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Excel Body Fitness: Inspiring a Mindful approach to Wellness- At Workplaces and Beyond

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Steven Schnur, CEO, Excel Body FitnessPantea Dougani, CEO & Co-Founder
Stress Reduction has been the primary focus of corporate wellness. One of Mayo Clinic’s suggestions to deal with Employee burn-out is to take a relaxing activity such as Yoga and Mindfulness (meditation). In the late 1970s, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zin, the founder of Mindfulness-Baseddescribed ‘Mindfulness’ as the awareness that arises through paying attention; on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally. In the years to come, he helped to bring the practice of mindfulness meditation into mainstream medicine and demonstrated to the world that practicing mindfulness can bring positive changes in health, attitudes, and behaviors. After 50 years of examining this concept scientifically, researchers have accepted that mindfulness is a key element in stress reduction and overall happiness. With a vision to employ Kabat-Zin’s ideology into corporate wellness, Pantea Dougani and Carolee Poythress founded Excel Body Fitness (XBF) in 2010, keeping one goal in mind: Client Success! XBF truly believes in the importance of fitness as a sustainable long-term practice that improves both the mind and body. The firm offers tailored corporate wellness programs that enable clients to achieve their health and fitness goals through mindfulness techniques, exercise, nutrition advisement, and much more.

“Driven by the idea of Mindfulness, we have created highly effective wellness programs that empower clients to look, feel, and live better,” says Pantea, the CEO and Co- Founder of Excel Body Fitness. She continues, “By providing Boot Camp, Fitness Classes, dedicated hands-on instruction, nutritional guidance and one-on-one training, we enable clients to accomplish their health and fitness goals”

The Enterprise Struggle

Employee well-being is the mainstay of a workplace that directly affects an organization’s productivity and success. The average adult spends more than 40 hours a week at work, indicating the significance of “well-being” in the quality of life as well as work. Since the introduction of computerization in the workplace, the average job and its associated lifestyle are becoming increasingly sedentary. Due to the risks associated with such inactivity, the health and well-being of employees are of the utmost importance, contributing heavily to the overall performance of an employee in a company. It is vital to building an environment that promotes a state of comfort, enabling employees to thrive, both at life and in attaining their professional potential.

To Dougani, the concept of corporate wellness came to her when she observed working people without the luxury of time for personal fitness. This fact became especially pertinent, while one has to consider meeting professional commitments and being there for their family as well. She states, “I realized that we need to go to people at their place of work rather than wait for them to come to us. Only 14 percent of the population is mindful enough to go to a gym, and the remaining 86 percent are not ever setting foot in the gym due to their busy schedule.” With over a half decade of experience driving positive behavior changes through mindfulness, Excel Body Fitness offers on-site corporate wellness programs that include massages, group fitness classes, and personal training. Unlike regular workouts, these sessions are aimed at improving the physical, mental, and overall well-being of the clients. “We make fitness more accessible for the employees and combine regular routines with mindfulness sessions that help improve their quality of life,” says Pantea.

We are making fitness more accessible for the employees, which helps improve their quality of life


Living and Working—The Mindful Way!

Excel Body Fitness’ portfolio of services rangesmindfulness sessions, chair and table massages to yoga, nutrition, lunch & learn, boot camps, and others. The professional massage therapists at Excel Body Fitness, visit corporations and offer a variety of rejuvenating back, neck and shoulder massages as well as reflexology for employees on specially designed massage chairs and tables. Besides bringing the desired boost in employees’ morale, this kind of therapy can propel them to become more relaxed and enthusiastic toward their tasks. Also, the company provides personalized, one-on-one lifestyle coaching as well as specialty coaching programs that target specific health needs. These programs address everything from managing health issues like diabetes, cholesterol, and flu shots as well as stress management and provide better nutrition and diet plans to guide individuals to lead a healthy life.

With their specialized mindfulness training experts, Excel partnered with one of the largest manufacturing companies to offer mindfulness training. The objective was to lend Excel’s expertise in addressing the root cause of most catastrophic accidents: the human mind. According to the survey conducted by the company, the employees who participated enjoyed various activities in the mindfulness training program, which helped them to reduce stress and anxiety. Also, employees came up with their own unique suggestions, such as an extended period of meditation and stretching exercises. With the help of Excel’s services, participants experienced greater mental clarity and creativity, stress reduction, and overall wellness, Pantea. Pantea emphasizes that these changes not only them become more productive but had a very positive impact on their personal lives.

In fact, one of their clients says, “Excel provides an intentional space to better care for yourself even while at work. Particularly for those who will be standing and sitting for long periods of time to help prevent chronic health issues. Also helps to be more productive and present by being mindful. It doesn’t hurt that it helps to generally be more gracious and patient with coworkers.”

The uniqueness of Excel’s solution lies in the fact that they do not believe in the “one-size-fits-all” approach. Rather than offering organizations a pre-determined bundle of services, Excel lets its clients handpick what they need and its duration. They begin by identifying the gaps in their client’s corporate ecosystem through a questionnaire focused on the employees’ well-being. Excel then analysis the responses received and offers services to bridge the gap; which their clients can customize. Customers also have an option to add services as and when required and suggest ideas for new offerings; which Excel takes very seriously and often pilots a too. “Clients have come to us requesting for anti-smoking programs which we delivered by partnering with NGOs such as the American Lung Association,” asserts Pantea.

The Road Ahead

Talking about the future of Excel Body Fitness, Pantea says that the past several years have been great for the company and they aim to achieve even greater success in 2019. “We are passionate about everything we do and have successfullyevolved into a one-stop-shop for our clients’ fitness, nutritional and health & wellness needs,” says Pantea. The company’s next big step is to extend the use of its employee well-being services such as chair yoga, stretch exercise, and mindfulness to several companies according to their employee’s unique needs. “The science behind these sessions would help employees in various aspects such as relieving body pain, increasing blood flow and focus regardless of age,” concludes Pantea.