Fitness + Health + Wisdom + Wealth

What is Corporate Wellness? – Mia St-Aubin

Guest: Mia St-Aubin

Release Date: 5/30/2022


Welcome to Trulyfit the online fitness marketplace connecting pros and clients through unique fitness business software.

Steven Washuta: Welcome to the Trulyfit podcast where we interview experts in fitness and health to expand our wisdom. And well, I’m your host Steve Washuta, co-founder of Trulyfit and author of Fitness Business 101. In today’s episode, I have the pleasure of speaking with Mia St-Aubin.

This is her second appearance on the podcast the first time, we discussed her not-for-profit move camp, which is a Canadian organization dedicated to keeping Canadians healthy through movement. We’re in she travels, basically, from city to city starting these large free fitness events, trying to inspire Canadians to get moving.

Mia herself was diagnosed back in 2015, with thyroid cancer, and she had to start over both, I guess you would say physically and fiscally. And during that process, she really learned how to manage her self-worth. And that’s where she came up with starting this move camp, and really trying to help Canadians get moving and stay healthy.

But today, specifically, me and I are really going to be talking about corporate wellness, we’re going to define corporate wellness, what it is kind of hammered down a simple definition. And then we’re gonna go on to talk about why it’s advantageous both from a business side. And from a personal side. If you’re a personal trainer or a fitness professional, what can you do in corporate wellness? And if you’re a business, why is this advantageous for you to partake in corporate wellness, it’s a great conversation, me and I are friends.

So for the first, let’s say, eight minutes of the conversation, we’re sort of catching up on my business stuff and her business stuff and life stuff. If you want to skip that, go ahead and skip to the eight-minute mark, if you want to just get into the corporate wellness stuff and not hear me and I catch up a little bit on the front end. But it’s a great conversation, hoping to have me back on the podcast. Within the next six months or so with no further ado, here is MIA St-Aubin.

Mia St Aubin: Did you watch what’s going on? And you want the app? How’s it going? What’s happening?

Steven Washuta: The app has not launched yet. So frustrating, like anything else? It’s nothing to do with a pandemic? Unfortunately, it’s just yeah, the technology side is so like beyond my understanding, obviously, right? I’m coming with a personal trainer background and a public relations and marketing background.

And there’s always an issue, right? There’s always a glitch first there were legal issues, because I won’t name the company. I’m sure it can be found out that basically like it was a company that was supposed to be that still exists now a group fitness company, who like had my partner build this out for them, and they couldn’t pay for it due to COVID.

So we took Oh, yeah, so we took on that existing structure and then had to repurpose it for the stuff we’re doing. But it’s just more intricate than then he imagined. And we’ve had beta testing going on meaning like we’ve had like a dozen people using the platform in the background like people don’t know that it’s being used.

But there’s been issues, especially with like the charging and the credit card situation and all that. So yeah, that’ll allow us to get it figured out. But in the meantime, it’s been a blessing, I’ll say glass half full, to be able to have like the podcast and do the marketing and and start to like build up momentum.

And even from like a, like an SEO side, like a search engine optimization side, I was able to like build out the blog, and then and then get everything going in that way. And you know, the deal there. That’s important. So when we actually like, hit that final Go button that turnkey that things are already sort of like, like working in the background in our favor?

Mia St Aubin: Can you sell memberships, like a gazebo kind of thing to like? So looking something like a grandfathered rate like?

Steven Washuta: So that’s that’s a great question. So that’s what we’re going to start doing is that we’re not it’s not going to be the people who I would say the general population who are going to be allowed to be on the site early. But it’ll be trainers.

Let’s go ahead and see me Sal Ben wants to come on, we’ll allow you to come on, make your profile, set up all of your things on the site, and like get it ready to go. And then once we’re launched, we’ll already have two 300 trainers on there so that people can come to find those trainers.

Mia St Aubin: Got it. Got it. That’s exciting, what’s going

Steven Washuta: on with move collective and move camp during these COVID times and Canada lockdowns and whatnot.

Mia St Aubin: I mean, we’re in the nation’s capital, I don’t know if you follow it, or if it’s even broadcast where you guys are, but it’s been a shit show here. They’re all the protests and the riots and everything going on. Like our it’s just so incredibly inconvenient.

So then the energy of all of that is like, we’re opened up and they’re lifting restrictions, but because the downtown core is a disaster, they blocked off all of the exits on and like in Ottawa is one there’s one main artery that gets east to west. If it’s blocked off, it’s so hard to get around the city.

It’s just been like, yeah, this and it was hard. It was hard to see this weekend. Like, you know, we felt like what, what is our country like, this doesn’t happen here. You know, there was it wasn’t violent, I would say but it was more aggressive than I think it’s ever been. Yeah, so that’s been really hard to watch.

But anyway, we had a summer season there Definitely look look different than it ever has. But we transitioned so much stuff online, we connected with so many coaches, we’re continuing to recruit so many coaches. And then we’re launching a membership platform ourselves at the end, beginning of quarter two.

So that’s, you know, I just kept saying to the team, I’m like, we’re not going to be the blockbuster of the health and fitness out of this pandemic. And like, we have to have an online platform forever and ever, like, what does that look like? So we’re really excited about that. So that’ll be good. And then our corporate wellness is what’s been the main focus lately.

So move campus, like, it runs, like it’s been around for so many years, you know, so it runs, we’ve got the team, we’re recruiting new coaches all the time. And so now it’s just continuing to get into businesses and offices and make an impact that way.

