Fit 4 Mom- Los Angeles

Helping moms make strides in fitness, motherhood and life

Meet Jessica


Jessica Shepard (aka Hana’s mommy) is one of our new LA Striders!   It’s women like you who make FIT4MOM-Los Angeles Stroller Strides one of the best mommy & me activities in Los Angeles.  We loveworking out with you & Hana.  Thank you for letting us get to know you!

1.Who are the members of your family? Where are you from?

In my family there is my husband Jeff, my baby girl Hana, our dog Lucy and me (Jessica)

2. What is or was your career?

I worked in marketing at a wholesale produce company before I had Hana. As of now… I am not sure if/when I will be returning to work.

3. How long have you been a member of Stroller Strides and what has it done for you?

I started stroller stride a few weeks ago. Hana and I love to stroller stride! The other mothers and the instructors have been a world of resources for us! We learned about MOM’s club international and Lenny K’s swing classes from the other mothers.

While it has only been a few weeks, exercising and having an excuse to get out of the house early in the morning has been a huge help for my mental health (and hopefully soon


my physical weight!)

4. What’s your fitness background & your current fitness goals?

I don’t’ have a fitness background. Before I had Hana I didn’t exercise at all. A few yoga classes here and there… but nothing routine or permanent. My fitness goal is to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and body!

5. Other than Stroller Strides, what is your favorite thing to do with your child in L.A.?

I love Lenny K swim class and we are really enjoying mall walking! Now that Hana has more of a daily routine I have been able to sneak in some leisure reading on the side.

6.What is something that has surprised you about motherhood?

Everyone warned me of this, but still… the lack of sleep was a huge surprise for me!  Her simple milestones have been a surprise and a joy to watch and celebrate (lifting her head, smiling, rolling over).

7. Favorite quick & easy dinner that your family enjoys eating.

Delivery food! I think my husband might assume I forgot how to cook when I delivered Hana!

There is one dish I have made over and over again (when I do try and cook)… teriyaki sauce hot dog weenies over rice. I know it sounds gross, but its not so bad and when you are hungry it tastes pretty good!

8.Favorite website(s)?

I don’t have time to really do much so my favorite sites are anything I can do absentmindedly…, and


9. List three current obsessions

Napping (when I can get a little), Hana’s first Halloween costume, and chocolate!ons.

10.What is your child’s favorite thing about you or favorite thing that you do?

Hana likes to laugh together. If I start to laugh she will start to laugh too. Its both of our favorite activity!

11. Finish this sentence…. Before I was a mother I swore I would never…

Walk outside in public with spit up on my shirt…. and not care!!!

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Hello mamas!!

Welcome to my very first blog entry as the new franchisee owner!!! I hope you are excited as I am!! 
As many of you may know, I was super busy with the planning of my wedding / Adela’s 1st birthday celebration. No, it wasn’t intentional to celebrate the both on the same day. I planned and booked all the major things (ceremony and reception venue) when I was 3 months pregnant. Luis (my husband) and I choose August 3 since its the day he asked me to be his girlfriend. Adela decided to be 10 days earlier than her due date and was born on August 3. The celebration changed from just being a wedding to a 1st birthday party as well. With over 300 guest, it was a bit stressful trying to plan it all. Now that that day has passed, I feel more relieved. It was fun and I enjoyed every minute of it. 
Now I can fully focus on Fit 4 Mom- Los Angeles. So ladies, any questions, concerns, or ideas for the group, I am open to hearing. Any suggestions for Moms Night Out? What would you ladies like to do? Or learn to do? I have raffles and prices in the near future. All the info to that is coming soon.
I’d like to thank each one of you for your support and patience in the transition of new franchise owner. I am looking forward to our family growing as we welcome all the new mamas to the group. 
In stride,
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Meet Roxy!

The new Fit 4 Mom Los Angeles Franchise owner!

1.Who are the members of your family? Where are you from?
My family consist of my husband Luis Angel Jimenez and our 9 month old daughter Adela Evalyn Jimenez. I was born and raised in IMG_0921  Los Angeles, but parents are from Mexico. Our culture and family is very important to us.

