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Archive for Sunday, May 4, 2008

Power stroll

Lawrence moms gather to get in shape with kids in tow

Allison Dessert warms up while son Peter, 2, watches from the comfort of his stroller early Monday in Watson Park. She and other mothers gather for Stroller Burn, a 55-minute workout in which children can be included.

Allison Dessert warms up while son Peter, 2, watches from the comfort of his stroller early Monday in Watson Park. She and other mothers gather for Stroller Burn, a 55-minute workout in which children can be included.

May 4, 2008

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Stroller Burn

Participants show off their moves during a class at Watson Park. Enlarge video

Feel the burn

For more information about Stroller Burn, go to www.strollerburn.com or contact Sara Kapfer-Dicker at 550-4492.

Kelly Valvuena and her son Kaden, 19 months, along with Amy Shumaker and son Cole, 2, work out one of several routines during a Stroller Burn session.

Kelly Valvuena and her son Kaden, 19 months, along with Amy Shumaker and son Cole, 2, work out one of several routines during a Stroller Burn session.

Mothers with children in tow work out at Watson Park, Seventh and Kentucky streets.

Mothers with children in tow work out at Watson Park, Seventh and Kentucky streets.

Getting fit is often a top priority on a new mother's to-do list, but it's not quite as high as bonding time with her children.

Lawrence mom of two Shannan Seely sums it up nicely: "It's not that you don't want to be active, it's that your full-time job is your children."

That's why Sara Kapfer-Dicker wants moms to use their children to feel the burn - the Stroller Burn.

Kapfer-Dicker started Stroller Burn, a new 55-minute workout class that lets mothers use their own children as resistance, just after Easter as a way for moms to get fit without sending their kids to daycare.

"I actually work out with a double stroller because I have two little kids," Kapfer-Dicker says. "Moms, dads, grandparents, nannies, you know, anybody who wants to get some exercise, even expecting mothers (are welcome). I have all kinds of options and variations on all of the exercises we do so that I can make them accommodate all fitness levels."

In four classes per week at various parks in the Lawrence area, Kapfer-Dicker leads moms in a workout that includes power-walking, skipping, jumping jacks and walking lunges with a stroller as added weight, as well as stops at strength stations where the women use exercise bands and park benches to do resistance moves.

"Some days you work legs, some days you'll work arms, some days you'll do a little of both," says frequent attendee Erin Kidd of Lawrence.

Kidd encouraged Kapfer-Dicker, a fitness instructor at Body Boutique Women's Fitness & Spa at 2330 Yale Road, to start a stroller-based class after attending a similar class with the national chain Stroller Strides before moving to Lawrence.

The reason Kidd is so excited about the idea is that she says the stroller workout classes she was a part of was a big help in adjusting to life as a mother.

"I had never been a mom before and for the first time in my life I was faced with staying home and I had always worked and that was a shock to my system," Kidd says. "So that's exactly what it was - it was getting out of the house and getting to talk with other moms and the support of other moms."

For Seely, the convenience of having a mom-friendly workout already planned is a major plus in her busy life.

"You can try to organize getting together, go on a stroller walk with your friends, but this way it's just set, so when you go, you know there will be other people there," Seely says.

Another mom with her reasons to get out is Alison Dessert of Eudora, who was still attending class on Monday at Buford M. Watson Jr. Park although due to give birth to her third child on Friday. Dessert, who is also a fitness instructor at Body Boutique, was out doing all the exercises with the other women, all the while pushing a double stroller and carrying nine-months worth of baby weight.

"This is a nice alternative," Dessert says. "I still lift weights and do things at the gym, take classes, but this is so nice because it's so conducive - walking around and toning some things."

Kidd, for one, plans to keep going through the classes while pushing her daughter Lilly, 4.

"I just really hope she can succeed in this because I think it can be really beneficial for new moms especially in Lawrence," Kidd says. "I just think it's so neat and it's a great town to have this in."

Comments

Godot 6 years, 7 months ago

Wow. I saw the photo of Dessert and wondered if that bulge on her tummy was leftover from her last pregnancy, or if she was four or five months along on a new pregnancy. I am stunned to read that she is due in a week and is still able to do tricep pushups! I am in awe.

Buggie7 6 years, 7 months ago

Godot. I have a 3 year old that likes the stroller ride. She likes to get in it when I go on walks because she can get out and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. She sometimes enjoys a little nap. We have our own walks that are shorter ones that we go on so she can participate and we can bond but when im working out she cant keep up with her lil legs and she cant go the distance I need to go but she still gets out. I think this is great kids are in the fresh outdoors instead of being inside all the time and having Dora the Explorer or sponge bob be their babysitter. I see your point but the stollers are used alot more now than they used to be. When we went to the home and garden show and the farm show it was the same way. She would wear out before we were done so I would put her sleepy lil self in the stroller and she could look around and take a nap if she wanted and we could still have our family outing with the older kids and they didnt have their time cut out for nappy time.

Jason Bailey 6 years, 7 months ago

Here's the obvious question: Where's the dad at and why can't he keep the kid(s) while the mom goes out for some exercise?Why is it that we continue with the stereotype (and accept it) that women raise the youngins -- that's not man's work!It's very odd that no one is commenting on this aspect of the story....where are the guys!

Buggie7 6 years, 7 months ago

Jason. This article isnt saying that guys arent involved with their children. Its just letting you know about a nice outing that some moms get together and do. I still think its great for them all to be out in the great outdoors and yes im sure they stop multi for theoccasinal diaper change. Man, just to please you people LJWorld should have just let these women have it for doing something healthy and involving their children. Please note there was extreme sacasm there.

kansasplains 6 years, 7 months ago

Look at the article in this morning's NY Times about a great idea that would go over very well in Lawrence - imaginative playgrounds: An invitation for Child's Play- Big Blocks and Wheelbarrows.

Buggie7 6 years, 7 months ago

While your at it LJW you should have commented on where the granparents were and any teen siblings. I mean geesh they could have watched the childrent at home in front of the TV and the kids wouldnt get to get out. The things people complain about.

Godot 6 years, 7 months ago

Now, here is the other side of my observation. Note the two year old in the stroller, watching mom work out. I've seen moms pushing their near-kindergarten age children in strollers as they go on their jogs. I thought strollers were for kids who cannot walk yet. What kind of bonding is there for a kid being pushed, face forward, in a stroller with mom jogging behind listening to her iPod? Shouldn't the kid be exercising, too?Back in my day, strollers were for the little ones who could not walk yet. Once the kids became proficient at walking, the stroller went into the closet.I'm tottaly in favor of moms working out and keeping fit, don't get me wrong. Just wondering about the effect on the kids, considering that we have so many youngsters who are observers rather than participants. Okay, flame away.

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