Mar 08, 2023
FROM GROUP FITNESS INSTRUCTORS TO PERSONAL TRAINERS, TO CEOS OF FITNESS FRANCHISES, TO FEMALE-DRIVEN FITNESS NICHES, ONE COULD ARGUE THAT WOMEN DOMINATE OUR INDUSTRY.
Within the Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC), many of the top roles are held by women - a large percentage of board members, provincial council leaders, and the executive team are women. “Women are able to multitask, and in this day and age if you are running a fitness business, lobbying the government for provincial tax credits, and driving kids to hockey practice, you need to proficiently multitask,” quips Sara Hodson, President of FIC.
Mar 07, 2023
In early February, the Fitness Industry Council of Canada submitted yet another proposal to governments across Canada, imploring them to make gym memberships tax deductible.
It’s the third straight year — first in 2021, then in 2022, now in 2023 — that the FIC has urged governments to move forward with the initiative, said council president Sara Hodson.
The organization represents about 6,000 facilities with six million members nationwide.
Mar 06, 2023
When we want to invest our money, we look to experts who undersand
When we want to invest our money, we look to experts who understand the risks and opportunities, the potential windfalls and pitfalls, the ebbs and flows of the stock market, and most importantly the patience that is needed to see our investments grow.
The same is true of our health.
Feb 07, 2023
It's been one year since fitness clubs in Ontario were allowed to open without strict masking requirements and COVID protocols.
While many businesses faced difficulties during the pandemic, gyms were hard hit after being told they had to stay closed for 410 days.
"We were in that zone where we were the first to close and last to open. It was really tough,” said Chief Operating Officer Jason Sheridan of Goodlife Fitness, which has 200 locations across Canada.
Sheridan said that it’s been difficult for the fitness industry but he estimates about 75 per cent of his chain’s members have returned and he is hopeful more members will also rejoin the gym throughout the year.
Dec 15, 2022
We look forward to the holiday season all year long! As the treetops glisten, it is wonderful to spend time with those you love and be inspired for the year ahead.
Amidst all of this, your healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to take a holiday.
While in the past we might have used the holidays to overindulge in rich food and alcohol, times have changed. At LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic, we remind our members to stick with a routine as much as possible over the holidays — and it is a lot easier than you think. Here are five ways to avoid the unhealthy landmines the holiday season places in our path, and finish 2022 brimming with health and positivity.
Today in BC
Jul 28, 2022
The hospice, as well as fitness studios and gyms joined forces July 15 through 17 to run fitness classes dedicated to raising funds for pediatric palliative care.
Canuck Place is B.C. and the Yukon’s only pediatric palliative care service program, providing care for more than 800 youth (up to age 19) and families while operating 13 patient beds and eight family suites through two hospices in Vancouver and Abbotsford.
Participating studios included Innovative Fitness, Movement by NM, Pure Barre, Barre Fitness, F45, Body and Soul, Groundwork Athletics and more.
A child is in Canuck Place care for an average of seven years, and their family is on the bereavement program for three years. More than 800 children are living with life-threatening illnesses and there are families from five provincial health regions receiving Canuck Place inpatient and community care (in-home/in-hospital).
The Children’s Hospice says they empower children and family to have power in making decisions a
Jun 29, 2022
Ah, summer. There is nothing nicer than the long days of summer where we not only have more daylight hours to fill, but the pace is a little slower and everyone smiles more. Our members are out walking, running, biking and hiking, going to cottages or away on vacation to far off destinations. Finally!
Historically, summer is a “dead zone” – our members are often losing steam with their new year’s goals, and many have vacation and travel plans. How often have you heard, “I’m not going to be here for most of July” and starts the request to put a membership on hold for a few months? But, these are different times: we all need to think outside the box on how we can not only keep our members engaged, improve their physical and mental health, and attract new clients. We need to make the Dead Zone the READY ZONE.
Get your members READY to take their health, fitness, and wellness to new levels with these five ideas.
Peace Arch News
Jun 09, 2022
Seniors of White Rock walked together for the inaugural Walk for Heart event after raising money for five weeks for Heart and Stroke Foundation.
LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic partnered with the Heart and Stroke Foundation to raise money for the charity and promote good heart health through exercise for National Health and Fitness Day.