2. What is or was your career?

I have my Bachelors degree in Business Administration and a minor in Accounting. I enjoy working with numbers 🙂 I worked at a bank as bank supervisor for 6years. I also worked as a seasonal tax consultant at HR Block for 4 years. Once Luis and I decided to start a family, I knew i wanted to spend as much time as possible with our newborn, so decided to look for a job that would allow me to do that. I work as a part-time nanny. I have been this family for 3 years now and the boys have grown up. They are an age when they no longer need a nanny any more. Buying Stroller Strides franchise came at a great time. I have the time to really dedicate myself to it while in the company of Adela.

3. How long have you been a member of Stroller Strides and what has it done for you?

I had never heard of Stroller Strides before I came across it going through Living Social Deal.  I read into it and purchase the deal through them when I was 6 month pregnant.  I said I would try it out when Adela was born. Well when Adela was born, I didn’t want to go outside with her.  First I was scared being a new mom and second, I didn’t know if it was the right thing for me.  I was definitely scared of the unknown. Three days before that deal expired, I decided to try out a class at the Marina del Rey location. I got to the parking lot and didn’t know if I should get out the car or not with my 10 week baby!    I went for it and I LOVED it.  Everyone was so welcoming.  Hearing all the moms talk about their experiences with their babies and with Stroller Strides made me feel so comforting plus the bonus of working out was GREAT!!  Since then I have fallen in love with Stroller Strides.  I enjoy that I can workout with Adela.  Not only has Stroller Strides gotten me back to my pre-baby weight, but I IMG_2983have meet amazing women that I can truly call friends.

4. What’s fitness background & your current fitness goals?

I enjoy working out, mostly I loved running. When I tried out Stroller Strides and saw they use resistant band, I was amazed at how out of shape I really was. My goal is to be healthier. I’m not looking to lose weight or anything. My goal is to be able to challenge myself each and every workout, so that I can live a healthy lifestyle. I want to be an example for my daughter. To know that she looks up to me is all the motivation I need to be healthy.

5. Other than Stroller Strides, what is your favorite thing to do with your child in L.A.?

We enjoy going for walks. She has enjoyed walks at the park, museums, the pier and the mall.

6.What is something that has surprised you about motherhood?

Its changed me. I am no longer just looking out for myself but my daughter as well.  I’m surprise it was innate for me, like a light switch. My mothering instincts kicked in as soon as she was born.  I am surprise how I learned how to tell the difference between each of her cries. One is just to get my attention, while others are for when she’s hungry or sleepy.

7. Favorite quick & easy dinner that your family enjoys eating.

Since my husband is vegetarian, the one thing he enjoys the most is my vegetarian chili with quinoa.IMG_0774

8.Favorite website(s)?

Living social and ebay.

9. List three current obsessions.
  1. clothes for my daughter
  2. looking up things for wedding, I’m getting married in August
  3. learning new recipes
10.What is your child’s favorite thing about you or favorite thing that you do?

I enjoy( and think she does too) that i nurse her. I feel such a beautiful connection with Adela because of that.

11. Before I was a mother I swore I would never…Be the mom to take pictures of every single thing kids would do.
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The Next Chapter

It is time for me to sell the Stroller Strides/ Fit 4 Mom Los Angeles Franchise. This was not an easy decision to make! Being a franchise owner has been incredible for my family and me.  But it is time for me to get back to my true passion, teaching elementary school.When I first started as a Stroller Strides client, I never imagined I would become a franchise owner.  After finding my stride as a franchise owner I never thought I would ever want to sell it! Learning to run my own business while tending to my two small children was challenging to say the least. But I believed and continue to believe that the only way to grow as a person is to constantly find new mountains to climb. As a Fit 4 Mom owner, I got in the best shape I’ve ever been and developed confidence in myself as a business owner.  But by far the best benefit has been the friendships I have made with so many amazing women I may never have had the pleasure of knowing otherwise.

