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Expert tips when choosing a jog stroller

JogStroller1WBy Betsy Stein

Moms in Stroller Strides classes have an advantage when it comes to trying various jog stroller models.

“The moms in my class will sometimes push each other’s stroller for a class to see if they like it,” says Karen Davis, Fit4Mom Annapolis franchise owner and Stroller Strides instructor. “I think the best way to determine which one is right for you is to try it out.”

There are so many brands and models of jog strollers to choose from, it can be overwhelming for a new mom to know which one to purchase.

But since crashing a Stroller Strides class might not be on your agenda, we talked to a few moms who might be able to help determine which jog stroller is the best fit for you.

Tara Diel, a physical therapist from Laurel and running mom of three, says there are several things to consider when looking for a jog stroller: fit, stability and how you plan to use it.

  • Planned use: The first thing to consider is how you plan to use the stroller. Are you a serious runner or more of a jogger who also hopes to use the stroller for walks in the park and trips to the store? Serious runners who typically run faster than 8-minute miles should consider a model with a fixed front wheel such as phil&teds Sub 4. Runners who also want a stroller suitable for other uses should consider a jog stroller with a front wheel that can be locked in place or left to pivot such as a BOB stroller.
  • Stability: Beware of cheap jog strollers. Spending the extra money for a name-brand stroller — between $400 and $900 — buys better stability and can be recouped on Craigslist when you no longer need it. “We did have a really cheep single jog stroller before our second was born, and I was constantly fighting with it because it would veer to the left. It wobbled when we ran and was very unstable,” Diel says.
  • Fit: Make sure the stroller fits your body, Diel says. Arms should be slightly bent and shoulders back and down when pushing. If you are very tall or very short, you might consider getting a model with an adjustable handlebar such as the Mountain Buggy Terrain stroller.

Ericka Butler, runner, mom and former general manager at Charm City Run, did a fair amount of research on jog strollers before her first child was born.

“Between what I found online and what other moms were telling me, the BOB brand was the way to go,” says Butler, who lives in Baldwin. “I have had the BOB on the road, on the trail and on the grass, and it moves easily through all three.”

BOB is now a part of Britax, a company well known for its car seats, and is a popular brand among active moms. It is also possible to lock a car seat into the stroller, though jogging with the car seat in place is not recommended.

Other popular strollers among the moms in Davis’s Stroller Strides classes include Jeep, Baby Jogger, Mountain Buggy and phil&teds.

“Whatever model you choose, running with your baby is a good idea,” Diel says. “It has been great to be able to get out and exercise while having the kids with us. … I think it teaches our children the importance of fitness and it is important to re-gaining strength after a pregnancy.”

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