Doctor brings exercise as medicine trend to Toronto

Gym offers lifestyle prescriptions and supervised exercise for people with health issues

TORONTO, Feb. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A Toronto doctor and his partner have launched Toronto’s first medical fitness clinic catering to boomers suffering from the chronic diseases that come with aging and a sedentary lifestyle.

LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic’s fast-growing concept is leading an emerging trend to use exercise as medicine to prevent and treat chronic disease, promote mental health and help Canadians live healthier for longer.

Dr. Darren Ezer, an anaesthesiologist at William Osler Health Centre in Brampton, saw a void in the healthcare system for proper prevention of chronic disease. “We decided to open LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic as it fills this gap. It allows physicians to feel confident referring patients to a clinic that can facilitate on-going communication between the patient and the family doctor. In addition, it allows the patient to improve their lifestyle, develop healthy habits and become more active in a safe, secure and supervised environment.”

In Canada, three out of five people live with at least one chronic disease, and four of five are at risk. In Ontario chronic diseases are the leading cause of preventable death and lifestyle modification is a first-line treatment.

Canada’s first chain of medical fitness clinics, LIVE WELL has six other successful clinics in Metro Vancouver where it has impacted thousands of boomers’ lives to date, working with over 800 Vancouver-area doctors to prescribe lifestyle changes to their patients.

The Toronto clinic launch takes the company national, bridging a gap in Canada between fitness and healthcare. LIVE WELL has three corporate clinics, four operating franchise locations, seven locations under construction and four other signed franchise partners slated to open by the end of 2018.  It was named one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in British Columbia in 2017.

LIVE WELL goes against the typical trend of gyms catering to fitness-focused millennials. Studies show boomers are the first generation to enter their elderly years in worse health than their parents, yet the over-50 market is underserved. According to Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging, the fastest growing segment of the fitness population consists of people over 50.

Plus, for the first time in Canada’s history seniors make up a larger share of our population than children. LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic is seizing the moment to expand and take advantage of this demographic shift.

LIVE WELL launched in White Rock, BC in 2011 and since then has helped more than 3,000 people transform their health. The health benefits to LIVE WELL members have been numerous, ranging from members canceling their bariatric surgery, to reducing anti-depressants, getting off blood pressure medications, and even reducing insulin.

Its boutique clinics are bright, modern spaces offering supervised, small-group exercise and personalized health coaching to people with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and those simply seeking a healthier lifestyle. LIVE WELL limits its membership to just 300 members per location, while most Canadian gyms have several thousand members. The new Yorkdale clinic sprawls over 2,400 feet and is located at 104, 150 Bridgeland Ave, Toronto, near Yorkdale Mall. More Ontario locations in Oakville and Burlington will open later this spring.

LIVE WELL founder and president Sara Hodson says in order to reduce the epidemic of chronic disease and save our healthcare system money, Canadians need to focus more on prevention, regular exercise and healthy lifestyle change. “If exercise were a pill, it would be the most widely-prescribed drug in the world."

About LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic

Dubbed as the “anti-gym,” LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic provides customized medical fitness programs, inspirational coaching, clinical oversight and a welcoming environment to baby boomers with chronic diseases or who are simply seeking a healthier lifestyle. LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic currently has locations in Vancouver, Langley, Abbotsford, White Rock, Surrey, South Surrey, and Toronto.

To learn more about LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic Yorkdale and its programs:
-Follow LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic Yorkdale on Facebook at
-For information on how to purchase a LIVE WELL franchise, visit:

For further information: Media Contact: Nancy DeHart, Director of Marketing and Communications: