Monday, January 19, 2009

At Fitness Center, A Change Of Pace

“A posh new fitness center for women is opening in Dorchester. A building near Dorchester District Court that once housed prisoners has been transformed into a fitness center for women called Healthworks at Codman. The grand opening is scheduled for Jan. 27. The gym at 450 Washington St. is a partnership between the nonprofit Codman Square Health Center, which owns the building, and Healthworks, a locally owned chain of upscale women's health clubs. Monthly memberships cost between $0 and $30, and patients at the Codman Square Health Center and Dorchester House Multi-Service Center can get prescriptions to work out at the facility for free. ‘Many people in middle-class areas use gyms for regular exercise, but gyms are rare in low-income communities,’ said Codman Square Health Center's CEO, Bill Walczak. ‘People don't have access to them, or they're too costly.’ Healthworks at Codman ‘is a response to that,’ he said. Codman Square Health Center officials hope the new fitness center will become a hub of physical activity in the neighborhood. And so far, so good: Since the gym's ‘soft opening’ in mid-October, membership has grown to 500 people, according to Mark Harrington, president of Healthworks Fitness Centers for Women, Inc., which operates gyms in the Back Bay, Brookline, Cambridge, Chestnut Hill and Salem. ‘We feel that fitness is empowerment for women,’ said Harrington. ‘We wanted to create a place where they can feel at home, a safe environment where they feel comfortable.’”

No comments: