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Fitness & Motherhood

Get Those Kids Moving

When I was young I was always very active; playing outside with my siblings or playing on one of my many sports teams.  Nowadays it seems harder to get kids moving......... is it the cell phones, iPads and video games slowing them down? Or do they just need a little extra motivation.

Whatever the case may be, here are a few ways to get your little ones active and excited about exercising.

-It’s important to have a home environment that lays a foundation for health and fitness. Parents need to make healthy lifestyle choices and in this manner, the kids will see that these choices are normal.  My husband I both workout regularly and play sports and both of our children have enjoyed exercise since they could walk.  Both children can perform any exercise; squats, Burpees, jumping jacks, you name it because they have grown up with parents who make exercise part of their daily routine. It also helps they have been attending Stroller Strides forever too! Check out our website for class offerings,

-Make exercise fun! If your child loves sports sign them up for a local team or sports clinic or just go outside and play ball!  There are so many sports to play, find the ones that are right for them and start practicing!

If your child isn’t into organized sports there are plenty of other ways to exercise.  Set up an obstacle course, ride bikes, take the dog for a walk or even visit a bounce house or trampoline park.  Jumpology in Richmond is a trampoline park and is one of my family’s favorite places to visit.  Not only is it fun but a great workout, I got 3,000 steps on my FitBit the last time I went and it was only for an hour!

Pinterest has a ton of ideas to get your kids moving. Action Dice, Sidewalk Chalk games and Educational Relay Races that will not only get them moving but learning!

-If your child needs a little extra motivation to exercise you can set up a motivational chart.  The kids can earn check marks for participating in sports activities or exercise sessions.  Work with your child to find a rewards system that works for your family.  A few reward ideas could be picking the movie for movie night, buying a new piece of sports equipment or bowling with the family.

-Many children spend the majority of their time with electronic devices rather than playing.  Limit computer and video game usage and have children spend more time being active.  Most devices allow you to set timers, once the timer goes off their  time is up!

Adopt one or all of these tips to create a healtheir, active family.

“Children are excellent imitators, so give them something great to imitate.”


Kids runningPhoto from

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Right Around the Corner

women-walkingThe New Year is upon us; do you have some goals and resolutions in mind?

Each year we have a clean slate to start off fresh! As 2015 begins it's time to make your health a priority. We all know that eating well and exercising are keys to our success but instead of making a list of generic resolutions; I want to get fit or I want to eat healthier you will be more successful if you set tangible goals.

When thinking about your resolutions for 2015, be creative. This year think about your family, are there any resolutions that you can incorporate as a fun family resolution? Is there something you've wanted to do for a while? Well, do it this year!

Have you wanted to run a race? A great resolution would be to complete a race of your choice. There are so many to choose from; Color Runs, 5K's, marathons and obstacle races. This year pick one that's a little out of your comfort zone and train for it! My favorite are the obstacle runs, where else do you get muddy, jump over fire and get a medal at the end! They now have family obstacle runs where you can complete the fun courses with your children; just think how much fun they will have with you when the goal is to get muddy!

If races aren't for you there are other ways you can get active with your family. A resolution you can make is to be active throughout the week. To help with this, create a chart tracking your activities. Yes, a sticker chart for Mom! Another great form of exercise is yoga. Many area studios offer Mommy & Me yoga or yoga classes for adults and children. If yoga isn't your thing, what about signing yourself and little ones up for some recreational sports? We are lucky to live in an area where there are indoor sports offered all year and Parks & Recreation programs that will keep you having fun and staying in shape all year!

If you don't like formal exercise there is still plenty to do to keep active. My family, especially my son loves going outside to play. We are a sporty family that plays everything from football, baseball, soccer and basketball in the front yard, we ride bikes around the neighborhood pulling my daughter behind me in the bike trailer and take our sweet dog Sadie on walks.

