Are you a parent who loves running or walking but finds it hard to fit in your exercise routine with your baby? If so, you may want to consider getting a jogging stroller. A jogging stroller is a special type of stroller that is designed for running or jogging with your baby. It has three wheels, a fixed or lockable front wheel, air-filled tires, and suspension for a smooth and stable ride on various terrains. In this article, we will explore the benefits of using a jogging stroller for both you and your baby, and provide some tips on how to choose and use one safely and effectively.
Improved Fitness for Parents
One of the main benefits of using a jogging stroller is that it can help you stay in shape while spending time with your baby. Running or walking with a jogging stroller can burn more calories, improve your cardiovascular health, strengthen your muscles, and increase your bone density. According to a study by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, running with a stroller can increase your oxygen consumption by 5% to 8%, your heart rate by 3% to 5%, and your calorie expenditure by 18% to 20%⁴. This means that you can get more out of your workout in less time. Plus, you can save money on gym memberships or babysitters by exercising with your baby.
Opportunities for Baby to Get Fresh Air and Sunshine
Another benefit of using a jogging stroller is that it can provide your baby with fresh air and sunshine. Exposure to natural light can help regulate your baby’s sleep cycle, boost their mood, and support their immune system²³. Fresh air can also help your baby breathe better, sleep deeper, and reduce the risk of infections²³. Jogging strollers also allow your baby to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, which can stimulate their senses and curiosity. Just make sure to protect your baby from excessive sun exposure by using sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and a canopy on the stroller.
Smooth Ride on Rough Terrain
Jogging strollers are designed to provide a smooth ride on rough terrains. They have larger wheels and suspension systems that make it easier to navigate uneven surfaces, such as gravel paths, curbs, and hills. This means that you can run or walk on more varied routes without worrying about jostling or hurting your baby. Jogging strollers also have better maneuverability and stability than regular strollers, thanks to their fixed or lockable front wheel. This prevents the stroller from veering off or wobbling when encountering bumps or obstacles.
Potential for Longer Walks or Runs with Baby
Jogging strollers are built for long distance, which means that you can cover more ground with your baby than with a regular stroller. You can explore new places, enjoy beautiful scenery, and discover new trails with your baby. Jogging strollers also have features that make them more comfortable and convenient for longer outings, such as reclining seats, adjustable handlebars, storage baskets, cup holders, and brakes. Some jogging strollers can even be converted into bike trailers or ski sleds with additional accessories (such as the Thule Chariot series), allowing you to enjoy different outdoor activities with your baby throughout the year.
How to Choose and Use a Jogging Stroller Safely and Effectively
If you are interested in buying a jogging stroller, there are some important factors to consider before making your purchase. Here are some tips on how to choose and use a jogging stroller safely and effectively:
– Age and weight restrictions:
Jogging strollers are typically designed for babies aged 6 months and older, who have good neck and head control. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines in regards to weight restrictions, as exceeding the maximum weight limit can compromise the safety and stability of the stroller.
– Front wheel:
Some jogging strollers have a front wheel that is permanently fixed in place, while others have a switch that lets you lock and unlock the front wheel. If your jogging stroller has the wheel lock option, you’ll always want to make sure it’s locked before beginning your run. This will prevent the stroller from swerving or tipping over when encountering uneven terrain.
– Safety features:
Safety is paramount when using a jogging stroller. Look for features such as a five-point harness, a wrist strap, a parking brake, and a canopy on the stroller. Always buckle up your baby, secure the wrist strap, and apply the brake when stopping or parking the stroller. Avoid running in extreme weather conditions, such as high heat, strong winds, or heavy rain. Use the canopy to shield your baby from the sun, wind, or rain.
– Running technique:
Running with a jogging stroller requires some adjustments to your running technique. You’ll want to maintain a comfortable pace, keep your elbows bent, and push the stroller with one hand at a time. This will allow you to switch hands and avoid fatigue. You’ll also want to avoid overstriding, leaning forward, or hunching your shoulders. Keep your posture upright, your core engaged, and your stride short and smooth.
– Warm up and cool down:
As with any exercise, it’s important to warm up and cool down before and after running with a jogging stroller. Start with a brisk walk or a light jog for 10 minutes to warm up your muscles and joints. Then gradually increase your speed and intensity as you feel comfortable. At the end of your run, slow down to a walk or a jog for 10 minutes to cool down and lower your heart rate. Stretch your muscles and drink plenty of water to prevent soreness and dehydration.
What are some good jogging strollers?
There are many jogging strollers on the market, but some of the best ones according to experts and reviews are:
Thule Glide 2:
This is a high-performance jogging stroller that has a lightweight and aerodynamic design, a fixed front wheel for stability, a twist hand brake for speed control, and a reclining seat and canopy for comfort.
BOB Gear Alterrain Pro:
This is an all-terrain jogging stroller that has a swivel-locking front wheel for versatility, a shock-absorbing suspension system for a smooth ride, a one-hand fold for convenience, and a waterproof canopy and seat for weather protection.
Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight:
This is a lightweight jogging stroller that has a swivel-locking front wheel for maneuverability, an extra-wide seat and canopy for spaciousness, a parent organizer and storage basket for essentials, and an aluminum frame for durability.
Thule Urban Glide 2 Double:
This is a double jogging stroller that can accommodate two children up to 100 pounds total. It has a swivel-locking front wheel for adaptability, an adjustable handlebar and suspension for comfort, a compact fold for portability, and a peekaboo window and rear mesh pockets for convenience.
These are just some of the best jogging strollers available, but you may want to do more research and compare different models based on your needs and preferences.
Jogging strollers are a great way for parents to stay active and bond with their babies. They offer many benefits, such as improved fitness for parents, opportunities for baby to get fresh air and sunshine, smooth ride on rough terrain, and potential for longer walks or runs with baby. However, they also require some considerations, such as age and weight restrictions, front wheel type, safety features, running technique, and warm up and cool down routines. By following these tips, you can choose and use a jogging stroller safely and effectively. So what are you waiting for? Grab your jogging stroller and hit the road with your baby today!