If you are from Zurich, you may have ever noticed a group of women and children in Glattpark. Once a week, mothers and children gather here to train in the fresh air under the guidance of experienced fitness coach Gabriela Leupoldt. Children are not an obstacle here. Exactly the opposite. In addition to being able to enjoy themselves in the fresh air in the park, they can sometimes also “work” as “weights” for weight training. In this interview, you can learn how open-air fitness courses were found. You can also enter the giveaway for free entry to the Mum Fit Glattpark fitness lesson.
Could you introduce yourself briefly and say something about yourself?
I am Swiss and studied International Management. My hobbies are traveling, nature, meditation, and literature. For two years now I have been the mother of a wonderful daughter and after giving birth I decided to become a full-time mum.
Why did you become a Fitness coach? So of course, except that you – I assume – wanted to look good? 😉 As far as I know, you have a background in marketing, right?
Looking good has never been the most important reason for me to become a trainer. Since my childhood, I have enjoyed doing sports outdoors. My primary goal is to feel healthy and fit. Exercise in the fresh air helps me to maintain mental and physical balance. Indoor sports have never really convinced me. In my opinion, interiors and glaring light do not really contribute to well-being – fresh air, sun and nature do.
Where did the original idea of Mum Fit Glattpark come from?
When my little child was 1.5 years old, I found that there are very few mom-child outdoor fitness courses in Zurich. Since I am passionate about moving and looking for a job where I do not have to hand over my daughter, I decided to start Mum Fit Glattpark.
How long did it take from the idea to the realization?
In April 2019 I had the idea to found Mum Fit Glattpark. The first course took place in July of this year, so the implementation took 3 months.
Tell us about your Mum Fit Glattpark project? How is your project different from other gyms?
Mum Fit Glattpark is an outdoor fitness training for mothers, in which the children can be brought along. The mothers can do sports without having to give their child outside care. This is particularly appreciated by mothers who work part-time and want to spend their days off with their child without neglecting their fitness program. At Mum Fit Glattpark, mothers and children will get their money’s worth: The mums can let off steam while the children play together. Thanks to the workout, which includes endurance, strength and running exercises as well as elements from the abs, legs, and bottom, the mothers gain endurance and condition. The children enjoy free play, which in turn improves their social & cognitive skills. The exercises are always adapted to the needs of mothers and children. If a baby/toddler wants to be carried by the mother during the course, the training exercises are spontaneously adapted to this need. Of course, I can also take on the role of mother and carry the baby/toddler while the participant can work out. Children of all ages are welcome and a mother is welcome to take several children to the training lesson. Of course, dads or sports enthusiasts without children can also take part in the course. Mum Fit Glattpark is open to all sports levels. Mum Fit Glattpark differs from other gyms because we train outside and take the children to the training rather than leaving them under supervision like in a gym.
Do the lessons take place even in bad weather?
The course is only canceled during a thunderstorm or severe cold. In heavy rain, we train under the protection of the trees in the Opfikerpark.
With your project, you have joined the trend of “mompreneurs”. Is it difficult to reconcile business and childcare?
So far, the course has only been held once a week and I am taking my daughter to the course. The workload is accordingly relatively low and because of this, I can easily combine business and childcare. However, I am convinced that a higher workload is not always easy to reconcile with childcare.
Back to the Mum Fit Glattpark. How is the training structured?
The weekly training lessons are always different, but the hour is structured as follows: 1) The mothers start the course with a short running session. 2) We warm up together on doing strength exercises and endurance exercises. The warm-up exercises are designed differently each week and consist of individual or group exercises. 3) This is followed by a demanding circuit training with various exercises (between 6-10 exercises), which are completed over a period of about 20-30 minutes. We train with our own weight, among other things. also with kettlebells, resistance bands, medicine balls, skipping ropes, dumbbells or fitness straps. 4) After the circuit training, we end the workout with a short running session. 5) Finally, we stretch the muscles and if it is not too cold, we add 2-3 yoga exercises.
How big is your group? How many people normally meet for training?
It depends mainly on the weather and the holiday season. In case of bad weather and holiday season around 4 participants otherwise twice as many.
How do you recognize a good trainer who brings you to the desired result?
Despite the group course, the trainer should respond individually to each participant. As already described, the course is always adapted to the needs of mothers & children. Children have their moods and on some days they want to stay close to their mothers during the training. In this case, the exercises are adapted spontaneously. In addition, the participants can express wishes if they want to work certain parts of the body more than others.
You must have worked with many clients. What do you think are the biggest mistakes they make during training?
It always depends on the intentions with which a sports course is attended. If it is only about feeling healthy & fit, there is not so much you can do wrong. Of course, the participants have to inform me about their complaints so that injuries can be prevented. Furthermore, it is important that you listen to your body and do not exaggerate. If weight loss is in the foreground, several factors must, of course, be taken into account: Healthy nutrition, muscle building, and sport. On a sporting level, the mistake is often made that only endurance training is done and no muscle training. A high muscle mass helps in losing weight. Mum Fit Glattpark puts a great emphasis on building muscle mass.
How often do you train yourself and what form of exercise do you prefer?
Before the pregnancy, I did sports about 3-5 times a week: Horse riding, inline skating, Nordic walking, jogging, hiking, weight training, cycling, swimming, and yoga. Since the birth of my daughter, I have reduced my sports activities and do sports about 2-3 times a week: cycling, jogging, Nordic walking, weight training, and yoga. However, I take a walk in the fresh air every day.
Chocolate, ice cream, cake – the three greatest sins of woman. Do you treat them too? 😉
Yes, I treat them too, but I take a different approach than ordinary trainers. Over the years I have noticed that poor nutrition often goes hand in hand with a mental imbalance. If we are honest, we overeat due to stress, sadness, emptiness, excessive demands, lack of self-confidence or other negative feelings. 10 years ago I trained as a soul mentor at the Ellen Michels Academy. As a soul mentor, I help my clients to dissolve negative feelings. Without the release of slowing down feelings, it is difficult in my opinion to establish a normal relationship with food when you have “eaten away” your tensions or problems for years. This assumption can be clearly supported by facts in everyday life: Overweight & obesity develop into widespread diseases and many diets fail because they do not solve the problem at its origin. In my individual coaching sessions, negative feelings deep inside are dissolved and thus a normal eating relationship can develop again in the long run.
I am teaming up with Mum Fit Glattpark to give away three 19CHF vouchers for a free Mom Fit Glattpark training session. If you would like to win one of the three vouchers, tell us by Sunday, 2 February 2020, 8 pm by comment directly on the blog (whichever language version), how do you keep your body and mind fit! You can find general competition conditions here.