Lisa Druxman is a mom of two and creator of Stroller Strides, the country’s largest and fastest-growing fitness program for moms.
How many children do you have? Two: Jacob and Rachel
How did you come up with the idea for your product? As a lifelong fitness enthusiast, I first recognized the need for a “mommy-friendly” workout after the birth of my son in 2001. Wanting to maximize time with my new baby, but also needing to get back into pre-pregnancy shape, I created a series of exercises using power walks, the stroller, exercise tubing, and the outdoors.
Based on requests from other mothers who observed my routine, I started offering classes in my neighborhood, and soon enough, a small business was born. Within a year, “Stroller Strides” went from one location with four moms to 12 locations with more than 1,000 moms. Stroller Strides currently boasts tens of thousands of participants and more than 1,000 locations across the country and in Canada.
What’s your favorite parenting tip? The best tip I ever got is to follow through on anything you say you are going to do. Your children need to know that you mean what you say and you say what you mean.
What has surprised you most about parenting? How hard it is! I assumed that just because you give your kids love and support, all would be great!
How do you get your kids to eat healthy food? These are some of the ideas I employ and share with other moms.
Teach your child to cook. When a parent eats healthfully, so does the child, and vice versa! Get kids excited about healthy eating by growing vegetables together or letting them help mix and pour. They’re less likely to refuse a meal they contributed to.
Don’t force foods. Forcing a child to eat their veggies because they’re full of vitamins won’t do the trick. Try preparing veggies for yourself and don’t serve them to the kids. When they ask why, say something like, “These will make you way too strong, and I’m not ready for you to be strong like a superhero yet.” They’ll come around.
Expose them to the best (not the rest). Why give a processed chicken nugget to your kids rather than tasty grilled chicken? Until they’re exposed to these types of addictive foods, they’ll have no reason to crave them. So offer a sweet apple as a treat. This may not feel like “dessert” to you, but it will to your child if you present it that way.
Label food and fitness in a positive way. Good food and exercise don’t have to be seen as something to endure. These negative associations will make your child think that one has to force oneself to live this way. Instead, positively label a veggie shake as “Hulk Juice” and don’t resist outside playtime with a “too tired” excuse. You want your kids to learn that exercise energizes you; not the opposite.
Don’t glorify junk food. Even if you have a sweet tooth and come down with a late-night craving, splurge when your child is not around. If you happen to splurge in front of your child, treat a milkshake like an iced tea, minimizing its importance and not acting as if it’s a prized reward.
How do you work exercise into your family’s life? We do our best to just make activity part of our daily lives. Whether it is the kids being involved in sports or all of us going out to play. We sometimes create circuit workouts in the park and pump up the music and workout together. The kids mainly just play around, but they are still moving and seeing that fitness is important to our family. I sign them up for kids running races each year. They have a great time seeing how much better they get as they get older.
How do you recharge your batteries? I absolutely have to set aside some me-time, even when it feels like there is no extra time. Every day has time set aside for a workout. But sometimes, it’s just time to read a book or take a bubble bath. It makes a world of difference.