All Posts By

Turnfit Personal Trainers

Group fitness class using resistance bands for functional training exercises

6 Functional Training Exercises EVERYONE Should Have in Their Routine

By | Core, Personal Training Vancouver, resistance training, Upper back

Whether it’s increasing our strength or aiding in mobility, functional training plays a crucial role in the maintenance of our bodies and can help to increase and maintain bone density as we age. The whole premise of functional training is that you perform movements that aid in your everyday life, from walking up the stairs without being in pain, to having the strength to carry groceries from the car to the house. With this in mind, we’re looking at 6 functional training exercises that everyone should be adding to their weekly routines, to make sure we can move for many years to come.

Why is Functional Training Important?

Aside from the immediate health benefits, the main goal of resistance or functional training is to reduce the impact of ageing. That is, to increase:

All of these components work together to build and maintain physical mobility. There are now countless studies confirming this relationship, and evidence that functional training can help regardless of your current age.

For example, this study analysed a group of more than 40 elderly women, with an average age of 69, during a 1-year progressive resistance training program. It showed “significant strength gains in bilateral bench press (>29%), bilateral leg press (>19%), and unilateral biceps curl (>20%)” at the end of the 12 month period.

Similarly, this study considers the efficacy of resistance training in treating or preventing sarcopenia and osteoporosis. In order to properly counteract these conditions, the study states that “bone tissues must be exposed to mechanical load exceeding those experienced during daily living activities. Of the several exercise training programs, resistance exercise (RE) is known to be highly beneficial for the preservation of bone and muscle mass.”

“Exercise training has been recommended as a promising therapeutic strategy to encounter the loss of bone and muscle mass due to osteosarcopenia.”

Hong and Kim 2018

Furthermore, this study has shown that the level of bone loss in a postmenopausal woman increases with age. On average, this loss is around:

  • 0.6% per year for the 60-69 age bracket
  • 1.1% per year for the 70-79 age bracket
  • 2.1% per year for the over 80 age bracket

This means that you can expect to lose more than 5% of your mineral bone density before you hit 70, and more than 15% by the time you hit 80.

“Strength exercise seems to be a powerful stimulus to improve and maintain bone mass during the ageing process.”

Gómez-Cabello et al 2012

What is Functional Training Exercise?

Functional training exercises and routines are designed to equip you with the strength, balance and stamina to face any daily challenge. Generally speaking, functional training programs will include some form of resistance training, as this is where the most benefits are derived. Functional training exercises include:

  • Compound movements. That is, they incorporate the larger muscle groups, more than one muscle, and more than one joint, e.g. squats
  • Movement in a number of directions e.g. forward and back, side to side
  • Strength training
  • Balance components
  • Free weights, to better simulate real-world conditions such as lifting a heavy box over your head or being able to stand from a seated position without having to support your own body weight.

When it comes more specifically to increasing muscle strength and bone density, this study explains that there are two types of exercises that are effective:

  1. Weight-bearing aerobic exercises. That is, the limbs are bearing the weight of the exercise. For example, walking, stair climbing, volleyball, and jogging. Whilst these steady-state aerobic activities to not directly increase bone density, they do have some propensity in reducing their wastage.
  2. Strength and resistance exercises. The importance of these exercises is in the load or resistance (e.g. lifting weights), whereby the joints are pushed against the resistance. For example, free weights, machines and bodyweight exercises.

However, the same study states that for these exercises to be effective the resistance must be more than that experienced in ordinary, everyday activities. They are also muscle/bone specific. That is, functional exercises that target the quads will not increase bone density in the shoulders. For this reason, among others, we recommend these 6 functional training exercises to make sure you are maximising the anti-ageing effects of resistance training.

1. Deadlifts

Deadlifts engage some of the largest muscle groups in the body, whilst combining core strength and balance components to boot. Working with the hips, knees and ankles, deadlifts help to build strength throughout the lower and mid-body, and as long as they are performed correctly can help to increase your flexibility too. From a functional training standpoint, deadlifts help you to lift heavy items from the floor, using your legs (the largest muscles in the body) as a stable anchor.

Deadlifts can also be performed by holding kettlebells at your sides, which effectively simulate shopping bags!

2. Squats

Squats are one of the best functional training moves you can add to your routine, particularly if you add some resistance in the form of free weights or a barbell. They engage almost all muscle groups in the legs, hips and core, and can also hit the upper body when resistance is added.

They are particularly useful as a functional training tool as they simulate a number of real-world scenarios, such as standing from a seated position. They also train the muscles that we need to climb stairs, and the stabilisers we use to pick items (and ourselves) up off the floor.

