When you’re pregnant and splurging on two bagels for breakfast, you tell yourself it will all be okay, because you’re totally going to hit the gym after baby. (Confession: I’m nine months pregnant and may or may not have had two bagels for breakfast this morning.) But then you have those kids and getting to the gym becomes a task more impossible than climbing Everest. Your kids might embrace the gym daycare—or they might sob and hold onto the doorway kicking and screaming, like my three year old enjoys doing. And then there’s the germs. Yay, you got in a 20-minute run on the treadmill—but that night your baby was wailing with a fever. Not awesome.
While it’s easy to shirk those fitness resolution you made way back when you were pregnant, I’m here to tell you that there is gear out there that will get your heart pumping while spending time with those babies and kids you love so much. The upside? The whole family is outdoors, getting fresh air (and cardio) together and you’re simultaneously teaching your kids that being active isn’t a chore, it’s a fun, daily activity.
Below are six game-changing products that will have you running, biking, hiking and walking about year-round with babies and big kids alike.
Burley Minnow Bike Trailer
Guess what? You and your partner can now go for a bike ride with baby without paying a sitter. The safest bike trailer on the market, Burley just released its Minnow, which seats one child (up to 75 pounds) in a five-point-harness that grows with the baby thanks to adjustable shoulder straps. A recessed “helmet pocket” ensures your kiddo won’t be complaining the entire ride about having to wear a helmet, especially when they can serve themselves snacks and drinks out of the handy mesh interior pockets. The compact fold is super easy to use, and the push button wheels pop right out—so you can pack the trailer up and throw it in your trunk in under 30 seconds.
Great Features: The windows’ UPF30 rating mean no sunburns, a water shield and water-resistant fabric will protect baby if a storm sprouts up, and reflective material will make the trailer visible after dark, too. (Hey, maybe your baby needs a bike ride to fall asleep—no judgement here!)
Yakima FourTimer Hitch Bike Rack
If you’re biking with bigger kids who each have their own wheels, you need a bicycle rack that can attach to your car. Perfect when heading on vacation or on a weekend adventure, this Yakima option is my favorite because, while other racks are complicated to load, the Yakima is super easy to manage. It can handle bikes (and wheels) of all sizes, including kids, road, mountain, cruiser and fat tire bikes—truly accommodating the whole family.
Great Features: The FourTimer still provides access to the rear of the car by simply tilting down the rack (without having to remove the bikes…win!). Oh, and you can quickly convert the rack from a four- to two-bike, for those times when mom and dad can sneak away by themselves.
More biking gear, I know I know, but let’s face it, biking is endlessly entertaining for kids and great at torching calories for you. If your kiddo is simply not feeling the trailer, consider adding Thule’s RideAlong reat seat to your wheels instead (or in addition, if you’ve got multiple kids begging to go for a ride!). By doing so, you’re bringing them up to your eye level and ensuring you can chitchat throughout the ride without having to shout to hear each other.
Great Features: The RideAlong is fully padded, comes with a three-point harness and has a heavy-duty suspension system, so the child will be safe, snug and not feeling any bumps (or pot holes) along the way. The tilt function is nice in that it allows for five different reclining positions, and adjustable foot rests mean the seat can accommodate babies from nine months old to my Kindergartener, who loves this seat (and going on “adventures ride with mom”).
BOB Revolution Flex Lunar Jogging Stroller
Is it a coincidence that baby’s witching hour coincides exactly with the moment you get home from work? Nope. Which means it’s time to go for a run (fresh air cures everything!), and your standard stroller just won’t do. When it comes to a jogging stroller, there are lots of options out there, but in my honest opinion, the BOB is hands-down the best. The company has been churning out reliable, safe gear for active parents for 20 years—Read: They knew what they were doing when they recently released the Revolution Flex Lunar, the first-ever stroller that has reflective fabric incorporated into its design. Sleek and chic—and super safe thanks to all that reflection—the stroller also has a state-of-the-art suspension system and high-impact polymer wheels that ensure a smooth ride (and that your cranky baby won’t become even crankier if you decide to go off-roading!).
Great Features: The nine-point adjustable handlebar means both my husband—who’s 6’2—and myself (5’3), can take this stroller out for a trot, and the five-point-harness means our kids are safe and secure while we’re on the run. It’s a cozy ride for them, too, thanks to lots of ventilation and padding.
Kelty Transit 3.0 Child Carrier
Hiking doesn’t have to be one of those things you “used to love doing” prior to having kids. Simply strap on a child carrier, and a day exploring the woods, creeks or canyons—or the urban jungle—in your backyard can once again be an option. Kiddos love it because they’re up high, have great visibility, and can talk mom and dads’ ears off. I’m a huge fan of the Kelty carrier because it comes loaded with storage for baby (front pocket, toy loops) and parent (camera and water bottle holders), and because the pack grows with your bambino thanks to an adjustable seat height that can accommodate 16 to 30 pounds (roughly six month to two-plus years old).
Great Features: The adjustable torso belt can slide up or down depending on who’s wearing the pack and the back panel and straps are super padded, and thusly super comfortable. The sun hood is great when your sweet baby starts complaining that it’s “too sunny!,” and I appreciate the included changing pad…because you never know when a poop-splosion will hit.
Ergobaby 360 Baby Carrier All Carry Positions: Cool Air Mesh
Another option for hiking or walking is the more-compact baby carrier, and Ergobaby dominates the category for good reason. I’m a big fan of the 360 because you can wear the baby on your front torso, side, or back, with baby facing towards you or outwards. Talk about flexibility.
Great Features: Something that anyone who has ever strapped on a baby before knows is that when you take the child and carrier off, your body is going to be slick with sweat. The 360 combats that with a mesh material that allows air to sweep in between you and baby (the carrier accommodates weights of 12 to 33 pounds; an additional infant insert is available for purchase), making it the most breathable and coolest carrier on the market.
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