BY NATALIE WINTERS
The daily routine of a mom is nothing shy of hectic, and the ability to juggle responsibilities while maintaining a balanced lifestyle is a task worthy of a superhero.
Between caring for kids, groceries, workplace demands, doctors appointments, household chores, etc.—there is often little to no time for a mother to work out.
The good news? Most gyms now feature daycare availability while moms get their hour in on the treadmill. The better news? ABC Fitness Inc. in Turlock offers an interactive program where moms can work out with their kids.
“It’s pretty neat how everyone comes together with the same goal. The moms all want to be healthy, work out and spend time with their kids,” said Jennifer Neal, owner of ABC Fitness. “The kids watch; they’ll come over and do push-ups with us, we’ll use them as weights and put them on our shoulders… they just laugh and have a good time.”
Jennifer Neal is a mother of four boys (her last two being twins) and found that there just wasn’t enough hours in the day for her to balance her time at work, her time to work out and time for her kids.
The solution was simple, mix one with the other.
“I would train my classes and my kids would be at school or the babysitters, and then I’d have to do my own workout. I didn’t want to send them to daycare all day just to pick them up and drop them off at another… So, I decided they would come with me and just play in the park,” said Neal. “I would have moms ask me, ‘What are you doing? Can I come?’”
Neal welcomed the moms to join her and that’s where “Foxy Moms” classes began—a place where moms can come together and spend time with their kids while still committing part of their day to sweat.
The group is welcoming to new mothers who come and try it out.
“It’s not a clique, it’s not intimidating,” said Neal. “Foxy Moms is a happy, positive environment for both the moms and kids alike.”
Since the class is based off the fact that mothers are constantly being pulled in different directions, Neal wanted to make sure that the financial aspect went hand in hand with that.
There is no contract, no commitment—it’s simply a $10 drop-in class.
“With kids’ life changes you just never know what your schedule will be like,” said Neal. “We like to keep it flexible.”
The workouts are cardio and strength based while incorporating calisthenics, plyometrics and circuit training. Neal explained that “it’s a little bit of everything.” They use dumbbells, bodyweight and resistance bands for the types of exercises they do.
“We mix it up and love to get the kids involved,” said Neal. “They love to sit on their mom’s shoulders during lunges and it’s great for the moms as well.”
The workouts are modified for each individual.
“Even pregnant women come to the classes and workout, they’re excited to see the kids and it’s such a great group of ladies,” said Neal. “But, for instance, their heart rate goals differ from a mother that is postpartum, so I make sure the class benefits all those involved.”
Neal recognizes that with kids there are good days and bad days.
“Sometimes the kids just need to get out of the house and get some sunshine, sometimes the kids just need attention,” she said. “So when they’re on mom’s shoulders—that’s all they wanted whether it was at home, in the car, the park or wherever.”
The classes are at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at a local park.
“It’s a really great, friendly environment,” said Neal. “The kids make friends and they’ll ask, ‘Where’s Bobby today?’ So it’s almost like the moms are being held accountable by their kids.”
The park becomes another home for the kids, and a nanny is on site to assist with the kids as well. Neal explained the importance of routine for kids—so they know their boundaries, where to go and how far they can go.
“It’s amazing when you see a little toddler run a full lap,” said Neal. “This class is beneficial and rewarding in so many different ways, and it’s such a great group to be a part of.”
For more information visit ABCFitnessco.com and email Neal for details about the Foxy Moms class.