6

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Paleo Exercise: Carrying Children

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 04, 2010 at 1:47 PM

I have found that carrying around small children, up to age 5 or so, rather than putting them in a stroller, is a tremendous workout! You can put them in your hands, on your side, on your back, etc. Even two at a time. Needless to say, the kids love it! I suspect that the health benefits are enormous ("Lifting Heavy Things"), especially when carried over significant distances. Different baby-holders may or may not be used. Can anyone comment?

D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on August 02, 2010
at 03:28 PM

Just a side note: pushing a couple of kids up a hill in a stroller can be a really great workout as well! :-)

D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on July 07, 2010
at 11:14 AM

JP, don't knock all the cooking and cleaning that I'm sure your grandmother did. I'm sure she got plenty of exercise. Probably washed her clothes by hand...

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on July 05, 2010
at 10:27 PM

Just read queen of the stone age's post. I agree.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on July 05, 2010
at 10:25 PM

I can only tell our experience because we read no studies. As infants riding in a front-pack, they never felt abandoned, never woke with a startle/fall reflex (that wasn't immediately soothed). As toddlers in the backpack they worked on core balance that would be missing if they'd been laying or sitting in a stroller. They used their legs, too, because they could reach the bottom bar and push themselves up on their toes. They were walking to the store and back (two blocks each way) and to the park (3+ blocks each way) before they were 18 months old.

D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on July 05, 2010
at 01:23 PM

It's true that when you carry them around, they end up walking more earlier when you're too tired to carry them. You can even plan in your trip that they will walk part of the way.

D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on July 04, 2010
at 04:49 PM

What are the health benefits for the kids?

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4 Answers

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8
C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on July 04, 2010
at 08:11 PM

I'd second the benefits to the baby. I carried both of mine in a sling from birth in the shawl type one which they lie in at first but very soon sit on your hip. One of the main benefits of this is that they are at almost head height which means that they are involved - watching, listening, etc in everything you do. In fact I found many people talked to baby instead of me! They don't get that flat head/bald patch that babies that lie in prams and cots get. They experience constantly changing motion which also stimulates their brains and bodies. They are not afraid of heights, sudden movements and so on because they experience them whilst literally attached to their 'safe' person. They have to hold their heads up and, in the case of the hip sling, themselves up. Both my kids have excellent musculature and posture which I attribute to this.

2
5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on July 04, 2010
at 04:26 PM

Don't forget that there are probably health benefits for the kids, too. We didn't own a stroller when our kids were young. We used a sling and a front-pack when they were infants and a back-pack when they were older. (Occasionally, we'd use a wagon - not very paleo. :-) )

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on July 05, 2010
at 10:27 PM

Just read queen of the stone age's post. I agree.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on July 05, 2010
at 10:25 PM

I can only tell our experience because we read no studies. As infants riding in a front-pack, they never felt abandoned, never woke with a startle/fall reflex (that wasn't immediately soothed). As toddlers in the backpack they worked on core balance that would be missing if they'd been laying or sitting in a stroller. They used their legs, too, because they could reach the bottom bar and push themselves up on their toes. They were walking to the store and back (two blocks each way) and to the park (3+ blocks each way) before they were 18 months old.

D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on July 04, 2010
at 04:49 PM

What are the health benefits for the kids?

1
D5db204527668aa712504995c0f8f96f

(551)

on July 06, 2010
at 05:12 PM

It's probably the most natural workout ever.

Women used to carry their kids all the time back in the days. That's why women were stronger back in the days. For example, my grand mother has a really strong grip and she can beat most of the family at arm wrestling. She did little exercise except for carrying her children.

Actually it's similar to how a construction worker get muscular and stronger without actually training for it. Constant resistance force the nervous system to adapt to the stress produced.

D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on July 07, 2010
at 11:14 AM

JP, don't knock all the cooking and cleaning that I'm sure your grandmother did. I'm sure she got plenty of exercise. Probably washed her clothes by hand...

1
D738a5b2a67f3c36518a2ac9f32d27af

on July 05, 2010
at 01:54 AM

I'm not a parent, but I'm a "do things using fewer tools" person. For example, I take the stairs instead of the elevator, physically pull on door handles instead of using automatic door openers, etc. I feel smug and righteous ;) and I'm certainly fitter, but I know transporting kids in our busy culture can be a hassle. I recently saw somebody pushing their kid in a stroller and I wondered, from my paleo perspective: a) how much fitter would parents be if they carried their kids? b) how much fitter would kids be if they walked instead of being pushed in strollers? c) at what age/size/weight does it make it impractical to carry a kid vs. how far can a kid walk and when are they able to keep up fairly well? In other words, how did paleo parents deal with the little kids too big to carry and too little to walk very far?

D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on July 05, 2010
at 01:23 PM

It's true that when you carry them around, they end up walking more earlier when you're too tired to carry them. You can even plan in your trip that they will walk part of the way.

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