With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors. Whether you enjoy hiking, biking or running – they are all great ways to stay active. But for some, after the baby arrives it can be hard to keep up with an exercise schedule. Jogging strollers can help give you the freedom to stay active. Making your little one a part of your workout can be fun for the both of you!
We asked TRIA Physical Therapist, Lauren Loberg for some tips to ensure that running with your child is a safe and comfortable experience.
How do I get started?
Consider your current fitness level and physical condition. For example, if you are recently post-partum start with walking for a few weeks before running and make sure your doctor has given you their approval.
The biggest recommendation for anyone getting started with a new activity is to ease into it. Try to alternate jogging and running as it feels best to you, working into a light fatigue.
What type of equipment will I need?
It helps to use a stroller made for jogging. Jogging strollers have higher handles that allow you to stand more up-right. The larger wheels also help you maneuver at a higher speed.
Many jogging strollers have the option to lock the front wheel. Having the wheel locked keeps it straight and is the safest option for running. If the wheel unlocks, it can spin and cause the stroller to tip. Always read your strollers manual before going out and be sure to buckle your child appropriately.
Are the risks of injury different when running with a stroller?
Yes. Strollers can pull you downhill faster so be careful to control your speed. Also, the heavier the child in the stroller the more momentum you will need to generate. This can lead to an increase in lower leg work and a potential for an overuse injury like Achilles pain.
What can I do to prevent injury while running with a stroller?
Be sure to do a proper warm up before you begin running. This could be as simple as a brief walk.
Always keep an upright posture when running. You should never bend forward over the stroller. Making sure you have a jogging stroller with handles at the right height for your body will help promote good posture.
What amount of pain or soreness is normal and when should I seek medical help?
Any dull pain or soreness that lasts one to two days after a run is OK. However, you should not continue running with any increasing or sharp pain. If the pain limits you from activities after your run, make sure to cut back on your workouts. Seek medical help if your symptoms do not improve within a week or two of lighter workouts. For a convenient option, TRIA’s Orthopedic Urgent Cares are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, with locations in Bloomington, Maple Grove and Woodbury.
What experience do you have running with a jogging stroller or treating patients who do?
I have ran with both a single and double stroller. Many of my patients use jogging strollers to keep up their running when their kids are young. Running with a stroller can be a bit unpredictable due to the temperamental cargo. Going into workouts with an open mind can help make them more fun!
For more information about TRIA’s Running Program or to set up a consultation, visit the Running Program webpage or call 952-806-5616.