Spring is just around the corner, and many parents will want to get back into action. It’s time to get off the couch and dust off the jogging stroller that’s been waiting patiently in the basement, mudroom, or garage. Perhaps you’re a new parent who runs, and you’re in need of a jogging stroller that will allow you to continue training for your big race.

First, make sure your baby is old enough. Most doctors recommend that your child be at least six months old before you take him or her for a run in the stroller. Second, remember you’re a parent first, and then a runner. While you may be used to running sub-8 minute miles without baby, you should never run faster than a 10 to 12 minute mile with your baby on board a jogging stroller. Be alert for cars, stop signs, other pedestrians, and bikers. Look both ways – twice before crossing a street.

Now that common sense has been addressed, let’s talk about some of the subtleties of proper jogging stroller usage. Determine whether you’ll need a straight front wheel or one that swivels. If you plan to use the stroller only for running, then you can opt for the straight front wheel model. The swivel wheel not only costs more, but can be extremely dangerous. While a swiveling front wheel is great for day-to-day strolling, the smallest obstacle can cause the wheel to turn and lead to some serious accidents while running. Many jogging strollers now come with the option of to lock the front wheel while running, and then unlock it for general strolling, so this might be something you'll want to consider.

Other features you might want to consider are a sun canopy and a hand brake. The sun canopy will protect your child from the Sun's harmful UV rays, while still getting fresh air and the benefits of being outdoors. You’ll still want to slather your little one with sunscreen, of course, as well as yourself even in the chilly, early spring weather. Hand brakes are ideal for those who live in a hilly area. It allows you to keep your form and pace while going downhill instead of holding back and resisting the hill’s gravitational pull. It will also give you the peace of mind you want if you're afraid of losing control of the stroller on downhills.

Lots of options are available to suit any running parent’s needs. Just take the time to do your homework, like a good parent, and find a jogging stroller that’s best for you and your little chariot companion.