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10 Boutique Fitness Studios in Prince George’s County, MD

As a work-from-home mom and blogger, I have a little more time in my day to sneak in a quick trip to the gym or an exercise class before my children come home from school and I have to start shuttling them to various sports and music practices.

Although I belong to one of those big chain gyms, I like to diversify my work out routines to prevent boredom and prefer to patronize smaller boutique gyms.

The problem: In the county I live in there are not that many at all. In fact, a few years back, I purchased a Class Pass, a fitness disruptor app that lets you book unlimited exercise classes at various boutique gyms in your region for one low monthly price of like $99. Sadly, I had to cancel my membership because there were so few options available in my county it stopped making sense to keep it.

I would book classes in DC or Northern Virginia or Montgomery County which seemed to have 10 boutique gyms per mile but would routinely arrive after classes started because of traffic, distance, parking and other issues.

Every. single.time. It was a money pit.

Fast forward a few years, and on my own, from walking my neighborhood and scrolling Instagram, I discovered that there are close to a dozen if not more boutique fitness studios right here in my county or very close to it.

I’ve been to some but not all.

Here are 10 I recommend :


Open Barre Studios in College Park, Maryland is a quaint space located above the restaurants in a shopping center in the college town I live near and where I attended, the University of Maryland.

It was opened recently in 2017 by MD alum Lauren Filocco who told Diamondback she struggled to find fitness options outside the university gyms.

“Barre is not dance so much as it is a low-impact workout,” she said. “It takes elements of ballet and it incorporates it into the workout, but you absolutely don’t need to be a dancer to do it.”

I purchased a first timer pass which allowed for unlimited class for the two weeks for like $30 I think. Now that price is $45 or you can take just 3 classes for the $30. Drop in price is $14 per class so that’s still a $14 savings.

The staff is made up of a lot of students from the school as is most of the clientele. But there is a mix of stay-at-home local moms, retirees, and young professionals in the county who are excited to finally have a place to practice barre.

I might be wrong, but I believe this is the only barre studio in the entire county of about 1 million people! Crazy, right?

It has a ton of fun themed classes: Mommy and Me, Doggy and Me, Beyonce, 80s, 90s pop, sorority or fraternity, bring a significant other and more galore!

Also, the best part is the price point is perfect, starting at just $5 for the Happy Hour Barre classes on Fridays starting 4:30.

You cannot beat this anywhere in the tri-State area including Virginia and DC!

Students (and Alums) get the discount monthly price of $75 for unlimited classes which cost $99 for non-students.

I love this space and come as many times I can in given my and my kids’ hectic schedules.


Again, the pickings are slim in my county and I do not know of any studios in any other part of the county other than Cross Fit Hyattsville!

It is located in a spacious 5700 sq ft warehouse unit so there’s tons of room for a large pull-up rig, climbing ropes, rings, and 130 ft running lane that is also used for sled work, handstand walks, tire flipping and all the other crazy strength, conditioning and body building tools and apparatuses associated with Cross Fit training.

Membership is more of a price commitment at $145 per month for 9 classes but you save $10 if you commit to 3 months. For $170 you get unlimited classes as part of a 3-month commitment but that price jumps to $185 if you opt for month-to-month. Don’t worry, you can check it out for FREE!


CYCLED – I recently discovered this two studio boutique cycling and exercise space while waiting for my son and daughter to get out of swim practice. One is located in Takoma Park, DC near the DC, Prince George’s and Montgomery County borders so it is centrally located for people in my county to get to and right next door to a Starbucks you can get a jolt of espresso from before your ride.

It also offers barre and yoga sculpt classes.

I finally got to check out a complimentary class last month and loved it! I got a great work out and even though I came in dead last (there is a competitive part and they email you your standing after class) I really enjoyed the experience. The music was booming and kept me hype and energized. The intimate space made the experience climatic!

Amenities include a towel at each bike for riders, spacious cubby lockers, a shower, coat racks and water station to refill a water bottle. The instructors are super nice, accommodating and tend to each individual student so you don’t ever have to feel intimidated or unsure if it’s your first class.

Rooftop spin classes at Cycled – Silver Spring!

I also got a chance to later check out the Soca Ride at its Silver Spring location, Sundays at 9 am taught by Grace S and had a ball! It was just after Trinidad Carnival so really got me going playing all the latest hits by Machel, Mister Killah, Patrice Roberts, Super Blue and even a mix of high energy pop and reggae in there.

