MY MISSION - Increasing the awareness of running buggies in the UK will enable more parents to be active
Why don't more parents in the UK have a running buggy? And why don't they even know about a running buggy? Why is the UK behind, America, Australia and New Zealand when it comes to the amount of people that run with a buggy?
I'm on a mission to help more parents, particularly mum's have the option to exercise when they have children.
Being a mum can be really isolating. I felt overweight, unable to fit in exercise while looking after my baby, more fragile in my moods and getting to a class at a set time often didn't work for my babies routine. (or lack of!) Being a new mum at home didn't feel like the old me. My whole life seemed to have changed and it was hard to adjust to the monotony.
It's important at this point to flag that manufacturers recommend that you don't run with your baby until they are 6 months old. And to make sure that you are physically signed off by medical professional to run as well. The founder of BuggyFit has written a useful blog for us on returning to exercise. Look for it HERE OR scroll to 6th Nov in the Blog's.
Having a buggy that was safe to run with meant that I could incorporate exercise into my day. A jog to the park, to get milk, to sing-a-long at the library. And then I felt a bit better about myself. My baby had benefited from fresh air and sunlight. I had burnt some calories and justified the sugar hits taken to help the slept deprivation.
I'm passionate about the benefits of buggy running and this led to me setting up my own business a year ago, (Winter 2015) to help parents buy the perfect running buggy. (Running Buggies.com) Which was the first UK specialist in Running Buggies.
But it's so much more than just a shop. My mission is to ensure that in all government funded, mass participation campaigns there are parents and buggy running represented, so that it becomes more well known and more of an option.
The more people who buy one, the more will be on the secondhand market. Meaning that for families on tight budgets it will become more accessible. But who can make this happen? Is it Health Visitors who should mention it? Should the big buggy manufacturers be focusing on it more? Or should it be in the mainstream media? Last Father's day in New Zealand the watch manufacturers, Fitbit has a buggy running dad in their TV campaign. Despite seeing more buggy runners at events like parkrun, I feel like we are miles away from that here.
So I've recently met with Theresa May, UK Prime Minister and Tracey Crouch, UK Minister for Sport to gain their support for my mission. I've no experience in Politics, it's passion for this that's seeing me through. England Athletics have been supportive, already incorporating imagery into their content online and via social media including the THIS GIRL CAN RUN messaging.
This is just the beginning...watch this space. And lets see how many more parents have the freedom to exercise with a running buggy in the next 12 months in the UK.