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Baby Steps: Getting Out and About in Edinburgh

About a week after my c-section, walking the 400 metres to my parents'-in-law for Christmas dinner felt like a huge achievement. It was also the first step towards feeling human again. When bending down or reaching up is both awkward and not advised, standing straight and moving forwards feels liberating. Perhaps that sounds strange, but if you've walked in my shoes you'll hopefully understand.

Walking gently eases you into getting out and about with a little one. There's no need to manoeuvre the pram through a narrow door or around tables. You can sit on a quiet bench and get used to feeding while away from home. I find it relaxing to step out for an hour or so, with my thoughts, some fresh air and little Jack for company.

 

It doesn't have to be a lone activity, though. Walking can be a great way to meet other parents. I was heartened to see the launch of a new group on Facebook, Buggy Walkers North Edinburgh. It's for parents who enjoy exploring new paths in the city while making friends.

 

Edinburgh has some gorgeous walks. You might want to go somewhere with an undercover option such as the Royal Botanic Garden, which also has some great activities for under 5s. One of my favourite routes is the Water of Leith walkway from Colinton Dell into the city. The Union Canal Towpath has numerous access points with lots of meeting and refreshment options along its 30 miles, such as Harrison Park and the Bridge Inn at Ratho. Holyrood Park and Arthur's Seat will get those arms and core muscles working. This weekend I visited Blackford Hill and Pond for the first time. The views were breathtaking and the expression on Jack's face as he first glimpsed a duck was priceless.

 

Walking has made the transition into slightly more strenuous exercise so much smoother, both physically and mentally. I used to exercise alone, but I've just joined a group set up on Facebook for mums hoping to start - or get back into - running.  There's safety in numbers and it's a great opportunity to natter.  We're following the Couch to 5k programme for now; baby steps, but it's so much fun.

 

Kirsty