To celebrate, members of the White Rock Clinic came together to complete a 3 km, heart-shaped walking route together on Sunday morning (June 5).
Jun 04, 2022
As we celebrate National Health and Fitness Day on Saturday, June 4th, we are inspiring Canadians to move! The Fitness Industry Council of Canada – and some gyms acrosscanada – are offering free fitness events all day.
Exercise is medicine for our bodies and our minds and the research shows that 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise is needed to prevent chronic health conditions and improve our mental health.
That sounds a little overwhelming, doesn’t it?
This number could be something that stops people – literally – in their tracks, and we know that while some Canadians embraced exercise during lockdowns, many Canadians became more sedentary. It doesn’t matter where you were on your health journey- it matters where you are today and the fitness industry is celebrating movement as medicine for all Canadians this week!
May 17, 2022
Imagine you are sitting on the sofa after a long day at work scrolling the news on your phone. You haven’t had the energy to exercise in a long time.
You know you should get into a routine of exercising more, but you can’t seem to get started for many reasons.
You read a story: The government will be implementing a six per cent tax on gym memberships as of October 2022. Another reason to not get started.
Piling onto the other barriers you have in your life that have prevented you from taking that first step — not enough time, not enough motivation … now, an additional tax.
This will be a reality facing many people in Saskatchewan this fall if the government’s proposed sales tax is not reversed, and it will set a precedent we simply cannot accept in Canada.
Alberta Prime Times
May 12, 2022
Did you know there are 6.3 million Canadians over the age of 65 living with chronic health conditions, obesity, chronic pain or mental health conditions?
We've all been told 150 minutes of exercise weekly prevents and treats chronic health conditions and is essential for anxiety, stress and depression. And during the pandemic, all Canadians (and especially seniors) became more inactive, making a return to exercise that much more important now.
Mar 10, 2022
By Sara Hodson
The New Year is traditionally the busiest time in the fitness industry: clubs packed with members, classes with waitlists, and gym lovers and newcomers determined to hit New Year goals. Research shows that resolutions might not work, but we are hard-wired to try and make positive changes with the start of each year.
This New Year was very different in Canada. With gyms closed in the three largest provinces, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, many Canadians were left to figure out how they were going to stay fit and motivated. The Fitness Industry Council worked behind the scenes with governments to show that fitness is essential for our physical and mental health and to get gyms open again quickly. When we reopened to the public, we repeatedly heard from our members that the gym isn’t simply a place to workout – for many, it is their community, a second home, and a fitness family.
The longer gyms were closed, the greater the ripple effects were felt. Ment
Feb 14, 2022
No one will argue that exercise is medicine. Repeated studies in scientific and medical journals for the last three decades have proven that over 50% of our health can be attributed to unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, diet, and physical inactivity.
Exercise can be used for both the prevention and treatment of chronic health conditions, such as heart disease — the number one killer of Canadian women — diabetes, and obesity. It can also be as effective as antidepressants and is an antidote for the stress and anxiety we are experiencing in this challenging world. Exercise is essential and we need to make the fitness industry an essential part of our healthcare system.
Dec 23, 2021
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced expanded benefits Wednesday for small businesses hit by new COVID-19 shutdowns, and B.C.’s deputy premier, Mike Farnworth, will make an announcement Thursday on relief support for local business.
The federal government announced expanded eligibility for the Local Lockdown Program to include employers subject to capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 per cent or more; and reduced the current monthly revenue decline threshold requirement to 25 per cent. The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit will also be expanded to include workers in regions that have introduced capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 per cent or more.
Sara Hodson, founder and CEO at the Livewell exercise clinic and president of the Fitness Industry Council of Canada, said a patchwork of federal supports isn’t adequate.
“Landlords are calling for their money. Banks are calling for their money. If we are going to be closed with no revenue, can’t there be an order for landlords to fr
Dec 16, 2021
No one could have imagined the explosion of online fitness when the world shut down in March 2020. No one could have foreseen this would not be short-lived, that the pandemic would persist, forcing the fitness industry into upheaval and rapid change. We had to adapt quickly – my own business, LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic, went into overdrive, launching a virtual platform within seven days of the initial lockdown.
