FIT4MOM: Bring the Kids
Is it possible for busy parents to squeeze in a real workout these days? FIT4MOM says, “Absolutely!”
Corinne Allison discovered FIT4MOM after seeing pictures of friends at FIT4MOM Stroller Strides classes on her Facebook feed. “It looked like my friends were having fun with their children and getting a great workout,” she said.
The only catch? There wasn’t a class near her. She looked at that as an opportunity. With a background as an educator and interest in a flexible, kid-friendly, effective workout program, Allison opened a Crystal Lake/Huntley franchise in 2014. Classes meet at a variety of convenient venues, including the McHenry Athletic Complex in Ridgefield, Huntley Park District and TRUE 31 Galleria in Huntley. In fair weather, she takes the classes outdoors.
Leading by Example
FIT4MOM is different from other exercise programs because it offers fitness for mom and fun for baby.
“Many of our exercises incorporate the stroller, and we love to sing songs and play games to keep our kids engaged during class,” she said. “Our moms set a positive example of building a healthy lifestyle right in front of their children’s eyes. By incorporating our children in our class, they see how fitness can be fun, and it’s not unusual to see our kids ‘playing’ Stroller Strides on their own.”
FIT4MOM is a safe, one-size-fits-most approach to health and wellness, so expecting moms, new moms and moms with toddlers are all welcome to join the fun and fitness.
“All instructors are certified in pre- and post-natal fitness and appreciate the unique challenges that we all face when either beginning a fitness routine during pregnancy or coming back to fitness after having a baby,” Allison explained. “All of our classes are structured for all fitness levels. Every move has a modification, and moms can challenge themselves when their bodies are ready.”
Fit for All
FIT4MOM believes every mom should have the opportunity to take control of her health and offer affordable and flexible classes. “Many of our moms work at home, work part time, or stay at home, and therefore appreciate flexible and affordable options with our classes,” Allison said. “Every week, we offer a play group after class which is free and open to everyone. Once a month we do a moms’ night out event, and once a quarter, we participate in Mom on a Mission, which supports charity events in the community. All of those events are free and open to the public.”
Moms interested in FIT4MOM Stroller Strides can try a class for free. “We offer the trial class so moms can ask questions, get to meet the other moms who come to class, and really understand that we are more than just a fitness class – we are a community,” she said.
FIT4MOM really offers programs promoting fitness for all. Stroller Strides is open to all women who are at least six weeks postpartum and have their doctor’s approval to begin exercise. Most children are between six weeks to four years old (stroller-aged). Pregnant women may also participate with written approval from their doctor.
And you don’t need to be a mom to participate. “Even though Stroller Strides is predominately made up of moms, fathers and caregivers such as nannies or grandmothers are welcome to come with their strollers and little ones as well,” Allison explained.
Body Back is recommended for women who are three months postpartum because of the intensity level. Because Body Back is for moms only, these classes are generally offered in the evenings or on Saturday mornings when there is most likely someone at home to help with childcare.
FIT4MOM and Mompreneurship
Self-proclaimed “mompreneur” Lisa Druxman founded FIT4MOM in 2001 with the mission to give moms a workout they could do with babies in tow, while helping them forge connections with each other.
Allison relates to Druxman’s vision. “I love that this is a place where these moms can come together to not only get a great workout, but also share concerns regarding parenting and their children,” she said. “I hope as I am able to open more locations within McHenry County, I will be able to maintain my relationships with the moms who come to these classes and become a place where moms feel they have a strong sense of belonging and community.”
Like many moms, Allison also understands the challenges and opportunities of what being a mompreneur means. “The biggest challenge of being a mompreneur is balancing being a mother and working a full-time job,” she said. “As every mother knows, taking care of children is a full-time job on its own. Squeezing work into the odd minutes of the day is becoming the norm, but I love that I am able to drop off and pick my son up from school, and take my daughter with me to a job that I truly enjoy.”
About the Owner
I’m originally from Lombard, Ill., Allison has lived in McHenry County for eight years, having recently moved to Crystal Lake from Algonquin. She taught at Jacobs High School in Algonquin before launching the local FIT4MOM franchise.
When she’s not leading FIT4MOM classes, “I love taking my kids, Quinn, 2, and Logan, 5, to the library and listening to story time, or heading to downtown Crystal Lake for one of their many events,” she said. “During the summer, we enjoy going to the beaches to swim or driving to find a new park that we’ve never played at before.”