Wellness Center and Pool Open

“Each week, we’re doing a little more, trying to see what works best for our customers and our staff.”

Morgan See, director of the Hardy County Health and Wellness Center was excited about opening after a two-month hiatus.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the HCHWC, like other health clubs and fitness centers were closed in accordance with Governor Jim Justice’s executive orders regarding non-essential businesses. Those orders were lifted beginning in mid-May.

The HCHWC opened on May 18 at half capacity.

“We’re opening in phases,” See said. “During Phase I, there were no classes. There were no more than nine people allowed in the cardio room, or the weight room.”

Every other machine in both areas still have a big red X on them, so members practice social distancing. 

Before members return, See asks that they complete a new application form to update their information. This includes any changes in health status and areas of interest.

When you enter the facility, a staff member will take your temperature and ask you a series of questions.

“We ask that you wipe down the equipment before and after you use it,” See said. “We’ve always done that, but we’re emphasizing it more now.”

Phase II began May 25

“We started some classes but limited participation to five people,” See said. 

Some classes were offered with live instructors and others via Skype. Some instructors created video classes. 

On May 30, the indoor pool opened. 

“We can only allow 15 people at a time in the pool,” See said. “And we can only allow three in the shower/changing room at a time.”

See said the restricted numbers are usually not an issue, but the staff has created lanes in the pool for lap swimmers to practice social distancing.

June 1 began Phase III

Most of the HCHWC classes began, with a limit of eight people, including the instructor. Those classes include:

•Aqua Aerobics – Tuesday and Thursday at 5:15 p.m.

•Tabata – High-Intensity aerobics – Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 p.m., Friday at 7:30 a.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m.

•Silver Sneakers Classic – Monday and Wednesday at 10 a.m.

•ICE – Indoor Cardio Exercise – total body workout – Wednesday at 4 p.m.

•20/20 Class – 20 minutes cardio and 20 minutes weight training – Friday at 10 a.m.

•Kickboxing – Wednesday at 5:50 p.m.

Other popular classes Kettlebells and Cardio/Combo are streaming via Skype.

Classes coming back soon include swimming lessons and H2 Motion in the pool, Yoga and Stretch/Core on land. “We’ll have Wiggle & Jiggle beginning at the end of summer,” See said.

“Every Tuesday is Senior Day. Seniors, anyone over 60, can workout all day for $2.”

See said residents should check with their health insurance carrier as most offer free health center memberships or discounted rates. Some of those include Humana, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Unicare and Etna. “PEIA has a two-year weight management program that costs just $20 a month,” she said.

Since the HCHWC re-opened on May 18, See said the number of members has increased. 

“Morgan and the staff have been exemplary in cleaning and painting and organizing and getting this place ready to open,” said Holly Landis, member of the HCHWC Board of Directors. 

“We have put a lot of time and effort to see what works,” she said. “If it doesn’t, we are adaptable to change. 

“We want people to feel comfortable and know they are coming to a clean facility. We are doing our best to protect our customers and staff. A lot of people depend on this place.”

The HCHWC is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. – noon. Call 304-538-7380 for information on membership.