According to a study published in the July 2012 Journal of Physical Activity and Health, when parents increase their activity levels, so do their children. Running outside with your children in tow not only helps you achieve your own fitness goals, it encourages kids to be active. Fitting in running while raising small children can be challenging, but with a little preparation and patience you can achieve your running goals in no time.
Before you start running, invest in a good quality jogging stroller. Baby Boot Camp recommends the Mountain Buggy terrain. With its sturdy frame and shock absorbing wheels, your child will be comfortable and safe while you run. When you push the stroller always remember the acronym W.A.S.H. (Wrists in neutral, Abdominals pulled in, Shoulders pulled back and Hips square to your stroller). Maintaining this position while running with your stroller will help you avoid injury or strain in your joints and enhance your efficiency.
Once in position, it's time to think about keeping your little one engaged. Follow these tips to help create an enjoyable running experience for you and your child:
Your baby needs sleep, you need to run... run at nap-time to ensure a scream free run. Keep your baby comfortable in weather appropriate clothes and feed your baby before the run so they are content. Run at the same time each day to establish a routine with your baby.
Implement a special snack or toy for only the stroller runs. Load your iPhone with kid friendly songs you all can sing along to. Engage with your kids while running and point out pretty flowers, loud trucks or small bunnies. Like with younger infants, run when your toddler is rested and fed. Finally, end your run with a trip to the park to let them run around as well. The park is also a great place to stretch after a long run while your toddler plays.
Consider running next to your child on a bike or scooter. The Mountain Buggy freerider is a fantastic and safe scooter for kids that will enable them to keep up with their running parents. For older kids who can recognize pictures, put together a short treasure map for the kids. Each time they spot something on the treasure map (a mailbox, a blue car, a tree), they put a sticker over the picture. At the end of each run reward them with an extra five minutes at the park.
Running with a stroller offers many benefits - not limited to spending time with your little ones, getting your workout in without putting your child in daycare, and setting a positive example of health for your child. Consider this low cost option for staying in shape while spending time with your kids.
Franchise Owner & Instructor
CA - Dana Point & San Clemente