Before 1987, a heart attack patient in central Delaware would receive treatment at Kent General Hospital, return home --- and become a prime candidate for a return visit to the hospital. Sedentary lifestyles and junk food diets clog arteries, and create a continuing risk for heart patients to suffer an attack again. But, some hospital officials knew how to break the cycle.
So in April,1987, Bayhealth opened Lifestyles Fitness Center on State Street, adjacent to the main Kent General Hospital.
“We wanted to create a facility that would promote healthier lifestyles for our cardiac patients so they could reduce their risk of heart attack in the future. We knew (that Lifestyles Fitness Center) would help recovering cardiac patients develop a permanent lifestyles change to include healthier diets and a regular, daily exercise routine,” said Bayhealth Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Manager Paul LeBlanc, who joined Kent General Hospital in 1988.
According to LeBlanc, the original Lifestyles Fitness Center which opened in 1987 was a small room of 3,500 square feet. It featured four treadmills, five exercise bicycles and a handful of Nautilus equipment. It served as an employee fitness center, in addition to rehabilitating cardiac patients.
During this time, Lifestyles Fitness Center, Milford, also opened to meet the growing needs of the greater Milford community. The two fitness facilities merged, following the merger between Kent General Hospital and Milford Memorial Hospital in 1997. Over the years, Lifestyles’ membership climbed steadily. To provide more space and newer facilities for its members, Lifestyles Fitness Center, Dover, relocated to its current location at 1255 South State Street in 2008, and expanded to 8,800 square feet.
Today, Lifestyles Fitness Center, Dover, features 35 pieces of cardiovascular rehabilitation equipment, 18 units of circuit training, and extensive free weights. Group fitness programs and personalized training are also available. All members of the public are welcome to join Lifestyles Fitness Center, Milford, or Lifestyles Fitness Center, Dover. Bayhealth employees may be eligible for a discounted employee membership as well.
“While our facility has grown and evolved over the years, our mission has never changed. We’ll continue to help our community live healthier lifestyles today and always,” said LeBlanc.
For more information about Lifestyles Fitness Center, Dover, please call (302) 734-3126. For more information about Lifestyles Fitness Center, Milford, please call (302) 430-5632.