The 2023 Wellness Show is just one month away. This year’s show takes place at the Vancouver Convention Centre on February 11 & 12, 2023. Featuring many vendors whose offerings are dedicated to health and well-being, we chatted with several key brands whose booths you should visit at this year’s show! —Noa Nichol
Hi Matt! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your business.
My name is Matthew NealBuhler, and I’m the owner and president of BandzUp Fitness Products Inc. I am also the inventor of both of our revolutionary therapy bands anchors. Bandz Up Fitness Products are designed to take a physiotherapy exercise regimen or fitness routine to the next level. Providing users with a completely portable, affordable and effective in-facility, at home or on the go solution to fitness training, physiotherapy and rehabilitation exercises. My Granddad told me that, “When one door closes, another one opens”. Ironically I believe that saying especially relates to how my life has changed in the short time before my entrepreneur endeavor. In 2010, I suffered a debilitating, careerending workplace injury, that left me physically broken, mentally shattered, and financially devastated. I lost my career, my company, my house, my ability to make a stable living for myself and my family and for the first time, I was not hopeful about my future. It seemed as if doors were slamming shut all around me. My body fell apart as I waited for necessary surgeries, I endured ongoing chronic pain, I suffered from depression and I developed a dependence on prescription pain medication. I spent countless hours at physiotherapy and months retraining for a possible new career, until I was eventually told by WorksafeBC that I’d need yet another surgery, and that the “new career” I had hoped for would no longer be physically possible for me to do. One. More. Door … slammed in my face. So one day in 2013, after suffering through years of xrays, MRIs, CAT scans, plus various tests, procedures, and injections, I ended up once again, at physiotherapy. After a couple of visits, I was sent home with a sheet of exercises and a therapy band to do my exercises at home. So I went home, and the first thing I thought to myself was, “How am I going to DO this from home? What do I attach this band TO?” I tied it to a doorknob, and it slipped off and snapped me in the crotch. I tied it to my ceiling fan, and suddenly gyprock was falling on my head! I tied it to the bedpost, and found that I didn’t even have the room to get full range of motion. Not only that, but once tied, the band was difficult to UNtie, and I had to actually cut it to get it off. Because I lacked the strength to lift the bed in order to to slide it off the post, I could feel the irony of my situation. I was determined to find a better solution. That’s when BandzUp was born. Now, when one door closes, I simply open that door and put a BandzUp Door Accessory on it and begin my exercise therapy using ANY and ALL existing resistance bands currently on the market. The BandzUp Door Accessory is designed to accommodate any band whether it has a clip, a handle, or no handle at all, just like the bands your physiotherapist would give you, to continue your therapy at home. The beautiful thing about the BandzUp Fitness Door Accessory is that not only is it fully portable and affordable, but it is also universal—meaning, it fits all standard interior or exterior residential doors. It can also be positioned at the top, side or bottom of the door, maximizing your workout and incorporating full range of motion. Bands alone can’t do that! I’ve designed this product to not only help people recovering from injury, but also for those people who simply want an alternative to bulky home gyms. When used as described with existing resistance bands currently found on the market, it can be used by anyone aged 10 to 110, and at any and all fitness levels. People with disabilities and limited mobility can use this, because it’s lightweight and portable. People on a fixed income who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to get out to a gym or physio office several times a month can use this, because it essentially costs the same as one physio visit. Basically, anyone with a door can use the BandzUp Fitness Door Anchor.
What products do you currently offer, and what makes them unique?
There are two ways to get your Bandz-Up. First, we offer a portable door mounted anchor that allows you to use it at the top, in the middle or bottom of your door. This product is a representation of how easy it is to now attach therapy bands to any door, at home, in office, or on the go. Becoming in complete control of your therapy bands exercise routine. Second, we offer a fixed wall mounted anchor that allows you to hold your own body weight as well as attach bands of all variety. The thin colourful bands, tube bands and even carabiners with nylon straps. Having multiple ways to perform range of motion exercises from one anchor is what this industry is missing. And now, here we have it.
What other “blind spots” does the fitness industry have/face when it comes to accessibility for the elderly and those with disabilities?
Our products are used by amputee, loss of function and recovery patients who have sustained workplace injuries. Anyone can use it. I am living proof that anyone at any level of disability can use my invention. Without drive, determination and Bandz-Up, all I had was a sheet with exercises, a therapy band in hand and a long road to recovery. Bandz-Up helped me to get motivated to shorten that road and to do proper range of motion exercises successfully to overcome my shoulder injury. When I was going through my rehabilitation process, there was nothing like Bandz-Up to keep me motivated and see the light. I had to shine that light for myself. This is also the reason why I was approved by health Canada as a class one medical device and why both WCB and ICBC approve my products to be subsidized for patients in physio and recovery like myself.
Why is being at The Wellness Show so important to you? Who do you encourage to stop by your booth, and why?
Being a part of the wellness show this year is important and exciting for Bandz-Up in a way that the necessity and experience can be exploited to the right people. Exposure of this level and in person demonstrations give people the chance to see the benefits up close and personal. Drawing in anyone who has had physiotherapy or just simply a hard time with at home exercises in the past, is definitely key. However, anyone and everyone is a target audience for our products.
What’s your top advice for those wanting to be more fit in 2023?
The demand for at home fitness routines and online training has boomed since Covid 19. The demand is there and the market is huge. For that reason I would suggest proper execution of exercises no matter what the regiment. Having Bandz-Up allows just that. Staying motivated and having the right tools for the job will breed success. After all, any and all fitness jobs we take on, allow us to be only as good as our tools.