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Whether you’re running for fun or training for a race, bringing your little ones along for the ride in a stroller might have to be a part of the plan. While it may not always be the most productive run you’ll do (you can go ahead and lower those expectations right now), bringing the kids and stroller with you has many benefits, including getting everyone out for some fresh air, providing a convenient place for your water and phone, and most of all, your kiddos seeing you make movement and exercise an important part of your day.
To get the most out of your stroller run, here are a few tips to help things move as smoothly as possible.
Many people wonder at what age they can start jogging with their child in a stroller. It’s always best to check with the stroller’s manufacturer and your pediatrician about what age you can safely jog with your child, but generally, it’s advised that children be at least six months old and have good head/neck control. Jogging with a baby in a car seat is not advisable.
Once your tike is old enough and ready to roll, be sure to do a Stroller Check:
Check that the tires are filled with air (this will save you from unnecessarily expending extra energy).
Check that your kiddo is securely fastened in their seat with all the straps tightened.
Check that the safety strap is secured around your wrist.
KEEPING KIDS HAPPY
Once you’re ready to roll, here are a few ways to keep a happy co-pilot:
Bring snacks! Lots, and lots of snacks.
Have special toys they only get when they’re in the stroller, and if possible, attach them to the stroller so no beloved stuffies are lost along the way.
When older kids start getting restless strike up a game of “I Spy” or “Count the Cars” or anything that gets them actively participating.
If possible, have a “light at the end of the tunnel” for them like a trip to the park.
You’ve worked hard to get everything prepared and you’re finally ready to get out and get moving! Here are a few tips to help avoid injury and put your best running foot forward:
Don’t hunch or lean over the handlebars as you jog; pull your shoulders back and down.
Tuck your elbows.
Keep your wrists in a neutral position.
Be sure to switch hands.
Think of your lower body propelling you and your upper body directing you.
Run at an arm’s length distance from the stroller handle; shorten your stride so you don’t kick the stroller.
An energetic arm swing can help move you forward (but keep that freehand relaxed).
And above all else, stay flexible and have fun! Let your kids see how enjoyable it is to exercise and be ready to roll with any punches that come along the way. Enjoy those endorphins and be proud you made it out of the house!
(originally created for the Balega website by Kellie Fell)
FIT4MOM's blog series, Motherhood Untold, tells the stories of real moms navigating the real challenges and struggles of motherhood. This month they interviewed three mamas from across the nation with varying lifestyles and backgrounds to see how motherhood looks through their eyes. Click HERE to read more!
Summer is in full swing here and we have had some extra toasty days lately. If you’re not ready to let the heat beat your outdoor exercise routine, and you have your little one in tow, you’ll want to make sure they don’t get too warm. Whether you're sweatin' solo or striding at class, we've got a few tips to keep kids cool as you take on that sweat sesh.
Dress Lightly & Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
Children six months old and over should have a broad-spectrum sunscreen applied at least 30 minutes before outdoor activity (under six months should generally be kept out of direct sunlight). Be sure to reapply sunscreen to your little one every two hours, or after sweating if they’re working out with you - easier said than done, I know! Kids of all ages should be dressed in light, breathable clothing.
Just as it’s important for mom to drink plenty of water when she exercises, it’s also important kiddo has their own water bottle with plenty of fresh water. Older children may need a gentle reminder to sip along with you to keep you both nice and hydrated, especially if they are jogging or scooting alongside you.
Keep it Made in the Shade
If you want to stop and bust out a few on-the-go workout moves (maybe a few squats, push-ups, standing abs…) pick a shady spot like under a tree or a building overhang. Of course, if you're in class our instructors will always chase the shade as much as possible. If you’re planning to take a nice long walk, pick a route that has a lot of trees.
Get Some Gear
There are some great products out there to help you and your mini-me get through the Dog Days of Summer. Handheld misting fans are a great way to keep cool, and it gives older kids a way to help. Stroller fans can also help give those stroller-bound kids their own personal breeze (I like the ones with soft blades in case curious fingers get in the way). Mesh cooling towels are another cool product that use a breathable mesh that activates with a simple soak, wring, and snap. The best part is, they’re all available on Amazon!
Take Plenty of Rests Along the Way
Always listen to your body so YOU don’t overheat and become ineffective for the kids you’ve got with you. If something feels off or you get lightheaded, don’t push it. Rest when you need and switch to a lower impact workout if you find what you’re doing too strenuous.
Of course, safety should always be considered first, and it’s best to avoid excessive heat. An article from the What to Expect website states that if the National Weather Service lists the heat index as 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher babies, toddlers, and small children shouldn’t be outside for too long. Always take extra precautions with newborns and infants as their bodies cannot cool themselves as effectively as adults, and if possible avoid exercising on extra hot days between 10 am - 4 pm when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
Kellie Fell (Owner & Instructor)
Hi moms! I wanted to share two snacks we like to keep on hand that give both the adults and kiddos in the house a boost of protein and energy we need during the day (I’m looking at you 4 pm slump). They both use peanut butter as the main ingredient, but you can easily swap it for a different nut butter or a nut butter alternative. There’s no baking involved, and both are fun to make with your little one!
Peanut Butter Banana Roll Up
- 2 tbs peanut butter
- 1 tb honey
- 1 banana
- 1 whole wheat tortilla
Spread the peanut butter evenly across the tortilla. Drizzle honey over peanut butter. Roll the banana up in the tortilla like a little banana burrito. Consume!
No Bake Energy Bites (AKA the recipe on the back of Trader Joe’s flaxseed meal)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup ground flaxseed meal
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ⅓ cup honey or maple syrup (or mix)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- cacao nibs (an energy-boosting superfood I like to pretend is chocolate chips)
- brewers yeast (for a little lactation boost)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Form balls (I like to use a cookie scoop that makes them about 1.5 inches) and freeze until set.
Tips: If you warm up the peanut butter and honey a bit it makes it easier to mix. Sometimes I use my hands to really get it nice and thoroughly combined. I also always double the recipe and keep a bag of these bad boys in the freezer.
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