Modification to get more core engagement

Modification weighted goblet squat

3. Lunges

Lunges are more or less one-legged squats and tend to hit the same muscle groups and stabilisers. In the real world, lunges help to simulate walking where there is additional resistance, such as walking uphill or upstairs.

If an ordinary lunge has become too easy for you, adding a dumbbell can help to strengthen your core, glutes, quads and hamstrings. They can, however, be hard to master, so if you need more advice reach out to our qualified team, or join our perfect posture program!

4. Chin-ups/Pull-Ups

So far we’ve covered the lower body, but developing strength in the upper body is just as crucial to our functional fitness. Chin-ups and pull-ups are vital resistance exercises for engaging the arms, upper back and core, as well as putting our joints under load to improve ligament strength and flexibility.

They are also effective functional training exercises as in most cases your bodyweight is more than enough resistance to have a positive impact. Of course, as you get used to the movement you can always modify it to reduce the resistance and ensure you’re still targeting those muscle groups without adding too much strain to the body. These movements engage a lot of the upper body muscles and help to develop our ‘pull’ strength.

5. Push-ups

Another body-weight exercise with vast benefits is the classic pushup. In the real world, developing the strength across the chest, arms and upper back required to correctly perform a pushup allows us to literally lift ourselves off the floor if we ‘have a fall.’

Again, this movement targets the upper body, but unlike pull-ups, push-ups help to develop our ‘push’ strength, allowing us to effectively move or push a load/resistance.

6. Weighted Carries

Loaded or weighted carries are exactly as they sound- you pick up a weight or resistance, and carry it. These movements can help to simulate carrying luggage or shopping from your car to your house, or even picking up and carrying the kids!

Depending on the load, they can be one of the most functional training exercises available, as they engage almost all muscle groups in the body. You can perform weighted carries with kettlebells, sandbags, weight bags or dumbells, and the resistance doesn’t have to be particularly heavy- just as long as it is enough to stimulate and fatigue your muscles, you’re doing it right!

Man holding child at the beach

Functional training exercises are useful in real-life situations

This month we are gifting away 10 spots for our perfect posture program!

Join us here and learn how to move your body efficiently through exercises that can enhance your everyday life. Use the promo code ‘firstmonth’ when you go to checkout to get it for FREE!
The perfect posture program is designed to engage the right muscles for daily movements and provides a structured program that you can follow at home with minimal to no equipment.  First come first serve so get in quick!

How Can I Join The Turnfit Family?

If you’re looking to improve your functional fitness, or for more information about our programs, packages, or resources please don’t hesitate to reach out and connect:

Call: 778-887-0660
Email: info@turnfit.ca
Website: https://turnfit.ca/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TurnFitPersonalTrainers/

We’re always available to help you improve your health and fitness goals!


About Turnfit Personal Trainers

Turnfit Personal Trainers is founded by David Turnbull or “Coach David” – an experienced and successful Personal Trainer who strives to build happier, healthier lives every day.

With a focus on holistic health, we pride ourselves on making a difference and were recently awarded the 2019 Top Choice Award for Personal Trainer in Vancouver. 

It’s our mission to help you to build the skills, and mindset, it takes to feel successful in all areas of your life.

For more information, please visit Turnfit.ca, join our communities on Facebook and take advantage of all of our FREE content by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

We look forward to hearing from you!

-David Turnbull

protein supplements help to repair muscle tissues

Supplement Series #3: Protein Supplements

By | Nutrition, Supplements

Protein supplements are the staple of the health and fitness world. What many people have come to realise more recently, however, is that it is not just the domain of bodybuilders. Protein is a crucial macro-nutrient found in every cell of our body, helping with muscle building and repair, but it is also vital in helping our body repair tissues, make hormones (enzymes) and can also be used as a source of energy!

Protein Supplements: Do They Actually Help?

In the body, protein is used to stimulate muscle protein synthesis- which is the process of repairing and producing muscle tissue. However, protein is also used effectively in weight loss programs and can help to optimise your workouts with better performance and recovery.

This study has confirmed as much when it comes to muscle protein synthesis but also goes on to  confirm that daily caloric intake, and the consumption of protein over the long term ‘play the most crucial dietary roles in facilitating adaptations to exercise.’ This is the case for both resistance and endurance-type training.

“Of particular note, the importance of protein intake during and around a training session for recovery and performance appears to be dependent on total daily protein intake, as well as presence or absence of an energy deficit”
Cintineo et al 2018

So the short answer to whether protein supplements are actually useful is yes. The main argument when it comes to protein consumption, however, is whether it is better to consume pre or post-workout.

When Should I Consume My Protein Supplements?

