Moms Get Fit
Workouts, races and yoga challenge all fitness levels
Many moms today seek fun, unique ways to get fit. Popular trends include boot camp-style workouts, face-your-worst-fears obstacle courses and aerial yoga.
When her kids were toddlers, Jessica Griffin, founder of and fitness trainer for NJ Fit Mom, wasn’t able to find a fitness program they could accompany her to. So, she became a certified trainer and began her own outdoor fitness program. Griffin provides a babysitter for the kids while the moms participate in boot camp-style workouts where fun warm-up games lead into team exercises and partner drills.
Five years ago, Kendrya Close thought that she knew how to get herself in shape — until she met Griffin. “She literally ran up behind me while I was attempting to work out at the park while watching my three youngsters and handed me her card,” says Close. “Because I joined the class, I am fitter at age 46 than I haveever been in my life.”
The moms in the class trained for a 5K Warrior Dash. “Once you are fit, you want to start to compete a little bit and challenge yourself,” says Close.
Obstacle course races
The Warrior Dash and the Tough Mudder are part of a growing national fitness trend. Moms are drawn to these physical challenges because as they run together they encourage each other to face their fears and conquer obstacles — like the great warrior rope wall or the mud crawl — explains Lauren Gardner, public relations manager for the Warrior Dash.
“The Warrior Dash is a fun way to be fit, a stepping stone to other competitions,” adds Gardner.
Women make up 35 percent of the participants in the Tough Mudder army-style obstacle course competitions, and that number is growing, says Jodi Kovacs , communications associate. Participants thrive on these adrenalin-rushing challenges and work as a team to overcome feats such as diving into ice cold water and army crawling under barbed wire.
Yoga continues to be a popular fitness option for moms. Kristin Ritter, founder/trainer at the Nourishing Storm Yoga Studio and Café in Hatboro, PA, has even seen an upsurge in classes for postpartum and pregnant moms.
“The biggest misconception is that you need to be really limber and flexible to do yoga, but it can be practiced by anyone at any age,” says Ritter, who offers variations of therapeutic and energetic yoga.
Recently Ritter participated in an aerial yoga class, a popular new form of yoga that uses silk hammocks hung from the ceiling. She was able to perform all the yoga poses she does in regular classes with the aid of the swing.
“Aerial fitness may look intimidating, but it is accessible to all ability levels,” explains Zina DiTonno, owner and certified aerial fitness master trainer for Aerial Fun & Fitness in Wilmington, DE.
“People do it because it’s fun and builds confidence,” says DiTonno. But it is also fantastic for strengthening core areas and for circulation, balance and flexibility, she adds.
Fitness is more than being able to fit into your jeans, explains Griffin: “I think that there is something about fitness and self-confidence that carries over into other aspects of your life.”
When your kids see you taking care of yourself, you are teaching them a valuable lesson that health and fitness matter. See Action-packed Fitness Programs for Kids for fun fitness trends kids can enjoy.
Lynda Dell is a freelance writer and experienced PA-certified early childhood educator.