We thought the pandemic would be a few weeks…. then a few months; we did not think pandemic living would become the new way of life. As a small business owner, it is challenging to watch your revenues dwindle while your expenses mount. Fitness facilities pivoted not only to provide livestream and on-demand programming – we also changed ventilation systems, reduced capacities in our gyms, and invested heavily in PPE. As we finish off 2021, we live in a world where the future of fitness is hybrid and the industry is still working hard to get our members back.
Globe and Mail
Nov 21, 2021
While many fitness facilities have permanently closed since the pandemic started, Cortney Lessard and his investors opened two more F45 Training gyms, with a third launching soon, bringing their total to five franchises across Vancouver and Squamish, B.C.
“Definitely a leap of faith,” says Mr. Lessard, who is also the global fitness company’s sales director for Western Canada.
The bet was that people would emerge from the pandemic with a renewed focus on their health and a reinvigorated social appetite. That’s despite a surge in more convenient, less expensive online fitness options over the past 20 months, including the launch of Apple Fitness+ alongside dozens of small boutique gyms offering their own online options.
It’s a gamble that Mr. Lessard says has paid off as more people crave in-person connection as they sweat.
At Forty Five
Nov 11, 2021
Sara Hodson is CEO of LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic, an ultra-private gym franchise with 15 locations. She knows that exercise is a miracle drug, and everybody needs a prescription.
“Exercise is medicine and is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle,” says Hodson. “If you could bottle exercise in a pill, it would be one of the most effective medications on the market for the prevention and treatment of chronic health conditions, like diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. It is also more effective than antidepressants for mental health. You can change your body and your mind with only ten minutes of exercise.”
Sep 13, 2021
Businesses are preparing to adjust to another new normal as B.C.'s vaccine card comes into effect Sept. 13.
The B.C. vaccine card is a digital or printed document that people will need to access non-essential businesses, services and activities, such as restaurants, movie theatres and gyms.
From Sept. 13 until Oct. 24, partially and fully vaccinated people will be able to enter these settings and events.
From Oct. 24, people will need to be fully vaccinated with two doses at least seven days before access will be granted.
Sara Hodson, CEO of Live Well Exercise Clinic and president of the Fitness Industry Council of Canada, says the fitness industry is prepared and getting their systems ready.
Sep 08, 2021
Brian D'Souza, Sara Hodson and Moe Hedayat speak with Stephen Quinn about frontline workers and the responsibility they are about to take on.
Aug 23, 2021
Sara Hodson, CEO of LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic, has been elected to lead the national trade association, representing more than 6000 fitness facilities across Canada.
Aug 18, 2021
A Semiahmoo Peninsula fitness expert has been named president of the Fitness Industry Council of Canada.
Aug 03, 2021
Sara Hodson, who is part of a fitness industry working group that consults with the provincial government, expects if Henry does want gyms to require proof of vaccination in the future, it would be discussed with stakeholders first.
Jul 23, 2021
Almost half of all Canadians experienced weight gain over COVID. As our provinces are re-starting and re-opening, we are going to gain members who are focused on weight loss. As fitness professionals, it is our responsibility to support and guide our members while also providing evidence-based programming, information, and tools.
Jun 21, 2021
When we look back on the pandemic and how it affected our physical and mental health, we will be able to gather a great amount of insight to understand how and why we move. This is evident in what happened when the world entered lockdown in March 2020, and we took NEAT out of our lives – and how we can help our members and clients put it back in.
Jun 19, 2021
Sara Hodson, from the Fitness Industry Council of B.C., explains how the industry is welcoming the public back to high-intensity fitness facilities across the province.
May 29, 2021
After the B.C. government announced a restart plan last week, the phone has been ringing off the hook, said LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic President and CEO Sara Hodson.
Surrey Now - Leader
May 27, 2021
“The U.K. is reporting that group fitness is back 600 per cent – this is a massive increase,” Hodson said. “People are flocking back to fitness. We see that fitness in B.C. will be a thriving industry in two, three, six months from now.”
May 14, 2021
Together we will move. The last 14 months have proven something fundamental to Canadians. Our health has never been more important. Health is wealth. And it is the only currency we need.
