It’s important to stay fit and active, and the Stroller Strides class is helping moms and moms-to-be do just that.

It’s offered at the Crystal Mall in Waterford, Conn. and it’s not only a great way for moms to get exercise, but kids can get in on the action too.

“We are a prenatal and postnatal fitness groups for moms,” explained Melissa Brown, an instructor and co-owner of Fit4Mom Southeastern Connecticut

In the hour-long fitness class, moms can get a full body workout while entertaining their little ones

“We sing songs, we read books, we play games,” Brown explained.

“Well what made me want to participate in Fit4Mom is I was looking for a way I could exercise without finding childcare,” said ShaunaBeth Paradiso.

During the class, the moms move between four or five different stations throughout the mall, working their abs, legs, and arms and getting blasts of cardio.

“It has definitely helped me stay on top of my fitness,” Paradiso said. “This is the least amount of weight I gained in a pregnancy. It’s the healthiest pregnancy I’ve had.” 

On the day I visited, Paradiso was just 10 days away from her due date.

“I also am 25 weeks pregnant, so it’s nice because I feel as a pregnant mom, it’s a place where I can work out safely and I can modify and do exercises that are appropriate for me at this time of my pregnancy,” said class participant Jackie Crawley. 

Research shows women who exercise just three times per week during pregnancy have a shorter labor.

“But then even running around, chasing your kids all day, every day is a workout, so our workouts we like to think builds on that,” Brown said. 

For the moms in Stroller Strides, the class is also a time to connect with others.

“You have a moment to yourself where you can challenge yourself in any way that you feel you want to be challenged that day,” Crawley said. “But you also have the time after to have mama talk, to talk to people that are going through the same things you are, and that’s hard to find.”

In the warmer months, the Stroller Strides class heads outdoors, to parks like McCook’s Park in East Lyme, Fort Trumbull in New London and even Olde Mistick Village.

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