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Great Stuff!

There's loads of great stuff out there to enhance your physical and spiritual health. Every two weeks, All Spirit Fitness brings you something we've found useful. Sometimes it's a brand new fitness tool, sometimes it's an everyday item that you can find at the store. Whatever it is, rest assured that if it's on this page, we think it's great!


Jogging Strollers

Bob Ironman Jogging Stroller
Find hundreds of jogging strollers like the BOB IronMan at joggingstroller.com

If you're expecting a baby, or planning on one, you are already anticipating all the major changes your life will go through. If you have a passion for fitness, you may be wondering how you're going to fit in any sort of exercise program when your priority is going to be rearing the new little one. A lot of times it may be tough, but owning a jogging stroller can make it just a bit easier, since you're taking the baby along with you on your run or walk. Jogging strollers first saw the light of day in 1983, and they've become extremely popular (did you know that a good jogging stroller is actually more sturdy than a regular stroller?). There are now jogging strollers for all kinds of exercise levels and family sizes: jogging strollers for one, two or three passengers; for runners and for walkers; for city sidewalks and trail running. You can even get jogging strollers that double as bike trailers. In any case, here are a few tips to help you choose the jogging stroller that's right for you:
  • You get what you pay for. A good jogging stroller is not cheap. You want something sturdy and that is made from quality materials — this is about your baby, after all. You don't have to get the most expensive, top-of-the-line stroller, but don't hunt too hard for bargains, either.
  • Choose alloy over steel. You will be using your jogging stroller outside, and steel rusts. Plus steel is heavier than alloy, making it harder to pack up and carry. Alloy is rust resistant and lightweight. This is a no-brainer.
  • Get the jogging stroller that suits your activity. If you're just going to be taking casual walks around your well-paved neighborhood, you don't need 20" wheels, shock absorbers and other details a runner would need. On the other hand, if you're going to take your baby on trail runs, you certainly don't want the instability of a swiveling front wheel. Here are the basic rules:
    1. Serious runners will want 20"+ wheels and a fixed front wheel. In addition, trail runners will want adjustable suspension or shock absorbers. (Shock absorbers may also be a good idea for parents who live in an older neighborhood with lots of bumpy sidewalks.)
    2. Parents who sometimes jog, sometimes run and sometimes walk will be happiest with a 16" wheel size and a fixed front wheel. This type of jogging stroller will work the best for most people.
    3. If you're not planning to do more than walk, go for a 12" wheel, and a swiveling front wheel will give you more maneuverability (something to keep in mind if you plan on using it while you're shopping). As mentioned before, however, if the neighborhood consists of a lot of old sidewalks and high curbs, walkers may still want to consider a bigger wheel, since it will be less jarring on the kidlet.

  • Keep the height of the handlebars in mind — there are some models of jogging strollers that a shorter person will feel more comfortable using, and others that are better suited for taller people. (If one parent is tall and the other short, you'll just have to compromise.)
  • Other important features include a deep seat, good seatbelt, a locking break, and a wrist strap to prevent the stroller from running away. And there are other things to consider. How much storage area do you need (in other words, what else will the stroller be carrying besides junior)? Does the jogging stroller fold away easily? (Keep in mind that with bigger wheels you will have to sacrifice some on the foldability factor — those 20" wheels just can't get any smaller!)

Once you've got your jogging stroller, there are some common sense guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Go for a trial run or two with the jogger but without the baby. That way you can practice getting used to handling the jogging stroller safely.
  • When you're putting the baby into the stroller, or taking him out, make sure the parking break is on.
  • Wait until your baby has enough neck strength to hold her head up before taking her out. The general recommendation is to wait until your child is six months old before taking her out with the jogging stroller. If you want to start earlier, check with your pediatrician and get a jogging stroller with reclined seat.
  • If you're planning on trail running, or running on bumpy surfaces, wait until your kid is at least a year old before doing so.
  • Keep your baby's comfort in mind. You may be working up a sweat, but she's just sitting there with the wind blowing on her. So dress your child warmly and bring a light blanket if more cover is needed. If, on the other hand, it's a warm, sunny day, put a hat or bonnet on your kid, and use sunscreen.
  • Always, always use the full harness. Keep that baby firmly strapped in! You also might consider getting a bike helmet for junior to be extra safe.
  • Consider scheduling your runs for just before naptime. The rhythm of your running may lull the baby to sleep, and you can run in relative peace.
  • Never let go of the stroller. It can get away from you in a heartbeat! And don't use a jogging stroller while wearing inline skates.
  • Use caution always. Keep an eye out for goings on around you. Wear colorful clothes (your baby too) so you are easily seen by traffic. If you are running near dusk, put reflective material on yourself, the baby and the jogging stroller.

JoggingStroller.com has a nifty tool to help you choose the jogging stroller that's best for you.

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