Canadian company proves exercise is a miracle drug

Gym members see significant reductions in blood pressure, weight within 6 months of joining powerful exercise and healthy lifestyle coaching program

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 22, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For the first time in the fitness industry, a Canadian chain of exercise clinics has proven what academics have known for years - that exercise can be more effective than medications in treating many chronic diseases.

“Many international studies have shown the benefits of exercise but we wanted to prove it with our members - average people, many who have multiple chronic health conditions, who often do not even enjoy exercise,” says Sara Hodson, Founder and President of LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic. “Our clientele are not typical gym-goers and yet are making huge lifestyle changes and improving their health because of it.”

LIVE WELL ( bridges a gap between fitness and healthcare. Chronic diseases are the leading cause of preventable death and lifestyle modification is listed as the first-line treatment (ahead of medications) in national guidelines for most.

But outside the academic realm, real-world outcomes from gyms and fitness centres are scarce.  LIVE WELL has measured the vital signs and health outcomes (blood pressure, weight, heart rate etc.) of hundreds of average people inside its clinics.

LIVE WELL’s data proves they can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of many diseases including heart disease, Type-2 diabetes and obesity.

Some of LIVE WELL’s findings, taken from a sample of 200 members who had been in the program six months:

  • An average drop in systolic blood pressure of 8.1 mmHG (6.5% drop);
  • Members with hypertension (systolic blood pressure over 140) saw an average reduction of 19.4 mmHG (13% drop in systolic blood pressure);
  • The heaviest members experienced significant weight loss:  an average of 26 pounds.

“We have always known our healthy-lifestyle coaching program worked from seeing changes in our members and hearing feedback from their doctors. But this is the first time we analyzed our member data to prove that exercise truly is medicine,” says Hodson.

For every 5 per cent of body weight lost, risk of premature death drops by 7 per cent. According to a study in The Lancet, for every 10mmHg reduction in blood pressure there is a 13 per cent death risk reduction.

“Medications can reduce blood pressure by 5 -10mmHg, but many have side effects. Our members experience double that with no nasty side effects.  Many have been able to get off blood pressure meds completely since joining our program,” says Hodson.

The health benefits of regular exercise to LIVE WELL members have been numerous, ranging from canceling bariatric surgery, to reducing anti-depressants, regaining mobility, getting off blood pressure medications, and even reducing insulin.  

Where healthcare has struggled to adopt exercise as medicine for the patients who need it the most, LIVE WELL has created a model that achieves significant health outcomes in members with a range of chronic diseases.

The company is looking ahead to the day when doctors prescribe exercise as a matter of course, instead of medications.

LIVE WELL has 15 clinics in Metro Vancouver and Ontario working with over 2,000 doctors to prescribe lifestyle changes to their patients.  By the end of 2018, the company will have 20 clinics across Canada. LIVE WELL launched in White Rock, BC in 2011. The company was named one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in British Columbia in 2017 and 2018.

Hodson says “If exercise were a pill, it would be the most widely-prescribed drug in the world."

About LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic

Dubbed the “anti-gym,” LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic provides customized medical fitness programs, inspirational coaching, clinical oversight and a welcoming environment to people seeking a healthier lifestyle. Locations in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Coquitlam, East Van, Kelowna, Langley, Port Coquitlam, South Delta, South Surrey, Surrey, White Rock, Vancouver, Victoria, Oakville, Toronto and coming soon to Calgary.

To learn more about LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic:

-For information on how to purchase a LIVE WELL franchise, visit:

Media Contact: Nancy DeHart, Director of Marketing and Communications:

Infographics accompanying this announcement are available at