Why Seniors Should Give Meditation and Yoga a Try

seniors

The quest for the Fountain of Youth continues, and many claim to have found it.

It’s not an actual fountain; nor is it a miracle diet or medical procedure that will add years to your life. It’s two ancient Eastern practices that have gained popularity in the West over the past decades thanks to their astounding benefits for physical and mental health: meditation and yoga.

They have much in common, including the emphasis on rhythmic breathing and mindfulness. This combination allows you to come to grips with negative sensations and emotions running through your mind and body, and then accept them without judgement before letting them pass. Yoga and meditation are immensely therapeutic, as its millions of practitioners would attest to, including many seniors.

Curious? Here’s a closer look at the fascinating results of yoga and meditation, as well as some information on how to get started.

Stress Relief

You’ll gain calm through focusing on just one thing, in contrast to the mental multi-tasking that the modern world demands. In the long term, that makes you more conscious of how you think, letting you slow down, live in the moment, and react to passing emotions more effectively.

Better Mood

An improved mood comes naturally from the reduction in stress, but there’s more. Researchers have discovered a link between the healthy bacteria living in your intestines and mental health, dubbed the gut-brain axis, which is enhanced through the movements that make up yoga. As you advance through a series of poses, you’ll become happier as well as more limber.

Lower Blood Pressure

In a study cited by Science Daily, mindfulness intervention led to significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared with a control group that received lifestyle advice along with muscle relaxation instruction. That ultimately translates to better cardiovascular health for practitioners of yoga and meditation.

Stronger Immune System

It’s hard to believe that yoga can strengthen your immune system, but again, there’s science to back it up. According to research cited in MindBodyGreen, meditation boosts the amount of antibodies in your bloodstream, which is like putting more soldiers on the battlefield to fight germs that invade your body and make you sick.

Effective Pain Management

By focusing your mind on pain through mindfulness, you can lessen pain. As a psychologist explains to Psych Central, this gives you a more accurate perception of what you’re suffering so you learn from the experience and gain some control rather than spiral off into a state of fear.

If you’re now motivated to try yoga and meditation, here’s some advice on how.

Do Some Research

There are numerous forms of meditation and yoga, so finding the right one for you could take some time. Read up on the benefits of each before beginning your journey. That way, you have a better chance of winding up in the right place.

Get Instruction Online

Once again, the internet delivers. You’ll find plenty of websites that offer lessons in yoga specifically for beginners and seniors, and all you need is a mat and a laptop to get started. Guided meditation is also only a Google search away.

Locate a Studio Nearby

You may need the helping hand of an expert in the room with you, and that’s easy to come by because there are meditation and yoga studios all around. In fact, there could be one just a short walk away.

Talk to Your Doctor

It’s important to speak to your doctor before beginning yoga because it’s a form of exercise that could cause discomfort if done incorrectly, especially for seniors. Seniors should take caution when it comes to certain poses that have been known to cause injury.

Start Slow

Even if you get the go ahead from your doctor, who will likely be enthusiastic about you practicing yoga, don’t put any undue strain on your muscles or joints. Stop and take a rest if you feel any pain.

Now you’re on your way to better physical and mental health, along with a more fulfilling retirement in which you’ll meet each day with youthfulness and energy.

Enjoy the new you.

Image via Pixabay.Article provided by Harry Cline, Chief Educator http://www.Newcaregiver.org

Why is Circuit Training Great for Your Gym?

Why is Circuit Training Great for Your Gym?

Bridging the Gap Between Selectorised Equipment and Functional Cages.

In a market where, since 2008, gyms are competing for the attention of 41 million American health club members, every gym owner needs to understand how to attract new members. Why do people go to the gym instead of working out at home and how do you keep them once they walk in the gym doors?

 

Total Gym Elevate Circuit

Read more…

 

Surfing Your Way To Success With Total Gym

Inspired by summer creeping up around the corner and a couple of fantastic surfing videos on the new-look Total Gym website, this month I decided to write an article for our Total Gym owners – how to use Total Gym to train surfers. Many of the exercises came from GRAVITY Master Trainer Jeff Groh, which you can view on the Total Gym website.
Click here to view videos (note: these are alphabetical – click the right arrow twice to get to ‘S’). The models in the pictures below are Nicole Decker, Rob Glick and Jeff Groh.