Steven Washuta: Yeah. And just to think, like, everyone else is dealing with this too, right? So like, oh, yeah, not specifically, like what you’re dealing with, with with the auto situation, all that but I just mean, between the pandemic and just life in general and all these like curveballs,

we get thrown, it’s tough to start to run these businesses that are especially like fitness industry-based businesses, because there’s so much going on, right? You have to have a foothold in both, like the online portion, but you also have to have something on site. And you have to rely on so many other people, you have to teach so many people how to do it’s, there’s a lot

Mia St Aubin: I know, and it’s like you’re only and then you can focus on your mental health and your own mental capacity. There’s only like, you can’t I send this to my, my fiancee all the time. And like, you can’t do everything, like you can’t possibly be the Hitman for everything, you know, and but it’s like as a business owner, like what else you gonna do? That’s how it runs, you know,

Steven Washuta: so and then if you’re also that at home, that takes on even more of a task, right? If you’re the Hitman the everything man or woman, or whatever gender people are these days and then you’re also you also have to go home with a significant other or family and run and wear all those hats.

It’s for your mental health and I know you’re someone who focuses you’re way better at focusing on your mental health than I am just very good to work, your your your obviously your practice with meditation and just taking time off and taking time away. I know that’s, that’s, that’s a new thing that I I haven’t done yet. But I want to like I don’t know, if you do this, I want to write down like particular times to say like, Okay, for this two-week span, like no, no socials, or no,

Mia St Aubin: yeah, I did that. I got COVID And so we both did, and so like bad. So I stopped going, like, I physically wasn’t on my phone, I couldn’t function or anything. So it just started from that. And it was about a month where I wasn’t on social media and it’s like it’s you know, those these influencers that come back and they’re like, let me show you what I learned when I was off social like that is not a joke.

Like it’s not a marketing ploy. Like it’s crazy. You don’t even I know that I’m sucked right back in but doing that more regularly so I started doing like microburst stuff then on the weekends and stuff and it’s, it’s wild, how much more like in tune and present and you’re not comparing like you don’t even we’re so accustomed to, we don’t even realize we’re doing it. So you don’t even realize how good you feel until you shut it off. It’s,

Steven Washuta: it’s wild, it does make sense to from like a productivity standpoint, at least how my mind works to sit down for like three hours, and just like design all of your content right away. And then and then just have that content for a long period of time. I don’t like the Trulyfit account is not me, like I don’t do anything.

Now. That has all been done and dealt with and other people handle my personal account to handle because like, I don’t know, it’s kind of important to me to still keep like a name and a face in the game and do these things. But I do feel like it’s sometimes I just need to cut it off and I might follow your lead and just like say two weeks off and then maybe feel good or just maybe like one week a month just no no socials

Mia St Aubin: 100% 100%. And you get like you said, you can schedule your stuff out. And then it’s like, the more you do it, the easier it becomes obviously like everything and the easier it is to step away. You don’t Oh, it’s so good. So good.

Steven Washuta: Well, I know we were going to talk about corporate wellness programs today. I don’t have a background in corporate wellness programs at all. But I understand what they were trying to initiate a lot of these corporations who brought these in I think Johnson and Johnson was like somebody who first brought corporate wellness programs into their, their business.

You could explain like you can sort of defining this in a second but I can tell you from my perspective, this is what I know just so you can kind of work around this. They were trying to design ways to just help employees like retainment and employee happiness and just make a better workplace all around so people will miss fewer days and become happier.

So they did you know a lot of physical things like in like have gyms on-site, but they also did a lot of like mental health things right if you were any of your family members had met to health issues are needed coaching, they sort of provided that is that essentially what a corporate wellness program is?

Mia St Aubin: Yeah, I mean, like we don’t, we just naturally evolved into it. So I don’t know history, I don’t know what other businesses do. Like, I know corporate wellness looks different for every business. So and I don’t even know like, the term corporate ones such as like, we bring health and wellness and culture-building within your organization. Like, I don’t know that it’s health and fitness, just in your business.

That’s it. But we can’t like, kind of what I want to talk about is the need for it. And like, I think I would have we titled this, like, if you’re not doing this, you’re missing out, like the conversations that I’ve been having lately, with businesses that we’re either looking to work with, or are working with, of like, this is not a nice to have, it’s a nice to have, and how that works. So there are lots I can say on it.

Steven Washuta: Yeah, well, let’s get into it. Let’s, let’s, let’s talk about some benefits of corporate wellness. What so if I’m Mia, and I go to Trulyfit and I say, hey, I want to bring corporate wellness to your business. And I go, Well, what are you providing? For me? What are the benefits for me and my employees, what is your like, your elevator pitch.

Mia St Aubin: Ah, I’m more just like something, like I said, it’s not a nice to have, it’s a need to have, if you are not focusing on the well being of your community of your employees, ie the entire culture of your organization, you are missing the mark, it is not something new, because we have access to be able to work across the world, virtually, in order to keep give reasons to your staff to stick around, you have to show them how it is that you care about their well being.

I think in the past, what we saw a lot of, you know, discounted gym memberships, and challenges up on bulletin boards and offices. Then once in a while yoga class. Once in a while seminars, I know that those were all in good practice. That, you know, I would choose to believe that the CEOs and the HR departments of those organizations were genuinely doing their best at the time.

But it can no longer just be there and left at that it needs to now be implemented program. Because staff can also see right through an employer, and upper you know, sea levels and management of saying you’re just doing this to, you know, show friends and say that you’re checking it off, or you’re doing it to actually, you genuinely care about me, not just the bottom line, the bottom line is always going to win here, it’s going to help if your employees are well, and they’re healthy, and they’re not in pain, and they’re moving, they’re going to work better. That is not rocket science.

But if your employee knows that you genuinely care about them as a person, and that they can feel comfortable having these conversations about health and wellness, how they’re genuinely feeling in the office, you know what, what’s going on with their health, then they’ll they’ll stick around, because you’re building a deeper relationship that’s so much more than just employee-employer type relationship, it’s not a nice to have, it’s a need to have right now.