The motto of the studio is “Less Cult, More Community” perhaps to take on the intense intimidation factor that occurs when newbies join a gym made up of die-hard fitness loyals to that particular gym.

Dr Shayla Cornick started the studio with just 11 bikes at her Silver Spring location before opening a second studio in Takoma Park.

Prices start at $20 per drop in and they offer generous discounts, and have other free class offers, as well as a challenge to encourage members to partner up and win prizes for going on rides.


The iLoveKickboxing revolutionary system of gyms has a location in Hyattsville that I see always full of energetic members. The windows are blacked out by the dressing for privacy but I can still feel their power as I walk by.

To start is steal: $45 that includes boxing gloves and there is always a deal for much less on Groupon. After an initial class, the price may jump slightly but by then, I imagine you’re hooked. I love kickboxing and have been meaning to try this spot out too for a while. I think I will soon.

Pole Dancing

I took a class at My Body Shop back in 2015 on my Class Pass because it was one of like 3 studios in the county on that system (and still only 1 of three studios). The studio is spacious with cubbies in the back. There are ample poles and silks and lots of mirrors to check your form. They also teach chair physics, twerk and other forms of dance here.

The instructors were knowledgeable and nice but in the end, I found that it wasn’t the fitness routine for me because of my lack of faith in the pole and my upper body strength! ha!

Classes are $27 each and packages start at $89!

I think it’s still available on Class Pass. It hosts parties, workshops and has other fun events throughout the year and is located in the heart of Riverdale off 410.

No contract monthly packages for up to 8 regular classes and $10 specialty classes that normally cost $30 each are available for $89 which brings the cost down per class to about $11 and change! That’s a great deal and will force you to attend to get your money’s worth!

Total Body

The only small gym I am aware of that is south of the Hyattsville, College Park and Riverdale area is Torch Gym in Capitol Heights!

It is a 3,000 sf personal training venue that combines Weight Training, HIIT workouts, bootcamps, group fitness and personal training. Drop in prices start at $20 and 4-pack personal training sessions are $45 with longer commitment packages starting at $100

I’ve never been but am excited to see another part of the county have a boutique gym. It is relatively new as well and was founded in 2016!


There are a few more yoga studio options in the county, with a lot of them heavily concentrated in the Hyattsville, Baltimore Avenue-Route 1 Arts District corridor.

Kendra Blackett-Dibinga, owner of Bikram Yoga Works

Bikram Yoga Works Kendra Blackett-Dibinga owns this Riverdale studio that has been a regular staple in the community for several years. It started with hot yoga and recently expanded to include pilates. The studio started when Kendra’s husband and co-owner, Omekongo, who was suffering from chronic groin pain and residual basketball injuries, turned to yoga as a holistic, non-medicinal and non surgical option.

It now boasts 6 locations in the county and DC (and Boston) and elite athlete training options, cryotherapy, fascial stretch therapy and hot barre at its Ivy City locale.

Classes start at just $10 per month and new students can get unlimited access at an introductory offer of just $45!

Love Yoga Studio is a nurturing family-friendly space in Hyattsville, Maryland that is also relatively new. Classes are capped at 12 to ensure max attention from instructors. The prices start at $17 but you can get an unlimited pass for a week for just $3 more! That’s a bargain and great incentive to squeeze in as many sessions as you can that week.

I have never been to this studio but judging from the positive reviews on Google and Yelp, I am eager to check it out! Adult classes include: Beginners, Prenatal, Yin, Hatha, Vinyasa Flow, Alignment, and Community yoga classe

Yoga Works is a community studio located three blocks West of Route 1, nestled in Hyattsville’s Historic District with a view of Gallatin Street Park. It caters to families of all ages, and especially neighborhood regulars.

Its certified teachers offer classes in Vinyasa, Hatha, Prenatal Yoga, Pilates, and our newest additions, Yogalates and Feldenkrais. Classes are reasonably priced at just $15 per class and $130 for a 13 weeks. It only accepts Cash or Checks. Interesting limitation in this digital world but alas, it is what it is.


Orange Theory is not a boutique spot but rather a very popular chain. It has a national reputation and just opened up one of its newest locations on Route 1 in College Park.

It is billed as an experience: “a science-backed, technology-tracked, coach-inspired group workout with personalized results…led by a personal trainer, this hour-long HIIT class incorporates cardio, indoor rowers, weight training blocks, and floor exercises designed to give you results from the inside out for a longer, more vibrant life.” Wow! Okay. Sure. I haven’t gone to this one either but wanted to put it out there as an option.

