We are so excited to have Monika Wilcox of Stroller Strides in West Hartford as our first guest poster!
Monika runs a fitness program that you and your little one(s) can participate in together. I really wanted to take one of her classes myself and write a post about it, but pregnancy got in the way. Not that you can’t take her class when you are preggers, I just had some pregnancy related injuries and was hobbling around for a few weeks so I couldn’t work out.
Since I couldn’t go, I asked Monika if she would write a post to explain what her classes are all about. She agreed and we are so happy to welcome her to the OAAM blog today. She is also offering a special discount for OAAM readers. Check out the Q&A section below for more information.
My name is Monika Wilcox and I started Stroller Strides of West Hartford in December of 2010 when my daughter was 4 months old.
She is now 21 months and I am expecting my second child at the end of September.
Stroller Strides is the best thing I could have ever done. I always enjoyed fitness and have always wanted to own my own business. I found Stroller Strides online when I was searching for ways to stay fit while being pregnant. I saw the closest class was in Bethel, CT and I lived in Manchester, so it didn’t seem possible. I continued to browse through the site and learned about their franchise opportunities. My husband and I were sold after all the research.
I started classes 3 times a week and it has now grown to 5 times a week!! The experience is hands down the best!!! I am in the best shape of my life…even pregnant. I have met amazing women, I have made great friends and my daughter has done the same. She has an instant playgroup each time class is held and learns songs, the alphabet and counting while I do my exercises (since that is how we measure out our sets).
Stroller Strides is open to any level as any movement can be intensified or modified. The class is on the move to keep our little ones entertained.
We make stops to do some resistance training with bands that are provided in class or using the environment we are in.
Babies will cry, babies will need to be fed and some will want to be held. We are all moms so we understand!! I do what I can to make the class entertaining for mom and baby. I will hold one if I have a free hand and feed one with the other so mom gets her workout in. Bubbles, books, and balls are all life savers at times 🙂 This class is truly “Fitness for Mom, Fun for Baby.”
The first class is always a trial and is FREE.
Other packages are offered to cater to different schedules.
There are two locations:
- Elizabeth Park on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:00am.
- We gather in the parking lot across from the Pond House Cafe.
- If it rains we meet at the Westfarms Mall on the upper level in front of Nordstrom.
- Bethany Lutheran Church on Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30am rain or shine.
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Stroller Strides West Hartford
Owner: Monika Wilcox, 860-328-1977, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Park (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)
- 1555 Asylum Avenue, West Hartford, Connecticut
- If it rains, location changes to Westfarms Mall (1500 New Britain Avenue, West Hartford, Connecticut)
Bethany Lutheran Church (Tuesdays and Thursdays)
- 1655 Boulevard, West Hartford, Connecticut
Hours & Pricing
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Elizabeth Park; 9:00 am
- Tuesday and Thursday: Bethany Lutheran Church; 9:30 am
- Pricing (as of July 2012; for the latest pricing information see here)
- First class is FREE
- Mention Out and About Mom and get $10 OFF your first package purchased! (discount can only be used once and cannot be combined with any other offer)
- Membership Monthly Package – $55
Become a Stroller Strides Member and enjoy unlimited classes! No long-term contracts. Memberships may be canceled at anytime. A one-time $50 registration fee applies.
2 Class Pass – $130
Enjoy 2 classes per week for 3 months.
10 Class Pass – $75
Single Class Pass – $10
Pay as you go, one class at a time ($10/Class).
Teacher’s Pass – $200
Get fit with your baby while school is out. You must provide a copy of a valid school id.
I had a few additional questions for Monika. See below for our little Question & Answer session. Also, check out more FAQ’s here.
- What equipment should moms bring with them to class?
- Any stroller can be used. Sometimes the umbrella strollers are more difficult if we meet outside but work great in the mall. I always suggest that moms bring water and either a mat or towel but not to worry if they are left behind since I have extras. Entertainment and snacks are great to have for your little one but again, I stick a few extra in my stroller and it is something new for that child during that class. We use resistance bands that I provide in class.
- What is the class format like? I have attended a similar type of class and we did a little bit of walking, then stopped and did exercises to work on our leg muscles, then more walking, then stopped and worked on our arms and abs. Can you provide a high-level overview of your typical class format?
- Each class is different. We move to locations to stop and work different muscle groups. At the beginning of class, I will provide a green band and a red band. One band has a little more resistance than the other. It’s up to the mom to choose which one she wants to use. Our stops may be the same, but I have never duplicated a class. We do some exercises more often than others, but I try to keep it different and interesting. We try to include games and friendly relays every once in a while. At the Mother’s Day Class I put together a Mom’s Amazing Race and in July we have our own Olympic games starting. We achieve a total body workout in the hour we meet. When we meet at the park it also gives my runners a chance to run if they choose to.
- How does payment work? Do moms bring money with them and give it to you before class starts?Wha t forms of payment do you accept?
- If, after the trial class, someone wants to purchase a package, I typically handle the payment transactions at the end of class. We have time to relax a little at that point and any form of payment is acceptable.
- How long does the class last?
- Classes are 1 hour. I do have the same warm up location and do the same warm up lap at the beginning of each class (which is pointed out to the new moms when they attend). I do this so in case someone is running behind, they know where to find us in those first 15 – 20 minutes. At either place we are hard to miss.
- Are there any deals that you are currently running that we could mention to our readers?
- I just ran a summer one for those who wanted to prepay June – August and I am running an in-house deal that for every 10 classes in June and July attended, $5 will be deducted from the next package purchased. However, I can offer $10 off the first package purchased if they mention Out And About Mom.
- Are you the only instructor or are there others?
- Lisa Fields is the instructor for the Tuesday/ Thursday class and does an amazing job with her son!!
- I noticed that you also have regularly scheduled playgroups and Moms Night Outs. Can I mention them in the post?
- Absolutely!!! Both activities are open to all and it is not required to participate in classes to come. Playgroups are free and for the Nights Out you pay your own way. The playgroup currently takes place every other Wednesday at 11:00am. For July they will be on the 11th and the 25th. We are going to meet at Wolcott Park if the weather is nice or the Noah Webster Library if it rains. I try to put a Mom’s Night Out together once a month. My current newsletter will provide readers links to schedules, websites and activities taking place for July.
Thanks again to Monika for being our first guest post on OAAM. Do you have additional questions about Stroller Strides? If so, leave them in the comments section below.
Coming Up: On Thursday Shawna will give you the inside scoop on a swimming destination that’s shallow, shady, AND open in the a.m. We’ll tell you where to beat the heat before naptime.
Want to keep up with all our Out and About Mom adventures?
Check back every Tuesday and Thursday as we dish up more Momsense for getting out and about with your little ones. Don’t have time to check back in? Let us send you an automatic notification of new posts straight to your email inbox by signing up here. Also, you can like us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest posts and get some extra tidbits we share only through those sites.