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Duluth moms hang out with their kids while exercising

FIT4MOM instructor Sara Marciniak (blue shirt) leads the Wednesday morning Stroller Strides class. (Photo by Anna Jones)1 / 3
The FIT4MOM workout group at their DECC location for Stroller Strides. (Photo by Anna Jones)2 / 3
Instructor Lisa Filzen and her two kids Madison and Jed hang out with other moms after their Stroller Strides workout. (Photo by Anna Jones)3 / 3

Originating in San Diego and quickly sweeping the nation, FIT4MOM made its way to Duluth in June 2015. FIT4MOM is a workout program that gives moms the opportunity to workout during pregnancy and after their child's birth.

Lisa Filzen is the founder for the Twin Ports branch of the nationwide franchise. "I was reading some fitness article online that FIT4MOM was in and it really sparked my interest. I had never heard of it so I Googled it and I realized it was a really cool idea," Filzen said. "Madison (Filzen's daughter) was about six months old at the time and I loved to work out so the whole idea and concept of working out with your kids just really grabbed my attention. I started off low-key with just the one workout class but it has grown a lot."

The Twin Ports branch includes Duluth, Hermantown, Superior, and Esko. Filzen started the program teaching only three Stroller Strides classes a week. In this class the group power walks, does intervals of strength and body toning exercises and uses the stroller to receive a full body workout, all while entertaining their young children. Filzen quickly realized that her new business was bringing in more moms each class and she was going to have to expand. In August of 2015, Filzen hired another instructor, one of the moms in her classes, Sara Marciniak.

"One day Lisa was talking about how she needed to hire another instructor and I was interested and was already a certified personal trainer so I was able to take the course online to become certified to teach the classes," Marciniak said. "It is such a nice community of moms with kids around the same age and we are all sharing similar life situations. I've enjoyed being able to teach and motivate people to push themselves to where they want to be and reach their goals."

Recognizing that even more expansion of the Duluth branch was necessary, Filzen added in three more classes: Run4Mom Run Club, Fit4Baby and Body Back. Run4Mom is a club that will meet once a week for eight weeks to give the moms 5K training plans for various running levels; Fit4Baby is a class to prepare the body for all changes it may undergo during pregnancy; and Body Back is a results-based workout designed to focus on getting moms back in shape after pregnancy. Along with the additional classes, Filzen hired four more instructors in May.

"I love the positive impact that's left on the mothers after a workout and how they feel when we are done," said instructor Andrea Anderson. "My main focus is working out and being with my daughter."

The classes and attendance for each continue to grow and expand. Mothers of all ages come to get in a workout while interacting with their young kids.

"I heard about this through word of mouth and enjoy the community with other moms and the accountability to work out. You feel like you're committed to go because you know there are people there counting on seeing you," said attendee Stephanie Swagger. "The workouts are tiring but good."

For more information about FIT4MOM, visit their website at or their Facebook page, Fit4Mom Twin Ports.