An avid runner while he was growing up in the northwest Ohio village of Carey, Paul Anderson moved to Columbus after high school to study exercise science at Ohio State University.
"I just have a large interest in basically the human body and how you can shape and change it to make people feel better about life, make them able to accomplish things they couldn't accomplish before," the Northwest Side resident said recently.
Even before graduating from OSU, Anderson got real-world experience when it came to getting people to make the kinds of changes that can help them feel better. He worked as a corporate wellness coordinator for the YMCA of Central Ohio.
"It gave a lot of reality and learning experience to what you would study in the classroom related to physiology and nutrition and pretty much all subjects on the human body," Anderson said.
And the reality was that not many people were as capable of finding the time and developing the motivation needed to establish a fitness and nutrition regimen, and stick to it, as was preached by his instructors.
"In the college classroom, it was if you can't do pretty much an hour of activity a day don't even try," Anderson said.
"That is a poor suggestion compared to people's busy schedules and the fact they're already full with kids and life from the moment they wake up until they fall asleep."
So the young man decided to fall back on his college minors of nutrition, fundamentals of health and wellness and -- most especially -- business.
In late November he launched his own enterprise Healthy Body & Mind, through which he seeks to meet people more than halfway when it comes to getting them to exercise and eat right.
"Our job is basically to meet people where they're at," said Anderson, who is the CEO of Healthy Body and Mind.
"There are so many things in life that can hold people back but don't need to hold them back."
Employing as independent contractors personal coaches with expertise in various kind of fitness training, Healthy Body & Mind offers once-a-week, in-home visits lasting half an hour for $49 to go over an exercise and diet plan, monitor progress and establish a program for the coming week.
Clients can then reach out to their trainer via phone calls, text messages or emails as they want or need help or guidance, Anderson said.
"It's very connected," he said.
"That coach becomes basically ... their fitness coach.
"This person meets with them once a week at an official meeting and talks about how they're going to attack the plan the next week," Anderson said.
Clients may opt for a second in-home session at the reduced price of $25.
The personal visits along with the day-to-day contact are designed to encourage people to make a real commitment to becoming healthier, as opposed to what Anderson said he saw so often at the YMCA where attendance would often drop by 75 percent from the start of a New Year to the beginning of February.
"We're going to be specific to someone's wants and needs," Anderson said.
It's been an uphill battle initially, and Anderson said starting the business right after Thanksgiving might not have been the best timing.
"We've noticed that Black Friday to Christmas is not a good time to pick up clients, so pretty much we kept this client who's with us and toned down our marketing a little bit and basically said we're going to focus a lot of our promotions to New Year's and beyond," he said.
"We've had lots of interest from people, but most of them said not now.
Anderson said he was hearing from potential clients, " 'You can basically sign me up but there's no way I can start for the next month.' "
More information about Healthy Body & Mind, is available on the website at hbmwellness.com.