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urbanMama Seeking Happening Fitness Classes

Got baby weight to lose, or just trying to stay fit.  There's so many options but were are all the urbanMamas working out?  Lisa asks:

I'm wondering if any UM's go to any great exercise classes - hip hop, high intensity water aerobics (all the ones I've been to at the community centers seem to be filled with senior citizens), spinning.

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I don't know about any high intensity classes, but I take a yoga class at Cedar Hills Rec. center. The teacher is great -- the class is composed of about 50% stay-at-home moms and 50% senior ladies but it seems to be a wonderful mix. It's usually fairly "chatty" for a yoga class.hahaha Let me know if you'd like the name of the teacher.

Many of the Portland Parks & Rec pools have both Aquaeorbics (the senior ladies in the shallow end) and Aqua Power, which is held in the deep end and is much more challenging and fun! You can adjust the difficult by the floats you use (or don't) and whether or not you use the gloves with webbed fingers. I have liked some of the instructors and others... not so much, so don't give up if you get a dud!

I love NIA.....its a fun dance based workout (with some martial arts, yoga, etc, thrown in). Loud funky music and lots of people getting down makes its really fun. I have been to the NIA studio downtown (formerly called Body Moves). Classes are at 5:45 pm every weekday and in the mornings on the weekends.

http://www.studio.nia-nia.com/bodymoves3.html

For the past few months our weekly date night has consisted of private Pilates reformer lessons with Heidi at the Movement Clinic in Ladd's Addition (she rents space there). She's pregnant and you can tell how Pilates is going to help her bounce back -- she hardly looks pregnant in the middle of her second trimester. I'm so much stronger in my "power house" though I do need more aerobics to burn the fat. Get to know Heidi and you'll find out when she's scheduling her new mat class series during the week and on weekends in her SE studio.

I've practiced yoga for a number of years, although since becoming a mom, I'm finding it's my best "one time shot" at getting a great once or twice weekly workout while getting centered too. I especially love my Power Vinyasa Yoga classes at Yoga Pearl (someone told me that you can burn up to 800 calories in one class...yikes!) but any kind of yoga is great.

If you had the baby recently, check out The Movement Center's Yoga for New Moms on Tuesdays. You can take the baby with you. Kelly, who teaches the class, is wonderful. She teaches Prenatal Yoga,too there and Yoga Pearl. Otherwise, I'm with NoPo Mom for PowerVinyasa at Yoga Pearl.

I am new to the area but am planning on taking some dance classes soon. I also teach Pilates but haven't figured out where I will teach yet. I am glad you posted this thread. I hope to get more ideas on where to get a good workout for myself as well as where I might be able to teach. Thanks!

Since February, I have been attending Stroller Strides classes. I live on the west side and have been taking classes in this area (Washington Square Mall, Murray-Scholls, West Lake Park, Gabriel Park). The class schedule changes seasonally (indoor facilities during the winter, more parks in the summer). They have mulitple locations throughout Portland. The best part for me is that I can take my son with me and not have to worry about getting a sitter. It's a great cardio workout, and includes strength training and stretching. The classes are made up of moms with kids in strollers, so it works as a support group as well. The instructors are also good about working with each individual to make sure that you are getting a workout that is appropriate for your level - those who are in great shape can still keep their heart rate up while those moms who have just returned to working out can work at an easier pace. Check them out at www.strollerstrides.com.

Yes, NIA!!! I second the motion. It had been recommended to me and I couldn't help but notice that just about everyone leaving the Nia class at my gym had huge smiles on their faces. I just started doing it and I'm totally hooked.

On the advice of mamas in this string, I've been going to NIA and having a rockin' time! I wanted to give a shout out to NoPo mamas and let them know that there is a dirt cheap NIA class about to start on 10/2 at St. John's Community Center through Portland Parks and Rec (http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/). It's Mon and Wed, 5:30pm-6:30pm, and it's $50 for 26 classes. Cheaper than running when you consider that you do NIA in bare feet...

I have heard great things about Ascend Gallery & Studio in NE. They have several bellydancing and yoga classes. Their website: http://home.comcast.net/~justlikegoddesses/ascend.html

A coupla urbanMamas and I are taking a hip hop dance class at Peninsula Community Center. It's definitely a great workout and release. Other classes that have peaked my interest: salsa, bellydancing, kick boxing. PP&R has a great selection of stuff! http://www.portlandparks.org

I really love Nia, too. Very fun and low impact on the joints. I am all for whatever makes it fun. Have you tried the Women's Only Boxing class at Matt Dishman Community Center? Oh my god, that is such a KILLER workout and it is really cheap - something like $35 for 3 months?

Other encouraging news about losing the weight came from a cool study out of Mayo Clinic. Check it out:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2005-rst/2630.html

I just wrote a newsletter about how people with very little time can burn off calories just by moving around in whatever way works for them:

http://www.recessfitness.com/news/

Does anyone know of any nice, pleasant, locally-owned gyms? Prefereably on the Eastside?

I have been doing the Baby Boot Camp stroller excercise classes (like Stroller Strides) and love them. Its a great aerobic workout, you are in the park WITH your child(ren) and you are working out with women who are moms too!
Baby Boot Camp has courses all over the metro area and will let you do one free to check it out. You can find a convenient class location (courses are offerred morning and evening) at www.babybootcamp.com
Good luck!
m

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