Specialized classes are a great way to support and empower the moms in your community, especially for Mother’s Day. The Tom A. Finch Community YMCA, in Thomasville, North Carolina, offers three special mom-oriented fitness programs. Here, Payton Williams, the Y’s director of healthy living, describes these classes in her own words:
Stroller Strong. This class offers a total fitness program: strengthening exercises, cardio training and core work. Moms bring their babies or stroller-age children, and enjoy an interactive workout where they can spend time with their little one and form friendships with other moms.
Baby Yoga. Moms, dads and grandparents, etc., are welcome in this class designed to connect participants to their little ones. Participants work on flexibility, strength and breathing exercises all while enjoying precious time with their baby.
FitMoms. Moms build endurance and strengthen key muscle groups to safely prepare their bodies for the changes of pregnancy. After birth, they learn ways to gently ease back into exercise and realize their fitness goals.
“All our mom classes are made possible through a partnership with our local branch of Novant Health,” said Williams. “We are very grateful to be a part of this partnership that allows us to better serve mothers in our area.”
Other than the three specialized classes, this Y also offers parent-child swim lessons for moms and babies six months or older, as well as free childcare during certain periods of the day. “This allows moms to take advantage of our other group exercise classes, our pool, wellness center, walking trails and so on,” explained Williams.
So how can offering specialized mom classes benefit your Y? Kelly Allen, a specially certified prenatal and postpartum fitness instructor at the Tom A. Finch Community Y, describes the benefits she has noticed:
“Having these new moms and their children at our Y is absolutely wonderful. We benefit in so many ways: our older members enjoy interacting with young families, and our programming gets a boost from all the new members. Our mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. We believe that offering specialized classes for moms in our area perfectly fits this mission.”
Similarly, these classes are highly beneficial for the moms not only through physical exercise, but in mental and social attributes as well. “Our group exercise classes designed for moms help remove some barriers to exercise, including finding childcare and lacking knowledge about safe exercise techniques,” said Williams. “Finally, providing a space for new moms to build a community of support will make it more likely that they stick to working out and actually enjoy setting time aside to focus on their fitness.”
Through teaching these classes, Misty Hinesley, another specially certified instructor at the Y, has found most of the moms who participate in her classes enjoy being able to bring their little ones, along with the social motivation to be fit. “After birth, a mom can feel isolated and defeated by all the changes taking place in their lives and with their bodies,” she said. “Our group exercise classes provide a fun way for moms to get together and form bonds with other moms who have similar interests and goals, all while getting a great workout that is specifically designed for pregnancy, postpartum and beyond.”