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New Parent’s Guide To Running With A Jogging Stroller

For parents who regularly jog, getting back into their routine after a baby is born is high on their list of priorities. Yet not all parents have the luxury of simply leaving their newborn with a babysitter. Luckily, jogging strollers allow new parents to keep up their usual pace, while also giving their little bundle of joy some time outside in the fresh air.

A jogging stroller is not the stroller you casually push around your neighborhood. Jogging strollers have larger tires and adjustable shocks that reduce bouncing and keep your baby safe and comfortable. Also, a locking front wheel provides maneuverability around tight turns when used in swivel mode as well as stability in locked mode during higher speeds, which prevents tipping over. Most jogging strollers are equipped with a hand brake and a wrist strap to keep the stroller from rolling ahead if you are going too fast or jogging downhill.

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For first-time parents, the wide array of jogging strollers on the market can be a bit overwhelming. Therefore, before heading to Amazon or running to the mall, there are a few things you should keep in mind. It is important to understand the mechanics of running while pushing a stroller. It is also a good idea to check with your pediatrician before suiting up for a run as babies should be at least six months old before going for a jog with their parents.

A baby should have good neck control before they head out with you for a jog. It is important to keep your baby’s head secure while jogging. According to Amanda Weiss Kelly, MD, chief of pediatric sports medicine at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, in Cleveland, if your child isn’t well supported, it could result in pain or even injury. She adds that even though most babies can ride comfortably in a stroller without head support by the time they are six to eight months old, your pediatrician should have the final word. There are also jogging strollers that are designed to accommodate an infant car seat.

If you’ve covered all the basics, you should assess your jogging routine. Jogging with a stroller is different than jogging without one since you’ll be pushing a weight that in turn can enhance your workout. According to coach Brad Hudson of Boulder, Colorado, who offers training for jogging with a stroller, a baby-jogger session is essentially a resistance workout.

Hudson says that it can be great for your core and back. He recommends running in moderate hills twice a week without the jogging stroller and on flat surfaces on other days with the stroller at a slower pace. He adds that new parents should be realistic about their expectations since having a new baby is life-changing and joggers should slowly ease into training again.

American Olympian Kara Goucher, who often runs with her baby, says the stroller will inevitably slow you down, though on days that you run without a stroller, you’ll enjoy an extra burst of energy. Then again most new parents aren’t training for the Olympics so they should not put excessive pressure on themselves, and also consider that any exercise has its benefits, so don’t postpone jogging just because you have a new baby.

Deena Kastor, a marathon runner, says that when she runs with her daughter Piper, she enjoys being able to share the experience with her child and instill the value of exercise at a young age. Kastor’s husband Andrew, who also trains with their child, feels that he’s gained power and strength in jogging with a stroller since he sees the difference in his strength more clearly when he runs without the stroller.

RELATED: The Best Jogging Strollers For Spring 2019

Finally, before hitting the trails, make sure you plan your jog around meals and naps since the baby will travel more peacefully. Alysia Montaño, a champion in 800 meters, finds that naptime is best for longer runs since the baby will simply sleep through the run. Therefore, avoid jogging right after your baby wakes up or when they’re hungry since you probably won’t get very far without the baby fussing. Montaño adds that some babies take to jogging quickly while others need some time to adjust, so be patient. You’ll eventually get there.

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