Curves is a fitness and weight loss service first established in 1992 in Texas and has since grown to nearly 8000 clubs in 90 countries. With a background in psychology, education and business, Joanna has been with Curves for 10 years progressing from a member, to franchisee, Area Director, VP International Operations and Master Franchisee. In the latest in our exclusive interview series we caught up with Joanna to discuss how much attention employers are paying to the health of their employees and How valuable a workplace perk it is for employees to be offered access to facilities to improve their fitness levels.
What is it that makes Curves unique?
Curves provides a complete cardio and strength training workout in just 30 minutes, burning up to 500 calories in a single session. Your Curves coach supervises and motivates you, making sure you reach your fitness goals in no time.
The best solution to weight loss is one that combines the right exercise with the right diet and one-on-one coaching.
Women need strength-training to build lean muscle and help boost their metabolism along with customizable meal plans to starve fat and protect muscle, and a coach who will help them stay on track to reach their goals.
Curves Complete offers all of that, as well as the unique support and sense of community that women only find at Curves.
What does your typical day at Curves health involve?
There really is no typical day! My role is extremely varied and I enjoy supporting the network of both Corporate employees and individual franchisees, as well as frequent travel to attend different trainings, meetings and EHFA (European Health and Fitness Association) events.
What part of your role at Curves gives you the most satisfaction?
The most satisfying part of my role within Curves is seeing true entrepreneurs take hold of an opportunity and create a successful facility that helps women reach their health and wellness goals. Listening to their success stories is extremely satisfying. Additionally being able to see Curves working, hearing how franchisees and their staff have changed women’s lives for the better helping them gain mobility, come off medication and give people their lives back.
Since the first Curves opening in Texas in 1992 what are some of the major milestones and achievements the company has reached?
Curves has been awarded several accolades since its original opening including –
1. Fastest growing franchise in history
2. World’s largest fitness franchise
3. New York Times bestseller (Curves, Permanent Results without Permanent Dieting.)
4. No. 1 Fitness Franchise.
What direction or increased specialisation do you see Curves taking in the future? What are the future plans for the company?
Curves is providing a complete solution to the weight loss combining the already successful Curves circuit with a customizable meal plan and trained coaches to take members one on one through the program providing all the motivation they need.
What elements of the modern workplace do you think can contribute to a lack of fitness (e.g. long hours at desk, people remaining at their desk during lunch breaks etc)?
Too often we find that due to long working hours and other family commitments, women put themselves last on the list and do not view fitness/wellness as a priority. However in order to take care of others we first need to take care of ourselves by fitting in something as simple as a 30 minute workout and healthy eating.
|Too often we find that due to long working hours and other family commitments, women put themselves last on the list and do not view fitness/wellness as a priority|
Do you think employers are generally starting to pay more attention to the health, fitness and wellbeing of their employees?
Awareness of the need to pay attention to the health and wellness of employees has increased but the implementation of schemes to encourage employees to prioritize this need to be improved.
What are some easy changes an employee can make to their daily routine to improve their fitness levels and lose some weight?
Something as simple as taking a walk at lunch and wearing a pedometer really helps. If you have a goal of 5000 or more steps to do it will make you more inclined to take the stairs, get some fresh air in breaks and walk as much as possible.
Taking 5 minutes of each break to do some static stretches will over time reap rewards.
Keeping a food diary creates awareness of what you eat and helps cut down on unnecessary snacks.
Gradually increasing the amount of daily water intake helps nourish the body and aids weight loss, so by a 2 liter bottle of water and keep it at your desk. Fill it every day and try and finish it before you go home.
Are there any particularly popular diets that you would recommend people steer clear of for health reasons?
With any diet it is important to protect your muscle mass and maintain your metabolism so a properly designed diet combined with strength training and cardio exercise is the best solution.
If someone is able to lose weight and increase their fitness levels, what impact can this have on their daily work tasks? (e.g. improved concentration, engagement etc.)
When someone loses weight there are a huge number of benefits to their daily lives –
1. Having more energy.
2. Coping better with stress.
3. Improving depression.
4. A more positive attitude.
5. Reduction in back, neck, shoulder and other pains that tend to affect those working in offices.
6. Better focus at work.
7. Increased self-esteem.
What tips would you give to someone looking to increase their fitness levels but experiencing a slump in their motivation?
In order for your fitness journey to be successful motivation is key. At Curves we always say that ‘Will power can be borrowed from a friend’. So find someone to join you on your journey and you will be able to progress. Also at Curves we combine coaching with fitness and meal plans. Really lean on your coach in the low times.
Curves has a strong social media presence of Facebook and YouTube. What kind of information can we expect to find on these sites?
Curves has a great community feel, member to member and club to club, this community is extended online so you will expect to see members commenting on when they work out, how they overcame obstacles in their path and how they are enjoying the program, as well as seeing some great member results.
How valuable a workplace perk do you think it is for employees to be offered access to facilities to improve their fitness levels?
This is a huge perk. For employees to be offered access to a health and fitness facility as a perk of their employment is the first step in recognizing the importance that wellness plays in every aspect of our lives. This should be something that should be appreciated as an extremely valuable commodity.