Be Well: Just Keep Moving

Be Well: Just Keep Moving

Fitness instructor Kristine Oleson is giving other moms of young kids a gift-time to exercise.

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Photo by Stacy Zarin-Goldberg

YOU MIGHT NOT EXPEECT to find a group of moms stretching, planking and kickboxing in a temple’s multipurpose room, with their kids playing in the back, but that’s what happens three mornings a week at Mommy Bootie Camp in Kensington. The fitness class, led by Kristine Oleson, is designed to help busy moms get in shape—without having to find baby sitters. Oleson started the class on a tennis court at Kensington Cabin Park eight years ago, after she had her second child, because she had friends who were struggling to lose baby weight and couldn’t find time to work out. She grew enrollment through word of mouth, moving Mommy Bootie Camp indoors to Temple Emanuel in 2008 after members of the class encouraged her to expand.

“Occasionally, moms have to stop and get someone a snack or help put a toy back together,” says Oleson, a stay-at-home mom whose children are 8 and 11. “Sometimes there are kids that are potty training, so the mom takes the child two or three times during class to the bathroom. But I always tell them, ‘Just keep moving.’ ”

Oleson, 40, took ballet, tap and jazz dance lessons while growing up, and was a member of American University’s dance team. She became a personal trainer in 2000 and later received her certification in group exercise instruction. To make Mommy Bootie Camp accessible, Oleson set the price low—$10 per class, discounts for a two-month session—and has never increased it. During her hourlong classes on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings, which usually draw between 25 and 35 women, moms alternate between strength training and cardio bursts. Plyometrics, weights and mat work are all in the mix.


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