Running or jogging with a pram are great ways to get back to fitness after you’ve given birth. If you’re planning to run with your baby’s buggy, pushchair, pram or stroller, here are a few top tips to follow for success.
If you’re a mum of small children it can be difficult to find the time and inclination for exercise, beyond chasing around after the kids. If you're looking for motivation why not try a charity run such such as the Run 5 donate 5 campaign to raise money for our heroic NHS workers during the coronavirus outbreak.
If running with your child’s buggy is going to be part of your training, there are some simple steps you can follow to make sure things go smoothly.
Fitness trainer Nicky Lawson from Kiqplan, Race for Life’s official training partner, offers her advice:
How old should my child be before I run with them?
Advice varies but it is generally recommended that babies should be able to sit up and hold their head properly before you start running with them, so around six to nine months of age.
If you specifically want to run with your baby or toddler buy a specialist running stroller suitable for the terrain that you want to run on with a wheel size of 16 inches or larger. Some are designed for off-road running, while others cater for smooth pavement running, so think about where you live and research the best buggy for where you want to run.
Stability and comfort for you and your child are important, so make sure the buggy has suitable suspension and shock absorption too. Also try to buy one with a handbrake and ideally a sun screen for running on sunny days.
Check out some of our top picks of the best buggies for running
Definitely at the pricier end of the spectrum, this offering from Thule benefits from precision steering both on and off road, whether you're running through fields or the pavement. What you're really paying for, though, is the ultra lightweight frame, which won't weigh you down.
Baby Jogger Summit X3 Jogging Stroller plus accessories – Black
Expect four wheel drive mechanics (on three wheels) with this stroller from Baby Jogger. Switch between lock and swivel modes between the front and back wheels with accessible controls on the handle bars.
Out ‘n’ About Nipper Sport V4 Plus Accessories – Raven Black V4 Plus Accessories – Raven Black
The wide spacing between the front and back wheels gives the Out ‘n’ About Nipper Sport extra stability on all terrains. And it might be just us, but the aerodynamic design seems to give us extra speed on those sprints.
If you're looking for a low cost, basic buggy that you can rely on during your morning run, this one from Hauck is for you. With all the amenities you'd expect from a running pushchair including sun visor and waterproof awning, this is perfect for new mums experimenting with combining exercise and parenting.
How to prepare
Wear suitable footwear, make sure you drink enough water before and after any physical activity - particularly if you’re still breastfeeding - and remember to warm up and cool down.
Posture when running with a buggy is very important. Have a light grip on the handlebars and use a wrist strap so that the buggy is attached to you. If the front wheel of your buggy swivels you should lock it into a fixed position for stability. Make sure you run with your chest out, shoulder blades back and down and you are in an upright/tall position.
Your buggy’s handle bars should sit at the right height for you so you are not stooping over, which could lead to injuries and lower back pain. Keep your elbows soft, not locked out, and when running, keep your core drawn in to support your lower back.
For younger babies, start with running in your local park if it has footpaths, or quieter roads where you might feel most comfortable.
Running through the middle of town on a busy shopping day is not going to be much fun for you or the people trying to get out of your way! If possible try to run in areas that are not ‘traffic heavy’ to avoid pollution and obvious hazards like crossing busy roads.
Is there any evidence to show babies enjoy being in the buggy more if it’s going at speed?
Babies are individuals, some babies are more likely to enjoy ‘running’ in their buggy than others. Most babies enjoy motion and tend to fall asleep during car journeys or out in the pushchair so you could time your runs just before nap time so baby sleeps while you are running.
As they get older (toddler stage) they may enjoy running in the stroller so much they want to be awake and see what is going on.
How long should I run for, before my baby gets bored?
This is down to individual babies and may be subject to their age and how long a nap time they have. Younger babies are more likely to be content in the buggy on a run for longer than an active toddler who wants to get out and play.
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