When I made the decision to look for a new owner I knew I could not pass the torch to just anyone.  Stroller Strides/Fit 4 Mom isn’t just a workout that you can do with your baby, it’s a community of like minded women who support each other in their quest to raise healthy children. The new owner had to be someone who could maintain this AND take the franchise to the next level by offering more Fit 4 Mom programs such as Body Back.

With the help of the corporate team I have found the perfect fit -Roxana Reyes!  Roxy and her 9 month old daughter Adela have been taking Stroller Strides classes in Marina Del Rey/Culver City.  Roxy recently became a Stroller Strides instructor.  She is working on her personal trainer certification as well.  Fitness and nutrition have always been an important aspect of her life.  With a degree in Business Administration/Management and a minor in Accounting, Roxy spent 6 years as a bank supervisor.  When the time came to start her family she knew she didn’t want to work full time.  Since the birth of her daughter she has been a part time nanny.  Fit 4 Mom will allow Roxy to utilize all of her talents.

Effective June 1st Roxy will be the new owner of the Fit 4 Mom Los Angeles franchise.  But you can’t get rid of me that easily;)  Stroller Strides has been my life for the last two years- Kairo doesn’t know any other way to start his day!  While I look for a job in education I will continue to teach classes when needed and help plan Plum Mom’s Club activities.  We hope to make this transition has smooth as possible. All classes and activities will continue as planned!

Motherhood is by far the most challenging job i have ever had. But having a community of women to share the challenges and rewards, the sweat and the tears with has been priceless.  I could not have made through the last two years without you!  Thank you.

In Stride,
Ashley Pontell

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Apple Printing

indexLooking for some fun activities to do at home?  Why not take “Ten Apples Up On Top” from playgroup today and have some more fun with it?  Charlotte and I enjoyed doing apple printing – she was surprisingly good at it!
  • paper
  • paint
  • paint brush
  • apples
  • good, sharp knife
  • cutting board
  • fork
  • bib, apron or paint shirt for your child to wear
TrainParty_2205We had some left over paper that an Amazon package had been packed with, and decided to make wrapping paper out of it.  I used chip clips and binder clips to secure it to our kitchen table.
I cut two apples two different directions.  One apple, I cut from top to bottom, near the stem, and the other I cut horizontally.  The vertical cut gave us a print that was shaped like an apple, but the horizontal cut left us with a neat star pattern made by the seeds.
Note: The first time I tried, I used a flimsy, old steak knife to cut the apple and the cutTrainParty_2219 wasn’t straight, so our prints weren’t turning out well.  I re-cut with a large, strong chef’s knife and everything worked a lot better after that.
After cutting the apples, I laid them cut-side-down on some paper towels to absorb some of the moisture – otherwise the paint doesn’t stick well.
TrainParty_2220I got Charlotte all decked out in an old Tshirt of mine, secured in the back with a binder clip, and away we went!
I stabbed the apples with a fork (it makes a handle!) and then painted the cut side.  Then, I handed them to Charlotte and showed her how to stamp with them.  Easy as that!  Older kids could dip their apples in the paint and then print, but we found that when the coat of paint was too thick, it just looked like a blob – sometimes, the lighter TrainParty_2222second print looked neater!
Have fun!
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Imitating Mommy

Future Stroller Strides Instructor

Future Stroller Strides Instructor

Children are sponges. From the moment they are born they are absorbing information from the world around them.  Learning doesn’t take place in isolated segments, it is happening all the time.  Every new sight and sound is a way to figure out the world.  We are teaching our children without even realizing it!

Almost every 2 year old knows what a phone is for. If you hand them a toy phone, they will place it to their ear and speak into it. They might mimic talking on the phone with other objects, like a banana. We don’t intentionally impart this knowledge on to our children in the same manner that we teach them their ABCs or how to ride a bike. Instead, the children learn through imitation. They see the importance our phones and other objects play in our daily lives, and take it upon themselves to mirror our actions with them.

