Do you need to pick up groceries for your family, go to your Zumba class, talk to a dietician about healthy eating, but don’t have time to run all over town? No worries.
Albany-based Hannaford Supermarket has a small gym equipped with treadmills, stationary bicycles, other cardio machines, a Zumba room, and lockers. Besides the perk of getting in a workout and grocery shopping done all in one trip, it’s also completely free — no pricey sign-up fees or monthly price tags.
There’s no fine print or catch either; it is 100 percent free. Gym-goers don’t even have to shop in the store. They fill out paperwork on their first visit and are given fobs to swipe when they stop by. So far, over 1,100 people have signed up.
Last summer, there was a meeting between Hannaford, the local YMCA, and health care provider Capital District Physician’s Health Plan. The goal was to come up with something to improve the area’s health while also being convenient, accessible, and free.
The supermarket was remodeled last year, and extra space was left. Shortly after, in October, the "Healthy Living Center" opened. The 5,600-square-foot health facility is the only one in the 184-store chain with a gym, and there are no plans to open any others.
The center has a personal trainer provided by the YMCA, a health care associate from CDHP, and a Hannaford-registered dietician.
“Not only when people come here do we show them how to exercise, we actually take them out into Hannaford and show them how to pick healthy foods and healthy choices. And eventually we’re gonna add a model kitchen here and show people how to cook healthy meals and really demonstrate to them how easy it is to eat healthy,” David Brown, president and CEO of Capital District YMCA, told Albany Business Review.
Hannaford Supermarkets are based in Scarborough, Maine, and have locations in four other states: New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and eastern upstate New York. Their competitor is Stop & Shop.
For more information about the center's healthy living initiatives and offerings, visit their official website here.