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BODY EXCHANGE CANADA


FOUNDER: LOUISE GREEN I


set up Body Exchange in Vancouver in 2008, as a lifestyle change, after having a baby. Previously I was working as a talent agent in


the film industry. It was stressful and involved long hours, and I didn’t think it would mix well with motherhood. While pregnant I gained around 45lbs,


but I was still passionate about working in fi tness, so I decided to target upper- size people. I did some market research and found there was nothing dedicated to this group of people in Canada. It immediately attracted a lot of media interest, so I realised it was very timely. No-one is banned, but the language


and imagery of our marketing material is targeted at upper-size people. To market the business, we’ve looked at the lifestyle patterns of our target client and have gone to them, as they won’t come to us. I call places like Weight Watchers clubs “watering holes”, as here you fi nd larger people who are motivated to change. Doctors also refer people to us. The programme is bootcamp-style,


using equipment like resistance bands, BOSU balls and agility ladders, and is run in community-based locations. Exercise takes place either one-to-one or in classes, which vary in size from fi ve to 25 participants. We don’t run sessions


in health clubs because our customers wouldn’t enter the buildings; they take place in community halls or outdoors. Body Exchange also offers an online, customisable nutrition programme, as well as goal-setting and lifestyle coaching. We offer a programme based on two


or three days a week. To start with, people are fearful they won’t keep it


up – people come with a lot of fear and lack of trust in themselves. But the sense of community in the group really builds motivation. Our customers organise hikes and snow-shoeing in the mountains together. For those who buy into our offering, retention is really good. Some people lose huge amounts


Green has now licensed the concept


of weight and transform their bodies, while others come off their medication and are now no longer pre-diabetic. Others become more fi t but don’t lose weight, because they can’t control their eating – I think we’re dealing with a lot of emotional eating. Very often obesity is just a symptom of a deeper problem. Eating is the biggest struggle for most. I have now licensed the business, so


Green says her clients prefer to avoid gyms


June 2013 © Cybertrek 2013


it operates in six different communities in Vancouver, but I want to make Body Exchange a national company through licensing. Alberta, Calgary and Ontario are the fi rst cities I want to target and, as I’m originally from the UK, I’d like to take it there.


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 39


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