Wellness Priority

Until recently, the site of the Lifestyle Center was slated to become an acute care facility for Chesapeake General Hospital. It was decided, however, that a preventive and rehabilitative health center would also fulfill the hospital’s mission to be a leader in quality health care, so it leased the site to Lifestyle’s management team. They built a comprehensive fitness center that provides an assortment of medical and rehabilitation services, along with a wide variety of recreational opportunities.

Prior to the construction of this facility, the only fitness center in the local area was a YMCA. Medical services were scattered among a number of providers. The Lifestyle Center changed all that by offering consumers the first comprehensive medically-based wellness center in this part of Virginia. The 44,000-square-foot center contains many state-of-the-art features including a CardioTheatre entertainment center, suspended wood flooring for the gymnasium and aerobics studio, as well as the latest in cardiovascular, free-weight and circuit-training equipment. Other recreational highlights include an indoor six-lane, 25-meter pool with a co-ed whirlpool, an indoor cushioned and banked track, a Spinning studio, a childcare room and several conference and meeting rooms.

These attractions are complemented by numerous medical services, such as a physical therapy clinic with its own pool, a massage therapy room and a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation clinic.

Other innovative services include comprehensive medical screening for all members and participants, medically-based fitness assessments and exercise prescriptions, special aquatics exercise programs for people suffering from arthritis and other diseases, pre/post natal exercise classes, free health screenings and lectures, CPR and first aid classes, and even healthy cooking classes.

These services are also available to nonmembers for a fee. This combination of recreational and medical services provides convenient one-stop “shopping” for a variety of preventive health and fitness services.

The response from the local community has been very positive. The number of memberships sold prior to the center’s opening exceeded projections by 20 percent, and sales continue to be strong. Nonmember utilization of services has also beat expectations by more than 25 percent. This is due in part to the use of focus groups, surveys and other feedback mechanisms that have allowed the Lifestyle Center to tailor its programs to the needs of its consumers. The modern architectural details of the center have also been a strong selling point. The comprehensiveness of this facility has allowed it to appeal to a broad range of the community, while enabling Chesapeake General Hospital to improve the health of the citizens in its service area.