As each individual has their own dietary needs and varying rates of exercise, and there are different types of protein available, it is difficult to come to a one-size-fits-all answer. However, it does appear that the most effective way to stimulate muscle protein synthesis is by consuming your protein supplements immediately after exercise.

This is because there is a time limit on how effectively our bodies can use that protein for muscle protein synthesis (MPS), regardless of the availability of additional nutrients.

“Nutrient-driven increases in MPS are of finite duration (1.5 h), switching off thereafter despite sustained amino acid availability and intramuscular anabolic signalling.”
Atherton and Smith 2012

The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition makes the point that whilst it’s possible to obtain all of our protein needs from whole foods, supplementing with a protein powder or similar product ensures that our bodies receive adequate, quality protein whilst minimising our caloric intake.

This is particularly useful if you are attempting to lose weight, or increase muscle mass, without becoming nutrient deficient. In addition, an effective protein supplement will also contain essential amino acids like leucine, which contribute heavily to the repair and recovery of muscle tissues.

There are many types of protein powders available on the market today, however, three that stand out to the Turnfit family are from BioSteel, and each has their own unique characteristics to suit any diet and training type.

Biosteel 100% Whey Protein Isolate

Whey protein is the most common and prevalent protein supplement available. It is derived from cows milk and is actually produced as a by-product in the cheese-making process. There are a few different types of whey protein, however, for an immediate post-workout hit Turnfit recommends Biosteel 100% Whey Protein Isolate.

A whey protein isolate (WPI) goes through more filtration than a standard whey protein powder, completely removing all fat and lactose from the mix. This ensures the quickest possible delivery, breakdown and use of the protein to the muscles and tissues that need it most.

Of course, the source of the milk that becomes the protein powder is crucial, and Biosteel’s WPI starts with ‘rBGH hormone-free whey isolate from grass-fed cattle.’ Not only is the end product hormone-free, it is also non-GMO, NSF certified for sports, and free of artificial flavours and colours. Because the lactose is almost non-existent in this WPI, it is also suitable for people with dairy intolerances, when compared to an ordinary whey protein supplement.

Biosteel 100 whey protein

Get 20% off Biosteel’s 100% Whey Protein with our code “TurnFit”

Biosteel Recovery Protein Plus

Where a WPI is designed to get protein directly to muscle tissue, the Biosteel Recovery Protein Plus combines three sources of protein:

  • Whey protein isolate,
  • Micellar Casein, and
  • Hydrolysed Whey Protein Isolate

Where WPI is designed to hit the muscles quickly, casein protein is a slower releasing protein that helps sustain the body’s nutrient levels and ability to repair while at rest. The Biosteel recovery protein plus also contains carbohydrates and other enzymes to replace lost glycogen stores, and aid in digestion.

This protein still contains dairy, so would not be as suitable to anyone with an intolerance, however, it is also responsibly sourced from rBGH hormone-free grass-fed cattle and offers a good source of calcium to boot.

Consumption of the recovery protein is also best post-workout, however, many people will consume this an hour before bed, allowing the slow release proteins to keep your muscles topped up while you sleep.

BioSteel Recovery Protein

Get 20% off Biosteel’s Recovery Protein with our code “TurnFit”

Biosteel Plant-Based Protein

The recent shift towards plant-based diets has also seen plant-based protein supplements becoming more prevalent. However many plant proteins come from a single source, and do not include additional amino acids, or are filled with artificial sweeteners to improve the taste.

Biosteel’s plant-based protein contains three sources of plant-based protein, from:

  • Whole Grain Brown Rice
  • Pea Protein Isolate, and
  • Pumpkin Seed Protein

These are derived from raw and sprouted whole foods, meaning that they are derived from ‘live foods,’ and not from extensive processing of other plant-based proteins like soy. What sets the Biosteel Plant Protein apart, however, is the addition of essential amino acids and additional leucine, which are often lacking when compared to whey protein powders.

Biosteel’s plant protein powder is also low in fat, and 100% vegan, suiting all plant-based diets and ensuring effective delivery of protein into the body without compromising all of your hard work!

BioSteel Plant Protein

Get 20% off Biosteel’s Plant Protein with our code “TurnFit”

At Turnfit, we strongly recommend looking at the Biosteel range of protein supplements to help to boost your recovery and results. They are available through the Turnfit website along with other approved products- and you can get 20% off the retail price by using our code “TurnFit” at checkout!

Of course, if you would like any nutritional information, or want to know which supplements you should be looking at, reach out and connect with us!


About Turnfit Personal Trainers

Turnfit Personal Trainers is founded by David Turnbull or “Coach David” – an experienced and successful Personal Trainer who strives to build happier, healthier lives every day.

With a focus on holistic health, we pride ourselves on making a difference and were recently awarded the 2019 Top Choice Award for Personal Trainer in Vancouver. It’s our mission to help you to build the skills, and mindset, it takes to feel successful in all areas of your life.

For more information, please visit Turnfit.ca, join our community on Facebook and take advantage of all of our FREE content by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

We look forward to hearing from you!

-David Turnbull

smoothy bowls are a great way to biohack your breakfast

Biohacking 101: What Is It and What Does It Help?

By | Breathing, hydration, Mindset, Nutrition, Sleep, Supplements

Biohacking has become a trend-word of late, but it’s something that leaves most people confused. Many assume that it is some sort of cheat or shortcut when in actuality the modern-day practice of biohacking is actually a throwback to our body’s survival methods and instincts. Whether it’s optimising nutrition, hot and cold therapy, or changing our exposure to different types of light, biohacking uses modern methods to take us back to our evolutionary roots.

What is Biohacking?

Thanks to modern technological advancements, we now understand a LOT more about the human body. With these discoveries has also come the knowledge that each individual has a different set of genetic, social and environmental factors that all feed our impression and understanding of holistic health.

Biohacking uses new technologies to enhance our body’s ability to function. Whether this is in:

  • Recognising what is lacking e.g. nutrition, sleep and sunshine etc…
  • Implementing new tools and practices e.g. breathing and mindfulness, heat/cold therapies, or
  • Improving our daily activities and practices, e.g. sleep, supplementation, or
  • Maximising our exercise and workouts with smart, targeted training

biohacking is about understanding and implementing simple, small changes that can optimise your energy, health, and mental performance. It is a very hands-on approach to your own health, which requires on-going feedback and evaluation to get right.

“Simply put, biohacking is the art and science of changing the environment around you and inside you so you have more control over your own biology.”

Dave Asprey, founder and CEO of Bulletproof

What Parts of My Health Can Be Hacked?

Our bodies and minds are as diverse as the number of people on the planet. It probably comes as no surprise, then, that there are a number of ways to optimise the operation of our ‘self.’

You may already be performing some sort of biohacking practice in some form. However being intentional about it, and determining which practices work for you, can help to optimise 6 key aspects to living a healthy life.

1. Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important, yet often overlooked, part of holistic health practices. Studies have shown that limited sleep is biologically the same as drinking too much alcohol, and can lead to ‘lead to lapses in memory and problems concentrating.’

Biohacking your sleep may include things like journalling before bed, having regular sleeping hours and maintaining that consistency, and turning the phone off at least 1-2 hours before sleep to reduce the blue-light they produce.

2. Nutrition

Nutrition isn’t always about what you put in. It’s also about how your body processes that food, and how we have evolved to consume it. Although there are arguments for micro-nutrients from a range of far-reaching foods, the same arguments can be made about the localised foods your body has evolved to process efficiently.

Not only can the right nutrition boost your immune system, but biohacking practices may also include intermittent and/or periodic fasting, simulating a time not so long ago where 3 meals per day were not standard, nor was it available.

Generally speaking, however, just cutting out processed and sugar-filled foods is a biohacking weapon that will leave your body in good stead for the work it needs to do.

Other biohacking practises like eating healthy fats (avocado, olive oil), counting your macros and keeping a food journal can help you to break down which foods help your body to feel more energised, as well as tailoring your diet to suit your workload.

3. Supplementation

A common misconception of supplements is that they are only for sports. However supplementing your nutrition should be viewed in the literal sense, it is a great way to obtain many micronutrients or other building blocks that we are not obtaining from our diet. Whether it’s adding zinc and magnesium to help with sleep and hormone balance or herbal tea to improve your hydration, supplementing correctly can help you to hack your own biology.

4. Movement

We all know the benefits of exercise. But movement is one of the core components of biohacking, as it has always been one of the core elements of our survival. Of course, for most of us, we’re no longer toiling in the fields to harvest a crop. And yes, we do need to ‘set aside time’ to actually get exercising. But with many neat biohacking techniques to change our daily habits, we can incorporate more movement without needing to lock away hours in the gym.

For example, instead of sitting all day, you may acquire a standing desk. Similarly, you may choose to use the stairs instead of the elevator. Or, you can enlist the services of qualified personal trainers, who can help you tailor an exercise and nutrition program that suits your needs, and timetable.

5. Environment

Where we live can have a huge impact on how we live. As our societies have evolved, however, we have become exceptional at blocking out our environment in an effort to make ourselves more comfortable.

