The women enrolled in a Fitmom stroller class stretch before they go through a series of warm-up exercises to loosen muscles.
For the next hour, the three participants and their instructor – all with young children on hand – will alternate between core-strengthening, glute-focused exercises, mandatory water breaks and providing snacks for their young ones.
One minute after they begin their first set, the group is off for a lap around the basketball court at Harris Park Community Center in Lee’s Summit. Equipped with strollers, towels and a yoga mat, they’ll be back near the bench they started on for another round.
“Go ahead and take another lap,” instructor Kara Rogers says after the second set.
Rogers, of Prairie Village, Kan., is substituting this day for another Harris Park instructor. “We’re going to ramp it up.”
The class is a mixture of a fitness center, social club, daycare and a playground. Three of the children play among themselves, although two of them take turns following their mothers around the spacious courts at Harris Park.
“It’s a great workout,” said Sara Taylor of Lee’s Summit. She was accompanied by her 4-month-old son, Ben. “It’s fun to do something with your baby.”
Taylor started stroller classes four years ago with another child.
“The best part is that you have other moms to do it with,” she said. “They’re encouraging each other, and if someone gets discouraged or needs a break, then it’s really easy to do that and everybody understands.”
The workout forced Taylor to test her limits.
“I had to catch my breath,” she said after a five-minute break. “It was a hard one today.”
Amanda Hanna, also of Lee’s Summit, was joined at class by Caleb, her nearly 2-year-old son. She said the class helps her stay in shape while keeping fitness-related expenses low.
“I don’t have to worry about being a member of a fitness center and trying to put (Caleb) in daycare,” Hanna said.
Lee’s Summit resident Nancy Gerding and son Logan, 2, participated as well. Like the others, Gerding said she enjoys working out and being with her child.
“I work part time and it’s nice to not to have put him in child care so I can work out,” she said. “I can still be with him on my days off.”
Rogers was recently certified as a Fitmom instructor. She thanked the group for being a part of her first “real” class. She advanced from participant to trainer in little more than a year.
“It’s such a good group,” Rogers said as she packed away items belonging to Nolan, her 17-month-old son. “We get to socialize, we get to learn from other moms and we get to be a part of a group. If you didn’t get to bring your kid, you would have to make up that time being away from them.”
Stroller fitness classes at Harris Park, 110 SW Blue Parkway in Lee’s Summit, are offered from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesdays and from 9 to 10 a.m. on Fridays. The cost is $7. Children must be between ages of 6 weeks and 3.
Participants may pre-register at lsparks.net or by calling 816-969-1500.