Yokosuka program offers toddler-friendly exercise outlet
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE — For participants in Yokosuka’s Stroll-n-Sculpt class, fun, family and fitness blend perfectly four days a week on the base’s hills and parks.
“As a military spouse, I know how difficult managing schedules can be,” said Debbie Deutsch, the Morale, Welfare and Recreation fitness programs coordinator.
Classes provide parents with newborns and toddlers an exercise outlet that they may not have at home, plus encourages them to make new friends and get into shape, Deutsch said.
Stroll-n-Sculpt is loosely modeled after a nationwide program back in the States called, “Stroller Strides.” According to Stroller Strides National Fitness Director Farel Hruska, programs like these work so well because they provide an environment for new moms to be with people who are sharing the same experiences.
“There is comfort in knowing you are surrounded by support,” wrote Hruska in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes. These types of programs “give moms an opportunity to get out of the house, get moving and do something for themselves and that in itself does wonders for their stress levels.”
For first-time parent and Navy spouse Kelsey McCabe, the class offers the support of people who share some of the same experiences of being a parent.
“When you gain 50 pounds during pregnancy, it’s good to be able to work out with other women who are supportive and understanding,” McCabe said. “Here, we all can trade mom secrets, and I can ask mom questions when I don’t have my own mother to ask.”
Stroll-n-Sculpt is not just a walk around the base. Instructor Tanja Bauhs said sessions are body-sculpting classes that work both upper and lower body, along with abdominal muscles and the cardiovascular system.
“It’s nothing wimpy,” she said. “But also it’s not complicated. All of the exercises are designed so they can be done by people at many different fitness levels.”
Bauhs uses a combination of exercise tubing, ankle tubes and free weights, along with baby, stroller and the rolling landscape.
For parents new to the program, just following along with the group is enough to get started. For more advanced parents, the addition of exercise tubing and weights can make the program quite challenging.
Among those surprised at just how rigorous the program can be is Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew McCabe, a personnel specialist aboard the USS Curtis Wilbur.
“It’s no joke,” said McCabe with a slightly uneasy laugh after joining his wife for a class. “I work out, and the whole time I was like, ‘Wow this is something else.’ And everyone kept saying that this was an easy day.”
People interested in finding out more about Stroll-n-Sculpt should contact the Purdy Fitness Center at DSN: 243-5398.