By Michelle Lloyd
Heather Causey, 39 of Tega Cay, wanted a way to make additional while keeping her part time job and continuing to stay home with her son. The answer came in July 2012 when Causey started the Charlotte chapter of Stroller Strides. Stroller Strides is an exercise program for moms and babies started in 2011 by Lisa Druxman in California. The successful business today boasts 300 franchises in the US and over 1,000 class locations.
Q. How did Stroller Strides begin?
Stroller Strides began after founder Lisa Druxman had her first baby. She has a fitness background and was home on maternity leave and wanted to find a way to exercise with her baby. She started putting fliers in neighbors mailboxes asking moms if they wanted to join her for exercise each day. She got another mom to join her and then another mom and then friends started telling friends and she had quite a following. She was interviewed by the local media and gave out her cell phone number. The phone was ringing off the hook from moms who wanted to meet other moms, exercise and feel better physically and mentally. She got such a huge reaction that she started Stroller Strides. She never imagined how many Moms across the country would benefit
Q. How did you get involved with Stroller Strides?
I was looking for a job in addition to my part time job which would allow me to continue to stay home with my son. I had always wanted to start a business and felt that it was the right time. I searched and searched for months and months and explored many ideas but nothing just felt "right". One day, I was searching online for fitness programs and Stroller Strides popped up. I was so excited because my biggest challenge as a new mom was taking care of myself and exercising on a regular basis.
By the time my husband got home in the evenings, exercise was the last thing on my mind. I couldn't believe that there wasn't a Stroller Strides in Charlotte. The closest was in Lake Norman and that was just too far for me. I talked to my husband and he thought it was a great idea. I reached out to my father who has been a business man for 40 years and he really gave me great advice. I spoke to people involved in Stroller Strides from Lisa Druxman to other franchise owners and after about three months of research, I decided to bring Stroller Strides to the South Charlotte area.
Q. How does it work?
A. Stroller Strides is a total body workout. We combine power walking (and running if you choose) with toning exercises using tubing, the stroller and the environment. The great thing is that it doesn't matter if you are a beginner or you have been exercising your entire life. We teach the exercises with modifications and challenges so that everyone benefits.
Q. How often do you host classes?
A. Currently, we have classes Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:30 a.m. at Pineville Lake Park. Once we have a need, I plan to add additional classes and locations. I would like to have evening and Saturday classes to accommodate working Moms. I have had quite a few working Moms reach out to me.
Q. Who can join?
A. Anyone!. Although we are geared towards moms, we welcome fathers, grandparents, and caregivers. We don't turn anyone away. The only requirement is that the children be in the stroller. Expecting moms are also welcome!
Q. Do you have to use a stroller in the class or can you wear your baby?
A. A stroller is required.
Q. How much are classes?
A. Monthly memberships are $55 per month for unlimited classes. We also offer a 10 class pass for $110. Currently, we are offering some fantastic "Founding Mom" specials! We also offer gift certificates which is a great idea for new moms. We are also doing a giveaway at the MomsCharlotte.com Back to School Bash on August 20 at Space Kidets.
Q. How many are in your group?
A. We will take as many people as we can. A typical class size would be about 10-15 people but we can accommodate more!
Q. What are the benefits of Stroller Strides? A. Stroller Strides can benefit moms both mentally and physically. It is a fantastic and effective way to lose pregnancy weight in a safe environment. Its also a fun workout that moms can do with their children and it provides a healthy role model to kids. It is a great place for social support and it can also help moms who may be experiencing postpartum depression.
Q. What types of classes are offered?
A. Currently we offer Stroller Strides Classes. In the future we will offer Fit4Baby (a prenatal fitness program) and Body Back (a boot camp type class). Stroller Barre is the latest class to rolled out by Stroller Strides.
Q. Does your son join you while you teach?
A. Yes, he is there everyday and he loves it! He giggles, claps and loves being with the other kids. Sometimes the kids are fussy and that is no problem.
Q. What do you love most about Stroller Strides?
A. I love that I get to take my son to work with me everyday and the reward of helping other moms. I really enjoy seeing the relationships blossom with the moms/kids in class as well!!
Q. Any tips for our readers?
A. If you would like to get in shape or stay fit, you would love Stroller Strides. It doesnt matter what your exercise level. There are no judgments in Stroller Strides, we are all moms, so we have all been there. You can come to class after a night with no sleep and we will welcome you with open arms!! And you will probably feel better when you leave. Come join us for a class, the first class is free!!
For more information contact Heather Causey at www.strollerstrides.net/strollerstrides or 704-534-1616. Website www.strollerstrides.net/charlotte Facebook: www.facebook.com/strollerstridescharlotte