Kingston fitness expert helps new parents stay active with their little ones

Participants in a fitness class designed for parents run the stairs at Lake Ontario Park. Photo by JS Fitness.

Jamie Straker, Pregnancy and Postpartum Athleticism Coach and owner of JS Fitness is helping new parents stay active with their young ones by promoting wellness activities and teaching them how to run with strollers safely during the summer.

Straker provides online group fitness classes for new parents who are looking to stay active. Parents can tune in to live classes or access the recordings on-demand. All types of the exercises involved are safe for new parents, pregnant women, and even the most seasoned parent, so that no matter where they are at in their fitness journey, they can get the workout that they need that day.  

“When I was postpartum, I received no guidance with my first [child], and just jumped back into running. I had no idea what to watch for, how to prevent injury, or how to start slow and build back up. Even after my second [child], I was given the advice of going slow and listening to my body. To me, slow was loading the kids up into the stroller and going for a five km run. I had no understanding of the changes my body went through during pregnancy, the healing process postpartum, and how to support my body for the long term,” said Straker.

Jamie Straker – Photo by JS Fitness

After her journey through postpartum, Straker developed the Core Restore program so that postpartum people would have access to all of the information they need to stay active and healthy. The program officially launched in January 2021, and so far, 20 new parents have completed the program. Once parents complete this program, they move into regular fitness classes to continue building their strength, endurance, and confidence. 

“Before June, all of the classes I ran were online, which has worked well for new parents. If the baby is sleeping, you can let them sleep, and you can still get your workout in. If you had a sleepless night, you can take a nap and catch a recording whenever it works for you,” said Straker 

Jamie has six tips to help parents stay safe while stroller running this summer: 

  1. Avoid jogging with strollers until the infant is six months old; most manufacturers recommend babies be at least eight months of age before stroller running (although walking is considered safe). 
  2. Follow the stroller manufacturers’ guidelines to determine the appropriate use, keeping in mind the age and weight of your babies. 
  3. Make sure babies are buckled into the stroller, preferably with a five-point harness, each time you head out, and ensure straps are adjusted to the child’s shoulders and lap sizes, so the straps fit snugly, yet comfortably. 
  4. Slowly build up your endurance while running with the stroller. Running with a stroller is hard work and different than going for a solo run. Your body needs time to adapt to the demands pushing a stroller places on it to avoid any injury. 
  5. Adopt a flexible mindset. There are many variables that are out of our control when running with a stroller. Having a fixed plan can lead to added stress and frustration. Include your littles and let them lead the way.
  6. If they’re having fun or maybe have fallen asleep, you might be able to get a longer run in. If they need lots of attention or you have to stop lots, perhaps it’s a better day for intervals or a shorter run.

“Since the addition of the in-person class on Sundays, which parents are now welcome to bring their littles to, it has been nice to offer variety. My clients are loving connecting with the people they have been working out with online. They also love getting out of the house, and the view at Lake Ontario Park truly can’t be beaten,” said Straker.

For more information on the programs, visit JS Fitness online.

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