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Bahram Akradi, founder, chairman, and CEO of Life Time — Healthy Way of Life

Our focus: exploring what we could be doing to better serve our customers, partners and employees in keeping with our “healthy way of life” directive.

One of the things that became clear during our discussions was that for our company’s commitment to a healthy way of life to have maximum impact, it must pervade everything we do. In addition to extending throughout our fitness programming and bricks-and-mortar facilities, it must inform our whole way of thinking, relating and doing business. In my mind, this includes everything from our products, services and educational offerings to the way we treat our employees, our customers, our communities, our environment and each other.

Clearly, our health is not something we can relegate to an hour a day at the gym or think about only at mealtimes. It’s not something we can create purely out of good intentions or in impulsive fits and starts. So the challenge I put forward to our executives (and by extension, to each of our 9,000 employees) was to think about ways we could make “healthy way of life” an even more fundamental guiding principle – a “true North” that guides every aspect of our choices and behaviors, including the way we work and do business ourselves.

Work is such a big part of our daily experience.

It makes sense to consider how it impacts our quality of life and look for ways we can make it healthier, both for ourselves and those around us. I’m pleased that this issue of Experience Life presents so many insightful suggestions for doing just that. I’m also impressed by how passionately our entire executive team renewed their commitment to seeing that our company’s focus on “healthy way of life” continues to grow and deepen in all areas of our operations.

Each of us, no matter what kind of company we work for, has the opportunity to make an impact on the way that we and our coworkers experience their days. We get to choose our own attitudes and set our own boundaries. Each of us also has the opportunity to make choices that can help form a healthy balance between work and play, between intense focus and laid-back relaxation. But most of us also need support to make our healthy objectives a reality and to keep our minds and bodies fit for the challenging tasks at hand.

For more than a dozen years now, we’ve been focused on educating people on how to live healthier, better lives. Almost four years ago, we launched this magazine to reinforce and extend that same mission and reach an even broader audience of health-motivated individuals. Today, as a company, we are clearer than ever about where we are going, and why. As CEO, I’ve never felt more rock solid and excited about what this company has to offer our nearly 500,000 members, our 2 million Experience Life readers and the thousands of other people we interact or do business with every day.

I know that each of us walked away from our recent retreat with a crystallized vision of how we can help better educate and inspire our employees, customers and business partners to join us on this healthy-life quest. We also came away with renewed enthusiasm about how much we have to offer in supporting the quality of life of those around us. From the award-winning magazine you’re holding now, to our informative DVD on understanding and controlling your metabolism, to our highly trained and helpful staff of professional trainers and instructors, to our state-of-the-art fitness facilities and corporate-wellness programming, we’ve assembled an astonishing array of products, services and information designed to support every person we touch in becoming healthier and happier in every area of his or her life.

This “Healthy Work” issue of Experience Life is just another example of how seriously we take our commitment to helping members and readers extend healthy, whole-life principles into everything they do, including their professional lives. So if you haven’t spent much time with the magazine in the past, I encourage you to do so this month. I think you will find that every investment you make in your personal health pays off in terms of your professional effectiveness. And, as always, I wish you enthusiasm and success in all your endeavors.

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