A friend in the suburbs once told me that getting her kids in and out of the car was such a hassle that it sometimes kept her from wanting to go out at all. I can sympathize with this, especially this past Winter when getting two kids bundled, unbundled, in 5-point-harnesses, and then re-bundled was more of a workout than an actual workout. While we sometimes use our car for the morning daycare drop-offs, the remainder of the time the city allows us to stick to baby-wearing, bikes, and strollers. I love the freedom that this gives us to get out of the house quickly, easily run errands, and get some exercise (that doesn’t involve wrestling car seats).
When counseling overweight teens in my office, I often discuss looking for opportunities in your everyday life for exercise, such as biking to school, taking the stairs, and walking the dog. In my life, wearing the baby and pushing the stroller is often how I get exercise and the fact that it also allows me to spend time with my children is what makes it even more appealing.
Other ways that we stay active as a family:
- N rides his own bike (the ybike balance bike) now, so while he sometimes has a seat on the back of Daddy’s bike, he also rides his own along with us
- Swimming at the local YMCA
- Pop-up sports on the sidewalk. Who says city kids can’t play in the “yard?” We have a soccer goal, basketball net, and t-ball that we can set up on the sidewalk for an afternoon field day!
- Playgrounds. Philly has a number of great playgrounds for kids, and spray-grounds in the summer. For more information about these, see my prior post here.
- Walking to the grocery store. We live within 10 blocks of 4 major grocery stores. Between the two adults and our stroller, we can carry quite a load of groceries home with us as well.
Now that G is old enough to sit up in the stroller, we added a glider board attachment to our stroller for N to ride along. As we cruised around the city today he proudly announced to every passerby, “I’m on a skateboard.” We waved at every delivery truck and stopped to pick flowers at a park. It makes me happy that something as simple as a walk to the coffee shop and playground allows him to be active and engage with his community. I may not be as thrilled with our pedestrian lifestyle in the rainy Spring days ahead, but I am certainly enjoying it now.