Exercise These Tips for the Right Jogging Stroller

Seven things to consider before you run to the store
man and woman jogging with baby in stroller

Buying a stroller is an important purchase. Buying a jogging stroller that perfectly suits your exercise needs is a bit more complicated, particularly if you want a stroller that will go off-road or that you can run with.

Walking trails or running with your baby is a wonderful way to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and get some exercise. Many runners say that jogging is a way to de-stress and mothers and babies can certainly benefit from a soothing, calming endorphin blast. Let’s look at the factors you will want to consider when purchasing a jogging stroller.

1. Your strolling environment

In rural areas, a running or a trail stroller is an absolute must, particularly if you are dealing with mud, gravel or bumpy road conditions.

However, if you don’t plan to stray too far from the sidewalk these strollers may not be ideal for you. They can be difficult to navigate through doors, along aisles and their stable yet bulkier design makes them a little unwieldy in busy areas. It’s important to be clear about your needs before you invest in something that may not be what you really want.

2. The swivel wheel

What makes a locking front swivel wheel so important is the wheel’s relationship to the unit’s overall stability. A running stroller on rough or even mildly uneven terrain can be dangerous if the front wheel is in swivel mode. However, attempting to turn corners without a swivel is also really difficult. If you plan to use the stroller for more than exercise, consider spending the extra money to get a front wheel that locks.

3. The width of the wheel

A stroller with a wide set of wheels will often boast more storage space under the seat. This is great if you plan to carry supplies or go shopping. The downside? The wheels can make getting the stroller into the back of the car a little bit harder.

4. Handle height

Stand in front of the stroller and place your hands on the handle bars. Are they a comfortable height? Can you run without stooping? If not, you may want to look for an option with adjustable handles. This is also a good idea if you and your partner are different sizes.

5. Hand brakes

This was a must for me and I strongly encourage you to make it a must for you too. If you need to stop for any reason you’ll want to use a brake to prevent the stroller getting away on you. Safety first.

6. A sun canopy

In as little as 60 minutes your baby’s legs can burn under the sun’s rays. A sun canopy can help prevent this from happening and protect baby’s eyes at the same time. Rain covers are also a great idea as they help keep the wind out of baby’s face as you run.

7. Foldability

This is critical. If you’ve ever endeavoured to collapse a tricky stroller you know that the struggle is real. It’s frustrating and if you have a smaller car, you need the stroller to fold up small. "Easy" depends on you; if it takes four hands to collapse the thing every time, it will probably stay set up all the time. Most models require two hands to break down and set up, and in general, if you can manage it with only one hand you lose the stability features.

There is no right or wrong brand, the only thing that matters is that it works for you. I would discourage you from ordering one online without ever test-driving it first. You may not like how it feels in motion or may discover it is too tall/short for you. Take your time with this decision so that you get the right stroller for your needs and also keep in mind the toxic chemicals some brands impregnate the covers with. Have a look at these things to look for in any stroller!

Important note: It isn't advisable to run with your little one until they are strong enough to hold their heads up on their own.

*Originally published February 12, 2016