Steven Washuta: That’s a good that’s a great message. And I think let’s let’s come back to sort of the benefits and how that would look. But let’s go to first steps if you’re somebody who likes wants to go to a company and tell them like, hey, you need this, are you telling them that you’re gonna design a program for their people, you’re gonna come in and, and help them exercise you’re gonna come in and help them sort of with the mental game and learn learning meditation? If so, is there like a, okay, I’m gonna come in once a week, or I’m gonna design individual programs, how is this laid out?

Mia St Aubin: So this is a team building, this is more I would call it like a corporate culture, building, organization, and culture building service that we deliver. Most of the time, the conversations we’re having are coming from upper level management coming from CEOs, even HR department heads, who wants so desperately to bring something into their organization.

But here’s the thing, and this is what we see all the time. They’re working their full time jobs already. And we know if anything, after these past couple of years that everybody’s working above and beyond, like that meme I saw the other day of, there’s this really cool thing that happens in my work, if I work harder, I get to do other people’s jobs. Like, there’s this culture where we’re working ever even harder than we ever have before.

And now you’ve been tasked or you have this burning desire, because you do genuinely care about your employees and your staff to give back and you’ve seen the ways that everybody’s struggling and you’ve seen how much you know, they want to continue working on their health. There was a stat in Canada alone, saying that we scored a C so an average C letter C like on a report card for returning back to movement.

So most people we did a pretty good job of doing our best to move and then even during the heart of the pandemic, we switched everything online, we’re still moving. And then post-pandemic I say in quotation marks. We’re seeing that a lot of people haven’t been able to return back to it. So the thing that’s interesting, and we were talking about that before is if the leaders and the CEOs, they’re not exempt from that they’re not superhuman, they’re also involved in what we’ve been going through these past few years, their health also matters.

So now they’ve been tasked with or they’re passionate about bringing health and wellness into the office. But they’ve got umpteen number of meetings during the day as well, their mental health is dwindling, as well throughout all of this. And they’re also themselves trying to figure out ways to meal prep and to take care of their bodies.

So literally, what we do is we come in, and we offer an entire service of what it is that staff is genuinely looking for. And we start with, with movement sessions, we start with seminars, we start with an entire welcome package that has an outline of all of the programs that we offer, because what we do through move camp is we collaborate with coaches across the country who do this.

Our biggest asset is the fact that we have a community already, that’s got their shoes tied, and the backpacks on, and we’re ready to come into the office and do the work with you and your team. So it’s like this big collected deep breath of fresh air, where you can know that you are taken care of you are safe, we are here to work with your staff. And then we can take it a step further where we serve a community and we figure out what it is that they’re really, really struggling with, or what it is that they really would like to bring in.

Most of the time, you know, businesses aren’t doing this. Most of the time, they’re doing their best. They’re bringing a couple events in maybe once a quarter, but they’re struggling to keep it up with consistency. And that’s what we offer. Because it’s what we do, you know, yeah,

Steven Washuta: we work with. You know, we, we underestimate our skills, as I guess you want to call us fitness and health professionals. Sometimes we overestimate other people skills who are successful.

LAnd let me let me expand on what I mean by that. Like, we’ll see a physician or a high-level CEO, and we assume that they have all of the areas of their life going well. And they know all the things that we know, typically that’s not the case at all right? There’s so pigeonholed and one expertise, right? If I’m the top-level accountant for whatever the biggest businesses in Ottawa, chances are, I’m so hyper-focused on that, because I have to be Oh, so wouldn’t it be great that all of the other areas are falling apart, or I just never had a chance to learn those other areas.

So I think for a lot of fitness professionals, they don’t see that you you, you see that. And you see the need for that to go in and say, I know you guys are very, very good at this one targeted thing. But you can be better as a company, if you fix all of these other sort of health and wellness things going on.

So that you know everybody can be happy in your company. And like you said, it was a great point. This is from top to bottom, right. So if you’re again, I’ll just going to use the medical establishment. If you’re at a like a doctor’s office, everybody from the doctor to the front desk lady needs this help, right? If you’re in an accounting office, everyone from the CEO, to the front desk person answering the phone is going to need something right? They might need different things. Or the CEO might need, hey, you need more sleep and meditation and the front desk. Like I said, you can just change your diet habits.

But But But regardless, they’re going to need something. And I think that’s why this program is so good or corporate wellness programs are so good because they can be individualized but nobody, nobody you’re not it’s very rare, you would walk into somewhere and someone’s like, nope, got it got all of my health and wellness together, you don’t need any of your help.

Mia St Aubin: It doesn’t exist, it doesn’t happen. I still have this conversation all the time of my car, something’s wrong with it right now, actually, something is wrong. You know, my instinct is not to let me get you to that.

Let me try and figure it out. Let me maybe just go outside of the cold and try and mess around with it myself, I might automatic instinct is to call the mechanics that I have built relationships with for over 15 years. Because I know them I like them, I trust them and just bring it in to get it fixed health and fitness is the only industry where we pull up our socks, and we try and figure it out ourselves.

And when you’re looking at figuring out ways to deliver to a larger group, to your community, to people you care about to people who you know, their health matters to your organization. And you just try and figure it out as you go. I just I genuinely beg the question as to why you know, and I think as leaders, we probably we just want to do our best and we just figure we can we can manage this.

But there are professionals and practitioners out there who do this. And that’s kind of the ease and simplicity and I guess if I was to give an elevator pitch it would be that you know, we have the community we have the staff, let us come in and run the entire program for you so you can continue to focus on your, your team, your staff, and your bottom line continue to do your job. Well we can come in and do RS and see on the industry we we try and figure it out on our own and I just think it could save us a lot of headaches. And yeah, yeah. And

Steven Washuta: again, you know, less stress, higher morale, lower turnover. These are all the sorts of things that these corporate wellness programs do. Right. I know you didn’t even try to focus on that you tried to focus on other ends. because you because you know that that’s an automatic, right, you’re gonna make more money, these people are going to be cheaper on your health care plan.

