Just how bad has the
crisis of chronic disease become? The World Health Organization has
declared chronic diseases the number one killer on the planet. Chronic
disease is now the cause of over sixty percent of deaths worldwide, and
the death toll continues to increase steadily.
The crisis is clear. Chronic diseases — such as obesity, diabetes and
heart disease — are pulverizing health care. These are conditions that a
pill or procedure can’t easily fix.
Our health care system is good at treating short-term medical problems,
such as broken bones and infections. Medical advances are helping people
live longer. But obesity is reaching epidemic proportions. The
population is aging, and more people are living unhealthy lifestyles. We
need to do a much better job managing chronic diseases, which take a
heavy toll on health and cost vast amounts of money to the health care
At LIVE WELL, we are on a mission to design highly-engaging and
effective ways to inspire lasting behavior change in anyone at risk of
2. Exercise as a Vital Sign/Physician-Prescribed Exercise
exercise is at the cutting edge of medicine today. It is an emerging
trend that is at the earliest of stages, but one that is going to become
quite powerful in our health care system. People trust and listen to
their doctor. When the doctor prescribes a medication, patients fill
their prescriptions. So when a doctor prescribes exercise, people who
have never exercised in their life come to see us at LIVE WELL. It’s
Not all doctors prescribe exercise. In fact, only the minority of
doctors do (usually the doctors who exercise themselves). When doctors
DO refer a patient to us, an amazing thing happens. Their patient will
report back to them with results and talk about how much they enjoy the
program. So doctors refer again because they see that LIVE WELL works.
Even though physician-prescribed exercise is at an early stage, we have
had over 1600 referrals in the past four years by over 200 doctors in
Metro Vancouver. What will become a standard is already starting to
happen at major health care systems like Kaiser Permanente in the U.S.,
are now realizing that prevention and addressing personal behavior and
lifestyle (nutrition and exercise) is just as important as addressing
biology through their program “exercise as a vital sign.”
At LIVE WELL, this is what we do. Our referring doctors live and breathe
this prevention philosophy. They know that physical activity is the
number one predictor of overall health and are now prescribing exercise as medicine.
3. Focused Fitness Gyms
days of the big box, one size fits all, 30,000 square foot gyms are
gone. These gyms may be fine for the person who wants to be nameless,
work out on their own, and most likely wear a tiny tank top or tight
pants. But more and more people don’t want this approach.
Instead, we are seeing the rise of small, focused gyms – Crossfit, Barre Fitness and Indoor cycling, for example.
LIVE WELL occupies a unique niche in the health and wellness market:
medical fitness. Our clinics are designed specifically for those with
health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and for
prevention and we are currently creating programs for other medical
conditions as well. You will find no other concept exactly like it in
Canada or the United States. LIVE WELL is truly one of a kind, kicking
off a revolution in health care and in fitness.
The population is
changing. We are getting older and with age comes health issues. The
average age of our participants is over 50, and we know that more and
more people will need our services. How do we know? Let’s look at a few
Americans over age 55 are the fastest-growing age
group among gym members, up more than 266 percent since 1987 — more than
twice the rate for U.S. health club members as a whole;
In the next 10 years, U.S. baby boomers will increase their annual spending on wellness-based services by almost 500,000%;
88% of the 65+ population
have at least one chronic health condition that could be improved or
managed with physical activity (and this population is set to double in
the next 20 years).