Whilst this is good for some things, we are no longer exposed to those natural events that program our body into healthy routines. Events like waking and sleeping based on the sun (circadian rhythm), extreme heat and cold (which releases positive hormones), and grounding, or releasing free radicals by connecting with the Earth’s magnetic field.

When it comes to biohacking our environment, there are plenty of tools to use. Some of the more common ones include:

  • Sensory deprivation tanks
  • Cold showers or ice baths
  • Extreme heat (sauna)
  • Blocking blue light from phones and other screens
  • Getting into nature!

6. Mindset

Every day we seem to stumble upon a new piece of research that shows just how inextricably linked our mind and body’s are, and invariably their impact on each other. As they say, the mind follows the body and the body follows the mind.

When it comes to biohacking our minds, there are a number of activities that have made their way back into popular demand lately, including:

  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Reading
  • Breathing
  • Observing and reflecting on our internal monologue
  • Setting up better daily habits and ‘small wins’
  • Listening to podcasts and other fun/educational material

Mindful practices and training have been shown to have incredible effects on our mental health and wellbeing, and biohacking is helping people to re-attain their positive and active states of mind.

We hope you have enjoyed this introduction to biohacking! As Vancouver’s top personal trainers we are qualified and experienced in helping you to understand and optimise your body and mind. If you would like more information about biohacking or would like to try some of these ideas, get in touch with us!


About Turnfit Personal Trainers

Turnfit Personal Trainers is founded by David Turnbull or “Coach David” – an experienced and successful Personal Trainer who strives to build happier, healthier lives every day.

With a focus on holistic health, we pride ourselves on making a difference and were recently awarded the 2019 Top Choice Award for Personal Trainer in Vancouver. 

It’s our mission to help you to build the skills, and mindset, it takes to feel successful in all areas of your life.

For more information, please visit Turnfit.ca, join our communities on Facebook and take advantage of all of our FREE content by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

We look forward to hearing from you!

-David Turnbull

Resistance Training in the Workplace Has Positive Effect on Mental Health

By | Corporate Wellness, mental health, resistance training

It’s no secret that exercising improves our mental health. In fact, it’s the exact reason that we’re seeing exercise regimes added to workplace health and wellness programs. But until recently, there hasn’t been a lot of research into the types of training that have the greatest effect, nor was there data available as to the required frequency of these training sessions. Now, however, resistance training in the workplace has been shown to have significant positive effects on an employee’s psychological health, reducing ‘burnout,’ and leading to a happier, healthier workforce.

Workplace Health and Wellness Programs

Too often, people assume corporate health and wellness programs are only applicable to office-based workplaces. And whilst these programs do have a great effect on the more sedentary routines, they are also having vast and positive impacts across all industries. Not only do they improve the attitudes of employees, but they can also lead to:

  • Healthier employees, and less absenteeism
  • Lower costs for subsidized health care
  • Improved employee retention
  • Improved team morale
  • Improved job satisfaction
  • Increased productivity of employees
  • Higher returns
  • Less impact on the business’ bottom line due to health-related issues

For more generalized information about corporate health and wellness programs, including the benefits for both company and employee, as well as how to begin to design an effective corporate wellness plan, please see “Unpacking Corporate Health and Wellness Programs in Vancouver

Resistance Training in the Workplace- The Research

One of the key elements of any corporate health and wellness plans is the physical component. Whilst this is usually a combination of cardiovascular exercise and resistance training, numerous studies have begun to appear surrounding the specific benefits of resistance training in the workplace.

For example, the self-reported purpose of this study was to ‘assess the impact of the practice of resistance training on the psychological health of employees participating in a corporate wellness program.’

The study separated groups of participants based on the frequency of sessions (between 2-4 sessions per week), for a total of 12 weeks. All participants were required to complete questionnaires pre and post-program and found that ‘significant statistical differences were noted between pre and post-intervention periods in all groups’ indicating an improvement in psychological health and wellbeing.

Therefore it can be said that resistance training in the workplace is efficacious in improving the mental state of its participants. Even though the group who trained more frequently showed marginally better results, the study concluded that a properly implemented resistance training program, in any frequency was effective at improving the mental wellbeing of employees.

A second study, “Exercise is more than medicine: The working-age population’s well-being and productivity” enrolled more than 3500 participants and provided resistance training programs in the workplace, that spanned between 10 to 52 weeks. These participants came from a broad range of industries, including office workers, dentists, cleaning personnel, health care workers, construction workers, and pilots. The sessions were approximately 1 hour long, once per week, and tailored to:

  • Work exposure
  • Employee health status
  • Physical capacity

After which the participants completed surveys, blood and muscle samples. The study found that “in all job groups significant improvements were documented regarding health outcomes.” More specifically, neck pain was reduced amongst almost all participants, and cardio-respiratory fitness was also improved amongst office, healthcare and construction workers.

