Exercise is just as much about recovery and regeneration as it is about pushing yourself, says Jeff Davis, Managing Director of our Strategic Business Partner, Reach Wellness.
A veteran of the fitness industry with more than 35 years’ experience and a BSc (Hons.) in Sports Science to his name, Jeff is passionate about the health and wellness benefits that being more active can achieve, recognising our Pivot to Active Wellbeing has a crucial role to play in supporting an ageing population and helping to tackle the health conditions that come with the territory.
Whilst Reach Wellness supplies standard fitness equipment it specialises in innovative niche products that supplement and complement the traditional gym.
Here, Jeff explains why his company joined our SBP programme, shares his philosophy towards exercise, how sometimes ‘less is more’, and why patience is a virtue in pursuit of your goals.
As our name suggests, we are keen to reach out and make a difference and help people reach their personal wellness goals. This is a timely opportunity to work with GM Active, whose members run 99 publicly owned leisure and physical activity assets/centres to support health and wellness.
We share GM Active’s vision to improve wellness among Greater Manchester’s communities, so we think there’s a really good alignment with our own goals.
Notwithstanding that, I’ve also known some of the key players in GM Active, such as the Chair, Andy King, and Life Leisure CEO, John Oxley, for many years and respect their ability to get things done.
I think there’s good opportunity to provide what we do at existing sites, who are working in a traditional sort of way (with cardiovascular and resistance equipment), particularly in support of the pivot to active wellbeing, which is where I believe we can contribute.
It still feels that we’re in the early stages of understanding how we can interact with GM Active, and I think opportunities like this blog will help us raise our profile and increase awareness of what we have to offer, which sort of answers the first question as well.
We have had some good conversations with members of the GM Active collective, and understand that it takes time to understand and change. We’re resilient and we believe we can eventually get over the line at some of the GM Active sites once they fully realise what we have to offer (and the funds are available).
Reach Wellness has been established for more than 20 years and we have equipment in public leisure trust sites and private sites throughout the UK, so we are already a trusted business.
As I said, we’ve had some good conversations with chief execs within GM Active, but they are busy people, they have a lot of priorities and financial stresses to juggle, so we need to communicate effectively with the relevant personnel.
We are aware of the financial pressures, and that’s why some pools have had to close. But we still have to maintain a view that it’s important to provide meaningful differences too, because we have an ageing population living longer with more ailments to consider. Active wellbeing is about physical and mental health.
That’s where, I think, things like better movement preparation, mobilisation, recovery, regeneration, flexibility, stretching, coordination, balance, and agility – these are all elements that are not spoken to or offered properly on the traditional gym floor.
And that’s not criticism, it’s just an observation – to say look there’s companies like ourselves who have a unique offering in this respect. That’s exactly why we thought it was a good opportunity to partner strategically with GM Active.
I would be delighted to create more opportunities to demonstrate the benefits of our equipment and we’re open to suggestions in that respect.
We have a comprehensive installation of FIVE Concept Equipment in Sale. I would be happy to organise open days for anyone and everyone who wants to see it, or if someone is making a grant application for new equipment, we’d be happy to provide a quotation.
I’ve been in the industry since 1985 and I think I have developed a sensitive antenna not only for what’s going on now, but also for future trends. Recovery and regeneration are beginning to be grasped with more people saying we need that on the gym floor as the awareness increases.
We’ve all got to know about the benefits of an ice bath (after exercise) for example, but that’s not practical on a gym floor. That’s why products like our Sensopro, which provides coordination and balance training, and FIVE Concept, which is all about mobility, are important pieces of equipment and make total sense when people see and experience them for training purposes.
Well, this conversation is really welcome, for starters! Because it’s going on the GM Active website, we can use it as a point of reference by steering would-be GM Active customers to it to understand us.
We know we have a lot of work to do. Money only goes so far these days, and I know that presently we’re probably on the ‘nice to have’ list rather than the priority list, but our equipment can help a gym differentiate itself from its competitors.
We’re all about getting people to wake up to the fact that it’s not just about going to the gym and going hell for leather.
New Year is a good example. After Christmas, lots of people say they’re going to get fit, so they go to the gym Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and they’re broken by Friday. It’s just how people are.
‘If you want to know more about Reach Wellness, you can find their website here.