By Melissa Toothman
A volunteer director for a Barbour County women's gym that offers a unique approach to health said she is worried that South Main Street in Philippi could eventually lose another downtown store, a gym that has been operated by various owners and has been known to its members by different names.
The volunteer director of physical health at Integrity Fitness, Donna Seamon, said that the nonprofit, 24-hour gym has only 30 members, and it could be at risk of shutting down if those numbers don't grow.
"Unless we have at least 60 or 70 members, it's probably not going to survive," Seamon said.
Seamon said the gym was approved for Silver Sneakers, a program that helps pay the subscription fees of qualifying members.
"They will start both encouraging and paying for people to work out at our facility," Seamon said.
Seamon said that one of the gym's goals is to host educational programs for various health-related topics like fibromyalgia, healthier cooking, exercise and skin nutrition. Integrity Fitness plans to work Bible studies, book clubs, trips, craft-making and social events into its holistic health agenda.
"The concept of Integrity (Fitness) expresses completeness or wholeness, an important concept for health," Seamon said. "The definition of health or fitness is too narrow when it only includes physical health. It is possible to be a model of physical health and have emotional or spiritual issues that erode the overall health of the individual.
"In order to focus on Integrity Fitness's tag line, 'Strength for the Body, Mind, and Spirit,' the organization will take a well-rounded approach to encouraging women to have healthier lives. Women thrive in situations where there is an opportunity for interaction and friendships."
Seamon, who has been an exercise instructor for more than 30 years, said that exercise classes will be added to the gym's offerings once the new exercise studio is complete. One class Seamon said the gym will feature is a dance aerobics that will include a Latin, retro and modern flair. The class will be offered at 5:30 p.m. starting Wednesday, Sept. 26, at Philippi City Hall. Other planned classes include step aerobics, stretching and toning and Praise Moves, a Christian-based alternative to yoga.
The health facility has been known by many names throughout the years. It has even kept all of its original exercise equipment and has remained in the same location throughout all of its changes in ownership and in name. It is still located next to the Medallion Restaurant on South Main Street in Philippi.
In the beginning, the gym was known as Curves. After that, Gretchen and Kevin Lyons, took over the ownership, renaming the gym The Workout. In July, the gym swapped ownership once again when it was donated by the Lyons to the Women of Promise, a nonprofit ministry in Philippi.
Doors are open to all from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, from 4 to 6 p.m. on Fridays and from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays. The proceeds from membership are reincorporated back into the facility to pay for things like bills, equipment, expansions of the gym and operating costs.
Gym membership is open to women of any age, shape or size. A special rate for daughters of members, ages 18 or younger, is applicable.
For more information, call Integrity Fitness at 304-457-5501.