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Behind the Business


In our Behind the Business series, we interview all kinds of different entrepreneurs, from freelancers to the new Apples of the world!

In this week’s article, we are interviewing Lee Haines who is the founder of Healthy Lifestylers, which includes both a Fitness Challenges application which anyone can use to join or create virtual fitness challenges, and a Marketplace designed to help Personal Trainers get more exposure, find more Clients and build their businesses. Check out how Lee turned his passion into an ever-growing community!

Story of Healthy Lifestylers


Who are you?

Hello! My name is Lee Haines. I currently live in Utrecht, The Netherlands but I grew up in the Rocky Mountains in rural British Columbia, Canada. I am now a dual citizen (Canadian / Dutch) and married to a lovely Dutch girl and have a couple of awesome kids.

I have been working in the corporate world doing B2B SaaS software sales for the last 12 years, and am now productising my hobby and passion for fitness for the last few years and building a brand called Healthy Lifestylers.

*Note: Healthy Lifestylers used to be called, Year of 1000km, until a rebranding occurred in early 2023.


That sounds great! While we are on it, how did you start your business? 

A few years back, I was training for a half marathon with some friends. These friends were spread across multiple continents, so I created a remote challenge to run 1000km in 12 months as motivation. To make tracking our progress easier, I put together a simple Google Sheets document for us to use.

Just a couple of months into the challenge, I suffered an injury that forced me to stop running. The doctor recommended cycling instead. However, I didn’t want to fold the group as it was a great way to keep in touch with my remote friends. Plus, we were all finding positive motivation from each other. So instead of calling it quits, I modified the challenge to include cycling. I simply needed to cycle 2.5km to equal 1km for the challenge. 

As time went on, I added more activities and more users joined. I ended up creating 2 different challenges: Healthy Lifestyle and Distance, which both ended up being quite popular!

And that’s pretty much the story behind how I turned my passion into a product.

A profile picture of the Founder of Healthy Lifestylers, Lee Haines

Business Model of Healthy Lifestylers


Quite a story Lee! So, tell us more about your business. What is something that makes Healthy Lifestylers unique?

Healthy Lifestylers: Fitness Challenges is a B2C (Business-to-Consumer) SaaS application that allows anyone to join or create virtual fitness challenges. The secret sauce is that it converts progress in any activity that contributes to a healthy lifestyle into a single metric for benchmarking against others. It is possible to join any of the challenges I mentioned above, take part in custom challenges made by other members of the community, or even create your own.

The application is free for anyone that chooses to use it – in the future, we may incorporate a business tier subscription for company-specific use cases.

Healthy Lifestylers: Marketplace is designed to help Personal Trainers in the fitness industry build their businesses and succeed online. It has a B2B (Business-to-Business) model which includes a monthly subscription for Personal Trainers to list themselves in our directory of Trainers. 

There are also additional products and services we offer via the Marketplace, such as access to 3rd party SaaS applications which can help Personal Trainers build their businesses (ie – tools for social media management, enhancing communication with Clients, visual design for ad copy, etc.), as well as an interactive community of Trainers sharing ideas and helping each other in a collective effort.

Healthy Lifestylers is unique because we are building an entire ecosystem around providing free tools to Consumers to promote staying active, and low cost tools/services to Personal Trainers to help them grow their businesses – all in an effort to promote a healthy and happy lifestyle.


That does sound like a unique community! What is your target audience for Healthy Lifestylers?

Our target audience for our Fitness Challenges solution is anyone who wishes to stay competitive within a  given community (friends, colleagues, etc.) while performing a range of healthy lifestyle activities.

For example, if I’m a runner but my friends are swimmers and weightlifters, it’s currently not possible for me to benchmark progress against them. We cannot compete in a fun way. This is where the Healthy Lifestylers: Fitness Challenges application comes in! 

Our target audience for our Marketplace solution is the Personal Trainer community.

Whether you’re a new Trainer looking to kickstart your business, or you’ve been around the block a few times and are already established, Healthy Lifestylers: Marketplace has something for you! 

Another cool thing about Healthy Lifestylers is that we are designing ways for our users to make money, should they choose to do so. For example, we have a generous Referral Program for anyone that leverages that program to recommend our Marketplace to Personal Trainers. This is just the beginning as we will be rolling out other mechanisms for this that we already have in the pipeline.

Healthy Lifestylers Logo

Super, thanks for sharing Lee! For the last question, is there any way our interested followers can get in touch with you?

Yeah definitely. I would be happy to get in touch with anyone interested in my endeavours. You can check out our website here and reach out to us on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook handle.

You can also mail me at:


If you want to read more articles like these, check out our blog!

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