That’s another thing I kind of want to talk to you about is that I don’t know what the can’t with Canada’s Health Care Plan how this plays plays into it. But I always talk about on this podcast.

So I think health care should be sort of based off of like a tiered structure in like a corporate wellness program where let’s go ahead and say like, me, it comes up with 10 different health markers, right maybe it’s like how many pushups you can do your body fat percentage, your hydration levels, if you smoke, or if you don’t smoke, whatever, an EKG, and if you pass eight of these 10 things like you now pay less in your health benefits, right?

Or you get benefits, something like that. Like, I don’t know if that would work in Canada anyway, because you guys get free health care. But the corporation could do something like, Hey, we’re gonna, you know, your salary is sort of commensurate with all of these health markers or something, right, like, put some sort of incentive behind it?

Mia St Aubin: I definitely, I think incentives definitely work. But I think if you’re focusing on just genuinely giving your staff and your community resources where they know, so they know where they can go, they know what to do, I still maintain, we probably talked about this last time, I don’t believe that we are inherently lazy that we, you know, just don’t care that we’d rather sit and eat a bag of potato chips, I just think we’re so overwhelmed with so much work so much responsibility.

Then it’s like, oh, by the way, take care of your health, figure it out on your own, we don’t know where to start. I can just imagine what it is like to be in a corporate structure and nine to five, where you’re heavy stress, heavy, heavy work, especially during these past few years. Also, at the end of the day, you’re supposed to magically find this extra energy to go and do some sort of workout or to get outside.

Steven Washuta: Go ahead. Sorry to interrupt me up. But I’ll add another thing on to that, because that was great point, but and time. So it’s not just the energy, right? Like, where do I find the energy? Where do I find the people but like, having a corporation say to you, I want you to use time for your health is very rare, you almost feel bad, right? You’re like, How can I take up my own time to help myself and I can be doing something at work?

Mia St Aubin: Yeah, so where so I’ll jump to that point where we see success with these programs, is when it is not an extra suggestion of something to do during the day where your team, your upper management team, and your CEO are coming into these meetings with the entire staff are coming into the movement sessions are logging online, to these zoom sessions with the entire team, we are doing this together as a team, this is a safe space for you to log out of your email to come move your body to take care of your health.

So that you don’t have to focus on doing it at the end of the day, that this is one less thing that you have to be concerned about. And then you’re talking about benefits, giving them resources. And that’s the best part about I believe what we offer is that we have such a large database of people and practitioners and fitness professionals that we recommend.

The last time we surveyed a company, there were 90% of people who are sitting in pain throughout the day 90% All day in some sort of pain. And we talk about this all the time, I thought that’s just become normal. You know, we have the normal afternoon law, we were so used to being bloated, we’re so used to having a weird tickle thing in our throat.

We’re used to just having like headaches throughout the day, it’s normal for us to sit in pain. If you don’t try and seek out that information, you won’t know how, where your staff and how they’re feeling throughout the day.

So help them learn how to use their benefits by actually getting giving them the resources of hey, here’s where you can go to get your chiropractic treatment, here’s where you can go to get your pelvic floor physiotherapy, because maybe you didn’t recover properly, postpartum, like, here are all these different resources you can use so that you can actually use the benefits that you have that we have free health care this, some of these great companies have great benefits.

But our community or these communities don’t know where to turn to. So it’s just constantly giving people resources and pointing them in the right direction, so that they can learn how to do this stuff. Because like, I’m sure we’ve talked about before, it’s not like it’s readily available. It’s not like a lot of us learn this stuff growing up.

We have to figure it out somewhere how much nicer and more time appropriate is it to learn during the day than trying to take a seminar in the evening or try and get to that gym class at seven o’clock at night when you’ve got dinner to cook and kids put to bed.

Steven Washuta: For those people who think, Oh, well, this sounds great for the employees. But is it really good for the business? I’m going to read off some numbers that I found online. Now granted, there’s just it’s just data I found online who knows how accurate it is, but it was from a reputable website for every $1 that was spent on a wellness program in 2019.

Companies save $3.27 for every $1 that was spent they say they $3.47 In just health care costs specifically right. The WHO World Health Organization said that There are 27%, less absenteeism and 26% less health care costs overall for companies who do this. And then 89% of workers, at companies that support well-being efforts, like, like these programs, so they would recommend their company to others as a good place.

Right? So these are the sorts of things that help from a company side, because I think some people might be skeptical and say, Well, yeah, but as a company wasting their time, could they be putting the resources towards something else? No, there’s your greatest asset is are your employees, when you own a company, you will, you will know that, and you have to keep your employees happy.

And the more employee turnover you have, the more time you’re spending, not only hiring new people but training new people find you sometimes you have to hire people, right. And it’s a disaster. So you want to keep people in house who are good. And this is a way to do it.

Mia St Aubin: Yeah, no, exactly. I think it’s just something that we’re looking at it from a perspective of, we saw what went on these past few years, and the ways that we were managing it. I was talking today about how we, we all develop some sort of habit, some sort of coping mechanism to continue getting us through, probably arguably the most challenging, stressful time in our lives, right.

If we don’t slowly undo some of those not-so-good habits, that we got ourselves into myself included, it’s only going to continue to affect you in your job. You were overstressed we only have so much capacity, despite what we might think we’re not superhuman, we’re not robots, you know, there’s only so much we can do in a day.

If you see burnout happening repeatedly within your organization, as a business owner, and as a CEO, that is genuinely going to affect your team culture, the energy of your staff, the amount of time that they’re actually spending in the office. And, you know, there are conversations I’m having about how do we get staff to actually come back into office.

This is definitely a great way to do that, to build culture, and to start getting back on that track of, we’re all together, you know, we’re doing company events together, we’re taking care of our health together, building up that team camaraderie, again, face to face.

