As a new mom getting outside and exercising is probably the furthest thing from your mind especially if you have a newborn. Doctors do urge moms to wait until their baby is 6 weeks old before starting an exercise program. Waiting allows your body to heal and repair itself, plus, caring for a new baby is downright exhausting. Around 6 to 8 weeks, your baby should be sleeping longer stretches at night allowing you to get more rest.
The best natural way to boost your energy and help curtail the symptoms of post-partum depression is to get outside for fresh air and exercise. Whether you enjoy going for a walk or you love running, a baby jogging stroller is a must-have item to put on your baby registry. A jogging stroller can be used in place of a traditional stroller while gaining the ability to walk or run while pushing your baby.
Most moms who have used a jogging stroller will tell you that there is a learning curve to overcome. As you are adjusting to run with a jogging stroller, you have to keep in mind that as you are pushing it that you aren’t able to run with the same natural running position. You also have to get used to the weight and resistance that pushing a stroller while running.
Running with a jogging stroller causes you to lose some of the mid-back mobility that you normally have if you are running naturally. We suggest using Dr. Sarah Ellis Duvall’s post-partum exercise program to help strengthen your core muscles without wasting time as if new moms have time to waste. Strengthening your core muscles will help prevent problems with weak pelvic muscles, some moms find that running causes them to leak urine, and eliminate low-back pain.
Exercising with your child will not only promote healthy bonding, but it also encourages your baby. Your baby gets to experience a new environment while enjoying new things around them, go sight-seeing, meeting new people, and you are modeling a healthy lifestyle at an early age.
How to Run With a Jogging Stroller Safely
Skip Running On Sidewalks
Most joggers or runners typically choose to run on the road because it usually is a smoother surface. Running with your child while pushing a jogging stroller, can easily cause you to trip and fall because you are unable to see the sidewalk right in front of you. Sidewalks often contain uneven surfaces, interrupt other children while they are playing or riding their bicycles, have to avoid cars that are parked in your path causing you to slow down to go around, and other tripping hazards like toys, sticks, rocks, etc.
Choose the Right Place to Run
Since it is not advisable to skip using a jogging stroller on the sidewalk, we suggest finding a non-busy place where you can safely run with your child in tow. A quiet neighborhood in an active community is a great place to use a jogging stroller because they are used to runners using the roadways. Also, try searching for common jogging areas like parks, running trails, or other safe areas.
New moms running for the first time since you had a baby should avoid choosing places to run that are hilly, especially if you are not used to running with a stroller. Hills create more resistance and if your muscles are still weak it will increase the difficulty. Remember downhill could cause you to lose control of the stroller, possibly injuring your baby.
The first several times that you take your baby out for an adventure, we suggest that you don’t run too far from the car. As you are easing back into your fitness routine, you must remember the last 6 weeks or longer your body, went through deconditioning and you are no longer in shape like you used to be. Plus, the jogging stroller and your baby add additional weight to push and it causes additional stress on your body that you aren’t used to.
Do expect that your baby may get restless while you are running. If possible, you can try to time your runs during nap time or we suggest picking a spot to run that has places that you can stop along the way. Or even pick them up for a bit and console or feed your baby. If your child is a bit older, stopping midway at the park to play is a great idea too.
Slow Your Pace
Don’t expect to go out and run your normal pace that you would if you were running by yourself. Many new moms assume that running or jogging with a jogging stroller can run their normal pace. This is just a myth and we wanted to warn you so that you don’t get disappointed.
Expect to run or jog at a slower pace. You are now trying to adjust to running behind a jogging stroller and it is not the same as running naturally. One thing you need to remember is that a stroller adds additional weight. The older your child is the heavier the stroller will be. You will be pushing additional pounds so don’t be too hard on yourself.
Before heading out for a run, it is important that you plan accordingly in case they get cranky, need to eat or end up bored while you are running.
Do make sure they have dressed appropriately for the activity. Choose light clothing for warm days and bundle them up for colder times. Keep in mind that they aren’t moving and the weather may affect them differently.
Always plan and prepare for the worst. It is always disappointing that you have to forfeit your run because you forgot to bring along your child’s gear. It is always better to bring more than you need since you don’t know how your child will react to being in the stroller. Grab your toddler a bag of crackers to munch on, water so that they stay hydrated, diapers, and wipes.
Always Practice Safety First While You are Running With a Jogging Stroller
The best way to determine which position you should use when running or jogging behind a jogging stroller is to find a position that works best for you.
Practice switching from one hand to another or switch sides after every mile so you do not end up with sore arms or other body parts.
Skip running with headphones if you are running with your child. Even though music can motivate you during your run, it is not wise. We found that even listening to soft music, it could damper your ability to hear your baby when he or she needs something.
Do make sure that people can see you. As summer ends, it will get dark sooner and it will be harder to go running with a jogging stroller at night. Always use a headlamp or something that illuminates your path if you are running at night.
Always wear reflective clothing, a reflective vest, or a flashing band that goes around your arm. This makes it easier for others to see you.
Don’t Neglect Maintenance on your Jogging Stroller
Jogging strollers are made for rugged terrain; however, not all baby strollers are created equal. When buying a stroller, it is important to pick the right jogging stroller. BuyBuyBaby has a wide variety of jogging strollers for all of your needs.
We suggest adding a weighted object to the jogging stroller as you are test driving it. You want a stroller that is going to maneuver easily one-handed and on various types of terrain.
Don’t forget to check the air in the tires before you go for a run. Flat tires don’t roll properly, especially if your baby is heavy.
Watch Your Form
Running behind a stroller is so much harder than it looks. With a bit of practice, you will be an expert in no time. Use your quads to push the stroller and not your back. Never hunch over to push the stroller. If you hunch over, you could end up injuring your back. Look for height adjustable jogging strollers.
Running or jogging with a stroller is a wonderful opportunity to get outside for some fresh air and exercise. You will be able to enjoy the time spent with your child and at the same time live a healthier life.