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May 2, 2013 10:24 AM by Samantha Ptashkin

Stroller Strides: fitness phenomenon rolls into Southern Arizona

TUCSON- The mall isn't your typical place to work out, but then again, "Stroller Strides" is not your typical fitness routine.

"It's fun for moms, fun for kids, you make a few friends and lose a few pounds," says Emily Shipsey.

A few months ago, Shipsey brought "Stroller Strides" to Southern Arizona.

It's a national fitness program that started in 2001 in San Diego. It now has more than 200 franchises across the country. "Most moms are surprised you can come to class and get a work out like you do," Shipsey says.

Moms bring their babies in a stroller and when they're not pushing, they're doing push-ups, or other aerobic exercises. "There are all kinds of unique ways to incorporate the strollers and the babies," says Meena Ahuja, who has an eight-month-old son.

It's a total body workout that lasts for about an hour.

The moms say the best part is the extra hour they get to spend some quality time with their kids. " I used to go to a gym and I'd have to leave my son in daycare," says Ali Saavedra, who has a 15-month-old son. "I really did not like that."

"I just think it's great to share that time and get the exercise I need to lose that baby weight," Ahuja says.

Shipsey says babies can start as early as six to eight weeks. "As long as the kids can stay in the stroller buckled in, they're welcome to attend," Shipsey says.

And even though by the end of the hour, some of the babies get a little restless, the moms say the class motivates them to get out of the house, which is never easy when you're busy raising a baby.

Here is a list of times and locations when Shipsey teaches the class:

TUESDAY: 8:30-9:30am @ Foothills Mall

WEDNESDAY: 8:30-9:30am @ La Encantada

THURSDAY: 8:30-9:30am @ Foothills Mall

SATURDAY: 8:30-9:30am @ Foothills Mall

The first class is free. A single class costs $12. A monthly unlimited pass costs $50 (membership required)

To learn more about Stroller Strides and other classes Shipsey teaches, head to: www.tucson.fit4mom.com/

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