Loading up the jogging stroller and taking Aoife around town is one of my favorite ways to spend the afternoon. For me, I get some exercise; for Aoife, it’s a great way to break up the day and do something a little different. We get to talk to each other and maybe catch a train coming through or moo at the cows at the edge of town.
If you’re new to jogging with a stroller, it helps to take it out at just walking pace a couple of times so you can get used to how it moves. And if you don’t have a jogging stroller, that’s not going to prevent you from at least getting outside and enjoying a quick jaunt, regardless of speed. If you’re looking for one, though, be sure to check your local Craigslist or classifieds. I found ours used but in good shape for a decent price.
While you never want to be too loaded down, there are a few things you might want to take with you. Here are my essentials:
- Sunglasses (for me and for her, although she rarely wears them the entire time)
- Sunscreen (if you’ll be out for an extended period of time or in the heat of the day)
- Hat or cap (for the kiddo, but maybe for you too)
- Phone (Be prepared in case of emergency. I recommend NOT using headphones while out with a stroller – safety first! That said, I use apps for running and sometimes need to hear prompts, but I never play music when pushing the stroller. )
- Board book (this helps her stay entertained, and we can talk about letters, sounds, and pictures as we move – lately it’s been Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? and Dr. Seuss’s ABC)
- Pepper spray (Again, safety first. You may not need to protect yourself from people, but pepper spray can help in the case of a dog attack as well.)
- Wallet (I use Road ID for my identification purposes, but if you don’t have something like that, it helps to have your driver’s license in case of emergency. Also, you never know when you might decide on a cafe lunch or an impromptu stop at the market.)
- Diaper / extra clothes for kiddo (if you’ll be out for an extended period of time. If we’re walking to the playground and plan to be out for a while, I’ll grab this – if we’re just going out for our 5k training, I’ll leave this at home to lighten the load.)
Running, walking, or just getting outside sets a great example for your kids, and you can’t start setting a good example too early. That said, it’s never too late to take that first step!