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Meet Our Programs Monday: Stroller Strides

Today we are finishing up our four part Meet Our Programs Mondays with a look at the program that started it all---Stroller Strides! (If you'd like to read the previous posts in this series, click here: Stroller Barre, Fit4Baby, and Body Back.) When I started attending Stroller Strides classes almost five years ago, it was the only class being offered by FIT4MOM Grand Rapids. Actually, the name FIT4MOM didn't even exist yet! A lot has changed over the years! Stroller Strides is what started it all for me and for so many of you, too. It truly is a unique program and I love being part of an organization that focuses on caring for the well being of mothers and their children.

Stroller Strides® is a total fitness program that moms can do WITH their babies. It includes power walking/jogging and strength training using exercise tubing, your stroller, and the environment. Taught by certified fitness instructors with specialty training in the pre and post-natal woman, it is a great workout for ANY level of exerciser. All of our instructors abide by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ recommendations for exercises. Stroller Strides instructors weave songs and activities into the routine designed to engage and entertain baby, while moms are led through a series of exercises specific to her role as Mom. (via FIT4MOM corporate) Here's a great video from FIT4MOM corporate about Stroller Strides!

Stroller Strides classes are offered Monday through Friday, year round. April 1st through October 31st, classes take place outside. November 1st through March 31st, classes are held inside. All of our instructors are certified to teach Stroller Strides and for this program feature, I asked our fearless leader/owner/instructor Marissa for some of her thoughts.

What makes Stroller Strides different from other fitness programs in the area:

"Stroller Strides is so much more than a workout program. Don't get me wrong - you get an AWESOME workout in the classes, and a workout that is tailored to your changing needs as a mom - but you get a lot more than just that. You get to model healthy habits for your children who are watching you exercise. You get to interact with your kids and teach them new things during your workout. You don't have to worry about childcare. Your child gets to interact with other kids and learn through our monthly themes and weekly playgroups. You get to build a community of other moms who are going through the same things you are going through. Come to a class and get completely filled up!"

How Stroller Strides differs from Stroller Barre/Body Back/Fit4Baby:

"Stroller Strides is one of our classes for moms with preschool-aged kids. The kids ride along in the stroller from station to station while mom gets her workout in. The biggest difference between Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre is the emphasis of the workout. Stroller Strides is an overall workout which includes all types of cardio and strength exercises, while Stroller Barre focuses more on lengthening and strengthening exercises. But both include lots of interactions with the kiddos! You can definitely attend Stroller Strides while pregnant. All of our instructors are certified in both prenatal and postnatal fitness.

If you are looking for a moms-only class, check out our Fit4Baby or Body Back classes!"

What she enjoys most about teaching Stroller Strides:

"I really enjoy being able to push my clients but also add an element of fun :) Wall sits and jump squats just seem to go so much faster when you're singing or adding baby tickles! And I truly enjoy getting to interact with all the kids as well during the workout. I love seeing moms leave class a hot, sweaty mess but with a huge smile on their face!"

But what kind of "tell all" would this be if you didn't get to read some thoughts from Stroller Strides participants? I asked a couple moms what they think about this program and here is what they had to say!

Why did you decide to participate in Stroller Strides?

--"The main reason I decided to join Stroller Strides was I wanted to get fit. Not only for my own health but I wanted my children to see that keeping healthy with this one body God gave you is so important. Also it was a way for me to do that with my children, vs a gym where they would be elsewhere during my exercises."

--"To be honest, I had run into an old friend from high school, and she had asked me if I was going to go to the Stroller Strides Birthday Event, May of 2012. Truth is, I didn't have a clue what she was talking about. After she gave me a brief detail, I thought what was the harm in checking it out. I was a Stay At Home Mom with a 15 month old. It sounded like a great opportunity to meet some moms like myself, and have my son maybe make some friends...plus the bonus of a workout! One of the BEST decisions I've ever made."

What do you appreciate most about Stroller Strides?

--"I love the variety and the ability to do workouts with my kids and other moms who know how crazy life can be!"

--"Community. The workouts are great! Don't get me wrong! But it is SO nice to be able to meet and talk with ladies who are in the same boat with you! I have friends who have kids, but this is different. It's like they are going through the exact same things at the exact same times! It's nice to be able to say..."is this normal!?" Plusthe Mom's Night Out or Mom's Morning Out can be such a life saver!"

If you have participated in other FIT4MOM programs (Stroller Barre/Fit4Baby/Body Back), what makes Stroller Strides different?

--"I have done Fit4Baby and loved it. But ultimately I love being able to do Stroller Strides WITH my daughters."

--"I've done Stroller Strides on and off now for almost 5 years. I have done a handful of the Body Back classes and recently have been attending Stroller Barre. Stroller Strides is the original program with FIT4MOM...it's what brought me in! I loved the opportunity to get a much needed workout in after having a baby, but didn't need to find a sitter, as you take your kid with you!"

Stroller Strides truly is a very special fitness program and if you have not checked out a class yet, I definitely encourage you to do so. Your first class is always FREE and I know that after my first Stroller Strides experience, I could instantly tell what a positive impact it was going to have on my life. Come see for yourself!

CURRENT STROLLER STRIDES SCHEDULE

Mondays: 9:30am @ Trinity Lutheran

Tuesdays: 11am @ Trinity Lutheran

Wednesdays: 9:30am @ Woodview Christian

Thursdays: 9:30am @ Woodview Christian

Fridays: 9:30am @ Trinity Lutheran

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