On June 11, 2016, FIT4MOM© Philadelphia is hosting a member-event (Family Day Workout and Picnic) benefitting Breasthealth.org. We recently caught up with the co-owners, Christine Lugones & Lauren Houston, to learn more about FIT4MOM© and FIT4MOM© Philadelphia.
There are different programs offered through Fit4Mom Philadelphia, but tell me about that common thread that links all of the programs.
- Each FIT4MOM Philadelphia program is designed to give women both the physical and emotional strength for motherhood. Our fitness classes are focused not on measurements or weight loss but rather on endurance, conditioning, flexibility, posture, and balance. We focus on functional exercises to help women develop the muscles that facilitate everyday life as mothers – picking up babies, lugging around strollers, and chasing after toddlers. The Our Village events, which include play dates, mom’s nights out, and other community/group activities, allow women to connect with one another and provide an outlet for seeking support, sharing advice, and building friendships. Overall, we understand just how challenging (and joyful!) motherhood can be, and FIT4MOM Philadelphia emphasizes emotional fitness just as much as physical fitness.
- Each of our programs – from fitness classes to Our Village events – is accessible and welcoming to women at all stages of fitness and all stages of motherhood. We have first-time exercisers and marathon runners, brand-new moms and mothers of four, women who attend class 5 days per week and sign up for every play date and those who drop in to classes and events from time to time. We welcome the diversity of fitness levels and motherhood experience – we all learn from and inspire one another and build incredible friendships along the way.
What made you want to own this franchise versus another fitness franchise?
- FIT4MOM’s fitness programs are primarily group based, and as many will tell you, the motivation, camaraderie, and fun inspired by group fitness is definitely unique. Before purchasing the FIT4MOM Philadelphia franchise, we had both been clients for a period of time and witnessed firsthand just how powerful and effective group fitness classes could be. In addition, we wanted to meet and connect with other moms in the community in a meaningful way. We both experienced the profound loneliness and isolation that can affect both new and seasoned moms, and we wanted to help build a program that would not only address the physical changes and challenges of motherhood but the emotional aspects as well.
How have the connections you have made through Fit4Moms changed your life?
- Neither of us had many local “mom friends” before we began the program, and now we can’t even walk down the street to run an errand without running into at least 3 friends along the way!
- On a deeper level, we both feel that we have an incredible support system in place – within this group, we have made friends who we can count on to watch our kids when something unexpected comes up and who we can rely on to make us laugh when we’re in the throes of yet another toddler temper tantrum. We’ve also made a number of connections with local businesses that support children and parenthood, and through those relationships/partnerships, we feel that we’ve become part of a larger community of like-minded entrepreneurs.
In an ideal world, what else would you want to offer through Fit4Mom® Philadelphia?
- In the coming months, we hope to expand both our program offerings and class locations. Currently we offer a combination of Stroller Strides® and Stroller Barre® classes six mornings per week, along with two evening sessions, and we’re looking forward to adding some non-stroller-based classes to our schedule. We’d like to launch Body Back® in the very near future – this is a moms-only (no kids or strollers), high-intensity, results-based program offered either early morning or later in the evening. There are a number of moms in our group whose children are phasing out of their strollers, and we also have clients who are simply ready to take their workouts up a notch, and we know that they’ll love Body Back®.
- Our classes take place primarily within the Graduate Hospital/Rittenhouse section of Philadelphia, but we’ve been approached by a number of women living in the Fairmount and Northern Liberties neighborhoods who would love to have easier access to our program. We hope to add new class locations to our schedule as early as this summer, as our goal is to reach the greatest number of moms and families possible within the city.
If you could use one word or short phrase to describe FIT4MOM, what would it be?
- We’re in awe of our members and the energy that they bring to this organization. We always tell prospective clients that you’ll never come across a more welcoming, empowered, motivating, supportive, or positive group of women than our FIT4MOM Philly tribe. When we hear new members tell us how accepted and embraced they feel from their very first class, it’s music to our ears.