Medical fitness clinics reopen, offering personalized workouts in a safe environment

As British Columbia loosens its COVID-19 restrictions, LIVE WELL Exercise Clinics are re-opening across the province with enhanced safety precautions in mind.

"Focus on member health and safety has always been extremely important to us," says Cameron Biffart, clinic director of the Kelowna LIVE WELL.

"Our protocols going into COVID-19 were probably what a lot of gyms will come out of the pandemic with. In addition, we've taken our sanitation and cleaning standards and stepped them up dramatically. We've placed a real emphasis on following health authorities and going above and beyond guidelines."

While Biffart's Kelowna clinic opened up on June 1, the rest of the clinics in B.C. will be welcoming members back from June 15 through the first week of July with enhanced health and safety measures.

So far, LIVE WELL's clients have been extremely happy with the enhanced health measures and are confident in their safety while working out at the clinics.

"I did not hesitate to come back for my regular exercise sessions. LIVE WELL has always been very clean and sterile, which is very important for me due to my allergies and asthma," client Ayla Kilic says. 

"Now, the personnel at the clinic are even more careful in maintaining sanitation and cleanliness. The new positioning of exercise equipment maintains social distancing, and the trainers ensure that everybody is following the safety standards. They keep the equipment clean and sterile while providing the best professional and personal care to us. I feel very safe exercising at the clinic, and I appreciate everybody's effort to provide us with this safe venue to exercise".

LIVE WELL Exercise Clinics has many locations across B.C. and other parts of Canada. Every clinic focuses on providing customized exercise programs for each member to help reach their personal health goals.

"Most of our members will have one health condition or concern," says Biffart. "We work with people with heart disease, obesity, arthritis, and a variety of other ailments and diseases, including those who are recovering from knee and hip replacements."

LIVE WELL is inviting anyone interested in learning more about its personalized exercise programs to tour a clinic near you by signing up online.

"There's no 'gym-timidation' here," Biffart says. "Most of our members come to us because they want that extra care and attention that we can provide that a big box gym can't. We have a very warm and inviting community-based atmosphere. It's very easy for new people to come in and immediately feel like they're part of things."

LIVE WELL's staff includes university-educated kinesiologists and clinical exercise physiologists that often work together to help clients meet their goals. When new members come in for an initial consultation, LIVE WELL's staff does a full medical intake and a baseline assessment to determine where they are in their fitness journey. From there, a customized exercise plan is created, including participation in small classes.

"From the very first time I stepped into Live Well, I knew it was going to be amazing. I have never experienced a gym like this and am truly grateful for the opportunity to be a member," client Rebecca Donald says. 

All workouts are by appointment, and members have set schedules to know ahead of time when to come into the clinic. Roughly hour-long classes with a maximum of 12 people are overseen by two staff members, who provide oversight and coaching throughout the session.

"Members have a constant sense of being guided through their workouts," Biffart says. "Because we cater to people who don't have a background in exercise, we do everything we can to make them feel comfortable and help them work on that confidence. They get a real sense of accomplishment."

LIVE WELL has also introduced two new online programs for existing members to foster support and access. One is LIVE WELL At Home, an online personalized exercise program that can be accessed through a member portal online. This allows members to log in wherever and whenever to do their exercises. The fitness clinics have also introduced LIVE WELL Live, which will enable members to join via video conferencing to be led through their exercises in a traditional class environment.

"It provides that social aspect of a live instructor," Biffart says. "An important part of what we do is that social aspect and creating community." 

That community is part of the accountability that LIVE WELL creates for its members, partly credited to the same group of people sharing classes week in and week out. Biffart encourages anyone who is curious about the LIVE WELL experience to come in and see the clinic.

"Any concerns, insecurity or fears you have will be cleared up when you come in and see that we don't have that typical gym-feel."

To find out more about the LIVE WELL's programs and services or to sign up for an in-clinic consultation, visit the website at www.livewellclinic.ca/nearme.

© North Shore News

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