Apr 12, 2021
Diabetes Canada, Heart & Stroke and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society also all endorse the idea of allowing Canadians to shave exercise membership costs off their tax bill. “We are thrilled to have these health advocates on board,” Sara Hodson, the Fitness Industry Council’s federal advocacy lead, said in a press release in late March.
Mar 14, 2021
“I don’t think it’s the role of the fitness industry to necessarily dictate what the consumer needs to provide in order to enter our facilities, it really is our national mandate from the Fitness Industry Council of Canada to get people physically active,” Sara Hodson with LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic said.
Peace Arch News
Mar 05, 2021
LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic CEO Sara Hodson pitched idea to deputy prime minister.
Jan 04, 2021
Community and staff engagement spell success for Vancouver-based LIVE WELL franchisee Kent Howie.
Nov 20, 2020
Healthing.ca spoke to Sara Hodson, a clinical exercise physiologist and the CEO of Live Well Exercise clinics, to get tips on how people diagnosed with Type II diabetes can start exercising.
Feb 20, 2020
With a 16-year career in chronic disease and exercise, Sara is a leader in the movement of clinically-based medical fitness programs.
Sep 12, 2019
LIVE WELL is a medical fitness clinic that’s built on the belief that exercise is medicine.
Global News Regina
Sep 10, 2019
SPARKS METHOD™, a medical fitness clinic, opened its doors in Regina on September 9th. Its goal is to use exercise and healthy lifestyle coaching to help clients manage and prevent chronic diseases.
Regina Leader Post
Sep 08, 2019
While raising her family, Brenda Yungwirth put her children first and her own health last, but as she aged and became aware she was at risk for heart disease, she knew that needed to change.
Sep 06, 2019
Sometimes we just need to mix things up, so for advice on how to start a new fitness routine, we turned to Sara Hodson, founder and CEO of Live Well, a Vancouver-based exercise clinic concept. She breaks her advice down into five simple steps.
Jul 16, 2019
“We’ve had patients come off their blood pressure medications, stop taking insulin and go off antidepressants,” says Sara Hodson, president and founder of LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic, whose 11-year career in chronic diseases led her to found the private clinic. It isn’t just about the amazing, long-term effects of exercise; it has an instantaneous effect on our health.
Franchise Canada Magazine
Apr 22, 2019
Tory Brooks-Hill and Andrew Taylor, owners of LIVE WELL Vancouver locations in East Van and Kerrisdale, are featured in this article about being in the business of caring for seniors
Mar 07, 2019
LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic CFO Morna Creedon Sileika was honoured as one BC's most influential women in Corporate & Entrepreneurship
Business In Vancouver
Dec 04, 2018
Nov 30, 2018
A first in the fitness industry, Canadian fitness brand LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic has proven what many medical professionals have said for years: that many chronic conditions can be treated more effectively with exercise than medication.
Nov 22, 2018
Gym members see significant reductions in blood pressure, weight within 6 months of joining powerful exercise and healthy lifestyle coaching program
Globe & Mail
Oct 30, 2018
Founder and president Sara Hodson on LIVE WELL'S new in-house training course for kinesiology grads to groom them to become certified clinical exercise physiologists to coach members inside LIVE WELL clinics.
Globe & Mail
Oct 01, 2018
When John and Gayla DeHart bought into LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic, they did their research and were attracted by the company's raving fans: numerous, happy and recurring customers with memberships to the gyms.
Globe & Mail
Oct 01, 2018
Entrepreneur John DeHart, whose latest venture is LIVE WELL Exercise Clinics, continues to analyze the market and his competition to find new products and services that will help the business grow.
Jul 05, 2018
LIVE WELL President and Founder Sara Hodson got the idea for her chain of clinics while working in cardiac rehab. To increase access to exercise for these types of patients and others, she opened her first LIVE WELL clinic in 2011, the first of its kind in Canada.
Jun 22, 2018
BC's former heatlh minister and retired doctor credits LIVE WELL with helping shift her sedentary lifestyle
Jun 15, 2018
“We have many members who came to us suffering from depression and anxiety who have been able to reduce or get off anti-depressants and get their lives back on track via regular exercise,” says Sara Hodson, founder and president of LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic.