It’s a bit pricier at $28 per drop in class and $225 for a 10 pack session. I sense that members are full in similar to Soul Cycle and other trendy national gym chains.

That is it for now! I am happy to update this post if any of the owners spot any discrepancies. Also, I’m happy to append it with my own personal experience later.

Give me a holler at jj (at) bellyitchblog.com

Revisit Aoki Lee Who Got Into Harvard On Her Own, Really!

Back in 2016, I did a post about Aoki Lee, the youngest daughter of Kimora Lee Simmons and Russell Simmons commenting on how she rarely shows images of her face on her Instagram page compared to her sister, one year old, Ming Lee who is fine flossing and stunting on the gram…like their mom!

My intent was not for the post to be a take down but a social commentary on the reason I think she did hide her face: to shield herself from the ever present scrutiny of members of the public who cannot help themselves but comment on her beauty.

I wrote about good and bad in the incredible amount of new access fans have of celebrities in the age of social media:

On one hand, it gives them access to fans and helps them prove their brand relevance and importance by enabling them to quantify fans.  It can be used as a tool to keep them famous and relevant. On the other hand, social media make it too easy to get direct contact with people in the public eye and along with the good of being able to show off their  filter-free and authentic selves, celebs also open a window and let in all the insecure, petty, jealous and downright meanies who love to troll and diss them too.

The post got a tremendous amount of traffic after is published and for years after and I did not understand why. A year or so ago, I realized it is because of the headline and people are using “ugly” in searches for Aoki and coming up with mine. The headline is insensitive and a bit mean: “IS AOKI LEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A CELEB CHILD GROWS BEING CALLED UGLY BY PUBLIC?”

I apologize for this headline and the spin which I now think is a bit harsh, overly critical and the wrong tone.

We can grow.

But last year, she did acknowledge her insecurities I wrote about in an Instagram story:

“Ok guys so! I’m you’ve noticed I’ve been posting a lot more this summer! I used to be very picky about pictures and not really show my face, and would often not post pictures of cool events or important moments because I didn’t like my smile or I was standing next to my beautiful sister (laughing emoji) it’s easy to get insecure when your older sister and mom are models (laughing emoji) and I’ve dealt with a lot of negativity on Instagram, comments saying I’m not as pretty as my big sister (who is the best by the way)z We all want to look nice in our photos but I’ve tried to let all of that go and just post pictures were I look happy or was actually having a good time. I try not to worry who I’m standing next to and just share good moments with you guys”

And now the 16 year old is off to Harvard! She shared an Instagram video with the news that she got accepted even though she still has a full year of school left.

From Page Six:

“She’s on her way to #Harvard!! We are sooo super proud of YOU!! Such hard work and only 16,” Kimora added. “You did it! It took years of super dedication and lots of tears! But HERE YOU ARE!!! GO GIRL!!! Enjoy the journey! We are excited to see the great things you will do! Sorry I’m one of those SUPERLOUD MAMAS! She also got into Dartmouth, Vassar, Barnard etc!”

Aoki Lee, whose father is Russell Simmonsposted a similar video of her acceptance news.

In the video, Aoki’s stepfather, Tim Leissner, is standing next to her.

She also quoted her mother saying she told her, “Thank god you got in on your own honey cause you can’t row.”

Russell also had a few choice words, adding, “So blessed @aokileesimmons made it into HARVARD and Kimora Myself or Tim didn’t have to pull any strings or pay anyone to get her in  she made it on her own academic merit.”

Just last year, Kimora graduated from the University of Hartford with a business degree.

Aoki will join Harvard’s Class of 2023.

Study: Diabetes In Pregnancy Increases Heart Disease Risk

Women with pregnancy-related diabetes are at higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease in the decade after childbirth, a research review suggests.

While so-called gestational diabetes has long been linked to an increased risk of heart disease later in life, some previous research suggests this risk may depend on whether the condition evolves into type 2 diabetes that persists after delivery.

Researchers examined data from nine previous studies with almost 5.4 million mothers. Overall, about 8,000 women with a history of gestational diabetes experienced cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes, as did more than 93,000 women without this pregnancy complication.

