“Curvy fit, get with it” started as a slogan printed on her brand’s T-shirts, but it has since become a mantra for a healthy physical and emotional lifestyle for Morgan Owens, a fitness instructor and entrepreneur.
The Ohio State Multicultural Center’s celebration of Women’s History Month will feature a program hosted by Owens, creator of Curvy Cardio and Fashionably Fit workout gear, titled “Queenin’: Loving You from the Inside Out!” The event will include two parts: a workshop, where Owens will share five key tips on becoming healthier physically and mentally, and a fitness class instructed by Owens.
Katherine Betts, coordinator for the event and intercultural specialist for African and African-American Student Initiatives, said Owens’ dedication to holistic wellness and her entrepreneurial success are equally inspiring.
“Not only do our women get to understand more about fitness and wellness, but they get to see another example of being creative and using a talent or using a niche to create a business for yourself,” Betts said.
Owens said she has a long history in dance, as she performed throughout middle and high school and coached other dancers thereafter. She said her experience with coaching inspired her to become certified as a fitness instructor, but she frequently ventured away from the style and structure of Zumba classes. As a result, she said the coordinator at the recreation center where she taught encouraged her to create her own brand of classes.
“I wanted to teach so women could see that you don’t have to be a size double zero — if you are, that’s OK and you can still embrace your curves — but you can be a size 14, 16 and be healthy,” Owens said.
Soon thereafter, Owens said she channeled her background in marketing and branding to create Curvy Cardio, a group fitness class that takes inspiration from traditional aerobics classes and includes fewer choreographed dance routines than Zumba classes.
“You don’t have to know how to dance to come to one of my classes,” Owens said. “We do simple movements repeatedly, with a splash of dance in there, so you still get the same feeling where you don’t know you’re working out, you’re just having fun.”
Curvy Cardio classes consist of either an hour or half-hour long full-body workout that begins with aerobic moves and ends with the use of free weights, Owens said. Each class is taught with contemporary, popular music that makes participants feel as though they’re dancing in a club as opposed to exercising in a gym, she added.
Owens said fitness can be especially intimidating in a group setting, but her classes are catered to women of all ages and levels of experience.
“I’ve made especially certain that Curvy Cardio is a space where everyone is accepted, no matter your size — there’s no cliques, everyone is so welcoming and so warm,” Owens said.
Along with an inclusive class environment, Owens said she develops relationships with her clients online through a program called “#30DaysofWerk.” The monthlong program uses a private Facebook group that allows women nationwide to share their stories and motivate one another to make healthy decisions.
Owens said building positive relationships with other women can help create a more realistic perception of beauty that encourages self-esteem and confidence.
“I feel like so many images in the media have their own definition of what is beautiful and, even in 2017, we’re still working on it, as far as what beautiful means,” Owens said. “Curvy Cardio empowers women through loving not only how you look now, but loving yourself for what you’re going to accomplish.”
In the context of Women’s History Month, Owens said she views fitness as a means of empowerment for women that allows them to take control of their own health and wellness.
“I use the phrase, ‘My body, my goals, my pace — I got this,’” Owens said. “Something I share with my clients is: ‘This journey is yours and nobody else’s.’”
“Queenin’: Loving You from the Inside Out!” will be held in the Tanya R. Rutner Room of the Ohio Union from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday.