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Kodiak moms make 'stroller strides' toward fitness

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Posted: Saturday, September 29, 2012 7:40 am

KODIAK, Alaska - A new exercise class in Kodiak combines babies, strollers and running to help moms get in shape.

Stroller Strides is a new hourlong fitness class that allows moms to work out with their babies.

Jamie Herron and Brooke McLaughlin are the co-owners of the Stroller Strides franchise in Kodiak. Stroller Strides is a national company, founded in 2001 by a California mom. In Stroller Strides classes, moms use the natural environment, strollers and exercise equipment to get in shape.

"We provide the outlet that moms need to enjoy time with other moms, while also focusing on the much needed exercise to fuel their demanding lives," McLaughlin said.

A typical class starts with around eight minutes of warmups before the moms get into the harder exercises. Herron and McLaughlin then lead the women through power walking and jogging intervals with their strollers, and strength training like lunges and squats. McLaughlin and Herron sin g songs to the babies and blow bubbles to keep them entertained while the moms are running sprints or doing jumping jacks.

The two women decided to start a business together after meeting online through a Kodiak Facebook group.

"We met on Kodiak Swip Swap exchanging baby items," McLaughlin said. "We were thinking, 'What can we bring to the community?' and this was our answer, a mom and baby fitness class."

McLaughlin and Herron aim to help moms make exercise a priority.

"Moms fall into the trap of saying they don't have enough time," Herron said. "They are juggling too many things - laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, paying bills while taking care of the children. They push their needs to the bottom of the list."

Herron and McLaughlin experienced that firsthand when they became new moms. McLaughlin has a six-month-old son named Kalsin, and Herron has a 15-month old son named Caden.

To get certified for the franchise, both women had to travel to San Diego, Calif. to be trained by Stroller Strides on general group fitness and special training.

Stroller Strides Kodiak offers five weekly classes at the Kodiak Assembly of God Church. They take place outside when weather permits. Classes are at 9:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and at 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. The drop-in fee for a class is $10, or moms can purchase a 10-session punch card for $95 or an unlimited month pass for $65.

McLaughlin and Herron are planning to add other classes in the Bells Flats area or on Coast Guard Base Kodiak.

In addition to the classes, Stroller Strides offers social events for moms and babies. Stroller Strides holds a free play group every Wednesday and a "Mom's night out" event once a month.

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