Super-mum Nina of F45

 
Nina.jpeg

Meet Super-mum Nina of F45 Stafford, Newstead, and West End

Nina own three F45 studios in Brisbane: West-End, Stafford, and Newstead. She’s an entrepreneur, fitness trainer, and proud mum to Alastair and Harriet. We caught up with this busy super-mum to talk about finding her work-life-family balance, maintaining a fitness regime as a mum, and her entrepreneurial journey. 

What started your entrepreneurial journey? How did you end up owning 3 wildly successful F45 studios?

Nina F45 + Alastair

My partner and I were working in jobs we weren’t passionate about. We weren’t happy with what we were doing with our careers, so we decided we needed to take a risk and do something that we loved. 

When we first started we never envisioned owning three studios! We weren’t sure what F45 was all about, but after visiting a studio in Sydney and training in the first F45 studio in QLD (F45 Mooloolaba) for 2 weeks we thought we’d give it a go. It was a major risk and we even worked out how long we’d have to pay the loan off if it didn’t work out for us. It was a huge decision, but it was so worth it!  

Drew had to keep working for the first 6 months to support our family and I was doing 80-hours a week on my own to get the business up and running. I was teaching every single session of the day, but it was amazing! We made it work—After 6-months, Drew got to leave his job and come on board full-time.

As avid gym-goers, we saw that typical gym environments lacked a sense of community. F45 is all about service and helping people achieve their goals and building a meaningful relationship while at the same time pushing our members beyond their personal limits.

A year and a half after we bought Newstead, we bought Stafford. And a year and a half after that, West End (the first studio in Brisbane) went up for sale. 

We had a meeting with one of our trainers, Kat who has been with us originally as a member at Newstead, then a trainer at Newstead and Stafford. We thought she would be perfect to be a business partner for West End and now she’s part-owner. This journey has been incredible. 

What would be your advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Know what your goals are and stay true to them because there will be bumps in the road, but if you stay true to your standards and values, you’ll get there in the right way.

Our values are ‘The relentless pursuit of results’. When we relentlessly pursue results for our community, our team, for our business and our family, we know we’re pursuing things important to us especially during the times where it can be challenging.  

What do you think is essential for maintaining that work-life-family balance? 

Communication is key between myself and my Fiance Drew.  Both of us have fitness goals and work responsibilities so it’s important that we communicate openly so that neither of us misses out on the things that are important to us. 

Nina and Family

We are super supportive of each other and that makes achieving a work-life balance possible (most times). Something’s always got to give; If you put too much into work, your family will suffer. If you put everything into your family, your work will suffer.

I’m still figuring this out. For me, scheduling and prioritising is key, otherwise, I end up chasing my tail and always being late. 

Training advice for mums that are pregnant who want to keep active?

If you are already training, there’s no need to stop. Being pregnant is not an illness— your body can handle it if you’ve been training prior to pregnancy.

At every trimester there are some things that you will need to ease up on so make sure you get advice from a trainer that has experience with pregnancy and training as every pregnancy is different.

I would offer different modifications to make mum and baby feel safe, but also to ensure that you respect what is happening with your body during as your progress with your pregnancy. A lot of it is about having awareness of what feels right for your body and ensuring you have someone experienced to guide your training.

F45 Nina and training mums

As a trainer and mum yourself, with a 6-week old. Can you tell us about coming back to the gym after childbirth?

The Golden Rule for returning to training after childbirth is 6-weeks postpartum for a natural delivery or 8-weeks if you’ve had a C-section. We always request a clearance from your doctor after a C-section as it’s a big surgery and we want to make sure your body is ready.  

I felt comfortable enough to get into weights again after 3-weeks and at 6 weeks postpartum I am still taking it very easy.  I am mainly focussing on upper body, pelvic floor and maintaining a body weight program for lower body. 

I am still not ready to add in exercises like lunges as my pelvis and joints are still very loose and this causes me discomfort so keeping both legs on the ground for stability at all times!  I am slowly building my core strength again with advice from my chiropractor and haven’t started cardio yet.

It’s all about listening to your body and being comfortable with your capabilities. Do what’s right for you and be willing to take advice from professionals.

I know many mums can relate to putting too much pressure on themselves. I need to realise when I’m putting too much pressure to look a certain way or be a certain way. I need to stay true to my work and look after my body And respect where I am at physically.

Can you share some advice for new mums that you've found helpful? 

Don’t be so hard on yourselves. It can be daunting being a new mum. You read all the books, and they’re all conflicting and confusing. You feel like you’re not doing anything right, but this is your baby and your baby is different to the baby in the book.  Just do you and don’t be so hard on yourself. 

