Once we become mothers, taking care of ourselves sometimes falls to the wayside. With caring for the little ones, making sure dinner is ready, and giving the kid a bath before bed, it’s easy to see why many mothers don’t make “me” a No. 1 priority.
To help moms take back their health and fitness, Lisa Druxman founded Fit4Mom back in 2001. “It’s the nation’s leading fitness program designed for the conditioning and well-being of mothers and their babies,” explains Fit4Mom Blue Ash/Montgomery founder Colleen O’Connell.
O’Connell says that she was inspired to bring a Fit4Mom group to Blue Ash and Montgomery after she took a mommy-friendly fitness class called Stroller Strides while living in San Diego. “I have returned to my hometown of Cincinnati to launch a new Fit4Mom franchise offering Stroller Strides and Fit4Baby classes,” she says.
O’Connell has more than 20 years of dance experience, including 3 years on Xavier University’s Dance Team, so she knows what it means to lead a high-energy and active lifestyle.
She also knows first-hand how important your physical fitness and wellbeing is. When she was pregnant in 2014, O’Connell developed pre-eclampsia. As a result, she was placed on strict hospital bedrest for 5 weeks.
“I lost most of my muscle tone, strength, and energy during pregnancy and postpartum,” she says. “I had an emergency C-section at 32 weeks and I was determined to start working out again after my doctor gave me clearance.”
Clearance meant that she started participating in Stroller Strides classes in January 2015. She also became a Certified Stroller Strides and Fit4Baby instruction in December 2015. “My fitness background, passion for motherhood, and my marketing degree from Xavier University will hopefully allow me to enthusiastically inspire other women to achieve better health,” says O’Connell.
According to O’Connell, her favorite part of Fit4Mom is that it was founded by a mom and lovingly created for mothers. “Coming from a career in the male-dominated automotive industry, I was working over 50 hours a week and was floundering trying to figure out how to be a mom,” says O’Connell. “I needed a village that was accepting and nurturing of my new role as a mom, and Fit4Mom has filled that void for me.”
Now, O’Connell gets to bring her son with her to work everyday, and he’s surrounded by fitness, health, and a village of loving and supporting women.
O’Connell also hopes to bring a sense of community to her Fit4Mom group. “Fit4Mom Blue Ash/Montgomery is here to help women through all stages of motherhood,” she says. “We are more than a fitness class or gym membership. We foster a village of moms that support and encourage each other.”
To O’Connell, Fit4Mom is about more than just helping moms get their pre-baby body back. It’s about helping to shape the next generation.
“Our children are watching us exercise, push ourselves, encourage others, share, and many other important values all from the seat of the stroller,” she adds.
According to O’Connell, Fit4Mom offers different programs. Altogether, these programs are available in more than 1,400 locations in the United States. As for the Blush Ash/Montgomery locatio, it opened on April 30, 2016 and offers Stroller Strides and Fit4Baby.
You can find the following programs available at the Blue Ash/Montgomery location:
Stroller Strides: A stroller-based fitness program designed for moms with little ones. Each 60-minute, total body workout incorporates power walking/jogging, strength, toning, and fun for kids.
Fit4Baby: A program designed to strengthen the body for all the changes it will experience during pregnant. These classes exclusively focus on pregnant moms!
Stroller Strides classes are offered at Weller Park on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The Village Playground is free and is usually held Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., although the locations vary from week-to-week.
Since its launch 15 years ago, Fit4Mom has been recognized as the Best in Category for fitness by Franchise Business Review for 2015. It’s also been included in the prestigious Franchise top 50 for the 5th year in a row. The organization also partners with companies including New Chapter, LUNA, and BOB.
If you want to try out Fit4Mom, the first class is always free. O’Connell says the group offers several membership options. “Our most popular plans are the maternity leave package, teacher’s special, and unlimited monthly membership,” she says. There’s also a pay-as-you-go option for $15 per class.
According to O’Connell, there’s a lot to look forward to for the Blue Ash/Montgomery group. “We will be launching our Fit4Baby prenatal classes in September,” she says.
You’ll also want to stay tuned for the Fit4Baby schedule, grand opening date, and location, all of which will be announced very soon.