Now that you have few ideas, grab your pen and paper and start listing your resolutions. Involve the family, get everyone's input and think about what ideas will make you a fitter, healthier person (and family) in 2015!

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So Thankful

               You see it all over Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter so I know that you know: it’s thet time of year when we start thinking about what we are thankful for.  I think throughout the year I do a pretty good job realizing that I have so much to be thankful for, but the month of November is a time to reflect a little more deeply.  Throughout the year I realize how amazing my family, friends and business are and I am so thankful for all of them but there is one aspect I often take for granted: my health.

                Having good health is easy to take for granted until you don’t have it.  I have been very lucky so far in my life to have had very few health issues.  When I have had some health issues they have been very minor compared to what others are fighting daily.  A gall bladder surgery and hip flexor issues have been the only medical problems that have kept me from my daily activities.  When I was in pain or stuck on the couch resting due to my minor health issues I was wishing to be back to my normal, active self.  It was in those times I realized how often we take a healthy body for granted.

                If you wake up in the morning and are able to get up you should feel thankful!  There are so many people around us who wish they could get out of bed, take a walk around the neighborhood with their dog or run a 5K over the weekend with friends.  Our health is something we take for granted every day instead of being grateful and thankful for what our bodies can do for us.

                This month focus on the healthy, active life you lead or can lead.  Take advantage of waking up feeling great or with only a few sore muscles and do something active.  Grab your kids and head to the nearest playground before the weather turns cold, rake the leaves and jump in the pile with your kids when you’re done or try a new exercise routine.  All of these things will help you appreciate your healthy body and the more you move the better you will feel.

                Take this November as a time to reflect on the great things in your life; family, friends, home, job.  Embrace your body and your loved ones in as many ways as you can!

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Let's HIIT It!

Now that school is back in session, my days are more hectic.  It seems as if we are running between school drop offs, playgroups, sports practices and games and trying to keep up with our normal daily chores of packing lunches and folding laundry.  How about you; sound familiar? If so, I know all  of this doesn’t leave much time for you, especially when it comes to working out.

When you don’t have a lot of time, the best way to get the most out of your workouts in is performing a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout.  Last week we just started our newest session of Body Back, an 8 week results based workout program that involves healthful eating and HIIT workouts.  The women in the program dedicate themselves to 8 weeks of healthy lifestyle changes and numerous intense workouts during the week.

Even if you aren’t involved in the Body Back program you can follow these tips and workout at home.  Try to follow these healthy living tips below and incorporate this 12 minute HIIT workout four times a week and you will feel great.

  • Drink 64 oz of water a day
  • Use a food journal to log your food during the day, writing it down will make you more accountable.
  • Eat high volume foods that have a lot of nutrients.  Here are some examples of high volume foods, beans, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, apples, bananas, blueberries, kiwi, oranges, peaches, pineapple, strawberries and watermelon.
  • Eat protein, this will keep you feeling full longer.
  • Try to be physically active everyday.

Before you start your workout stretch thoroughly and have a timer nearby.  This workout is a Rounds HIIT workout.  You will complete each round two times completing each exercise for one minute.  Each round involves a cardio, strength and core exercise.

Round 1-Jumping Jacks, Squats, Plank

Round 2-Mountain Climbers, Tricep Dips, Crunches

I’m sure you will love the effectiveness and speed of a HIIT workout, it will definitely get your heart pumping and sweat pouring and give you the energy to get through the rest of your day! 

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Back in the Routine

Are you like me and wondering where summer has gone?  My family had a jam packed summer full of vacations, play dates, camps and spending time with family and friends but it all went too fast! The days of lounging by the pool and sleeping in will soon be over and waking up to alarm clocks and the mad dash to get ready for school will soon take over. 

This year my family will be in for an adjustment, as my son will be going to kindergarten! I am definitely that mom who is dreading her baby going to school everyday. I will miss him so much!  As a former kindergarten teacher this should not be so hard for me but it is!  Last year he went to preschool three days a week and this year we will have to go five days a week which will call for some planning and organization.

