The Inside Scoop On Ash FitMom

From personal trainer to supermom, this sassy fit and fearsome mama of three has made it her mission to inspire women to get fit and feel fabulous. Ash Iovino, founder of Ash FitMom spills the beans about her exciting fitness venture, motivating women and mom life in general.

Mother with her three children at the gym

See the full interview with Good House Keeping Magazine below:

Why you started FitMom?

For as long as I can remember, health and fitness have been an integral part of my life. At school I was “sport mad” and took part in most things. I ran Cross-Country and played hockey for my Province. When I got to University I started road running. After completing many half marathons, I moved onto marathons and then finally the Comrades Marathon in 2010.

When I fell pregnant with my first child, I found the information available regarding prenatal exercise to be completely overwhelming and often contradictory. Some people told me I could only walk around the block (at that stage I was “marathon” fit so this didn’t sit too well with me). Other people told me I could carry on as if nothing had changed. I had a very healthy pregnancy, remained active, had a wonderful birth experience and was running again 6 weeks postpartum.

I decided right then that I wanted to share my passion, experience and knowledge with other women. So many women are terrified of pregnancy, what it will do to their bodies and how they will ever recover. I am all about inspiring, motivating and teaching women that there is nothing to be scared of. You CAN remain fit during your pregnancy. And you definitely can “get your body back” so to speak, through hard work, discipline and dedication, and with the right guidance from a professional.

I became a SWEAT1000 instructor, enrolled at HFPA (Health and Fitness Professionals Association) to study my Personal Training qualification. I then studied a further course specialising in Pre and Postnatal fitness.

After having my second child in 2015, I launched FitMom! It is the best, most rewarding thing I have ever done. I am surrounded by positive, incredible women all day long and I get to teach them about something I am completely passionate about: the miracle and strength of the female body.

What made you decide to start FitMom?

I have always been passionate about health and fitness. When I fell pregnant with my first born, I found the information available regarding prenatal training to be overwhelming and often contradictory.

After experiencing a very active, healthy pregnancy and a wonderful natural birth, I started running again at 6 weeks postpartum. This inspired me to study personal training and pre and postnatal fitness. I wanted to share my knowledge, experience and love of exercise by training other women.

Once my second child was born I finally had the time to launch FitMom – my personal training business which specialises in pre and postnatal fitness and women’s health in general.

What is the first piece of advice you give to your clients?

Prenatal clients:Listen to your body and your baby. Pregnancy is not an illness and remaining fit and active will benefit you tremendously during the 9 months, often aids in a smoother birth experience and an easier recovery postpartum. That said, you need to be mindful of the hormonal, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular changes going on.

Postnatal clients:Before resuming training, make sure you’ve been given clearance from your doctor. Take it slowly to start with. It took 9 months to grow your baby so it is going to take at least that amount of time (generally a year is more realistic) to regain your strength and fitness again.

Women in general:you are stronger than you think! If you commit to the process and you remain consistent, YOU WILL SEE RESULTS. But you can’t be disappointed by the results you don’t get because of the work you didn’t do.

women sitting on a couch smiling

Why specialise in prenatal and post-natal fitness? 

After experiencing 3 healthy, active pregnancies myself, I am in complete awe as to what the female body can do. It is truly miraculous. This inspired me to specialise in pre and postnatal fitness.

So many women are terrified of pregnancy, what it will do to their bodies and how they will ever recover. I am all about inspiring, motivating and teaching women that there is nothing to be scared of. You CAN remain fit during your pregnancy. And you definitely can “get your body back,” so to speak, through hard work, discipline and dedication.

Guidance from a professional is hugely important though. There are very clear safety rules which one needs to be aware of before launching themselves into a pre or postnatal exercise regime.

How do you balance work, your household, your kids and time for fitness? 

It is a complete juggling act! We have 3 small children ( my youngest is less than a year) so being organised is key. I am also very lucky to have a very supportive and involved husband. Here are some things we have put in place in order to find a balance:

  • Communicating with my husband. Every Sunday night we sit down and plan our week. We have a joint calendar which ensures we are always on the same page.
  • Not over-committing to things. Sometimes just saying ”no” is the best answer!
  • Prioritising family-time on the weekends. With our very busy schedules, this time is incredibly sacred to us.
  • Scheduling our workouts into our joint calendar (my husband is also very active so we need to make sure we both get to train)
  • Our support system: My nanny is incredible and has been with us for the past 6 years. I don’t know what I would do without her. We also have wonderful family and friends who live close by.
  • Our children have strict routines. They know where they stand with us, they sleep well and they feel secure from the structure.
  • Putting boundaries in place with my business: I try my best to be disciplined about when I work, where I work and how many clients I take on. This has been very difficult as there are days when I just want to train everyone but I know my kids are only small for so short and I will get the time back in the future as they get bigger and need me less.
  • Oh, and sometimes I shop online for food if I just can’t make it during the day! This is a huge time-saver and I actually end up spending less!

What is your go-to move that any woman can do at work or at home that will help them fit in some exercise if they aren’t able to make it to the gym? 

I love body weight exercises. Zero equipment required. You can do them anywhere. And they don’t take up a lot of time. Depending on what area of the body you want to train, these are my favourites:

Core: plank

Lower body: Squats or lunges

Upper body: push-ups or tricep dips

What do you do when you’re traveling and simply cannot get to a gym? 

The first thing I always pack when I go away are my takkies! They go everywhere with me. Running was my first “love” and it still forms a big part of my training routine. So when I am away, I run! It’s the best way to explore a new place while keeping fit at the same time. I also sometimes incorporate a quick 20-30 minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) session into the day. I upload a lot of my workouts onto my social media platforms so if you’re needing some inspiration or guidance, go and check it out!

Where people can follow your journey and how they can get involved.

I am very active on social media:

Instagram: @ash_fitmom

Facebook: @FitMomSA

Website: www.fitmomSA.co.za

Email: ash@fitmomSA.co.za

Ash Iovino

ash@fitmomsa.co.za
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