Creative workout Moms, babies exercise out-of-doors with Stroller Strides
WRITTEN BY GREGG L. PARKER
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JEN FOUTS-DETULLEO
Mothers and their babies have a new option for exercise that engenders close fellowship among the women who participate.
Stroller Strides is an hour-long workout combining power walking and total body fitness. “We cover anywhere from one-half mile to a mile during class, stopping five to six times along the way for strength training exercises,” owner/instructor Melissa Erdner said.
Participants don’t use fancy equipment, “just resistance tubing and our own body weight. Its a great way to get creative and use the environment we are in,” Erdner said.
With this unique workout, children in their strollers accompany their mothers. “Any mom knows, kids will be kids on any given day. Some days they’re happy to sit and ride. Other days, they need lots of attention,” Erdner said.
During stops for resistance training, the moms often sing different rounds of nursery rhymes or counting songs during their reps. “I like to incorporate the use of bubbles and interactive exercises,” Erdner said. “We also absolutely count a stroller filled with growing kiddos as ‘equipment.’ Power walking, moving lunges and moving squats are no small feat while pushing a stroller with kids.”
The goal is to involve the children as much as possible into the workout while still buckled into their strollers. They can see that it’s fun to be healthy and active, she said.
“We strive to build a village and include moms in all stages of motherhood,” Erdner said.
Stroller Strides LLC was first started in San Diego, Calif., in 2001. Within a few years, Stroller Strides was re-branded into FIT4MOM LLC, which offers other programs such as FIT4BABY, Body Back and Stroller Barre classes. More than 300 FIT4MOM locations are open across the country.
Stroller Strides in Madison is offered by FIT4MOM of Madison.
Stroller Strides has been successful because “you have a program that was founded by a mom, for moms and is taught by mom. Stroller Strides has evolved with additional programs that cater not just to moms with kids in the stroller stage, but also just pregnant moms and moms whose kids have moved out of the stroller stage,” she said.
These women “are ready to reclaim their body. They are looking for that next step,” Erdner said.
In addition, Stroller Strides and the FIT4MOM suite give a unique opportunity for moms of all ages and stages to connect, inspire and empower each other. Mothers all over the country and the world have given countless testimonials about the impact and influence of the workouts.
By being a part of FIT4MOM, participants value their experiences and lifelong friends they have made. “I am also one of those moms,” Erdner said.
Stroller Strides meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Kids’ Kingdom in Dublin Park. Tuesday and Thursday, the group meets at Palmer Park by Soccer Field 5 or the playground.
For more information, call 256-258-9422, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit madison-al.fit4mom.com or Facebook/Fit4Mom-Madison.