Fitness After Kids

My son, Osker, was born in the dead of winter. For the first few weeks of his life, “staying fit” meant moving from the bed to the couch and nursing constantly. Rather quickly, too much so in fact, Osker grew, and I recovered, and staying fit became much easier. Once spring hit, I was ecstatic. Now I could safely take my baby outside for walks, runs, and hikes, but there were a few things to get in order.

First, investing in a really nice jogging stroller is key. And every Bozemanite needs a backpack. In both cases we went with Kelty K.I.D.S. (see review facing page). The pack is great because now we can hit all the trails we did before and help foster Osker’s love of the outdoors. We even went on an eight-mile hike, but admittedly that may have been too much for the little guy.

Once your child begins crawling and eventually walking, staying fit can be as easy as chasing him around. It’s amazing how much ground a little person on all fours can cover. The older they get, the more active they become, and they are always eager to be outside—so take advantage!

Ultimately, the rule of thumb for all outdoor activities with kids is to be prepared. Always make sure they are comfortable, safe, and protected. Spring and fall are easily the best seasons for kids. Summer can get too hot and winter can get too cold. But any season can be mastered with the right preparation and equipment. Basically, anything you did before can still be done with a little creativity and a lot of extra time. Biking with a kid in tow can be done with an added seat or a pull-behind stroller. The same stroller can be pulled behind a pair of cross-country skis. A good backpack can work for hiking in warm weather and snowshoeing in cold.

On those days when it is too cold or too hot, hit the gym. Gold’s Gym and The Ridge Athletic Club are just two of the gyms in town with daycare. The key to staying fit with kids is to have an open mind. Children are very resilient and eager to try anything.

Speedster Deluxe Stroller - Kelty K.I.D.S.

If you plan on having a kid and staying active, a durable, practical stroller is a must. I’m not talking about the latest celeb-craze frou-frou stroller. You’ll need something with big wheels that have traction, a good harness to keep your kid from wiggling and bouncing all over, and a nice suspension system with brakes that work on the fly.

Kelty has perfected this exact stroller in their 2006 Speedster Deluxe. The Speedster weighs in at a little over 23 pounds and can carry a kid weighing up to 70 pounds. It has a five-point harness for your little bundle of joy. The sun hood is nice, although like most strollers I have used, it could be a bit more protective especially when direct sunlight hits. The handlebar is adjustable, which is nice for Mom and Dad. The stroller comes with two parking brakes and a hand brake that stops a runaway Speedster on a dime. To top it all off, the stroller can be folded up for travel and storage, which is a nice change from our ’90s-model jogger. I have taken my six-month old on all kinds of terrain, and the Speedster holds up great. This stroller works just as well in downtown Bozeman as it does on Peet’s Hill. $325;