One of the best activities for new mums is going for a walk with their new baby in the pram. It is a wonderful way to get in some exercise, and most babies love the movement of the pram and the sights and sounds of being outdoors.
However, the way you push your pram is very important. It may seem like a simple, uncomplicated activity. However, if you are not using good form, you could do more harm than good.
Here’s a few quick tips to remember when walking with you pram:
Keep your body upright, or slightly leaning forward, and your focus forward not down to the ground.
Your hips should be kept close to the pram and be aligned underneath your shoulders. This is particularly important when you start including more hills in your walks, as it will help prevent back pain that can be associated with walking. And, by using this posture, you will start to use your leg and buttock muscles instead of your back. And, well, who doesn’t want stronger legs and a tighter butt!
Keep your shoulder blades relaxed with your elbows bent and close to your body, or just slightly in front of your body.
Your chest should be upright, however, your ribs should be soft and closed, not sticking out. And, your hands should be relaxed on the handle bar and your wrists should be in a neutral position. Most prams come with adjustable handle bars so make sure the handle of your pram is adjusted for you and this will ensure that you can maintain your upright posture.
Allow your breathing to be natural so that as you breathe in, your rib cage expands, your diaphragm fills with air as it lowers, your belly softens and your pelvic floor can expand and work with the rest of the core muscles to manage pressure within the abdomen. As your breathe out, the reverse process should occur, resulting in the gentle activation of the pelvic floor and deep lower abdominals, and the closing of the ribs. This will help to support your lower back and pelvis, and ensuring that you are supporting the recovery and rehabilitation of your pelvic floor and core muscles.
Alternate swinging with one arm. Rather than keeping both hands on the pram during you walk, consciously alternate swinging one arm by your side, while pushing the pram with the other. It is more natural to swing our arms when we walk (we don’t normally walk with our arms still do we?), and this will help prevent neck and shoulder pain.
And, these same tips apply when you get the all clear to start jogging with your pram.
Check out my other post, Get The Most Out Of Your Walk, for other tips of getting the most out of every walk!