Jun 09, 2018
Individuals with chronic health conditions can exercise in a fun and safe way at LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic Kerrisdale (pg. 14)
Jun 02, 2018
Founder and President Sara Hodson on why she started the company, the secret sauce behind LIVE WELL'S culture and how LIVE WELL is different from its competitors
May 11, 2018
Surrey’s Ted Myrah walks away from depression, diabetes and obesity thanks to LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic
What She Said Radio
Apr 23, 2018
Broadcasters Christine Bentleyand Kate Wheeler on How Canada’s LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic uses #exerciseasmedicine to prevent and treat chronic disease, with founder Sara Hodson. https://www.livewellclinic.ca
The Globe & Mail
Mar 30, 2018
Traditional gyms aren’t designed with people with chronic conditions in mind. But LIVE WELL strives to meet the needs of those who may not feel welcome at commercial gyms by delivering evidence-based exercise programs specific to each individual’s condition.
The Surrey Now-Leader
Feb 22, 2018
Expanding Surrey-born company is brainchild of city’s 2017 Business Person of the Year, Sara Hodson
Globe & Mail
Nov 13, 2017
How John DeHart is applying the lessons he learned growing his first business to his new venture LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic.
The Surrey Now-Leader
Nov 02, 2017
Sara Hodson of LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic and others celebrated at annual gala hosted by Surrey Board of Trade
Aug 11, 2017
LIVE WELL co-founder John DeHart is interviewed about building healthy habits in himself, and in his customers
Globe & Mail
Aug 06, 2017
LIVE WELL'S John DeHart talks about why he has franchised his companies.
The Heart Monitor
Jul 01, 2017
LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic's medical director Dr. Ali Zentner was interviewed on why yoga can help reduce stress and lower your blood pressure.
Jun 28, 2017
LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic is a combination of founder Sara Hodson’s passion for exercise and health, and serial entrepreneur and co-founder John DeHart ‘s franchising know-how
Best Health Magazine
May 01, 2017
According to some experts, fitness can cure much of what ails us. Read on for your prescription for a longer, happier, healthier life
Apr 04, 2017
Dubbed the anti-gym, LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic opens in Langley, offering customized fitness created by exercise physiologists
Mar 19, 2017
Traditional gyms catering to fitness-focused Millennials are a dime a dozen, but Langley now has an innovative new boutique gym for boomers trying to stave off aging
Feb 17, 2017
LIVE WELL Abbotsford’s focus is healthy habit formation and making sustainable lifestyle changes.
Retirement Ready Magazine
Jan 31, 2017
LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic founder and president Sara Hodson talks about using exercise as medicine to fight aging in the Lower Mainland. Turn to page 41.
Jan 13, 2017
LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic Abbotsford owner Julie Elliott wrote an article in The Pulse health supplement, about using exercise as medicine. (Click to page 10 to read how good exercise can be for your body.)
Nov 01, 2016
LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic was profiled by Novus TV. Watch Founder Sara Hodson talk about how to stay active and healthy as you age
Globe & Mail
Oct 03, 2016
LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic co-founder John DeHart offers tips on how small businesses can best manage cash flow
Business in Vancouver
Sep 29, 2016
“Why you do what you do is just as important as making money,” says John DeHart, co-founder, LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic and Nurse Next Door.
Sep 23, 2016
LIVE WELL founder and president Sara Hodson shares her expert tips on getting healthier and becoming less sedentary
Jun 17, 2016
“People don’t come in excited by exercise. Most people come in to us having remotely exercised in their life, or having never exercised in their life.” Sara Hodson’s solution was to create a business that married fun, motivational exercise, with highly supervised tracking of clients’ medical progress.
Business In Vancouver
Mar 29, 2016
“What’s good for the economy is good for the body and good for the environment,” said Dr. Ali Zentner, medical director at LIVE WELL Exericse Clinic. “For example, this country only spends 10% of its health-care dollars on prevention, but the average Canadian spends the last decade of his or her life suffering from some form of chronic disease.”
Breakfast Television Vancouver
Apr 09, 2013
BT Vancouver’s Live Eye Host Dawn Chubai spends a morning at LIVE WELL Exercise & Medical Clinic to learn why exercise IS medicine for those living with diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Watch the video!