Whether you’re a regular runner who wants to maintain your fitness or a running beginner keen to get out and get fit through running, baby joggers (or jogging strollers) open up a whole new option, allowing you to exercise without worrying about the children, simply because you take them along with you.
What are baby joggers?
Baby joggers are a type of buggy with a lightweight frame and three large wheels that allow you to move at a fast pace, even over uneven ground. Using the jogger for the first time, you’ll probably find that, although light and easy to push, you’ll cover less distance and speed. Stick with it though, because they take a little getting used to!
There are various makes and models of joggers with models made for one child or two. The single models have a carrying weight of forty pounds (approx 18kg) and about eighty pounds (approx 36kg) for the two-child version. Most have textured wheels to give you more traction on rough terrain such as dirt, grass, sand and gravel; but if you intend running just on pavement then you may want to opt for smooth wheels instead.
Prices vary widely and usually include some accessories such as a hood and PVC rain cover. Other accessories are available such as fleece liners, baskets and carry bags. This may seem a lot to pay out, so it's really worth seeing if you can try one before you buy. Alternatively, try looking for a second hand one, after all they are not going to be much use to someone once their kids no longer wish to accompany them.
When can I run with my baby?
It is recommended that you do not run with your baby until they are able to sit and hold their head up without assistance. Every baby will be different is, but typically this is usually around the 6 month period, when you can start on smooth pavements, before moving onto exercising on trails, grass, gravel or uneven terrain at around 12 months old.
What about safety?
When using a baby jogger, bear the following safety tips in mind:
- The majority of baby joggers have a wrist strap that's connected to the handlebar, which can be particularly useful if you're on any downhill sections where the jogger can pick up speed.
- Make use of the lever to lock the back wheels any time you have to take your hands off the baby jogger.
- It’s quite difficult to tip the jogger over but it’s worth getting your child to wear a bike helmet to be on the safe side. Some manufacturers now supply helmets for children from age one and upwards.
- It might sound obvious, but avoid crowded areas. You won’t be able to weave in and out of people like you can when you are running alone.
- Maintain your baby jogger well. Much like a bicycle, a stroller needs to be well maintained in order to run smoothly. Don’t forget to keep the tyres well inflated.
Many people have found a new way of life with baby joggers, whereas previously they may have ended up having to ditch their running habit until their children were of an age where they could send them off to school or elsewhere. Enjoy a new lease of life once your child is born by investing in a baby jogger — you won't regret the freedom it helps you regain.