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Moms make strides toward getting fit with new program

By Candace Nelson

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A stroller-based fitness program designed for moms with babies is cruising to the Kanawha Valley.

Stroller Strides is an hour-long class that emphasizes cardiovascular activities and muscle-strengthening exercises using resistance bands and strollers, allowing moms to interact with their babies throughout the workout.

Stroller Strides is one program of Fit4Mom, which is a franchise that offers classes in more than 1,300 locations nationwide.

Lillian Gould purchased her franchise, Fit4Mom Kanawha Valley, in May after hearing from friends in other states who enjoyed Stroller Strides.

"I had my first child about four years ago, and I just thought 'that sounds so awesome,'" said Gould, 25. "I waited and waited, and no one opened one up here. Finally, last year, I had my last baby, and I thought that if I want to do this, I have to be the one to open up Stroller Strides. I signed up, went to training and took my very first class."

Fit4Mom Kanawha Valley will be celebrating its grand opening with a free class and giveaways at 6 p.m. today at Danner Meadow Park in Charleston's Fort Hill neighborhood. Gould said that dads are also welcome to join the grand opening.

Stroller Strides will be held four days a week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 9 a.m. at Danner Meadow Park.

The classes are taught by nationally certified instructors and include power-walking, intervals of body toning, as well as songs and activities for babies. The class also offers playgroups and opportunities for the women to socialize.

Fit4Mom Kanawha Valley is offering free Stroller Strides classes until July 30.

"I know that if moms will just try Stroller Strides, they will fall in love with it - just like I did. I want to get as many moms to class as possible to give it a try, and what better way to do that than making the classes free for two weeks?" Gould said.

Fit4Mom Kanawha Valley will also be offering Fit4Baby classes, which is a prenatal program. Gould said the program is much like Stroller Strides for pregnant women, just without the kids or strollers.

Fit4Baby will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Danner Meadow Park. Each class is an hour long.

"We provide the outlet that moms need to enjoy time with other moms, while also focusing on the much-needed exercise to fuel their demanding lives," Gould said. "You can make new friends, get into shape and enjoy time with your baby."

Monthly plans for Stroller Strides and Fit4Baby start at $30, which includes only Saturdays. The most popular plan is $60 a month for unlimited classes.

Those interested in attending Stroller Strides or Fit4Baby classes should come in workout attire and bring water.

For more information on Fit4Mom, check out www.facebook.com/Fit4MomKanawhaValley or contact Lillian Gould at 304-951-2036.

Contact writer Candace Nelson at Candace.Nelson@dailymail.com or 304-348-5148. Follow her at www.twitter.com/Candace07.

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