Many parents find it tough fitting in fitness at a gym. But getting fit can be easy and free – just put the little one in a buggy and head out to a local park. This is what I did to build up my fitness gradually and it is soul-lifting to be in nature – for you and your baby.

A popular way to connect with other parents, caregivers or grandparents doing exactly this is through the Mitre10 MEGA Buggy Walks. These walks take place in parks on the first Thursday of each month around the greater Wellington region. There’s no need to register, just turn up at 10am for a 10.30am start. You can walk at your own pace for up to an hour and often there are toddlers walking or on scooters too. There’s almost a parade of people and prams as sometimes hundreds attend.

Tania Bartley, 34, from Johnsonville, has been a regular at these buggy walks since she had Isaac, aged six-months. She loves meeting other parents with youngsters. Isaac loves to hang out with others, rolling around on the grass before and after the walks.

“Isaac loves the fresh air and sunshine and looking at the trees and different light. And I love connecting with other people because together we can motivate each other.

“It’s really good to be active like this and feel good about yourself – rather than being stuck in the house,” says Bartley.

The mum is doing the walks to help step up her fitness for the Mitre 10 Mega Buggy Walk at the Cigna Round the Bays on February 19. Entering this event with Isaac and her husband Ed, has given the family a fun goal to strive for. Find a buggy walk: www.buggywalk.co.nz