Fitness Center Loss Upsets Patrons

PEMBROKE — The news that Southeastern Health will be closing its fitness center in Pembroke in order to make room for the expansion of other services has some people wondering where they can go to pursue their fitness goals.

And some patrons of Southeastern Lifestyle Fitness Center Pembroke at 923 W. Third St. don’t like the idea.

“I think it is very unfair to the community,” said Geraldine Maynor, 81, of Pembroke.

“It’s a horrible idea,” said Denise Campbell, 46, of Pembroke.

Fitness services at the Pembroke center will end on May 1 as part of a plan to address the growing need for specialty health care and rehabilitation services in the community, according to information from Southeastern Health. Rehabilitation services, to include a larger aquatic therapy program, will expand into the fitness center area, which Southeastern Health opened in 2014.

The fitness center has 1,243 members, according to Southeastern Health. Those members will be offered the chance to transfer their memberships to the Southeastern Health fitness centers in Lumberton and Red Springs. Anyone who chooses to cancel a membership after May 1 will have their credit balances refunded.

Fitness center staff will be transferred to other fitness centers, according to Southeastern Health.

Maynor does not intend to drive to Lumberton or Red Springs.

“I think they are doing an injustice to the senior community,” Maynor said.

Southeastern Health preaches being active, fit and healthy and then will close a resource for people who want to stay fit, particularly older residents, she said. She knows of one women, who is on oxygen, who goes to the Pembroke center to take part in a chair aerobics class. That women won’t physically be able to go to Lumberton or Red Springs.

Maynor said she also knows of an elderly man who is partially paralyzed and has been improving because of the exercise he gets at the Pembroke center. Going to Lumberton or Red Springs would be very difficult for him.

“I’m very, very sad,” Maynor said.

She has been a member of the Pembroke center since about 2011. Maynor remembers being on a treadmill at the center and watching the coverage of the airplanes crashing into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

The loss of the fitness center means more than the loss of a place to go and work at staying fit.

It will mean the loss of a place for social interaction for senior citizens, Maynor said. She enjoys going to the center and seeing and speaking with other members.

“I live in Pembroke. I work in Pembroke,” Campbell said.

She is there every Monday, Wednesday and Friday taking part in the 5:30 a.m. class. And she does not plan to go to Lumberton or Red Springs to exercise.

“I don’t want to drive 30 minutes,” she said.

Going to Lumberton or Red Springs will be difficult if not impossible for many of the elderly patrons.

“It’s not a good option for them,” Campbell said.

And there really aren’t any other good fitness facility options for the elderly, she said.

“I don’t know what they are going to do,” Campbell said.

There is a Stables Fitness in town, but it doesn’t have a pool, she said. Stables doesn’t have classes for elderly people.

The owner of the fitness facility on South Jones Road have been talking about expanding its operation to include classes for people of all ages.

Some of those discussions have been with people currently working at the Southeastern Health facility, said Vee Oxendine, owner/operator of Stables Fitness. The idea being discussed is to offer space so current Southeastern Health fitness trainers can continue leading their classes with their clientele.

Oxendine said he also is considering building a pool at his fitness business, which began as a place where people came to work with weights and cardio equipment, such as treadmills and stationary bikes, to build strength and endurance.

“But we grew and grew and grew,” Oxendine said.

With growth came change in order to meet the needs of more people of varying fitness levels and fitness goals, he said.

Expansion of the health-care offerings in Pembroke includes the recent addition of obstetrics and gynecology two days each week at Southeastern Multi-Specialty and Urgent Care Pembroke, according to Southeastern Health. Additional expansion plans include internal medicine, pediatrics, gastroenterology and general surgery, and the relocation of cardiology services from Foxglove Medical Facility, located on Foxglove Place in Pembroke.

In addition to walk-in, urgent care services with on-site X-ray, and family medicine, the multi-specialty clinic will continue to offer orthopedic services one day per week, according to Southeastern Health.

Fitness Services Manager Mike Jimenez, left, helps Health and Fitness Supervisor Gerard McRae with his workout at the Southeastern Lifestyle Fitness Center in Lumberton. The Lumberton facility could be absorbing members from the Pembroke fitness center after May 1. https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/web1_Fitness-2.jpgFitness Services Manager Mike Jimenez, left, helps Health and Fitness Supervisor Gerard McRae with his workout at the Southeastern Lifestyle Fitness Center in Lumberton. The Lumberton facility could be absorbing members from the Pembroke fitness center after May 1.

T.C. Hunter

Managing editor

Reach T.C. Hunter by calling 910-816-1974 or via email at [email protected]

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Reach T.C. Hunter by calling 910-816-1974 or via email at [email protected]

Source : https://www.robesonian.com/news/121995/fitness-center-loss-upsets-patrons

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