Steven Washuta: There’s a lot of stats showing that having a talk, I’ve talked about this before in the podcast, having autonomy and agency at your job, being able to like make, make some decisions do you want, like is is something that’s important to people, right, having, like, not just being told what to do all day long.

o I would think to like a part of corporate wellness, maybe this isn’t ingrained into what you do now. But it’s like giving people options to do things, right. So it’s not, it’s also not, and maybe you do do this, it’s not like, hey, we only have one option for fitness, or we only have one option for this, it’s like no, we have seven or eight different options.

If you want to go to like, you know, me as like Tuesday movement class, great. And if you don’t like that sort of stuff, well, then on Saturday, Mia’s friend, ball, Rosa CrossFit class, you can go there for free, we pay for it, right, just like a bunch of different options that they can choose from.

Mia St Aubin: Definitely. And I think being able to, the other thing we learned when we first started moving in office and working with these organizations is that it’s not company culture, it’s not, it’s uncomfortable for staff members to get up throughout the day when we were in office, and move around in there, you know, their, their cubicle sections, and be centered out and be those people that are doing their hips circles, because they’re, you know, to keep their back limber, and to get up and move. It’s not it wasn’t part of company culture, because it’s just not, you don’t want to be centered out.

And it’s also not a place where you’re gonna go necessarily talk to your employer and say, Listen, like, I’m having a hard time, my knees really sore, it’s really, really difficult for me to sit throughout the day, like, typically what we’ve seen in businesses and organizations is that this isn’t company culture to have these open dialogues about my personal health. So I think the more resources you are bringing forth to your staff into your team, the more you’re welcoming this type of conversation, that community and your staff can have to say, Listen, oh, my gosh, I can’t believe you’re bringing yours.

You’re starting the conversation for me. Yeah, I’ve been sitting in a lot of pain, or yeah, I’ve been having a really hard time or, you know, I’ve tried to meditate a few times, but I don’t quite understand this whole meditation thing. You know, thank you so much for that seminar last week, you’re opening up so much more than just one, you know, session. It’s this entire dialogue around this culture of I feel safe enough and comfortable enough that I can take care of myself. And I think that’s huge.

Steven Washuta: And I think, and I think that to add to that, it’s because you are the expert and you your team of experts are there. That makes a big difference too. Because how when I see at my end, a lot of like the general population, they’re very insecure about fitness and it could be for two reasons. It could be one, I look dumb, and I’m doing the wrong thing. Or two people think that I’m all like that all I want to do is fitness.

And I’m like obsessed with my vanity or my body. So either one, right? So people are insecure about both of those areas. But having somebody come in who is an expert and say, no, no, we need this, this is better for our morale, this is better for our mental health, this will in turn, help us be better employees and more productive and make it a regular normal thing.

And office culture as you put it, makes it makes that those insecurities sort of take a step down. So I don’t like the weirdo, you know, doing my hip circles or deciding to go into child’s pose in the middle of the office? Well, we’re just supporting

Mia St Aubin: normalizing what it is like to take care of ourselves, to be able to create these safe spaces where you can check in with yourself and say, like, how am I feeling? You know, do I really need another coffee? Or am I just really incredibly burnt out and exhausted.

And now I’m finally being able to I’m given the resources, and I’m given a platform to say that instead of perpetually, perpetually working myself into this, this grind, where I’m burnt out, and I’m not feeling great, but I don’t have this outlet, I don’t have a space to be able to have these conversations you have, you have these countries that are moving into four-day workweeks you that again.

This is not something that can be ignored, because I think we’re finally waking up to the fact that we are not robots, and that, we do need to take a lunch break. And we do need some sort of afternoon break. And we do need some movement and mobility throughout the day. These are not suggestions. This is what we need as a population to thrive.

Steven Washuta: Yeah, and I think it’s, you know, there was a conversation in the 90s and early 2000s A lot of businesses when at post college when I was working in public relations, and that had a hedge fund.

Our businesses always had a corporate social responsibility. CSR, right. And what that was was basically just like the corporations who were doing bad shit decided to spend money in other areas to look good. So it’s like, oh, I’m like, you know, I’m, I’m breaking all these laws, but I’m going to put some money towards pollution, or in my local community, or, or, you know, bottled water and give it to the poor or whatever.

But the companies were looking always out, always externally, right. They’re always looking for other things to do, like sort of outside the business. So like, look better and be better. It’s like, well, first, you have to, like clean up in home. Meanwhile, half their employees were quitting, because they were overworking them. And they were unhealthy.

They weren’t doing the right things, but they’re spending, you know, whatever, millions of dollars, you know, bottling water for the community, it’s like, well, you have to sort of look inward, just like you do as a person, as a company and say, we have to fix the problems like in house first, and then and then worry about it. Otherwise, I can tell you that I know companies right off the top of my head.

I’m sure you’re still reaching out to companies who would not want to hear this. It would benefit them instantly. But to tell a CEO, that’s sort of like, Hey, your employees are overworked and they need some more time to work to focus on themselves and their bodies. How do you deal with those conversations? Are you nervous about having those conversations? Has anyone ever said to you like Sorry, like, we’re not interested in this stuff. And I don’t want to give my employees this

Mia St Aubin: 100% I think the biggest challenge would be you’re, you’re focusing and you’re communicating directly to people’s paradigms, about health and fitness, right. And this is why I’m so passionate about, I mean, the entire organization, my whole company, the movements like getting Canadians moving and keeping them healthy and keeping them moving because this is it’s we have had the same messaging since I was a baby about what it is that we need to do with Canadians health and our national health and wellness program raided us in a sea of getting movement 54% of Canadians right now are saying that they the isolating and the social distancing has left them basically with social anxiety of being able to get together and move together.

So I think it can be a difficult conversation. But I think I’m more just coming from a place of it just fed up. Like it’s just we have you don’t have a choice, we have to have these conversations. And we have worked with some organizations in the past where it’s been challenging to make it part of the day, because everything else matters more than your staff. Everything else matters more your clients matter more.

