The strollers that sit in a straight line near a shelter near Veterans Park are filled with babies in various states of bliss or distress, or some vocally active state in between.
About a dozen of the babies’ moms — and the occasional active au pair — are sweating up a storm in the morning humidity.
Fit4Mom is a national company which calls its franchise areas “villages.” Lindsey Gilvin is the manager for the Lexington-area village, which offers the “Stroller Strides” class in which these women are participating.
The workout, which includes cardio intervals as well as strength building and toning exercises, “is really just creating an opportunity for them not to forget about themselves just because they have kids,” Gilvin said.
Mothers can start the program either six weeks after their babies are born, or after they are cleared by their doctors for exercise. A Family Workout Day will be held Oct. 29.
Post-pregnancy workouts are hugely popular: Women don’t just walk out of the hospital with a brand new baby, but a stomach that doesn’t automatically regain its shape and maybe a little extra padding elsewhere.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s exercise guru Tracy Anderson, a mom of elfin size, offers a “Weight Loss Workout for New Moms.”
Should that not be strenuous enough for your tastes, how about trying some bodybuilding for that postnatal phase?
If you’re looking for something closer to home, there’s this group. The women at Lexington’s Fit4Mom introduce themselves and their children, and then answer an icebreaker question while warming up: “Would you rather have one big eye or one big tooth?”
Then the instructor, Tina Olson, leads off with another question that is only partially a joke: “Anyone get more than five hours of sleep last night?”
A mom snaps back: “Consecutively?”
“We meet you where you’re at,” Gilvin said. “We have a lot of pregnant mamas who walk the whole class.”
Women work at their own speed during the cardio portions, and while participants may get help with their form, there’s no push to hit a particular pace. Participants use bands for upper body work and sing songs such a variation of “Itsy Bitsy Spider” with arm movement and jumps for the entertainment of the toddlers.
Strollers are used as a kind of barre. The women also use a Veterans Park ball field for its fence, which they hold onto for exercises, and spectator benches, which are used as exercise steps.
While jogging, they talk about soccer games and their kids’ milestones.
Some of them breathe harder than others. Some push double strollers instead of singles. Some are pregnant. Almost all are thoroughly breathless by the end of the jumping song that goes “Zoom zoom zoom/we’re going to the moon.”
A child erupts, and his mom murmurs that the poor thing is just tired.
And he is — but probably not as tired as the mother speed-strolling him back to the car.