Unfortunately, infants cannot distinguish between behaviors which will allow them to thrive into adulthood and those which would be better left unlearned. The image of mom swigging from a soda can or dad endlessly channel surfing can be just as compelling to a baby as a telephone. It’s up to us to determine which memories will take up a permanent presence in our children’s consciousness.

Take pride in knowing that by working out with us at Stroller Strides, you are not only taking good care of yourself, you are providing your child with a crucial component of their own well-being: positive associations with a healthy role model.  The memories imprinted of you taking time to care for yourself by exercising will guide your child for life!
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Baby-Sitting Swap

110212771Do you need a night out with your partner but don’t want to pay $$$ for a sitter?  Then join the Stroller Strides Los Angeles Baby-Sitting Swap!

Here’s how it works:  You put your kids to sleep before I arrive at your house.  You go out to dinner nearby while I sit on your couch reading or watching TV.   If the little one wakes up,  I’ll call your cell and you come home ASAP.  In any event, you’ll come home by 10 pm.  As compensation you will babysit for me another night!

Want to try it out?  Contact: to get more info.

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Busy Bag Break Down

Thank you to everyone who made this year’s Plum Mom’s Club Busy Bag Exchange a huge success!  For more information on how to hold your own Busy Bag exchange click here.  Beth put together this handy breakdown of the activities.
Counting Cards
  • use small objects or your favorite snack to help your child learn to count
  • save this one for your next flight.  It’s perfect for an airplane tray table!
Velcro on Craft Sticks:
  • Use these to practice making shapes.  Our kits come with a square and a triangle.  Model making the shape for your child first.
  • Want to expand this busy bag?  Double up the shapes – that way you can have a model for your child to work from.  Want to expand it some more?  Make more shapes – a diamond or a rectangle would be good.  You could go hog wild and make them for learning letters as well!
Pipe Cleaner Fine Motor Practice:
  • This is great for fine motor skills.  Is your child too young to get the pipe cleaners in the tiny holes?  Open up the lid and talk about “in” and “out”.  As s/he gets old enough to put the pipe cleaner in the holes, notice that each colored pipe cleaner has a color coded hole to go into – now we’re learning colors, matching, AND fine motor skills!
Memory Match:
  • You can play this like a typical game of memory, keeping the cards face down and trying to find a match.  We start with just a few pairs and work our way up.  You can start with the cards face up and just ask your child to find a particular item or animal.  Then, when you find it’s match you can talk about how they’re the “same” and count them, “One elephant, two elephants!  We have TWO elephants!”.
  • Grow with your ideas: Have your child find a certain colored animal, write the name of the item on the card and start learning letter recognition and spelling!  In that same vein, make corresponding cards that only have the name of the item on it and your (much older!) child can find its matching picture!
Lego Match:
  • Legos are always fun to build with!  Now you can try matching the pictures up as well!
  • Grow with you ideas: Put a sticker on the two legos, so that half is on one and half is on the other (the bottom of the elephant on one, the top on the other), then carefully cut them apart.  Now you have trickier things to match.  Want to work on letter recognition?  You can make Legos pairs with capital and lower case, a blob of color and its word, the animal and the word… the list is never ending!  Did I mention that they’re still super fun to build with? 🙂
Discovery Water Bottle:
  • These are fun to shake up like a snow globe, or a maraca!  Roll them back and forth, move them around talking about prepositions (up, down, in, out, under, over).  Ask what your little one sees – colors, shapes?
  • Hints: If yours gets abused and starts leaking – all is not lost, simply cut the top off and pour the fun innards into a new bottle and glue again.  Whew! 🙂
  • Love this one and want another?  Try one with food coloring and half oil / half water for a lava lamp look.  Try one of the tiny kid sized water bottles for little hands!
Race Car Shapes:
  • Laney already included pretty awesome directions, but in case you lost yours:
  • The race car can be driven along the “highway” of each shape.
  • Included playdough can be rolled out and molded into each shape.
  • Use blocks, manipulatives, or household items such as cotton balls along each highway card!
  • Grow with you ideas: As always, you can add more complicated shapes as your child grows, or use letters and numbers as your race tracks.  Feeling really rambunctious?  Run fun tape (we use painters tape!) along 3-D surfaces of your house (couch cushions for example!) and the world is your race track!
Pom Pom Stuff It In:
  • As the name suggests, hours can be spent just… stuffing them in!
  • Want to “up” the game, sort by color!  Talk about “in” and “out”.
