Maintaining one’s health and fitness is a daily concern. On September 28, women across the country will get some extra help thanks to National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, which aims to bring awareness to the need for regular physical activity and healthy lifestyles. In celebration, PBI.com reached out to two local businesswomen who represent the dual arms of this important day.
Naomi Whittel is a lifelong entrepreneur best known as the founder of Reserveage Nutrition, a Boca Raton company that makes plant-based health and beauty products. She started Reserveage as a way to share wellness secrets from cultures around the globe—from the role of resveratrol in the French lifestyle to the benefits of collagen in Asian diets. “I try to find solutions for beauty from the experts all over the world,” Whittel says. “Beauty comes from within and from a place of health and wellbeing.” Now the CEO of the health and wellness company Twinlab Consolidated Holdings, she attributes her success in the industry to confidence and identifying a need to protect that confidence as a young woman.
Nina Dimagiba doesn’t mind working up a sweat. As the owner of the new Fitness Hub workout club in downtown West Palm Beach, she spends most of her day working out and motivating others to achieve their goals. “For me it’s not a workout,” she says. “It’s just such a fun thing, and you develop community and comradery.” Dimagiba is a seasoned businesswoman and was excited to start a company that revolved around one of her passions: group fitness. Her studio offers more than 70 classes, including yoga, indoor cycling, and strength conditioning, as well as small-group and one-on-one training. Dimagiba says women gravitate toward group training for the motivation and out of a sense of competitiveness.
On the following pages, Whittel and Dimagiba share insight into their industries and words of motivation to help women on their health and fitness journeys.
|Naomi Whittel, courtesy of Reserveage Nutrition|
PBI.com: What were your main goals when you started Reserveage Nutrition?
Whittel: My first goal was to provide people here in the United States with products that had purity, potency, and were based on clinical research. I wanted to provide products that could really offer life-changing benefits through pure, potent, clinically studied ingredients. The second goal that I had was to really bring a little bit of that what we call the joie de vivre in France. So I was in the South of France with some of my cousins, one of them being a French medical doctor, and I wanted to understand how the French can eat such a fatty diet—you know, all that heavy cream, all that yumminess—and yet they look [so great] and they have such strong cardiovascular health, and we know that has to do with the French paradox.
One of Reserveage Nutrition’s guiding principles is to promote beauty that is motivated by the beauty secrets of women around the world. How so?
Beauty comes from within and beauty comes from a place of health and wellbeing. And I think as a woman, especially being a CEO, I have to constantly focus on being a reflection of the healthy lifestyle that I’m encouraging people to get involved in. I have to walk the walk—which I love to do. But it’s hard. I’m a mother of four. I’m a CEO. I travel at least 50 percent of the time, so I’m dealing with pollution in the air, I’m dealing with airports, airport food at times, an inability to exercise as much as I want—so I’m really fighting so many different things. And so I try to find solutions for beauty from within from the experts all over the world.
Clinical research is so important but going into these cultures and really experiencing the way that they do things [is also important]. When I went to Beijing last, I met with an international runway model and I asked her what she does to maintain her beauty. She told me that she eats 10 dates a day with these black sesame seeds and donkey’s hide. I would have never found that out in a million years if I had not gone into her environment. I always get my feet on the ground where the incredible activities are going on so that I can learn not just the broad strokes but also the nuance.
What are your best-selling Reserveage Nutrition products for beauty?
I think one of our best-selling products is our Collagen Booster. It’s one that we started with and it’s one that I wanted to bring into the market for many years before I launched Reserveage. It helps to support skin radiance but it also helps to support joint health. So I know for me in my 40s, I’m always thinking about my joints as well as my skin.
What are your best-selling Reserveage Nutrition products for wellness?
I think one of the best-selling products for wellness that we have is a great product called Bergamot. So bergamot is a citrus fruit and it comes from Calabria, Italy, and this little citrus fruit has been shown to help increase the HDL levels and lower the LDL levels. So for people who are on statins, this is a great antioxidant that also supports cholesterol profiles. It’s very good for blood sugar as well as for overall cardiovascular health.
