Jogging strollers seem like such an unnecessary added expense when you’re first starting out with a child. They’re hard to navigate because of their bulk, are terrifyingly heavy, and don’t have all the cool gadgets that traditional strollers possess. But ladies, those fears and stories are a thing of the past. It shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise that there are now fantastic running strollers that can keep up with your daily routine, essentially replacing the traditional stroller in no time.
Why Purchase A Running Stroller?
You may be wondering to yourself why a jogging stroller is even necessary? Well, once you’ve gotten over the initial postpartum recovery you start feeling cooped up in your own home. When you step outside with your little one you may even be reminded that there’s this thing called The Sun. When you run errands it’s much easier to strap your infant to your chest or leave them in their carrier. Pretty quickly you’ll find that strollers are fairly pointless at this stage, but not running strollers. Running strollers are a fantastic way to get out of the house and be active. They give you the capability to access terrain that would ordinarily be inaccessible for a new mom. Plus, many jogging strollers have the capability where your infant carrier can snap right in!
Studies show that exercise is HUGELY beneficial to the postpartum recovery.
– Help revive and restore muscle strength and strengthen the abdominal muscles
– Aid in postpartum weight loss
– Improve mood, reduce stress, and help relieve postpartum depression
– Provide energy from increased blood flow (Better Health)
So, with all of that said, I’m sure you’re ready to jump on that jogging stroller train. Fortunately, it’s 2015 so you don’t have to worry about the price being astronomical or the jogging stroller weighing more than you!
Tips And Tricks For Finding The Perfect Fit
There are certain jogging stroller features that are vital, and then there are others that are an added bonus. It’s important to make sure your stroller has some of these features and that these features are efficient. It’s important when you’re shopping that you take them for a test drive around the store. Fold them up, place your child in them, or even roll them down the stairs (with your kid out of the stroller, obviously) to test out its sturdiness.
Jogging Stroller Must Haves
Obviously you need wheels, but you may think a wheel is a wheel. But not so fast. For one, jogging strollers only have three wheels instead of four, and they’re much larger in diameter. Jogging stroller wheels aren’t made from tough plastic or solid rubber but are literally a bicycle tire…just on a smaller scale. <ake sure to keep your wheels properly inflated because if they start getting low this can cause back pain and other bodily ailments. Another important point is the options for your front wheel, two to be precise: fixed or swivel.
A fixed wheel is for those joggers that are more serious. It’s perfect when running or jogging over rocky terrain as it won’t veer the stroller off course, but the one downside is you have to lean the stroller on it’s back two wheels to actually turn it.
Then there is the swivel wheel, which enables you to easily turn from left to right. This is ideal for the casual runner who also plans to use their jogging stroller in grocery stores, malls, and other compact places (There are some brand of strollers now coming with the capability to lock and unlock the front wheel, providing the best of both worlds).
Personally, I prefer the swivel wheel as I like going from the park to the farmer’s market. The swivel wheel is a lot more forgiving, and there’s no way I’ll be marathon training anytime soon!
Brakes also have options that need to be considered. For the serious joggers, there are hand brakes that will assist you in slowing down when you’re tackling a steep decline. Then for the casual runner you’ll find that the brakes are on the base of your stroller. You’ll either have a break on either wheel or a foot operated brake that prevents you from bending over.
It’s crucial that you remember to brake your stroller anytime that you’re stopping, especially if you’re leaving it unattended for even a moment. Remember, regardless of the front wheel you choose, jogging strollers are meant to glide forward easily. So even the smallest of inclines will cause your child to go rolling ahead.
Shock absorbers are the crutch of a running system. You’ll find coils right behind your two rear wheels, and these are what form parts of your stroller’s suspension system. Shock absorbers absorb any of the bumps and cracks you may bounce over, preventing the stroller and your baby from getting jostled. Beware as some cheaper models of jogging strollers don’t come with any type of suspension system. So, if you’re wanting your baby’s ride to be smooth and for them to just sit back and relax double check to make sure you have those coils (Parent).
Again, this is a feature that has multiple options. There are three different aspects of the seat you want to consider: the seat cushions, reclining capability, and the seat belt. Seat cushions should obviously be plush, but you also want to make sure you can easily remove and clean them. This will be such a life saver for your time and mental health! Also, a seat that can recline will change your life big time. When those big eyes begin to get droopy just drop that seat back so they can snooze the ride away. Also starting the recline off pretty far back is your best option when you first place them in there, as they most likely will not have gained a grasp on balancing yet. And on those days where you HAVE to check out that sale, why not do it over their nap? Lastly, your seatbelt should really be a safety harness. The most common harness is the 5-point harness, which secures the upper and lower half of your child. Ones that come with padding is just an additional bonus.
Folding / Weight
A big concern for mothers, especially those who are just getting back into fitness, is the ease of lifting and storing a jogging stroller. They’re typically bulkier, but manufacturers have created a “quick fold technology” which enables women to fold it in one quick movement. Jogging strollers used to be anywhere upwards of thirty or more pounds, but now they can be as light as twenty pounds. Ease of storing a stroller can make or break a woman’s quest to fitness (Baby Gear Lab).
The strollers that have the “quick fold technology” are genius because they’ll even balance upright, but the downfall is they’re incredibly bulky. The option for a more compact device is purchasing one where you can remove the wheels and fold it into a smaller space, perfect for storing in your car!
It’s crucial to have a canopy that can be adjusted to different covering stages in order to protect your child from sunlight and other elements. Some jogging strollers have a plastic or mesh opening so that when your canopy is fully extended you’re able to clearly see your child.
Jogging Stroller Added Bonuses
Now that you know the nitty gritty about life with a jogging stroller, lets get to the fun part.
How many of you want to store your phone or ipod somewhere other than your arm? Well, some strollers now have a section in between the cupholders (whoa, cupholders!) where you can easily secure a smartphone or other music device. And if you’re getting really fancy, you may even be able to hook them up to built in speakers! Now that’s VIP running for sure.
A pedometer is a handy addition, as it’ll tell you just how far you’ve traveled. And to go along with that pedometer, a wrist strap is such a life saver as it’ll keep your stroller from getting away from you on that rocky slope.
Fit For Life
So, what are you waiting for? Running strollers are the perfect choice for your first or next stroller. These hybrid city/running strollers are revolutionizing the way women and men spend their time with the kiddos. Exercise is crucial to a healthy and happy life, and having the right instruments to make this possible is key. Take a look at your local baby store to find the right fit for you!