Making Fitness Convenient, Entertaining for Healthy Living

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ByRebecca Ejifoma

As many Nigerians expressed concerns over weight gain from the recent lockdown, Nigeria’s first and fastest growing fitness chain, I-Fitness Centre Ltd, continues to promote the culture of healthy living, as it unveiled its 10th outlet in the country.

I-Fitness centre was established in 2015 in its bid to make health and wellness common, affordable, entertaining, and convenient.

Its Founder and CEO, Foluso Ogunwale, told newsmen the importance of embracing a healthy way of life. He said this during the unveiling of the Magodo branch on CMD road, Lagos.

For the CEO, I-Fitness runs with the vision to be Africa’s most preferred fitness chain.

“As opposed to 10 years ago when world class fitness centres were luxury, scarce, and expensive; I-Fitness is making fitness common, affordable, entertaining and convenient.

“This is our own way of promoting the culture of health and wellness amongst many thousands, perhaps millions of people,” Ogunwale emphasised.

Some of the benefits of exercises, according to the CEO, include boosting the immune system. “Those who passed on from COVID-19 were largely those with underlying medical issues; meaning, the stronger your immune system, the more likely it is to survive a COVID infection. This just reminds us not to compromise on health and wellness.”

The wellness expert further cited a World Health Organisation (WHO) 2018 report that the average life expectancy of the Nigerian male is 54 years and female 55 years.

He said: “This is quite disturbing. Non-communicable diseases like heart related diseases, and diabetes are largely avoidable if fitness (physical activity and nutrition) is checked.”

According to Ogunwale, paying attention to one’s health is what they do. “Hence, the exciting part of building and scaling I-Fitness is the ability to touch many lives. We have become a strong channel through which thousands of people imbibe healthy living.”

While hinting that I-Fitness has not adequately covered every urban community in Nigeria, Ogunwale said that their mission remained on paper only. “We will be excited to see I-Fitness in any urban community with up to 25,000 residents within a 5km radius,” he added.

With the population size of Lagos and the need to massively promote healthy living, the fitness expert revealed that their initial plan was to have 22 branches in Lagos alone.

Today, I-Fitness boasts of 10 branches and have created over 250 jobs for the youth.

“With our expansion plan, we are creating another 180 before the year runs out. These are jobs cutting across various functions: from sales, marketing, personal training, customer service, accounting, to human resources among others.”

Today, the centre has about 10,000 members; it is projecting 20,000 more by the end of the year, and over 100,000 by 2024.

Proudly, I-Fitness is committing N2 billion investment, Ogunwale disclosed, in the Nigerian fitness industry. “This investment is enabling us provide a network of convenient and affordable fitness centers, thereby promoting a culture of health & wellness.

“Since convenience is one of the values we offer to our members, we operate a multi-location based system. Meaning that with one membership, our members can have access to any of our branches.”

Affordability, he continued, is also crucial. “With multi-location access, group fitness classes, best in-class equipment, certified fitness instructors, our members have the flexibility to make monthly subscriptions from as low as N13,900 as against what was obtainable 10 years ago when fitness membership in a standard gym was as high as N700,000 per annum without monthly payment options. I-Fitness is changing that landscape, we are making fitness common and more affordable.”