Caitlin Sykes

Your Business editor of the NZ Herald

Small Business: Keeping well with Gregg Walden of The Jungle Gym

Gregg Walden and his wife Kelly own and operate The Jungle Gym, a gym based in Browns Bay, Auckland.

Gregg and Kelly Walden, owners of The Jungle Gym.
Gregg and Kelly Walden, owners of The Jungle Gym.

What do you do to keep well?

As a gym owner you need to lead by example, so I work out daily so that I can keep abreast of my peers and clients. Workout times are somewhere between 20 to 40 minutes.

In terms of food I generally eat when I'm hungry and have never been on a strict diet per se. My philosophy is 'work hard, play hard' and enjoy life to the max, so I'm not an advocate of calorie counting unless training someone in which the goal is to lose weight for a competition or general health reasons.

I think exercise performed at least three to four times a week should assist in both stress mitigation and sleeping well.

What impact does this regime have on your work?

I am normally in the gym around 5:15am and close at 8pm, which means long hours on my feet coupled with demonstrating various exercises throughout the day to clients.

Being fit is a way of life to me. It keeps me sharp and alert and helps to keep our clients motivated, which I believe is one of the pillars of working in the fitness industry, along with education.

Due to the nature of our exercise regime there is nowhere to hide when demonstrating exercises and our clients will soon see for themselves whether you work out or not. I don't give any exercise that I can not do myself and it also demonstrates to them that we practise what we preach.

What are some of the challenges of maintaining your fitness regime?

Running a business can be very time consuming. You have things on the go all the time, and often before you know it the day is over. It's quite a tricky thing owning a gym and trying to juggle time to do your own workout. If others are in the gym, I'm often interrupted by people wanting advice or help, which easily breaks your rhythm.

On the other hand, I often want to jump in and correct members on their technique to improve their experience!

The best options I have are to work out when another staff member is looking after things, when the gym is empty, or when we are closed to the public.

What are your top tips for keeping well as a small business owner?

Love life and be loved, everything in moderation and do something every day that scares you.

At the gym, don't compare yourself to others; always compete with yourself because that's the one person you can better.

Don't sweat the small things, spend quality time with your family and if you don't have a fitness or health regime, start one now.

Coming up in Small Business: More than 70 per cent of small businesses have no employees. What are the highs and lows of working on your own and what are some tips for making this work? If you've got a story to share about what it's like to go it alone in your business, drop me a note: nzhsmallbusiness@gmail.com

- NZ Herald

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