There are lots of things you can add to running to make it a little more effective. You can add wrist weights to work your arms while you’re pumping away during a run. You can add weighted vests to force your cardiovascular system to work a little harder. You can even get specially weighted running shoes to give your leg muscles an extra work out.
Of course, all of those extras involve wearing extra weight, but what about pushing extra weight?
Moms and dads across the country leave the house for their morning run every day with a little something extra: their child, happily strapped into a running stroller.
These parents aren’t carrying the extra weight on their own bodies (unless they’re adventurous enough to try jogging in a Baby Bjorn), but they’re still toting around a few extra pounds on every mile. So what is the benefit of being behind a jogging stroller when you’re out on the road?
The good news for parents is that there are a few benefits. Take a look:
1. An added workout for your arms
Even though you aren’t carrying your child’s weight, the act of pushing that weight around still works your deltoids, pectorals, and biceps, even if your stroller glides easily and doesn’t feel like much work. The heavier your load is, the more you work your arms out, so if you have a good-sized toddler you’re likely running much more efficiently than those around you. If your child isn’t quite that heavy, you might want to consider weighing down the stroller with a little extra weight to challenge yourself in the morning (and to train for running when your child gets older). Just be careful not to add too much extra weight to the handle, since the stroller may become top heavy and could be a safety hazard for your child.
2. The best safety marker out there
When you’re running on the street, it’s likely that traffic will notice you and drivers will make an attempt to steer clear. If you add reflective gear, you’re more likely to avoid being hit. If you add a stroller, those cars are going to be as far away from you as they possibly can. It’s one thing to be careful when driving around a jogging adult, but it’s a whole different thing to be careful driving around an adult that’s jogging with an infant. Just be sure to be extra careful yourself and don’t leave the caution to the drivers. The stroller is no excuse to take unnecessary safety risks on your morning run!
3. Consider sprints and intervals
Your child likely enjoys being out in the stroller, but a steady pace can get a little boring for older toddlers. Changing up the pace by running at top speeds for two minutes and then jogging slowly for five will not only entertain your kid, it will also work your cardiovascular system more effectively.