Keeping active and healthy while taking care of little ones can be a challenge at times. One of the things that I have struggled with the most is exercising on days that I have no one to watch the kids. On those days, I turn to my trusty double jogging stroller (my very ancient, yet amazing BOB) and hit the road with the kids in tow! Running with children in a jogging stroller can be super convenient, but some planning does need to take place for a stress free and happy run for everyone.
We love hitting the bricks for a stroller run for so many reasons. The kids enjoy getting out and checking out new scenery while we zoom along, the fresh air keeps everyone happy, we all get a little quiet zen time and it’s especially great on those days when my youngest is fighting her nap time as going for a jog usually jostles her to sleep. While the kids love riding along, there are definite steps that I take to ensure that we all have a fun, safe and stress-free jog.
Below are a few tips for making your stroller run with kids a smooth and stress-free time!
I always make sure to have snacks on hand for both kids. If they start to get a little antsy, giving them some snacks to nosh on can completely allow me to get another mile or two in. Lately we’ve been loving on Go & Grow Similac Pouches for toddlers. They are the only fruit and veggies pouches with OptiGRO, a blend of nourishing DHA, Lutein and Vitamin E, all of which are great for eye and brain growth. I love the convenience of the easy to serve and hold pouches (no refrigeration required) and that I am not filling them up with a bunch of junk food. Each pouch has 3-4 servings of combined fruits and veggies, at least 1/3 the daily recommended servings for your toddler. They get proper nutrition with the addition of fruits and veggies in their diet, while mom gets a workout! Win for everyone! Right now you can get $.50 back on any one Go & Grow by Similac pouch at Ibotta.
The Mango, sweet potato & pear and apple, butternut squash, banana & blueberry are our definite favorites.
Make sure to pack drinks for everyone! A lot of the time I’m so busy getting their stuff together, that I forget my own water bottle. You don’t want to be stuck stealing sips from their sip cups…just trust me on that one. 😉 When my daughter is going through her picky eating days, I use Similac Go & Grow Toddler Drinks. I simply mix one packet in with water in her cup and off we go. Each packet has over 25 vitamins and minerals so it’s an easy way to supplement her diet and ensure that she is getting additional nutrition.
Dress with Weather in Mind
I get super hot quickly, so I always wear lots of layers. Make sure to do the same for your kids as well. Remember, while you might be hot, your child could be cooler since they are not expending much energy while sitting there as you run (plus the wind from movement can add a chill). I always keep a light blanket in our stroller for additional warmth or sun coverage. A hat to shield your child’s face is a must too for sunny days. Don’t forget bright colors and reflectors on clothing as well to ensure that you are easily seen by motorists.
Use it and use it liberally. I always lather everyone with sunscreen a half hour before heading out the door to make sure to have full protection.
Always carry ID. You never know when you might need it or in case of emergency. I usually keep $10 in my stroller too, just in case.
Attach Your Toys
We have toys that are always in the stroller and attached via links. No one wants to have to backtrack when a favorite toy is thrown out and also it prevents potential trips and falls.
I cannot stress this enough, use the wrist strap that comes with your jogging stroller. If you don’t have one, get one ASAP. Using the straps ensures that if you were to fall or lose grip of the stroller that you child and stroller don’t go flying down a hill, ravine, into water and so on. I’ve read tragic stories of parents losing control of strollers with dire consequences. It’s not worth it and gives you additional peace of mind. This sad story solidified it for me. PLEASE, use one. Accidents happen. You can purchase one here (affiliate link) from Amazon.
Brakes & Levers
If you need to stop, use the back brakes or levers so that the stroller doesn’t roll off with your precious cargo.
Be aware of your running form. It can take some time and practice to get used to running with a stroller. Your gait changes and arms are actively being used. Run tall, don’t slouch and alternate what arm you use to hold the handle.
Time is Everything
Don’t go during your child’s fussy times (before meals, while tired unless you want them to nap while you run). I like to choose early morning because everyone tends to be in happy and more laid-back moods.
5 Point Harness
I highly recommend a stroller with a 5 point harness. They protect your child better in case of a quick stop.
Be aware of what age is safe for your child to ride in a jogging stroller. Most professionals warn against jogging with a stroller before 6 months of age (some even 12 months). While young, their neck muscles are not strong enough to support their heads and for the potential jarring motions during a run.
Kids can be finicky. Some days they may not want to go for a long run or may rather walk alongside. Try to keep your cool and go with the flow. The one thing I’ve learned above all when it comes to kids, is that being flexible is a huge factor in happiness. I try my best to not get too thrown off when things don’t go according to plan. Having a pit stop at a playground along the way or at the end is always great motivation for kids to stick out the run.