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Stroller Strides: Giving Moms the Strength for Motherhood

An innovative local fitness program offers mom and baby an opportunity to exercise together.

Perhaps you have seen them in the neighborhood — a group of fit, superstar moms pushing baby strollers at a brisk pace only to stop for a quick set of push-ups or for a post-workout stretch on a grassy field while baby lies on a blanket right next to mom.

These ladies, determined to make fitness a part of their daily routine, may be members of Stroller Strides, a total fitness program that moms can do with their babies.

Founded in 2001, Stroller Strides has more than 1,200 locations and more than 150,000 participants nationwide. Taught by certified and specially trained fitness instructors, Stroller Strides is a great workout for any level of exerciser. Workouts include power walking and intervals of strength and body toning exercises using exercise tubing, the stroller and the environment.

Meanwhile songs and activities are mixed into the routine and are designed to entertain and engage baby, while moms are led through a series of exercises specific to her role as mom.

Shelly Hernandez, a local Stroller Strides instructor, became involved with Stroller Strides out of a need to be a healthy mom.

“The decision was almost completely based on a desire to be an active mom and model a healthy and fit lifestyle for my new family,” Hernandez said. “I am a very typical mom — I am not a gym junkie in any way but I value taking the best care of my health that I can, but doing it in a realistic way. I hope that other moms can relate to me in that way.”

In San Ramon, the Stroller Strides groups meet at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday and 8 a.m. Saturday. They meet at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday in Danville on the Iron Horse Trail. (See class schedule here.)

Rain does not stop these groups of ambitious moms as they simply take their workouts indoors to the local mall.

“Our classes are a ‘moving class’ and our workout consists of power walking (and optional/occasional running) with strength training exercises at stops along the way,” she says. “Additionally, we interact with our babies/toddlers whenever possible by singing songs and playing with them (tickling, etc.).”

In neighboring Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, there is yet another program named Baby Boot Camp, which resembles Stroller Strides and in Morgan Hill and Gilroy is a similar program, Motherhood Fitness.

Not only can participants bring their babies — instructors can bring their little ones too! Hernandez has one child, Olivia, who is just over 2 years old.

“Olivia has been going to Stroller Strides with me since I began teaching classes, so it's very much a part of her routine and her life,” she says. “I'm also expecting in September, so soon I will have two little ones with me at Stroller Strides.”

This unique program also provides moms with the opportunity to meet other moms and to form lasting friendships. Stroller Strides is designed to give mothers the strength they need for the tough job of motherhood.

“The thing that I would want moms to know about Stroller Strides is that in addition to being an exercise program, it's also a fantastic group of moms that offer support and encouragement to one another,” Hernandez says. “When women have a baby, it changes their life in ways they could not have imagined and that's why it's so good to get out and talk to other moms, which Stroller Strides provides!”

Workouts may vary in intensity, but she is proud to give women the opportunity each day to get outdoors, get some sunshine and move and stretch their bodies — with their baby.

“We love for moms to come check us out with no obligation.” Hernandez says.

If you are interested in Stroller Strides and don’t have one in your immediate area, why not start one yourself? Stroller Strides is proud to be one of the fastest growing franchises in the country. It has created a low-cost, turnkey business that allows you to work from home and yet make contributions to your community and your family.

For more information, go to StrollerStrides.com

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