Technogym Offers a Philosophy for Healthy Living

By Paul Joseph

The 2012 London Olympics was a global carnival of sport enjoyed by adults and children across the world. For many, watching these elite athletics competing for glory provided the impetus to get off the sofa and take up sport and exercise themselves.

A main driver behind encouraging more interest in personal health and fitness – and one of the official sponsors of the London Games – is Technogym. Headquartered in Cesena Italy, and with 13 branches worldwide, Technogym is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of state-of-the-art fitness equipment.

Renowned for its innovative designs and technology, the company’s philosophy is built upon a call for social responsibility. And it was upon this principle that the idea of the “Wellness Foundation” emerged, promoting a lifestyle based on regular physical activity, balanced diet and a positive mental approach. caught up with Nerio Alessandri, Founder of Technogym, to find out more.

Superyachts: Can you start by telling us a little about Technogym’s products and services
Nerio Alessandri: We are the world’s leading company in the development of wellness solutions for fitness clubs, private homes, luxury hotels and spas, sport facilities, medical centres and companies. We have a wide range of different product lines and services that enable us to offer a tailor-made solution for each client. Around 50 million people in the world train with Technogym every day.

SY: How would you describe the Technogym philosophy towards fitness?
NA: I believe that fitness is an important component of the Wellness lifestyle. More than 20 years ago, when the world was dominated by a fitness culture obsessed by muscles and appearance, at Technogym, we launched the concept of ‘Wellness’, an Italian lifestyle with roots that lie in the philosophy of “Mens sana in corpore sano”, which was invented two thousand years ago in ancient Rome.

‘Wellness’ is the balance between the body, mind and spirit, and is achieved through regular physical exercise, a healthy diet and a positive mental attitude. ‘Wellness’ allows us to improve our quality of life, feel good about ourselves and others, have more energy and creativity at work and above all live better and longer.

SY: Did you think Technogym would grow to become such a major brand when it was founded 27 years ago?
NA: Not really. At the beginning I turned my hobby into my job because I had a strong passion and a vision. Then in the years that followed, thanks to the work, commitment and passion of my team, we created a strong international brand recognised as ‘The Wellness Company’.

SY: With so many competitors, how do you manage to stand out from the crowd?
NA: Actually we feel we have no competitors - Technogym is the only company able to provide a total wellness solution made of not only equipment but also, apps, devices and contents, interior design services, training and education programmes, marketing support for our clients and a strong after-sales service. We feel that our true competitor is sedentary lifestyle.

SY: Can you tell us a little about the Wellness Foundation?
NA: Of course. The Wellness Foundation is a non-profit organisation that cooperates with institutions, schools, universities, research centres, and private and public bodies to promote better health through prevention and positive lifestyle behaviours. This is a commitment that has inspired many projects such as “Gioca Wellness” (Play Wellness) which aims to fight childhood obesity.

The Wellness Foundation also promotes the ‘Wellness Valley’, a project that we first launched in in 2002.  The plan was to develop the Romagna area (the eastern part on the coast of the Emilia-Romagna region), creating the first district in the world for quality of life. We proposed that all stakeholders in Romagna (companies, public administrations, tourism operators, schools, university and the public health system) worked together to increase public health, boost productivity through the increased production of innovative products and services and raise the quality of the environment in order to attract more and more qualified people who were in search of a wellness experience. 

After 10 years, 35 best practices have been developed, from Technogym becoming the world’s leader in the wellness technology, to the launch food companies specialising in bio and organic food, to tourist operators selling sports holiday packages to the area, to the public administration which promotes physical activity and encourages the population of the region to be healthy.

SY: And could you also talk a little about the new Wellness Village in Northern Italy that recently opened?
NA: The Technogym Village has been developed as a hotbed of ideas, where innovation and scientific research can be shared. It’s the world’s first Wellness Campus and it represents a global reference point for the Wellness lifestyle. The project has been developed by the renowned Italian Architect Antonio Citterio, and it is inspired by the concepts of eco-sustainability and bio-architecture. The village combines the production sites, the company headquarters including our research and development centre, a Wellness centre including an avant-garde gym, a conference centre, and a restaurant serving zero-mileage food. For us the Technogym Village represents the starting point of a new era for the company.

SY: Technogym has been a sponsor for the last five Olympic Games – how important has that relationship been to the growth of the brand?
NA: We have been chosen as official supplier of the Olympic Games thanks to the quality and performance of our products and the innovative technology we can offer. I believe the expertise of the company and the reliability of the brand in the world of sports has made the difference and it makes us very proud. 

In addition to this, as we are ‘The Wellness Company’, the London 2012 Olympics were a unique chance to promote wellness as a social opportunity and to get increasing numbers of people interested in regular exercise. In fact, the London Olympics for the first time represented  a long-term investment in a healthier country; alongside the Games, the City of London and the British Government have run a comprehensive programme to encourage the population to take regular physical activity. This links in to our socially responsible commitment to promote physical exercise as a form of medicine.

SY: Are there any other new developments planned for the company that you can tell us about?
NA: We are working on the Technogym Ecosystem, previewed during the Technogym Village opening event last September. It’s a platform whereby anyone can access their own content and training programmes on all Technogym equipment. This can be anywhere in the world, using any personal device (be it the Technogym Mywellness key, smartphone, tablet, smart TV or PC) and aims to link people together as part of a global community.

This platform allows people to enjoy physical exercise while staying connected whether they’re in the gym, at work, on the move, on holiday… a demonstration of our new philosophy ‘Wellness on the Go’, a unique training experience and a vital contribution to people’s health and wellbeing.

By Paul Joseph