I first heard about Fit4Mom Memphis from a friend, who casually mentioned that she had been taking a “mommy and me” exercise class called Stroller Strides before and during her second pregnancy. About to have my second child as well, I was interested in a workout class that would allow me to exercise with my baby instead of having to make arrangements for her care while working up a sweat.
I attended my first class as soon as I was cleared to exercise, and I was hooked. This class is true to its description:
“Stroller Strides® is a functional, total-body conditioning workout designed for moms with kids in tow. Each 60-minute workout is comprised of strength training, cardio and core restoration, all while entertaining the little ones with songs, activities and fun! Each Stroller Strides instructor is skilled to meet you where you are mentally & physically. You’ll leave class feeling connected, successful & energized. No more mama guilt! This class is all about self care in a supportive and encouraging environment.”
I don’t feel guilty about taking time for myself because I’m still caring for my kids AND showing them how to be a strong, healthy woman. My girls have been accompanying me to class for so long—my youngest since she was a newborn—that they now conduct their own Stroller Strides classes with their dolls. In fact, they do better burpees than I do.
These workouts are legit, but are designed to provide plenty of modifications. They can accommodate both the brand-new, post-partum mama all the way to someone who has been working out for years. No one notices or cares if you do pushups on your knees (I do!) or walk instead of run from station to station.
There is also a lot of flexibility and understanding since babies and big kids have a tendency to be…well, unpredictable. I had to stop mid-workout plenty of times to nurse a baby, and everyone has dealt with a fussy or crying child on occasion. (Note: having plenty of snacks is crucial.) The instructors do a phenomenal job planning workouts that challenge us moms while also entertaining the kiddos. Picture doing squats to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” or participating in an entire class centered around the plot of Moana.
Better than all of that, though, is the sense of community created through the Fit4Mom Village. Each class ends with either a formal or informal playgroup, and some days we end up hanging out longer than the duration of the actual workout. In addition, there are a variety of meet-ups planned throughout the month, including playdates with kids and nights out just for moms. There is also a vibrant Facebook community group where members can connect with, and seek advice from, one another. While there is a fee for the workouts, activities through the Village are free (unless said activity incurs a cost, such as the zoo or children’s museum).
Since I began participating with Stroller Strides and other Fit4Mom activities, the program has grown tremendously. Now there are classes all over town: Overton Square, Overton Park, St. John’s Episcopal Church in East Memphis, Shelby Farms, and now the new TransforMama studio. Most classes meet in the mornings, but there are evening and weekend options for working mamas. In addition to Stroller Strides, there are also Stroller Barre, Fit4Baby, and Run Club classes.
Stroller Strides and Fit4Mom in general has become an important part of my life, and my only regret is that I wish I’d found out about it sooner. Not only does focusing on my wellness help me to feel better, but it helps me take care of my family better as well.
Interested in checking out a Stroller Strides class? Join owner Celinda this Thursday at Shelby Farms Park. Enjoy the outdoors while toning & firming your body. Strap your little bambino in that stroller and enjoy an awesome workout. Two times will be offered: 9:30am class or 6:00pm (perfect for after work!)
Brunch will be provided by The Kichenette in the morning, and snacks by MemPops in the evening!
Get your tickets here!