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Giving baby weight the 'Boot'

During Baby Boot Camp at Woodbury Lakes, participants do a variety of stretches by utilizing their strollers.

When Jessica Chastek, of St. Paul, had her third child, Felicity, last winter she was looking for ways to shed the baby weight and get back into shape without giving up quality time with her little one.

"I think every new mom would love to have a personal trainer," she said. "But the logistics of having a personal trainer and not having to drop your kid in daycare is so tricky."

Chastek found exactly what she was looking for in Baby Boot Camp.

Baby Boot Camp, a national franchise, is an "innovative stroller-fitness program that helps moms regain or enhance pre-pregnancy fitness levels and meet the physical challenges of parenting by emphasizing strength training in a supportive environment," according to the Baby Boot Camp website.

The local group held a kick-off event April 23 at Woodbury Lakes.


Afton resident and franchise owner Heather Hampton said she decided to bring Baby Boot Camp to the Twin Cities after reading about the organization in a parenting magazine.

"I looked to see if there was a class in the Twin Cities that I could take and I couldn't believe there wasn't a class," she said. "I thought this was something that needed to be brought to the Twin Cities."

So Hampton, who has a background in nutrition and exercise physiology, took it upon herself to bring Baby Boot Camp to Twin Cities moms.

"I loved the thought of being able to bring your baby with you and get a good workout," she said. "You're working out with other moms who get it."

Hampton first began offering Baby Boot Camp in January at the Valley Creek Mall.

Now that the weather has warmed up the program has moved to Woodbury Lakes.

During the 60-minute "Strollift" workout, moms participate in a variety of exercises including cardio, resistance training and even yoga stretches.

During the workouts participants walk laps while pushing their strollers, utilize the strollers for stretching exercises and utilize the various mall benches and amenities for resistance training.

Chastek, who has been part of Baby Boot Camp since January, said being able to work out with other moms has made her a lot less self-conscious about working out.

"After you just have a baby, you're so out of touch with your body," she said. "But being in this group with other mamas who are going through the same thing is great.

"I can feel like I'm not holding anybody up or missing out on what I should be doing."

Both Hampton and Chastek said Baby Boot Camp is a great way to meet other mothers and share.

"It's just a nice camaraderie to have of moms together," Hampton said.

Additionally, Hampton said Baby Boot Camp is a great chance for stay-at-home moms to get out and moving.

"This is a great excuse to get out, social and get a good workout in," she said. "Plus, your baby gets fresh air.

"It's a great way to get everyone out the door and involved."

Chastek said Baby Boot Camp has been a benefit to her and her daughter.

"It's great that the kids get to be involved," she said. "For a new mom that's really an awesome benefit."

Baby Boot Camp is held Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9-10 p.m. at Woodbury Lakes during the warm months and at Valley Creek Mall during the winter months. The first Baby Boot Camp class is free. For pricing information visit or contact Heather Hampton by calling (651) 321-1871 or by e-mailing

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

(651) 702-0976