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My love letter to all the amazing women in this community.

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Whether you're working outside of the home, working from home, or spending the days with your kids, grocery shopping can be a pain. Especially with two kids now, it's hard for me to find the perfect time of day between Stroller Strides, nap, preschool pick-up, dinner, bedtime and/or Body Back. Seriously - WHEN am I supposed to shop for food and maintain my sanity with - gasp - some down time with my family?

We recently began chatting with Whole Foods about how to make healthy eating and momming work together, and then they threw this gem our way! If you're like me and tired of traffic, parking, getting kids in and out of the car, Whole Foods has your back! DON’T go shopping! Order your groceries online – they promise you will...

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Meet Morgan! She's our first Mom of the Month from our Body Back classes, though she also attended Stroller Strides while on maternity leave. Even though this interview was our initial meeting, she impressed me with her calm and poise. It was also pretty fun to do an interview with someone in non-workout clothes at a bar! We met at 1157 Bar and Kitchen for a drink and enjoyable mommy conversation!

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The desire of Baltimore City Stroller Strides moms to add colorful and edible vegetation to our concrete jungle while being environmentally friendly is strong... like we are!

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Our team has been growing to better serve our amazing community of moms. We wanted to introduce our newest instructors as well as let you get to know some familiar faces better!

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This month we chat with Jess Bonsall about motherhood, the environment, and punk rock music!

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A note from Rachel: Here's another love letter we recently received, not penned as such, but a love letter nonetheless. It's a perfect way to bring February, a month for love, full circle.

FIT4MOM saved my life. Well that's a bit dramatic but it helped me out of a lonely place I was slowly sinking into. As a new mom, I was overjoyed at the beautiful boy I had brought into the world and overwhelmed with the love and fear I felt at the same time. I also was shocked that the world did not stop when my baby came and that family had to work and friends had to care for their own kids. So I was alone, and suffering from postpartum depression, and high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, and probably other things I can't remember now. And feeling guilty for feeling anything but constant joy.

After two months I decided I had to do something. So I posted in a local blog for a mommy and me group and the owner of FIT4MOM Baltimore City offered up her Stroller Strides class as a great way to socialize and get some exercise. So I signed up! And then did not show up. I...

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Dear Village,

Today is Valentine’s Day. Ideally, I would have written this letter in time for you to open it on V-Day morning, so that you could read it in the early morning light before your babies woke, over coffee and quiet (because those moments totally happen, right?!) but, I didn’t. Because, you know, motherhood and whatnot.

I know you understand. You always understand.

Anyway, I felt compelled on this Valentine’s Day when our village is being considered for so many well-deserved accolades - Franchise of the Year, and Village of the Year, and Instructor of the Year - to sit down and write you a love letter.

Where to begin? Oh boy. Fit4Mom Baltimore City, you have been a light in my life for over a year and a half. When I think about the most important relationships in my life thus far, this one stands out for so many reasons.

At the risk of sounding cheesy, let me list the reasons why I love you so:

1. You are a relationship that both supports and challenges me. You create modifications for me on the days when I desperately need a break,...

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I was at home with my youngest daughter yesterday morning, spending time playing before heading to a neighborhood playgroup. As I often do, I snapped a few selfies, never wanting to forget those moments, and wanting Violet to know that she was just as loved as her older sister, who was the subject of many more pictures in her first two years of life as an only child.

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Our rowhomes can seem smaller in cold weather, especially after several days indoors. We are blessed to live in a city that has so much to do, but there are also days where we can’t leave the house for one reason or another. For those indoor days, here are some fun things to do with your little ones to break up the monotony. I’ll admit that most of these involve a little bit of clean-up, but nothing too crazy.

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Courtnay Mecca is almost always smiling. Its one of the first things that I noticed about her when I met her several years ago. Yet, behind her sunny disposition is a mom who seems so grounded and in control. Besides being a full time Mom to almost four year old William and six month old Amelia, she teaches yoga classes at BambooMoves yoga and is earning her graduate degree in nutrition. I was fortunate to grab a tea with her and find out a little bit more about this amazing mom!