You know, the customer’s always right type of mentality, which I appreciate. I’m a business owner myself, but if you aren’t okay, internally love the way you said that if you’re not looking inside first, you’re not putting your own oxygen mask on first. Like how many times have you heard that analogy because it is so accurate. If your team isn’t okay, and they are not at their prime, they are not at their optimal health that will hurt your organization on the long run and you might not want to hear it but it’s true.

And that and you will learn kind of the hard way. So if I would just urge people if you are going to implement something like this, if you are going to focus on your staff, do it together and make sure it’s not a suggestion. It’s something that we’re doing together as a team, and you are implementing it during the workday that’s not at lunchtime, where you can actually do it together as an organization and not feel guilty for not being at your desk or feeling like you have to stay late, because you’re missing that hour from work.

So you know it again, it’s a difficult conversation, and it can be, but it’s something that it’s just the same type of conversation with health and wellness in general, we cannot ignore it, we have to take care of ourselves. And we’ve seen that time and time again over the last two years. Not it’s a necessity.

Steven Washuta: I think it’s great that you said that I, you know, to sit down with your other employees, right, again, I’ll just use a doctor’s office for the sake of this hypothetical here. And you have like the physician and you have the four nurses, and maybe there’s a PA and there’s two front desk staff and make sure that they have a say in what’s going on in this in this sort of program. Right? Because it’s not, it’s not just about you telling them to do one more thing that doesn’t always work, right? Like, hey, you have to get up and move. It’s like, well, no, because they’ve been there. All-day long.

They’re told what to do. Right? This is part of the issue. It’s, this is an opportunity for you, this is what’s going to help you and even sort of, I call this like the parent conundrum, like you as a parent telling your kid to do something, they’ll never do it. But if you have a coach, tell them to do it. They’ll do it, right. Like the same thing, right? Like I, I imagined my daughter grows up when I tell her that she’s shooting the basketball wrong.

She’ll say shut up, Dad, if I hire a basketball coach teacher the same way that I was going to teach her she’ll listen, right? Because that’s just what it is. And that’s the sort of the same thing with like, Meow, or some other professional coming into the office and saying, Hey, listen, this is what we need to do. This is what we’re going to do.

This is how we’re going to help you from a mental standpoint, from a health standpoint, rather than just the head person in the office, sort of taking it on themselves and trying to instruct it without getting everybody else’s information. What’s best? Do you guys really want gym memberships? Because that hasn’t worked in the past. But if you want that, maybe we can give that a go right and see all the different options.

Mia St Aubin: Yeah, and I think like to speak to that it’s just so much more than movement. You know, even my show more than movement is what we’ve called it. Because it’s so much more than that we’ve taught, we’ve seen such a rise in the conversation around mental health as of late, and I think that’s incredible.

And I think it’s amazing because it’s a getting rid of the stigma. And it’s also enabling people to label it as that, you know, if I’m not doing well, it’s not just that you’re having a bad day, or that your PMS thing or that something’s going to having a difficult time in the office, maybe your mental health just isn’t where it needs to be right now and being able to say that and say that in office.

So I think and like I said, I think it’s a great start what organizations have done, we are trying, I will give that to us as the same reason why I will not sit here and say the average population is lazy. We’re trying, we’re, you know, we are, we are doing our best we are reading labels we were trying to get outside, but for the love of Pete, we are so busy and so overstimulated and so overworked, that we just, it’s exhausting, when we don’t know where to turn.

So I think it’s a great start that we’ve implemented in gyms and there’s, you know, there are showers in offices, and there are actual gyms and offices and they, we’ve looked at different ways of putting bringing things into kitchens in the office, but centering it all around this holistic approach of health and wellness is where you’re gonna see things stick, and where you’re really gonna see the culture of your organization change, and not just for your team, but for yourself.

You know, and then this is something that you’ll never be able to have without because again, it’s it’s imperative that we are all taking care of our health.

Steven Washuta: Yeah, and I love you, you said so much more than fitness. And you know, what I took from that, although you expanded on it also was that you can make other changes in your office, that are corporate wellness changes that don’t look like corporate wellness changes.

Let me say, give you an example here. So somebody works the same hours a week, but they feel like they could spend more time with their child, and live a better life if they push their hours to two hours ahead, meaning instead of working from eight to four, I’m going to come in from 10 to six, if that’s going to make your employee that much happier, and they can get different things done. And they’re not any less productive during that time.

Well, I mean, that is essentially better for the entire company. So these conversations start are going to have to start happening because burnout is spreading throughout the world more than I’ve ever seen it and part of the reason is that sort of a top-down approach people you have to see more clients, you have to see more patients because the money that’s coming in just isn’t working.

Who knows if it’s just again top-down inflation, whatever people above you are spending too much money and the people below are getting axed for the mistakes that the people above you are making.

But I think there has to talk about what do we do to relieve burnout and could that be just changing people’s schedule slightly, whatever that is working from home One day a week, things like that so that I can maybe I like hiking, maybe that’s my modality of fitness and I can only hike during the day because it’s dark out at night.

And I’m worried about bears. So like, how do I manage my schedule? Well, maybe I work 11 hours, three days a week so that I can hike on Thursday and Friday.

Mia St Aubin: Yeah, and I think we’re seeing that with people having to work from home during this time, and now we’re seeing that there is a lot more variables that we can manipulate to give better health options or just to give options in general to your employees and watch their mental health and their physical health or holistic health change.

But I think it needs to go even deeper than that. And having the conversation of okay, let’s we’ve overcorrected. Because we had to, and let’s see where we can use these. Working from home and having virtual meetings where it can be used those as assets. You know, and like, for example, even with myself. When running businesses, or running my business and have me having meetings and stuff. Sometimes having the option of doing something virtually, is beautiful. It’s like a godsend because I don’t have to focus on. Especially right now in the winter, where we meet. The time it takes to travel to get there, my mental health. I could have more time to do my exercise in my training. Have a shower, eat lunch, and then get to my meeting in my own office in my home. Then have to rush and get there.

