I discovered Fit4Mom just before my oldest was born in 2016. During my maternity leave, and long after, I’d take my baby to the park, get a great workout, and find sanity in the trials of early motherhood. Their stroller workouts are specially designed so that both moms and babies walk away with full cups, and that’s no mean feat.
On that chilly morning, moms and kids alike came to the North Carolina Museum of Art Park bundled up in jackets, gloves, and blankets (for the kids!). I assure you that at the end of the training many jackets had been stuffed under the strollers. We started with a “let’s get to know each other” question with some basic moves to start warming up our bodies. We circled the circle as each mom shared the one non-negotiable thing she does every day for self-care. Answers varied though some of my favorites were coffee, showers, daily naps for the sleep deprived, and, of course, exercise.
We moved around the park to different “stations” where we would focus on strength, mobility and cardio movements. The frequent changes of position allowed us to run/walk and entertained the children. I’m also constantly amazed at how every level of fitness can get exactly what they need from these workouts. There are different levels and modifications to every single move, giving every mom permission and the ability to do what she can on that day. When baby is teething or going through a sleep regression, you probably won’t have the same energy levels as a day where you have 8 solid hours (or dare I tempt fate, more).
Towards the end of the workout, some of the kids were getting a little fussy but both our talented coach, Krista Casale, and other moms in the group started singing and dancing during the workout, to make that little boy smile and let him his mother finished her training.
We finished with some ab work on the mat and some stretching. All children clearly have a favorite part of every workout, that moment when they can get out of the strollers and we all sing The Smile Song together, sung to the tune of My Bologna Has a First Name.
As practice drew to a close, Missy pulled out a box of supplies for the play date. The kids made snowman-shaped sensory bottles while the moms circled the mats to chat. Every woman there that cold morning walked away with a smile on her face, myself included.
While all of this is my account, I reached out to the community to hear what others had to say.
“I love that it’s a community of moms who support and encourage other moms. I tell my husband that my Fit4Mom classes are like me putting on my airplane oxygen mask first so I can take care of my family safely and healthily. I always feel energetic, confident and balanced when I walk out of a Fit4Mom class! -Marie Richter Fuchs
“I absolutely love that no matter what I’m going through — if I’m rushing to knit a hat, I have a broken toe, everyone is yelling — no one is judging. Every mom is so kind and welcoming and she has been since day one. It’s a community of moms who do nothing but support each other even though we really are all so different. – Katie Werts
“When I moved to Raleigh ten years ago I didn’t know anyone in the state. I went to a Stroller Strides class on the first Monday with my toddler and am still friends with many of those same moms. Sometimes when I was having a rough day, that time with other moms was the best time of the day. -Elaine DellaNoce
“Without a doubt Fit4mom saved my sanity. Having my first child in December was tough as going out for a walk wasn’t really an option. I found Fit4mom after a quick Google search and immediately signed up! Not only did I make lifelong friends, but I liked them so much that I decided to become an instructor for their prenatal program. I love being able to give something back to a community that got me through my first year of motherhood. – Crystal gift
While the class I went to was a stroller workout, there are plenty of options for every stage of motherhood and fitness level, from prenatal workouts for expecting moms to Body Boost, high-intensity interval workouts where children stay at home.