Jogging is a great form of exercise. Maintaining good form with a stroller definitely adds some challenges but is critical to preventing injuries. We’ve gathered a few tips so that your jog can be fun, safe, and effective.
When can I start running with my baby?
For starters, most pediatricians & stroller manufacturers recommend waiting till 6-8 months. It’s important that your baby has good neck control. Some, myself included, will run with the car seat plugged into the stroller. This provides the baby with proper head support but does make the stroller top-heavy. If you choose to start running earlier with the car seat adaptor, take it slow and choose flat, straight paths for your runs.
Are there stroller safety features I need to look for?
When running with a stroller, always use the safety strap around your wrist and lock the front wheel. Especially as you’re adjusting to running with a stroller, choose your paths carefully so you can focus on figuring out this new style of running. This should go without saying but always make sure that baby is safely buckled before any run.
What about my form?
While you are pushing the stroller with your arms, the power should really come from your legs and core. Keep your core close to the stroller to prevent yourself from bending forward. Hold on to the stroller with one arm so you can use your free arm to pump as you would during a stroller-free run. Make sure to switch arms regularly.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Give yourself grace. Running with a stroller is an adjustment. Forget pace and focus on good form. It may always feel challenging because the weight you are pushing (.i.e. your baby) is constantly increasing. If you find that your locked front wheel is causing your stroller to bounce, you're likely pressing down on your stroller handle bar and don't realize you're doing it. Try holding the stroller bar from underneath and see if that helps!
What about the kids?
There’s an obvious additional challenge when jogging with the stroller...the kid. You may have to make frequent stops. The baby is crying or the toddler wants a snack or needs to go potty. For starters, bring snacks, a travel potty, and books or toys to keep your kiddo distracted and maybe even a travel white noise maker. If you’re lucky, the rhythmic rocking of your run will put your child to sleep, but that’s not a given. Be prepared. If it’s really hot, consider a stroller fan. If raining, use a rain cover.
A good jog can give you endorphins and energize you for the rest of the day. Hopefully these tips will allow you to maintain a regular jogging routine that will keep you and the kiddos sane.