Stroller Exercise Programs: Dads are Fat and It’s All Moms’ Fault

A national stroller fitness program is coming to our neck of the woods this week, a franchise called Stroller Strides. Before today I didn’t know such a thing existed as a formalized money-making enterprise.

So, what is a stroller fitness program? It’s essentially a health club for parents of young kids with strollers. Did I say parents? Sorry, I meant mothers. Stroller Strides is "for moms with their babies."

The exercises Stroller Strides provides are stated thusly:

"Each class consists of a warm up, a power walk and ‘stations’ where we do a variety of body toning exercises. We use exercise tubing (which we provide you with), the stroller and the environment to create our gym."

There are indoor and outdoor versions. Our local franchise will be located inside a mall and charge a $50 sign-up and $45 monthly membership. Check the Stroller Strides web site for your individual area’s pricing.

The company is also associated with LUNA Moms Club, which looks to be a regular parent-baby group just likes ones that form naturally across the country, except without the dads. The Moms Club appears to be free, although when you sign up there is a disclaimer which includes the following clause: "I understand that my name, photograph, voice or likeness may be used by Clif Bar or [Stroller Strides] in connection with the promotion of the Program."

Now consider that the LUNA name refers to a range of food products made by Clif Bar & Co. Not surprisingly, there is another associated program called Live Learn Eating Awareness and Nutrition (LEAN) for women, which one might guess includes literature about LUNA food products.

There are two ways to look at these programs.

First:  Wow! A company is making money promoting healthy lifestyles for women. Plus, this program is a great way for isolated mothers to reach out and meet other mothers. Bravo!

Second: Uh, for nearly the same cost, I, a dad, will join a free informal parents’ group that has no commercial ties or gender requirements and pay to join a health club similarly free of restrictions. Both of these organizations allow my spouse and I to participate together. Plus, our health club has on-site daycare, diverse exercise options and, if we actually get into the rhythm of regular exercise, will continue to be a viable option long after our daughter has outgrown her stroller.

Similar organizations:

Now see Daddy sit at home and balance beer cans on his ever-expanding belly, I guess. Or did I miss something? Between sympathy eating and sleepless upheaval of my daily lifestyle, I put on extra pounds from having a baby, too.


3 Responses to “Stroller Exercise Programs: Dads are Fat and It’s All Moms’ Fault”

  1. Jenn says:

    When I first heard about Stroller Strides, I too was skeptical. Why would I pay money to walk my kids around the block in a stroller when I can do that on my own time for free? Then I tried Stroller Strides when they opened up a franchise in my area last June and let me tell you, it only took one class, 1 hr & 15 minutes, to change my mind. Frist of all, it’s not just for moms. In our group we have a grandma that attends with her grandson that she watches, we have a childless woman that attends with her sister and her two kids, and dads are welcome to join along any time (my husband has attended only a couple of times because he is too intimidated because he can’t keep up and I run with a double jogging stroller with a 3-year-old and a one-and-a-half year old). My group offers Family Saturday classes twice a month, which are geared towards the whole family coming out and exercising, plus we have working moms that are able to join us on those occasions. Stroller Strides has been my saving grace. I hate gyms, they are unsanitary and stuffy. I hate working out inside. With Stroller Strides, I am outside every day, (I live in Southern California, so we have only had to cancel class twice due to weather) I am with my children, I am getting a fantastic workout, and I am making new friends. There are tons of learning opportunities for the children as we are out and about the neighborhood; my daughter is learning directions “We are turning left here and turning right here,” they are counting along with us as we countdown our exercises, we are constantly singing songs to them (my 3yr old comes home and does Stroller Strides with her babies in her own stroller, she counts while attempting to do all of the exercises mommy does), plus they are seeing first hand how important exercise is as opposed to being sent into a dirty childcare center inside of a gym while a total stranger is hopefully watching my children. I am a shy person. I am not one to approach other moms at the playground. After having my second child I was feeling pretty isolated. I had all this weight to lose and no motivation to do it. My husband tried to be as supportive as he could, but unless you’re a mom, you just don’t know what it’s like. I have made so many good friends through Stroller Strides. I can come to these woman with my problems and they understand. I am also motivated to go to class every day. The only days I miss are only if one of the kids is sick, otherwise I am out there in the heat or cold working out. I have lost all of my baby weight and I am actually in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I am running my first 5k this weekend in San Diego and my goal is to eventually run a marathon. I would have never had these goals had it not been for Stroller Strides. My kids are thriving because their mom is thriving and there is no amount of money I wouldn’t pay for that! We are on a very tight budget, in fact I am probably going to have to go back to work soon, but I will still keep my membership and go on the weekends and to our Wednesday evening classes in the summer, this is one expense that will never be budgeted out of our lives. I encourage you to try out your local Stroller Strides, I don’t know how the whole mall thing will work out, but it is more than just pushing your kids around in a stroller.

    March 20th, 2007 at 2:20 pm

  2. Tracy says:

    I agree with you Jenn. My husband attends every Stroller Strides Saturday class, as dads workout free on Saturdays and even with a gym membership, I would rather not leave my infant in a gym childcare where there are lots of all ages of kids running around, sick, not realizing there are babies there, and with all of the kids in and out all day long it can’t be that sanitary. I would rather be in a group of supportive moms and know who and where my baby is.

    March 7th, 2008 at 5:41 pm

  3. Ari says:

    Hm. now you’ve got me curious! I’m in the SF Bay Area and we have so many parks and greenery, I didn’t see the reason for this… but with my extra weight, I think I might just look into this.. thanks for the input, moms and dads!

    April 5th, 2009 at 9:06 am

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