Blending fitness and family

Baby Boot Camp helps new moms get out and get active in a supportive environment

Camas classes will be held indoors at Lacamas Lake Lodge, 227 N.E. Lake Road, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:30 a.m. Vancouver classes will be held at 9 a.m. every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at Westfield Mall, 8700 N.E. Vancouver Mall Drive, through April. For more information, email mignon.cejalvo@babybootcamp.com for current specials or visit www.babybootcamp.com to sign up. The first class is free.

Camas classes will be held indoors at Lacamas Lake Lodge, 227 N.E. Lake Road, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:30 a.m. Vancouver classes will be held at 9 a.m. every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at Westfield Mall, 8700 N.E. Vancouver Mall Drive, through April. For more information, email mignon.cejalvo@babybootcamp.com for current specials or visit www.babybootcamp.com to sign up. The first class is free.

Like many first-time moms, Jenn Prettyman felt overwhelmed, isolated and unsure of herself following the birth of her daughter, Alyssa.

After seeing a flyer at a mom’s group about Baby Boot Camp, Prettyman decided to give it a try in the hopes it would lift her spirits.

She took one class with her infant in tow, and was hooked.

“It was hard, but I liked it,” she said. “This is a way I can meet other moms and get exercise, too. It’s like a workout family.”

Now past her baby blues, Prettyman encourages other new moms to try the class as well.

“We get to bring our babies with us,” she said. “It is really neat and I feel so much better now. At first I was really out of shape and felt so slow, but everyone was really nice and I didn’t feel intimidated.”

Baby Boot Camp is a 60 minute stroller fitness program that helps moms regain or enhance pre-pregnancy fitness levels and meet the physical challenges of parenting by emphasizing strength and cardiovascular training in a supportive environment, according to the group’s website.

This is echoed by Kim Puyleart, instructor of the Camas class.

“I am passionate about getting moms out and active,” she said. “I see moms who can’t do a pushup getting stronger and reaching their full potential as athletes. It is impacting lives.”

Puyleart, a mom of two children younger than 5 years old, has a master’s degree in teaching and has also worked as a personal trainer and fitness instructor.

“I love Baby Boot Camp because moms can bring their children along,” she said. “It’s nice to see the kids want to exercise, too. We are teaching our kids, so it’s good to practice what we preach.”

Baby Boot Camp workouts place emphasis on rebuilding the core, which is often weakened after pregnancy and childbirth.

Mignon Cejalvo, who co-owns the local Baby Boot Camp franchise with Lori Ann Maupin, is also the owner of Priority Life Chriropractic & Massage in east Vancouver.

As a working mom, she found it challenging to work out with active triplet boys.

It was part of the reason she decided to start a local BBC franchise.

“I enjoy meeting and spending time with like minded moms that understand the importance of healthy lifestyles for themselves and their family,” Cejalvo said. “It’s also just a fantastic community where we share things that work for us as parents and things that don’t work, such as our favorite play places, medical resources and kid-friendly restaurants.”

Fitness has always been a big part of Cejalvo’s life.

A runner and outdoor enthusiast, she earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from the University of British Columbia and a Doctor of Chiropractic through the University of Western States.

“My education gave me a solid background in sports and fitness and also the treatment of sports injuries,” she said.

“I have been a group fitness instructor for 12 years and took a break while I was opening my chiropractic clinic. Now I am happy to be back in the group fitness arena, this time helping moms and families stay healthy.”

She noted that exercise helps moms model good habits for their children, increases energy levels and helps with the “baby blues.”

“Moms get to work out with their kids,” Cejalvo said. “There is no need to get a babysitter or put them in child care. It also boosts self-confidence, fosters good sleep habits and decreases stress.”

Rhea Anderson of Camas has been attending the class since it began in July with 2-year-old daughter, Annabelle.

“I enjoy being able to be outside and be with her while getting exercise at the same time,” she said. “The other moms understand when a baby cries in the middle of class. I would definitely recommend it to others for the same reasons that I enjoy it.”

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