Most importantly- from an employer’s point of view- productivity increased with improved muscle strength and decreased body mass index. The study also concluded that resistance training programs in the workplace indicate ‘acceptable cost relative to savings on health expenses and lost productivity.’

Surveys confirm resistance training in the workplace to be the most effective component of corporate health and wellnessA third study, Health and Fitness Benefits of a Resistance Training Intervention Performed in the Workplace” examined the effectiveness of resistance training in the workplace in untrained men (bus drivers) over a 24 week period. The participating group was assessed against a control group, and each group was tested (before and after the training period) for:

  • body composition
  • blood pressure (BP)
  • pain incidence
  • muscular endurance
  • flexibility

The study found that in the participating group there was a ‘significant reduction in blood pressure and pain incidence’ as well as improvements in muscular endurance and flexibility. As expected, none of these improvements were prevalent in the control group.

It should also be noted that workplace absenteeism was also recorded during this period, and during a 12-week follow-up period. It was found that absenteeism was reduced in the active group, over this time.

The study concludes that a “periodized resistance training program performed within the workplace improved different aspects of health and fitness in untrained men…(thus) both employers and employees may benefit from the setup, promotion, and support of a work-based physical activity program involving resistance training.”

Can Resistance Training in the Workplace Reduce Burnout?

According to this study, “Reducing workplace burnout: the relative benefits of cardiovascular and resistance exercise” the global, financial cost of ‘burnout’ comes in at a whopping $300 billion annually. This ‘burnout’ can become detrimental to workplace productivity, and due to it’s myriad of benefits exercise has been identified as one of the primary burnout-reduction mechanisms.

Resistance training can reduce headache symptoms and employee burnout!

Over a four week period, participants in the study (who were dominantly female) completed an exercise regime that was either cardiovascular dominant or resistance-training dominant. At the end of the four weeks, exercise participants had “greater positive well-being and personal accomplishment” as well as:

  • Less psychological distress
  • Less perceived stress
  • Less emotional exhaustion.

In addition, resistance training was “noticeably effective in increasing well-being and personal accomplishment and to reduce perceived stress.” The study goes on to conclude that although larger sample sizes are needed for more foolproof data, exercise in any form is an effective tool against burnout. It furthers this conclusion that “organizations wishing to proactively reduce burnout can do so by encouraging their employees to access regular exercise programs.”

Similarly, resistance training has been found to reduce headaches and symptoms of headaches in adults. The studyEffect of resistance training on headache symptoms in adults: Secondary analysis of a RCT” analyzed 573 office workers across 5 groups of varying resistance-training intensity, and supervision. It found that “the intention-to-treat analysis showed reduced headache frequency and intensity of approximately 50% in all training groups” when compared with the control.

It is interesting to note that the use of medication to treat headaches was lower in the supervised training groups. This would suggest that not only are the symptoms of headache reduced with resistance training in the workplace but also that this type of training is most effective when it is run/operated by qualified personnel and can reduce the use of analgesics to boot.

With so much research pointing to the benefits of resistance training in the workplace, many organizations are also beginning to see the value in implementing a workplace exercise regime. With three locations in Downtown Vancouver, Turnfit Personal Trainers can provide on or off-site training, rehabilitation, nutrition education, mindset and meditation practices and more.

Not in Vancouver? Not a problem! We also provide a range of online training programs and can happily tailor one to suit your needs. If you’re interested in a corporate health and wellness program or would like to implement an exercise and resistance training program at your workplace- reach out and connect with us!

Enabling employees to improve their health improves a business' bottom line

Unpacking Corporate Health and Wellness Programs in Vancouver

By | Corporate Wellness, Nutrition, Stress

Looking to build your company culture? How about improving productivity and sentiment while investing in your employee’s mental and physical wellbeing? Implementing a corporate health and wellness program goes beyond mere fitness classes, and is one of the easiest ways to support your staff, reduce absenteeism and create a fun and enjoyable working environment!

What Is a Corporate Health and Wellness Program?

With employee health-related issues totalling more than $530 billion in losses in 2018, companies and corporations have begun to realise that an investment in the health and wellbeing of their staff is also an investment in their success.

Although 2020 has been a different year for most, working in a corporate environment often means a more sedentary lifestyle, compared to the physical labour market that was more prevalent not so long ago.

Corporate health and wellness programs aim to close that gap by providing their staff with the tools, education and access needed to live a healthier lifestyle, whilst also supporting those lifestyle and behavioural changes in the workplace itself.