Build a community of support. Surround yourself with other mothers. At my Stafford studio, we run a 9:30 am class which is mainly filled with beautiful supportive mummas.  

We have someone looking after their babies and children while they’re working on their fitness and focusing on themselves for 45 minutes. The mums go for coffee afterwards, and it’s a great sense of community and support. 

Nina and her beautiful family Harriet and Alastair

What has been your favourite moment as a mum so far? 

The first time we went on a holiday with our son, Alastair when he was 3 years old. It was the first time we’ve spent more than 3 days with him. Prior to that, it was all work and building the business.

It was 7 days of being at the beach and hanging out as a family, and we thought “Shit! This kid is crazy!” 

We had so much fun with him and have focused heavily on a lot more family time since that holiday. It’s my favourite and memorable family moment, and now that we have Harriet, we’ll create more. 

Nina and Harriet

You’ve started a new membership program at F45 made especially for new mums. Can you tell us a bit more about that? 

It’s the active mum’s membership that’s currently only at Stafford. It’s designed for new mums 6-weeks postpartum with clearance from their doctor. It can be hard to find the balance of what your body is capable of after 6 weeks, and generally, mums stop training part way through their pregnancy, so you don’t want to get back into training so quickly. 

We designed this membership with 2 sessions with us at F45 Stafford and 2 yoga sessions with Jamie at Living Well Hub—located up the road from us.

Jamie will help rebuild strength in your core and pelvic floor and we will work on building strength everywhere else! It’s a great way to bring mums together and provide an environment where they can feel comfortable. 


Nina is all about entrepreneurship, fitness, motherhood, and community building! 

If you're interested in the Stafford F45 Active mums membership or would like to connect with Nina click on the button below! 



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New Study Shows Children Inherit Their Intelligence From Their Mothers

 
Children's inheritance and mom

Genetics have never been so fascinating than when you are measuring who your child takes after the most. Sometimes they can look like your identical minis, and other times their unique features surprise you. New studies strongly suggest that your smarty-pants child might have their beautiful mums to thank for their intelligence! 

It's all in the genes

When the sperm meets the egg, the perfect amount of DNA comes together to create a human. This package of DNA molecules, the chromosomes, are the recipe cards for living things and up until recently, it was believed that intelligence was factored in from both mom and dad. Clinical psychologist, Dr. Robert Lehrke states that most of a child's intelligence does, in fact, have a hereditary component, and it comes from chromosome X. Studies suggest it is far more likely that kids inherit their intelligence from their mothers because women have two X chromosomes. 

DNA childrens intelligence

A 1984 University of Cambridge study was one of the first conducted in uncovering where children inherit intelligence by analysing the co-evolution of the brain and the conditioning of the human genome. This lead to the conclusion that maternal genes contribute to most of the development centers in the brain, most notably the hippocampus. 

Your child's brain

Baby's brain

The hippocampus plays a pivotal role in the limbic system. It's responsible for long-term memory, regulation of emotions, and spatial navigation. Another contributing theory to why children inherit intelligence from their mothers comes from the evidence that the mitochondria are almost exclusively inherited from moms. 

The mitochondrial genes are not the genes directly researched for increased intelligence, but it does have an important role in brain function. The mitochondria serve as the cell's powerhouse and your child's brains are high consumers of metabolic energy supplied by the mitochondria. It is suggested that this may translate into enhanced cognitive function.

I got it from my momma

Mom and Daughter

A study conducted by the Medical Research Council in Glasglow, Scotland interviewed 12,686 people between the ages of 14-22 every year since 1994. The results demonstrated that the best predictor of these young people's intelligence was their mother's IQ. They stated that their interviewee's IQs varied only an average of 15 points from that of their mothers. 

While your genetic blueprints have a lot of responsibility, it's not the only factor for intelligence. It is estimated that between 40-60% of intelligence is hereditary. Meaning the remaining factors vary depending on the child's environment, stimulation, and personality. 

External factors

Intelligence is defined as one's ability to solve problems. Our brains work as a whole, meaning, even though our hippocampus is hard at work organising our rational thinking functions, our intelligence is strongly influenced by intuition and emotions. This is where the child's parental relationships, environment, and personality come into play. 

Kids brains

Emotional support in early childhood is a significant factor for healthy hippocampus and limbic system. Studies of Romanian orphans in institutional care have shown that enhanced early caregiving through placement in therapeutic foster care has a strong positive impact on the child's cognitive, social, and emotional outcome. These studies reveal, that besides genetics, healthy intellectual development in children is formed through physical and emotional contact. Some studies even suggest that a child's secure bond to their mother is intimately linked to intelligence, suggesting that a nurturing caregiver in the early stages of life has proved to be an essential prerequisite for healthy brain development. 

