"I would go crazy if I were stuck at home all day," Nicolayeff said. "I'm really into the outdoors, and I feel better just going for a walk outside."
In the winter, the group meets three days a week at the Everett Mall for an hour-long workout session. In the summer, they meet at Thornton A. Sullivan Park.
The sessions consist of warm-ups, power walks while pushing kids in strollers, cardio and strength training, abdominal work and stretching.
"We also incorporate songs and games kind of into our routines for the kids," instructor Joie Goodman said.
The program is part of a national franchise of full-body fitness programs for pre-natal and post-natal moms. The idea is that moms can work out without having to pay for daycare or giving up time spent with their children. Stroller-age children, usually infants and toddlers, are welcome to come along, Goodman said.
"Even 1-year-olds will mimic our exercises," she said.
Besides working out, the group also meets for play dates and ladies' nights out. Nicolayeff said she joined for the fitness training but found herself with a network of other stay-at-home moms.
"It becomes a place where you can come ask advice about nursing, about diapers, about, you know, anything moms encounter," Goodman said.
Nicolayeff brings her first child, 6-month-old Avery, to Stroller Strides meetings. She said that besides keeping her in shape, joining the group has built up her self-confidence.
"This is my first time working out in a group setting," she said. "I thought I'd be embarrassed but I'm not."
Goodman said most members have more than one child. She pushed back the group's meeting time to accommodate women who need to drop kids off at school.
"We don't have very many moms with their first babies who come, but they're welcome," she said.
She said the group is also understanding about the difficulties of caring for a child and getting back into shape after childbirth. There's no pressure to keep working the full hour.
"We all get it," Goodman said. "You go with the flow and do what you need to do."
Monthly membership in Stroller Strides costs $50, while a block of 10 classes costs $100. Those who don't want to commit can try one class for $15. There is also a special package designed for women on maternity leave, offering three months of membership with no registration fee.
Want to find out more about Stroller Strides of Everett and Mukilteo?
• Go to the group's website here.
• Check out their Facebook page.
• Visit the meetup group on the web.
• Call 1-800-961-9078
• Email the instructor, Joie Goodman, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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