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Meet Our Programs Monday: Fit4Baby

Welcome to Part Two of our four part January feature, Meet Our Programs Monday! Last week we introduced Stroller Barre (check out that feature here) and this week, I'm very excited to be discussing our prenatal program, Fit4Baby! Did you know that out of over two hundred and fifty FIT4MOM franchises, FIT4MOM Grand Rapids is one of only thirty-six franchises that offers Fit4Baby??? Pretty awesome, isn't it? Not all Fit4Baby participants are new to FIT4MOM but for the moms who are not yet participating in Stroller Strides, Fit4Baby is such a great introduction to FIT4MOM and the amazing, supportive community of moms that create this group. Our community is here for you, physically & emotionally, through all stages of motherhood.

Fit4Baby is a prenatal fitness program that teaches women how to exercise safely and effectively throughout their pregnancy. The hour-long Fit4Baby class is interval based, combining elements of strength training, cardiovascular exercises and stretching and balancing exercises. We train and certify our Fit4Baby instructors so they are properly prepared to lead pregnant women in exercises that are safe and appropriate for her changing body. The program is for all stages of pregnancy. (via FIT4MOM corporate)

Our Fit4Baby program typically operates in six week sessions with one evening class per week. All of the FIT4MOM Grand Rapids instructors and are certified to teach Fit4Baby and have taught this class at some point. This session is being taught by Sarah, who is also a Stroller Strides instructor & the instructor for the current eight week Body Back Transformation (formerly Body Back) session that starts TONIGHT. I asked her for some thoughts about this wonderful program and here's what she had to say.

Is Exercise During Pregnancy Safe & Why:

"Exercising during a pregnancy is completely safe and actually encouraged. Exercising can help keep pregnancy weight manageable, prevent pregnancy-induced hypertension and gestational diabetes and possibly decrease the time in labor. That being said, always consult your doctor before starting an exercise program."

(Here's a great informational read from FIT4MOM corporate about prenatal fitness!)

How Fit4Baby Differs From Other Prenatal Fitness Programs:

"Fit4Baby is different from other prenatal programs in our area because we offer strength and cardio for all stages of your pregnancy and all fitness levels. Modifications are always a part of every exercise. Not only do we work on building the strength one needs for motherhood, we are also setting up moms to be keep their healthy lifestyle after their pregnancy."

What She Loves About Teaching Fit4Baby:

"I love teaching Fit4Baby because I love seeing/helping moms-to-be take time for themselves. In a crazy time of transition, it is still important to care yourself and in turn care for your growing baby."

But, hey, Sarah is biased about the program, right? Of COURSE she's going to say it's wonderful. ;-) I knew you were going to think that so I asked a couple of moms who have participated in Fit4Baby for some of their thoughts about this program.

Why did you decide to participate in Fit4Baby?

--"Being new to Grand Rapids, I wanted do Fit4Baby to meet other moms and stay fit during my pregnancy. I didn't want to have a difficult time losing the baby weight!"

--"I had already participated in Body Back and Stroller Strides with my first child, so when I was pregnant with my second, I knew I wanted to give Fit4Baby a try."

What did you appreciate most about Fit4Baby?

--"I really appreciated how you could modify all the workouts. You could push yourself as little or as much as you liked."

--"The workouts were just what I needed, not only for my physical health but maybe even more so for my mental health. During my second pregnancy, I struggled with some prenatal depression and this weekly, scheduled physical exercise was very much needed to help me cope. Also, the support and friendship of the participants and instructors really allowed me to feel supported as I was able to be real with my thoughts, feelings and fears that went along with this pregnancy."

If you have participated in other FIT4MOM programs (Stroller Strides or Body Back), what makes Fit4Baby different?

--"Fit4Baby is different because everyone is pregnant so you can all support each other through your pregnancies. It's always comforting to have someone else there who understands!"

--"Compared to Body Back (where each workout we were challenged to stretch ourselves beyond what we thought we could do) and Stroller Strides (where you are definitely able to get in a challenging workout), during Fit4Baby, the focus was more on increasing the healthy movement for each momma-to-be and really listening to your body and its capabilities at the different stages of pregnancy. After Body Back classes, I left sweaty, sore, and proud. After Stroller Strides, I left feeling accomplished in a good workout and thankful that my daughter is able to learn so early on the importance of physical exercise. But after Fit4Baby, I left feeling calm and knew that those workout endorphins were very much helping me stabilize my moods."

The moms I talked with were also given a chance to share anything beyond the above questions about their thoughts on the importance of Fit4Baby and prenatal fitness. Here is what one mom wanted to share:

"Being a mom and being pregnant can do a number on your emotions. It is ok to be vulnerable with each other and not always say that things are good. I have found that the most support I've been able to give and get as a mom is when I open up about how real the challenges really are instead of giving the answer of "good" that I often am so inclined to do."

FIT4MOM is dedicated to the strength in motherhood and that strength goes beyond physical fitness. Like all of our programs, Fit4Baby meets moms where they are and offers the support and encouragement to be the strongest mom, women, individual they can be. Perhaps Fit4Baby seems like just what you're looking for and maybe you know someone who would enjoy a program like this. We are certainly looking forward to what the future holds for Fit4Baby and our wonderful community of moms in Grand Rapids!

CURRENT Fit4Baby SESSION:

January 10-February 28

Tuesdays @ 6pm--Metro Health Southwest

NEXT SESSION BEGINS IN MARCH!

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