Parenting is exhausting. Still, it doesn’t necessarily count as exercise. In fact, a 2008 landmark study in Preventive Medicine, which reviewed 25 studies on parenting and physical activity, found that parents with young kids are far less active than non-parents. Moms, in particular, “are at high risk for inactivity.”
Don’t let parenting stop you
Running with a jogging stroller is a healthy way to multitask. It can help you get in shape, shed excess pounds (if that’s your aim) while spending time with your kiddo(s).
But besides an excellent cardio workout, which helps reduce the risk of disease, boosts mood and helps you live longer, using a jogging stroller can also help you build strength, which is another important fitness component, says Jaime Brenkus, owner of ExerciseWithJaime, author of Get Lean in 15 and creator of 8 Minute Abs.
Among its many benefits, strength training helps keep your bones and muscles strong, to help make everyday activities, such as lifting your child in and out of his car seat, easier.
Strength training also increases your calorie burn. “You want to muscle up to slim down,” Brenkus says.
But…strength training tends to be low on our to-do list. Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that only 21 percent adults meet the guidelines for physical activity, which recommends strength training two or more times per week.
Solution: Build strength training in to your stroller routine.
Brenkus created this jogging-stroller-based workout for BabyProductsMom to help you get stronger and and optimize whatever exercise time you have.
“You’re out anyway. Empower yourself to get more out of your jogging stroller session. You’ll be surprised by the results you’re going to see,” Brenkus says.
Keep in mind that your jogging stroller workout doesn’t have to be strenuous to be effective. “Consistency beats intensity,” Brenkus says.
Below, Amelia demonstrates each strength-training jogging stroller move with a BOB Revolution Flex single stroller (sans the baby/toddler) to give you the idea.
To do these exercises in real life, of course, you’ll use own body weight and baby/toddler/bigger kid weight as resistance.
Upper and Lower Body Benefits
Park bench push-ups
While you’re strolling along and come upon a park bench, push the stroller aside and use the
bench to do push-ups to work your upper body–chest, shoulders and triceps.
You can also do this exercise standing against a tree (think wall push-ups). It’s easier than bench push-ups because you’re vertical. Do 15 to 20 reps. Or, straighten your arms and hold for 30 seconds to a minute for a park-bench plank.
In a semi squatting position, roll your jogging stroller out and bring it right back in to the midline of your body, keeping your legs planted. You’ll work your back muscles (“lats”) as well as your abs, Brenkus says. Again, do 15 to 20 reps.
Put your hands on the stroller handles, lift the stroller up and curl it to your chest.
“Gently pull up towards the chest and back down,” Brenkus says. Yep, 15 to 20 reps.
Tricep push downs
To work your triceps (the back of your upper arms), “push down on the jogging stroller handle, almost like the stroller is doing a wheelie,” Brenkus says.
Don’t jerk the motion. “The triceps are a trouble spot for many of us,” Brenkus says. He calls this exercise “the flapper zapper.” You got this–15 to 20 reps.
Now, onto the lower body. Grab onto the handles of your jogging stroller and lower your body, almost like you’re stitting in a seat. Make sure your knees are aligned; they shouldn’t go past your toes.
“Proper form no matter what,” Brenkus says. Stand up and repeat for 15 to 20 squats.
Jogging stroller lunges
Hold on to the jogging stroller handle and extend your left leg back “like a fencer move,” Brenkus says. Switch to the other side and do 15 to 20 reps with your right leg.
Outer hip raises and more
Hold onto the handle and bring one leg behind you, raising it as high as you can for 15 to 20 reps. To work your abductor and adductor muscles, couple that with an inner thigh sweep: With the same leg, sweep your leg out to the side for another 15 to 20 reps. Then with the same leg, do an inner thigh sweep: Starting at the midline, swing your leg in back of you across the midline of your body for 15 to 20 reps.
Then do it all again, on your other leg, for 15 to 20 reps for each exercise.
Kick your leg back and squeeze those gluts for 15 to 20 reps with your hands on the handle bar for balance.
Squeeze! Repeat on the other side.
Now, it’s time work work your abs. With your hands on the stroller handles, step back from the stroller and lean forward as much as you can. Hold for 30 seconds or 1 minute.
“It’s a modified plank,” Brenkus says. The stroller should not lift up if you balance yourself correctly.
That it’s–Jamie Brenkus’s jogging stroller strength training workout.
To get even more from the running part of your jogging stroller routine, Brenkus suggests building in cardio-sprint intervals to increase your cardiovascular endurance by walking at your regular pace for 30 seconds, then running for 30 seconds. “A series of interval sprints elevates your heart rate to increase metabolism,” Brenkus says.
For faster results you can see and feel, aim for 10 minutes of cardio-sprinting and 10 minutes of stroller strength training a couple of times each week during your regular jogging stroller sessions.
Exercise your jogging stroller options
If you’re new to jogging strollers, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Buying a new jogging stroller can be a commitment
This set of wheels doesn’t necessarily come cheap. A new single BOB jogging stroller, for example, can run you upwards of $400. If you’ve gotta get a BOB or another premium brand, watch for sales at prime times, such as in the summer and Black Friday/cyber Monday. Or put a jogging stroller on your baby registry and let friends and family chip in for one for you.
Try before you buy
If you’re not sure if a jogging stroller is for you, rent one first to see if you like it. BabyProductsMom personally owns a BOB Revolution Flex single stroller, which she rents to grandparents and traveling parents as a BabyQuip Quality Provider. (Customers love it!) There are some 300 BabyQuip Quality Providers around the country. You’ll know more after taking a jogging stroller for a rental test drive!
Make sure you’re buying a jogging stroller
All-terrain strollers can look like jogging strollers, but they’re not meant for jogging. The Baby Jogger City Mini GT, for example, (top) is not a jogging stroller. The Baby Jogger Summit X3, however, (bottom) is meant for jogging. See the difference? I know! Just by looking at them, it’s hard to tell.
If you’re looking to buy a pre-owned jogging stroller, make sure it was made after September 10, 2015
September 10, 2015 is when the latest stroller safety standards went into effect. To determine the model year of a contender (used) jogging stroller, you’ll need the stroller’s serial number.
On BOB jogging strollers, for example, the serial number is located near the back right wheel on the inside of the square frame tubing of the stroller.
And, in general, there are also new pre-September 2015 strollers (jogging strollers and otherwise) still being sold. If you’re shopping on Amazon, click on: “There is a newer version of this item.”
With baby gear, make safety your first priority.
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