What Stroller Fitness Classes are Really Like: A Comparison of My Expectations vs. Reality
If you’ve never tried a Stroller Strides or Stroller Barre class, you might be wondering what it’s like.
If you’re like me before I joined FIT4MOM, it’s probably not what you’d expect. Here’s a little comparison of what I thought stroller fitness would be, versus what it actually has been for me.
Expectation #1: I envisioned a “workout” that included walking around leisurely with other moms.
Reality: Totally different.
I knew that this kind of stroller fitness wasn’t “leisurely” by Station 1 of my first Stroller Strides class, about 6 weeks postpartum. I could definitely tailor the workout to my out of shape fitness level at the time (the instructors give plenty of modifications), but these classes are no joke!
This made me very happy. I was glad to find a place where I could get a fun but challenging workout with my daughter in tow.
Expectation #2: My kid would have meltdowns and I’d be judged/mortified/etc.
Reality: A little right, a lot wrong.
First, there are meltdowns. That part is true. But there are way less meltdowns than I thought there would be. During workouts, we sing, do silly dances, and the instructors keep the kids fairly entertained. After class, there are organized play groups on Wednesdays and impromptu play groups on other days. In many cases, our kids love Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre just as much as we do.
But we are dealing with babies and toddlers here. There is crying, whining, and the occasional epic tantrum. You can take a break whenever you need to, and do what you have to do in order to take care of your kids. In any given class, you’ll usually see a combo of the following:
- A mom feeding her baby before, during or after class (breastfeeding or formula, cover or no cover, doesn’t matter)
- Moms swapping toys when one of their kids has decided that the five they brought just aren’t right
- Moms swapping snacks in a situation just like #2
- An instructor doing a lap with a fussy baby during a strength training station (so his or her mom can continue the workout)
- A kid throwing a tantrum or melting down with zero judgement from other moms in the room (we’ve all been there, and next week, it will probably be our own kid)
Expectation #3: I’d make mom friends.
Reality: Right on, plus a whole lot more.
I knew I’d make friends when I joined FIT4MOM and started going to Stroller Strides. I’m a pretty social person, so I figured it was inevitable.
What I did not expect at all was the depth of the connections I’ve made. I’m new to Wheaton, so literally all my friends are from this group. And while many of our moms do have more local connections than I do, they still count on their FIT4MOM friends for a lot.
I’ve come to class sleep deprived and crying over something silly, and I’ve gotten words of support and/or hugs. I’ve been loved at my post-partum heaviest, and cheered on as I improved my fitness and nutrition. I’ve had “stupid” questions answered within minutes through our Private Facebook Group. I’ve had much needed girls’-nights-outs that always make me feel refreshed and happy. I’ve seen moms band together to help each other—whether its last-minute childcare for an unexpected circumstance, or meal prep when it’s needed most. I really did not expect all that.
So that’s how reality has lined up with some of my expectations of FIT4MOM and stroller fitness. For the rest of our Village, what has it been like for you?