Sunday, April 24, 2016
BUSINESS SPOTLIGHTSana Vita Health Club
I've spoken before about the potential role social media can play in influencing and inspiring our lives. Those days that I passively scroll through my feed, I’ll always come across at least one picture, a quote, a person and/or a story that has a positive impact on me in some way. Imagine when this happens offline, away from the virtual reality of a glass screen: when you actually physically meet a like-minded individual who inspires you and shares a common interest………you just want to find out more about them, right?
Whilst looking for additional consulting space for my nutrition business recently, I came across Aine Gallagher, the lovely founder and trainer of Birmingham-based health club, Sana Vita. As a personal trainer, Aine had skills and interest in health and fitness, and a passion for helping people transform their lives; she used these qualities to admirably set up her own health club business, which, may I add, she won a customer service award for at the Natwest Venus Awards Birmingham. She was kind enough to let me take up some of her time to interview her as part of my Birmingham Wellness Series.
1. When was Sana Vita established, and what fuelled your desire to set up a personal training/health club business in Birmingham?
Sana Vita opened its doors on 30th April 2014, so we are very excited to be celebrating our 2nd birthday in a few weeks!
When I first qualified as a personal trainer I became very aware how much the weighing scales can have a negative impact on people’s lives, on their mental and emotional wellbeing and progress towards their personal health goals. I found that my clients motivation would be at the mercy of the scales and if the number wasn’t quite what they wanted it to be, it would result in negative self – talk, a drop in motivation or on the other side a very short term lift in mood, a cycle that would continue week after week. This totally fuelled my desire to set up Sana Vita as I wanted to help people understand that they are much more than a number on the weighing scales and that with the right support they can be happy and healthy and allow their body to find its natural weight, which it is striving for everyday.
2. What services does your business offer to its customers, and is there one that is most popular or works best for you and your clients?
At Sana Vita we focus on providing an all-round service to give our clients as much support as possible to help them achieve their personal health and wellness goals.We offer one to one personal training and yoga sessions (which include regular health checks), home/gym programmes, nutrition and life coaching and educational workshops. As a way for members to make friends and build our Sana Vita community we also organise social events such as meals, active days such as tennis/outdoor sessions and team charity events.
The nutritional coaching combined with one to one personal training sessions are the most popular services that we offer. They see our clients achieving their health goals, and more importantly maintaining these results. An additional service that members find very beneficial is our educational workshops delivered to all Sana Vita members. In our latest workshop ‘Rethink Your Body’ we shared how you can allow your body to find its natural weight through having 3 key areas working for you in the right ways… Mindset, Nutrition and Exercise.
3. What is your business’ ethos/values in terms of the services/products you offer?
Caring for our member’s health, happiness and wellbeing is at the forefront of our services and in everything that we do, whether they are with us exercising in the studio or at home planning their evening meal. Our number one value that we follow every day is ensuring that we go the extra mile for our clients and that our services are much more than personal training sessions.
4. Health is at the top of many peoples’ agenda these days, which is great news; how do you feel Sana Vita fits into the evolving health and wellness scene, particularly in Birmingham?
With the obesity rate in Birmingham being over 25% - the third highest rate in the UK, it is so great to see that health is now becoming a top priority for many people. Although health is capturing our population’s attention, mixed messages being portrayed through the media, advertising, meal deals and latest fad diets make it very confusing and difficult for people to know what to do for the best.
At Sana Vita educating our clients and setting the record straight about what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and also showing them what approach is truly best for them is so important to us. This is why we feel our services are so valuable in helping people lead happy and healthy lifestyles and why we fit in to the ever evolving health and wellness scene.
5. You’re running your own business - this is most people’s dream. What do you love most about your work and what do you find most challenging?
I absolutely love the variety that running your own business brings, from working with our clients in the studio to tucking myself away in a coffee shop organising home programmes or planning our next networking event. Health and wellness have always been a passion of mine so I feel extremely lucky to have the opportunity to help others along their journey to achieving their health goals and meeting such incredible people along way.
Running your own business certainly doesn’t come without its challenges, I have had to become more comfortable with feelings of uncertainty – that’s for sure! For me, decision making would be one of the most challenging aspects of running a business and the uncertainty as to whether they will be the right decision for the business. Examples of this would be choosing the right trainer to join our team and managing finances to ensure our focus is on the right areas throughout the year. Having said that overcoming challenges are what help the business to grow, so we can continue to learn and move forward.
6. You’ve recently taken on a new personal trainer. Do you have any exciting business plans/projects in the pipeline that we can be privy to?
Yes! We are super exited to welcome Dave to the Sana Vita team, Dave is a newly qualified Personal Trainer who will be adding lots of new exercise styles to our services including kettlebells and circuit training. Dave has also practiced yoga for 10 years, is a qualified Ashtanga yoga instructor and runs yoga retreats throughout the year. With this in mind we are planning to introduce more yoga classes and yoga and health retreats for our members – so very exciting times ahead!
7. You’re very passionate about your work in this industry. Can you give us a little insight into your personal health and wellness regime?
Sure! So exercise wise I aim to get 4 exercise sessions in per week, although I have learned to be very flexible with this as I may need to adapt depending on how busy my week is - what times sessions are booked in/networking events etc. My sessions would be a complete mixture of running, yoga, gym sessions and dancing.
I am a total foodie too and I absolutely love cooking up healthy dishes, and making sure I have my meals prepared in a tupperware box for the next day – I don’t know what I’d do without my tupperware collection!
Rest is also very important to me too, I make sure I take time out to spend with family and friends - taking a nice walk in the countryside followed by tea and cake – it’s all about balance after all J
I know this is a popular term used but I genuinely believe that it is all about balance. Your body is always trying to restore balance so if you are doing all of the right things for your body - exercising regularly, eating real food and resting to reduce stress levels then you are giving your body the chance to find its natural weight, where it always wants to be.
Goals can be a great tool to get started and remain motivated, but I always suggest not to get too hung up on goals as this can take you out of enjoying the present moment and enjoying what you have right how. So one of my top tips around setting goals is set your goal but make sure you enjoy the journey J
Thank you Aine
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