I’m walking. Yes, indeed. Is it ironic that Fats Domino performed that song? Whoa, way too early to digress. Let’s start again.
I don’t walk. I’m usually running late and wearing unsuitable shoes. Streetcars and taxis are my preferred mode of transportation. But here I am, six months postpartum and baptized into the congregation of urban, stroller-pushing moms. I’m walking. Me! And I’m getting trimmer by the minute. Yes, indeed.
Shortly after my daughter was born, a friend shared the secret of her impressive postpartum weight loss. “I walked A LOT” she revealed. Not only did she lose the baby weight, she lost some of the regular old weight too. I didn’t doubt her at all. I just didn’t see walking as my thing. You know me. I’m all about heavy weights and high intensity.
Then the spring weather came and I sang a new tune. For weeks, I’ve been strolling the streets and parks with the best of ’em. It’s an affordable way to stay busy. It’s a must to preserve my sanity. And it’s a great fat-burning workout.
Walking is a low intensity exercise. That means the body uses fat stores for fuel. Literally fat-burning. So one or two hours of walking ain’t too shabby – especially when pushing a 20lb load. Oh, and did I mention the inclines? You may not consider downtown Toronto hilly, but I certainly notice the uphill slopes when pushing baby plus the bag of essentials I dare not leave home without! Incline work wonders on the legs and glutes.
Some days I don my workout wear for a sweaty walk to the park. Water, supportive running shoes and clothes the “breathe” make this most comfortable. Other times, I opt for casual wear and a slightly more leisurely stroll with a fellow mom. Swept up hair, sunglasses and stylish yet comfy shoes make this most yummy-mummyish.
Having company is great. The adult conversation is much appreciated but there’s more. I also get an automatic gauge of exertion – “the talk test”. I like to work up to a mild huff and the odd puff, along with a light sweat. I don’t do any crazy power-walking. There’s no special technique or heavy-duty jogging stroller for me. Just good old-fashioned walking with an umbrella-style stroller.
I get out for two to three good walks each week. I love the dose of fresh air and vitamin D. I love the break from entertaining the little one. Squirrels, trees, and trucks are far more interesting than I am. Most of all, I love seeing my thighs, hips and butt getting leaner. Pre-prego jeans here I come!
So don’t be annoyed when you see a brigade of stroller-pushers coming your way. Kindly bare with us as we get our tummy-sloughing walk on. And don’t be bothered if we temporarily invade your local coffee shop. Trust me, we’ve earned that soy latte break!
What are your favourite Toronto walking routes?
GOOD TO KNOW: Walking is a great activity if you are new to or resuming exercise. It provides an effective, low-impact workout that will prepare your body for more vigorous exercise later on.