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)