Sporting Spirit

Health coach Markus Rothermel teaches companies such as Messe München how to keep body and spirit healthy and balanced. He is convinced that “movement has healing power.“

By Petra Kratzert (Messe München Magazine 01/2019)

How to feel fit and healthy: Markus Rothermel explains the impact of sports on our well-being.

The formula is simple: A fit and healthy employee has the energy to work with motivation. This is the ideal state, but desk workers often get pains in their neck, shoulders, and back—plus they gain a kilo or two. Markus Rothermel can detect this at a glance. He loves to work with people to help them feel better.

The sports scientist has a passion for sport and spirit: on the one hand, being in tune with the body, on the other, mastering a technically perfect movement. He has developed a cross-country ski binding, and has for many years trained the German Ski Association’s ski instructors. “How do people learn a technically perfect movements?“ By honing it continuously.

I have very close relationships to the people here and train across the hierarchy Markus Rothermel

Rothermel is also a forward thinker in business health management. He was one of the first in Munich to bring physical exercises into companies. Messe München was one of his very first customers. For the last 13 years, Rothermel has been a regular in the building, in his T-shirt and gym shorts.

Even now, with his own sports school, Plus X, and ten employees, he serves Messe München personally. “I just like Messe München,“ he says. “It was one of my very first customers. I have very close relationships to the people here and train across the hierarchy.“

Markus Rothermel, © Dirk Bruniecki

High spirits: Sport scientist Markus Rothermel in the new company gym at Messe München.

Photo: Dirk Bruniecki

A World Health Organization (WHO) concept inspires Rothermel: the way body parts harmonize will determine health. Important is the balance between spirit, organs, and the skeleton. “The main thing is that you move, regardless of what you do, whether digging in the garden or taking the dog for a walk. What is bad is doing nothing.“

The effect of sports on the spirit fascinates him. “Sports releases soothing hormones and relaxes. Stress is relieved, the person unwinds.“ He is convinced that people who exercise physically remain fit in spirit.

It’s never too late to start. Even ten minutes a day achieves something Markus Rothermel

His mission is to bring exercise to people, to get them moving, and to show how sports can be both fun and healthy. Twice a week Messe München employees can join the “exercise break“—or get advice at their desks, for example, on how to manage back pain or to feel generally fitter.

Recently, a 350-square-meter gym was added to Messe München’s exercise amenities. Rothermel helped design the studio for “maximum individual flexibility.” So there can be no more excuses for not exercising. “The good news is: It’s never too late to start. Even ten minutes a day achieves something,” he says, with a winning smile.