Today’s tip comes with a disclosure: Nikki is an instructor for Baby Boot Camp. But she only became an instructor recently, and only because she enjoyed the class so much. I’ve known Nikki for years and the positive impact BBC had on jumpstarting her fitness after baby #2 is a pretty good indicator of what you can get out of it.
The best healthy tip I can give any of you is to try Baby Boot Camp whether you have kids or not (and more specifically I recommend the SW Portland location, as I can’t speak to any of the other locations). It’s considered a stroller fitness class because if you opt to bring kids, they stay in a stroller while you work out. The instructor is there to help out with fussy babies and older kids come sometimes too and stay to the sidelines with activities and snacks to distract them from getting in the middle of the action.
It’s a different full-body work out every time, and it’s fun as well as challenging. It’s great for those of us with children at home who still need a workout or just time outside the house, but even if you don’t have kids, you can still come, and many do. I brought my youngest son a lot in the early days and sometimes both of my kids, but these days I often go to class without them while they are in school. It’s called Baby Boot Camp because it really helps address the postpartum issues many women have and we also have many awesome pregnant mommas, but all are welcome.
In the summer, class is held at Gabriel Park, and in the colder months, we go to an indoor location. The owner is so dedicated to this group that she makes sure everyone always gets what they need. With all the snow days we’ve had recently, she posted at-home workout every day that class had to be cancelled for our safety, even going live on Facebook a few times to lead a workout we could do in our own living rooms.
There are a ton of activities outside of class that we all participate in … mom’s nights, playdates, volunteer opportunities, and a whole bunch more. There are always all sorts of contests and give-aways that are often free to members, as well as other programs offered through the Baby Bootcamp franchise, like a running training program, a diastasis repair (abdominal separation) workshop, and a nutrition class. The Baby Boot Camp classes themselves are Monday thru Friday at 9:30AM, Mondays and Thursday evening at 7:15PM, and Saturday “family” classes at 9:00AM, which means husbands and family can, and often do, come and workout with us free of charge.
The last and most important thing I want to mention about this group is that the members and instructors are simply amazing. I was terrified to try this class after having my second child because I was so out of shape that I was embarrassed I wouldn’t be able to keep up. But the first class is free, so I finally swallowed my pride and figured if it went badly, I’d never have to see these people again.
So I went — and it was really hard! But the people are what had me coming back. It’s the most incredible village of wonderful people I’ve ever had the pleasure of joining, and all of them are so encouraging and inspiring, you just want to be there. I immediately went home after that first class and told my husband I needed this in my life. And that girl I was on day one, who couldn’t keep up and felt like she was dying, is now a certified AFAA group exercise instructor at Baby Boot Camp herself. I never would have dreamed I could do this if it weren’t for the people I get to stand side by side with and it’s the most fun job I’ve had in my life. Oh, and getting into shape, making awesome friends for myself, and providing my sons with some pretty fabulous role models is pretty great too.