The fast-growing Stroller Strong Moms experience has rolled into Statesboro to provide a unique, fun and challenging total body workout for women. Typically, the participating women push a stroller with precious cargo for the workout, but bringing a little one is not a necessity.
Apryl Lee, mom of two, wife and ACE-certified group fitness instructor, is the owner of Stroller Strong Moms-Effingham/Statesboro.
"Any woman is welcome," she said. "Children 4 and under have to be in a stroller and over 4 can run alongside mom or ride a bike next to her. It's for women without children, too, who just want a good workout, and pregnant women are also welcome."
Stroller Strong Moms is a franchise started by a military wife in Columbus, Georgia, when her husband was deployed. That was in 2011, and each time her family moved with the military, she started a new group. She left behind participants who would become instructors, and the organization has now spread to 12 cities throughout the United States, as instructors moved and formed new groups.
Lee first started attending a Stroller Strong Moms group when her son was 3 months old.
"It became my family," she said. "We were there for each other with post-baby bodies, teething - the good, the bad and the ugly. We truly became sisters, and our kids became best friends.
"It's more than exercise. We call it HIIT - ‘High Intensity Interval Training.' There are four stations that take about 12 to 15 minutes each, because that's about all the kids can last in the stroller before they want to get moving again."
Lee said the purpose of the program is to burn calories and build muscle endurance. At each station, the instructors guide the women, correcting their form when necessary.
"We have to stay up to date on training. We know what we're doing so no one gets hurt," she said. "We can modify if participants have a previous injury or are expecting. It's truly for every level of fitness."
The instructors and instructors-in-training not only assist the women with the workout but also entertain the kids with songs and bubbles if they get fussy or antsy.
"That way, the moms can stay focused on themselves for that hour," Lee said.
Lee said that one of the best benefits of Stroller Strong Moms is the idea that children are being raised to recognize the importance of staying fit and healthy.
"The kids grow up with exercise as a lifestyle, not a chore," she said. "And they have a great time playing on the playground afterwards!"
About 30 moms showed up recently for the first day of Stroller Strong Moms in Statesboro. The group has just formed and welcomes new participants. Classes take place every Tuesday and Thursday at Mill Creek Regional Park beginning at 9:30 a.m.
To find out about costs and registering or to learn more about Stroller Strong Moms, visit www.strollerstrongmoms.com.