If you enjoy running and are also a parent of small children, it's likely you have experience with a jogging stroller. At face value, it seems straightforward—just strap your kiddo in and start running, right? Well, maybe not. While stroller running doesn't have to be complicated, there are a few things you should know to get the most out of the experience.
Lock the Wheel
Most running strollers have a wheel that can be fixed (locked) into place. This is to prevent tip over accidents when the stroller is moving at high speeds. However, if you're going around tight corners, you may find it easier to temporarily unlock the wheel—allowing it to swivel greatly improves the stroller's maneuverability and takes some strain off your forearms. Just don't forget to lock it back into place!
Alter Your Pushing Technique
There are three main ways you can push a jogging stroller—with both hands, with one hand (while the other hand swings back and forth) and the "push and catch up" method. It might take some trial and error to figure out what feels best, so test all three. To avoid an overuse injury, be sure to alternate arms if you use the one-handed push.
Customize the Wrist Strap
The wrist strap is there as a safety precaution—if the stroller gets away from you on a downhill, it's essential to have a way to hang on, so don't forget to wear it. If you favor the "push and catch up" approach when running with the stroller, you may want to consider either buying a longer wrist strap or attaching a bungee cord. Having the extra slack can make the process a lot more comfortable.
Use the Stroller for Strength Work
Jogging strollers are great for logging miles, but if you're craving a little more burn, consider adding in some body weight exercises. Two easy exercises are the walking lunge and peek-a-boo push-ups. The walking lunge is pretty self-explanatory—slow down to a walk and lunge on alternate legs while using the handlebar for balance. For a fun upper body workout, lock the wheels of your stroller and stand facing your baby. Get down in a plank position and play peek-a-boo while you do sets of push-ups.
Start Your Run 15 Minutes Before Nap Time
The slight bumpiness of a stroller run can be the perfect way to lull your little one to sleep. Try heading out a few minutes before their scheduled naptime; this way you can avoid starting the run with a fussy, overtired child. Chat and sing to them for a few minutes and hopefully by the time you've warmed up, they're in dreamland. Some parents even like bringing along a mobile white noise machine to help create the ideal nap environment!
Bring the Running Stroller to the Track
If your little one falls asleep as soon as you hit the road, consider running to a local track and parking them in the infield. You'll be able to keep an eye on your snoozing tot while also squeezing in a speed workout (or easy laps—up to you!). This tactic is best used when the track complex isn't busy—you want to be able to keep tabs on your little one without any distractions.
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