So, my first question, coffee or tea?

Normally, coffee. Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.

What is your favorite thing about Stroller Strides?

Wow! There’s lots. The full body workout plus cardio and just being around other moms that totally get it… that totally get that you’re not showered, you may not have slept the night before. Your kid could have...

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Recently I was on Facebook, something that I don’t ever intend to check but somehow end up doing a dozen times a day. I was glad that I happened to look down with enough awareness to notice that one of my Mom friends had posted something.

This amazing Mama has a baby girl and a preschool son, similar in ages to my own. She’s been struggling with keeping her family healthy as endless rounds of coughs and colds have gone from one member of her household to the next. I feel the same, except we’ve been dealing more with ear infections. After asking for advice on wellness for her little ones, she stated that she wanted to make 2017 the year of Mama.

Whoa!! Hold up!! I felt like she was reading my mind! How do I make the next year not just about taking care of my children, but also about taking care of me?

Here’s my game plan. Feel free to add your own ideas for wellness in the comments below!

  1. Exercise- Yes, I’m writing this post for...

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I ran my first half marathon on December 3rd this year. Thirteen point one miles of putting one foot in front of the other.

I have never thought of myself as a runner and still find it hard to identify as one. My five foot one frame is not graceful as I move from one mile to the next (I think of myself as plodding along), but I was proud that my body served me so well throughout this race. I geared my training for the Rehoboth Half Marathon toward accomplishing reasonable goals: I wanted to run the whole way, no walking, and I wanted to finish under two hours and 30 minutes. I accomplished everything, but there were times during the race where I doubted myself and my abilities. The more I think about the race, the more parallels I see between distance running and motherhood - both are extreme endurance sports.

With both of them, there are points where you feel like giving up, when you are at your absolute lowest. In motherhood, these come out as tearful frustration with my kids when they seem out of control, lack of sleep due to worrying if I’m being a good...

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Mom and Baby Plank

Last month, we celebrated “Planksgiving” with cardio planks, side planks, plank jacks, and every other variation in between. You’ve pushed your limits planking until you drop and seen yourself grow stronger, holding your plank a little longer each time. We’ve finished up our emphasis on planks, but you can bet that you’ll see this pose throughout all Fit4Mom classes. Plank helps us to get stronger, allowing us to have more control in our exercises and throughout life.

In October, I had the opportunity to attend a class in Severn where FIT4MOM founder Lisa Druxman taught. I had a really fun workout, but was also listening as a teacher. I wanted to hear her cues for exercising, know how she encouraged others to keep going, and listen to the way that she provided support to moms. Lisa said several times as we were running and pushing our strollers that we should live our lives in plank. Why? Here are a few of the many benefits:

  • Strengthens wrists and arms- How many times a day are we lifting our little...

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Winter is coming… With temperatures dipping into the 30s overnight and freeze warnings posted, we find ourselves gearing up for the winter months. However, just because it's getting colder outside doesn't mean that we're stuck indoors. With the proper clothing, we can still make our trips to the park, go for walks, and hopefully, enjoy a few more outdoor Stroller Strides classes before we take our workouts inside for the winter.

Our little ones are smaller than us and lose their body heat more easily. Also, they’re not always great about telling us when they’re cold. Because of this, the best way to dress our kiddos is in layers.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that your child be dressed in one more layer than you feel comfortable in during the same weather conditions. However, we also need to take into consideration that we’re creating heat during Stroller Strides with all those burpees, squats, and jumping jacks. Personally, I like to dress my daughter Cecilia in one more layer than what I’m...

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Meet Morgan! She's our first Mom of the Month from our Body Back classes, though she also attended Stroller Strides while on maternity leave. Even though this interview was our initial meeting, she impressed me with her calm and poise. It was also pretty fun to do an interview with someone in non-workout clothes at a bar! We met at 1157 Bar and Kitchen for a drink and enjoyable mommy conversation!

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