As a busy mom of two kids, I know how difficult it can be to find time to workout. I often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Between school drop off and pick-up, nap time, kid activities, errands, meals and my blog work, my life is flat out crazy. It is rare that I get time to sit down, let alone have a minute to focus on myself. However, I’m so very thankful for my daily workout routine which I’ve managed to fit perfectly into my schedule.
Before I get too far into it, I want to be clear that this blog post is sponsored by Fit4Mom of Phoenix and Scottsdale. Yes, sponsored post, but there isn’t another fitness program I could genuinely endorse more than this one. I’ve been a paying customer of Fit4Mom for 5 years now and have enjoyed every second of it.
I started exercising with Fit4Mom of Phoenix and Scottsdale back in 2012 when my son was a mere 10 weeks old. I can honestly say that joining Fit4Mom was one of the best decisions I made as a new mom. While I was pretty active before I had kids, I had no idea how to get back into shape and lose the baby weight while taking care of a newborn. I planned to return to work part-time after maternity leave ended and was struggling with a lot of “mommy guilt” since my son would be spending three long days a week at daycare. Putting him in childcare at a gym and spending more time away from him on my days off was not a good option for me. I was thrilled when I heard about Fit4Mom’s most popular class, Stroller Strides, where I was able to exercise with my baby right by my side.
The workout totally kicked my butt (still does!) in the best way possible. I always like to say a Stroller Strides class is a lot like a boot camp class with strollers by our side. We move from place to place and either run or walk with our kiddos securely strapped in their seats. We stop, do a set of exercises and move onto the next spot. It is a perfect balance of strength and cardio, working all muscle groups for a total body workout. It is no walk in the park, that’s for sure.
The biggest question I’ve gotten about Stroller Strides over the years is how am I able to keep my kids in the stroller for an hour. Honestly, my kids have both been doing it since they were babies and know no difference. When I first signed up, I initially worried about my son crying in his stroller, which admittedly did happen from time to time. I found it was no big deal if you need to step away for a minute to take care of them. I regularly see moms changing diapers, nursing or doing whatever they need to do for their kids, then jumping right back into the class 3 minutes later. Instructors are always happy to hold a baby, pick up a dropped toy, or open a snack to help out while in the middle of an exercise. And if I’m being honest, a bag full of healthy snacks is my secret to keeping them happy. I mean, aren’t we all happier with a full belly?! My kids are now 5 and 3 and will still sit there for an entire class. Yes, my stroller is wayyyy heavier to push, but I like to think of all the extra calories I’m burning because of it.
The biggest surprise for me was how much my kids would actually enjoy coming along to class. They have made friends with other little ones over the years and they truly view it as playtime. They also love to play Stroller Strides at home multiple times a week and make me pretend to be their instructor. My kids know all about push-ups, burpees, lunges, and jumping jacks and love showing off their moves. But more importantly, at the ages of 3 and 5, my kids understand how much fun fitness can be. They don’t see it as “work” and get that exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle. It is totally different than when I take them to the gym childcare, which I do on occasion when I can’t make it to Stroller Strides. Yes, they play for a few minutes, but then they end up sitting in the TV room watching a movie. I’d rather have them by my side, watching, and learning. They are more likely to choose healthy activities later in life if they see me doing it and having fun at the same time.
While the workout is amazing, Fit4Mom is so much more than just another fitness class. I only lived in Arizona for a couple of years before I had my son and Stroller Strides really helped me find my village. About 80% of my mom friends came from this program and let’s be honest, it isn’t easy to make friends as an adult. Since we all had our young kids in common and the same general fitness goals, attending a class was the perfect place for me to meet other moms. Fast forward 5 years later and I just returned from a kid-free weekend trip with my mom friends. All of us met at Stroller Strides and I couldn’t imagine raising my kids without them in my life.
I honestly could go on and on. I’ve never stuck with a workout program as long as I have with this one. I get my social time to chat with other moms, my kids get playtime after class and I get an awesome workout, all in one place. I’m the strongest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my entire life because of Fit4Mom. If you live in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Anthem or Glendale areas, check out the Fit4Mom of Phoenix and Scottsdale website for class information. In addition to Stroller Strides, they also offer other class options like Stroller Barre, Fit4Baby and Body Back and your first class is free. If you aren’t local, check out the general Fit4Mom website to see if classes are available in your area.
I’d like to thank Jeff from JAO Photography who took the photos for this post. Jeff knows all about Fit4Mom because he is a stay-at-home dad and photographer who regularly attends classes. Yes, it is called Fit4Mom, but it is common see dads there as well. Saturdays are family classes where dads can attend for free. My husband has attended countless Saturday classes with me over the years and always complains of being sore the next day. Like I said, it is no walk in the park!
How do you find time to exercise with kids? Have you ever attended a Fit4Mom class? Let me know in the comments below!