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Fitness & Motherhood

How are those resolutions?

Were you one of the millions of Americans who made a
resolution this year to get in shape?  If so, how is that resolution going four months later?  Many people are very motivated the firstmonth or two to get back in shape but as the year  goes on life continues and our resolutions get pushed to the side. Below are some great ways to keep those resolutions with just a few special pieces of equipment.

Jump Rope

Remember years ago when you would jump rope on the playground for hours with your friends? A jump rope is an ideal piece of workout equipment; it's cheap, portable and gives you a great cardiovascular workout. Jumping rope is good for the heart and strengthens the upper and lower body at the same time.  Jumping rope can be an equivalent workout to jogging or biking and can also strengthen your balance and coordination skills.

Gliding Discs

Gliding Discs are a newer fitness fad that can give you a full body workout.  Gliding Discs are
also very portable and can be done on all floor types.  A DVD normally accompanies the purchase of Gliding Discs to give you a wide variety of workouts.  Gliding Discs are non-impact and can tone your entire body so they are great for all exercisers.  Before you go out and purchase a new set of Gliding Discs grab two paper plates from your pantry and you can do the same thing!

Kettle bells

Walking through any sporting goods store you will see a variety of Kettle bells in different sizes and colors.  Kettle bells are a cast iron weight that range in weight from 4 pounds to 175 pounds. Kettle bells can be used to get a full body workout but some of the lifts are recommended for intermediate or advanced exercisers.  If you have back or shoulder problems this equipment is not for you.

Resistance Bands

Resistance Bands are very portable and a very easy way to add variety into your workout.
Resistance bands can be used to tone all body parts and there are different resistance levels you can choose from to get an ideal workout.  Resistance bands can be used standing alone
or they can be anchored to doorways and fence posts for even more exercises.

The Shake Weight

I know we have all seen the infomercial for the Shake Weight and have questioned does that really work? The answer is yes!  I have had the Shake Weight for a few years and every time I do the six minute workout I definitely feel it.  The Shake Weight is designed to increase upper body muscle activity and tones your entire arm.  You do feel a little funny the first few
times you do it, but when you finish the workout there is no question whether it works or not.

Even incorporating one of these pieces of equipment into your workout routine will add a little variety and maybe a new burst of energy to keep that New Year's resolution going for the next 8 months.  Below you will find a video displaying a great resistance band exercise that we do in Stroller Strides.

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So Many Choices!

Have you gone into Target or Babies R Us for one item and have looked up and down the aisles feeling very overwhelmed?  I think we have all been there, I know I have!  A major purchase that most families make when they find out they are expecting a baby is a stroller.  There are so many types of strollers to choose from; jogging strollers, travel systems , single and double strollers that is hard to choose one that will fit your needs.  Many moms are ready and motivated to get out and exercise after having a baby and a jogging stroller is the best way to do this and spend time with your baby.

In Stroller Strides or any other exercise routine any type of stroller can be used but I recommend a steady jogging stroller.  That sounds easy enough but there seems to be a million jogging strollers to choose from. Below I have listed a few characteristics you should look for when buying your jogging stroller to give your baby a smooth ride and give you a chance for a great workout.

Great Jogging Strollers Need:

-Three large wheels, the bigger the wheels the easier it is to push.

-True running strollers have all the same size tires.

- All wheels stay in a fixed position.

- A sun shade that can be pulled over baby when the sun is out.

- Easy fold so you can easily load it in and out of your car.

Other accessories can also be purchased for your stroller to keep your baby as comfortable as possible. Umbrellas and fans can be attached to keep baby cool, infant seat adaptors for new babies and IPOD adaptors so you and baby can stroll with some entertainment.

Grab your stroller and baby and get outside and enjoy this amazing weather and get and get a great workout!

Here are a few other exercises you can do with your stroller other than walking and running. 

-Stroller Lunges

-Stroller Squats

-Standing Abs while holding onto stroller

-Stroller Sit-Ups


Check out the video below for a great stroller exercise!

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Keep it Moving!

Now that spring is right around the corner I am sure that everyone is ready to get outside and get active!  I definitely am!   The spring weather seems to re-energize everyone and gets us all moving.   Have you put much thought into how much moving and activity you do each day?  This month we are having a Pedometer Challenge in Stroller Strides and it has really made everyone aware of their level of activity.

Everyone participating in the contest is sure to clip their pedometer on first thing in the morning and it's the last thing they take off at night.  Throughout the day I am constantly checking my pedometer to see how many steps and miles I have accumulated throughout the day.  If I
feel that I haven't reached my goal for the day I make sure I take my dog Sadie on a longer walk in the evening.  The great part about wearing the pedometer is the awareness I have of my daily activity and it pushes me to keep moving all day and all night.   I know that even when the contest is over I will still be wearing my pedometer to track my steps and miles.

We have all heard that 10,000 steps a day is the ideal step count you want to achieve by the end of the day.  According to the number 10,000 was actually set by a Japanese pedometer company as  a promotion. Below are the recommended step counts based on research.

1) Under 5000 steps a day-sedentary lifestyle index

2) 5,000-7,499 steps a day -  low active

3) 7,500-9,999 steps a day – somewhat active

4) 10,000 steps a day- active

5)  More than12,500 steps a day -highly active

Whether you are wearing a pedometer on your hip or not, staying busy and active all day is key to a healthy lifestyle.  Here are a few things that you can do throughout the day to earn some more steps and mileage.

