Frontline Healthcare Worker and Certified Pilates Instructor is Dedicated to Helping Canadians Live Healthier Lives

Frontline Healthcare worker and Certified Pilates Instructor is dedicated to helping Canadians live Healthier Lives
 By Jole Gravesande

By Jole Gravesande

The Global COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted all our lives in one way or another. Being a Frontline Healthcare worker in a Rehabilitation Hospital and Pilates business owner of I have seen the effects of this pandemic on both scales.


I was working as a Pilates instructor in a small boutique studio during the first wave of the outbreak.  After seeing the tremendous effects on limitations and ongoing lockdowns I quickly decided to venture on my own path by owning my own virtual Pilates studio.  I am a huge advocate for the holistic approach of health and wellness. I know the importance of maintaining our fitness despite gym and recreational service closures.  Virtual classes have allowed an outlet for those individuals that are unable to leave their homes due to lack of child- care services, working from home, home schooling, scheduling challenges etc.  People that have been reluctant to try virtual classes in the past are now more open to trying classes as a way of replacing their usual in class or gym workouts.  Some are even finding it to be more accommodating to their new lifestyle change.


Overcoming Obstacles

As a Healthcare worker, I face the new challenges of treating patients in an inpatient setting.  There have been unexpected obstacles that had to be dealt with at any given time in order to maintain the safety of ourselves, patients and staff members.  I have had to balance periods of emotional exhaustion from stress fatigue of the unknown, personal protective equipment shortages and consistent physical brought on by the need to wear equipment.  As a healthcare worker it is also my duty to reassure patients of their safety while treating them in therapy. Especially during crucial times like unit lockdowns from COVID outbreaks, where patients must remain isolated in their room with limited human interaction.  It can be very overwhelming and frightening as a patient being treated in isolation by masked and shielded faces 24/7.  Mental health is hugely impacted along with whatever physical challenges they are already facing.  Working daily with my rehabilitation patients has inspired me to find ways to keep helping individuals maintain their health and fitness.  Fitness not only facilitates in achieving your physical goals but also plays a role in maintaining mental wellness or improving it. 

Launching Your Virtual Business

If your fitness business needs to go virtual due to lockdown, all you need is a laptop, webcam, zoom and a brightly lit space that can show you well visually to your audience to get started.  You can build on the other components as you start to get up and running.  


I started my virtual business,, from the ground up.  It has been a huge yet positive adjustment for me as a business owner.  I was fortunate to have a nice open space in my home that I set up as my Pilates studio.  I had my business name registered and had a friend design my website using Shopify.  All I needed lastly was to get my laptop and zoom set up to start practicing.  One helpful hint was doing a month trial run with friends or doing free classes to make sure all technical issues are resolved or running smoothly before you start paid classes.  I use my social platforms to advertise.  The main thing is to get started!


It has allowed for personal growth and continuum of a second stream of income.  We have all heard and seen the economic hit on the global economy resulting from the pandemic.  You can either sink or find a way to swim.  It has been over a year now that most have had to find a way to overcome their fear of virtual technology.  Virtual fitness classes are now becoming the “new normal” where people can still get in a fitness class while still facing financial struggles.   The other benefits of going virtual include; keeping active, social interaction with others, remaining safe at home, dealing with anxiety of being in a gym atmosphere, body related insecurities, travel elimination and accommodation to new lifestyle change.  At we include Private, Semi-Private and Group Classes.  We teach clients at all levels of fitness with either just your bodyweight or with the addition of small equipment.  We also encourage clients to use household items when fitness equipment is not available in the home. 

About Jole:


I am a rehabilitation assistant who fell in love with Pilates over 15 years ago. I have a strong passion and appreciation for working with a spectrum of clients ranging from able-bodied to trauma patients. I have extensive experience working with various orthopedic rehabilitation populations on the trauma unit where I work full time. I became a certified Stott Pilates Instructor in 2005. Since then I have also acquired my Pilates Reformer, Total Barre and TRX certifications. I teach private, semi-private and group classes with a variety of client backgrounds. I constantly build my Pilates knowledge with continued education courses which also enhance my skillset and add variation and fun to future classes. I love working with people and I am very passionate about helping individuals achieve their health/wellness and fitness goals.


To contact Jole visit

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