Jogging Stroller Buying Guide
What is a Jogging Stroller?
Becoming a new parent is a beautiful time, but when it comes to purchasing all the accoutrements for your child, it can seem quite daunting. Particularly if you’re an active and sporting type, you might be wondering what are the best tools that help you to maintain your adventurous lifestyle while safely and comfortably taking your baby in tow. No doubt, you are looking for the perfect jogging stroller. Owning this piece of equipment allow you to take your baby on a run over smooth or rough terrain, but not all jogging strollers are created equal. You need one that offers all the features that you’re looking for, at a price that just seems right.
Avid runners know that a regular stroller just won’t cut the mustard. They’re difficult to maneuver, don’t move fast enough, and are not comfortable to push while running at a clipped pace. Like with anything, there are pros and cons to purchasing one of these specialized strollers, but for the most part you’re just going to enjoy the benefits if you invest in this performance-oriented piece of baby equipment. Lets look at what you gain by purchasing a stroller to suit your active lifestyle.
Jogging Stroller Benefits
- Lose the Baby Weight
We all know that carrying a baby for 9 months can add some pounds to your frame. This is incredibly healthy and natural, but many moms crave their pre-baby shape, and they want it back fast. Running is an excellent way to burn calories and get your body back in shape, and owning a jogging stroller makes this much easier. You certainly can run with a regular stroller, but it’s not going to be nearly as easy and comfortable when you have a specialized running stroller. It’s a great options when you want to sneak a workout into your busy day, because lets be honest, your little one will be taking up much of your time.
- Get off the Beaten Path
If you’re an adventurer who enjoys off-roading and going across bumpy paths, then you will definitely find that a jogging stroller makes this easier and more comfortable for you and your child. One reason why people love jogging strollers so much is that they make the ride incredibly smooth, no matter what the terrain. Even if you’re traversing an unpaved surface, you’re going to find that it almost seems like your child is gliding across it. This effect is thanks to the specially-designed wheel and suspension systems on jogging strollers.
- Sporty Style
Just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you have to give up your sporty style. Jogging strollers are stylish and sleek in a way that normal strollers are not. You can’t deny that you’re a hip, fresh parent, and you want your baby equipment to show it. A running stroller helps you to avoid the “mom”look that you associate with…..your mother. This sporty piece of equipment will fit perfectly into your active lifestyle, while telling the world that you’re not ready to put on mom jeans.
There are many different activities that you perform throughout the day, and your baby will need to accompany you on these. That means that you need a stroller that will run when you run, walk when you walk, climb hills, navigate malls, and battle through zoos. A running stroller is a piece of equipment with many features that allows it to adapt to different situations and speeds. Also, if you’re a runner who enjoys intervals, then a good running stroller will allow you to mix it up and change the pace at your leisure.
- Keep Your Competitive Edge
Whether you’re a competitive runner, or you just want to look like you are, owning a jogging stroller will allow you to still compete, and bring your baby along the finish line. Children become inspired when they see their parents competing and reaching new heights. It’s fun for everyone involved when you do that local 5K. Parents, baby, and even spectators love to see a mom taking her kiddo along the course. If you’re a competitive runner, then a quality jogging stroller will allow you to maintain your completive edge, and even achieve speeds that you never thought possible with baby in tow.
Features That You Need
- Lightweight: Running with a regular stroller is a challenge because they’re often unwieldy and heavy. A good running stroller will be lightweight, making it easy to push and maneuver. It’s imperative that you find a jogging stroller that is built to be as light as possible. This usually means a design that features an aluminum frame instead of steel.
- Foldable: For those who are lucky enough to have a large vehicle like an SUV, truck or van, you may not need a jogging stroller that folds, but for the rest of us it’s important to find a stroller that easily folds and stows away. If you own a sedan, there’s no point to buying a jogging stroller that you can’t even get to the park. Look for a model that is designed to fold with ease and reaches a compact size that works for the size of your vehicle.
- Walking/Running Capabilities: If you’re a runner it doesn’t mean that you ONLY run. You want a stroller that has built-in features that make it easy to transition back and forth between running and walking. What this means is that you want a front wheel that can be fixed, making it more secure to run without an accident. However, when you’re done running, you want this front wheel to be un-fixed so that you can maneuver more turns and corners. Most jogging strollers will allow you to lock and unlock that front wheel, so you experience maximum adaptability.
- Extra Features: There are a lot of bells and whistles that you can add and subtract from your jogging stroller to customize your experience, and that’s why it’s important to find a model that is compatible with these features. Take for instance the addition of a drink console or an infant car seat adapter. For those who live in a cold climate it’s also possible to add a weather shield which protects your baby from the harsh elements. Just because mommy is burning off the calories doesn’t mean that her child should have some snacks on-hand, and that’s why it’s important that your stroller is compatible with these handy add-ons.
- Safety Features: These features are simply a must when you’re looking for a good jogging stroller. You definitely want to favor a model that has a number of tested safety features that are certified for their effectiveness. Running with an infant can be dangerous if the stroller isn’t designed to do so. Always make sure your child is properly strapped in and that all the safety features are working properly. It’s also a good idea to ask your doctor before you take your child running, because there is an age and weight requirement to do so.