Total Gym and Surfing

Surfing is so much more than just “getting up on the board.” And when it comes to competitive surfing – that is a whole other playing field. A very specific functional strength is required to replicate the movement patterns of surfing. The primary ones being:

  • Paddling
  • Duck Diving
  • Popping Up
  • Manoeuvres on the Board (requires a strong core for stability / balance)

To achieve functional strength, the muscles of the upper body, lower body and core have to be trained in a way that translates directly over to the sport in a synergistic manner. While isolation in some cases is necessary (core, beginner, rehab, etc.), primarily the athlete should be trained using exercises that challenge a combination of muscles – to replicate how they are challenged while surfing. This is necessary to improve or get the edge on a competitor…and is what separates the winners from all others.

Space/Time Saving Solution

As a personal trainer you want to give your client the most effective workout possible. However the time spent changing machines and moving to different areas within a room eats up time and disrupts what should be a time-efficient yet still challenging experience – particularly with professional athletes.

Total Gym ticks all the boxes because it enables you to work within a small area (a “pod”), maximising both your time and your client’s. In regards to the surfer it offers stability challenges, has core integration in most exercises, offers seamless strength transitions and near-unlimited advancements to ensure continued progression. Total Gym has incredible functional applications to almost any sport, and when it comes to surfing it is ideal for replicating many of the real-life actions of the sport.

And you don’t need to be an expert at surfing – you just need to understand the movement patterns and functional strength required to develop in the sport. Not sure what functional strength is exactly? Click on this link to read a great article by friend and colleague Dean QuirkeUnderstanding the Principles of Functional Training.

The added benefit of Total Gym is it is the perfect training tool not only for able-body surfers, but also surfers who have some kind of limitation or disability and are restricted by the equipment they can use.

Examples of Exercises to Benefit Surfers using Total Gym

Following are some functional exercises for the surfer using Total Gym. As we lead into summer there are loads of opportunities to start developing programs and promoting to attract novices who are ready to get back on the board or professionals who want a leading edge.

PADDLING – Surfer Lat Pull.


This popular exercise is a great way to challenge the lats/back while integrating the core, increasing the strength and endurance required for paddling out, or just prior to catching a wave (modification-high kneeling).

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PADDLING – Swimmer.

Strengthen the back musculature and arms in a swimming motion for muscle endurance. The unique thing about Total Gym is the glideboard – allowing the surfer to replicate the movement with resistance.

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PADDLING – Prone Reverse Fly with Back Extension.

Again, strengthen the back musculature with another great exercise. This position has more focus on scapula retraction and shoulders. Incorporate as little or as much back extension as the client needs.

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DUCK DIVING – Dive Bomber.

This exercise replicates duck diving under a wave or popping up on a surfboard. It could be likened to a pike, however it is quite different. The starting position has the heels raised and a neutral core position. The client ducks down towards the board, and moves into back extension. This translates into functional strength for surfers ducking under waves.

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POPPING UP – Prone to Quadraped.

While it is not safe to pop up to a standing position on the glideboard, you can pop up to a Quadraped position which is still a great stability challenge. Direction comes from the trainer (call out “pop up!”). A great method is to have the athlete performing a swimming motion on the glideboard lying prone (left), then the trainer calls and the athlete moves into the quadraped position (right).

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POPPING UP – Drop Squat.

While there are a number of squat variations that can be performed on Total Gym, all ideal for lower body functional strength for a surfer, the drop squat in particular is unique as it mimics the concept of popping up and landing in a flexed position. It also protects the knees while still providing the necessary challenge required. This is different to a normal squat in that the knees pop up, then land in a neutral position as the feet land on the squat stand. Holding additional weights at the upper body increases the challenge.

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CORE – Jack Knife.

With the SCRUNCH® accessory, you can achieve an incredible core-targeted workout. SCRUNCH® elevates core training by allowing the athlete to stretch, strengthen and stabilise the entire core and trunk for a targeted abdominal workout. This is of great benefit to the surfer who needs to acheive optimal core strength to effectively manoeuvre the surfboard.

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STRETCHES – Hip Flexor

There is a lot of shortening of the abdominals and hip flexors with the SCRUNCH exercise, so Total Gym allows the athlete to round out again by assisting an incredibly effective and deep hip flexor stretch. The glideboard allows for a dynamic stretch option so the athlete can move deeper and deeper into the stretch as required.

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STRETCHES – Hip Flexor with Reach


The Hip Flexor stretch can be modified into a 3-dimensional stretch by adding arm drivers in the sagittal plane, frontal plane and transverse plane. This offers an incredible variation with the movements, opening up the entire body and rounding everything out again.

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MOBILISATION – Foam Roller (Vertical and Horizontal)

A surfer is often in a flexed position and the spine will relish a release. Horizontal and vertical mobilisation is incredibly effective for this using the correct sized foam roller (100mm diameter). Click here to download a Foam Roller article for more about this.

MODIFICATIONS

Total Gym is an exciting piece of equipment due to the diversity and endless possibilities. Not only can this single piece of equipment achieve well over 200 exercises, you can add other training tools to enhance an exercise or further increase the exercise possibilities.

  • For enhanced strength incorporate Dumbbells, Kettlebells, Medicine Balls, Weight Bar, Plates, and more.
  • For increased functional stability incorporate a Suspension Training tool or Cable Machine.
  • For stability challenges incorporate BOSU, DuraDisc, or any other unstable platform to use with Total Gym.

The glideboard is also adjustable – it be positioned from an incline to a horizontal position to act as a bench and it can be positioned at the ground level for evolved Pilates work.

The possibilities are endless. The rest I will leave up to your imagination!

SUMMARY

The exercise prescription for surfers to achieve their goals needs to be functional, compound movements that challenge the entire body to achieve the necessary levels of strength, mobility and flexibility. And, most importantly, these need to translate directly over to the movement patterns of surfing. If you’re a Total Gym owner – then you’ve got a great way to achieve this.

Click here to download this article in PDF format and view a breakdown of each exercise including more images and progression options.

Shara Curlett
Shara began her career in the fitness industry at Les Mills Dunedin in 2005 and from there combined her passion for fitness with her strength in business to create a niche role for herself specialising in “the business of fitness”. Shara has consulted for gyms and small studios, developed an indoor cycling program, and continues to work one on one with fitness business owners as a sideline passion. As business development and marketing manager for HQH Fitness, Shara is focused on business development, company strategy and marketing.

Total Gym Test Drive Tour NSW / ACT

Greg Doherty, CEO of HQH Fitness, talks about the latest Total Gym Test Drive Tour to NSW and ACT:

July 24th I set off on the second official Total Gym Test Drive Tour!

I was able to visit Galy O’Connor in French’s Forrest who just bought a new Total Gym PowerTower!

I checked out her home studio set-up (right) which is awesome – it just goes to show that you don’t need an expensive space to make a great business work!

Great work Galy!

From there I made the drive down to Canberra to visit a couple of facilities there. I’m happy to now welcome Graeme Sproule and his team at SportsCare and Physio Therapy in Dickson to the Total Gym family. They will be taking delivery of a new Total Gym GTS  today!

The University of  Canberra was another stop I made where I met some of the team – John Stelzer, Kate and Darren.

We did a “parking lot demo” where Darren got on board and did a workout! He gave it a good go and definitely enjoyed it.

Darren even reported back to me as being sore the next day – great job Darren!

From here I was able to visit Melanie Hrusik at Vigour PT, a customer who bought Total Gym in 2009.

Melanie has a great set-up where she has converted her garage to a full on multi-purpose training studio. Initially she purchased 3 Total Gym Classic GTS02 units.

Since then has purchased 2 more and the business grew so much that she was able to take on her husband Rowan as a second trainer in the business! They now have a great lifestyle business in a lovely neighbourhood.

Heading Back to Sydney I made a stop in at Bowral. What a lucky chance I had to see some of  Australia’s beautiful country towns. Fantastic scenery on the M5 to Canberra. And I loved the Rest Areas, where I did the “Stop-Revive-Survive”!

Back in Sydney, I discovered a new neighbourhood – Leichardt, which is an inner west suburb where the Leichardt Park Aquatic Centre is based. This is a fabulous facility in a great setting.

Here I was able to connect with an HQH Fitness customer  from years back where I showed him the new Total Gym GTS.

From here I stopped in at Fitness First Pitt St and gave a demo to several of the personal trainers there.

While I was in Sydney I did spend some time organising our warehouse stock and meeting with finance and logistics suppliers. I’m happy to say we have some great finance/rental options for Australian clients that will make it very easy  for anyone with the desire to get started with Total Gym.

Also I’m very pleased to say we met with a  new  business partner, who will be able to facilitate a new product to your door – Doorstep delivery! And, for a little more will unpack and install the product onsite. Very exciting!

I have just put together my next three Test Drive Tour dates so that we can get you to experience first-hand the new Total Gym. These are as follows:

Sydney NSW  and surrounding areas, Canberra, Newcastle Oct 5-14

Brisbane, Queensland , Gold coast Sunshine Coast  Nov 4th to Nov 9th

Melbourne Vic , Geelong and  surrounding areas Dec 4 to 10th

Book your appointment now so we can get more BOB’s! (Butts on Board!)

To jump on our next Test Drive Tour Australia – email admin@hqh.com, use our ‘Contact Us‘ online form, or phone 1800 552 878.

If you are based in New Zealand and want to check out the new Total Gym GTS, then contact Kerry our National Sales Manager on totalgym@hqh.com or phone 0800 552 8789.

Greg Doherty
Greg is the CEO and Director of HQH Fitness. As a business owner, C.H.E.K Level 3 and CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3, Greg has worked with thousands of businesses and fitness professionals over the past 16 years  and understands the various needs of a business. Having successfully built up the CHEK program in Australia, he is now focused on bringing the benefits of Total Gym to Australia on a larger scale.
gregd@hqh.com

Total Gym Test Drive Tour A Success!

Greg Doherty, CEO of HQH Fitness, speaks about his “big idea” and the success of the recent Total Gym Test Drive Tour:

So far this year I’ve flown 80,144 miles to 9 locations across 3 countries, for a total of 90 days on the road. Last month in particular was a busy and exciting month and a half for me, especially because I finally got to try out an idea that I had been thinking about for years…

…My “big idea” as I liked to call it involved getting out on the road in a campervan with a Total Gym and visiting people who wanted to experience the Total Gym commercial products but hadn’t had the opportunity to do so. We have a number of GRAVITY facilities in Australia and present the Total Gym products at shows such as the Australian Fitness Expo, however we understand that not everyone has the opportunity to travel to these (particularly in the outer rural areas). So I thought, “why not take Total Gym to them?”

I always knew this idea had potential, however with the launch of the new Total Gym product line I saw the perfect opportunity to put it into action and test it out. In fact, I did not even prepare myself for how successful it would actually be!

We planned my calendar to visit Melbourne, Rural Victoria, Rural South Australia and Adelaide and my team booked my schedule with appointments in these areas. People loved the concept and my schedule was booked out well in advance.

I hired a Mid-size Campervan that was fully self-sufficient and made a great portable office (and home!), as well as enabling me to stores and transport the Total Gym GTS and accessories.

From there I was off…and what a great response I received!

I loved that I could spend quality time with people and was able to demonstrate the new Total Gym GTS to owners, decision makers, trainers and even existing clients. In several locations I even took a few clients through a session, just so the owner and/or trainer could see how their client liked the Total Gym workout. In fact in one location I did two clients back to back!

While there were some cold nights (it dropped to 2.5 degrees between Warnambool and Adelaide!), there were a few extra bonuses for me.

One was that this trip spanned the Queen’s Birthday holiday and I was able to spend the Sunday and Monday in the Otway
National Park on the Great Ocean Road. What a beautiful area, I highly recommend it!

Not to mention the Twelve Apostles which are everything they say – magnificent and scenic spectacular. Another is that I saw one kangaroo and saw a number of Koalas. What a rich and beautiful country Australia is!

