Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott are the founders of Tone It Up, a community of women inspiring and supporting one another to live the life of their dreams, fit, healthy and happy. The gals are excited to be a part of the Wellness Your Way Festival, August 16-18 in Denver. Live Naturally caught up with them to learn more about the amazing community that they’ve created.

Karena and Katrina will be at several events throughout the weekend, including:

August 16, 1:30-2:30 p.m. “Founded by Women” @ Main Stage

August 17, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. “Total Body Tone It Up Workout” @ Fitness Arena

August 17, 1-2 p.m. “The Modern Mom” @ Main Stage – Katrina

August 17, 1:30-2 p.m. “The Real High: How Mindfulness & Meditation Creates a Natural High” @ Inspiration Stage – Karena 

LN: Could you each share a brief background on yourself and how you connected?

Karena: I fell in love with fitness at a very young age. I grew up watching my mom doing Kathy Smith and Jane Fonda VHS tapes, and I ran my first half-marathon with my dad when I was 12 years old. When my life became challenging during my teenage years, I went down a dark path and I didn’t treat my body with the respect it deserved. 

What brought me out of this dark period was fitness. I thought back to a time when I was truly happy, and I realized it was running that half-marathon. I decided to run my first triathlon, started doing yoga and meditation, and became a certified personal trainer. From then on, I knew my purpose was to share the power of fitness to transform your life.

Katrina: Like Karena, I also discovered fitness at a young age. Growing up in New Hampshire, I was the heaviest girl in my elementary school class. Like a lot of kids, I was teased. I wanted to feel healthy and confident, so I turned to my parents for help. They told me I was beautiful exactly as I was. My dad transformed our basement into a home gym. I fell in love with exercising, and I started creating workouts and meal plans. This inspired me to go to college for health science and exercise physiology. I went on to become a master trainer, and I started creating fitness videos. 

After I moved to California, Karena and I met at the gym on a Friday night. We quickly realized we both had the same dreams to bring women together to live their healthiest, happiest lives—and that’s how Tone It Up was born!

LN: What is the mission of Tone It Up?

Karena: Our mission is to connect women from all over the world to support and uplift each other as we reach for our dreams. When we first started Tone It Up, the fitness space was very harsh. Our philosophy is that fitness should be fun and a place where women can come together, meet new friends, laugh, and have the best time while we live a healthy lifestyle. 

LN: Talk about how Tone It Up is a sisterhood. 

Katrina: Connection is really the foundation of Tone It Up and what makes this community so special. No matter where women are in the world, who they are or what they’re going through, they can connect and form lifelong friendships through Tone It Up. We’ve seen so many women organize meetups, find their best friends, find a community when they move to a new city and even have their TIU girlfriends in their wedding parties! 

LN: We really like how you focus on a sustainable, healthy lifestyle change vs. overly restrictive dieting, which also fits our brand well. Can you talk more about this? 

Karena: Tone It Up is a healthy, balanced lifestyle that you can stick to! We don’t believe in ever restricting yourself, and we don’t believe in the term “cheat day.” You’re not cheating if you have dessert with your girlfriends or champagne at a party—that’s called enjoying your life. It’s all about balance! 

The Tone It Up Nutrition Plan is based on sustainable, science-backed principles of eating clean, whole, unprocessed foods to feel your absolute best. 

LN: If you could give 3 pieces of advice to women to help get them started on a path to fitness and healthy living, what would they be?

Katrina: Our top 3 tips to get started are: 

1. Find an accountability partner! It’s so powerful to have a girlfriend by your side cheering you on. Karena and I always encourage each other to do our workouts and challenge each other. You can connect with girls in the Tone it Up community and find accountability partners on Instagram @ToneItUp

2. Get started working out at home. It can be intimidating walking into a gym, we get it! That’s why the Tone It Up App is so perfect. You can find hundreds of amazing workouts—from HIIIT to yoga to weight training—that you can do from the comfort of your own living room. And we program your weekly workout schedule to get you the best results, so it takes out all the guesswork for you. It’s like having a personal trainer at your fingertips! 

3. Write down your intentions. Set goals each week and jot them down in a journal. Start with small, attainable goals like waking up earlier for a few workouts per week or drinking more water each day. Then, you can gradually add more goals to your list!