And then I can actually do more in that timeframe. Because maybe I have enough time afterwards to have an in person meeting. But instead of having one in person meeting that afternoon. I have enough time to have maybe, let’s say two to three. Without feeling stressed out, having a little bit of a break in between. And feeling more productive overall. Because I’ve had some time in between to gather my thoughts and prepare myself for the next meeting.

So we can now course correct. And use these variables that we looked at as almost threats to the organization. Like you can’t work from home, how are we supposed to monitor your work ethic. We can use these as assets now. And just keep piling on to that. And if you know if that’s as far as you can go right now as an organization. That’s as far as your capacity will let you go start with those things. Like you’re saying of implementing these simple, different types of health habits. Use these things as assets, and then start adding on, you know. Start small start where you can but you have to start. We have to do it.

Steven Washuta: We you know, a lot of this conversation has been about the incentives. If you’re an employee, and the incentives. If you are a business owner of some sort. write what why this is only beneficial for you. But where I want to change a little bit of a conversation here and take a different turn. Is if I’m a personal trainer, or a fitness professional.

My name is Katie, and I want to start Katie’s corporate wellness. And I want to go to these businesses. Do you have any advice to give someone how they would start? How they would initiate these conversations? What sort of things they should pitch outside of the things we talked about? How does one go about that if they don’t have a background in it. And that’s and they think it’s a great idea after listening to this?

Mia St Aubin: Well, I mean, if you’re in Canada, you can be on my team. I would say that that’s like, because we are a team. That’s a lot of what we do. We gather these contracts, we build the relationships, you know. We sell the program, and then our coaching staff and our community are part of our team.

And we just outsource and we use them. We use their expertise and their professional professionalism to provide services to the the corporate wellness contracts themselves. So it’s a win win, you know. We’re able to serve as this this great organization who wants to help their staff. And our coaches are able to utilize their skills and deliver great seminars. Deliver great movement sessions.

And then from there, the community and the staff and the coaches can get to know these practitioners. That are coming to them, and learning about it from learning. But what they do from their seminars, from their movement sessions. They can continue on and get access to the classes and the courses. And the programs that these trainers and these practitioners offer.

So it’s not just a one-time thing. You can figure out who it is that you really like. If you are a staff member attending one of these sessions. You really resonated with Coach Jen who does incredible meditation. And teaches it in a way that really resonates with you. You can log on to her sessions, you know. And I think working with a team and an organization like that will really help you. It’s It’s akin to working at a gym and that gym is getting new clients, right? If you can sign up with a team and do it that way.

If that’s not accessible to you and unavailable to you. I would build relationships I would get on LinkedIn, and have conversations with people. Reach out to your immediate network and build relationships and make sure that you are aligned with service. How do you want to give back How many people do you want to help? What do you want that to look like, if you’re not looking to serve communities. It I don’t know how far you’ll go.

If you genuinely want to make a difference, and it’s not all about you. It’s not about your paycheck, then I do believe that you will be a lot more abundant. Than just focusing on yourself. So if you genuinely have a service mentality. And you want to give back and you want to help communities during this time. Especially, I mean, there’s no telling how far you’ll go.

Steven Washuta: That’s great information. I’ll add one thing to it that I thought of as you were talking about that too. I think the word corporate skill scares people. And I think you can start really small. So if this is something you think you’re interested in. You could go to the local mom and pop pizzeria that’s got five workers. And just say, Hey, I’m a certified personal trainer. And whatever weight loss specialists and I have, you know, blah, blah, blah. I want to work with you guys, we can set this sort of fee going. I can work with your employees, I can look over what you’re doing.

And just start small and, and sort of, you know, you’re going to obviously fall through the sand traps. That is any new business, and you’re going to make some mistakes. But at least you’re making them on that level. And maybe you don’t charge as much right away. And then you work your way up and you get more comfortable with those sorts of things. You can go off on your own that is if you don’t have the luxury of joining a company. Like me Iran, and that you have to do this from the ground up on your own.

Mia St Aubin: Yeah, yeah. And, you know, relationships are really a really, really long way. And there’s, there’s a lot of businesses we’ve talked to. That they’ll have there in house trainer. They and the more education you have, the more that you have to offer. The more that you can offer, you know. So it can go anywhere from your yoga specialist who offers yoga classes. And then you become a practitioner that can offer seminars on top of that.

So then these some of these businesses have this in-house employee. Almost like a contractor that does all of this stuff. Very similar to what move corporate does, you know. So I love seeing that. I think that that’s a beautiful, new wave of having somebody in the house. Just like you would it, you know, delivering value at the moment.

Steven Washuta: That’s a great point. Yeah, I knew a trainer who made and this was in the early 90s. One of my clients told me that they he had a trainer on site. It was him and five other guys in the business. So the trainer worked with all six of them. They paid him $75,000 a year, which is a ton of money for a trainer in the 90s.

And he traveled with them everywhere, though. So that was the one thing I guess you couldn’t really have a family. Because they were sort of traveling businessmen all over the world. So he would travel with them. He would train them in individual locations. And he always sorted of on call to be a trainer.

But maybe that’s not the job you’re gonna get right away in, in corporate wellness, but maybe who knows. But but these are the sorts of things that should hopefully become more normal, right? I think these bigger businesses have somebody like you said. Or a small gym on site. At least somebody that they’re able to zoom with like this. And maybe their employees have a 30-minute zoom session once a week.

