13 years ago I met my best friend:
Meet The Zipper. Zipper has been with me through all four babies. Ever faithful, Zipper is still going strong. She may not be the envy of the new-fangled strollers, but baby after baby, I could never trade Zipper in for something newer or fancier. She's been rained on, puked on, peed on. Tipped over, pushed, and pulled. Zipper has broken straps, pollen-stained fabric, and small holes where squirrels have chewed through when I left baby snacks. The Zipper and I will be together to the end.
Zipper kept me sane through the looooong days when I had small children at home and HAD to get out, even if it was just to walk to the post office. She was great in summer, spring, fall and winter. Rain, sun, or snow, she kept going. Sometimes there was a baby on my back, a baby strapped in front, and a baby in the Zipper. We got up hill and down, around town and back again.
Even now, with a 40lb "baby," Zipper can help a mama get a great work-out in. Today's special: the quad burner.
First, make sure to acknowledge the sun. Good morning, sunshine. Ah....
Then, whether she likes it or not, get that babe in her seat!
Take pictures for proof...
That you really did walk a mile up hill and back again (uphill both ways) in snow...stop every now and then to take deep gasping breaths while telling Rumpelstiltskin for the 100th time. Walking up a hill, even with the fanciest of jogging strollers, pushing a large child will guarantee a quality quadricep burn.
Throw a carrot at Bob. But maybe take a bit first for sustenance.
At some point while walking up the never-ending hill, make large child walk so she can feel that satisfying quad burn, too.
Hello sunshine, trying to walk here...
For variety, walk in deep snow. Make sure to sink in real deep. Forge your own trail! Feel the burn!
Continue to walk in the deep snowbanks, or follow along pushing stroller. If you bend your knees while walking downhill, the burn will kick in extra-quick.
Just for fun, do a couple of summersaults down the snowbanks.
For an extra quad work-out, run in deep snowbanks. Oh, make sure you're wearing your bundle pajamas. That way, no snow can get down your socks or disappear in your boots.
This was where I was really going...the lunge. While pushing large child in stroller, do 10 walking lunges, each leg. Repeat. Go slow. Never let the knee go past the toe or there is major knee ligament strain. Get DOWN, nice and LOW, but don't let that back leg touch the ground. Are you feeling it?
I have often wondered what my neighbors think of me when I'm taking walks and lunging. The cows moo and the buffalo snort. Whatevs. Don't you care a lick about what anyone thinks when you're lunging down the road. You're getting your quad work-out in!
Females especially need to keep that knee joint in place by have strong quads and hamstrings. The lunge is one of the best lower-body exercises - with ONE exercise, you are strengthening your BUTT, your QUADS, and your HAMSTRINGS.
When you're out of breath and can't do no more, give a little more effort and have a snowball fight with giant snowballs.
Best work-out ever.
And like I used to ask all my students...how many muscles make up the quadricep? You wouldn't believe the great answers I've gotten!