I first heard of Strollerstrides—outdoor group-fitness classes for moms and babies—before I became a mom and I have to admit, I figured it was a pretty easy workout. I envisioned an hour of brisk walking (and tons of chatting) with some easy strength moves thrown in. But from the first minute of the class I took in Sherman Oaks, Calif. a few months ago—when the instructor told us to take a warm-up lap around the park and the other moms took off running—I knew I had misjudged.
First off, I was pushing Calvin in a rickety “snap and go” contraption that his carseat attaches to while the other moms were rocking fancy all-terrain jogging strollers. By the time we caught up with the group, they were already stretching. After introductions, we did calisthenics—a minute each of jumping jacks, jumping rope, and burpees that we repeated several times. I was winded, but before I could catch my breath we had moved on to shuttle runs (sprinting to cones and back), followed by squats (um, we did 100), shoulder presses, and push-ups. By the time we reached the partner ab moves, I was fried.
I loved that the class let me spend time with Calvin outdoors while torching calories, and that I could modify the routine when I couldn’t keep up or when Calvin was tired of being in his stroller. My only complaint: I wish the session had been a better designed workout (there’s no reason to do 100 squats when you’ve already done several sets of lunges and not worked your arms or back a bit). But every instructor designs her own class, so Strollercize in your town will be different than the class I tried here in L.A. In any case, I got a workout in on a Saturday (something I hadn’t done in months!), and learned a lesson: I will never judge a workout by its name again.