Walking with young children can be a challenge. They are notoriously slow and do not cooperate. Over the years, I have come up with a couple of solutions that have been very helpful in keeping my goal of walking outside on a regular basis.
When your children are young you need a good stroller. The newer ones with the attachable car seats are great for going to the mall or zoo, but seem somewhat cumbersome when trying to walk fast. When my children were little I always wanted a runner’s stroller, but couldn’t afford one at the time. Today the price of those strollers is in the low 100s, which is somewhat cheaper. I usually used an umbrella stroller due to lightness, but the handles were too low for comfort. I also recommend a wagon. I don’t think there is an ergonomically correct way to pull a wagon, but sometimes you have no choice. Overall, try out a couple of different options and pick what you like best.
My grandchildren were a little older and could play partially unattended at the park. My city is extremely dog friendly and dogs are allowed in all parks. This isn’t the case everywhere. I looked up all of the parks in Castle Rock where I live that have a sidewalk or path that goes all the way around the playground area. There are three of them in my town that fit these criteria. The other ten or so don’t work well. At least twice per week, I took the girls and my little Yorkiepoo to the park for play time and a walk. The girls would play at the park, while Zoe and I walked around the park. I am within eye shot and hearing distance at all times. The girls understood what I am doing so they could call out if they needed me. Sometimes they would do a couple of laps with me. I just stopped walking and helped them on the swings or monkey bars whenever they needed me. I didn’t get too invested in a perfect workout, but rather spent the entire time moving instead of sitting on a bench.
I liked this approach to walking for a few reasons. Mostly I love anything that combines more than one task or objective at a time. The girls can play, the dog and I got exercise and everyone enjoyed the outdoor time.
I took the girls walking on short walks with me quite often, almost daily weather permitting. I wouldn’t classify this as exercise for me, but it was for them. I looked forward to when they could ride bikes, so that they could go with me at a quicker pace. However, I stopped babysitting them prior to this ever working out.
I have taken them for walks in the mall, when the weather is bad. However, I prefer leaving them at home with my husband or son for a few minutes while I go for a quick walk without them. Overall, I tried to maintain flexibility with time, weather, location, and other factors and focus more on any walk was a successful walk.