March 7th, 2017 | Wellness

Warrior Women Round-Up

Strength and self-care go hand-in-hand. As women (and especially as mothers) we often struggle with giving ourselves permission for self-care. Yet, it's an integral part of self-worth and happiness to devote time and energy to personal health and fitness. In light of International Women's Day, we asked seven amazing women for their self-care tips and definition of a "strong woman." Here's what they said:

Sarah Bowen Shea (left) and Dimity McDowells (right) are co-founders of Another Mother Runner (AMR), a community dedicated to supporting women runners of all speeds. They host a weekly AMR podcast and co-wrote the Run Like a Mother series.
How do You Practice Self-Care?

SarahI was late to the self-care game: I regret not doing more to counteract the tightening, pounding aspect of running through my 30s into my 40s. But now I start off each day by foam rolling on a TriggerPoint Therapy GRID for about 10 minutes, concentrating (currently!) on my calves and mid-back. I also try to take five minutes post-run for these dynamic flexibility drills, which I did religiously while training to qualify for Boston Marathon. Finally, when I'm in need of some extra TLC, I treat myself to a 60-minute reflexology massage at a local Chinese spa here in Portland, Oregon.

DimitySleep is a non-negotiable. I am often in bed right after—and sometimes before—my kids, leaving dishes in the sink, clothes on the floor, emails in the inbox. I've found that when I get enough sleep (8ish hours), everything else seems to fall into place much easier: patience, focus, motivation, creativity, positivity. When I cut short my rest, I am actually sacrificing much more than actual pillow time.

What does a "strong woman" mean to you?

Sarah: A woman who speaks up for herself, taking time to do something for herself at least once a day, whether it's working out, meditating, reading, crafting, or savoring a mug of tea in silence. She doesn't back down when confronted about her beliefs, and she goes to the mat for her friends and family. Yet she also allows herself to be vulnerable, which often be the toughest thing to do. 

DimityBulging biceps. Kidding. To me, a strong woman deeply nurtures and fiercely protects her loved ones, her beliefs, and her passions.

From aerial hoops and yoga to rock climbing and boxing, Sarah is a fitness enthusiast whose adventures can be found on her Instagram FitBySlam.
On Self-Care:

Self-care is a constant repetition of small habits - it's a lifestyle. I dedicate one hour of every day to working out, which is my "me-time" where I can focus solely on myself and thank my body for all it does by exercising. I set aside time in the evening to meditate where I clear my mind and set intentions for the new day. Our skin is our biggest organ, so I make sure to pamper it by using gentle products, exfoliants and moisturizing masks on a consistent basis.

What a "strong woman" means to her:

A strong woman knows her own identity and is unapologetically herself. She defines her own strength rather than adhering to society's standards. She is able to find balance in being equally strong mentally, spiritually and physically. All women should inspire and influence other women to be just as strong.

Hailey Bettencourt is an ACE certified personal trainer and recently launched her first training guide, Forged in 5. She's amassed thousands of followers across social media with her training tips, fitspiration, and candid look at day-to-day life.
On practicing self-care:

Over the last few months, I started the slogan, Love Yourself Anyway, and I have really made it my mantra. Whenever I'm having a bad day, or succumbing to all of those second-guessing feelings in my head, I remind myself of what I preach, and the message I promote. I wanted to put a message out there that says it's okay to fail. It's okay to fall off the wagon. It's okay to eat perfect all day and then have an unplanned treat. If you continue to love yourself anyway through your little bumps, eventually you will find a life and a balance that suits you, and promotes the life you deserve and want.

What a "strong woman" means to her:

I think a strong woman isn't necessarily someone 'hard' or physically strong. It's someone who is secure enough in herself that she doesn't need to bring others down. Someone who can forgive, because it doesn't make her weak by allowing others redemption within her life. Someone who can compliment others because lifting others up doesn't bring her down. A strong woman recognizes that we can all be strong, beautiful, amazing and capable by standing together, and not trying to tear each other down.