  • Helpful hint:  Need an easier hole for pudgy fingers?  Just cut a slit along the sides so it gives a little as the pom pom gets stuffed in.  No need to cut the whole circle!
Paper Clip Sort:
  • Match the colored clip to the colored card!
  • Little fingers will probably struggle to clip onto the card, so teach your child to lay the clip on the card as an alternative – older fingers will love practicing their dexterity!
  • Count the clips!
Play Dough Mats:
  • The game is imagination and the sky’s the limit – decorate the characters on the mats as the words suggest.  Make numbers, or shapes and learn about colors!  All out of play dough – then make your own!  We found a great no-cook recipe here:
  • I think this would be perfect for sitting at the table waiting for a meal at home or at a restaurant!
Rainbow Rice:
  • This is great on a sensory table!  Don’t have a sensory table?  Dump it in a tupperware tub, or a mixing bowl and go to town.  Keep the colors separate at first, and then let your child mix them one at a time.  Rice is fun to scoop with measuring cups (liquid or dry), pour through funnels, stir with spoons and really anything else you can find in the kitchen to play with.
  • Helpful hint: spread an old sheet or blanket on the floor.  When your child is done playing, simply gather the blanket up and pour the spilled rice back into your container.
Button Snake:
  • Practice fine motor skills by fishing your button through the felt!
  • Have an expert on your hands, felt is cheap and easy to work with, simply make more!
    • Make more in matching colors – then your child can find all of the red to fish on.
    • Make different shapes to sort!
    • Make interesting patterns with the different colors and shapes!
    • Make the button holes easier or more difficult to push through.
  • Travel with a baggie or cup for the un-buttoned felt pieces 🙂
Pinchers and Pom Poms:
  • Can anyone say hours of entertainment?  Just pick the pom poms and paper clips up with the tongs and put them into a handy receptacle (bowl, cup, you name it)!
  • When your Little Miss or Mister needs more challenge, s/he can pick up just one color, or a certain number of them.
  • We saw a child online who likes picking the pom poms up with the paperclips – let them run wild! 🙂
  • When they get much older, whip out the chop sticks for practice!  Or maybe Mama can use the practice right now 🙂
Pizza Factory:
  • Why, oh why isn’t Charlotte old enough to play with this yet?  It’s so darn cute, the 11 year old I nanny for went bonkers over it!
  • Little ones can just have fun with the felt sticking to the felt
  • Bigger kids can follow the recipe cards and cook up a recipe just to your liking
  • Getting bored with the included recipes?  Make your own!  Getting bored with the toppings?  Felt’s super easy to cut – add some household favorites!
  • Have a budding math genius on your hands?  Make the cards math problems! (eg: Add 2 pepperoni, take 1 pepperoni away)
  • Work with colors: Make a pizza with only green toppings!
AaBbCc Spoons:
  • These spoons are super nifty.  Lay the clear-spooned lower-case letter on top of it’s white capitol letter, then you can see them both together!
  • Start with just a few letters.  Do you want to teach his or her name first?  Mom?  Stop?  Some other often-viewed word (one of my nanny charges’ first spelled words was GAP from the tag inside her play tent, I kid you not!)
  • Work up to more and more letters!
I Spy Bottles:
  • These bottles came with a card with a picture of each and every item that can be found buried in the bottle!
  • If your child isn’t old enough or patient enough to use the card, just take the card away and see what they can find on their own!  It’s a 3-D I Spy! 🙂
Heads and Tails:
  • The ring is just for storage purposes.  Take the cards off of the ring and start matching!
  • Start with the cards up, let your child match the front of the animals to the back.
  • Notice the awesome color and item labeling for learning!  (“Can you find the purple animal?  It’s a cat!  C-A-T!”)
  • Once your kiddo’s good at this, you can play it like the memory game with the cards face down.  Start with just a few cards and add more as your child progresses.
Coloring Fun:
  • Every kid likes to scribble away and play with stickers.
  • Keep this stocked with stickers (those free return address labels and fake stamps, anyone?!) crayons and the like for back seat fun for older kids and supervised fun for littler kids.
Pasta Sort:
  • Just like with the Rainbow Rice, you can play with this on the sensory table, but since it’s bigger there’s tons of other fun ways to play with this:
    • pull out some cups and sort by color, or shape!
    • String the noodles (fine motor skills anyone?)
    • Practice making patterns while stringing them
  • Helpful hints: if you’re able to leave these out of the bag for a few days, the alcohol smell will diminish, also, if your child gets these wet or in his or her mouth, the color will bleed.
Paper Clip In & Out:
  • babies can shake it up
  • little ones can put the clips in & out
  • preschoolers can link the clips together
  • sort them by color or create patterns
  • Count the clips!
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Meet Our Moms