And you can say, Hey, listen, you know, I’ve been having some back problems. I think it’s sciatica, which stretches can I do and I get on the ground. And then I send them a quick document on how to do the stretches. I think this is this is the new wave of fitness and wellness coming in. Whether we like it or not, it’s it’s me, you gotta jump on it. So

Mia St Aubin: I couldn’t agree more. And I just think yeah, conversations like this, to continue to help it become more normal and normalize that. This is what we do. Now. We just, you know, if you don’t offer this and you you’re missing the mark, you’re missing the boat.

Steven Washuta: I’m starting a new corny thing here before I end on my podcast. And I’m just going to ask my guests what fitness modality have they been doing recently? Have you been doing anything differently? Have you been doing a new routine a new like, are you running backwards? Give me something.

Mia St Aubin: I totally started training for a triathlon. So it’s so much fun. My I’m inspired by my mom’s triathlete achievement strap on a Chi Minh. She was on Team Canada. When I was growing up, she came third at Worlds. And she was just such a Bosch and the whole thing without a coach like it was just incredibly inspiring.

Her health has been compromised a lot lately. So it’s just been that last little piece of inspiration I needed to go so I’m back in the pool. I’m running some background running. But I’ve been teaching myself while I’ve been spied spinning and cycling in my home on our wind trainer. And I’ve got aspirations and hopes to compete in the triathlon in June and July so it’s still fun.

Steven Washuta: And what about so remind me weather wise When will you be able to ride outside?

Mia St Aubin: Probably Probably May. Maybe end of April, May but this is the coolest part about this. I was thinking about it the other day on my run. It’s not it’s not necessarily the sports it’s super fun. I am not like incredibly well versed in cycling but swimming or running.

Like it’s I’ve been doing that my whole life biking, I’ll have to learn a little bit more. But that’s the coolest part. I can teach myself these new skills. Like learning up and like talking to my mom about triathlons. I’m studying the program that I have, and I’m learning new skills as I do it.

I just, I think I’m most recently inspired from the Olympics that just ended as well. Just watching people, you know. Hone in on their skills and learn new skills and work on their craft. And just feel like that’s, that’s the point of life, you know.

So it’s not, it’s not really about the sports. It’s about the fact that I can celebrate my body, I can move, I can learn something new. I can push myself and see you know what my limits are? My new limits are, it’s just been this whole weekend experience. It’s not just about sports. It’s been super fun.

Steven Washuta: Well, Kevin Rokoff up there, and Edmonton is a really fantastic cycle coach. Oh, so if you’re if you’re looking for someone, I would recommend him. He’s been on my podcast once he’s coming on again. Oh, really, super nice guy. And he’s not like a cycle coach who only works with like, top level athletes or beginners. He sort of he works a little bit with everybody.

So certainly, Oh, Kevin, real cosh I can send you his information. That’s, that’s really cool. I personally have been trying to dunk a basketball that has been mine. So I’m six foot, I’ll probably have to lose a little weight. I weigh around 185. And I might have to drop about 10 pounds, because it does make a huge difference.

Not not a big deal. Yeah, but I can grab the rim, but I just can’t. Yeah, I need another probably inch, inch and a half in order to dunk the basketball. So that’ll be, that’ll be a fun thing. And for me, it’s like, I’ve been going to the gym for so long. And you know how it is with like, No, I don’t go with goals, like the average person.

Because when you’re a personal trainer, and you know, like what to do. It’s like, just you just walk in, you see what’s there. You do a little bit of everything. And it’s just maintenance, right? It’s just movement and maintenance. So to have like a cool goal. And then like a struggle, look up new exercises and like challenge myself in different ways, as has been fun.

Mia St Aubin: It’s so fun. And I don’t know, I think it’s just it really speaks. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. If it’s not something that’s available to you right now. It really speaks to where my mental health was like, it’s a year, a year and a half ago.

So, you know, I just look back. And I’m just so grateful that I have the capacity and the energy for it now because they didn’t before. It was hard, you know, so I think if people are feeling like, overwhelmed. Or like they should be taking on these goals, give yourself some time it will come. Just keep practicing on your mental health and practicing your whatever is going to help. To continue these to de-stress you met will make a genuine difference. And what other physical goals do you take on moving forward. Yeah,

Steven Washuta: yeah, and be ready to fall off and then climb back on meaning Yeah, even us, right? I’m sure it’s happened to you in maybe even in the triathlon training. Where something derails you, you get sick, you know. You have family in town, something that’s going on.

And before you know it, like six days have gone by and you’re like, Shit. I didn’t even train in the last six days. But there’s nothing you can do. You have to let it go by and you have to forget about it and go back. And we all do it. Because that’s a really big problem I see with the general population is that they start and they fail.

And they don’t want to they don’t want to go back. And they think it’s like a problem. But it’s like, Hey, I have to get my clients on.. And let them know that we all do it. Even though even fitness professionals, we all take these small little blips. Where we’re not working out and things happen and we’re depressed because of it. But there’s nothing you can do except forgetting it and start back over.

Mia St Aubin: Yeah, and keep working on your mental game. You know, that’s what will keep you going like, your health is not just about movement. It’s it’s so much more than that. And if you’re having a bad go and wherever you are. Plop down on the ground, cross your legs and close your eyes. Meditate

Steven Washuta: Mia, Where can the listeners find more about you move collective move camp. And if they want to reach out to you directly to talk about corporate wellness programs or anything else.

Mia St Aubin: You know why you can reach me via email at You can check out our, not dot com. Can learn more about our corporate wellness programs there. Check us out on LinkedIn. We’re just kind of everywhere. But yeah, definitely check out the movement move. is our million movers movement and doing everything we can Canadian.

Steven Washuta: My guest today has been Mia St-Aubin Thanks for joining us really for the podcast.

Mia St Aubin: Thank you.

Steve Washuta: Thanks for joining us on the Trulyfit podcast. Please subscribe, rate, and review on your listening platform. Feel free to email us as we’d love to hear from you.

Thanks again!




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