Staying fit with young kids always takes some effort- but through quarantine, it’s proving to be really tough!  I for one have fallen into a rut.  Between so much focus on my children, tons of indulgent take out choices, and zero schedule of my own, I’ve completely fallen off the health wagon.  We all know that taking care of ourselves goes hand in hand with giving the best care to our families, but sometimes we need a reminder from an expert.  I reached out to Erica Freeman, city mom to Clover & owner of Momleta Chicago, for tips on pushing through that quarantine slump!
Momleta is such a cool company.  I love that the mission is to empower women by supporting each other and building community, while promoting healthy living by simplicity.  You really cover all the bases!  How did you get involved and when did you decide to take the leap and open a Chicago location of your own?
I got involved with Momleta after I found that working from home with a nanny was not the work-life balance I wanted. I needed to find a balance that allowed me to spend time with my daughter while also continuing to work in the field of health promotion/ community health. 

Before my daughter turned one,  I decided to take a chance and open a location in downtown Chicago. 

Tell us about the programs Momleta’s Chicago location offers.
Prior to the rebranding, which happened in March, the previous brand Baby Boot Camp focused mainly on moms with babies.

Now as Momleta, the brand continues to focus on stroller-based workouts for moms with little ones, but it’s also a workout for moms of all stages of motherhood. In class, I’ve had 3 generations (grandmother, mom and baby) and it’s the best thing you can see!  No matter the age of the child, or the mom, all are welcomed to join. 

Moms can expect to receive a 60 min full body workout. All moms, prenatal and postpartum) are encouraged to work at their own level.

Many moms have hit the “quarantine slump”.  What keeps you motivated to continue a healthily lifestyle while home?
I’ve heard this a lot. One thing that keeps me motivated is setting weekly habits/ goals to follow each week and keeping my ultimate wellness vision in mind. This time of quarantine will pass and I want to come out of it as healthy as possible, mentally and physically.

Specifically, running is important to me. At the beginning of the week,, I decide how many days I’d like to run for the week and I share that with my husband. With a little one, my husband and I really have to be intentional about our “me” time and communicate it with each other so it happens.

You’re still teaching a Mommy and Me class daily through the stay at home order, which is awesome!  I bet it’s such a great way to keep your community connected!  What advice would you give to moms who are past the mommy and me phase with young children home right now for staying active?
Confession, working out with a toddler who’s at home with all of her toys and dad is not the best scenario for including her in workouts.

Typically for the 45 min class, she’ll play on her own, interrupt her dad working or join me in a few squats, and that’s fine. 

For anyone thinking about working out with children around, just give it a try. You’ll be surprised by how much the children want to join in on your workout (live via zoom, or recorded).They may not be able to do everything. But, it will keep their attention for a little and you’ll get to workout. 

Another suggestion is to be flexible with how you define your workouts. Remember, you only need 30 mins of physical activity a day to live a healthy lifestyle. Go for a family walk, pick up the pace when you can, add in lunges or frog hops. It’ll be enjoyable for everyone— and you’ll stay active

So many of us are reaching for comfort food right now!  Any tips for healthy eating while quarantined?
Yes! This is really challenging.
  1. Allow yourself to have a treat, but define the allowance. Will you only have it once or twice a week? What does that look like? Plan ahead for it. 
  2. Stay consistent with your healthy meals and snacks, avoid long stretches without eating especially if it will cause you to eat everything once you’re hungry.
  3. Barring any dietary restrictions, make sure you’re keeping your plate colorful with fruits and veggies. They are low in calories, high in nutrients, they will keep you satisfied and feeling good.
  4. Lastly. if all else fails, create a barrier to comfort foods. Make yourself walk or drive to the store if you really want the food you’re craving. Having these items in the cabinet makes it too easy for you to access them. 
When we can finally get out and enjoy the city again, what are some of the first places you look forward to visiting?
I look forward to getting back outside and working out with my moms. My daughter, Clover, really enjoys the classes and she misses her little friends— and so do I! 

I also can’t wait for the lakefront path to open back up, as well as the Navy Pier. 

*Momleta is offering virtual classes through the closures!  Visit sight for details and times.

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