Being a mom is an endless cycle of putting the needs and wellbeing of others before yourself. After having children, moms can really struggle to find time to dedicate to themselves. Taking personal time is a known necessity for both mental and physical health. But often, moms struggle to find the time and the courage to put themselves out there; it can be hard, to say the least.
“Keeping moms healthy is so important,” said Touro Family Medicine Physician Aarti Pais. “There are the obvious health benefits that come from cardiovascular exercise, but moms also gain added perks like help with de-stressing, setting a good example, confidence building and of course, the energy boosts.”
Both working and stay-at-home moms face different struggles when trying to determine an exercise routine that works. Constraints of time, childcare and budget often come into play. One thing that shouldn’t be a struggle is finding an exercise that meets individual needs and preferences. There are so many styles and platforms of exercise across the city.
New Orleans Moms Blog, an online community for New Orleans area moms providing parenting tips and resources, knows firsthand the struggles that moms have trying to incorporate exercise. They know this because they are moms! This active parenting site, NewOrleansMomsBlog.com, is run by a team of local moms who are passionate about parenting and New Orleans.
New Orleans Moms Blog and Touro Infirmary recognized that sometimes the motivation needed to start an exercise regime is as simple as finding the right exercise platform. With the inspiration to match moms with exercises they are passionate about, New Orleans Moms Blog and Touro Infirmary launched the New Orleans Moms Blog STRONG series.
The series offers the opportunity for moms across the Greater New Orleans area to come together and try out gyms and studios, with no strings attached, while also offering moms the chance for complimentary health screenings from Touro nurses. This program is a one-stop shopping solution for busy moms to demo fitness choices and receive valuable health information, all at once.
“Sometimes the hardest part of starting at a studio can be walking in the door,” says Kendall Carriere, owner of Barre3. “By inviting the New Orleans Moms Blog community into Barre3, it makes the first step in exercising easier, in an environment where everyone is new and in similar shoes.”
The STRONG events allow participants to try out an exercise studio with friends in an atmosphere that builds support. The events wrap up with a healthy lunch. Sweg’s Kitchen, City Greens and Clean Creations have brought lunches for the participants post workout. All participants get to walk away with - everyone’s favorite - swag! Some of the takeaways have included sample goods from Primal Kitchen, La Croix, RX Bars and Wish Garden Herbs.
The Touro team is also on site with a lineup of professionals to help moms with basic blood screenings, BMI scans and consultations with a licensed nutritionist to talk through dietary concerns.
“I have really enjoyed being a participant in the series and carving out time to focus on my health,” says Jamie Centner. “I have tried exercises that I would have been too afraid of but left knowing that I can do it and excited to return.”
The series asks gyms to open their doors, the sessions are often free or with a small fee that is donated to a local nonprofit. Pure Barre on Magazine Street and Barre 3 Uptown have already hosted the series.
On September 14th, Fuel in Old Metairie will host the group. And on October 18th, the group can be found at Free to be Yoga on Magazine St.
“One of the best benefits of the STRONG events is connecting with other New Orleans moms who have similar fitness goals,” adds Centner. “I have been able to find running partners and workout buddies to continue this journey with, as we help hold each other accountable for exercise success.”
To sign up for any of the STRONG events or to see future events scheduled, visit the New Orleans Moms Blog event page on facebook.com/NewOrleansMomsBlog for details.