Ultrasound

American novelist, Anthony Doerr wrote:

"We all come into existence as a single cell, smaller than a speck of dust. Much smaller. Divide. Multiply. Add and subtract. Matter changes hands, atoms flow in and out, molecules pivot, proteins stitch together, mitochondria send out their oxidative dictates; we begin as a microscopic electrical swarm. The lungs, the brain, the heart. Forty weeks later, six trillion cells get crushed in the vise of our mother’s birth canal and we howl. Then the world starts in on us."

While genetic expression has a lot to account for in children's intelligence. It is with proper nurturing, support, and stimulation that children reach their best potential. So Dads, teachers, and nannies give yourself a pat on the back too! Raising the next generation of care-givers, and thought-leaders is the most rewarding job. 

Sources:

Luby, J. L. et. Al. (2012) Maternal support in early childhood predicts larger hippocampal volumes at school age. Journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; 109(8): 2854–2859.

Zechner, U. et. Al. (2001) A high density of X-linked genes for general cognitive ability: a run-away process shaping human evolution? Trends Genet; 17(12): 697-701.

Keverne, E. B.; Surani, M. A. et. Al. (1996) Genomic imprinting and the differential roles of parental genomes in brain development. Brain Res Dev Brain Res; 92(1): 91-100.

Gécz, J. & Mulley, J. (2000) Genes for Cognitive Function: Developments on the X. Genome Res; 10: 157-163.

 

Mini's Guide to Brisbane-Local Mother's Day Gifts

 
Mini Nanny Agency Brisbane Mother's Day

Mother's day is only less than a week away. If you don't already know, Mini Nanny Agency has teamed up with the groovers and shakers from Boppin Babies to put together a Mother's Day Competition with over $400 worth of prizes both mums and bubs can enjoy. 

We shouldn't need a dedicated day to show our appreciation to the beautiful, hardworking super-mums in our lives because we should be showing it often! If you're stuck on a thoughtful Mother's Day gift that will make the wonderful mums in your life feel pampered and spoiled, this Brisbane nanny agency is all over it with our list of unique and local Mother's Day gift ideas. 

Mini Nanny Agency -Brigitte Tohm Mother's Day

Spoil her with luxury chocolates

Mini x My Chocolate Boutique

Is there a sweeter way to say 'I love you' than with chocolates? One of Mini Nanny Agency's favourite super-mums, My Nguyen is the creative genius behind Indooroopilly's luxury chocolate shop, My Chocolate Boutique

Spoil mum with the gorgeous Gold Leaf chocolates, hand-made in Brisbane decorated with edible 24-k gold leaf--because our mums deserve the very best! 

My Chocolate Boutique is full of eye-candy! You can custom make your mum a box full of her favourite chocolates, do a one-stop shop with a beautifully packaged gift-bag, or pick up one of the well-curated collaborations with The Lip Lab Brisbane or Julisa Nail Polish.

 

Custom Makeup

The Lip Lab Brisbane is sure to be the perfect treat for the make-up addicts. Book mum an appointment at the Adelaide Street studio so she can get creative and custom design and name her perfect lipgloss, lipstick, foundation, and concealer with the incredibly knowledgeable Lip Lab team. 

The Lip Lab Brisbane

It's a mesmerising process watching the different pigments mix into each other to create the desired shade. If you do get mum an appointment here, the Lip Lab team recommends you bring some photos of the lip colour you have in mind for inspiration. 

Float Therapy

Treat your mum with some relaxation time with a float at City Cave. They have a beautiful float studio off of James Street-- perfect for busy city-living to tune out and connect to a deep level of relaxation. Float therapy involves spending an hour or more in a complete darkness in a warm bath of Epsom salt.

This therapy is known to reduce stress levels all throughout your body, easy muscle tension, and soreness, decrease anxiety, and depression, and aid in weight loss by helping the mind get into an optimistic mindset. 

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Yoga Passes

Last week, we interviewed another super-mum, Lexi Crouch who owns Ashtanga Yoga Brisbane on James Street and is a mum and bubs yoga instructor at Yoga Everyday in Stafford. The mum and bubs yoga workshops run fortnightly. The class is a gentle yoga flow and post-natal routine for new mums. It's a great opportunity to meet other new mums and join a supportive community. 

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Yoga passes are an excellent gift for anyone. They usually don't expire and gives them an opportunity to try something new if they haven't already committed to an exercise routine or yoga studio.

Mini Nanny Agency Gift Voucher!

Oh, the versatility of this gift! If you need a nanny in Brisbane, Goldcoast, or Byron Bay give the team at Mini a ring. Gifting a family a nanny agency voucher allows for the possibilities of a date night, girls night out for mum, or even an overnight stay at the coast kid-free. 

Mini Nanny Agency Gift Voucher

Our nannies are certified, creative, and all around super-nannies and the kids will be happy to be entertained by them while mum enjoys all the pampering she deserves!
 

 
 

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mini Nanny Agency Meets Ashtanga Yoga Mama, Lexi Crouch!

 
mini Nanny Agency meets Lexi Crouch

Lexi Crouch is a yoga teacher, studio owner, Eating Disorder and Exercise Addiction therapist, lifestyle blogger, Bachelor of Health Sciences student, and on top of all of that is a supermum!

The mini Nanny Agency team came across the gorgeous Lexi from her Instagram, @lexi.crouch where she posts her yoga journey with her 10-month-old mini, Mabel. We were more than thrilled to finally meet with this busy Brisbane mum who has just opened a yoga studio together with her dedicated yoga instructor husband, Aaron, called Brisbane Ashtanga Yoga right here in mini Nanny Agency’s home neighbourhood on James Street! 

how amazing this this yogi mum!?

How did you get into yoga? 

I was suffering from an eating disorder and exercise addiction and conventional medicine had never worked for me. I first thought that yoga would not be enough of a workout for me to keep fit so I had overlooked it, but I found so much more than an exercise in yoga practice. It allowed me to find a balanced lifestyle and has been a tremendous part of my healing journey.

I had met my husband through yoga and completed my yoga teacher training program in Perth. We would visit Mysore, India every year to refresh our mindset and meet with the creator of Ashtanga Yoga, Sharath Jois. We always look forward to our Mysore trip because we get to meet with different instructors from all over the world and talk about what they’re doing with yoga. 

Lexi Crouch Yoga with bub

We opened up Ashtanga Yoga Brisbane about a month ago and we’ve been really fortunate to have so much support in the community. This is an exciting new chapter in our lives and I love being able to share a practice that has helped me in so many ways.

Owning a studio is my husband, Aaron’s dream come to life. So we’ve been really grateful that we’ve been able to open up Ashtanga Yoga Brisbane in New Farm. The biggest priority for us at the moment is just creating a community at the studio for people to practice yoga without judgment and meet like-minded people. 

Can you tell us a bit about your mum and bubs yoga classes?

Starting next week, I’ll be teaching mum and bubs yoga at the Yoga Everyday studio in Stafford. I think it all ties into the importance of community again because when you become a mum, your whole life begins to revolve around this tiny human’s needs and you can become isolated. Mum and bubs yoga is a great space for new mums to come together to talk about anything really, and know that we’re all in it together. 

Mum and Bub Yoga with Lexi Crouch

I’m hoping to get into teaching more mum and toddler classes soon. To teach little ones and parents to slow down and really listen to their bodies. These classes will help get mums some exercise and to network with other mums. 

What do you find most rewarding about being a mum?

I thought I didn’t want kids at one point in my life, but now I can’t imagine myself without Mabel. Motherhood is everything! I’ve found a lot of growth through motherhood and raising Mabel with Aaron. It’s rewarding growing together and learning how to slow down and appreciate the little things as a family. 

Favourite mum and Mabel activities? 

Mabel is a really active girl. I think she gets that crazy energy from my husband! We’re outdoors a lot so she can burn off that energy. We love going for walks at New Farm park and having picnics. Days at the beach as a family is her favourite too. 

What do you think is essential in maintaining a healthy work-life relationship?

Up until 6 months old, Mabel has been such a calm baby. Now she’s kind of woken up and has such high energy and is a lot more demanding. It can be a strain on my relationship with my husband because at the end of the busy work day, we’ll both be exhausted and our work schedules don't always align. 

Yogi family the Crouchs

I think the key to work-life balance is to make quality time for each other. We enjoy family breakfasts or walks through New Farm park. It's nice to get a babysitter once in awhile and be a couple again! 

And don’t forget to do something that makes you happy for yourself. 

Can you tell me a bit of your nanny story? 

I nannied when I was 18 for a family of an ex-Olympic Australian swimmer for about 3 years. I didn’t know what I wanted to do yet coming straight out of high-school, but I knew I didn’t want an office job so I took on nannying. I’ve always liked kids, and I love to keep active, nannying didn't feel like work. 

It’s great building that trust with families and having them welcome you in like a family member. I was never asked to do household chores, but I did anyways to go above and beyond for the family who really treated me as a member too. 

Do you have any advice for new business owners? 

Owning a yoga studio felt like a pipe dream for a long time, but owning your business is achievable. If you spend one day working on one small thing, it will eventually come together for you. 

Brisbane Lexi Crouch

To connect with Lexi and find more information on the many hats she wears, check out her website lexicrouch.com and follow her inspiring Instagram @lexi.crouch !

 

 
 

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