For Lauren Agresti and Jamie Dees, the greatest joy of their lives is being moms. In fact, it was something that helped them connect and bond as friends.
Agresti has a 4 year old, Hudson, and a 22 month old, Elliotte. Jaime is currently expecting a child to join her son, John, who is 21 months. But with the fulfillment that comes with raising a family, there are also certain sacrifices. Free time is certainly one of those, they said.
Agresti, who was a lifelong athlete, found it difficult to make time to exercise once she had two little ones at home. But she was determined to change that.
“I love working out and staying healthy. I am a member of a mom’s group and I started to set up circuits in my drive way and we’d let the kids play while we worked out,” she said.
The group was so successful that Agresti, along with Dees, who became a partner in the endeavor, started looking for options. They settled on becoming part of a franchise called FIT4MOM. Founded by a fitness enthusiast-turned mother in California, the two felt that it was ideal. The two started to go to various classes and see what the program was all about finally.
“We were thinking about what we could do over the past summer. We started researching different things. I even got my personal trainer certification, but we eventually decided to go with FIT4MOM since it already had the kinks out and they had already worked through all of the challenges that we would hit on our own,” Agresti said. “We signed on in October.”
The program, FIT4MOM Golden Isles, offers several classes, held in public spaces like parks. Most of them allow children to be incorporated or at least play while watching their mothers workout. There is FIT4Baby that caters to expectant mothers. Stroller Strides allows mothers to keep baby close (and in a stroller as the name implies) as they workout. Another class called Stroller Barre incorporates the poplar barre fitness program with strollers allowing children to stay close. Then, there is Body Back which focuses on helping moms return to their pre-pregnancy level of fitness.
“Or maybe even better than before,” Agresti added of the Body Back program. “And it can be anyone even ‘empty nesters.’”
While the classes are designed for moms, she said the only prerequisite is being a woman. Though, she notes, that there are classes for dads too.
“Every other Saturday, will be ‘Daderday’ where the dads can come out,” she said.
In addition to Agresti and Dees, classes will be taught by two additional instructors, Tricia Amodeo and Nataleigh Griffith.
While the primary goal is getting moms back into shape, there is a deeper purpose that Agresti feels may even be more important.
“FIT4MOM is all about building strength in motherhood and it is grounded in fitness. But it is also about providing support for moms. It is broader than just fitness,” she said. “It allows you to create a village. Some moms might not even care about the workout so much but they want to connect to talk about breast feeding or getting back to work. It is about being part of a network.”
She also hopes that by incorporating the children into workouts that will help inspire them to live a life of fitness and wellness.
“Moms want to be fit and healthy for their family. And doing this in front of the kids shows them how important it is from an early age,” Agresti said.
They will also be able to get outdoors with classes taking place in Neptune and Frederica parks, both on St. Simons Island, and at North Glynn Park in Brunswick.
“On the days where we can’t be outside, Christina Godwin has partnered with us to use her space at Christina Dance World, which is great,” she said. “We are also close to signing on with the hospital.”
The group will showcase what they have to offer during a free class that will be held during an open house beginning at 10 a.m Jan. 30 at Neptune Park on St. Simons Island.
“We will have two half classes back to back — Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre — they will be half classes that will just offer a little taste. It is all completely free,” she said. “We will also have door prizes from local businesses and Christiana and some of her dancers will be providing entertainment. All you have to do is go to our website and sign up.”