Running with a Stroller: Do's and Dont’s
Whether you're a runner at heart or are trying to get more exercise, running with your baby can be enormously rewarding. Not only is running great exercise, but being outside and getting fresh air together is fun for both of you and can strengthen your bond. Here are some do's and don'ts to maximize your outdoor adventures together.
Do Invest in a High-Quality Jogging Stroller
Jogging with a stroller works best when the stroller meets both of your ergonomic needs. Sport-specific jogging strollers have several features that are designed to reduce the impact of the road and keep you both comfortable.
Large tires and adjustable shocks minimize bouncing and keep the ride smooth for your baby. The large wheels provide less resistance, making the run easier on you. Locking front wheels enable you to maneuver around tighter turns in swivel mode. Hand brakes with wrist straps make it easy to slow down and ensure you always have control of the stroller. Selecting a stroller with a canopy protects your baby from the elements, and a reclining seat allows them to nap comfortably.
Don't Expect to Hit Personal Records
If you haven't run with a stroller before, you might think there's nothing to it. However, running with a stroller activates your muscles in a way they’re not used to. Your body will use muscles it doesn't normally use. Because of this, you might run slower. After a few weeks of running with your baby, you may find you're significantly faster on the days you run alone.
Do Wait Until Your Baby's Old Enough
You're probably excited to run with your baby as soon as possible. However, most pediatricians recommend waiting until your baby is between 6 and 8 months old. This is because babies can't consistently hold their heads up until this time. If you're ready to get going, purchasing a jogging stroller that specifically accommodates an infant car seat will get you both out and about. However, keep in mind that this will add a little more weight to the stroller.
Don't Sacrifice Your Form
While jogging with a baby is a great workout, it's important to keep your running form, too. As you run, check in with your body to make sure your toes are pointing forward, you're standing up straight and you're using your body's momentum to push the stroller instead of using your arms. Lastly, draw your arms in so that your elbows are bent. This keeps your wrists and shoulders feeling loose and comfortable.
Do Keep Yourselves Safe
Putting reflective tape on your stroller's front top and sides ensures the baby is visible in dusky or dark environments. Buckling your baby in the seat and always using your wrist strap keeps you in control of the baby and the stroller. When you're running downhill, keep the stroller close to you. Because you're pulling the stroller against gravity, keeping it near your body gives you maximum control and ensures everyone’s safety.
Don't Forget Food and Entertainment
If you're a long-distance runner, chances are your baby will need some entertainment and refreshments. Bringing a few small toys, snacks and a bottle of water in the stroller will help ensure your baby has a great time throughout the run.