We all miss running during pregnancy, and when the baby comes, we can’t wait for it to grow enough to join us in our daily exercise routine. Running is the hardest because the cuties can’t keep up with mommy with their pitter-patter.
Running strollers are a great invention of our time that has changed the face of parenting for many already. They are not perfect though, and kind of not easy to master in a way. Running is quite different from a stroller, and there are some hardships that we can come across.
None of the hardships are unavoidable, and here are the tips we found most useful and that have improved our experience with the strollers.
Tips To Improve The Parent’s Experience When Running With A Stroller
Parents and kids come across challenges of their own, and there are differences in approaches to overcoming these challenges. As a general rule, a happy parent is a good parent, we believe. This doesn’t exclude the necessary sacrifice we need to take for our kids. But if we are calm, the child is calm. If we are in a good mood, we kind of pass that to our kids as well. So, the first tips are there to help parents be happier with their exercise.
1. Be Patient When Starting
If you are a mother, the pregnancy and postpartum period had probably brought you out of your athletic shape. This is nothing to be scared or ashamed of, it’s the natural order of events. You have done something beautiful, and you should be proud. We are. Proud of ourselves, and proud of you.
In this sense, don’t rush into getting back to where you once were, especially when running with a stroller. Take your time to rest your body, let it heal, and then gradually introduce exercise. You can prepare for running at home, or have some alone running sessions when there is someone you can trust to watch over your baby.
Remember, it is not recommended to take your baby to running sessions before they turn at least six months of age. It can have adverse effects on your baby, many of them long-term. Wait until your baby has grown enough to handle the running stroller with joy.
2. Don’t Expect Too Much And Be Flexible
Once you start running with a stroller, you will notice the difference. The speeds you are running at may feel nothing like those you had before pregnancy. The mileage can also seem shameful. That’s normal and it’s nothing to be ashamed about.
You have to remember that you are pushing a dozen pounds and more in front of you. This creates resistance your body has to overcome, and depending on terrain this can add up to a significant loss of speed.
But that doesn’t mean you are losing fewer calories. The energy takes you to push the stroller also counts into used calories, and it’s practically impossible to calculate and compare the strain of running with a stroller with a regular running. Uphill battles are way tougher. Even the slightest, unnoticeable incline will add more resistance to your running.
So, when setting your goals, it’s best to set them in time. As for mileage, be forgiving to yourself. Say two to four miles instead of three and a half. Focus on time and set your running session in time chunks, don’t forget to take breaks and rest. The stroller can be deceiving. Before you know it, you’ll be fighting for air because the running exhausted you.
3. Pay Attention To Your Grip
This tip will save you many inconveniences, even outside running. At first, you may be nervous and tightly hold to the stroller handlebar. Remember, the faster you can relax, the faster your arm will be able to aid you in your running. Tightly gripping the stroller can be tiring and it can lead to stiff and tense muscles, especially the lower arms and the shoulders.
The grip also changes your running posture and your body won’t be upright.
To do it properly, lightly place the hand onto the stroller, and guide it instead of simply pushing it. Your hand should lightly rest on the handlebar instead of squeezing it tightly.
4. Alternate Hands
Pushing the stroller with both hands is quite hard and can lead to some injuries in the long run. The running posture is compromised with this, and the natural poise and movement of the body is impaired, which can lead to stiff muscles, sprained joints and ligaments, all kinds of nasty stuff. It isn’t good for the rest of the body, like the heart, diaphragm, etc.
Remember how the hands move while running without a stroller? These natural movements help the body achieve speed, they save energy and allow the natural functioning of many organs including the lungs and the heart.
So, when running with your baby in a stroller, try using one hand while letting the other move with your body. After every 15 minutes or even less, switch hands and bear through the uneasy feeling for doing so. It will take a bit for your body to adapt to the new running regime, with your other hand pushing the stroller and the other naturally moving with the body.
5. Push More With Your Core And Your Legs
Most beginners use their arms and shoulders to push the stroller. Hand on the stroller of course, but the trick is to focus and push from the core and the legs. When running uphill, push from the posterior. This will give more power and add some explosiveness to your exercise while maintaining the desired upright shape.
6. Experiment With Handle Adjustments
Take your time to figure out what height of the handlebar suits you best. The shoulders can get tired quickly if you keep the handle too low, and the whole arm can go to hell if you keep it too high. After a few sessions, you will get the picture that suits you the best. Try to keep the shoulders and your back relax and if you feel you need to lean over, you need more adjustment.
7. Have A Wrist Strap On You
As a precaution, a wrist strap can save your nerves and help you relax more, especially when going downhill and when your baby grows in size, adding weight and with it the momentum into the stroller.
Tips to Improve The Child’s Experience
Kids can have a hard time adapting to the new routine. There will come the days when they just don’t feel like staying in the stroller. Once they get a hang of it, and if you make a good enough atmosphere, it can become a joyful experience for both.
1. Help Them Get Used To The New Habit While Avoiding An Unpleasant Experience
It’s rather tricky to get that right combination of pampering and determination. In one sense, we should avoid getting the child to feel traumatized by the running stroller session, and yet we don’t want to give in to their whim and refusal ‘just because they can’. A steel hand in a silk glove is our approach if we feel the child just wants to exert power over us.
2. Make Them Engaged
The time you’re running will be a kind of alone time with your kid. Use it wisely. You can talk about things you usually don’t talk much, play games, or do other verbal exercises, like rhyming or interactive storytelling. You can play I spy with my little eye or similar games.
Running with your child can be a great time to build a new kind of relationship with them. If they are not in a mood, depending on the child, of course, you can prepare some accessories and tools that can keep them occupied, like coloring books or their favorite toys. The truth of the matter is that they enjoy the stroller in motion and usually spend a lot of time napping!
3. Take Breaks And Let Them Rest From The Stroller
As they get older, they too like to utilize their motoric skills. They can get tired of sitting or lying in the “cockpit” for too long, so give them time to stretch their legs, if the place is convenient. You can use this time for a quick yoga exercise, a series of push-ups, or sit-ups. If they don’t have anything in particular to do, you can ask them to help you or join you in your stretching and other exercises.
So, that’s it for this round of tips on running with a stroller. We hope you found our tips helpful, and we hope you’ll improve your running experience with them.
Remember, when the children see that you are enjoying the time, they will feel like doing it. They look up to us, and it’s great to have an exercising parent as a role model!