Healthcast: Working out with your children

By Ashley Swann - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Finding the time & energy to exercise with young children can be a huge challenge. But, what if there was a way to get in top physical & mental form -- without having to take an eye off your little ones?

Thanks to a program that's growing in popularity here in Central Virginia, many local moms -- and even dads -- are finding it possible.

On a warm spring morning at Maymont -- new moms & their babies are getting an early jump on the day...with a fitness routine designed especially for them.

"I'm much fitter than any other time in my life," said Meredith Dish.

Thanks, mother of two Meredith Dish says, to stroller strides -- a nationwide exercise program that began in Richmond four years ago.

"I was looking for a way to get back into shape myself," said Pustilnik.

But after having her first child, owner and instructor Rachel Pustilnik says she realized the need for more than just a solitary work-out.

"The extra stress of having a baby can sometimes bring you down, but coming & being with a community of women that's very supportive and also very healthy is amazing," said Rachel Pustilnik.

The 60-minute classes are offered 6 days a week, and include a full cardiovascular & strength training routine with the needs of pre & post-natal women in mind.

"Keep that belly button into that spine," said Pustilnik.

Dads are also welcome to participate & in between sets -- songs & tickles make bonding with your child a part of the work-out.

Believers - like Meredith, who's now running for the first time in her life, call it much more than an exercise group.

"It's like a full package, it's wonderful, wonderful," said Dish. "I'm a stay at home mom, so to be able to get out of the house everyday and know that I have somewhere to go that's motivating, it's so fantastic."

Motivation owner Rachel believes is good for the whole family

"...I can bring her with me to class, she's happy, she's healthy - but on the other hand - she's getting to see mommie workout. And that is a really good value that these children are learning really early on," said Pustilnik.

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