You can’t go more than a few blocks in the Lower Mainland without stumbling across some kind of fitness fad these days. From uber-stylized gyms to healthy food and all manner of trendy exercise classes, knowing where to start can be daunting. That trepidation is only magnified as you get older, and whether it’s age itself or underlying medical conditions, taking the first step towards a healthier, happier life can feel almost impossible.
Fortunately, however, for people in New Westminster there is a new exercise clinic that is changing the lives of local residents. That clinic, LIVE WELL, is a medical fitness centre that’s built on the belief that exercise is medicine. Specializing in safe, supervised exercise and healthy-lifestyle coaching for people who have chronic health conditions or want to prevent them, the clinic helps its members make sustainable changes to their lifestyle.
“If I was only going to use a few words to describe our approach they would be: safety, structure, directed and intentional,” explains Brian Budd who opened the doors to LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic New Westminster over a year ago. “And these things are incredibly important. After all, if you’re a little older or suffering from an underlying medical condition, you can’t simply turn up at your nearest gym and get started. Instead there are a lot more things that need to be considered and that’s where we come in,” he continues.
This kind of personalized, clinically-focussed approach is a key part of what LIVE WELL offers. The company specializes in supervised exercise and healthy lifestyle coaching, which is ideal for people who have, or want to prevent, chronic conditions.
“Unlike traditional gyms, we hire kinesiologists,” explains Budd. “Our clinic is manned by experts, kinesiologists and certified exercise physiologists who are specifically trained to work with people from a clinical perspective.”
The team at LIVE WELL works closely with its members’ doctors who often refer them to the clinic.
Clients are happy too. Says Ed P. of New Westminster: “Some days I don’t feel like going but I do because of how great I feel when I am there. It’s like hanging out with a small group of people at a coffee shop but we work and sweat and encourage each other. I actually want to see what I can do next. Come join us—believe me, if I can do it, anyone can!”
Marlon T. agrees. Since joining LIVE WELL, he says, “I'm able to physically exert myself much more than when I first started without feeling light headed and nauseated. I feel like I'm living in my own skin again.”
Health and happiness
Everyone is welcome at LIVE WELL regardless of their shape, weight or experience level. And that diversity continues to the benefits people experience too. It’s not just about losing weight, it’s about making a lasting change to people’s lifestyles, small steps that add up to make a big difference.
“Unlike traditional gyms we are not focussed on getting people ‘beach body ready,’” says Budd. “Instead we focus on improving our members’ quality of life and reducing the symptoms of any underlying conditions that they may be suffering from.”
As well as physical health, mental health is a big part of LIVE WELL’s approach. There’s a real sense of community at the New Westminster location and the social aspect of their classes is just as important as the physical benefits.
Says Brenda B. of New Westminster: “Live Well feels very safe, welcoming and non-competitive. I feel comfortable and supported by the staff and fellow participants. The staff are professional, patient and caring. I appreciate the personal program and their continuing guidance and support. And on top of all that, I have fun every session with all the great people I've met.”