How a Jogging Stroller Gave Me My Groove Back (2024)

Like a lot of life’s grand plans, my idea to train for a running race with my toddler and a jogging stroller started with the promise of good weather. It was April 2019, and I was motivated by a stretch of unseasonably warm days in my hometown just north of Chicago. I was determined to stay out of the house all day long if I could manage it, so I borrowed a jogging stroller from a friend, packed snacks, and set off. As I ran, it was as if a weight I didn’t know I’d been carrying for the year since my son was born was suddenly lifted.

How a Jogging Stroller Gave Me My Groove Back (1)

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I felt free.

But let’s back up a bit: it might help you understand my feelings if you know a little bit about me, my family, and my son. I’m an ex-Division 1 athlete, a work-from-home mom, and a (former) avid runner. My husband travels and works long hours, including weekends and holidays, and my son is, shall we say, just as energetic as we are. He was a terribly colicky baby, a very early walker, and a never-great sleeper.

As I ran, it was as if a weight I didn’t know I’d been carrying for the year since my son was born was suddenly lifted.I felt free.

Basically, before I ran with him in the stroller, keeping him entertained, smiling, and alive took all of my time and energy, especially that which I used to use for exercise. I secretly envied the moms I knew who dropped off their kids in the gym childcare or worked out while their kids slept peacefully in the other room. For a long time, my excuses—I’m too tired” and “he’s too attached”—kept me from working out, something that is a huge part of who I am and that I knew I loved and missed.

When I ran with my son in that stroller, however, something changed for us.

How a Jogging Stroller Gave Me My Groove Back (2)

I was doing what I loved, and he was right there with me. As he slept and giggled (he loved it!), I realized I didn’t have an excuse to stop—and I didn’t want one. Let’s just say it wasn’t long before I purchased a three-wheeled stroller of my own and signed us up for a 10K. As spring arrived and for the first time since I became a mother, with my new stroller and a lot of Goldfish crackers, I was ready to train for a race.

Of course, I learned quickly that running while pushing an extra 40+lbs isn’t the same as running alone. It took me weeks to get used to the change in my gait and the arm swing limitations, let alone be strong enough to cover the miles I needed to in order to truly “train.” I struggled on anything uphill or downhill or whenever I had to make a turn. It was grueling and frustrating but rewarding. I was happy to be back running and proud of my improvements. It was hard work, but the endorphins were irresistible.

I was doing what I loved, and he was right there with me. As he slept and giggled (he loved it!), I realized I didn’t have an excuse to stop—and I didn’t want one.

There were other positives to jogging with a stroller too. For one, there was storage space! Throughout my training, I ran with my wallet, phone, keys, diapers, wipes, snacks, toys, water, and extra clothing. Part of that was just good ole’ preparation, but mostly, it meant we could easily make stops along my favorite running routes or run to and from destinations like the beach, the park, the mall, play dates, the grocery store, or even to meet up with friends for lunch. Another unexpected positive I found during training was that my son would nap while I ran. In short, we would both arrive home in a much better mood and the rest of the day would breeze by.

After a few months, I ran a very crowded race (on a very hot day) and finished with a smile on my face—and a happy toddler in tow.

If you want to start running with your baby, I highly recommend it. Sure, you’ll have to deal with tire and brake issues, cupholders, diaper changes, and wind resistance, but it will be worth it, I promise. I keep our distances short (under an hour) and am careful to avoid being caught in nasty weather, but running is by far my favorite mother-son activity.

It has made me a stronger parent both physically and emotionally, and I don’t plan to stop any time soon.

Read More: Two Moms Share Their Experiences With Postpartum Ab Separation and How They Treated It

How a Jogging Stroller Gave Me My Groove Back (2024)


What are the benefits of a jogging stroller? ›

Jogging strollers are designed for active parents who wish to jog or run with their child. They offer better maneuverability at higher speeds, can handle various terrains, and come with enhanced suspension systems for a smoother ride.

Does pushing a stroller build muscle? ›

Any stroller run will make you stronger, no matter how far you go. Stroller running does not build basic muscle strength and, for this reason, physical therapists recommend cross-training. Prioritize exercises that strengthen your quads, hips, calves, core and arms.

What makes a jogging stroller different? ›

The most obvious difference between a jogging stroller and a full-size stroller is the number, size, and quality of wheels. Jogging models sport three large wheels instead of four, often wrapped in air-filled rubber tires that soak up any bumps you encounter off the beaten path.

Why can't you jog with a regular stroller? ›

Regular strollers lack certain features for running safety, such as a suspension system, durable bicycle-style tires, a locking front wheel, and, in many cases, a hand brake.

How much harder is running with a jogging stroller? ›

Studies support that running with a stroller doesn't just feel hard — it is hard. One study in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found that running with a stroller results in a significantly higher heart rate, perceived level of exertion, and lactate concentration.

Do you burn more calories pushing a jogging stroller? ›

Amanda Shannon Verrengia, a Pittsburgh-based USATF/RRCA run coach and personal trainer, says the extra calorie burn generally ranges from about five to eight percent, depending on several factors, including your weight, the weight of the stroller and child, your speed, and whether you push with both arms or alternate.

Does running with a stroller slow you down? ›

Don't forget, the added weight of the stroller will make your regular easy pace feel hard, so it's very normal (and helpful) to slow down significantly.

What muscles does pushing a stroller use? ›

One of the biggest bonuses of a stroller run is that it's a combination cardio and strength-training workout. You're not just working your leg muscles here—your abs, shoulders and back play major roles in rolling those wheels so you'll be rocking some hot mama muscles in no time. Another perk of all that pushing?

How much does running with a stroller slow you down? ›

On a flat course, without wind, with inflated tires, and after some experience running with a stroller, expect to run about 5% slower.

What kind of stroller do the Kardashians use? ›

Orbit Baby products effortlessly marries safety and functionality with style and luxury, and celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Chrissy Teigen have noticed. It's our commitment to excellence in every product we offer that makes us the top choice in strollers and car seats by celebrities.

What age range for jogging stroller? ›

You can use a jogging stroller for walking with a newborn using a compatible car seat or bassinet. However, if you are wanting to jog with your baby you'll need to wait longer. An appropriate age for jogging with a jogging stroller is typically around 6 to 8 months or older.

Why do jogging strollers only have three wheels? ›

Jogging strollers have three wheels because this design offers excellent maneuverability, allowing tight turns and easy navigation during runs! Three wheels also provides stability and balance, essential for running on uneven terrain.

Can you use a jogging stroller for everyday? ›

Can I use a running stroller for daily use? You sure can!

Are jogging strollers allowed on planes? ›

Strollers can be checked at the gate or with your regular checked baggage at the ticket counter. On American, each ticketed adult is permitted one stroller to be checked free of charge. Large strollers (20 pounds or more) must be checked at the ticket counter. All other, smaller strollers can be checked at the gate.

Can you use a jogging stroller for walking? ›

Yes, you can absolutely use a jogging stroller for walking. Jogging strollers are designed to be versatile and can be used for various activities, including walking, jogging, or even casual strolls. Many parents opt to use a “jogging stroller” as their everyday stroller too!

How old should a baby be to use a jogging stroller? ›

While you may be physically ready to return to running three months postpartum (emphasis on the may—everyone is different!), your baby isn't! Since most jogging strollers aren't designed to fully recline, you should not run with your baby until your little one is at least 6 months old.

Are baby jogger strollers good for running? ›

However, despite the brand name, most of Baby Jogger's many current stroller offerings are not intended for use while jogging or running. We do not recommend using the Baby Jogger City Mini series strollers for jogging or running for a number of reasons.


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