Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stroller Strides

From Sarah C.:

New year, new you? Many of us want to get in a good workout but also struggle with what to do with our kids during that time. We are fortunate that there are options in the Triangle where you can take your child with you and that's exactly what Stroller Strides offers. There are two groups in the area - Raleigh and Midtown Raleigh. During warmer months, you'll find they each offer classes at several outdoor locations. Right now each has just one location with Stroller Strides of Raleigh meeting at Cary Towne Center and Stroller Strides of Midtown Raleigh meeting at Gold's Gym at North Hills.

D and I recently ventured to North Hills to attend a class to see what it was all about. Sure, I've strapped him in his stroller and gone for walks to get exercise but this was a whole new level. With the little ones snug in their strollers playing with toys and enjoying snacks (a few even napped!), the moms got in a full body workout. We started with warm up movements in place and did a few laps around the gym. Then the workout really kicked in - we did lunges, bicep & tricep curls with resistance tubing, squats, crunches and more. I confess, this was my first structured exercise class since I took Aquamoms while pregnant with D (yeah, that would be 18 months ago) and I haven't kept up any regular routine on my own so this was a challenge, but don't let that scare you because it was totally doable. A few times when I was struggling, I slowed down or tried the alternate exercise the instructor suggested.

For his part, D managed pretty well. I wasn't certain how he would take being strapped into his stroller for an hour. I think seeing all the other kids in their strollers helped. About 3/4 of the way through, he was crying and had had enough. Poor child is cutting molars plus really, really wanted the balls that the class needed for an exercise. Here's where this kind of class is awesome. Everyone is a mom. Everyone has a child. They get it. There were no "can't you keep your kid quiet" stares. I picked him up, held him and did some squats in place of the exercise the others were doing. Once he calmed down and the balls weren't in use, he freely ran around the gym chasing them while I did some floor exercises. If the ball went rolling in their direction, another mom would give it a little shove and send it rolling back across the room for him to chase. Now that I think about it, he got a bit of a workout there too!

The instructor and all the attendees were very friendly. It's clear that several have been regular members of the class and/or playgroup, but I wasn't treated as the "outsider" (beyond that extra hello and nice to meet you). It was truly an inviting experience.

Stroller Strides is safe for pregnant moms and the instructors can demonstrate modified exercises when needed. Try your first class for free. Pre-register on the website (see links below). For future classes, there are multiple options from pay per class to a membership.

This is also a great way to meet other moms in the area. Both Stroller Strides of Raleigh and Stroller Strides of Midtown Raleigh have Meetup Groups and offer playgroup & moms night out opportunities outside of the exercise classes. You don't have to take the Stroller Strides classes to attend.

Little note from AC here, but don't feel like you need to invest in or have to have a fancy jogging stroller to attend! Sarah C. did this with her travel system stroller. And I did the Baby Boot Camp this past summer with a hand me down umbrella. So, basically: no excuses!

Stroller Strides
http://www.strollerstrides.com/ | Class Search
Midtown Raleigh | Raleigh

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