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If you're debating buying a jogging stroller, here are the pros and cons. There are actually a surprising number of disadvantages to jogging strollers that I wouldn't have known about before having my first child.
I'm not saying it's a bad idea for everyone - simply that there are some negatives that no-one really tells you about which I'll cover here. The bottom line is that if running is important to you, you'll likely still want to get a jogging stroller, but you should at least be aware of the flip side of it. If you've already got a jogging stroller and it's working out for you, that's great! This advice is for people who are looking to find out more about the pros and cons.
Pros of having a jogging stroller
- You can run while being with your child the whole time - no need for a sitter or to co-ordinate with your spouse
- Just go spur of the moment - no travel required to exercise, no classes at specific times, nor any special equipment besides the jogging stroller. It's not your only option for exercising with a very young child though - take a look at my article on how to fit in exercise with a baby or toddler
- Can use it to participate in 5K races that you'd otherwise not easily be able to do with a baby or toddler
Above: the Delta Children Apollo jogging stroller from Amazon.com is popular and won't break the bank
Cons of having a jogging stroller
- Some jogging strollers can be expensive compared to regular strollers. If you plan to have both types, it'll add up quickly
- Space concerns - do you really want another stroller taking up valuable space in your home when you're not using it? If you have plenty of space this might not be a concern, but it's still something to consider
- A regular jogging stroller only accounts for 1 kid. What if you have another kid in the future? Yes, you can get a double jogging stroller but that takes up even more space in your home
- Pushing a stroller, you still have to be careful going over bumpy bits in the sidewalk, and where the sidewalk meets the road. You therefore can't run as fast as you would on your own and might feel frustrated at the workout you're getting.
- Realistically you can only use a jogging stroller when the weather is OK. It might be a big investment for something you might not use in the depths of winter or on rainy days.
- Compare the cost of a jogging stroller to that of getting a sitter while you go out for a run. How many sessions of exercise would it take before the jogging stroller becomes the cheaper option? If you run regularly and frequently the stroller is always going to be cheaper, but if you only like to run every now and then, it might actually be cheaper to get a sitter.
Above: the BOB gear revolution Flex 3.0 double jogging stroller at Amazon.com
The decision is yours whether a jogging stroller is worth it. It's a convenient way to fit in your running, but it also comes with some hidden disadvantages which are covered above.
If you're an avid runner or you plan to use it regularly to start getting into fitness, a jogging stroller is well worth it. If budget is an issue, rest assured there are reliable brands that are still affordable - you can take a look at the range of jogging strollers on Amazon.com. Another option is to buy a used jogging stroller, although you'd have to be a bit more careful that it's still safe and hasn't had a recall.
On the other hand, if you're an every-now-and-then runner on a tight budget, you could save money and space by getting a sitter or coordinating taking turns running with your spouse. Also check out my tips on how to exercise for free with a baby or toddler!