Jogging Stroller Running Tips

By: Kerry Johnston

A Jogging stroller is a fun and healthy way for you to exercise with baby. However, a little planning will also make it simple and easy. Planning ahead means thinking about your fitness level, baby's health, exercises to choose, and where you want to do them. Here is a quick checklist of important considerations:

1. Consult your doctor about your health and the baby. You will find that most recommend waiting 6 to 8 weeks after birth before you start exercising again. Of course, you should be careful about running with babies younger than 6 months.

2. Purchase a good jogging stroller (there is a great deal of information available on the internet). Whether you are a competitive runner getting back into shape, a suburban mall-dad, or just a tired Mom looking for a way to get baby to fall asleep, make sure that your jogging stroller fits the activity that you have in mind.

3. Think about your running route and how long it will take. You may choose a stroll along sidewalks to your local park, jog along a dedicated running path, or go off-road to hiking trails. Your choice will depend on your general fitness level, safety concerns, and your baby's endurance. Either way, start small with walking down your street or around the block. This will ease you back into it, and get your little one comfortable with the new experience. As you extend your routine, choose well-traveled trails with plenty of people around, and design your route in a circuit - so you finish back at home. If you must drive to your running spot, the circuit should begin and end where you parked.

4. Try to get organized: Before you step outside, get all your ducks in a row. Try to dress yourself and baby while you're still inside and then prepare the stroller for use. Preparing the stroller means checking the tires for flats, checking the brakes, and loading up all the things you'll need: blanket, toys, sippy cup, snacks, music, water bottle for you, cell phone, keys etc. If there is someone else at home, you can prepare the jogging stroller outside while a family member watches baby inside. If you are alone with baby then you will have to get her ready and then prep the stroller with her in one hand! Get used to being a one-armed parent - but never leave your child alone while attending to the stroller.

5. Load up the stroller: Expand the stroller, lock the frame, and engage the parking brake before you place your baby inside. Make sure that all the shoulder, waist, and crotch straps are adjusted, the buckle or fastener has snapped into place, and that baby is comfortable before you start off. Make sure that the wrist strap is firmly secured to both you and the stroller before you begin. Now you are ready to roll!

6. While you are running: The two key things to remember are stride and posture. Running with a jogging stroller is a little different from normal jogging, so you must remember not to hunch over the handlebar and also not to bump your feet on the rear axle. If you have a naturally long stride, shorten it a bit. The correct running posture should have your shoulders relaxed and your chest pushed out, and your stomach muscles firm. Your arms (i.e. from elbow to wrist) should be parallel to the ground, and you should grip the handlebar lightly. Run at a moderate speed and never more than 10 to 12 mph. Check on baby from time to time by glancing down through the peek window, or stopping at intervals.

7. Safety First: Make sure to stay alert and keep your wits about you! You are a parent first and a runner second - so do not get too engrossed in the exercise. Look out for cars, joggers, excitable dogs, and the like. It goes without saying, but never leave your baby unattended. If you stop to chat, keep your hand on the handlebar. If you head into a coffee shop and the stroller won't fit through the door, take baby out and then go inside. A little commonsense goes a long way.

If you follow these easy tips, you and baby will be enjoying the fresh air in no time at all. Jogging with baby helps you reduce stress and shed those post-partum pounds, so get out there and have fun!

Happy Trails,
Kerry


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