Just Roll with It: Best Stroller Workouts in San Diego
If you are a new mom, it can be challenging to get into an exercise routine after having a baby. Not only are you physically exhausted before you even start your workout, finding the time to do so between feedings, diaper changes, and naps leaves little room for much else.
Luckily, you live in San Diego. Just outside your front door, you will find perfect outdoor workout weather and a beautiful backdrop for exercise almost year-round. San Diego is perfect for new moms to get outside and workout with their little ones in tow. The sunshine, fresh air (a welcomed break from stinky diapers) and change of scenery are good for both your physical and mental well-being.
What to Know Before Starting a Post-Baby Workout Routine:
We get it. You’re anxious to get your pre-baby body back. However, your body has gone through a major change that takes time to recover from. Even previously fit moms will notice a huge change in their body post-baby. Before starting an exercise routine, make sure to do the following for a safe start:
Check with your doctor:
Before getting started with any postpartum workout routine, check with your doctor and get their approval first. Most will clear you for exercise six weeks after giving birth given normal circumstances. However, everyone is different and you need to listen to your body (and your doctor) to do what is best for you.
Take it slow:
Don’t jump back into a workout routine and expect to pick-up where you left off before your baby. It took 40 weeks of pregnancy for your body to get where it is now, and it may take just as many or more to get it back. You may also have to accept that your body is not the same as it was before pregnancy, and ongoing adjustments to your workout may be needed to accommodate the changes. Ease into your workout routine with walking and stretching and build on it from there.
This is especially important if you are breastfeeding. Keep hydrated while you exercise and after. Always bring a water bottle to put in the cup holder of the stroller to remind you to drink while you are working out.
Avoid the sun:
Make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen, bring a hat, stay in the shade when possible and keep your baby shaded with a cloth or cover and out of the sun. Their delicate skin burns easily and you do not want them overheating in the sun.
Get Your Stroller Workout Routine Started:
Whether you’re interested in cardio, strengthening, or both, there’s a stroller exercise for every mama in San Diego. There are several organizations all over town that offer mother-baby stroller classes and personal training sessions. However, if you prefer to do it on your own, below are some great stroller workouts to get moms in shape and the best places to work out with a stroller in San Diego.
7 Stroller Exercises to Make Mamas Sweat:
Before starting any of these exercises, warm up with a 5-minute walk at a moderate pace. Stop for light stretching of the arms and legs, then do another 5 minutes of warm-up with a slightly increased pace. Now you’re ready to start your workout! Alternate running or walking for 5-10 minutes in between sets of these strength-training exercises, or jog while pushing the stroller for longer periods of time to increase cardiovascular training.
- Stroller Squats: Put the stroller brake on and stand behind the stroller with your hands on the handlebar, shoulder-width apart. Squat back like you are sitting in a chair, with the weight in your heels, keeping your knees in line with your ankles. Make sure not to use the stroller bar to support your weight or pull yourself up so that you avoid tipping the stroller. Squeeze your rear, stretch up tall through your chest and keep your shoulders back and down. Repeat 10-15 times.
- Stroller Lunges: Start in a standing position holding the stroller handle with arms shoulder-width apart. Step forward with one leg into a lunge, keeping your hands on the stroller handle and pushing the stroller the distance of the lunge. Keep knees and ankles in alignment, stretching up through your chest, and lower yourself until your thigh is parallel with the ground. Push back up to a standing position and repeat with the other leg. Alternate legs for a set of 10-15 repetitions. If you find it too challenging to push yourself back to standing from the lunge, simply don’t lower your knee down as far and gradually build up strength.
- Stroller Side Pull Abdominals: Face your right side to the stroller and hold the stroller handle with your right hand. Push the stroller away from you while extending your left arm overhead. You should feel a stretch on the left side and a compression on the right. Then compress the abs on your left side to pull the stroller back to you, focusing on pulling the ribs toward your hips. Do this for one minute and then switch sides.
- Stroller Standing Side Crunches: Put the brake on the stroller and stand with your right side facing the stroller with your hand on the stroller bar. Extend your left hand overhead. In one motion, bend and lift your left knee out to the side of your body toward your ribs, while you lower and pull your left elbow toward your left knee. Do this for one minute then switch sides.
- Push-ups: Park your stroller next to a bench and put the brake on. Face the bench and place your hands shoulder-width apart keeping your back, hips and legs in a straight line. Lower your chest toward the bench and press back into the starting position. (Extra credit if you can do this from the ground without the bench.) Repeat for a set of 10-15.
- Stroller Bicep Curl: Hold the handlebar on the stroller with palms facing up and hands shoulder-width apart. Lift the back of the stroller off the ground about an inch, leaving the front wheel on the ground. Hold for 30 seconds and lower.
- Jump Rope: For an extra boost of cardio, bring a jump rope on your workout. Park the stroller and jump rope for one minute. (Stay a safe distance as to not to hit your stroller or baby with the jump rope.)
Best Places in San Diego For Stroller Workouts:
There are several stroller-friendly locations in San Diego to get your stroller workout on. They are flat, paved, and offer beautiful scenery. Here are some of our favorites.
- Lake Murray: Located in east San Diego county, Lake Murray offers an out and back 3.2-mile paved road around the lake to the dam gate, making it a 6.4-mile round trip. The path is wide, making it excellent for strollers, there are exercise stations where you can stop and do your strength training, bathrooms, drinking fountains and plenty of shade from trees (depending on the time of day).
- Lake Miramar: Lake Miramar is a 4.9-mile easy path around the lake. It is mostly flat and excellent for running and strollers. It provides markers every quarter mile and is a scenic view around the lake. Start and end at the parking lot off of Scripps Lake Drive.
- Mission Bay: There are several good paths for stroller workouts around Mission Bay. All are paved, have restrooms, playgrounds and benches to aid your workout. They also offer stunning views of Mission Bay. The only downside is that shade is very limited, so you won’t want to go during the heat of the day. In addition, make sure to keep your baby covered from the sun.
- Start at Crown Point and make your way on the paved path west toward the Catamaran Hotel, or start by the Mission Bay Aquatic Center on Santa Clara Place and make your way east toward Crown Point.
- On the bay side, closer to I-5 is Mission Bay Park, located on East Mission Bay Drive. The paved stroller path runs along the grassy park with ample opportunity to stop and do strength-training exercises along the way.
- Coronado Island: There is a 6-mile paved route that runs around the entire perimeter of Coronado Island. Start from Tidelands Park and follow the path around the border of the island, passing the Hotel Del Coronado, ferry landing and under the Coronado Bridge. It follows alternating paved paths and sidewalks, so although paved, there is some terrain that is best handled with a jogging stroller. Restrooms are also a little sparse on this route, but the views more than make up for it!
- Liberty Station: Although a bit shorter than some of the others, the path that runs along the bay at Liberty Station is an excellent location for stroller workouts. It is flat, paved and wide. There are also restrooms, playgrounds and park benches along the way to facilitate your workout. Hit the variety of great restaurants and shops for a quick snack or beverage post workout.
Getting your pre-baby fitness back is going to be a challenge, but at least there are many beautiful locations and fun exercises for you and your little one to enjoy along the way. The fresh air and sunshine will energize your workout while you introduce your baby to this beautiful city they live in!
Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups has caring, knowledgeable OB/GYN and Pediatricians located all over San Diego County. Find yours today!