorite exercise. Before kids I routinely walked every day (working in an office attached to the skywalk made walking year round a breeze). After Audrey was born I walked even more. Until I got pregnant with Elliot. Then I stopped walking. I was incredibly uncomfortable.
Last summer was not conducive to walking. Last summer was all about survival.
This summer has been different. We are no longer focused on surviving. We can breathe a little. We’ve been walking a lot. A whole lot.
In August I walked every day. All but three of those walks were with the kids in a stroller.
Walking every day with an almost 1 1/2 year old and almost 3 year old can be difficult, but I’ve found 5 things that have helped us this summer.
- A good stroller. The importance of this cannot be overstated. For almost all of our walks we use our Bumbleride Indie Twin. I fell in love with our Bumbleride Indie when Audrey was a baby, and knew immediately that I wanted the double version when baby #2 arrived. The kids are comfortable in the stroller – they have individually adjusting seats, foot rests, and canopies. I adore that stroller. For walks at the zoo or when travelling I use a Maclaren Twin Triumph. It is harder to push than the dreamy Bumbleride, but it is small enough to fit in the trunk and the kids are always happy in it.
- Good shoes. For years I only walked in my running shoes, which meant adding time before we could leave for pulling on socks and shoes. When you are dealing with two small people you need to do what you can to streamline leaving the house. This summer I switched to walking in Chaco sandals. They are quick to pull on, and I look less dorky when we are playing at the park or shopping at the farmer’s market.
- Fancy water bottle. It’s summer. It gets hot. You need to stay hydrated. I spent most of the summer without a water bottle that fit in my stroller cup holder. I knew I wanted one that kept water cold, fit in my cup holder, and I didn’t have to stop walking to drink out of. I wound up with a 20 oz YETI. I like it so much I find myself drinking more water because I want to see how cold my water still is. Ice stays frozen for hours. It’s incredible.
- An ugly sunhat. I am not always good about applying sunscreen. Wearing an ugly hat protects my face and shades my eyes. It is ugly. It is dorky. It works.
- Entertainment. The kids would get bored if we just walked for 90 minutes, so we break it up. We visit Little Free Libraries. We walk to parks so they can play. We walk to the coffee shop. We shop at our local farmer’s market. We play I spy. We do more than just walk. Even on the days where I just want to walk.
I loved walking every day. I feel better. The sunshine has greatly improved my mood. The kids have loved it too. They seem to get along better in the stroller (Elliot being strapped in might have something to do with that).
Walking every day made it a commitment. Even if we only had 15 minutes we got out and walked. There were days when I really wanted to stay inside and avoid the heat, but I still got out, because I had committed to walking.
That commitment changed me. Today, after Elliot woke up from his nap and threw up on the couch and Audrey woke up with a low fever and a cold I did not want to walk. We stayed in and I let the kids watch too much Mickey Mouse. And then it was 4 pm and I couldn’t stand being inside one more minute.
I put the kids in the stroller and we headed out. We stayed close to home, in case Elliot got sick again. He was fine. Audrey was fine. They were happy. They were in the sunshine. They were checking out their favorite things to see on the walk – the chickens, the big flowers, the little library, and the fairy garden. We stayed out for over an hour. We all felt better because we walked.
I’m not sure if I’ll walk every day in September, but I am going to try. Winter is coming, I need to soak up the sunshine while I can.