Running with a baby stroller: Tips for Active Parenting
Your entire world changes when you become a parent. One of the biggest challenges is finding time for yourself. Running with a stroller is a great way to stay active and healthy while introducing your baby to the joys of fresh air and fitness. Many new parents have questions about how to start running with a stroller safely. We’re here to tell you how to make it work.
Running with a stroller: FAQs
1. When can I use a running stroller?
Your baby should be able to hold its head up and sit on its own, since most jogging strollers don’t fully recline or offer the proper support for an infant. A jogging stroller is not recommended until the baby is at least six months old.
2. How can I make it fun for my child?
If you want this to work for you, it has to work for your child first. Get your baby used to stroller running with short distances first. Choose your routes based on what might be fun for your child. Run to a playground, take a break and let your child out of the jogging stroller to crawl around and play, then pack them up and run back home after they’ve tired themselves out.
The secret to happy parenting is scheduling. Schedule your run just before naptime. If you’re running on a smooth surface, there’s a good chance you’ll be pushing around a content, sleeping bundle instead of a screaming, angry one.
3. How can I keep my baby safe?
In addition to waiting until your baby is old enough for a jogging stroller, use a wrist strap or leash to ensure that the stroller stays with you. If you’re running in the dark, attach the necessary lights or reflectors to your jogging stroller. Leave your earbuds at home so you can stay aware of any oncoming traffic. Some jogging strollers have the option to lock the front wheel, which helps you keep your course. Always use the five-point harness to keep your baby safely secured in the buggy.
4. What should I bring with me?
One great benefit of running with a stroller is that you can bring whatever you need. Some suggestions to keep your baby warm and dry: diapers, wipes, a blanket. And what about you? Pack a snack for both of you and water to stay hydrated while you jog.
5. Will running with a stroller change my form?
Research shows that stroller running does affect speed and stride length.(1) Expect your pace to be slower than without a stroller. Runners naturally shorten their stride when running with a stroller and, depending on the stroller, may find they turn their feet outward to avoid hitting the wheels. Pay attention to your form and try to avoid turning your feet, as it can lead to joint pain in the knees and hips.
Try different pushing techniques to compensate for the inevitable adjustments you make for the stroller. Some runners prefer two-handed stroller running while others hold the stroller with one hand and pump the other arm, alternating left and right.
6. How will running with a stroller affect my workout?
Studies have shown that running with a stroller increases your heart rate and the rate of perceived exertion.(2,3) What does this mean for you? Running with a jogging stroller feels harder than running without one, but it’s still a great way for new parents to work out when they’re short on time. Get out there, get your heart rate up, and bring snacks!
In a Nutshell
Running with a baby is a wonderful way to keep yourself physically and mentally healthy during the stressful years of early parenting. Follow the safety guidelines and pay attention to your form, pack snacks, and most importantly: keep it fun for you and your child. Introducing your child to exercise as a fun family activity is a great foundation for future fitness.