Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Group Fitness Classes with Toddlers and Preschoolers

After having my first daughter, I signed up for Stroller Fitness and Baby & Me Fitness classes. I loved them both and continued them until I had to return to work. I lost all the baby weight before returning to work and I had enough energy to get through the day. My daughter also loved the classes, and it was nice to have that time with her since it was benefiting both of us.

Once I returned to work, I also starting working part-time as a personal trainer. I introduced Mommy & Me fitnuyouess classes to the club I was working at and continued to workout through my 2nd pregnancy.

It was not until after I had my 2nd daughter that I had a hard time getting back into shape. I could not find a class that would allow me to bring both kids to the class and my daughters hated the gym daycare... and they would go ANYWHERE but there! That is when I realized that there were no classes for moms and their kids once the kids turned 16 months old! Even Stroller Fitness classes would not allow toddlers! So, I decided to start my own business and offer the classes myself. It enabled me to work with my kids by my side, but it also gave a lot of moms the opportunity to exercise with their kids close by. I started by offering Baby Fitness classes in a local church basement, and added Stroller Fitness classes in the local park once the weather warmed up. I designed the classes so that the moms with young babies could wear and incorporate the kids into the workout or so the moms with the older toddlers and preschoolers could get in a great workout, while their kids played in the attached playroom. The classes slowly gathered interested and I am now offering classes in the Beaches, Upper Beaches and Leslieville. I am looking to expand into other parts of the East End of Toronto, but it all takes time to gather enough interest.

I still have my youngest come with me to the class once a week, but the rest of the time she is in Nursery School. I am lucky enough to be able to keep my kids with me while I work and I love it. My oldest is in JK now and only gets to come to the classes on PA Days, and she asks constantly if she can come. They both love playing with the other kids and babies.

I love teaching the classes. Some moms are more determined to lose the baby weight than others, but they are all looking for a welcoming, social atmosphere and I try my best to offer that. All the kids (my own included) have good days and bad, but overall, it is a mom and kid-friendly class and we all have a great time!

I started my business as a way to help moms that have a hard time finding the time, energy and money to exercise. My own kids are growing quickly and soon I will not have either of them tagging along to the classes, but I will continue to offer these classes in order to help the moms out there with kids over 16 months of age. Of course, babies are welcome as well. I have moms that started with me 4 weeks postpartum with their first baby and are now still with me with their 2nd child (some still on the way)! It is great to see the babies and families grow!

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