Like most professional couples with kids, Jennifer and Luke Shertzer find themselves in the midst of a whirlwind of activity, from work commitments, to school and sporting events, to just making time to enjoy each other as a family. Amidst all this “busyness,” the Shertzer’s have found ways to live a healthy lifestyle, even if it doesn’t always involve time at the gym or workout studio.
Luke started his own web and graphic design company in 2003, while Jennifer had worked as a design and art director at JC Penney since the early 2000’s. Eventually, as Plano residents, they recognized the need for a new, high quality lifestyle publication, and in 2014 launched Plano Magazine.
Creating a magazine from scratch has been a time-consuming labor of love for the Shertzer’s. Not only have they had to produce design and content, but they’ve also had to secure advertising to make it a profitable enterprise. They must also attend many after-work events for networking and business development.
More important than the magazine, however, are their children. The Shertzer’s son, 16, is a competitive soccer player while their daughter, 11, has many different interests, such as wanting to become an “expert” roller skater this summer. “We work hard to make the magazine a success, but our family takes priority, so we do whatever we can to keep a normal schedule around the house,” notes Luke.
With their kids and business as priorities in their lives, Luke and Jennifer can’t be “workout warriors” who spend hours and hours every week in the gym. However, they’ve found that a general commitment to leading a healthy lifestyle, even in small doses, helps provide the strength and energy they need to get through each week.
“I find that I lose energy and start to feel ‘bad’ without some sort of exercise, so I really try to work out with weights for 20-30 minutes three to four times a week,” Luke says.
Jennifer likes a more structured workout, so in 2016 she started taking classes at The Barre Code in Plano after her friend, the owner, introduced her to the concept. “I like that I can do many of the exercises anywhere, so if I don’t have time to make a class I can still get a good workout in about 20 minutes at home,” says Jennifer. “Without exercise, I find I don’t sleep nearly as well, so I do what I can to work something into my day.”
In addition to their more formal workouts, the Shertzers have incorporated healthy practices into their everyday lives. They like to take walks as a family to their local neighborhood park, as well as to Arbor Hills Nature Preserve to explore the miles of trails. Even running errands can provide a little bit of extra exercise. “There are a lot of big parking lots in Plano, so when I’m shopping I will often park at the back of the lot so I get some extra exercise walking into a store,” adds Jennifer.
Diet is also key to helping the Shertzer’s maintain their health, especially since work commitments often find them at events where the meals aren’t exactly healthy. As a result, at home they don’t “diet” in the sense of restricting calories, but they do maintain a very healthy pantry, and don’t eat fast food. “We try not to use frozen or processed foods at all at home. Typically, we buy whole foods and organic produce, which means we have to spend a little extra time making our meals, but the payoff is worth it,” adds Luke. “It also helps us spend time with our kids and to teach them to cook as well, which they like to do.”
Luke and Jennifer benefit directly from their commitment to diet and exercise, but perhaps most rewarding is seeing how their children have adopted healthy practices themselves. “Our son has really taken to working out and eating well so that he is in the best condition possible for soccer. Our family’s schedule is crazy, but hopefully we’ve made a healthy lifestyle enough of a priority to set our kids up with good habits for life,” concludes Jennifer.