Running is an awesome cardio workout — especially beneficial for burning off those lingering pregnancy pounds that seem to hang around despite chasing after an active tot. If you’re a runner, or wanna-be runner, with a toddler, chances are it’s hard finding time to fit in a workout. Jogging strollers allow you to exercise, toddler in tow, keeping your little firebrand safe and content, and extra bonus — your arms even get a bit of a workout.
Choose a lightweight frame with sturdy wheels. Opt for sealed bearings, which roll smoothly and make turning easier. Make sure your stroller has back-up locks that prevent sudden folding, a deep seat with a five-point harness, a locking brake and a safety wrist strap.
Dress your child appropriately for the weather. Sure, you’ll work up a sweat, but he’s just sitting there watching the world go by. Make sure he’s warm in windy, cold weather and cool in hot, balmy weather — and don’t forget the sunscreen and sunglasses. Position the canopy so he’s getting as little sun as possible, and try to time your run to avoid the strongest sun of the day. Also, be sure that he’s wearing a lightweight, certified, properly fitted helmet.
Give him a drink for the ride, especially on a hot day. A sturdy plastic sippy cup is your best bet as there’s a good chance he’ll lob it out of the stroller at some point. Avoid stroller snacks since it could be a bumpy ride; instead, give him a light snack beforehand.
Make sure you stay hydrated, too. If your jogging stroller doesn’t have an area for your keys, drink and mp3 player, you can buy add-on consoles. Music’s a great diversion when you run, but don’t turn the music so loud you can’t hear your little guy if he needs you.
Remind your munchkin to keep his hands and feet in the stroller and to not touch the wheels or spokes.
Use the parking brake when helping your child in and out of the stroller. Always use the wrist strip so you can’t get separated from him. Run on smooth surfaces and use a wide, gentle arc when you’re turning to prevent tipping.