How long have you been a StrollerFit instructor? Why did you decide to become an instructor?
I have been a StrollerFit instructor for just over three years. We are getting ready to celebrate our three-year anniversary this March. I have owned the franchise for the last two of those years. While looking around online when I was pregnant for fun things to do with babies – I stumbled upon the site for StrollerFit. There were no classes in my neighborhood, so I asked the local owner if I could start teaching a class in my area. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and have always enjoyed educating parents and families about the benefits of being active and fit. Before becoming a mommy, I was the Program Director for The Little Gym ~ a motor skill development facility for young children. This experience combined with my knowledge of exercise and physiology was a great fit to become a StrollerFit instructor.
What are the benefits of StrollerFit?
StrollerFit incorporates a “4-in-1 advantage”. Moms are busy – whether they stay at home or work outside the home, or a combination of both. They don’t have time to go to every play class, workout, socialize and more on a daily basis. StrollerFit combines all aspects of building a happy, healthy mom in one 50 minute experience. The most obvious benefit of class is a great workout for mom – strength training, cardio, core work and stretching. During the workout, we are constantly engaging the kids in developmental activities – ABCs, counting, games & songs. An added perk is the quality bonding time moms get to engage in with their babies. Finally, moms in StrollerFit are able to form meaningful connections with other new moms just like them. We offer StrollerFriends events throughout the month in order to get to know each other better outside of class.
What type of stroller do you suggests moms use?
One of the great things about StrollerFit is that anyone can participate with any stroller. Moms who have never worked out before are exercising right next to a mom training for a 10K. Some moms have a snap ‘n go convertible stroller, but most moms have some type of jogging stroller. When looking for a stroller to workout with, I always suggest checking out one with a swivel wheel. That way, you can easily move around corners, down curbs – they are even great at the mall, maneuvering around doors & clothes racks. There are lots of great options out there – my favorite is the Phil & Teds sport. This stroller is adaptable to the number of kids your have and their ages. It can convert from a newborn stroller to toddler stroller – you can even add another seat for two toddlers.
What is a class like? (Or ... Why can't I do this on my own?)
A StrollerFit class is similar format to a group exercise class you’d attend at a gym – with lots of great additions, of course. We start with a warm up to get that blood flowin’ and muscles ready to go. We might even sneak in a few songs to grab the kids’ attention. Class is then broken up into cardio & strength training segments, and lasts about 50 minutes.
A favorite strength training exercise is wall squats – pretend you are sitting on a chair with your back up against a wall. A tip to remember - be sure your lower back is flat against the wall, and knees are bent at 90 degrees. Then, we sing “If You’re Happy & Your Know It”, and end by holding the wall sit 10 more seconds – we clap as we count. Then we’ll take it right into a short cardio set of pitter-patter feet! We’ll tickle the kiddos’ feet while the moms get low and run in place. Class continues to switch off between strength training and cardio for the remainder of the workout.
All exercises are broken down into two or three levels so all moms can work at their own pace and challenge themselves. We end with core/ab work and stretching. It is so important for moms to strengthen their CORE, we like to say “mommy muscles”. The core includes your abdominals (front), obliques (side) and lower back. These are the muscles that get used and abused through pregnancy, childbirth and being a mom.
Of course moms can work out on their own, but StrollerFit really does include everything to motivate, educate and build confidence needed to perform the hardest job in the world – being a MOM! It can be so hard to keep a consistent schedule of working out on your own, knowing a group is waiting there for you keeps moms motivated.
Tell us about your family!
I have two fabulous daughters – Gracie is three and Jocelyn is one. They are why I do what I do. I want to inspire them to live an active, healthy lifestyle – and have fun doing it. I think there is a real lack of knowledge about how to be healthy out there, especially referring to the youth of our country. Parents need to model behaviors they want their children to have – not just how to say please and thank you, but also how to choose what foods to eat and why we shouldn’t watch TV all day. My husband and I were both collegiate athletes and have been active our whole lives, it gets harder to stay active when you have kids. Life tends to get in the way. We have to show our kids that living healthy is the norm, not the exception. Walks to the park, family bike rides and neighborhood soccer games are excellent ways to workout – you don’t have to go to the gym to get your sweat on.
Anything else you would like to share?
I would like to remind moms and women all over the country that February was National Heart Month. It is amazing to think that heart disease is the number one killer of women in America – yet it doesn’t have the recognition and attention it should. Coronary Heart Disease is the most common heart disease. Prevention is key, reducing and controlling risk factors is essential. By living a healthy lifestyle – including healthy eating and being active – you can significantly reduce your risk of Coronary Heart Disease. Participating in a group exercise program, such as StrollerFit, is a great way to surround yourself with other likeminded individuals with similar goals and lifestyle habits.
How do we sign up for your newsletter?
My monthly newsletter is a great way to learn about family, health and family activities and events in the St Petersburg, Florida community. Each month I highlight a “Moms of the Month”, a StrollerFit member who has gone above and beyond to welcome new moms or has worked especially hard in class. I also highlight current health trends, childhood milestones and fitness equipment. Moms may subscribe to my newsletter on my website (www.strollerfit.com/stpete). I just recently got on FaceBook and am taking my time navigating there. I have set up a StrollerFit – St Pete group, feel free to join us!
MANDATORY, FIRST ENTRY: Check out Christie's Stroller Fit Page. Tell me something that you learned about Stroller Fit and/or Christie not already mentioned. (Leave a comment)
To receive these extra opportunities for entries, you must fulfill the first REQUIRED entry. But for extra entries, you can do the following. Leave a comment for each.
- Add the Mom Buzz to your Twitter and Tweet the contest.
- Blog about the contest - add a link to the Mom Buzz and the Sponsor
- Add the Mom Buzz button to your site OR add the Mom Buzz to your blog roll.
- Sign up for Christie's monthly newsletter.
- Are you a St. Petersburg, FL mom? I am giving you an extra entry if you register to attend a free class.