When you have babies to preschoolers in the house, there are days when the only workout option is running with a stroller. I did this for several years, but my kids are all finally in school at least a few mornings per week. I now have many days of jogging out by Lake Michigan solo. Running solo is... wonderful. However, I have a newfound appreciation for running with my little guys too. For all the Mamas and Papas who take baby along for workouts, here are some perks I've discovered along the way:
Quality Time & Outdoor Time With The Little (That's Really 2!)
At the very least there is fresh air for you + fresh air for your little one. And on better days, there is something peaceful about many runs with kids: sometimes my boys would just nod off as I ran, or on other days they would point out ducks or geese along the way (yes, there were days when they screamed the whole way home, hence the "sometimes"!). On cold days, my guys were extra bundled-- but at least they did have time outside and breathed in good fresh air. It is, in the end, a sweet little bonding time. And while it doesn't always feel like an ideal running situation, in retrospect it was really great.
Great Appreciation For Running With Arms Free
Oh man, running while moving your arms and not holding or pushing a stroller-- it's sweet. You will have these days again soon and when it happens, you will recognize and enjoy the freedom of moving your body the way your body wants to move like you never did before. That's all.
Extra Burning of Calories
No matter what, you're working harder than the other runners. The days when you work the most are those windy days when you end up a legit Prowler Sled Trainer, running along the lake with wind pushing the stroller backwards at 15 mph. This accomplishment should feel good any day, but you get to feel especially strong and awesome when you pass stroller-free runners along the way...
A Place To Throw Extra Layers and Water Bottles
No, really. I often start out my runs overdressed and now when I run without my son, I don't have anywhere to throw my extra layers. I also miss having a million little water bottles and juice box options on hand!
Modeling Healthy Habits for Your Little Kiddo!
Well, there's that too! Starting your little off on the right foot starts with modeling good habits.
A Little Balance Beam for Icy Stretches
In Chicago at least, things get icy in the winter. I stay outside as much as possible, but I do miss having something to steady myself on when I hit a patch of hidden ice. It's not foolproof and caution is of course needed even when running with a stroller, but it does help.
A Sense Of Accomplishment With The Little One Home
Sometimes it can be hard to stay home all day with a kid-- a lot of moms and dads still need to get work done, work out, get chores done, organize home and work, and more. This is, in the end, something that can be done with your kiddo in tow relatively painlessly. It's one thing you can check off your to-do list, and in the end those endorphins will do you lots of good as you tackle the rest of your list-- go forth supermoms and superdads!
Erin Silva Winston is a blogger and writer for Cooked Chicago. She is passionate about health, wellness, and her little family.