Moms and Babies Get a Great Workout In the Park

Fitness Trainer Darcy Zenker runs 10 boot camps a week for new mothers.

There is probably nothing more perplexing for a young mother than to try and shake off the postpartum childbirth blues and find the time to get outside, workout and round quickly back into good physical shape.

Darcy Zenker, 31, has solved that dilemma and more.

Zenker is a workout fanatic. She owns her own company Nowfitness. She conducts boot camp training sessions for women all over St. Louis.

Those women eager to regain their form flock to her like sheep.

Every Monday and Wednesday, promptly at 9:30 a.m. you will find anywhere from a half to a dozen women who gather with Zenker to literally run through their routine. No one leaves the park without having worked up a good sweat.

Zenker, holds a bachelors degree in marketing and advertising from Southern Illinois Carbondale but is a self-professed workout freak. “I played rugby and ran track in school.” she said. After graduating she did marketing for Autohaus and Mini of Clayton. Then, after having her first child Annie (one years old on July 18) she reverted back to her love of physical fitness.

Lucky for her, her husband Mike, an engineer at Boeing Co. watches Annie during the evenings while she conducts more classes. She will run at least 10 boot camp training classes per week.

“Yes, its physically demanding on me,” she revealed. That said, she’s out front, leading the run on the streets and the exercises by the curbside.

Everything is geared towards moms and their offspring. They do exercises like mommy kicks, monkey touches, peekaboo squats, kiss your baby pushups, duck walking and mommy climbers.

She makes it loads of fun for her following, which this week included Cassandra Maloney, of Creve Coeur with 3-month-old Dylan.

Zenker likes to vary the location. Sometimes they are at Tilles Park. Other days find them training at the St.Louis Zoo, in Forest Park or along the Grant Bike trail in South County. They’ve even worked out beneath the Arch and at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.
Her clients hear about her services a variety of ways. She has a website, uses Groupon coupons and gets referrals primarily by “word of mouth.”

Her workouts as much social as they are physically challenging. Moms like to get out of the house and meet others sharing similar birthing experiences. They all have similar goals of rounding back into good physical form.

Zenker sees it as “a motivating and fun way to keep mommy healthy and baby too.” Everyone comes equipped with the latest baby strollers with places to store drinks, baby toys and arm weights.

If that’s not enough, Zenker is a marathon runner, recently running in the Nashville Rock ‘N Roll event and the Chicago Bank of America marathon.

Presumably, without children in tow.


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