Exercise Helps Bond Babies And Moms

Ventura County Star:

Juliet Esquibias was always into fitness until the day she gave birth to her daughter. After Layla was born, Juliet’s exercise regimen came to a halt.

“I started walking and attending Mommy and Me yoga, but it wasn’t enough,” recalled the 36-year-old Ventura resident.

Feeling frustrated and fat, she took her newborn to day care at a local gym. “But she would always end up crying, and someone would have to track me down on the treadmill to retrieve my screaming little one,” Esquibias said.

That’s when a mom in the yoga class told Esquibias about Stroller Strides, a national group with chapters in Ventura County dedicated to keeping moms in shape while helping them bond with their babies and other moms.

One of the fastest-growing fitness franchises, Esquibias said, Stroller Strides also gives moms like her the chance to become business owners.

“I had almost hit a depression when I found Stroller Strides; it literally saved my life,” said Esquibias, now a franchisee whose chapters include Ventura, Oxnard, Port Hueneme and Carpinteria.

Startup costs range from about $3,000 to $6,000, with monthly fees from $160 to $380 starting three months after the purchase, according to the company.

Mothers who join pay an initial fee of about $100 and monthly participation fees of from $45 to $75 for unlimited classes, depending on the franchise. Single-class and multiple passes also are available. The information is available on the Stroller Strides Web site.

During hourlong sessions, moms push strollers while combining toning intervals for a total body workout. They also engage in other activities, such as moms’ nights out, field trips, fundraisers and play groups.

“It is more than just exercise,” Esquibias said. “It is a support system. The support and friendship you get from being with other moms is invaluable.”

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