  • ·Park at the back of the parking lot when shopping.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  • Try to take a daily walk whether it is for one block or five.
  • Chase and play with your child on the playground.  Those 10 steps up the slide all add up!
  • After you have found all of your items in the grocery store take one more lap around the perimeter of the store.
  • Start your own Pedometer Challenge.  Grab a partner or a group and log and compare
    your daily steps, you will be surprised at how competitive it gets!
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Couples that sweat together stay together!

February is known for Valentine's Day and celebrating with the one's you love.  There is no better time to grab a workout partner and get into shape while spending quality time with the one you love.  Studies have proven that individuals that work out with a partner are more likely to stick with their workout program, so why not give it a try, what do you have to lose!

We all live busy lives so spending time with loved ones and working out sometimes get pushed to the back burner.  The first step is to find a partner, it can be anyone you would love to spend a little more time with, your spouse or a friend.  Next set aside a few blocks of time during the week that you will be committed to working out together.  Last step is to figure out what kind of workout you and your partner would enjoy.

There are many different workouts you can choose from, you can start with walking or running or maybe some cardio mixed in with strength training.  Whatever workout you decide on the most important factor is to stick with it.  As part of a partnership your job isn't just to work out, but also to be a cheerleader and motivator for your partner.

Here are a few ideas to work into your partner workout:

1.  Partner Sit Up- Lie down on your back and put your feet together.  Both partners raise up in a sit up position and repeat.

2.  Wall Sit Tricep Dips- One partner performs a wall sit while working their lower body while the other partner places their hands on the others knees and performs tricep dips.  Switch places when completed.

3.  Plank High 5's- Both partners assume the plank position and raise opposite hands off the floor and give alternating high 5's.

4.  Push-Up Game- Grab a deck of cards and deal out five cards (more or less if needed) to each individual.  Each partner flips over a card and does that many push-ups. 

Have a great Valentine's Day and after your husband takes you out to dinner try a few of the above exercises.  Visit for more ideas on great partner workouts.  

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Making Time for Mom

Think Positively
Exercise Daily
Eat Healthy
Work Hard
Stay Strong
Worry Less
Dance More
Love Often
Be Happy

As I was scrolling through all of the great posts on Pinterest this poster seemed like a great reminder for all busy mom's.  As a mother your first priority is always your children and it is usually hard to fit in anything for yourself.  Whether you are a working mom or a stay at home mom you live a hectic life, busy with picking up toys, playing and giving baths.  The mantra above should be every mother's motto to live by.

My son Cooper is two years old and I am expecting my second child in May.  Chasing and playing with Cooper all day, owning a small business and working part time doesn't leave much time for anything else.  As a fitness professional I teach fitness classes several times a week so I am lucky to get in a few scheduled workouts.  The rest of the week I have to be a little creative to fit my workouts in.

There are 24 hours in the day, can you give yourself 30-45 minutes for a workout?  There are little times during the day that you can use to take advantage of the downtime to get a jumpstart on a healthy lifestyle.  Here are a few ways I work some exercises into my busy day.  As soon as I get out of bed in the morning I do some push-ups.  When brushing my teeth or unloading the dishwasher I do calf raises and squats to tone my legs.  As Cooper and I walk down the hall we do lunges, his legs are looking really good!  All mom's play Legos and puzzles on the floor with their children, use this time to hold plank for a total body exercise.

Think outside the box and steal a few minutes throughout your day and you will be surprised at how good it makes you feel and look!  Exercising in front of your children also has another added benefit, you are setting the tone for an active lifestyle at an early age and your children will follow your example.  Cooper has seen my husband I work out his entire life and imitates all of the exercises.  I definitly know that if i need a substitute teacher for Stroller Strides Cooper is the man for the job with his shouts of  dips, squats, push-ups and run.  Exercise is not only a priority for you but the positive effects will be seen by your whole family!

Check out the video below for a great exercise to do alongside your children. 


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Stroller Strides

stroller-stridesMy name is Alison Neal and I am the owner of Stroller Strides of Fredericksburg. I have been the owner and an instructor for a year and have loved bringing Stroller Strides to the area. I was an elementary school teacher for seven years and when the franchise was for sale I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to be able to stay home with my son, two year old Cooper.

Stroller Strides is a total body workout program that is done alongside your baby. The certified instructors modify workouts for all fitness levels and you leave each class with more energy. Participating in Stroller Strides promotes family fitness and will allow your child to be active early. Stroller Strides allows mom's to work out alongside their children instead of leaving them in a gym daycare. Participating in Stroller Strides is a bonding opportunity with your child and allows you to meet other moms in the area all while getting a great workout!

This blog will discuss the importance of pre and postnatal fitness in every mother's life, ways to fit exercise into a hectic schedule and different aspects of healthy living. The new year is a great time to make a commitment to living a healthier lifestyle and Fitness & Motherhood will bring them to you!

Check out this Stroller Strides intro video for more info:

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About Alison

Alison Neal is the owner of Stroller Strides of Fredericksburg. Stroller Strides is a total body workout that is done alongside your baby. Each instructor modifies the workouts for all fitness levels. As a mother, Alison knows it is hard to fit workouts into a busy schedule, but follow her blog right here for great fitness and healthy living tips! You can also learn more about Stroller Strides by visiting her website.


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Cooking Autism

Cooking Autism, Inc. is driven to help children with neurological disorders (including autism) learn how to cook. Participants are encouraged to pick up critical communication skills, learn how to work as a team and be more independent. They can build skills in math, reading, and science, and learn about cooking-related topics such as health and nutrition. 



The opinions and/or views expressed on this blog represent the thoughts of individual blogger and not necessarily those of Fredericksburg Parent & Family Magazine or any of its employees or staff.