Everyone ‘knows’ what is right and what is wrong when it comes to their health.
For instance, doesn’t everyone know they need physical movement, mental well-being, good nutrition, good relationships etc.? However, it’s seldom that people actually muster up the will and do something about their health and wellness goals. Today it feels as if everyone has put their own health on top of their lifestyle activity pyramid, no doubt owing to some degree of anxiety about the chances of them coming down with the coronavirus. Prevention is better than cure. Everyone knows this.
Many individuals have chosen their health for the first time in their lives, putting aside other ‘priorities’. Indeed many have even gone on record to say that if it weren’t for the pandemic they may well have continued along their same old unhealthy ways owing to bad habits, a lack of guidance or any other inhibitive factor keeping them down, like obsessive work habits that lead to a lot of sitting time, while binging on junk food.
Today, at Bangalore Insider we spoke to Arnav Kumar, the Managing director of Switch Wellness, having begun his personal health and wellness journey years before, while his venture was born a couple of months back. Below are the excerpts from out interaction.
Please find below the responses on behalf of Arnav Kumar, Managing Director at Switch Wellness.
Tell us a bit about Switch wellness. When did it start and what features does it offer?
Switch Wellness opened on August 17th 2020. Switch offers an overall diagnostic and treatment plan catering to an individual’s emotional, physical, mental, spiritual and social health through our SIMPEL Program of self-discovery. Features at Switch are: Indoor Gymnasium with weights and cardio section and premium quality equipment – hammer strength. Outdoor training facility for Crossfitters and other forms of exercise. Changing rooms with steam rooms. Group Studio, Spa, Nutrition counselling, InBody 770 Body Composition and Body Water Analysis, Parking facility, Personal Training, Yoga, Yoga Personal Training, Physiotherapy, Nutrition Café, Products Display.
How is Switch Wellness different from other wellness centres out there? What is it’s USP?
Switch is an urban wellness centre creating a niche for itself. There isn’t a company offering what we do so it’s not possible to draw comparisons. Wellness centres are traditionally looked at as Ayurvedic, Homeopathic, or some form of traditional medicine practice. We are well beyond that with a new age thinking and mindset, at Switch we focus entirely on prognosis and diagnosis to be able to provide a better treatment plan. At Switch we believe that diagnostics precedes treatment. We don’t believe only in nutrition or only exercise. We believe in practicing a healthy lifestyle that will always be unique to the person. To achieve a consistent state of wellbeing, we look at an individual’s emotional, physical, mental, social and spiritual health, and then curate a plan accordingly. To improve our diagnosis for Fitness we have integrated equipment with expert knowledge. We conduct a detailed fitness assessment, posture analysis, body composition and body water analysis, metabolic base rate assessment to be able to make a thorough assessment of your body type and to match your goal plans accordingly. We look to continuously innovate by further adding to this diagnosis a study into hormonal imbalances, lactate threshold measurement and its impact in delivering clients results. Further to this when it comes to nutrition we use personal assessment form, blood biomarkers, allergen testing, DnA and Microbiome testing (if client desires) to make a thorough precision-based nutrition program. Recovery plays an important role and hence our expertise in SPA management (Clarks Exotica Resorts and Spa), and Physiotherapy helps individuals maintain good recovery. Additional to all of this, we look to integrate a trained psychologist and Ayurveda/Homeopathy to our facility as well. Currently, we are only handling non-clinical cases and certain clinical cases (PCOS, Diabetes, Hypertension, Weight Management, Obesity). To be rid of an illness we may stem towards using one of the practices more.
Switch Wellness opened its doors in August 2020. How has been the response far considering that people are yet to get back to normal life?
Health is the only topic of discussion nowadays. People have understood the importance of hygiene, immunity building, lifestyle and stress management to live a healthy life. Pre COVID we were in some ways careless and all of us were always on the move. If ridden with a fever we would still go to work. Now we’ve all become more understanding such that even if we have fever, not related to COVID, it’s probably not correct to meet others as they could contract it too.
On this note, we are noticing a lot more interest prior to COVID and people are cautious yet interested in developing their health. In the process of caution people are limiting travel outside home for necessities. Health being a major factor, people are coming however we are still not at full strength.
What precautions have been put in place to ensure that customers are safe?
Everyone’s temperature, oxygen levels are checked. Face shields/masks are compulsory. Santisation stands are placed throughout the facility. Our culture of Namashkar was implemented since inception hence respectful and safe interaction too.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. What were you into before starting Switch Wellness?
I have always been a health enthusiast interested in understanding how the process of healing takes place aside the influence of medicine, not undermining the need of it when need be. I’ve always felt that one can through lifestyle and nutrition achieve remarkable successes in recovery. In the beginning of this process I looked at life as a problem to solve, and now I look at life as a mystery to unravel. I’ve always been inclined to understand life with a deeper meaning taking influence from the likes of Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, Marcus Aurelius, Buddhism. What I have understood and experienced is that one needs to understand what is truly important to them. We all get easily influenced not realising it and in some ways operate in a manner that is not in synchronisation with our nature. Experience life for who we are, individually, rather than how others or society would want us to. On this note I’m very interested in sports, space, astrophysics, spirituality, fitness, health, environment, sustainability, nature, animals, pets (I have a dog), spending time with family and some important friends.
What led you to start Switch Wellness? Was there an eureka moment when you decided that you wanted to open a wellness centre?
The eureka moment for me was when I went for Vipassana and came out in four days realising that I have been suffering with anxiety. This made me realise that I have to do something to improve my state of health. July 2017 marks the very moment I began my journey towards self-discovery and health. When I started to go through experiences where I was witnessing the benefits, the only truth that came out was the want for others to experience this too. Inherently we all want what’s best for us. The concept emerged: I want to help others help themselves in order to help others. Come January 2018 I had a concept in place and started meeting like-minded people that saw a need for something like this too and I decided to proceed. This too is just the beginning of a timeless flow of positivity to take place in society through Switch.
As an entrepreneur what do you think about the health & wellness industry? A lot of apps are hogging the limelight at the moment. Do you think fitness apps are just a fad and offline centres are always going to be there no matter what?
The health and wellness industry is growing worldwide at a remarkable CAGR. It was already primed back in 2017, 2018 as the sunrise industry. It is an industry we are now noticing that is recession, pandemic anything proof.. In every adversity there is an opportunity and the online fitness segment of the industry is the prime example of that. We don’t see the online market space as competition to offline centres, we see it as a complementary good. In fact we are in the process of developing our own app with the goal of providing people hybrid services, with our nutritionists, personal trainers, group classes available to clients worldwide. Really there was always a space for companies to grow into this space and the ones that don’t adapt will lose out significantly. Our clients used to travel a lot which led to an issue of us providing them consistent personal training services. Now with online training even if life goes back to normal we still see the online industry remaining. People will be able to do live video training sessions with the same trainers anywhere in the world. Nutritionists will be able to monitor better with clients rather than using WhatsApp. Group Classes will be available as well to clients regardless of where they are. The reason why online can never be looked at as a replacement to offline is because at the end of it, we are social, adventurous beings that desire physical interaction. Ultimately trainers do require to see and correct the client’s form which is not easy to do in online sessions. There is a limited amount of help you can provide online if a client for example has a goal of heavy weightlifting. That said, with the online trend, Markets abroad will get access to more affordable services from countries like India.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like. From the time you get up till the time you hit the sack.
In stating what my day looks like it’s important to do every experiment and understands what’s best for them. I wake up at 8:30 to 9:00 am. Make my bed, get ready for the day and meditate, using Sam Harris’ App – Waking Up. I go about my work from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm in a structured manner. Post which I come back home and then exercise from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Post which it is family time till 10:30 pm. At 10:30 pm I meditate on my own for at least 20 minutes and spend my last part of my night doing journal writing and gratitude. My routine for food currently is 12:30 pm, 5:00 pm and 8:30 pm, with not much discipline. I practice intermittent fasting till 12:30 pm and have my first meal at lunch time – this extends my intermittent fasting, including sleep time, to 14 to 15 hours. I try to have two litres of water in a day and along with that enough green tea. At the same time I make sure I have all my supplements (Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, and sufficient access to other micronutrients not easily available in our food).
Any advice you would like to give to upcoming entrepreneurs in the same industry?
Don’t get carried away in the good times and don’t let failure defeat you; let failure teach you.
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