The simple things in life; walking for exercise and relaxation

Written for July 8th 2010

You know the feeling, the fear that you lost your waistline when you lost control of your pelvic floor? Well that hit I with a bang after Kieran, now four, was born. I wanted to tone up, lose the weight, and regain control of my body. Unfortunately the gym was out, as were many of the local gym/aerobic/exercise classes, mainly due to my budget. Before Kieran was born I worked full time and earned a not too bad wage. After Kieran was born we decided I wasn’t going to return to work as planned, and the drop in income was an eye-opener, so exercise and relaxation was going to have to be found on the cheap, preferably free. I had heard about Pushy Mothers- a group of Mums who strolled around (ok power-walked) with their buggies to tone up. My local group was miles away so no use to me, but I like the idea. Daily I set off with the pram, Kieran tucked up and literally ploughed all over (think Harold Bishop in Neighbours with bags under his eyes and a large(er) rear end). As well as helping with the pounds I found this so therapeutic, pounding the sidewalk, with two cute little eyes on me, was the way to exercise and feel good in the best way, and fresh air doesn’t do a baby any harm.

As my exercise buddy got older and ditched the buggy (at 18months – I was seriously unimpressed at having to carry my own shopping, but secretly proud of his love of being on his feet all the time- perhaps our walking together set a good example?), I found it hard to work up a sweat so although we still walked daily together I need to pick it up a bit so started getting up early, or going out in the evening, sometimes having a good march when Kieran was (later) at preschool, with my iPod on. As well as the obvious health benefits, it has never failed to pick up my mood, and has given me the all important “me” time to think, plan, process or silently nose at other people’s gardens etc!

I am now pregnant with number two and will continue to walk often with this one, or push regularly. I am even considering this time joining a local all women Nordic Walking group (which is very reasonably priced) where we can stalk the North Yorkshire streets with our ski poles down and chins up.

The greatest pull for me with using walking as a form of exercise and relaxation is the cost….nothing! In a world where so many things are hugely overpriced, don’t forget to take advantage of those (few) things we can have for free! Us Mums (and Dad/Carers!), need that bit of “me” time; I just don’t see why we should pay through the nose for it.

Oh, and if you do happen to see my Harold bum after December bouncing/rolling along- remember one of these days it was be an exact early replica of Kylie Minogue’s!

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