Alizah Akiko runs Little Spark of Wanderlust, a travel diary dedicated to making life an adventure. Rather than taking a job in the corporate world, Alizah took a leap of faith and now travels the globe for a living.
On practicing self-care:

I practice self-care by taking care of my mental health. This means taking the time to exercise, meditate and just have "me" time where I can de-stress and relax. I also practice self-love. It can be so easy to get into the habit of being hard on yourself and say things about yourself that you wouldn't say to anyone else, but I try to stick to the rule of being positive and encouraging to myself.

What a "strong woman" means to her:

A strong woman means fighting for and making sure that you have freedom in all aspects of life. I'm a true believer that women can do anything that they set their minds to and I think it's important for women to fight for that in their life.

Lindsey Bombgren is a certified personal trainer, fitness and barre instructor who runs the fitness-nutrition blog Nourish Move Love. She's also a contributor for Get Healthy U and the Her Initiative.
On practicing self-care:

I love fitness and for me moving my body on a daily basis is a huge part of self care. When I move my body I feel better about myself and have more energy which carries over into my work and daily interactions. So I schedule some type of exercise on my calendar daily, whether it's an early morning group fitness class or an afternoon walk with a friend. Because I personally believe that when you create movement in your body, you create movement in your life.

What a "strong woman" means to her:

Women are the backbone of so many homes, communities, businesses and more. Honestly, I believe there is a 'strong woman' inside all of us. You just have to find her, love her, and exercise her physical, emotional and spiritual muscles on a daily basis and she'll keep getting stronger.

"When you become fearless, your life becomes limitless," Sashea Lawson's mantra describes her well. She's inspired thousands of followers as SassyFitGirl across social media. Though she was once diagnosed with severe asthma, Sashea has completed close to 100 races locally, nationally & internationally including Olympic Distance Triathlons and the ING NYC Marathon.

How she practices self-care:

By being active daily. Whether it's running outside, sweating it out in a class, doing a vinyasa flow or just walking around the house with my little one. Moving my body daily is not only good for my physical health but it's also great for my mental health. It increases my energy and improves my mood which translates to being a better person.

What a "strong woman" means to her:

A strong woman is someone who's fearless. She's not afraid to stand up. She's not afraid to speak up. She's not afraid to hear no. She's not afraid to be different. She's not afraid to work hard. She's not afraid to be go after what she wants. Her strength doesn't have to be physical and it can inspire the world.

Harmony Calhoun is a professional model and rock climber with a passion for fitness, health, yoga, photography, animals, hiking, adventure, nature and the outdoors. 
On practicing self-care:

One of the main things I consider to be important for self-care is sleep. To function my best getting sleep and catching up on missed sleep is important to me. I also try to eat healthy most of the time and if I'm starting to feel unhealthy I add in lots of fresh produce.

What a "strong woman" means to her:

To me a strong woman is wise and mature. Part of strength is not just how much you do but having mental strength. Sometimes you'll feel on top of the world and strong and sometimes you won't. Learning to flow with life and accept that and be strong mentally is important for being a strong woman. Never be aftraid to accept comfort and advice. Be open. And also be giving to others. Being strong and independent doesn't mean being alone. Support others and accept support. Flow with life and do amazing things. Strength like everything flows sometimes you'll feel stronger than other days. Keep at it! We are constantly changing and learning in life!

From the women at Amazfit, we'd like to wish you a day of empowerment and self-care. Invest in your life, health, and fitness today for a better tomorrow. We have your back every step of the way!
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Linda Cheng, Social Media and Content Manager

Linda graduated from the University of California, Irvine with three majors in Psychology, Urban Studies, and Social Ecology, as well as a minor in Global Sustainability. Her goal is to promote sustainable healthy living by providing the resources needed for success. Using smart data services and motivational psychology, she aims to move users towards long-term lifestyle changes for better health and fitness.

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