The sky is blue, the sun is shining: time to go outside – at best, to get some exercise! Why not try Nordic Walking? If you take your baby with you in a baby sling or carrier, you won’t need a babysitter! Besides, Nordic Walking is the ideal exercise after a pregnancy, because it is known for its benefits for your health and its low impact on your joints and the pelvic floor, it improves the muscular tone – and it is fun, too! :- ) But how do you start and what kind of clothing is best for you and your child so that you both are neither too warm nor too cold?
Nordic Walking with baby – get started in a supervised course
If you are a Nordic Walking newbie, we suggest visiting a course first. After all, when it comes to Nordic Walking, the right technique makes all the difference to benefit from the health effect of this total body workout. Plus, it is more fun in a group! Such courses are often offered by family education centers, fitness coaches or babywearing consultants. By the way: In these courses, quite often walking sticks and baby carriers are offered, so that you can try it all out. Most probably, a course that fits your needs takes place also in your area. And don’t forget to ask your midwife before you get started.
Front or back carry position?
Both are possible – when your baby is still small you will carry it in front anyway. This is a smooth start to Nordic Walking. As soon as your baby can safely hold up his/her own head, you might carry it on your back. The advantages are numerous: not only is the back carry particularly good for the pelvic floor, but you both also have a better view. Your child can see a lot more of his/her surroundings, and a baby on your back does not limit your view of the ground in front of you.
The right outfit
Apart from the right technique, the right clothing is essential for Nordic Walking. You should be comfortable in your clothes and you and your child should feel neither too warm nor too cold. To give you an idea what to wear for your first tour, we have set up a list of tips. Of course, this is just a rule of thumb as it depends on your individual temperature perception.
Clothes for Nordic Walking – for you and your child
As your baby does not move, he/she must be dressed more warmly than you when it is cold outside. On the one hand he/she enjoys your body warmth, and on the other hand his/her extremities cool down rapidly! Depending on the season and whether you have a babywearing jacket or cover in your wardrobe, these combinations are possible:
- • Transition periods in spring and fall:
Your baby wears a body suit, tights and an overall – depending on the climate you can put a cover over the baby carrier or sling. When it is too warm for a cover, BabyLegs can keep your baby’s arms and legs warm. A versatile babywearing jacket might be a huge advantage, as you may leave the jacket either open or wear it closed. And if this is still too warm, many babywearing jackets allow you to remove the sleeves (e.g. Two-Way Jacket)
- • Summer:
Now the baby also gets by without an extra layer of clothes. At times, a body suit might be sufficient. Again, you may cover your baby’s arms and legs with BabyLegs, either to add an extra layer of warmth when you are heading for the woods, or to protect your baby from the sun (with the BabyCool! BabyLegs offering UPF 50+ protection). BabyLegs are really very practical, as they are quick and easy to put on and take off.
- • Winter:
Even if the cold season does not stop you from walking, you will need more fabric for a comfortable babywearing climate. You can dress your baby warm as you usually do when being carried (pick an overall made of boiled wool or fleece, but not a ski suit) – and on top of that you can wear a babywearing jacket (such as the Two-Way jacket) or another wide, warm jacket. On the whole, your baby should be warmly dressed in winter when he/she is in a baby carrier.
- • Rainy days:
If you don’t mind walking in the rain and call it “walking on sunshine” whatever the weather is like, we recommend babywearing jackets that are both breathable and weatherproof (such as the All-Weather Jacket).
To keep in mind for all seasons: make sure your baby is not too hot or cold. Touch his/her neck to check if the baby is sweating. (This may happen not only in summer!)
Our colleague Dunja, a babywearing consultant who used to offer Nordic Walking courses herself, appreciates practical babywearing garments. “When I went Nordic Walking, I always liked the Two-Way jacket very much, because I could remove the sleeves. Especially on cold spring days you get warm very quickly when walking, while the baby is still cool. Another option is to put a warm cover over the child. If you have the MaM Cold Weather Insert, you should remove the collar. Otherwise it would be too warm for you“.