Becoming a new mom can be both physically and emotionally challenging. Not only does she have to recover from the grueling experience of labor (and surgery, if she has a C-section), but it’s a complete change of family structure. Adapting to this lifestyle, including relationship transitions, can sometimes feel lonely, which is why new parents can benefit from activities that provide social opportunities.
FIT4MOM connects women who have young children, attempting to meet both fitness and social needs through exercise classes. It began 12 years ago with its flagship program, Stroller Strides, and has grown to include more than 150 members in five programs across the Santa Clarita Valley. It’s also expanded to offer other stroller-based, prenatal, and kid-free workouts, and anywhere from three to 30 moms attend classes, depending on locations.
“We are thankful that FIT4MOM is a safe space for moms to come and connect with each other, and relate over their shared experiences and season of life,” said Dani Cohen, MA, BCBA, owner of FIT4MOM Santa Clarita Valley. “Every Saturday we have Family Stroller Strides, where dads can come with Mama and their littles and participate in the Stroller Strides workout for free!”
While most people think of Stroller Strides when they think of FIT4MOM, Cohen says it’s much more.
“We’re kind of the total mama package,” she said. “It’s a total body workout you can do with your little one(s) in tow. We meet at local parks and intermix intervals of strength training and cardio as we move around the park and entertain our little ones.”
FIT4MOM programs include:
Stroller Strides is a total-body conditioning workout designed for moms with kids in tow. Each 60-minute workout is comprised of strength training, cardio and core restoration, all while entertaining the little ones with songs and activities.
Stroller Barre is a unique blend of ballet, Pilates, barre, yoga and stroller-based exercises designed to help moms build strength and muscle tone and improve posture.
Prenatal Fit4Baby is a program designed to strengthen your body for all the changes you will experience during pregnancy. These classes exclusively focus on pregnant moms.
Body Back is a results-based workout (kid free) designed for moms who want their body back, whether they just had a baby or their last child was born 20 years ago. The experience includes two 60-minute HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts per week, pre- and post-fitness assessments, nutrition guidance, supplemental online workouts and support.
FIT4MOM Run Club is for moms who are training for an upcoming 5K, 10K or half marathon race, or just want to enjoy some extra cardio with other like-minded mamas. A program for all levels, Run Club allows you to run, improve your health and fitness, and connect with other moms through two styles of class: Run Clinics to work on strength, speed and agility; and Run Days to work on increasing endurance and mileage.
“One of my favorite things that you get with FIT4MOM is the ‘Our Village’ experience,” Cohen explained. “Through the multiple playgroups we offer weekly, monthly Moms Nights Out, monthly family field trips, and quarterly philanthropy. Our Village is the piece of the FIT4MOM puzzle that fosters meaningful relationships between Mama and Mama, Mama and Baby, and Baby and Baby, and Mama and her community.
There are six locations across the Santa Clarita Valley. Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre classes meet at the Castaic Sports Complex, Bridgeport Park, and Fair Oaks Park. The Family Stroller Strides classes meet on Saturdays at Golden Valley Park. The Body Back classes meet at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex, and the Run Club meets at Valencia Heritage Park.
There are various membership options, based on the mom’s needs. “All our instructors are highly trained and certified in pre- and post-natal fitness and experts in the pre- and post-partum body,” Cohen said. “Your first class is free!”
For more information, visit santaclaritavalley.fit4mom.com/your-first-class-is-free.
What some moms are saying:
I live in Canyon Country and teach Stroller Strides at Fair Oaks Park and Bridgeport Park, and I coach the Run Club. I have been attending classes for 3 ½ years and teaching for just over a year. My favorite part about FIT4MOM is the community. I was new to the area when I had my first child with no family nearby. I tried Stroller Strides and instantly had the friendships and support I needed. I count down the days to our Mom’s Nights Out and Family Field Trips every month, because I love the extra time with the people I have met through FIT4MOM.
My two children now love going to classes and spending time with their friends after classes. They often reenact the exercises the moms did during class for fun. I love that the classes are accessible to all levels of fitness. I have attended classes both pregnant and newly postpartum and was able to modify workouts as needed for how I was feeling. After regaining most of my fitness and strength a year and half after my second child, I still am challenged by the workouts.
Kimberly Carden, Instructor
I have been with FIT4MOM for almost two years, starting when my son was 3 months old. I live in Agua Dulce and go to the Bridgeport and Fair Oaks classes.
I’ve always been athletic and pretty healthy, so when I had my son and I went to the gym and saw the daycare, I was not impressed. FIT4MOM provided me with a way that I could get my workout in and keep my son with me.
The things I love the most I never even knew I needed: mom friends and friends for my son. I can work out on my own if I really wanted, but nothing can replace the connections I’ve made through FIT4MOM. These ladies are the only people I can be brutally honest with about “mom life.” Let’s be honest, being a mom isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. There are days where the kids test your limits, where they push you to do and say things you never thought you would say, and sometimes you just need a friend to commiserate with. These last few weeks I haven’t been able to work out because of pregnancy, and now post-labor, and I find myself going to the end of class just to have a play date for my son and to see my friends.
FIT4MOM has been a great addition to my routine and I would recommend it to everyone.
I started with FIT4MOM in the summer of 2016 when I moved from Dayton, Ohio to Canyon Country. FIT4MOM has completely changed my life. I feel very grounded in my identity as a mother and value the importance of wellness and self-care. I joined the FIT4MOM Santa Clarita Valley team in June of 2018. I have the pleasure of helping mamas make connections with other mamas in the Santa Clarita Valley and achieve their health and wellness goals.
I love the time that I get to spend with my little one, outside, being active. We always say, “They are always watching,” and it’s the truth. Not long after my son could walk, he could do a burpee. I love the emphasis on coming as you are. We juggle multiple roles including partner, sister, daughter, colleague, supervisor, etc., in addition to mom. I know that when I come to Stroller Strides or a Mom’s Night Out, I can bring my whole self and be valued. All of the women in our village are about lifting each other up and providing support. There is amazing diversity among the women in our group and it just makes our interactions so rich and fulfilling. I can’t imagine mothering without these women.
Staci Daniels-Sommers, MSW
Membership Director, FIT4MOM SCV
I have been a participant of Fit4Mom for two years. I’ve been to their Bridgeport and Fair Oaks locations, as well as their Body Back sessions at the Sports Complex. I live in Fair Oaks, so I was very excited when they started teaching classes there earlier this year!
I have three children (5, 2, and 3 months) and my favorite part of Fit4Mom was finding women that I became extremely close with over the last two years. I now have a close-knit group of women that I know I can lean on if I ever need support. I continued going to classes all through my last pregnancy, and it made this third labor and delivery so much easier! I am now looking forward to getting back in shape after having my third child.
I have been a participant in FIT4MOM for over two years now. I live in Fair Oaks and attended Bridgeport classes for a while and now attend mostly at Fair Oaks Park. I have done Stroller Strides, Stroller Barre and Body Back classes. It’s a truly excellent program and a great way for moms to get their workout in and have some time for themselves. There are built-in activities for kids, playgroups, and mom’s night outs! I’ve met and made great friends and it’s been something my kids look forward to!