Indie gym fuses fitness with physiotherapy
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A new independent health club in Christchurch, Dorset, is bidding to bring healthcare and fitness under one roof as part of a new integrative offering.

Manoj Patel, a chartered physiotherapist, is the brains behind Urban Health and Fitness – a health club venture which aims to provide a joint package of care to members through qualified PTs and a team of physiotherapists and chiropractors.

In addition to around 165 exercise classes a month, the facility – which opened at the start of September – offers specialised back care Pilates classes as it bids to cater for as wide a market as possible.

“Our focus is on engaging with people who want to change their lifestyle in a positive way,” said Patel.

“At some point, people will consider a more active lifestyle and we offer one solution to this. A small health club such as Urban Health and Fitness cannot afford to target pockets of people. We must engage and be accommodating to any person that comes through the door.”

The 3,200sq ft (297sq m) gym features a range of cardio machines (from Bodycharger in Taipei) and resistance machines (from Shanxi Yeekang Fitness products in China) which Patel sourced during his visit to FIBO 2013 in Germany. There is also a free weight section, a separate rooftop yoga and Pilates studio, as well as a range of specialist fitness equipment designed for the rehab of patients from the club’s health clinic.

Having funded the new venture through a bank loan and personal financing, Patel says he now plans to expand on the wide range of services they offer, particularly the therapeutic side of the business, with a view to integration with local charities and businesses.

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A new independent health club in Christchurch, Dorset, is bidding to bring healthcare and fitness under one roof as part of a new integrative offering.
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