We’ve all had those mornings where we are rushing out the door already ten minutes late and the kids are eating breakfast in the car.  Here are a few tips to make those mornings a little stress free.

• Pre-pack healthy lunches the night before so all you have to do is grab them in the morning.

• Give the kids a little responsibility in the morning.  Make a checklist of the tasks they must complete, such as brushing their teeth, washing their faces, packing their bookbags, etc…  If you have a non-reader you can make picture cards.

• Wake up 15 minutes earlier than you plan.  Use this extra time to enjoy some quiet time, meditate and relax before your busy day begins.

• Lay your workout clothes out the night before.  If you are not able to workout once the kids are at school try waking up before the kids and get your workout in. It's still important for you to have a little time to yourself!

I hope these tips can transition you smoothly into a new school year.  Good luck to the students, teachers, and parents as they embark on a new adventure.  To all of the parents dreading their babies leaving them, you are not alone but know as a former teacher your babies will be fine.  Now I just need to keep telling myself that!

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A New Partnership

As you know I am the owner of Fit4Mom Fredericksburg, a business that provides fitness to mothers in all walks of life.  It is truly the best job in the world; I am able to take my kids with me, meet amazing women and children who are some of mine and my children’s best friends and make fitness a part of our daily lives.  This August I have will have owned the business for four years and feel like it has flown by!  Throughout these years there have been the usual ups and downs with owning your own business, but there have been many more ups!

The business has grown in so many ways and I am excited about the direction we are headed!  I am offering more Stroller Strides classes than ever, fun playgroups and monthly Mom’s Night Outs that are always well attended!  I recently launched a new program, Body Back that is a results based program for women only.  I have two great instructors that teach classes throughout the week to allow me to focus on the business side of Fit4Mom.  I have dedicated moms who have been by my side since opening Fit4Mom.  I have a supportive family that helps pass out flyers and run through workout routines with me.  Without all of this support I am not sure where the business would be today and I am so grateful for everyone’s constant help and support.

With all of this amazing growth comes exciting opportunities!  I am so pleased to announce that Fit4Mom Fredericksburg is partnering with the Children’s Museum of Richmond Fredericksburg location to bring Fitness Fridays to CMoR Fredericksburg!  We will be offering fitness activities for the whole family.  During this class moms and children will get a chance to exercise together while we incorporate songs and games to make fitness fun!  This event is free with museum admission and will be offered every other Friday for the summer.  Anyone that joins Fit4Mom after taking a class at the museum will have their registration fee waived!  The first class is July 11 from 10:30-11:30, we will be offering three 15 minute sessions during this time.

As a family we have been to the new Children’s Museum numerous times since they have opened and my kids both love it!  What better way to enjoy your Friday than let the kids play in the  grocery store, dentist office and diner of the museum mixed in with a morning workout from Fit4Mom!  Check out the link below for more information or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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Time to Get a Little Selfish

As a mom we know that most of our day is devoted to everything and anything but ourselves.  It is so important to make time for yourself each day.  When you have dishes in the sink, laundry to fold and kids that still need a bath you might be dreaming of a relaxing bubble bath but how often do you actually do it?  If you are like me the answer is never!

We all know that it is important to take care of yourself and enjoy life but being a mom makes it hard to find the time.  The word selfish has a negative connotation but it’s really not.  As a mom we are used to taking care of everyone else but ourselves.  To be the best mom you can be you need to be happy, strong and healthy!  To make this happen you need to be a little selfish each day to spend time on recharging YOU!

There are so many ways that you can rejuvenate yourself.  This month Fit4Mom set up a challenge, do one thing for yourself a week in hopes that these practices will soon be done daily when you realize how refreshing it is!  A few of the activities to choose from are; a massage, reading, spending time with friends, writing in a journal and taking a bath.  Fit4Mom realizes how important taking care of yourself it is to allow you to be a better mom.

