Running a gym was not enough for Aprille Choudhury-DeShield — so she started her own business with an emphasis on all-round health and fitness.
Energize Wellness Solutions, at the city centre end of Par-la-Ville Road combines gym equipment with health and nutrition coaching, as well as psychological and lifestyle counselling.
Ms Choudhury DeShield said: “We offer a bunch of different things here — our wellness programme, which is called My Best Me, is one of our popular things.”
Energize also offers massage therapy, provided on-site by staff from the spa at Grotto Bay Hotel, fitness classes and body composition analysis.
Ms Choudhury-DeShield said: “We offer health-checking, personal and group training sessions, along with counselling — psychological counselling sessions and nutritional counselling sessions.
“We have a psychological counsellor who comes in if needed. It’s not just a gym, it’s a comprehensive wellness programme.
“Initially, we thought about having a regular gym, but there are so many gyms. Then we thought we would have a wellness centre for companies, but companies mostly have wellness committees.
“We decided to target individuals instead of companies — we look at ourselves as people’s personal cheerleaders.
“The people who come to us are those who don’t particularly care for the big gyms — for some people that can be intimidating. If you don’t know what to do, you’re just standing there looking around. We provide a safe haven and we’ll walk people through.”
Ms Choudhury-DeShield, who spent 25 years as a speech language pathologist with the Bermuda Government, quit her job two years ago in order to concentrate on setting up Energize with Marie Beach Johnson.
She said: “We were partners in a gym with two other people, but we wanted to go in a different direction. We don’t want to just look at the outside appearance.”
She added that, if psychological factors were not taken into account, “people will just go back to the negative behaviours”.
Ms Choudhury-DeShield said: “We have fitness classes and training, but we wanted to have nutrition as well and we have a non-diet approach because this is for a lifetime, this is for a lifestyle.”
Ms Beach Johnson, a certified health coach and weight-management specialist, as well as a personal trainer, group fitness trainer and senior fitness specialist, added: “I wanted to get these certifications to align with our services.”
She explained: “There are no big ‘nos’ in our eating plan. It’s learning when to stop and listen to their bodies and their body’s signals — it’s definitely a learning process. Should there be a need for a referral, we do refer clients to a registered dietitian.”
Ms Choudhury-DeShield said: “We’re really looking at this being a one-stop shop. Because we don’t have a membership fee, people can come and have a massage or take part in one of our classes. We’re more of a boutique.”
Energize also runs a “carnival boot camp” which helps people get in shape for the traditional Caribbean festivals, held in Bermuda and overseas, including Crop Over in Barbados and the Notting Hill Carnival in London.
Ms Choudhury-DeShield said: “This way, people are always carnival ready. It’s not just fitting into a costume, but having the endurance to be on the road for hours.
“It’s not just getting people in the mood for carnival, it’s a reason to exercise and they’re having fun. A lot of people said to us they didn’t even feel tired, so it did work. We try to offer something for everyone.”
For more information, visit www.energizewellness.solutions or phone 747 7474.