Stroller workouts popular with moms, classes offered in Cheshire, Wallingford

Stroller workouts popular with moms, classes offered in Cheshire, Wallingford


CHESHIRE — Over the past couple of years, a new trend has begun to take hold of moms with young children.

Stroller workouts.

“I think it’s also more acceptable for a mom to have her own time, make her own time and to exercise and become fit,” Sam Sledz said. “So, I think it’s becoming more acceptable for mom to find something to do for herself and to bring her baby along is even better, because we don’t have to put them in daycare, have someone watch them or find somewhere for them to go.”

After she had her daughter Avery, Sledz started going to the Stroller Bootcamp classes through CT Moms Get Fit that were run by company owner Krystle Benedetto.

“I needed something to get out of the house with my daughter. She was about six months old and I didn’t have a lot of mommy friends and I was struggling to get back into shape after having her,” she said. “So, I was looking for something to get out and about with her and that was acceptable for her as well and something great for me.”

Now almost three years later Sledz, along with Avery, is running a twice-a-week Stroller Bootcamp class at Bartlem Park for CT Moms Get Fit.

“We formed some awesome relationships,” Sledz said. “Some of these women are my best friends and the kids get to play while we work out and afterwards we go to the park and it’s perfect for both parties.”

These types of classes are not that new. FIT4Mom operates out of Fairfield County and West Hartford, for example, and CT Moms Get Fit also has classes in Meadowview Park in Middlebury and Milford’s Eisenhower Park.

In Wallingford, the YMCA plans to start its own Stroller Shape Up class starting July 21.

“I thought it would be a great way to meet other moms and work out with your kids,” Melinda Sokol said.

Sokol is an instructor at the YMCA and also a new mom.

“As a new mom, it’s always hard to meet other new moms. When you have a baby you’re home a lot,” she said.

Sokol decided to bring up the idea of starting their own class at the YMCA with Health and Wellness Director Colleen Villano.

“She came to me with the idea to start a stroller class, not just for moms, any caregiver,” Villano said. “Word was spread across social media and we received a great response.”

The class will start once a week, but Villano said more classes could be added.

Contrary to popular belief, the classes aren’t just walking with strollers and they offer a tough workout.

“It’s boot camp style,” Sokol said. “It’s a lot of walking, progressively getting into running. Intermediate walking, stop and high intensity interval travel, squats and jumping jacks. It’s going to be a little bit of everything.”

They also get the kids involved too.

“At end, we will take kids out of the stroller and do push-ups and ab workout with the kids — sit-ups with them on knees, laying them on grass. We are going to utilize all those tools ... it’s like a boot camp, but with strollers.”

Sledz’s classes utilize the entire park starting with a quick warm up on the grass before running toward the gazebo where they do workouts with resistance bands and then do laps around the gazebo before going into the gazebo for more workouts.

“We try to keep the strollers moving which is helpful for all the babies,” Sledz said. “Avery, now that she is about 3 years old, gets out and about and she runs around and follows me and she’ll run with me, which is awesome.”

The group then heads to the skate park in Bartlem for more workouts and if a mom needs to slow down or take care of her child — no worries.

“The babies do have to sit for a half an hour to 45 minutes in the stroller. We try to keep the strollers moving but we’re working out the entire time and we’re also very accepting if a baby needs to stop or a mom needs to stop and feed their child,” she said. “It’s very relaxed so it’s nice in that way because we’re all very accepting. If a child is freaking out we’re not going to judge you and we’re not going to shun you from the group.”

On top of the workout, some of the moms get together away from the classes.

“Socially we hang out afterwards, but it’s definitely a workout class,” Sledz said. “Sometimes we’ll meet up outside of this class. We’ll do paint nights or go to the park or the beach.”
Twitter: @PetePaguaga

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