I’m not a mother (yet, nor nearing it) but Rachel Goodale, a North Fork woman creating a community of fit moms, makes having kids look and feel good. With the support of her husband, Kevin, and their two children, four-year-old Reece and two-year-old Reagan, she has furthered a lifelong fitness journey by creating Stroller Strong Mamas. Since 2015, Goodale has inspired mothers old and new to achieve a more active lifestyle — for themselves, and their families.
When did the fit-mom lifestyle click for you?
When I got pregnant in 2015, I got my prenatal and postpartum certifications. I started teaching prenatal fitness classes and, once I had my son, I added in mommy-and-me fitness classes. I currently teach a few mommy-and-me fitness classes a week in addition to cycling and other fitness classes at Bodyrite Training in Jamesport. I am thrilled with where I am now in my fitness career. I love what I do.
How have you seen the community come together?
I still have some of the original moms I taught years ago in my first prenatal classes. The community of moms who all come together for the same purpose — getting their workout in with their kids in-tow — has grown so much. It’s amazing the relationships that have formed through these classes. Many playdates are made during class, moms grab coffee together after a class. Sometimes you can’t even tell whose child belongs to who because we all work together to get the kids what they need while simultaneously working out. I’m always impressed by the mom who will help a child while never missing a beat on her squats. It takes a tribe when raising kids. I consider my Stroller Strong Mamas one of the best mom tribes I’ve ever been blessed to know.
What do the dads say?
Don’t be fooled by the name. Dads and babysitters join us. They are not excluded by any means. But I think there may be a little intimidation being surrounded by the mamas. I mean, we gave birth to these babies. Kidding aside, it’s really for any parent or caretaker looking to workout with their kids.
What’s the “mama motto?”
The Stroller Strong Mamas motto is “lead by example.” Kids watch and learn by what they see you do. They are sponges, and pick up on everything they see around them. Show them how to live a healthy lifestyle and the importance of being active by working out with your kids.
Can you detail some stroller moves?
One of my favorite moves with the stroller is an ab roll out. Using a mat, come on to your knees with the front side of the stroller facing you, and place your hands on the base. You roll out into a plank-type position and roll back to your starting position using your abs. Just like an ab roller you might see at the gym, but you are using the stroller.
A second move is a split squat. Facing away but standing in front of the stroller, place your foot on the child foot rest on a stroller. Move your body by dropping your knee straight down while keeping your front knee right over the ankle. I love how this move targets just one side of the body. Another great move is walking lunges with the stroller being pushed in front of you. It gives clients stability and a little extra weight being pushed ahead. Any variations of lunges can be done with similar moves.
Do the kids join in?
The few usual moms who are extremely devoted and come to classes every single week are always on my Instagram and Facebook posts — their kids are super cute and they tend to become part of the workout or do moves from the workout because they are exposed to it so often. We have a few babies who just absolutely love being held and make their way into the workout because there’s always accommodations for baby-wearing exercises. I have a few older children who accompany their moms and do most of the workout with them.
I love when moms send me videos of their kids way after class is over, demonstrating the moves. I think all the kids are my mascots.
How many different types of classes do you have?
I have my outdoor classes at local parks during the warm-weather seasons, usually May through November. I have the indoor class at Bodyrite, which incorporates all the amazing equipment they allow us to use for strength training and sculpting. That class is offered once a week all year long. I also have an indoor cardio-based class at Infinite Energy Dance Factory in Riverhead which is seasonal.
Any special holiday classes?
I try to get creative around Christmas with some holiday-themed exercise moves. We play “reindeer games” with silly exercise contests. We have to have a little fun, especially when there are kids involved.
What’s your advice to moms out there who can’t seem to make the time to work out or find the motivation?
It’s all about creating a habit. Getting up a half-an-hour earlier once a week or finding a class to sneak away to at least once a week. On the days I can’t seem to find time to work out, I just make sure I keep moving. If you can, take a walk on your lunch break, run around with your kids after work — whatever gets you to keep it active. The motivation for your workouts is your kids and showing them the meaning of self-care firsthand.
If you need even more motivation, find another mom to take walks with or commit to taking a class with. It’s incredible how motivating it is to workout with other people who hold you accountable for your workout.
Learn more about Stroller Strong Mamas at www.strollerstrongmamas.com.