Written By Lisa Stone, ACE certified pre- & post-natal fitness specialist
Conception of an Idea
But, once I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I suddenly became obsessed with taking top-notch care of my body. I learned about healthy eating and healthy exercise. I even joined a prenatal exercise class in West Los Angeles and bought Kathy Smith's pregnancy workout video so I could get into shape for my labor and delivery. My interest in fitness continued between pregnancies and into my second pregnancy. At that point, I decided I wanted to learn how to teach group fitness classes for pregnant women and new moms. I studied, took the American Council on Exercise (ACE) Group Fitness Instructor exam, and studied some more to learn about fitness during and after pregnancy. I began subbing for my postnatal fitness class instructor and eventually started teaching classes on my own all over the Los Angeles area.
Giving Birth to the Idea
A year later, my husband and I decided to move our family (2 daughters) to Atlanta. My plan was to teach pre- and post-natal fitness classes at a local health club or hospital. But, much to my surprise (after all, Atlanta is the birthplace of step aerobics!), no one in the area was offering such classes nor were they interested in offering them. So, Fit For 2 was born! I rented space in a local community center, delivered fliers all over town to drum up business, sent out press releases to every local media outlet, and showed up to teach my first class – and only one person showed up! Not easily discouraged, I kept up my marketing and PR efforts, and by the end of the first year, Fit For 2 had touched over 100 pregnant women and new moms in the Atlanta area!
When I became pregnant with my third child, teaching Fit For 2 classes became much more of a challenge. There were days where I was so nauseated that I just showed up for class with a Coke in hand and cued my students through their workouts. During that nine-month period, I made many modifications to the program, experiencing first-hand the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy. I continued teaching six classes a week until the day before my son was born and returned to teaching when he was just 11 days old. In order to avoid leaving my newborn with the childcare attendant, I wore him in a baby sling while I taught class. I got really good at stepping, cueing, and breastfeeding all at the same time!
Raising the Idea
Fit For 2 has now grown into a web business as well since the production of our pregnancy workout video in 1994. The internet has provided me with the unique opportunity of reaching pregnant women and new mothers worldwide through our web site (www.fitfor2.com) as well as other sites for which I provide content, host chats, and monitor bulletin boards. Fit For 2 has gotten even more exposure since I became the fitness writer for Pregnancy Magazine. We are continuing to grow as we license the program to health clubs, hospitals, and individuals who want to bring state-of-the-art programming to their communities.
Sharing the Idea
In order to get started in this business, you'll first need to become certified as a group fitness instructor. There are several organizations that offer such certifications, such as ACE, AFAA, ACSM, and NDEITA. Once you pass the initial exam, you'll need to take a certification course in pre- and post-natal fitness. Of course, I think the Fit For 2 Instructor Training is the best! Then, it's just a matter of finding your clients. By licensing an existing program like Fit For 2, you have the advantage of using the program's expertise in PR, marketing, advertising, and program design to build your client base more quickly.
If you love to exercise and love being around pregnant women and babies, you will love teaching Fit For 2 or other pre- and post-natal fitness classes. You can teach as much or as little as works for you. Expect to earn anywhere from $15 to $50 per class. You can be with your kids, even while you're teaching, and introduce them to the importance of being physically active. If you have any questions about starting a program, please feel free to call or email me.
Lisa Stone, President
Fit For 2, Inc.