You’ll be putting in some real mileage before your kid outgrows this set of wheels. Here’s how to embrace stroller time as a training advantage.

By By Mary Anderson
Photo: Svetlana Iakusheva/Shutterstock

Your daily stroller habit can be the key to making you fitter. For one thing, thanks to the added resistance, your strides burn more calories. A recent study at Seattle Pacific University calculated that runners can burn 5 to 8 percent more calories pushing a jogging stroller if they maintain their usual solo pace (say, 363 calories per half hour at a steady nine-minute mile with baby on board versus 333 calories solo). It's important to keep to your typical clip-a two-handed grip, as opposed to one-handed or the push-and-chase method, was the most efficient, according to the researchers. Best bet: Aim to have your hustle feel a couple of notches harder, and you're likely in the sweet spot. (Related: Mommy-and-Me Workout Classes That Keep Your Fitness the Center of Attention)

Besides that, any stroll can be prime time to fit in Pilates strengthening. "By incorporating the rolling stroller, every move becomes a deep core exercise, much like working on a Reformer," says Jenn Seracuse, the director of Pilates at Flex Studios in New York City, who discovered the firming potential of her stroller when pushing her son, Van. Using the movement and instability of a stroller instead of a barre can turn on muscles that otherwise may not activate. (A Pilates ring can also crank your workout up a notch.) Try Seracuse's go-to moves on your next outing to firm major muscles, as long as your doc has cleared you for exercise.

Stroller Extension

Works: Back, abs, butt.

Stand with both hands on handlebar. Bring left knee up to chest, then extend left leg back at hip height as you press the stroller forward until body is parallel to ground. Pulse left leg 3 times, then sweep it out to side and back to center, keeping hips, spine, and stroller stable before bringing knee to chest again. Do 8 reps. Switch legs; repeat.

Stroller Split Squat

Works: Abs, hips, legs.

Stand with your back facing the front of stroller (opposite side from where the handles are) and lift left leg behind you to lightly rest top of foot on bottom crossbar (on undercarriage). Bend right knee 90 degrees, lowering into a long lunge position and pressing stroller back with left foot. Return to start. Do 8 reps. Switch legs and repeat.

Stroller Abs Roller

Works: Core, arms.

Start on ground just to left side of stroller and partially behind it in a modifed push-up position (on knees); hold on to lower part of stroller frame with right hand. Maintain modifed push-up position as you roll the stroller forward and back with right arm (bending and extending the right elbow) for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.


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