After you become a parent, self-care becomes invaluable. When you put your children above anything else, it can be difficult to find time to do things for yourself. However, it's still important to stay healthy. Whether you just enjoy living a healthy lifestyle, or want to regain your pre-pregnancy body, some exercise can do you wonders. You'll feel like a whole new person if you can carve out some time for exercise, fresh air, and just doing something for yourself. In the long-run, it will make you a happier, strong role model for you kids.
To aid in finding time for exercise, you can go jogging using a stroller and it will allow you to involve your baby or toddler in your exercise routine. That being said, a baby riding in a normal stroller during a run/jog is at risk for injury. Regular strollers are not built to withstand the bumpy movement of a faster pace. You'll need to find the perfect jogging stroller that meets your needs and your child's needs.
Do You Need a Jogging Stroller?
Not every parent needs to spend money on a jogging stroller so first let's establish if you need one or not. Regular strollers are great for walking around on consistently smooth pavement such as your newly paved neighborhood road or the mall. For bumpier surfaces or faster paces, you'll find the convenience of a jogging stroller a welcome idea. Regular stroller wheels aren't meant to glide over bumps and will wobble incessantly at higher speeds. This wobbling can cause your stroller to veer off course easily, making it more difficult to control.
Jogging strollers are equipped with things such as larger wheels in triangle formation to glide over uneven surfaces, air-containing tires and suspension systems for shock absorbency. Jogging strollers can double as an everyday stroller but an everyday stroller cannot double as a jogging strollers. There's too much risk involved. These factors all make a jogging stroller a great investment when it comes to exercise, your baby, and your health.
What to Look for
When shopping for the perfect jogging stroller, you should be looking for the following features:
- Locked Front Wheel. This option is solely dependent on what type of runner you are. While a swivel wheel makes the stroller more maneuverable, a locked front wheel will keep the stroller's path straighter and easier to control. However, using a locked front wheel means that in order to turn the stroller, you must lean the stroller back onto the two back wheels in order to rotate or change directions. Most earnest runners wouldn't even consider a swivel wheel as an option. But for the less serious runner, a swivel wheel can be beneficial for strollers that aren't just for running.
- Brakes. Jogging strollers should have two kinds of breaks: a parking break for when you're stopped and a hand break to help you slow down. These are two safety features that can be lifesavers. A hand break is a must, especially for serious joggers, double strollers, and stroller-blading.
- Safety tether. This small item is extremely important: it means to runaway strollers when you lose your grip. If the stroller doesn't come with one, you can purchase one here.
- Five point harness. Just like a car seat, it's important that your child is strapped in properly. A 5 point harness is the way to go.
- Reclining seat. A reclining seat is more than just for the comfort of your child, it's for their safety too. A reclining seat distributes all the bumps throughout your child's body instead of the forces because concentrated on the spinal column (this is what happens to a child that is sitting upright). On the plus side though, it can help your child fall asleep, making it that much easier for you to just enjoy your run. Movement + kids = sleep.
- Canopy. Jogging strollers should include an extendable canopy to block your child from the harmful sun's rays and a peek-a-boo window so you can check on your child easily.
- Three air-filled, plastic, large tires. Larger tires will aid in gliding over rough or uneven surfaces. The tires should be air-filled. This also means that you will have to maintain tire pressure and there's always a possibility of getting a flat tire (just like your bike).
When to Start Jogging
While some strollers are compatible with infant car seats, you cannot jog with your child until he/she is at least 8 months old (some experts even say you should wait until after they're 1 years old). This is because a younger infant doesn't have the strength to keep his head and neck stable under the impact of jolts and bounces. Most jogging strollers accommodate children up to five years old so you'll still have plenty of time to get good use of your jogging stroller after the one year mark.
The Best Running Stroller for You
Here we have assembled a list of top running strollers for you and your baby. It's important to pick one that best fits your desires and lifestyle.
Chico TRE Performance Jogging Stroller - Best All Around
This jogging stroller has it all! It features adjustable FlexCore suspension, which allows you to choose between a soft ride for bumpy strolling or a more firm ride for jogging. It's handlebar houses controls for a hand-activated swivel wheel / locking wheel switch, hand-activated parking brake which easily locks both rear tires in place, and a hand-activated deceleration brake for slowing down while moving. The handlebar also has a removable parent tray and cup holders and adjusts in height to 4 different positions. The seat has an adjustable five point safety harness, water repellant fabric, one-hand recline in five positions, and accepts all Chicco KeyFit car seats.
