Jenerate peddles infrared relief from Waunakee to firefighters nationwide.
Jen Rudis opened Jenerate Wellness to help people achieve healthier lifestyles, but she also hopes she can help lower cancer rates among the nation’s firefighters.
Photo by M.O.D. Media Productions
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From the pages of In Business magazine.
Wellness is a mission for Rhinelander native Jen Rudis, 36, who had fought a personal battle against obesity and adult acne, and won. Now the health coach and owner of Jenerate Wellness in Waunakee is committed to helping others find similar success through nutrition, healthy routines, and in particular, infrared saunas.
Several years ago, Rudis went through a personal metamorphosis, losing 125 pounds through hard work, dedication, and a diet that included protein shakes, supplements, and teas. Along that journey, she took up yoga, mixed martial arts, and discovered the benefits of the infrared sauna. Now, in addition to offering infrared sauna time to the public, she also sells the saunas for both business and residential use.
The business’ front room includes a tea bar and shelves stocked with vitamins, supplements, and even the sugar-free chocolates that helped Rudis on her personal journey to health.
Around the corner, two cozy and private infrared saunas are available for booking. At 122 degrees, they can operate 100 degrees cooler than a typical steam sauna, she explains, but the effect is deeper, more relaxing, and removes toxins.
“The difference between an infrared and a traditional sauna is that an infrared sauna heats your core body temperature by two to three degrees so you sweat from the inside out rather than just heating the air,” Rudis says. “You burn about 500 to 600 calories just sitting in the sauna because it digs into your fat cells where toxins lie,” she explains, careful to note that she is not a doctor. The saunas also offer light therapy, which has been known to help with seasonal affective disorder, post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), and depression.
Rudis launched her business in 2014 and moved into the current space in January 2016, taking out a small SBA loan through First National Bank in Waunakee to help pay for the assets. “I could have funded it on my own,” she acknowledges, “but at the time, I felt that a loan like that was a safer bet than taking a chunk off the bottom line.”
Now, between wellness coaching, a thriving online business, and sauna memberships and sales, Rudis and a small staff serve around 4,000 clients, but the infrared sauna business is dominating.
Recently, she’s embarked on a more specific mission involving the health of firefighters around the country.
In 2010, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health began a multiyear study of 30,000 firefighters from Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco to understand the potential link between fighting fires and cancer. The results indicated a greater rate of diagnoses and cancer-related deaths among firefighters versus the general U.S. population, and resulted in Rudis forming a partnership with the Firefighter Cancer Foundation.