As such, corporate health and wellness programs can be, or include, any of the following examples:

  • Exercise programs and nutrition advice
  • Access to gym facilities (in-house or external) as well as actually encouraging staff to utilize them, and allowing time for such activities.
  • Focus on mental health, including mindfulness, stress management and meditative practices
  • The availability of healthy food options in the office, or other beneficial equipment such as stand-up desks.
  • Smoke cessation programs
  • Education surrounding holistic health practices e.g. supporting the immune system, healthy food practices and preparation, body alignment and optimizing strength, hydration etc…

Whilst some of these practices can be implemented in-house, it is also common for corporations to consult with a range of health professionals. These may range from personal trainers and fitness consultants to other industry experts in a range of holistic health practices to help educate staff, and enable lifestyle changes which lead to healthier employees.

Health and wellness in the workplace starts with education

Health and wellness in the workplace starts with education

Why Would an Employer Want to Implement a Corporate Wellness Program?

Let’s face it, employees spend a LOT of time in the workplace. It is often touted as one of the key sources of stress, and as you are probably aware by now- stress causes inflammation, which causes illness. This illness, regardless of the form it takes, can be detrimental to workplace productivity and culture.

Whilst most corporate environments in Vancouver offer some form of subsidized healthcare plan or insurance, these are heavily focused on addressing the issue after the fact. Additionally, when it comes to providing these insurances, the cost is often driven higher by the risk, and an unhealthy workforce leads to more risk for insurers. On the other hand, properly curated corporate health and wellness programs focus on prevention, rather than cure.

As such, these programs should also be constantly evolving, to ensure they are meeting the needs of employees and their individual wellness goals. From an employer’s point of view, implementing the right corporate health and wellness programs can have statistically proven results, as well as additional anecdotal benefits. These include:

  • Healthier employees, and less absenteeism
  • Lower costs for subsidised health care
  • More appreciative and loyal staff (improves employee retention)
  • Stronger community ties and bonds between employees
  • Improved team morale
  • Improved job satisfaction
  • Increased productivity of employees
  • Higher returns
  • Less impact on the business’ bottom line due to health-related issues

Don’t believe us? An analysis by Sun Life Financial recently showed a range of financial and corporate benefits as a direct result of investing in the health and wellness of employees including:

  • 11% higher revenue per employee
  • Two days less absent annually
  • 28% higher shareholder returns

The study also found that for every $1.00 spent on corporate health and wellness programs, medical costs fall by about $3.27 and absenteeism costs fall by $2.73.

The World Health Organisation has even more significant statistics, stating that on average workplace health programs can reduce health care costs for companies by 26%.

Moreover, the American College of Psychology has shown that in workplaces with corporate health and wellness programs that “more than 9 in 10 workers saying they feel motivated to do their best.”

How Does a Corporate Wellness Plan Benefit the Employee?

Having access to a health and wellness plan in the workplace sounds great, but our days are already stacked with tasks, and being involuntarily volunteered for yet another initiative can be daunting.

We want to reiterate, however, that a well-designed and flexible corporate health and wellness plan provides access, skills and education. The choice to participate should still be up to the employee, and whilst the benefits far outweigh the negatives, these programs are not designed to force employees into anything.

However, from an employees point of view, participating in these wellness programs can:

  • Improve general health and fitness
  • Support a healthy immune and cardiovascular system
  • Reduce stress
  • Create and encourage breaks from work to participate
  • Stimulate and excite our brains
  • Provide more energy from exercise and more wholesome food
  • Improve mood, sleep and social relationships
  • Revitalize self-confidence

Not to mention that in the case of an exercise-based wellness plan, providing free exercise classes and coaching can help you to implement preventative health strategies, and make other positive changes in your life.

Exercise can help to reduce stress in the workplace

Regular exercise can help to reduce stress in the workplace

Designing an Effective Health and Wellness Plan

Before you can design an effective wellness program, it’s important to understand the needs of your employees, and how these relate to their idea of wellness.

Although it’s easy to assume that these programs just incorporate exercise, this framework suggests that ‘wellbeing’ actually encompasses 5 key elements:

the 5 fundamentals of wellbeing

The 5 fundamentals of wellbeing

In order to accommodate this broad range of wellbeing elements, effective corporate health and wellness programs must also acknowledge that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Rather, in an effort to meet the needs of employees in achieving their definition of wellbeing, effective wellness programs need to be holistic in their approach. They are not designed to focus solely on exercise, and the operation of the program should cover:

  1. Work-life balance
  2. Health and safety
  3. Employee growth and development
  4. Recognition
  5. Involvement and participation

It is probably becoming clearer at this point that it is not enough to throw some money or spare time at a corporate health and wellness program. For these initiatives to work, and actually improve on the culture and attitudes in the workplace itself, they must be supported by, engaged in, and encouraged by senior management.

