Mother-Baby Workout Solution!

This morning I saw a segment on my local TV affiliate about a program called StrollerStrides, “a total fitness program for new moms that they can do with their babies”. The program seemed like a perfect physical activity solution for mothers with stroller-age children, and also solves many of the barriers to physical activity many women face due to afforadabilty, accessibility and availability.

StrollerStrides workouts are conducted by certified instructors in large indoor public spaces (mostly shopping malls in off hours) which cuts expensive gym memberships. Mothers can work out alongside the strollered child which cuts the need for childcare. It also provides  mothers with a social support system and affords the opportunity to get out of the house to a safe, warm space (this is key during Minnesota winters for those of you who don’t live here!) to get physical activity. The workout combines strength, flexibility and cardio components along with fun songs and activities that engage the children and keep their attention.

It also got me thinking what a better way to start a love of physical activity for infants! Researchers have proven time and again that parents are very important physical activity role models for their children. If parents are active and value and believe that being active is an important part of life, their children are more likely to be active. I also recently came across another resource from the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport & Physical Activity, Mothers in Motion, a program “dedicated to physical activity promoters working with mothers of low socioeconomic status”.

Many women must overcome a host of barriers in order to be physically active, which is why females are less active than their male counterparts at all ages and within all types of physical activity. Assisting women in starting and sustaining physical activity can lead to a host of positive physical and mental health outcomes. You can also read more about Developing Physically Active Girls, a report I helped to co-author and produce in my role as the Associate Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport.

Picture from StrollerStrides

3 Replies to “Mother-Baby Workout Solution!”

  1. Hi Nicole,
    I talk about this program in the exercise psychology class I teach. And although it is probably affordable to some, if you do a class search on their web site, it is $55/month in the Twin Cities area with a $75 registration fee. And, it is accessible to many due to being able to bring the child around; however, the programs in the Twin Cities are only offered in the suburbs (Edina, Plymouth, Bloomington).

    Like

    1. Jen,
      Thanks for the comment and further insights. Maybe it is not as accessible and affordable as they tout? I appreciate the info.
      Hope all is well south of the MN border. -nml

      Like

  2. Also, those strollers that are conducive for running, etc. are not exactly cheap.

    But my primary point is about the tension between access and reifying norms about motherhood.
    I have seen such programs, where the mother works out with her child. One that I remember is even more accessible theoretically because it was an exercise program touted by a mommy magazine that can be done in the home. It includes using your newborn as a weight and doing chest presses (I kid you not!).
    Here’s my problem–okay, problems. One, why is it mommy who is always tied to the child? Where’s the other person (or persons) in this parenting endeavor? And why is it so awful–if you have the means–to put your child in daycare while you work out? Shouldn’t mommy get a break? From what I have heard, mommies need them. Maybe we should be pushing for accessiblity and child care in the same program.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s