Part of the Fit4Mom program is to incorporate a Mom’s Night Out monthly to enjoy with the other moms in our group.  The Mom’s Nights that we have are always well attended and everyone looks forward to it.  This is a time where we can sit together and socialize without having to share our food and have  uninterrupted conversations! Of course we all love our children immensely but it is nice to have a night out without a diaper bag on your shoulder! We have done so many fun things at these events; manicures and pedicures, painted pottery, ghost tour, tea party, dinner and game nights.  This month we are heading to Jumpology!  Each mom leaves having had a great time and looking forward to next month’s event!

Now is the time to get a little selfish and don’t think of it as a bad thing!  Think about the things that you enjoy and do more of it!  If you love reading, start a book club, if you love art , head to an art museum, if you love gardening, plant a garden!  You are a great mom who is always doing things for everyone, take a few moments and do something for you, your kids will still be there when you get back!

Are you looking for a great group of women to socialize with and enjoy monthly nights out?  For more information visit our website for a list of class times, playgroups and Mom’s Night Out.

FIT4MOM Las Vegas


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Empty those Eggs!

The Easter Bunny is on his way and with that comes baskets full of chocolate bunnies, Peeps and jelly beans.  We often think of the Easter holiday filled with sweets, but you can also do something else with all of those plastic eggs! 

Grab your family for a fun filled Easter workout!  After your family egg hunt empty all of those candy filled eggs and replace them with some family friendly exercises.  Cut up some paper and brainstorm some of your favorite exercises.  Write them down and put them into eggs.  Here are a few exercises to get you started!

·         30 second plank

·         10 squats

·         15 jumping jacks

·         30 seconds jumping rope

·         10 push ups

·         15 crunches

·         Walk around the neighborhood


Once you have filled your fitness eggs hide them!  Once all eggs have been found gather the family together and perform all of the exercises together.  This is just the start to your Easter exercise fun! 

Next it’s time for an egg relay.  Divide the family into two teams and get two spoons and two plastic eggs.  Each person has to run balancing their egg on the spoon to the other side and run back passing the egg and spoon to the next person.  If you drop the egg you have a 10 calf raise penalty, and then keep going! 

The last Easter event is the bunny hop.  Line everyone up and hop across the yard, this will keep your heart pumping.  Once you cross the finish line you are finished.

Enjoy your family, friends and Easter goodies this holiday, but make a little time for a fun Easter workout.  Happy Easter, and pass me the Peeps would you!

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March Madness

March is here and with that comes college basketball, upsets, Cinderella stories and brackets to fill out in hopes of winning your bracket pool! While your family might be glued to the television for the college tournament you can hit the basketball court for your own March Madness session!  The great thing about this workout is that it can be done on your own or you can recruit some teammates!

The first step is to grab a basketball and then head out to your local basketball court. Channel your inner basketball player and try a new, fun workout!  This workout will focus on cardio exercises and will definitely leave you sweating! 




Warm Up

5 minutes

Run 5 laps around the court + 50 jumping jacks

Full Court Lay Ups

2 minutes

Start at base court line, dribble to opposite basket and do right hand lay up; dribble to opposite basket and do left hand lay up. REPEAT

Half Court Sprint


Down and back starting at the baseline, run to the half court line and back.

Full Court Dribbling

3 minutes

Dribble up and down the full court

Full Court Sprint


Down and back starting at the baseline, run to the opposite baseline and back

Jump Squats


Jump in the air and land in a squat position

Suicide Sprints


Starting at the baseline run to the free throw line and back, half court line and back, opposite free throw line and back and opposite baseline and back.

 Once you finish this workout, if  you still have a little energy and a partner grab the basketball for a little one on one or a quick game of HORSE!  Enjoy the soon-to-be spring weather with a little fresh air and get into the spirit of March Madness!

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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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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.