New year, are you new? Exercise more and eat less?
Jemma Burns started FitNest nearly two years ago after growing up in Warrington – Burtonwood and Great Sankey – before returning to the city at the age of 18 after spending five years in Australia.
They offer fun fitness classes and packages for people of all ages, sizes, and abilities – fitness for the whole family.
Here, in our latest Business of the Week feature, she tells us why she decided to welcome kids into her workout sessions and what a difference it’s making for her clients.
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FitNest owner Gemma Burns
What is the name of the business?
What is the address?
I am based in Warrington.
When did you open the business?
I started working on February 22, 2021 – my birthday!
Are you local to the area? Did you grow up here?
Yes I am local. I have lived in Burtonwood and Great Sankey and moved to Australia when I was 13 before moving back to Warrington when I was 18.
Tell me a little about your work. What do you do? What services do you provide?
My business revolves around fitness for the whole family, where childcare should never be an issue. I have buggy camps, baby massage and yoga for the whole family as well as the young at heart – for the over 60s, online and one to one personal training, outdoor boot camps and HIIT – high intensity interval training.
Gemma at evening practice
Why did you decide to open your own business?
I have always worked in the fitness industry and have been very interested in health and fitness. I firmly believe, and research has shown, that the sooner you get your kids to exercise, the less likely they are to have weight problems as they get older. There are a lot of health issues related to weight in people and I want to do my part to help with that. I’ve also seen how parents struggle to get into a good fitness routine, due to the difficulties of childcare, so I wanted to create a safe space where children are always welcome. I focus on the mental side just as much as the physical aspects of fitness and staying fit. I think if we feel better about ourselves, we are more likely to make better decisions. At FitNest, we’re kind to ourselves and life is about balance – a life without a cake isn’t a life I want to be a part of!
What is your business background?
She has worked for Youth Clubs in Warrington and other well known sporting clubs, progressing in management, personal training and class teaching. I have been in the fitness industry for 10 years.
Why this kind of business?
Because I love fitness myself! It makes me feel physically and mentally strong, confident and capable. I struggle with concern and love how fitness can help in the most unexpected way.
Jemma can offer personal training sessions
How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your work?
They opened during the pandemic, offering online personal training and Zoom classes. When we were able to meet in groups outside, I led training camps and everyone seemed to have a newfound appreciation for health and fitness and the ability to go outside. A lot of times, it’s about meeting others and having that social connection while you’re working out.
What makes your business different from others in the same industry/field? What distinguishes your business from your competitors?
It sounds cliche, but we’re family. We have birthday parties, lunches out and always support each other – we celebrate successes. Childcare is never a problem. Bring the kids – they’re always welcome – as well as the dogs. We are having fun. We do a lot of team challenges and in the summer we did a burpee. Some of my clients challenged themselves to one Burpee while others wanted to do 1,000.
Together, Gemma and her clients are enjoying a Christmas party
I’m also an antenatal and postpartum specialist, with a degree in anatomical sciences, so everything I do and promote is completely backed by research. I want to help people live happier, healthier, fitter and more balanced lives. We don’t diet and focus on six-week transitions. We want results that stand the test of time and are maintainable. Find something you enjoy and make it work for you.
What’s Next? What do the next few months hold for you and your business?
I hope to start offering more indoor classes and some (bike) riding lessons. More members means more people to help, which I love. I also like to go to schools and work with children, their parents and teachers. I hope to take a closer look at how our fitness can improve fertility.