Moms and Pregnant Women Find Fitness and Support
Beth Sabol, owner of Stroller Strides, bought the franchise in June of 2008. It has been described as "group therapy fitness."
"Being a mom – whether it's your first time or fifth – is overwhelming, scary and can be very lonely. Stroller Strides provides moms a place they can come every week or even every day and be around other moms who support them, give advice and, if nothing else, just a hug," she said.
In addition, as the name implies, Stroller Strides' fitness classes focus on a strength and cardio training program that helps moms get back into shape after pregnancy.
"We focus on the areas that have taken a beating during pregnancy and work to rebuild, realign, and strengthen them," Sabol said. Classes are offered Monday through Saturday. The group has activities outside when the weather permits, but during winter months, they meet at the dome at Northern Arizona University and other inside locations.
Mariah Raynes joined Stroller Strides last October. "Because of stroller strides, I have lost all the baby weight, and I feel good about myself. You can also relate with other moms who have had a baby," she said.
Sabol says the group works on what she calls functional fitness – that is, working on the muscle groups that women and moms use every day, but may ignore.
"Every class is appropriate for any and all fitness levels and we provide modifications for every exercise we do, depending on if you want to make it more or less intense." Unlike a typical gym, she says Stroller Strides offers a non-threatening group where children can see their mothers working out and taking care of their health. This, she adds, is a way for the youngsters to learn the importance of exercising and feeling empowered as they grow.
Sabol has been active most of her life. As a student at the University of Arizona in Tucson, she played and then taught lacrosse. She eventually became an avid runner and yoga enthusiast. She also enjoys weight training. She says she loves being a part of Stroller Strides because it also allows her to have plenty of time with her young daughter. "I am excited to ‘work' every day. I get to hang out with cute babies, sing silly songs and watch moms change before my eyes."
Dara Marks Marino is also an instructor. She was a professional mountain bike racer for seven years. She also spent a year as a professional off-road triathalete, has coached cyclists and triathletes, and was a personal trainer. She has a daughter who is about a year-and-a-half old.
Together, they aim to help women become physically fit, emotionally happy and energetic. "It's a lot easier to tackle the day after a good workout. It is so uplifting and inspiring," Raynes said.
There is also a special class called Fit- 4Baby, a specially designed course just for expectant moms. FBN
To find out more about Stroller Strides, you may check out the website: www.strollerstridesflagstaff.com.