Ten years ago, the wellness industry was far removed from the $4.2 trillion market it is today. Frame was one of the first fitness studios of its kind to open in London, offering fitness classes for people to have fun and find a way to move regardless of whether they’d ever exercised before or not.
Fast-forward and this ‘boutique’ fitness sector has become more of a norm. Leading technology platform for fitness, beauty and wellness services, Mind Body reports that
… the great ones [studios] have transformed into community-powered lifestyle brands, which aim to exist in every part of their customer’s daily lives. Mind Body
And Frame certainly fit into this space. Now with seven studios across London, they still have customers coming who were there in the very beginning. Co-founder, Pip Black, is not letting the trends sway them. She’s clear the values they committed to back then are the same now. Saying it’s always been about helping people to live fit, well and happy lives, and to have fun along the way. She’s conscious about the temptation in the wellness industry for people to feel they have to be ‘perfect’ or need to jump in on all the latest trends.
She says this can mean we often put undue stress on our bodies (and minds) and is quick to bring it back to doing what works for you and your body. Her ease with which she talks about movement in her own life is a testament to how integrated into her lifestyle it really is.
I’m moving to change my mood. When I’m in tune with my body and what works for me, it puts me in a better place. Pip Black, Frame Co-Founder
And with the growing body of research around the body-mind connection, this makes a whole lot of sense. Studies have shown that even the simplest of movement routines can reduce anxiety and depression, minimize stress and improve your mental clarity. Movement is about much more than just physical health, it’s about being mentally healthy too, and it’s an ongoing process.
The way in which Pip has approached movement in her life has evolved over time though. She says there have been times when she would ‘burn the candle at both ends’ but since starting the business she’s needed to learn even more how to stop and be.
Whether that adaptation has come with age, motherhood or lessons in business over time she’s not sure. What she does know is that the more she can be in tune with her body and what works for her, whether that’s a high-intensity workout or meditation, the calmer she is.
As a London brand, Frame has been even more conscious of the stressful environment many of their community work and live in. Which, in turn, can create additional pressures both physically and mentally.
Pip suggests there has been a change in mindset, with the industry shifting almost ‘360-degree’ from everyone being “slightly obsessed with fitness” to a softening out. There’s been a recognition that sometimes less is more and that the intensity of a particular workout may not be what your body needs at that time.
For herself, she knows that low impact workouts (such as yoga or pilates) in the mornings actually increase her energy throughout the day versus starting with something more intense. This has come from a process of learning to “slow down and trust” and Frame have incorporated these lessons into education for their community. It’s why Frame’s timetable even includes a ‘mood filter’ to help clients with that process.
And while her stressful days now come when she’s not being clear on priorities, or setting unrealistic deadlines, she finds her way back to balance by slowing down and re-evaluating what feels right. One of her daily non-negotiables is one-hour of tech-free time with her children, which she says is “a form of meditation” in itself.
Pip’s advice for anyone stuck in that busy, stressed state, is to know there’s far more power in making small incremental changes.
She suggests starting with:
- adding movement to your day, in any way possible;
- looking for ways to include more ‘sky’ time in your day (if you can’t be with nature you can at least get outside she says); and
- being kind to yourself, knowing that tomorrow is a new day.
Pip believes that “choosing exercise is the biggest treat we can give ourselves”. A simple shift in mindset with a powerful result.
Pip Black is one of eight UK ‘Women In Wellness’ I interviewed to understand how they lead successful businesses whilst bringing balance and well-being into their own lives. Sophie Scott, Founder, and Editor of BALANCE magazine also spoke of the importance of mental well-being. The remaining interviews will be published throughout March in celebration of International Women’s Day.
This piece by Danielle Brooker was originally published on ‘Forbes‘, 11 March 2019.