The 2018 Winter Olympics is upon us and all over the world people are making piecrust promises (fragile and easy to break) to take up skiing, or at least go ice skating this weekend. But instead of just buying a token tennis racquet when Wimbledon is on, people are more conscious now than ever about the long-term health benefits of a fit and healthy lifestyle.

It is the prescription drug that can reduce stress and anxiety, forestall many chronic illnesses, help to control blood pressure and cholesterol, make you happier, and it doesn’t need to break the bank… all for just a little bit of dedication. Not to mention it’s totally on trend.

It seems every day there is a new study reaffirming the profound positive health benefits of regular physical activity. And doctors are able to prescribe exercise as treatment for a range of conditions, through social prescribing schemes. The health and wellness scene has grown exponentially over recent years, and continues to do so. Everyone has a fitness tracker on their wrist and is your phone even a phone if it’s not recording your steps? ‘Wellness’ now means far more than being free from illness, it’s dynamic, encompassing a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.

Below are two examples of companies that we believe are both investable and promote wellness.

Technogym
The leading fitness equipment and technology supplier, Technogym, is pioneering connected wellness solutions. As an official supplier to the Olympics, the company’s founder Nerio Alessandri has been talking of ‘wellness’ in this sense as far back as the 90s.

Technogym launched the first cloud-based fitness platform, ‘mywellness’. The app can do everything wellness related. It can talk to the machine you’re running on, use its AI-driven coaching platform to set goals and targets for users, allowing them to compare themselves to others through its ‘Movergy Index’. It can connect to wearable devices like Fitbits and other health apps allowing it to track heart rate so you can see all things wellness in one hub.

Technogym’s founder is also working to transform the Romagna region in Italy into the first international wellness district, with a broad focus on both physical and mental health.

Planet Fitness
Offers low-cost gyms that are self-branded ‘judgement-free zones’. Planet Fitness has been successful in creating affordable judgement-free gyms. How do we know? Well if anyone in the gym is caught grunting, flexing, topless, dropping weights or judging others they will sound their ‘lunk alarm’, a staff-operated siren designed to encourage the offenders to stop…

Mindbody
Provides an integrated software and payments platform to the wellness industries. Mindbody connects consumers with local wellness providers, allowing wellness entrepreneurs globally to run, market and build their business with ease. Fast Company recently ranked Mindbody #2 most innovative company in wellness in 2018.

About the author

Georgina Laird is a sustainable investment analyst. She is responsible for analysing and monitoring environmental, social and governance factors within the Global Sustainable Equity Strategy. Georgina joined us in 2015 from Russell Investments where she was an index analyst. She joined Kames as a performance analyst before moving to the ESG Research team in 2016. Georgina has a BSc in Mathematics from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. She has the IMC professional qualification and has 5 years’ industry experience(As at 31 October 2017).

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