Fitness Startup Lets Trainers Work From Home

The team at Moxie had big plans for 2020. It was going to be the year that the on-demand fitness platform broke into the technology categories of blockchain and micro-transactions. Then February and COVID-19 happened, and self-described serial entrepreneur Jason Goldberg went into crisis mode. It wasn’t a new business model pivot he was after – it was complete reinvention.

“It became clear in February that the business we wanted to launch was not going to launch this year,” Goldberg told PYMNTS. “And so we decided we could either just wait it out and see what happened over the next 18 to 24 months, or we could build something that people need right now. And it took about a week for us to agree that we were just going to pivot the entire business and go all in on building something the people needed right now. We asked ourselves what we were going to miss the most during the pandemic. We saw there was an opportunity in fitness, because people were working out at home and couldn’t take classes with their favorite instructor. We saw an opportunity both from the instructor standpoint and from the fitness fanatic standpoint.”

Moxie launches today (Tuesday) after spending the summer and fall in beta. Goldberg likes to call it the Airbnb of fitness. More formally, it is a hybrid fitness site for instructors to reach clients, both new and existing. And it’s a site where fitness enthusiasts can find subscriptions for monthly or weekly live classes, all streamed directly on its platform. Subscribers also get access to the video recordings, which can be streamed on Moxie’s site, as well as music clearances, playlists and CRM functionality for the instructors to manage their clients. During the beta phase, Goldberg says there were more than 6,500 classes available, and more than 10,000 individual sessions were live-streamed. The site has also signed up more than 2,000 instructors.

At its core, Moxie has provided independent instructors with a place to set up shop, regardless of whether they were previously teaching at Equinox, Planet Fitness or Yoga Works. The platform has essentially enabled fitness instructors to become entrepreneurs, and Goldberg says it has shifted the economic model. Pre-pandemic, a fitness instructor would show up at a studio and – depending on where in the U.S. she was living – would make between $25 and $75 per class at most, with the balance of the fee going to the studio or gym. In the Moxie model, the instructor keeps 85 percent of the revenue.

“Imagine this,” Goldberg said. “It’s January. Group fitness has been the fastest-growing sector in the fitness industry for the last decade. Every day you’re hustling, busting your butt teaching these classes because you love what you do. You love helping people. But the fitness studio did all the work for administration and payment. And then imagine, suddenly COVID hits and you’re laid off, or you’re furloughed, or you’re told

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Let’s Talk About Constipation During Pregnancy

Constipation may be two to three times more common during and after pregnancy, Finnish researchers report.

The scientists studied 877 women having babies, comparing them with 201 nonpregnant controls of the same age. They rated the women on the Rome IV criteria for diagnosing constipation, which considers five symptoms, including the amount of straining at stool, sensations of incomplete defecation, the necessity of manual maneuvering required to defecate, the firmness of stool and the frequency of bowel movements. The study is in BJOG.

Based on these criteria, 21 percent of the controls had constipation, compared with 40 percent of pregnant women and 52 percent of postpartum women. About 44 percent of women had constipation in the second trimester, and 36 percent in the third trimester. Fifty-seven percent of women who gave birth by C-section and 47 percent of those who gave birth vaginally were constipated at least for a few days afterward, but at one month postpartum, rates differed little from controls.

“For pregnant women, I would suggest that they talk about this symptom frankly,” said the senior author, Dr. Merja Kokki, an anesthesiologist at the University of Eastern Finland. “It’s more common in pregnancy than nausea and vomiting, which are always openly discussed. It’s a big problem that can cause difficult symptoms later in life — pelvic floor problems, uterine prolapse, urinary problems. These are things that can impair the quality of life.”

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Let’s stay active when gyms are closed and sports are on pause



Early-morning exercisers get in a workout at a Montreal gym on Oct. 5, days before the city's gyms had to close again.


© Provided by The Gazette
Early-morning exercisers get in a workout at a Montreal gym on Oct. 5, days before the city’s gyms had to close again.

Here we go again. As the number of COVID-19 cases has risen back to critical levels across the country, gyms are seeing their capacities reduced or being closed altogether. Limits have been placed on team sports at the recreational and competitive level. And while not all provinces have put the brakes on sports and certain other types of physical activity, the risk of another coast-to-coast shutdown is high.

Back in March, when gyms closed for the first time, spring was right around the corner. Days were getting longer and the weather warmer, which made it easier to find ways to do a workout outdoors . This time around, it’s dark when we roll out of bed and dark again when we sit down to dinner, which means it’s less inviting at either end of the day to get in a workout.

With more obstacles in their way, Canadians are likely to go back to the more sedentary habits they adopted in the spring, when — according to data collected by ParticipACTION, the national organization whose mandate is to get Canadians moving — people were more likely to watch television or sit in front of a computer screen than exercise.

When it comes to the consequences of COVID-19, a lack of exercise may seem trivial, but for many people exercise isn’t just a boost to their physical health; it also improves their mental health — a theory that’s supported by a growing body of evidence. The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

Some people actively seek out exercise as a therapeutic option to improve mental health, be it at the suggestion of a medical professional or by virtue of the good feeling that often accompanies a good sweat. Others are so used to their exercise routine that they go into a funk when their workout schedule is disrupted. Then there are those who have very defined goals that are at risk of being abandoned without access to a training facility, which adds to their stress level.

Also worth mentioning is the loss of social connection, which can be felt by anyone who plays team sports or prefers to sweat in a group versus on their own. Beer-league hockey, soccer and basketball players, curlers, masters athletes, gym rats and others of all ages who play organized sports are at risk of being negatively affected emotionally and physically by the loss of their exercise routine.

Several studies have emerged looking at the mental health effects of the change in physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, most of which came to a similar conclusion: those who let

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Companionship and Senior Mental Health – Let’s Talk About Depression

Most of us believe that caregiving must focus on the mind, body and soul. When seniors are lonely, they get depressed, just like you and I. Human beings need companionship, but we also need the right type of companionship. Perhaps like you, I strongly believe in matching a caregiver’s personality with that of their client and I find it so unfortunate that many companies in the in-home care industry do not concentrate on this. Matching client personalities makes for a positive relationship, stronger mental health, and a stress free in-home caregiver situation. Everyone wins.

Yes, it takes a little longer to find the right caregiver, but that’s okay, because in good in-home care companies they’ve found it prevents turnover, which is one of the complaints that many in the industry have. A true companionship-based caregiver scenario is one where the client is treated like family. The best way to achieve this is to make a proper match so that both the caregiver and the client see each other as family, it is best when it is a two-way street.

There was a very good research study in the “Journal of Health Psychology” put out by the American Psychological Association in 2011 (Cite: Vol. 30, No. 4, 377-385. DOI: 10.1037/a0022826). The research is titled; “Loneliness, Social Isolation, and Behavioral and Biological Health Indicators in Older Adults,” by Aparna Shankar, Anne McMunn, and Andrew Steptoe. In conclusion the research paper notes:

“Loneliness and social isolation may affect health independently through their effects on health behaviors. In addition, social isolation may also affect health through biological processes associated with the development of cardiovascular disease.”

For those of who work as caregivers, they are hardly surprised. In fact, experts in the sector have been saying this all along. The families of elderly tell us that they too are concerned and it is often one of the primary reasons they contact a company for in-home caregiver services. I hope you understand and agree with myself, the families, and the empirical scientific research.

I believe no one should have to be lonely in old age, we are here to serve, and glad to help our clients live happy, healthy and with compassionate companionship. As our population ages these issues emerge to the forefront, and it is all of our responsibilities to makes sure everyone concerned is served fairly and treated with dignity. Please do the research and think of those people you know who are in need, we must make such positive steps a reality for all.

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