Kara (aka Hattie’s mom) is one of our LA Striders!   It’s women like you who make Stroller Strides one of the best mommy & me activities in Los Angeles.  Thank you for letting us get to know you!

1.Who are the members of your family? Where are you from?  My family consists of myself, my husband Christopher, and our daughter Hattie.  We are originally from Dallas, Texas.  We moved to the Los Angeles area around seven months ago.
2. What is or was your career?  I am a teacher.  I taught fourth and fifth grades for ten years before Hattie was born.  I am taking a little time off to spend with my girl, and I plan to return to teaching at some point.
3. How long have you been a member of Stroller Strides and what has it done for you? I have been a Stroller Strides member for three or four months.  Stroller Strides has introduced me to so many wonderful moms!  Moving to a new state two weeks before Hattie was born was very isolating for me.  Stroller Strides helped me meet people and work out at the same time.
4. Other than Stroller Strides, what is your favorite thing to do with your child in L.A.?  Hattie and I enjoy swim class and going to visit Daddy at his office.  We love playing in the yard and enjoy the California weather. 
5. What is something that has surprised you about motherhood?  I always knew I would love my child with my entire heart.  I never knew I would love her laughter so much.  I will do anything to make her giggle.
6. Favorite quick & easy dinner that your family enjoys eating. My husband loves the pork chops I make.  Basically the pork chops are covered in french fried onions and baked for twenty minutes.  It’s super quick and yummy.
7. Favorite website(s)? The baby center website is always helpful.  I even got the app for my phone.  I also get good recipes from
8. List three current obsessions.
I love to read after Hattie goes to bed.  I am currently reading a biography about the Duchess of Devonshire.  I am also crosstiching a Christmas stocking for Hattie.  I hope to have it done in time, but in reality she may use it for her second Christmas!  Finally, I am always on the lookout for good recipes for our food swap group.
9. What is your child’s favorite thing about you or favorite thing that you do?
I hope that Hattie’s favorite thing about me is that she knows I will always love her and do what is best for her.  On a more practical note, Hattie loves to be bounced up and down.  She gets a kick out of it.  She also loves to be tickled.
10. Before I was a mother I swore I would never… let Hattie sleep in our bed.  Well, that lasted about two weeks.  I had been up so many times one night, I didn’t have the energy to put her back in her own crib.  Then it was all over!
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Double Arm External Rotation plus, Plie Squat

DIRECTIONS:Hold onto the handles of the tube in each hand and choke up onto the tube to create tension. Get into a plie squat and begin lowering and rising up in and out of the plie. Add in the external rotation, keeping the elbows glued to your sides.
• Keep elbows tight to the waist and elbows bent at 90 degrees
• Keep belly tight and spine in neutral throughout movement
 • There may be a need to discontinue the rotator cuff exercise before the plies, as they are MUCH smaller muscles.
 • B R E A T H E
To make this less intense, perform exercise without one of the movements and/or without the tubing.
*content courtesy of Stroller Strides Corporate
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