A good time for fitness

Published 8:38 pm Saturday, April 29, 2017

A boom in the construction of fitness centers in historic Suffolk is evidence not just of area residents joining the fitness bandwagon, but also of the good things that are happening in and around downtown when it comes to economic development and the provision of services to an area that often feels left out of the city’s growth.

While North Suffolk has been gaining retail and restaurant locations, the area in and around historic Suffolk has been slow to see new opportunities for shopping and eating out. But that part of the city now boasts an Anytime Fitness, a new Planet Fitness location and will soon benefit from a larger and updated YMCA.

The YMCA renovations and construction are especially exciting, as that facility tends to encourage family fitness more than the commercial fitness centers do.

Email newsletter signup

Folks who drive along Godwin Boulevard will have noticed some of the work for the $3.5-million project, but much of the renovation work is taking place inside, out of the view of the casual passerby.

When the project is done, cardio and strength equipment, as well as free weights and functional fitness equipment, will all be under one, larger space, said Robbie Laughton, senior membership director at the Suffolk Family YMCA.

There will be an additional row of new cardio equipment such as treadmills, he said.

Weight racks and strength equipment will be repainted and reupholstered, Laughton added.

The stay-and-play area, where parents can leave their infants and toddlers while they work out, will swell from 800 to 2,500 square feet, Matthews said.

A new area downstairs will function as a lobby and social area with vending machines, Laughton said.

By the time the work is complete, there will be about 11,000 square feet of new space and about 25,000 square feet of renovated space.

There’s no better time than now to get fit in Suffolk and no better place in the city to do it than in and around its historic central district.