For moms, self-care can be tricky. It’s easier when you learn that taking care of yourself doesn’t have to happen by yourself. Working out is a great example. “When you’re at home or you’re at the gym, it’s very easy to lose motivation and stop when you start to feel tired,” says Crystal Ferris, owner of Baby Boot Camp (Beverly Hills/West L.A., www.babybootcamp.com). “When you’re out with other people and you see other moms, who are sweating and who are pushing through, it’s easy to keep that energy up.”
Ferris started attending Baby Boot Camp classes eight weeks after having her first child. “Within two classes, I fell in love with it,” she says. “It immediately helped my mood. It immediately made me feel like myself again and being around other moms was like the cherry on top.” After nine years as a high school science teacher, Ferris was looking for a more flexible career, and started talking to the franchise owner, who was also ready to make a change. Ferris took over last year.
Baby Boot Camp features full-body workouts focused on functional movements such as squats, planks and push-ups. “For me, it’s about building body strength for motherhood,” Ferris says. “We’re always lifting heavy car seats, lugging kids in one arm and cooking dinner with the other. So, I do a lot of movements that help our bodies be strong in ways that we really need.” She keeps things fun with theme days and games and provides modifications, so the exercises are safe for all.
Despite the name, Ferris stresses that Baby Boot Camp is for women at all stages of motherhood – with or without the kids. No special equipment – or decision making – is required. “It’s fun to have somebody else pick the music and somebody else tell you what to do so that you don’t have to think about it,” she says. “As moms, we make decisions all day long.”
Another perk: time with friends. “You get to know these women,” says Ferris, “and even if you know the baby’s going to be fussy, or maybe you’re really sore, you’re just happy to get out of the house and talk to other women.”