Stroller Strides factors kids into fitness for Kadena moms
KADENA TOWN, Okinawa — Talking about finding the time to exercise as mothers of young children, women at a new workout class on the island threw out phrases like “really challenging” and “almost impossible.”
As a mother of a 2-year-old son and familiar with those feelings of frustration and isolation, Lauren Colunga wanted to give new moms an opportunity to exercise without a baby sitter and even when husbands are deployed.
This month she launched the first overseas franchise of Stroller Strides, a popular fitness program that includes power walking and body toning intervals done with a stroller — so the kids can come along.
“It’s a great way to exercise, get time with my daughter and it just gives me something to do,” Stroller Strides participant and assistant instructor Jen Muscato said, adding the classes also provide introductions to other moms. “It’s not always easy to meet people when you have kids. You feel like you’re at home a lot.”
The classes foster a laid-back atmosphere where attending to the children isn’t considered a distraction — or even a detraction — from the workout. Instead, it’s a welcomed part of the gathering — one mother received smiles and knowing nods when she said she was going to “sneak in some nursing time so she (her infant daughter) doesn’t protest” during the workout.
The classes, which are based out of Kadena Air Base, are designed to incorporate the youngsters, with activities such as one in which moms tickle them while running in place in front of the strollers. To help keep the little ones entertained, Colunga comes armed with musical toys such as tambourines and recorders and leads the class in song when cranky voices pipe up.
“It’s amazing,” Colunga said. “You’ll have a row of fussy kids and the moms will start singing and then they’re all smiles.”
For information about class schedules, prices and locations visit www.strollerstrides.net/kadenaairbase.