What are your top health and beauty tips for women?
The first one would be get enough sleep. Make sure that the quality of sleep is really “beauty sleep.” You’re in a room that’s cold enough. You have good sleep hygiene, so you don’t have your cell phone right next to you. It’s dark enough so that you get really high quality beauty sleep. [Also] make sure you get enough vegetables in the day. I really feel strongly about it, because … the enzymes that come with it can support your digestive system, which in turn can support your beauty. I think getting enough vegetables and making sure you’re getting enough probiotics can really support your digestive system.
What words of motivation would you share with a woman who is starting her nutrition and wellness journey?
Focus on one step at a time, because if you can focus today on maybe taking a 10-minute walk at the end of the day with a friend [or] whatever it may be, those steps can really start some incredible momentum. And then as soon as you start to feel good about yourself for something that you’ve achieved, reward yourself. I don’t care if the reward is a movie out, a new handbag—it doesn’t matter what it is, but reward yourself in a way that’s meaningful to you because, again, that helps to really motivate us on our wellness journey.
What advice would you give women who want to succeed in the health and nutrition industry?
Search out for what I call “sponsors,” but they’re very active mentors. I think as women, a lot of times, we’ll look for a mentor and we’ll go and have a cup of coffee and we’ll talk about this and that, but it’s not this active form of engagement. I like when my mentors take me with them into their environments, into their peer groups, introduce me, make those connections, and help me grow and build my business that way.
Visit page 3 to hear from Nina Dimagiba.
PBI.com: What time of day do you suggest working out?
Dimagiba: Find the time that works for your lifestyle. It’s finding some sort of a schedule that you can commit to, but make it part of your routine as opposed to a task. I personally like the 9-10 a.m. timeframe because I get up early in the morning, so it allows me to do two or three hours’ worth of work in the morning. Then I take my little break and I go back to work around noontime, and I have the rest of the day to work. When I do have more time, I would pop in for evening classes.
What fitness regimen would you suggest for a woman who wants to get toned without bulking up?
For toning, you need cardio and strength training. We are just not made to bulk up, so you have to do major protein and really heavy weights in order to bulk up and be doing it every single day for an hour a day. I would just recommend to do a mix of cardio classes and strength training as well as yoga and cross training.
What do you eat before and after a workout?
I eat oatmeal every day. I prepare it every Sunday for the entire week. I do oatmeal with raisins, berries, and roasted pumpkin seeds—it’s so yummy. I have that every morning, and then if it’s like middle of the day, if I’m doing like a 10:30 a.m. class and I’m hungry or I need fuel, I’ll get like a hardboiled egg. [On Sunday, I also] boil a bunch of eggs that I can have for the rest of the week. And then peanut butter and banana sandwiches, I could have that anytime.
What are some of your most popular fitness classes with women?
Cycling definitely, and Body Pump. Women love barbell training. They love to feel like they can do the weights. And of course Barre. Women just love that ballet conditioning [and] it is difficult.
What advice would you give women who want to succeed in the fitness industry?
Find something you’re passionate about. I have always been passionate about group classes. I would have done it even if I wasn’t getting paid just because I love it, and I think because I loved it I really excelled in it. If you are passionate about it, you will study it, you will practice it, you will live it, breathe it. When you have the passion, everything else falls into place.
What words of motivation would you share with a woman who is starting her fitness journey?
Take care of your body. Women, especially, I think have the tendency to take care of everything else as opposed to themselves. I think making your health and your fitness a No. 1 priority is something that’s really important, and women tend to neglect. You just have to get started. Just make little steps. We have the tendency to see things on TV and social media about this overnight transformation. It’s hard work and it takes commitment. The first step is just committing that I will take care of myself. I always tell people: It’s not an overnight transformation. Focus more on how you feel after working out.