Community fitness center to open Dec. 15

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Buy This PhotoLORI WINCE/THISWEEKNEWS Caroline Hillman (right) and Chelsea Armstrong, fitness specialists with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s new health and fitness center in New Albany, demonstrate one of the cycling machines at the center last week.

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s health and fitness center , which is scheduled to open Monday, Dec. 15, in the Philip Heit Center for Healthy New Albany, will not be operated like a normal fitness center, according to local leaders.

“One of the really distinct things is a physical assessment that will be given to every user, which combines a medical assessment, fitness assessment and their overall wellness, as soon as they walk through that door,” said New Albany spokesman Scott McAfee.

John Parro, general manager of the fitness center, said each person would receive a specific workout regimen. That includes receiving a “wellness key” for the exercise machines. Parro said the key can used at a kiosk to map the workout.

“They have a plan in place,” Parro said. “It’s not just someone saying good luck. We’re here to support you.” If participants choose, their progress could be tracked for trainers to evaluate, Parro said.

Each member would meet with a trainer quarterly and each would be reassessed at the end of one year, he said. Fitness specialists also would be on hand daily to answer questions. Parro said individual workout plans might encourage people unused to a fitness facility to become members. It would away the intimidation factor, he said. Those who want more individualized attention could sign up to work with a coach on one of four paths: cardiovascular health, bones and joint health, cancer prevention or recovery and weight control. Parro said residents working with coaches must make a four -to six-month commitment and pay an extra fee.

The fitness center also includes a lap pool and a smaller pool for group classes, said Dan Like, executive director of ambulatory services for the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Most of the fitness-center facilities will be on the first floor of the Heit center but the second floor also will include classrooms for organized group workouts and more weight training equipment.

Lisa Kluchurosky, a service-line administrator with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, which will lease space on the second floor for a sports-medicine program, said a therapy room would be adjacent to the fitness center.

Kluchurosky said once the therapy sessions are done at the end of a work day, fitness-center members would have access to the basketball hoop and other machines used by physical therapists.

The other amenities in the Heit center are expected to open in phases in January and February. An open house for them is scheduled for Jan. 24 and depending on how work on the center progresses, physicians and health-care providers from the Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital could begin seeing patients in early February, according to Lisa Hinson of Hinson Ltd Public Relations.

An open house for the fitness center is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13. Enrollment at the center, a one-time fee, will be $299 for individuals, $549 for couples and $599 for families.

Monthly membership fees will be $89 for an individual, $129 for couples and $144 for families. Coaching sessions on one of the four paths will be $110 per month. New Albany residents will receive a 60 percent discount on the enrollment fee if they apply for membership before Dec. 31, 2016.

The fitness center will be open 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Heit center is at the southwest corner of Johnstown and Village Hall roads.