StrollerFit helps moms, babies get fit
When Randi Jo Taurel moved to Park City she thought her social life would go down the drain. Entering a new community, and doing so as an expecting mother, can be hard for anyone.
Hope was lost, she said, until she found StrollerFit, an exercise program for mothers and their children.
"It’s the best thing ever invented," she said." "I had moved to Park City when I was pregnant so I didn’t know anybody. You always think that once you have a baby you’ll never get out of the house, but as soon as I started StrollerFit I started meeting other moms with kids the same age. It turned out to be so much fun."
Taurel and her four-month-old daughter have been regulars at StrollerFit’s twice-a-week classes for almost a year, and neither one has any intent of calling it quits.
Taurel teaches yoga at The Shop and said she loves the variety StrollerFit provides, as well as the chance to exercise with her daughter.
"It’s been great for me because it’s a whole different workout than yoga, so that’s nice, but it’s also great to do a workout with someone else leading the group," she said.
"But it’s also great because I don’t have to leave my daughter to work out. She sees me doing something that’s fun for me, so she sees it as mommy’s time. She gets to share in mommy’s time, so she loves that."
Almost everyone who has tried StrollerFit has a similar story, including Cynthia Schindler, who is the instructor and owner of the Park City franchise.
Schindler started when she was seven months pregnant with her third child and hasn’t stopped since.
"The reason why I was interested is that, with my first two kids it seemed like there was no place to work out," she said. "You just don’t always feel comfortable leaving your child with someone else, like a daycare, and this took care of that."
Schindler earned a degree in exercise and sport science from the University of Utah and knew she wanted to do something with a specific demographic rather than work with the general public, but before StrollerFit she didn’t know what to do with her hard-earned education.
"I was always intrigued with doing something with mothers and with children," she said. "When we did our internships I had done a little bit with the elderly, which, to me, ties in with young people as well in that it’s a specific population rather than working with people in general. But because I have a degree, I think I have a little more experience than other instructors."
Schindler said that training is important because the program involves so many types of exercise and activity. Combining cardio and strength training, the work out is designed to help participants tone and strengthen key "mommy muscles," all while enjoying the company of other women and bonding with their children.
"It’s kind of like a four-in-one in that you’re getting the fitness for mom, it’s supposed to be an entertaining environment for the kids so it’s good for them, it gives the baby and mom bonding time, and you also get to meet other moms and know that you’re not the only one not sleeping at night," she said. "As a new mom you just never know what is normal and what isn’t. Being around other moms really helps with the paranoia that just kind of comes with the job."
Schindler said the contact with the other women is what made is special to her, but that the chance to exercise with her children is too wonderful to pass up.
"Normally I have my three-year-old and my 7-month-old and they love it. They get mad if they don’t get to come," she said. "It shows the child that exercise is a life habit it’s something enjoyable. My kids are saying to me every day, ‘Mom let’s do stretches! Mom, let’s do stretches!’ They just start doing it and they don’t even know why.
"At the end of every workout we get all the kids out and let them play on the mat and roll around or do baby push-ups. You can interact with them while you’re exercising."
She also said that the workout is not just a walk around a park with kids. Although the workout is tough, because of the interaction with the children, participants often forget they’re working out, so while they’re getting fit they get to have fun as well.
And since the first workout is free, everyone can at least try it once.
Susan Strauss-Bearnson, a client who is also a certified instructor and substitutes when Schindler is gone, said she likes StrollerFit because of the flexibility and the association with the other mothers.
"If you need to stop, you stop. If you need to nurse, you nurse. It’s wonderful," she said. "And some of my closest friends I’ve met through StrollerFit. I’m just a huge fan. It’s so much fun."
For more information, contact Cynthia Schindler at (801) 556-6701 or go to http://www.strollerfit.com/parkcity online. Currently, classes are held Tuesday and Thursday from 8:10 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Trailside Park, but locations change with the weather.
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