This was such an incredibly valuable experience. What an opportunity to visit locations that I normally wouldn’t get to see or demonstrate such as Kilmore, Vic, Sandhurst, Dandenong, Geelong and Warnambool. Not only was this hugely successful, but it was fabulous getting to spend quality time with our most important people, our customers. Being able to see some of the fitness businesses that people are involved in and seeing the brand new ventures people are setting up was wonderful.

The response from those I visited was fantastic and some are already progressing on completing their first order of Total Gym/s, which is very exciting for us, and for them!

The great news is that as a result of this trip that exceeded my expectations, we are now planning Test Drive Tours for all parts of Australia in the next year! So if you missed out on the Test Drive tour in Melbourne, Adelaide and the points between or if you would like us to come to your area – then let us know and we will aim to bring the new Total Gym GTS to YOU to have a go and test it out!

Our next region will be from Sydney to Byron Bay in 3 months.

Future Test Drive Tours:

  • Queensland
  • Adelaide
  • Western Australia
  • Victoria
  • Tasmania

To jump on our next Test Drive Tour Australia – email admin@hqh.com, use our ‘Contact Us’ online form, or phone 1800 552 878.

If you are based in New Zealand and want to check out the new Total Gym GTS, then contact Kerry our National Sales Manager on totalgym@hqh.com or phone 0800 552 8789.

Greg Doherty
Greg is the CEO and Director of HQH Fitness. As a business owner, C.H.E.K Level 3 and CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3, Greg has worked with thousands of businesses and fitness professionals over the past 16 years  and understands the various needs of a business. Having successfully built up the CHEK program in Australia, he is now focused on bringing the benefits of Total Gym to Australia on a larger scale.
gregd@hqh.com

One on One Personal Training – A Dying Trend?

The small group training model is a phenomenon that has taken the fitness industry by storm.

With so many businesses and individuals embracing this new wave of training – from large club chains to small self-employed operations – fitness professionals all over the world are discovering that the small group training model is:

  • More attractive to their clients
  • Better suited to their business
  • And best of all it increases their bottom line

So the question presents itself – is one on one personal training on its way out?

The One on One vs. Group Training Debate

Many believe that small group training is the future of fitness, while others are yet to be convinced.

Group:
Small group training (also often referred to as “team training”) allows the fitness professional to earn more and provides a more affordable option for the client…which creates a win:win solution, correct?
vs. One on One:

However, there are some within the industry who believe that small group training takes away from the individual, failing to offer the one on one personalised approach that they feel clients need and deserve.

So in an industry where trends come and go and what once was right is now wrong (and vice versa), who is right – and where does one on one training fit in moving forward?

The Business of Training

  • First and foremost it is important to come back to the ultimate goal of running a business – to be successful.
  • And success in business is defined by what the owner’s ultimate goal, targets and dream is for that business.
  • Therefore anyone operating within their business goals and working successfully towards their dream are doing exactly what they should be doing. It is not for anyone else to say they are right or wrong.

So keeping that in mind…let’s break it down.

Hands Up for Small Group Training

Small group training is not just a phenomenon as previously stated; it is in fact a trend that appears to be here to stay.

And for the average fitness professional whose business goal is centred on earning money doing what they love, the one on one model no longer cuts the mustard.

It is important to remember here that having a goal or dream around money is not a bad thing! In reality, this is the primary purpose of most businesses today.

And when we’re talking about the business of businesssmall group training just makes sense – from a financial perspective, from a marketing perspective and from a time perspective.

Whether presented in a team training format, or a multi-client personal training format (the difference to be explained in an upcoming blog), small group training is all about bringing a group of people together and taking them to their goals in a fun and motivating environment.

Regardless of the fact they may not get the dedicated attention they would recieve in a one on one session, anyone being trained within a group format – chooses to do so.

Programs such as Les Mills’ classes and team training are popular for a reason. They have in fact paved the way for small group training. Within a group, people experience camaraderie and connection with their fellow “team” and are inspired and motivated to challenge themselves or be challenged. All the endorphins from fitness are enhanced within a group training format.

The benefits for small group training include:

  • Presents a positive environment, with motivation and support from within the group
  • More income for the trainer
  • More affordable for the client
  • Time efficient
  • Fun and interactive

This list could go on and on.

When the clients love it and it helps the trainer to achieve their goal of earning more – how can group training be judged as “wrong”? It can’t. In fact, it’s simply smart business.

