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‘Me Time’ with a twist: ‘Stroller Strides’ benefits mom and baby

FAIRFIELD – At one exercise class in Fairfield County, you might see crying, you might see a diaper change!  You’ll definitely find authenticity ...

FAIRFIELD - At one exercise class in Fairfield County, you might see crying, you might see a diaper change!  You'll definitely find authenticity - a slice of real life.

"It’s a judgement-free zone," said Courtney Cataldo, a mom of three, and owner of a Fit4Mom franchise.  "Motherhood as you know is this beautiful chaos.  A lot of times it’s really lonely."

So, Stroller Strides gets moms with young kids out of the house and in-shape. The workout - a combination of cardio and strength training - is tough. It also involves baby - a concept that's growing in popularity.

"It allows moms to not have to put baby in daycare or a gym facility childcare," said Cataldo.  "It allows them to have fun with their babies while also focusing on themselves."

Fit4Mom, offering a variety of classes such as Body Back and Stroller Barre, also has locations in West Hartford, Mystic, Danbury and Greenwich.

"Fit4Mom is the leading provider of fitness programs - prenatal, postnatal - for moms," said Cataldo.

Speaking of prenatal, Krista Mello is due to deliver soon.

"I never thought I’d be able to keep up with running, jumping and strength training," she said.

Experts say a pregnant mom can do these sorts of moves, as long as she's in shape and has been exercising all along for years.

Class isn't all about the moms - who routinely break into renditions of "Itsy Bitsy Spider" in order to entertain the wee ones!

"Even basic things, like, we’ll do the alphabet and count and when we come home he’ll do the same thing so he’s actually learning while we’re here," said Mello of her 2 year old son, who also socializes during class.

"It’s awesome for the little kids because they develop a network of friends," said Cindy Bradford of Trumbull.

It's "me time" with a twist!  "Every step of the way you have moms who’ve been there or are going through it with you, so it’s a really awesome community and it’s a great workout," said Bradford.  "I’m in the best shape of my life."

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