Tips for Running with a Stroller
What’s so great about running with a stroller is that it can be a family experience. There’s no better way to get everyone involved in an activity that’s fun, healthy, and adventurous. That being said, running with a stroller is not for wimps, and your little passenger might not be into it some days. Lets talk about some tips for making the experience more enjoyable for all.
- Create a Routine
It’s important to recognize that your child might not like going on a run with you at first. This is perfectly ok, and should be expected. The way to break through the fussiness is to create a routine that your child can get used to. If you stick with a stroller running regimen they will eventually become more comfortable with the experience, and your child may even start to look forward to the daily adventure. Not only is it hard for your child at first, but it can also be difficult for you to stay motivated. When you create a routine, you’re telling your baby, and yourself, that this is now the new norm.
- Enter a Stroller-Friendly Race
We all thrive in competitive situations, because we desire to show off our skills and perhaps win a prize. If you’re clocking a lot of time with your stroller running, then why not take it to the next level and enter a race? Keep in mind that strollers are often mandated to start at the back of the line, which is a bummer, but it’s possible to find some races that are more geared towards those who are running with a stroller. Check online for some stroller friendly events that may be happening in your area.
- Take Turns Pushing
No matter what your partner’s fitness level, you should definitely encourage them to come along for a run. Not only does this keep everyone healthy and feeling good, it also means that you can take turns pushing the stroller to give yourself a break. If one of you is a better runner than the other, then the one who is more adept can encourage and push the other to reach new levels of fitness. When you switch it up like this, it keeps the running fun and a family experience.
- Pay Attention to Form
There’s a special form that you should pay attention to when you’re running with a stroller. Be mindful of keeping your elbows bent and make sure your grasp isn’t too tight so that your arms become stiff. Try to find the balance between having a good grip on the handle bar while also keeping your upper body loose enough so you can find a comfortable rhythm. Try to keep the stroller bar close to your body at all times.
- Always Bring Running Essentials and Entertainment
A child will become naturally absorbed by outdoor activities and fun sights during a run. However, it’s always important to have back-up toys just in case the kids get bored. Also, try to carry along a sippy cup and a stuffed animal. Even though going for a run is very enjoyable for all, it’s essential to have a backup plan.
- Choose a Running App
Keeping your competitive edge means keeping track of your mileage and speed. There are a number of free apps out there that allow you to chart this information, and even remember the runs that you enjoy most, allowing you to find that particular route again.
- Good Sneakers
Whether you’re running with a stroller or not, you need great sneakers to keep your feet and legs healthy. Having the right shoes will make your running experience more comfortable. Your comfort level is extra important when you’re pushing a stroller, because this added element makes running even more work and takes a greater toll on your body.
- Build up to Running
You may not be ready to run yet, and that’s perfectly understandable if you have a new child. Should this be the case for you, then go ahead and walk. It’s ok to build up to a run, and it’s also a great way to warm up the body. Find some challenging hills to walk up, and you’re pretty much giving yourself a workout that is comparable to running. It’s also possible to alternate between running and walking when you have a high quality jogging stroller.
Owning a jogging stroller is a tremendous investment if you’re a sporty parent who doesn’t want to compromise their workouts, and also desires to bring their child along for the adventure. There are a number of models out there that are specially designed for running. In fact, it is not encouraged that you run with a regular stroller, as these are not designed with the necessary safety features and elements that make running comfortable. What is of the utmost importance is keeping you and your child safe, and that’s why purchasing a quality jogging stroller is key to making adventurous activity pleasurable.
With so many different kinds of strollers out there, it really comes down to knowing your priorities, budget, and lifestyle requirements. Many jogging strollers allow a customized experience, helping you to effortlessly switch back and forth between walking and running, and also permitting you to add accessories like snack trays and weather shields. A quality jogging stroller will be designed for speed and adaptability, and many feature ultra-treaded wheels to help glide over rugged terrain.
When it comes to finding the perfect jogging stroller for you, it is about understanding your lifestyle. If you have a small car then you need to look for a stroller that easily folds and is lightweight. If you’re particularly short or tall, then you’ll need to find a stroller that accommodates your height in terms of an adjustable handle bar. But the real quality to look out for is safety. Always favor a stroller that has a 5 point harness that is comfortable for your child to wear.
Lastly, the perfect running stroller is a matter of taste. You want a sporty, sleek design that tells the world that you are active, you are alive, and your baby is coming along for the ride. Just because you’re a new parent doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice your active pre-baby lifestyle. In fact, it’s great to bring your child along on your adventures. It’s fun and healthy for both parent and child to get out there and get moving.
- BOB Revolution: http://www.bobgear.com/strollers/revolution-se
- BOB Ironman: http://www.bobgear.com/strollers/ironman
- Schwinn: http://www.schwinnbikes.com/int/gear/jogging-strollers/turismo-double-red