Walking strollers will make exercising so much easier for you. They are lighter weight and the tires are bigger than a traditional stroller, which make them easier to push, especially uphill and over uneven surfaces.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on a nice model. I suggest you start by looking at a baby resale store, craigslist.com or other places that might sell used models.
Jogging strollers are great for fitness walking, too; however you may end up paying for features that you do not need as a walker. You can purchase an all-terrain walking stroller which is designed for walking. These all-terrain models don’t have some of the features a runner needs such as an ultra-light frame or larger front tire, which increase the price of the stroller.
Here are the features I recommend that will make your walks more comfortable and enjoyable for you and baby.
1. Canopy – the canopy is the
part of the stroller that you use to block the sun from baby. Ideally, a
canopy that you can move is best so that you can adjust it to
completely block the sun from your baby. If you can’t find a canopy that
moves, look for an oversized canopy that will block as much light as
possible. You can also buy an additional canopy to clip on to create extra sun protection.
2. Lockable swivel wheel – the best feature of all! Most jogging strollers have a stationary front wheel that doesn’t swivel. This makes the stroller difficult to turn and go around corners unless you tip the stroller backwards. That’s good for exercising, but not for shopping at a grocery store where you need to make tight turns.
A front wheel that swivels makes a stroller very versatile - you can use it to exercise or cruise the mall. While fitness walking, you keep the front wheel locked and when you want to go to the mall or grocery store, you unlock the front wheel, which allows you to turn the stroller easier.
3. Reclining seat – this is a great feature which allows baby to recline while sleeping.
4. Parent cup holder – a place to put your drink so that you can keep both hands on the stroller.
5. Cup holder and snack tray for baby – this isn’t a necessity, but it is handy to have a place for baby to put her cup and snacks.
6. Storage – look for a storage basket or a pouch on the back of the seat. Many strollers will have both. You can never have enough storage! Use it to hold your keys, snacks and toys for baby.
7. 5-point harness – the safest restraint system for children in the 5-point harness system.
8. Safety reflectors – it’s important to have this feature if you plan to walk at night. These reflectors will light up when a car shines its headlights onto them. Cars might not see you or the stroller without them. If your stroller doesn't have safety reflectors, you can buy them at any sporting goods store and attach them yourself.
9. Handbrake and safety strap – a handbrake is attached to the handlebars and lets you slow the stroller down without missing a beat. A handbrake on a stroller is just like a handbrake on a bicycle. The safety strap allows you to stay tethered to the stroller so it can’t get away from you. These features are especially important if you walk down hills. You’d be surprised how fast the stroller can roll downhill because of it’s light-weight frame.
10. Adjustable handlebar – this is a nice feature if more than one person pushes the stroller and the pushers are of different heights. This allows you to adjust the handlebar so that it is comfortable for your height.
Consider all of these features and decide which are important to you. This will help you in your search for the perfect walking stroller.
Don't miss this article on my picks for the best walking strollers.