7 months postpartum, I still have about 15 pounds to go before I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Truth be told, I’m not in a huge hurry to rush back to my old size and weight, and am certainly in no mood to put myself on any strict diets. Hayden still isn’t sleeping through the night consistently, and I’m still nursing him for the majority of his feedings. Right now, it seems too overwhelming a task for my tired momma brain, to find the appropriate type of diet that will allow me the right amount of calories and protein intake, as to not affect my milk supply. A couple of weeks ago, as the weather turned sunny (even more sunny than usual) here in Southern California, I decided that I would and could make some minor adjustments to my daily routine to get me back into my pre-pregnancy shape, slowly but surely. So I decided to move more, and have developed quite an affinity of taking my errands on foot and pushing Hayden in the stroller to get stuff done. Turns out the benefits to this new routine involve more than just extra exercise. Read on for all the added benefits I’ve discovered.
Time to think
Our local shopping center, which holds all the major stores and conveniences I could need to get many errands completed, is just a short mile away. It seems too perfect to not take advantage of this geographical convenience, and I’m finding that one of the best added benefits of the extra walking is the ability to get lost in my thoughts and just think. In a noisy world, it’s nice to be alone with my thoughts on these walks.
Besides all that space to breathe and think, I love being able to peek into my neighbor’s yards, up close and personal. Looking at all the blooms and shrubbery gives me some ideas and inspiration for our own struggling garden.
Daydreams about remodels
We have high hopes of someday remodeling our 1950’s home to make it a lot more functional and a bit more updated. Instead of prowling the neighborhood in my car, I’ve been paying close attention to neighborhood remodels while on foot, and have cataloged many design ideas already. This particular home is the same model as ours, but love the updated porch and siding they added to it. And those hanging baskets!
Just the necessities
Let’s skip on ahead to the actual errands. One of the main things I’ve discovered by running my errands on foot is that I have to stick to just the necessities and what is on the list. I have a small basket under the stroller that fits about two Target bags worth of items, so I have to be intentional and efficient when running my errands.
With my limited storage space and inability to carry much more than a shopping bag back from our errands, I can’t get sidetracked and buy a lamp, or any other over sized items, I wasn’t planning to buy. As you can imagine, this has helped to save some money quite a few times. Of course I could always go back in my car, but I find that if I leave the store without it, the majority of the temptation disappears.
Maybe just a small extra
I can always find a bit more room in my stroller for a small splurge, like a new Spring candle to freshen up the home. Cost is nominal and takes up very little space, but I still get to leave with a “little” extra goodie.
I’d be fibbing if I said I didn’t crave a fancy coffee drink on a daily basis. The main thing that keeps me from caving into this craving is the hassle of lugging a carseat and baby in and out of the car to get my caffeine fix. It’s much easier to just get it at home. BUT! When I’m out running errands on foot, it couldn’t be easier to make a coffee break pit stop! Just in and out with the stroller, and I have myself a special beverage to give me some pep for the walk home.
Checking in at the stops
Hayden loves our walks and usually doesn’t complain a bit or make one peep. It’s fun to check in on him though at all the stop signs and lights and say hi. He usually gives me a huge smile, letting me know he’s happy and content. After two children who didn’t love the stroller, it’s nice to be able to get out with a baby who does.
A new appreciation
On our way home from our walk this past weekend, I discovered a new sense of appreciation for our quiet neighborhood. When rushing around in the car from place to place and errand to errand, it’s easy to ignore the beauty around us and get caught up in bad drivers and awful traffic. But on foot there’s a much bigger sense of peace, and it is allowing me the opportunity to look around and feel happy with my surroundings and our neighborhood.
While exercise was my initial motive in running my errands by foot, the added benefits are almost immeasurable. Saving money on gas and in extra purchases, fresh air, quiet time to myself, Vitamin D for both Hayden and I. The list goes on. I’m happy to take advantage of this wonderful weather for as long as possible, and can’t wait to run, or should I say “walk”, my next errand.