“This study demonstrates that women with gestational diabetes have a 2-fold higher risk of major cardiovascular events than their peers,” said senior study author Dr. Ravi Retnakaran of the University of Toronto.

“This increased risk is not dependent upon (type 2 diabetes),” Retnakaran said by email. “The risk differential between women with gestational diabetes and their peers emerges within the first decade after pregnancy.”

Compared to women who didn’t have gestational diabetes, those who did had a 2.3-fold greater risk of events like heart attacks and strokes within the first decade after giving birth.

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Alanis Morissette, 44, is Pregnant with 3rd Child

Our fave 90s angst grunge crooner Alanis Morissette is expecting her 3rd child at age 44.

The “You Outta Know” singer announced the news Monday evening to her close to 400K Instagram followers.

“[S]o much NEWness…” The Grammy-winning recording artist captioned a black and white photo of herself singing into a microphone with hearts and the praying hands emoji following it, and wearing a black turtle neck with her baby bump clearly visible.

The singer already has two children – 1-year old daughter Onyx, one, and 8-year old son Ever with husband Mario Treadway.

This would be her second baby after age 40 for the 44-year old, and updates my growing list of 56+ celeb women who gave birth after age 40.

Kehlani Welcomes 1st Child, a Daughter

Congrats to singer Kelani who welcomed her daughter this weekend.

The singer-songwriter shared the news in an Instagram post revealing that her daughter Adeya was born over the weekend.

“We just wanted to say thank you to everyone who sent well wises, love, and support in all forms while waiting & working to bring Adeya earthside,” she captioned an up close photo of a baby blanket. Congratulations, Kehlani!


She announced her pregnancy last October 2018 and has had a couple of baby showers including some with beau boyfriend Javie Young White.

Her new mixtape While We Wait arrived last month featuring 6lack, Ty Dolla Sign, and others. It follows 2017’s studio debut SweetSexySavage.

2019 Kids Choice Awards: Orange Carpet & Who Won

It was a fun time this weekend at the 2019 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards at the Galen Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, March 23rd.

We spotted several Bellyitch Bumpwatch alums walk the famous orange carpet before watching their fellow stars and TV, Movie and online personalities take home awards in fun categories like Favorite TV Drama, Favorite Funny TV Show, Favorite Movie,  Favorite Butt-Kicker, Favorite TV Judge and more.

Jennifer Hudson, Fuller House‘s Jodie Sweetin, Heidi Montag and Tia Mowry Hardrict showed up with son Cree Hardrict and each rocked the arrivals carpet in a colorful or eclectic outfit with flare.

Blog faves Mel B and Heidi Klum won along co-judges Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel for Favorite TV Judges for America’s Got Talent.

Jennifer Lopez for World of Dance and Kelly Clarkson for The Voice were nominated. Emily Blunt was nominated for Best Actress for Mary Poppins, Zoe Saldana and Scarlett Johansson for Best Actress for Avengers: Infinity Wars, and Johansson for fave Superhero, Black Widow. Beyonce and Cardi B were nominated for Favorite Female Artist and Cardi also for Fave Breakout Artist.

Fun Times!

LHH’s Erica Dixon’s Twins Are Almost Here

Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta star Erica Dixon updated her fans and followers on Instagram on the progress of her twin pregnancy.

“Twins are doing much better… I’m feeling good….. God is great!!” she captioned an upclose bump progression photo of herself and daughter Emani with castmate Lil Scrappy “Just a few more weeks to go until I meet my angels.” she captioned under a photo of her cradling her belly.

Dixon, a feisty member of the popular Vh1 channel show has never announced who the father of the twins are.

She clapped back at a curious commenter who asked her about the daddy, “Non of your business. You’ll know [when] i want you to hun but everyone is good, healthy, and happy. Hope the same is for you.”

In a previous photo with her daughter Emani with fellow cast member Lil Scrappy, she commented, “My girls and I out and about. I’m worn out now?”

View this post on Instagram

My girls and I out and about. I’m worn out now?

A post shared by msericadixon (@msericadixon) on

Meanwhile, the mom-to-be is still promoting her hair extension brand whilst baking the babies. Keep up the hustle!

Jessica Simpson Welcomes 3rd Child, Daughter, Birdie Mae

Congratulations to Jessica Simpson and her husband, former NFL quarterback, Eric Johnson on the birth of their third child on Wednesday, Birdie Mae.

Simpson announced the news about the newest arrival on her Instagram page.

