Many people like to get out of the house and exercise – especially parents who are cooped up inside with their little ones when the weather is too hot or cold.
One option for exercising outdoors with a child is to use a jogging stroller, which allows mom or dad to run while their child enjoys a relaxing ride. Although a great option for exercise, jogging with a stroller comes with unique challenges due to added weight and bulkiness. Read below for some tips to help you minimize the risk of injury during stroller jogs with your little one.
This is your equipment. Just like in any sport, investing in a stroller that fits your needs, size, and running goals will help prevent injury and maintain good running technique. You also want to make sure the child is safe and secure. Features to look for in your stroller include larger wheels for increased suspension and absorption of bumps in sidewalks or uneven surfaces, an adjustable handle, and a harness to keep your child safe while riding.
Ensuring good posture will help minimize the risk of common injuries associated with jogging with a stroller, including shoulder or neck tightness from holding the stroller handle. Alternate which arm is being used to push the stroller and keep your neck aligned with your spine while looking straight ahead. This will allow one arm to maintain natural arm swing which can prevent shoulder or neck pain. You also want to ensure you are not leaning into your stroller, but keeping your chest up and tall. As you fatigue, you may notice yourself leaning into the stroller more, make sure you are not relying on gravity and momentum, but are making your muscles do the work!
Remember that your pace will be slower (you are pushing an extra 30-50 pounds!) and that is okay. Focus on the extra endurance and resistance training you are getting with the added weight. If you are a new mom, keep in mind that you should take it slow when returning to running after having a baby. It is recommended to start your runs closer to home and slowly increase your distance and speed as you become more comfortable with running with a stroller.1
These tips can help you get the most out of your stroller jogs. If you experience aches or pains after your jog, or if you need help navigating a safe way to return to exercise after having a baby, schedule a free assessment at your nearest Athletico clinic. Our team will take a look at your condition and provide recommendations for next steps in the treatment process.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.
1. Artal R, O’Toole M. Guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2003;37:6-12.