Healthy offering for businesses from Cheltenham trainer
By Sarah Wood | 18th February 2021
After 20 years in the industry, personal trainer Paul Wanford developed the Xerlife health and wellbeing platform just in time to help us all through lockdown.
Now the Cheltenham-based trainer is offering the website's help to businesses to support their teams at home or in the workplace.
Prices have been kept low - corporate membership is £1.75 plus VAT per person each month - to help as many people as possible and keep workforces fit and healthy in mind as well as body.
Mr Wanford said: "During my many years as a personal trainer, I have learned people's exercise, diet and mood need to be looked at as a whole combination rather than looking at each element in isolation and I wanted to bring all three factors together in a cost effective way.
"I understand personal training is a luxury many people cannot afford so wanted to give access to my training methods in combination with some good diet and lifestyle choices as well as providing a clear and easy method for monitoring all of this in one place."
He continued: "I originally developed the tool to use alongside work with a personal trainer but realised it could help many people as a one stop shop for food, fitness and health tracking.
"It is a standalone platform which can be used by anyone from complete beginners to experienced athletes."
Xerlife features an easy-to-use dashboard to monitor fitness and wellbeing by tracking food, mood, and exercise, as well as a full range of exercise-at-home videos, food plans, recipes and shopping lists.
The app can help with the effects on physical and mental health caused by months of working at home since the start of the pandemic.
"People have been at makeshift work stations for a year," he said. "They are tight around the shoulders, hips and lower back.
"All the good work that has gone into using the right desks and chairs in the office has been undone.
"People need to learn to unwind at their desks and move their bodies in the opposite way to the way they move during the day. The app has lots of videos to undo these problems."
Many people will have noticed they have gained weight - the corona stone - due to inactivity and extra snacking during lockdown and while the app can help people start moving again and get their eating back on track, he is clear it is not a diet.
"This isn't about dieting, it's about eating healthy and tasty food that is close to its natural state," he said.
"That doesn't mean raw and bland and boring, it just means it hasn't spent more time in a lab than a field."
Many people's mental health has taken a hit over the last year with grief and fear of Covid, uncertainty over jobs and money alongside isolation from family and friends.
Exercise is one of the best ways to combat that.
"Escape from work and even family are very important at this time," he said. "Plug your headphones in, escape with your own music and get moving with the app. Breathe and relax, because the mental health implications of not doing it are huge."
As well as businesses signing up for corporate membership for just £1.75 plus VAT per month for each employee, individuals memberships are available.
And Xerlife membership is free to all Gloucestershire-based teaching staff until the end of 2021 as a thank you for their hard work and dedication during the pandemic.
Mr Wanford is keen to talk to local businesses about their experiences during the last 12 months to help him build the Xerlife community in Gloucestershire. Email him at email@example.com.
You can find out more about Xerlife and how it can help you at xerlife.com.
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