“We are so happy and proud to announce the birth of our perfect daughter, Birdie Mae Johnson,” Simpson wrote captioned a black and white photo of her daughter meeting her baby sister on Instagram on Wednesday.

Baby Birdie weighed 10 lbs., 13 oz.

We love Simpson for keeping it all the way real this pregnancy by posting photos of her swollen feet, unflattering pics of her growing bulbous pregnant belly and make up less pics.

The fashion line entrepreneur even recently made fun of herself for breaking the family toilet seat.

The Dukes of Hazard reboot star has been royally rewarded by fans who have consistently commented that they are happy to see a celebrity keep it 100 about the very unglamorous aspects of pregnancy.


The new baby joins The Johnsons’ older kids, 5-year old son Ace Knute, 5, and 6 1/2-year old daughter Maxwell “Maxi” Drew.

Her daughter makes the third celeb we’ve “bumpwatched” to name her child Birdie!


WWE and Totally Divas star Brie Bella and actress and late night talk show host Busy Phillips‘ daughters are named Birdie.

Good News: Today is the 1st Day of Spring {ICYMI}

Last week, Facebook and Instagram were down last week for an entire day…then when it came back, the College Admissions cheating scandal took over our news feeds and…

Isn’t it great that today is the first day of Spring?!?

You deserve some good news, and some more good news in the form of past posts you might have missed:

  • First, excellent news for future expecting moms! Researchers are developing a test to help moms-to-be test at home if they have preeclampsia!
  • Also, last week, we heard bout the demise of yet another mall staple retail clothing store, H&M, which is closing up dozens of store nationwide. Gasp! Here is why I’ll miss it.
  • Coming to the end of Tex Season and if you’ve vowing to reign in your spending and save for a home, vacay, or biz or “just because”, I’ve got 21 apps to share that can help you get your financial house in Order for the New Year this tax season and beyond.
  • And for those of you keeping up with expecting celebrities, check out this post about who is delivering a baby this year.
  • Looking for your next stroller? Want a fancy one?! I’ve got your number! LOOK!
  • Prepping the nursery? Here are tips on how to create a calming nursery.
  • For my fashionistas, check out what all the stylish expecting Instagrammers are rocking and how to get away with the Neon trend sensibly this season. You can do it! It’s easy!
  • And just for fun, the names of the naughtiest boys and girls names are out. See if your name or a name you planned to give your future child is on it!
  • Robo calls and nonstop annoying unsolicited marketing calls are a pain in the butt! I’ve been able to get rid of Robo callsusing this app that has been a lifesaver! Learn how it worked for me!
  • If you’ve Marie Kondo your life recently, consider selling some of that stuff you’ve just decluttered at DeCluttr.
  • Use Billshark to negotiate lower prices on your monthly bills to save you time, money and hassle. The company claims an 85% success rate negotiating bills for Cable TV, Wireless Phone, Satellite TV, Internet Access, Satellite Radio, and Home Security. The larger and older the bill, the more money they can save you, especially on your cable and tv bills!

An At-Home Preeclampsia Test Is Being Developed

Dr. Kara Rood speaks with a pregnant woman during a prenatal visit.

A new test to easily diagnose preeclampsia earlier in pregnancy is being developed by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Preeclampsia is a potentially life-threatening condition that affects about one in 20. Both mom and baby are at risk and because the symptoms of the condition mirror regular normal pregnancy symptoms like swelling and headaches, it is pretty hard to diagnose. Often times, it isn’t caught until much later in a woman’s pregnancy.

The newly developed test uses a special red dye that reacts to unique proteins in the urine of pregnant women with preeclampsia.

This means, a mom-to-be can quickly and easily diagnosed for the condition during a prenatal visit.

“Without the certainty of this test, providers tend to be overcautious because this is definitely a condition that we can’t allow to go untreated,” said Dr. Kara Rood , lead author of the study and maternal-fetal medicine physician at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “This test helps us to quickly provide care to women with preeclampsia, while avoiding unnecessary admissions or even early deliveries.”


Researchers expect the new rapid test to be FDA approved in the next few years so that OB/GYNs nationwide can use it to identify cases of preeclampsia.

“Giving birth is the only cure for preeclampsia, but it can develop as early as the second trimester,” Rood added. “The quicker we identify women with the condition, the better chance they have of carrying their babies to full term and having a healthy delivery.”

Dr. Rood hopes it will also be available at home for monitoring pregnancy complications more conveniently.