So based on this…why would an individual want to continue to offer one on one training when small group training is so attractive?

The Place of One on One Training

Rest assured one on one or private training has – and always will have – a place in the industry.

The only difference moving forward is that with more competition and cheaper alternatives, it simply requires the person running this business model to work smarter.

“Work smarter” simply means that a personal trainer or fitness professional can no longer rest on their laurels.

With more and more trainers coming into the industry offering  lower price points, group training services, not to mention marketing superstars and industry experts who stand out from the crowd…a business that chooses to work within the one on one training model should fit within the following criteria:

  • The business’s ultimate goal is not about the money. When a trainer/business owner has the dream of taking individuals to their goals in a personalised format – the one on one model can always apply. This is because they do it for the love of it, not for the money. When you make money a non-issue, it sells itself and they can offer a competitive price point.
  • The business’s ultimate goal is centred on working with a high-end market. When a fitness professional, specialist or practitioner needs to work closely with a client, one on one training ensures that they offer focus and dedication to that client only, aiming for the best results possible. They may have a money focus/goal, however at their specialised level they are able to position themselves at a rate per individual that weeds out the non-committed and meets their target hourly income.
  • The business’s ultimate goal is about presenting a package/program approach. When a fitness professional thinks ‘outside the square’, a number of ideas will come their way. By offering a package approach (including seminars, assessments and a number of add-ons or “freebies”), they can sell a package of items to an individual, thereby getting their target hourly income while still offering a one on one model.

So…Back to the Question

Is One on One Personal Training a Dying Trend?

The answer is clearly no…and it will certainly never “die”.

There is always a market for clients who want the care and attention of one on one training. They may just be harder to find, and the trainer may need to target their market better.

Trainers working within this model will need to start working smarter, be clear on the ultimate business goal that they are working towards, and understand the model that best fits that goal.

Otherwise…they could well be left behind.

Shara Curlett
Shara began her career in the fitness industry at Les Mills Dunedin in 2005 and from there combined her passion for fitness with her strength in business to create a niche role for herself specialising in “the business of fitness”. Shara has consulted for gyms and small studios, developed an indoor cycling program, and continues to work one on one with fitness business owners as a sideline passion. As business development and marketing manager for HQH Fitness, Shara is focused on business development, company strategy and marketing and is passionate about helping business owners achieve their goals.


Welcome to the HQH Fitness Blog!

You may have noticed…there are some changes afoot!


1)…HQH Becomes ‘HQH Fitness’
HQH (Highest Quality Health & Fitness) is an ever-evolving company. And, as we have grown and diversified, so has our brand. We feel that “HQH Fitness” best represents our company moving forward. Note this is a brand change – our website address will stay the same – www.hqh.com and all email addresses will still remain @hqh.com.


2)…Kerry Johnson – the Face of HQH Fitness

Introducing Kerry Johnson, our bubbly English team member whose laugh is infectious! Over the coming months you’ll see from Kerry lots as she comes to you via our new You Tube channel HQH Fitness, showcasing our product line with product breakdowns, exercises, form and function, as well as fun tips and workouts you can use with your clients.


3)…HQH Fitness Jumps on Board with Video Email
HQH Fitness have NEW video emails coming your way. The first has gone out, introducing Kerry in person and updating you all on the changes with HQH. If you would like to receive video emails from HQH, email marketing@hqh.com. More video emails will be coming your way with the latest industry news and HQH Fitness updates. Enjoy!


4)…Website Makeover

You may have noticed our website and newsletter have gone through a slight change – this is for improved functionality and navigation. We hope you find the website an even better experience to navigate around and our newsletter more user-friendly.


And last but certainly not least…

We’ve got a few more developments and exciting news up our sleeve, so sign up to our blog notifications to keep up to date with the latest in HQH Fitness!

Yours in health & fitness,

Shara Curlett

A bit about Shara…As CBDO, Marketing and Corporate Management for HQH Fitness I’ve been working hard on company strategy and direction, as well as our “look and feel”. I presented the new company direction to our team at our Annual Meeting in January, and I’m happy to finally share some of these changes with you – our friends, customers, and business partners.