“Promoting employee well-being isn’t a singular activity, but is instead set up in a climate that is cultivated, embraced and supported by high-level leaders and managers”
David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA, director of APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence

Literally designing a program depends on the needs of the workplace, and the availability of resources. If you are interested in implementing a program at your workplace, or would simply like more information about how we can help- reach out and connect with us.

The Turnfit family can tailor programs and initiatives to suit your needs, from on or off-site personal training and group fitness classes, to mindset and meditation training, to nutrition advice and healthy eating education.

In doing so- you’ll be supporting your staff in their wellbeing, not just their tasks, whilst lowering business costs, and fostering a happier, healthier workplace!


Group fitness class using resistance bands for functional training exercises CorePersonal Training Vancouverresistance trainingUpper back

6 Functional Training Exercises EVERYONE Should Have in Their Routine

Whether it’s increasing our strength or aiding in mobility, functional training plays a crucial role in the maintenance of our bodies and can help to increase and maintain bone density as we age. The whole premise of functional training is that you perform movements that aid in your everyday life, from walking up the stairs without being in pain, to…
Turnfit Personal Trainers
November 16, 2020
protein supplements help to repair muscle tissues NutritionSupplements

Supplement Series #3: Protein Supplements

Protein supplements are the staple of the health and fitness world. What many people have come to realise more recently, however, is that it is not just the domain of bodybuilders. Protein is a crucial macro-nutrient found in every cell of our body, helping with muscle building and repair, but it is also vital in helping our body repair tissues,…
Turnfit Personal Trainers
November 10, 2020
smoothy bowls are a great way to biohack your breakfast BreathinghydrationMindsetNutritionSleepSupplements

Biohacking 101: What Is It and What Does It Help?

Biohacking has become a trend-word of late, but it’s something that leaves most people confused. Many assume that it is some sort of cheat or shortcut when in actuality the modern-day practice of biohacking is actually a throwback to our body’s survival methods and instincts. Whether it’s optimising nutrition, hot and cold therapy, or changing our exposure to different types…
Corporate Wellnessmental healthresistance training

Resistance Training in the Workplace Has Positive Effect on Mental Health

It’s no secret that exercising improves our mental health. In fact, it’s the exact reason that we’re seeing exercise regimes added to workplace health and wellness programs. But until recently, there hasn’t been a lot of research into the types of training that have the greatest effect, nor was there data available as to the required frequency of these training…
Enabling employees to improve their health improves a business' bottom line Corporate WellnessNutritionStress

Unpacking Corporate Health and Wellness Programs in Vancouver

Looking to build your company culture? How about improving productivity and sentiment while investing in your employee’s mental and physical wellbeing? Implementing a corporate health and wellness program goes beyond mere fitness classes, and is one of the easiest ways to support your staff, reduce absenteeism and create a fun and enjoyable working environment! What Is a Corporate Health and…
Turnfit Personal Trainers
September 30, 2020
Canadians are less likely to participate in light exercise post-pandemic Corporate Wellnessfat lossMindset

How Physical Activity Has Changed During COVID- and What You Can Do About It!

Life in Vancouver has reclaimed a sense of normalcy. However, for many of us, that still means working from home, and a general reduction in physical activity. Recent research from the School of Kinesiology at UBC has confirmed that physical activity during COVID has drastically reduced since the introduction of social distancing measures, in one of the first data-driven study’s…
Turnfit Personal Trainers
September 9, 2020
Canadians are less likely to participate in light exercise post-pandemic Corporate Wellnessfat lossMindset

How Physical Activity Has Changed During COVID- and What You Can Do About It!

Life in Vancouver has reclaimed a sense of normalcy. However, for many of us, that still means working from home, and a general reduction in physical activity. Recent research from the School of Kinesiology at UBC has confirmed that physical activity during COVID has drastically reduced since the introduction of social distancing measures, in one of the first data-driven study’s…
Turnfit Personal Trainers
September 9, 2020

TuneIn To TurnFit

>>> Complementary 14 Day HIIT Classes <<<

778-887-0660
Copyright © 2020 Turnfit Personal Training LTD. All rights reserved.

Contact | Privacy | Refunds

Mailing address: 101-2365 W. 3rd Ave V6K 1L6

INFOFIT is our preferred Personal Training School.

Website by Vancouver Websites

We're Open!

In Person & Online Training is Back

 

Take our Contest >
With over $2000 in prizes!

close-link