Laura Williams

PIERRE Meyer used to be a Marketing Manager at Krispy Kreme, helping the American doughnut giant get more cakes down British throats. Nowadays, however, you’ll find him in his Nordic Balance gym, a club in the heart of Mayfair he set up with partner Jo, preaching balance in all things.

While Pierre maintains he loved working for the American doughnut company, he admits he eventually felt he wanted to be part of the solution to the big issues facing society. One of the biggest, as it were, is obesity, and Pierre began to realise that encouraging the sale of up sugary, fatty cakes – albeit small ones – was not quite the best way.

Ironically, he feels that it was Krispy Kreme’s philosophy that inspired him to set up a gym which aims to practise balance and equilibrium at all levels: “The Krispy Kreme philosophy is to produce and sell the best-tasting goods, but the issue for them is that they’re in a very fat/sugar/calorie conscious world. The company doesn’t encourage people to eat doughnuts all day long as, although that would be good for business in the short term, in the long term it’d lead to all sorts of problems both for the company and society as a whole. It’s a subtle point but one that underpins its business model. So I took that part of the firm’s philosophy – balance and sense – with me when we went about setting up Nordic Balance.”

Balance – through the idea of “slow-burn” fitness training rather than manic “get thin NOW” – is manifest everywhere at the gym. Personal training contracts involve with a variety of trainers to maximise the benefits of the club’s talent pool. Nutritional advice is given on the basis of boozy business lunches being a reality. One thing Pierre’s staff probably won’t put in your dietary recommendations are doughnuts, sadly.

l Sweat it out and smile. Release tension and endorphins doing an exercise you enjoy. Don’t restrict yourself to tedious stints on the treadmill: take a boxing class followed by a yoga session, or grab a kettlebell and a BOSU ball to mix it up a bit.

l Exercise often and eat right. Sounds simple but most of us don’t manage it. Work out what works for you: exercising often may just mean a daily 15 minute walk to the bus stop, while eating right may be pledging to eat a shop-bought fruit salad every day.

l Use your commute as your daily exercise. Pushed for time and cash? Invest in a running rucksack and shun the tube, killing two birds with one stone.

l Don’t be a slave to the office. The work/life balance can be the hardest, especially in the current economic climate, so setting boundaries is important. Assign time for family, exercise, a non-tiring hobby, you name it – and stick to it no matter what. Switch off the Blackberry and leave your work at the office.

l Treat yourself. That doesn’t necessarily mean hitting the pub – treat yourself to a massage, or skip the housework and see that new film, or promise yourself a swim and sauna after your workout. Do this when you think you've earned it, to help you maintain balance and provide a little joy in your life.

Nordic Balance at the In and Out. No 4 St James’s Square, SW1Y 4JU. Tel: 020 7827 5735,
Contact Laura at laura@