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With obesity on the rise in Canada, it is more important than ever to pay attention to the fitness of your family. However, becoming a parent makes it easy to put fitness on the back-burner while you try to keep up with life. Very few programs exist that allow parents to bring their children, which only adds another excuse for parents who feel they can’t focus on fitness. Lindsay Goulet, owner of Hot Mama Health and Fitness takes this excuse away, catering to local Victoria moms, Lindsay’s programs integrate play, fun and fitness – and you can bring your little ones! I caught up with Lindsay to find out a little bit more…
Lindsay: “Loaded question! Me: First and foremost I am a mother of two beautiful (if I do say so myself) children, Owen (4) and Payton (2) and I am now the owner of Hot Mama Health & Fitness. I began instructing fitness classes when I was 18 and pursued my interest in exercise physiology in all of my university studies. I received a Bachelor of Physical Education and then pursued both my Master’s Degree and PhD in Occupational/Exercise Physiology here in Victoria. I had a great job working for the Canadian Forces as a Human Performance Research Manager, but the job position moved to Ottawa in September 2011 and my family decided to stay in Victoria. So….what’s a girl to do? I went back and forth on trying to be an academic person—do research, publish papers, get grants, compete. But, that’s not me. My true passion…fitness. And as cliché as it sounds, when you follow your passion, life just opens up. From this passion for fitness, Hot Mama was born. I wanted to start a company completely focused on family fitness. I wanted a place where parents could get a great, safe, effective workout while role modelling healthy habits for their kids; a place where kids could socialize, participate and learn healthy habits. So…voila…Hot Mama Health & Fitness. ”
Lindsay: “I was actually running another business called Compass Fitness, trying to break into the “Workplace Wellness” goldmine that is supposedly out there. Linked to Compass was a bootcamp I was offering because bootcamps and fitness are what I loved to do. We called it Hot Mama Bootcamp, because really…we’re all “hot” mamas. We may not feel it every day with peanut butter finger prints on our clothes, hair pinned back in pony tails, the uniform of yoga pants and hoodies, the dried up “whatever” caught in our hair and the always present booger trail on our shoulder…but somewhere in all of us is one Hot Mama. And, if you can’t find her…my company will help you. So the name was just a bootcamp before and when I decided to pursue my true passion of providing family fitness programs, “Hot Mama Health & Fitness” seemed to say everything I wanted it to say.”
Lindsay: Our most popular program is our Toddler Tag-Out classes. In these classes I divide the Mamas into two groups; while half of the Mamas watch the kids, I take the other half to workout. After about 35-40 minutes, we switch. So, the Mamas get a fabulous workout (and I promise that is enough time to get a good workout) and the kids, well…they get awesome socialization and play time. In the summer we go to different parks and beaches throughout town so the kids get fresh air and get to play and run and be kids the entire time. In the winter months we move indoors and now have a location where the kids have access to ride-em toys, soccer balls, tunnels, etc where they can play and be active the entire time. Some of the toddlers (usually about age 2.5-5) love to come and help me “instruct”. So, if you want to keep your child with you, they are always more than welcome to come over and help me out. They are my “Mommy Motivators” and their job is to cheer on their Mama and/or participate. It is not uncommon to have the kids running laps with us, doing jumping jacks, planks, squat jumps and other exercises. It’s incredible to see them “working out”. And no, they’re not actually training with us, they are definitely playing. It is an awesome feeling when Mamas tell me that their little one set up a “bootcamp” for their family or their friends over the weekend, I love that they are doing that.
So…to answer the question…what do the kids do? They play. They socialize. They do whatever makes them most comfortable. And they learn that fitness is part of their family’s life. It’s awesome.
Lindsay: I think they like spending time with their Mama, to be honest. It’s great play time and they socialize a whole lot, but they really do get to spend quality time with their family. I hear them laughing and playing most of the time. Other than that, they meet new friends, learn about fitness without even knowing it and leave having had over 60 minutes of activity. If you ask them what they like the best, most would probably tell you that they like it when I set up a mini-bootcamp just for the kids at the end of class. We play tag, we race, we do squat jumps, push-ups and we have quite a dance party to end it…that’s their bootcamp and I think almost every toddler looks forward to their own 5-minute session once the Mamas are finished.
Lindsay: For the past year Hot Mama has been really focused on getting our fitness programs off the ground and making a go of it as a business. We seem to have a well established fitness program now and have had numerous requests for a nutrition program. The Body Smarts program is a 12-week fitness and nutrition program. During the 12-weeks we will educate individuals on proper fitness and proper nutrition through weekly speakers, weekly exercises (both physical and mental) and yes, weekly guidelines for both nutrition and fitness. I have worked with a Registered Dietician to develop the 12-week nutrition plan that will help educate people on healthy eating habits. This is not a diet, this is a lifestyle change and a plan that you can strive to maintain for the rest of your life. We will have weekly weigh-ins, quarterly measurements and quarterly fitness assessments. I believe this program will be different than others out there as we’re really meshing the nutrition and fitness plans. After the 12 week Body Smarts program, you should be educated on healthy eating habits, you should know how to workout safely and effectively and you should have an incredibly strong foundation for healthy living. The best part of this program is that this is not a fad, it will be a way of living and you’ll have incredible support through your 12-week journey.
Lindsay: The number one goal is to educate individuals on how to eat and workout properly. From that, I’m hoping that you will learn that being healthy doesn’t mean having no fun or not “living”. We’re trying to lay a foundation for a healthy lifestyle, but I want people to know that it’s okay that holidays happen, vacations happen, a bad week happens…but with the healthy foundation learned from the Body Smarts program, it’s easy to get back on track. Being healthy, eating healthy, working out…these are choices we make, our goal is to ensure that people are making the healthiest choices and teaching their children these same valuable lessons.
Lindsay: My best advice…go play with your kids. They’re going to be your most fun workout and spending that time with them is something you’ll never regret. Go for a walk, a hike, a bike ride, have a 20-minute dance party…whatever you choose, just do it. Move your body. After that advice, if you’re looking to further your fitness and looking for something more structured, check out the numerous fitness companies out there. There’s bound to be something that suits you and will work for you. One request…just check their credentials and ensure you’re paying someone that has the background and education to get you where you want to be. This is your body, so take care of it. I’d totally recommend Hot Mama…they’re super awesome! Lol.
Francesca: Thank-you so much for speaking with me today Lindsay, it sounds like you provide some excellent training and education to parents and kids!
Currently in my final year at University I divide my time between school, work and play. I'm a lover of the west coast, yoga, spending time in the outdoors, entertaining family and friends, tea dates and spontaneous adventures. Live, Love, Learn.
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