A Tour of Whole Foods’ New Wellness Center

I've talked frequently about having doctors bring wellness professionals into their practice to teach their patients how to truly live healthier lives.  I strongly think that nutritionists and fitness trainers should be an integral part to health care and I believe we can wipe out the federal deficit without even breaking a sweat if we do this. Whole Foods has decided not to wait for the American Medical Association to get their act together.  They've essentially done what I've been talking about by opening Wellness Clubs inside their stores.  The very first one is in Dedham, MA with more planned for New York, New Jersey, California, and Chicago. They have even collaborated with the medical community, working with Drs. Matt Lederman and Alona Pulde to develop the program.  Both doctors were featured in the movie "Forks over Knives" and advocate a "whole food, plant-based diet." The program isn't free; it's $199 to sign up and then $45 a month after that.  Members get tons of classes on cooking, yoga/fitness, health and nutrition (they frequently have two or three classes a day), and they also get a 10% discount on foods that are advocated by the program.  Honestly, the food discount alone could easily cover the costs of the program. As Dr. Lederman pointed out, "Once they realize the value of this, it's a fantastic value. And if I could offer all this in pill form for $45 a month, people would refill it in a second." Here's a video of the facility.  Let me know what you think ...

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson here. I've been a personal trainer since 1997, a Pilates instructor since 1998 and the owner of Modern Pilates since 1999. I'm hoping to give you some good ideas to get or stay in shape with a healthy dose of humor and reality. Thanks for joining me.

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5 Responses to A Tour of Whole Foods’ New Wellness Center

  1. Tom Scearce September 7, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    Thanks for sharing this Lisa. The video link didn’t appear in the post but this is great news.

    Smart of WF to do this. It also creates an opportunity to build community around the WF brand with local fitness practitioners and instructors. And yes the discount on food may make the cost of the program a wash!

    BTW, big box retailers should be following WF’s lead – there is so much retail square footage that just isn’t needed to showcase products anymore.

  2. Kathy The Boston Sports Woman September 7, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    Totally different perspective than I have of this program. Why should we have to pay an additional amount of money to join a wellness club, when Whole Foods should offer this to customers to promote loyalty? Regardless of saving the amount of money spent on the program, I still feel the program should be offered gratis. Whole Foods leaves the stigma of looking for more money from customers, and not customer service.

  3. Lisa Johnson September 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    Tom thanks so much for your response. I’ll double check the link, not sure what happened, maybe a browser issue.

    And I’d love to see big box stores devote more space to wellness and a whole lot less on “crap we don’t need” as my husband says. Thanks for stopping by. Lisa

  4. Lisa Johnson September 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Kathy thanks for your thoughts. I have to say I was honestly looking at it as a “recouping their costs” more than a make money. But of course you’re right, they do want to profit from it. Doctors profit as well from their practices so it’s not entirely altruistic either. Hmmmm … pondering …

  5. Alis Lovestretch September 8, 2011 at 2:43 am #

    That’s a nice step forward to promoting healthier living. I really like the idea of incorporating ‘wellness clubs’ into the Whole Foods stores.

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