- Parking and deceleration brakes
- Swivel and Locked Wheel options
- Quick one-hand fold
- 5 point safety harness
- Weight capacity: 50 lbs
- More expensive
- Heavy - weighs 34.5 lbs
BOB 2016 Revolution FLEX Jogging Stroller - For Big Kids
This BOB jogging stroller features a state-of-the-art adjustable suspension system that offers 3 inches of travel and 2 stages of weight support that an ultra-smooth ride. It's swivel-locking front wheel locks forward for increased stability or swivels to maneuver tight turns with ease. The adjustable handlebar offers 9 different positions that provide a perfect fit for parents of every height. The BOB stroller is travel system ready with the BOB Infant Car Seat Adapter (sold separately) that allows you to pair it with a matching BOB car seat or many other major brands.
Joovy Zoom 360 UltraLight Jogging Stroller - Mid Range
This ultra light stroller from Joovy allows you to go the distance with high-functionality and low weight. It features a front swivel wheel that locks, mesh pockets for your child's snacks and toys, and a parent organizer for 2 beverages, keys, and phone. This stroller weighs only 25.7 pounds, but has a weight capacity up to 75 pounds! It has a one-step linked parking brake for secure stops, but doesn't have a hand brake. The aluminum frame has shock-absorbing suspension and easily folds into a compact piece. A car seat adapter can be purchased separately to make this stroller compatible with a variety of different infant car seat models.
- Weight capacity: 75 lbs
- Includes running leash and tire pump
- High-quality aluminum frame
- Comes in multiple colors
- No hand brake
- Seat back can be too short for taller children
- Still large even when folded
Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger - Affordability
The Graco FastAction jogging stroller accepts all Groco Click Connect infant car seats for easy access. It features one-second, one-hand folding with an automatic storage lock and is self-standing when folded. This is a great feature for when your hands are full! It's swivel front wheel can be locked, providing an easy transition between jogging stroller and every day stroller. This stroller also keeps parents in mind with a smartphone crable, 2 deep cup holders, a covered storage compartment, and reflected for low-light visibility. There is an extra large canopy that covers the 4 position reclining seat and the stroller weighs only 50 pounds. The safety harness can be either 3-point or 5-point.
- Under $150
- 5 point or 3 point safety harness
- Locked or Swivel Wheel options
- One-second One-hand fold
- No hand break
- 2-step break on the wheels
- Very large even when folded
- Weighs 30 lbs w/ max weight of 50 lbs
As the name of this stroller implies, it was made for fast joggers, especially fartlek and marathon runners. It features extremely large, air-filled tires and a 80% steel / 20% AeroCore foam frame for efficiency. It's seat has a five point safety harness and is ergonomically designed and made from state-of-the-art aerocore material that is anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. The adjustable handlebar lets you set the position for your perfect running posture. The brakes are one-hand dual disk brakes for speed control and full suspension along with torsion control bars for a responsive frame flex.
- Made for speed and long distance
- Dual disk brakes for full-control
- Designed for perfect weight distribution and long stride length
- Weight capacity: 44 lbs
- Weighs 35 lbs
- No swivel wheel option
Thule Chariot Cross Multisport Trailer - Multi-Sport
This is not your average jogging stroller. It can be converted for use for four different activities: biking, jogging, strolling, and skiing. It includes the bicycle trailer kit and strolling kit, but the ski kit and jogging kit are sold separately. The frame has an adjustable leaf-spring suspension system to ensure and smooth ride and the seat pads are comfortable and removable for easy cleaning. It is available in 1 child or 2 child options and is perfect for the multi sport adventurous family.
- Multi-sport gives you one stroller for all your outdoor activities
- Weighs only 28.2 lbs
- Must purchase multiple kits in order to complete the set
- Very expensive
You May Also Need:
Hand Safety Strap
Even though this is an essential must-have item for your jogging stroller, most don't come with one.
This is another must-have item that most strollers don't come with. These are especially essential for low-light activities outside.
Mosquito Repellent Armbands
Keep those pesky little critters away with these deet-free, non-toxic mosquito repellent armbands that are safe for kids.
There are so many jogging strollers out there on the market right now, but I am confident that you will find the best running stroller for your needs and your child's. With so many options, the perfect stroller for you is definitely out there. While keeping your needs in mind, make sure you are also remembering that safety is the ultimate priority. Never compromise on your desired safety features. Even if you aren't an avid runner, a jogging stroller can be a great addition to those must-have baby items.
Quite a few of the strollers on our list also support an infant car seat attachment. Read our comprehensive buyer's guide for the different types of car seats available on the market today.
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