It's a beautiful morning at Lake Zorinsky. Children are throwing Frisbees, blowing bubbles and pulling each other in wagons while their moms are running sprints, lifting weights and doing burpees.
Welcome to Fit Mama Workouts.
The boot camp-style classes, created by Omahan Liz Sampson, are designed for expecting and current mothers. Unlike some gyms that have separate child-care rooms, Fit Mama allows kids to be right next to mom while she's working out.
"This is a way to incorporate something fun for your kid and get a workout in without feeling guilty," Sampson said.
Working out with children, or "mommy and me"-type classes, aren't completely new. Dance studios around the metro have been offering family-friendly dance classes for years, but family-friendly fitness classes haven't had much of a presence in the Omaha area. Until now.
Sampson, who is a mother of three and a certified fitness instructor with a specialty in prenatal and postpartum exercise, wanted to combine her love of fitness and her family into a business.
Created in May, Fit Mama Workouts offers monthly memberships or per-class fees at three Omaha locations. Sampson said she wanted to make a program that would uplift
moms, not intimidate them.
"You're surrounded by people who are going to support you and build you up," Sampson said. "If your kid starts to throw a giant tantrum, no one is going to judge you because we all know what that's like."
Sampson has babysitters present at each class, ready to assist with kids. Kids can play with each other or help mom work out. Sampson has moms push strollers while doing lunges or even carry their kids on their backs while jogging.
"Being able to work out with my kids with me is my favorite part. We get mom time and workout time," said Mandi Kyander, a regular at the Fit Mama Workouts.
That demand compelled personal trainer Julie Summers to open Mommy Fitness in June. It's Omaha's first fitness studio dedicated exclusively to expectant and current moms.
"I had been traveling to Chicago for trainings and education classes on prenatal and postpartum fitness," Summers said. "And I saw a strong presence of these types of classes around the Chicago area that I didn't see in Omaha.
"I felt there was a need for mothers who are pregnant or newly postpartum to have fitness opportunities that are specifically meant for their own body changes," Summers said. Mommy Fitness, 2527 S. 140th Ave., offers personal training, stroller classes and dancing for birth — a class with modified dance moves that prepares women to give birth. Monthly memberships are available, as are five-class passes.
"I want this to be an education center for mothers," Summers said. "I want to empower mothers to follow their intuitive mothering and provide a network of support for these women."
At Fitssentials Studio in Bellevue, incorporating family in fitness is key. While the classes are mostly for adults, it's not unusual to see parents exercising in a cardio class alongside their children.
"Our Zumba class is not specifically designed for kids. However, when moms bring their kids in, they can't help but boogie with us," said Sara Locke, a yoga instructor at Fitssentials. "Our classes are very family-friendly, so it lends itself well to be a fun thing for families to do together."
FIT MAMA WORKOUTS
At a variety of Omaha locations
Five classes, $35
Month membership, $45
2527 S. 140th Ave.
Variety of classes; varying times
Five classes, $55
Month membership, $130
1018 Lincoln Road, Bellevue
Thursdays, 10 a.m.
Seven classes, $28
Month membership, $35
ONE TREE YOGA —WEST
14606 West Center Road Mommy and Baby Yoga Six classes, $75
Month membership, $130 Check website for class time http://onetreeyoga.com/yoga.html
LOTUS HOUSE OFYOGA
14450 Eagle Run Drive, No. 250
Five classes, $60
Month membership, $130
Check website for class time lotushouseofyoga.com
Contact the writer: