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Lindsay is a longtime Stroller Strider and Body Backer, and she's excited to be kicking off her second session of Run Club here at FIT4MOM Severn! Today, she's sharing some tips for runners of all levels, whether you've got race goals or want to get some running in at any of our other programs.

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After almost 10 years of completing 5ks, 10ks, 10-milers, half marathons and one marathon, I take for granted a lot of the information I have picked up along the way. While I am by no means an expert, I would like to share a few tidbits I have learned in my running journey.

The information below is based solely (get it?) on experience – I'm not a doctor. If you ever have questions about injuries or treatments, I highly recommend finding a trusted health care professional.

60 Minutes to Gatorade

I love...

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Melissa Collazo is one of our Severn instructor team and a fantastic mommy to Mia and David. After time and healing following her loss, Melissa hopes to break the stigma surrounding infant and pregnancy loss, and to help the one in four mamas suffering a loss to find comfort and strength in their experiences. This post comes with a trigger warning for those who may have suffered the loss of a pregnancy or child.

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PREGNANCY LOSS.

The two words alone seem almost benign, but put together creates a situation that tests every facet of one's being.

Is it a taboo topic? Sure. It is uncomfortable to speak openly about such tragedy. But as an experience that affects 1-in-4 women, I am here to tell you that you are not alone. You need not suffer in silence. I have walked in your shoes, mama. And I have cried your tears.

I share with you my story of loss in hopes that it will provide you just a bit of strength, of courage, and healing.

Have you ever had a memory that stands out so vividly in your mind and heart that just thinking of it...

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Mo is the FIT4MOM Severn owner (plus instructor of #AllThePrograms), and she's been cooking baby number four these past nine months. Even as a veteran mom to her three girls, she's got some misgivings about labor and adding littles, and she shares them in a sweet and vulnerable post below.

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It's the middle of the night and I can’t sleep. I’ve always been told that the sleeplessness of the last few weeks of pregnancy gets you ready for the sleepless nights of having a newborn. But...wouldn’t a full night’s sleep better prepare me?

Which has me wondering: is there really any preparing for a newborn?!

I am 37 weeks pregnant. I've just twisted my enormously pregnant self out of a twin bed monopolized by my four-year-old, pulled the covers up over her sleeping sister (my oldest), only to go into my own room and find my side of the bed completely overtaken by my two-year-old. Her days are numbered as the youngest in this family.

Am I ready to add another kid into this mix? There is...

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Here at FIT4MOM Severn, it's really starting to feel like summer is officially over. Right now, it's all about C H A N G E in our families and ourselves, and we've got #allthefeels (mostly positive, but always loving) about school.

We asked the members of our village three questions:

  • How are you feeling about sending the little(s) to school?
  • How are you preparing them for the transition?
  • How are you taking care of YOU this fall?

Our mamas had such wisdom to share with us...

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How are you feeling about sending the little(s) back to school?

I am feeling excited for my daughter to be starting kindergarten but am also a little anxious! As moms, we want our babies to feel happy, welcomed, and comfortable in new situations. So there comes a bit of anxiety with that! But I am so excited for her to meet new friends and experience so many new and wonderful things. --Kristina C.

I am a mix of emotions. I'm super...

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Laura is mama to Leo (4) and John (1). She's our content and marketing manager here at FIT4MOM Severn, and on our fantastic instructor team. And today she's got a challenge for all of us mamas.

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Let’s talk about vanity. It’s defined as “excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements.” A lot of us think of vanity as synonymous with self-absorption--as in, inconsiderate of others, disinterested in other human beings. But if we take a minute to think about it, the two are completely separate.

Raise your hand if this has ever been you. You hear someone say…

“Girl, you look great in that top!” and respond, “This old thing? It was like a dollar on the clearance rack…”

Or a friend says, “You are working that outfit!” and respond, “OMG, I feel huge, I’ve gained a million pounds…”

Someone comments, “Your eyelashes are so long!” or, “You’ve got great shoulders!” and you answer, "Oh but my hair is frizzy, my nose is crooked, my eyebrows are too thin.” The self-inflicted insults keep on...

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We're SO pleased to say: Lindsay Wright-Winger is the brand new Run Club coach for FIT4MOM Severn! Lindsay is mom to Luke, Max, and Grant and has been active in our programs for the past four years and counting. She's got some BIG plans for the aspiring runners in our village, whether you think you can't or KNOW you can!

Want to bolster your endurance abilities, complete a race, or achieve other running goals? Click H E R E for more information about the upcoming session of Run Club!

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Growing up, I had a parental figure in my life that had one rule – I was never allowed to use the word “can’t.” Literally – that was like the only rule.

Seconds on dessert? “No worries!”

Staying up past my bedtime? “No problem!"

Getting into adolescent trouble? “It happens.”

Saying I can’t do something? Prepare for a lecture, followed by a situation where I would be forced to prove myself wrong....

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Mother’s Day is this coming Sunday (hope that doesn’t come as a surprise!) and we’ve got a list of what the mama in your life might like. Because we believe in supporting every stage of motherhood, we’ve broken up our list by where she might be in her motherhood journey. Happy gifting!

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Our Village Manager, Merin Kuhn, has been with us for four years. When she's not setting up our awesome playgroups and moms' nights, she's an incredible mother to her two girls. Merin also heads up some fantastic charity initiatives, both within our village and on her own. Here, she shares eight tips to raise our littles with socially-minded values.

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Laura is our Content and Events Manager as well as a fabulous Stroller Barre, Stroller Strides, and Body Back instructor. She is loving mama to Leo (3) and John (1).

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Dear firstborn, I am so sorry we didn’t get to do everything on our bucket list before your brother was born. I was tired. I so wanted to get to every pumpkin patch and Christmas village while it was just the two of us. I hope all the beautiful, snuggly naps we took together were sufficient.

Dear secondborn, I’m sorry you don’t have a baby book. I’m sorry I only have 9,000 photos of you as a baby instead of 84,000. My phone was always full, and aintnobodygottime to back it up. As I scroll through my Insta, though, you were a beautiful newborn and I should have taken way more.

Dear firstborn, thank you for teaching me that healthy food is best for littles, and screen time is to be avoided. Dear secondborn, thank you for teaching me that French fries still fill hungry tummies and that a well-timed episode of “Thomas and Friends” can restore my sanity.

Dear...

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Krissy Strauss is one of our fantastic Body Back instructors, and the head of Run Club (do you have endurance goals?). She is mama to Jake and Joe, and she makes sure our village is filled with lots of positive energy and a few dirty jokes! Krissy is sharing five of the lessons she's learned since joining FIT4MOM Severn four years ago.

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1. Pre-baby me and post-baby me are very different people, especially when it comes to dos and don’ts of raising children. I told myself my kids would not have screen time before age two, and that I would only feed them homemade, organic baby food. Then I had kids and realized that some days it’s all I can do to keep them safe and love them. Talking and venting to my Village made me realize that doesn’t make me a failure or crazy. It makes me normal.

2. You never know...

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March is almost here! Whether you go crazy for college hoops or not, we've got a competition you're going to love!

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This March we're going mad for books! Beginning tomorrow, we'll be asking you to vote for your favorite children's books. The winners will advance to the next round until only one is left standing.

There may be a few books in our competition that you've yet to read. We encourage you to seek them out and read them with your littles. Nothing is better than snuggling up with your babies and a good book!

We'll plan a story time read aloud and playgroup based on the winning book. So get ready to vote. May the best book win!

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Laura is one of our fantastic instructors, certified in Stroller Strides, Stroller Barre, and Body Back. She's mom to Leo (3) and John (1). Laura has a hand in running our social media, blog, and special events as our Content and Events Manager, and she LOVES our Fit4Mom Severn village.

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I started working out with Fit4Mom Severn back when it was just called "Stroller Strides" (you can read about it here!). Since then, our leaders in fitness have added so many programs I'm proud to have taken part in. Here are some of the lessons I've learned from the Fit4Mom Severn village I'm privileged to know.

1. Moms are the most awesome demographic of people. Strongest, kindest, wisest, funniest. Okay, so we may not be the coolest (I don’t think I could name a single top 40 hit from the past year, or what movies are showing right now), but we make up for...

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New year, new hopes, new dreams, new goals. What kind of goals are you hoping to reach in 2017? Find out why you shouldn't measure your goal in pounds.

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It’s almost 2017! We know for many mamas, that means reflecting on this past year and setting some resolutions or goals for the upcoming year. We asked our Stroller Barre clients a few weeks ago if they were “resolution kinda people” and we got a resounding "NO". When they don't stick to their New Year's resolutions, they feel like they've failed, so they don't make them at all. However, one bright mama did say that she sets goals periodically throughout the year and this has worked well for her. We love that!

We’re inclined to think that New Year’s resolutions are so easily tossed aside because they are often overwhelming.

Take the old classic, I’ll lose 15 pounds in 2017. Here’s how that goes:

On January 1, you sleep in late (New Year’s Party an all), you nurse a hangover with greasy food, you lounge around, you have...

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Katy is the owner of Macaroni Kid - Pasadena, MD and mommy to 3 little guys. She has been "hiiting" it with us at Body Back for almost a year.

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Ok, moms-if you've followed for a while, you know in the Spring, I joined Fit4Mom Severn's Body Back Program.

Recently, I was chatting with a friend-and she confessed that every time I told her how empowered I was when I left my workouts, how strong I was getting-that I was high on life when I left class...she thought I was full of crap. She didn't understand how it could possibly feel that way-and then she joined too. Guess what?! She's eating her words now-she's hooked too.

If you haven't read my review after the first night, click here to read it. More importantly, if you haven't read my review from the end of the program,...

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We’ve all heard that the average American will gain five to seven pounds over the holidays. While the verdict is still out on whether that’s the true, we want you feeling good come 2017. You’ve heard us say that your weight doesn’t define you, so that five to seven pound gain doesn’t really concern us, but we know that along with overeating and over-drinking come a whole host of other unpleasantries, like feeling sick, sluggish and sore.

Mindful Eating

Mindful eating can be so tough for mamas every day, not to mention the stressful, fast-paced holiday season. But practicing mindful eating really prevents overdoing it. Fix a plate (snacks included), sit down at a table, put away your phone, turn of the TV, and really enjoy each bite of your food.

Just say no

People love offering others food. It is not rude to turn it down with a simple, no thank you. This goes for grandma offering you a tray of holiday cookies, a friend pouring you a second glass of wine, and the man at Costco handing out samples. If you don't...

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Laura Doran is one of our Stroller Barre, Body Back, and Stroller Strides instructors. She is mom to Leo and John, and has been dedicated to our classes since Leo was born over three years ago.

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When my firstborn was just the size of a blueberry in my belly, my sister-in-law Maureen bought me a BOB jogging stroller. When that same little blueberry was six weeks old, I dragged my groggy, hormonal self to one of her Fit4Mom classes for the first time. I got there super early (for probably the first and last time), and--get this-- had no idea how to operate my stroller. Maureen then taught me how to open the stroller she'd bought me nine months earlier.

I don't remember anything huge from that first class. I was excited that another mom was new with a six week old too, and that I could hold an okay plank. I was a little self conscious about my endurance, but really felt supported by the other moms in the class. What I mainly remember about that day was Maureen showing me how to open that stroller (and her driving away after, with no idea how to close...

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Lindsay is one of our most dedicated members, and mom to three-year-old Luke and two-year-old twins Max and Grant. We're so fortunate to have Lindsay and her boys as part of our Fit4Mom Severn village.

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“How are they brothers?"

A question I often receive since bringing home our precious baby Luke three years ago. And then welcoming twins ten months later.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have an opinion about adoption– myself included. My husband and I are often the recipients of these opinions. With the exception of some extreme outliers, our family‘s expansion choices have been met mostly with positivity. But I often wonder why there is a public preoccupation with children not being raised by their birth parents or people that look like them, and why “normal” is defined only as birth parents raising their biological children.

I would like to make an argument for a new normal. Because at the end of the day, all parents are walking the same path with a lot of the same...

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It's so easy to get swept up in the craziness of motherhood. This November, we're challenging you to spend a little more time focusing on all the blessings in your life.

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Join our gratitude challenge and set aside a part of your day for truly appreciating your family, your friends, and your life.

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Melissa is mommy to Mia and David and the newest members of our fabulous instructor team. She began taking classes with us in 2014 and became a certified Stroller Strides, Fit4Baby, and Stroller Barre instructor in 2016.

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I have been working out with Fit4Mom Severn since my daughter Mia was 6 weeks old — she is now two and a half. I can remember that day so clearly. It was a beautiful spring day and I was deep into new motherhood, which included little sleep, cabin fever, and getting to know my new postpartum body. I learned about this mom’s group that workout around the corner from my house from a nurse friend of mine and decided that I had had enough of staring at my four walls. It was time to get out of the house, get my blood pumping again, and make some mom friends. I struggled through that workout. I huffed and puffed behind my stroller as I tried to keep up with the super fit moms who made this challenging workout look easy. But by the end of class I was hooked. I’d drank the...

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Krissy is mom to Jake and Joe, and is one of our fantastic instructors--you've probably felt encouraged by her positive energy at Stroller Strides or Body Back. Krissy also heads up our Run Club, and has helped lots of our clients (moms, dads, older children, seasoned runners and newbies!) reach their endurance or race-related goals.

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I often hear, “I’m not a runner.” Yep, me neither, but it hasn’t stopped me from completing more than a dozen timed running events, from 5K to half marathon, in the last couple of years. I’ve never won or come close, and I’m still waiting to feel the runners’ high so many have told me about.

But I can tell you that running makes me feel accomplished, invigorated and, most importantly, like part of a team. That’s because I prefer to do it with others as part of a training group. You get the benefits of running (improved cardiovascular health and mood, stronger legs and joints, etc.), plus the...

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As you probably know, October is infant and pregnancy loss month. So many mamas have suffered loss (1 in 4 to be exact) and so many suffer in silence. It is our hope that in sharing these stories we can give mamas a voice to share their experiences and bring comfort to women who feel isolated and alone in their own losses.

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Lisa C.

So I rarely talk about this, because it’s sad and it sometimes makes people feel uncomfortable. However, as women we are doing ourselves a great disservice by keeping quiet. We need one another and there is so much comfort in knowing you aren’t alone. So today, I’m sharing details I’ve never shared before in the hopes that someone else may find some comfort in my words.

It’s been almost 8 years since my first miscarriage. We struggled to conceive Cole, so when I found out I was pregnant when he was just a little over one-year-old, we were ecstatic. Unfortunately, I lost the pregnancy around 8 weeks. I remember crumbling into a ball of tears on my stairs as I headed down to tell my husband what I suspected...

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September is child passenger safety month, and as you know, your family's safety and wellness is our top priority. Take a moment to read through these important car seat safety rules to make sure your babies are buckled up properly.

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1. Rear facing as long as possible!

Keep your child rear facing until at LEAST age two. It is much safer for children to ride rear facing, and most convertible car seats are designed to allow a typical three-year-old to rear face. Of course, always consults your car seat's manual for height and weight requirements.

2. Always tether a forward facing seat.

Regardless of whether your forward facing seat is installed using a latch system or using a seat belt, always use the back tethering strap! This dramatically decreases the range of motion of the head in case of an accident.

3. Stay in a booster until your big kid can pass the 5 step test.

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Brooke (mom to 3-year-old Franklin!) had huge results in our Summer Body Back session. At the end of her eight weeks, Brooke shared with the other 22 participants the sense of control over her body she had rediscovered. For some of our moms, Body Back is about getting back in those pre-pregnancy jeans, but for all of our clients, it's about feeling like YOURSELF again. It's all about being your best you, Mama.

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Lindsay is one of our longest-running clients and mom to Luke, Max, and Grant. She's a Stroller Strider, Body Back Booster, and a staple at every Mom's Night Out. We love having Lindsay as part of our village, and we're so glad she's been with us since her first day more than three years ago!

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Megan Kluge, of Megan Kluge Photography, is one of our current Stroller Barre members. She is also a super talented documentary photographer, and is helping us judge our #TheMotherhoodIsReal Photo Contest. Megan is offering a FREE family photo shoot as first prize! Have you entered yet?

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Guest author Katy Myers is the face behind Macaroni Kid Pasadena. She is a a fantastic mama to three boys and an active member of Body Back Boost, and now Stroller Barre too! We're so happy to have Katy as part of our village.

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Time for another #FirstDayFriday! Merin is a fantastic mom of two and a dedicated Strider and Body Back Boost member. She is, as she once hoped to be, "faster, stronger, and fitter" than she was on her first day of class, but is still every bit as awesome.

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My first day of Fit4Mom was at their Grand Opening in Piney Orchard at GORC Park. I was looking for something more than what I was getting at the local gym. While typical gyms classes can be effective for getting your sweat on, for me, there is always a lack of camaraderie. It’s still a bunch of mostly strangers doing dance moves, punching bags, or lifting weights and then going on about their day with a nod and half-hearted wave. And usually, this lack of community was just enough to kill my motivation to keep going.

What struck me at the very...

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Becky works out with us at both Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre. She is also a talented massage therapist and fantastic mom to daughter Geneva! Becky helps remind our Fit4Mom Severn community that it's important for moms to practice self-care. If you are a local mama who could use a massage, you can come see her at The Four Seasons in DC, or email her directly become a private client.

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Being a mom is hard work and it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day hustle and bustle. We're challenging you to take a moment or two each day to really soak it all in and be a #MindfulMama.

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Join our #MindfulMama Challenge and commit to enjoying the small moments, noticing the things that are truly special about your child(ren) and your life, and becoming a happier, less stressed mama!

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It's Friday! Guest author Jeanne Davis is mom to Sara and has been a dedicated Stroller Strider since 2014. Check out her #FirstDayFriday memory below!

I had never heard about Stroller Strides before. So when I was handed a business card while out on a walk, the only thing I knew was what I briefly saw: a bunch of moms formed in a circle doing some calisthenics. I was planning to be bored. As a dancer who detested step aerobics or any organized exercise class, I went to my first Stroller Strides class not expecting to go back.

On my first class, the instructor Mo was very pregnant and full of energy (something I was lacking postpartum). As we walked and ran with our strollers from station to station, I quickly realized this was no ordinary exercise class. My seat muscles were crying, but I was loving how the whole format of the class made me forget I was exercising.

I quickly felt like a part of a team of mothers working toward strength and fitness. Even better we were outside!...

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Maureen Doran is one of our awesome instructors, and owner of the franchise. Anyone who knows Mo knows she is a fantastic, feminine, and fit mother to her three girls. Check out her thoughts below on raising three females in her image.

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I have three girls. You heard that right, three girls. If you are a stranger reading this, now is your moment to say:

"Wow! You have your hands full!" or

"Your poor husband!" or

"Watch out for those teenage years!"

And maybe you're right about some of that, but it isn't because I have all girls. It's because I have kids! Let's face it, three little darlings (or ANY number of kids) makes your hands full.

My sister-in-law has two boys. And like me, she gets comments from strangers about her all-male household. "Whoa, things must be crazy at your house!" people say to her. The funny thing is, if you've met her boys you'd understand how ridiculous that is. She has the calmest, most sensitive, mild-mannered kids that anyone has ever met. So when she hears people tell her how crazy her...

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Sarah is a mother of four and has been a member since our Piney Orchard Grand Opening! She participates in Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre. She is also an aspiring children’s author, currently at work on her first middle grade novel. Need some book recommendations? Shoot her an email. You can find Sarah at www.sarahdmaynard.com and www.usethatmuse.com.

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Many of us know the awesome benefits of making time for physical fitness and sharing that with our children thanks to the amazing team at Fit4Mom Severn. But what about your and your child’s mental fitness? One of the best ways to strengthen some cranial muscle is through reading.

So where to start? Here are 5 ways...

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Guest author Regina O'Hara is one of our most dedicated members, and she attends workouts all summer (and when she's off during the school year!) on a Teacher's Pass. Regina participates in Stroller Strides, Stroller Barre, and Body Back at here Fit4Mom Severn. She's a terrific mom of three, and was recently featured in What's Up? Magazine as an inspirational leader in the classroom.

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The posters are down, the grades are in, the pencil sharpener is empty. It’s summertime, and the livin’ is about to be easy.

And then you realize that you have small children. Small children who need things. All. The. Time. I mean, how many snacks can a toddler possibly need? Didn’t you JUST have goldfish, kid?

And don’t get me started on babies with the crying and...

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Our instructors had some fun last week playing on our local swing set, Fit4Mom style! Laura (the author of this post, and one of our fantastic instructors) joked that our video would go viral, and it actually did! She had some insights to share about the process and the aftermath that all moms will find relatable, whether you've mastered this burpee variation yet or not.

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This week, my friends and I were in a semi-viral video. It hit one million views in under a week. It has given me a lot of feelings about myself and about motherhood.

My friend and fellow Fit4Mom instructor came across a clip of a woman doing burpees over and under the swings on her local playground. It was awesome. After our Stroller Strides workout the very next day, we headed to the park to try it for ourselves, and it was hard, but we did it. And it was a BLAST.

Here’s the video. If you listen hard, you can hear me (the one in purple)...

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Guest author Katy Myers is the face behind Macaroni Kid Pasadena and a member of our Fit4Mom Tribe! She participated in Body Back during our Spring 2016 session, and is now a Body Back Boost member.

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At the end of last year, I made a decision that I needed to get in shape if I was going to be able to keep up with my boys this summer. I have three wild, rowdy, and FAST boys. I've never been athletic, in shape, skinny or fit. I started working out in December, and I thought I was really pushing myself.

I had heard of Stroller Strides, but I really didn't know that Fit4Mom Severn offered other programs. When I discovered Body Back, I thought, "Well, this could be a good idea!" The description reads, "...

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Guest author Katy Myers is the face behind Macaroni Kid Pasadena and a member of our Fit4Mom Tribe! She participated in Body Back during our Spring 2016 session, and is now a Body Back Boost member.

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I've been on a mission since December to start taking care of myself.

As a mom, I frequently grab whatever is leftover on everyone's plate or what is easy and quick for all of us. Exercise was something that was low on my priority list until one day I realized playground season is right around the corner and I'd have to chase my three rowdy and super fast boys around. I knew I needed a change and committed to a healthier lifestyle. I decided I needed something new to help!

Last Tuesday, I began the 8 week Body Back Program with Fit4Mom...

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