“Emily has been my massage therapist for some time now. I have dealt with debilitating sciatica for over 15 years. Emily has been great about targeting the areas needed in our massage therapy sessions. My pain has been reduced about 50% since I started seeing Emily regularly (every 2-3 weeks) and I have been able to almost eliminate my prescription pain meds. The quality of my life has improved thanks to Emily’s dedicated care.”
– Anita F.
“When my significant other was diagnosed in 2010 with stage III esophageal cancer, he weighed 256 lbs and I weighed a little over 200 lbs. He went through chemo, radiation, and surgery, causing him to drop to 190 lbs. He looked great, but the surgery really took it’s toll on him. It was a tough winter that year. Depression hit us both as our lives were turned upside down. On top of that, we have always been summer people, and the cold, grey days were a very scary time. Although his weight was good, mine was dangerously high. I was on blood pressure medicine and the stress of being a care giver and mom and working was taking it’s toll on me. I decided that we both needed something to bring us out of our funk. I looked into a membership at the Wellness Center, mostly so that he could take advantage of the warm pool. He would use the pool, then do some light weights and walk, to help get his strength back. I began a workout regimen of 5 days a week, and was able to lose 50 lbs. Not only was the weight loss great for me, but going to the gym after work saved my sanity. It was “me” time, and although there were days that I did not feel like going, I pushed through it and went anyway. I always felt better after. Then he slowly started losing weight. Although his PET scans were coming back clean, the weight loss was perplexing to this doctors. Then in September of 2012, I found an enlarged lymph node in my neck, and was stunned to learn that I had nasopharangeal cancer. I had never felt better or stronger, and just could not believe that I was now going to be the patient. At this point, he was down to 140 lbs, and was struggling to hold onto weight. Going to the gym for him would burn much needed calories. And I was looking at chemo and radiation for my head/neck cancer, which was going to be extremely difficult. So we discussed it, and decided that we would stop our gym membership temporarily. I remember the day that I cancelled our membership… I cried. The gym had been such a positive influence in our lives, and I felt like I was giving up. It is now July, and I have been done with my treatment for a little over 3 months. Ironically, the last 30 lbs that I struggled to lose has now come off and the blood pressure meds are done. Although neither one of us are quite ready to go back to the gym, we still talk about it. We both felt so great going, both mentally and physically. Unfortunately, some things got in the way of it, but we have not given up the idea. We just wait for the day when we can walk back through the doors, and get back to the business of being healthy once again ”
– Barbara Perry
“Since starting at the Center, I’ve lost almost 20lbs. The biggest benefit is the new discipline I’ve gained. Instead of brooding over issues at work , I head to the Fitness Center and work off the frustrations. It is a positive place and motivates me to continue to make changes to my diet and exercise plan. Now, the changes have been so dramatic, my doctor has reduced my medication and pointed out that I am close to a healthy BMI. YEAH! What a great place! The folks that work here are positive and encouraging, especially Wendy. She let me know that she had noticed my weight loss and even knows me by name! Keep up the good work.”
– Deb Stevens
“My husband and I are members of the Wellness & Fitness Center and enjoy taking advantage of the many opportunities that are provided to improve our health. I had a mastectomy the end of November. When my margins were not clear, additional surgery was required in December. After recovering and not knowing what exercises would be helpful and not too aggressive, I decided to be re-evaluated and seek help from a trainer. Brittany evaluated my abilities and mentioned the cancer program that was being offered. I contacted Karie Wratchford, and she worked with me in the Movin’ Forward Program. To get the most benefit from my workout, we used the equipment to strengthen the areas that had been weakened by my surgery, learned how to use the cardiovascular equipment more efficiently to keep those areas strong, and exercises to help with balance. She was thorough and very informative about why things were done and what we wanted to accomplish. Without Karie’s personal warmth, professional competence, and her ability to apply her knowledge and skills in a way that I could understand, instilling confidence to improve my health, image, balance, and a better outlook, I would not have progressed so well. She realized my fears about lymphedema and helped me to overcome them through exercise. I feel better physically and am confident that by continuing the program she set up for me, I can continue to improve. She is a treasure! This is a wonderful program that has been made available to cancer patients. Thanks for providing such skillful, professional, caring people to provide hope for the future.”
– Diane S.
“Just visited the doctor, and I’m now off all meds and have perfect numbers. Best he has ever seen! All thanks to wellness center.”
– Dinah Krause
“I moved to Winchester from Europe where my family had been stationed for five and a half years. We were active military and then civilian working for the Army Corps. Winchester was a big change for me and my family. My husband enrolled me and my teen daughter at Valley Health Wellness & Fitness Center. It was love at first class for me. The staff and members accepted us and made us feel welcome. I felt the “gym” was a place in town where I could come and be welcome. As I grew to know even more staff and members the more I came. The gym was a place I could come and forget about the stresses of new schools, new neighborhood, new house, etc… I deal with depression and working out not only helped me get in shape, it helped my depression and stress! I have been a member for one year and will continue. Now I come for friends and fun. My husband is deployed with the Navy for 6 months and the staff are so thoughtful with this issue. Thank you!”
– Heidi Colberg
“I’m living my life to the fittest! Here’s my VHWFC story… My husband Jim and I joined when the fitness center opened and were thrilled to find a light, airy, clean, and convenient facility with terrific staff and expert instructors. While I sampled many different classes, I got hooked on a 5:30 am workout regime and made that a priority. Spinning, zumba, yoga, aqua, and others were also great when I could fit them into my daily routine. I even enjoy reading on the Stairmaster and using my waterproof MP3 player while swimming. Basically, I’d love to spend my days at the VHWFC! On the other hand, there are other duties, so the 5:30 am class became a habit. It has variety so that we don’t get bored with the same drills. The equipment also steps up the agenda, with balls, weights, disks, and more- small-med-big, heavy-light, etc. The instructor is an expert, always showing a cheerful, organized demeanor, even at the crack of dawn (and throughout the day) day after day, week after week. Incredible. Suffice to say: this has changed my life. I took the assessment and was not surprised to find my lowest score at 95%, and most were close to 100% (at 55, pretty good)! Thanks VHWFC for a wonderful experience – 100%!”
– Kate Simpson
“I have always been a heavy person with low self esteem, but in January 2013 I was at my heaviest weight of 360 lbs. I hated myself! I ate to feel comfort; I ate when I was stressed. I was using food to hide behind my real problems. I had a failing marriage, a little girl that I could not keep up with, and I had truly lost myself. I decided on January 14th 2013 that this was enough! It was time to change my life. I starting going to counseling. Then, I started to lose some weight. In March 2013, my husband left my daughter and I. I had a choice – fall back to food or exercise. I made the choice to exercise. It has not been an easy road, but I have a new start. I work out in the pool 3-5 days a week here at the gym. I have a new church home, and I have a new job. I am smiling more, enjoying life more, and getting quicker so I can keep up with my daughter who loves it here also. I love the person I am becoming. My journey is not done but so far I have lost 70 lbs. I have taken all the negative and pulled learning lessons out of it. I have learned to keep moving forward. I am a very positive person and I love to encourage others but now I can really show this to people with the new me. I have also learned that things can go wrong but I believe you should never give up on yours dreams and your goals no matter what! You can do it just like I am.”
– Kristina Price
“About 18 months ago, I came to the conclusion that I needed to make some changes. Losing weight and becoming healthier was my goal. The staff at VH Wellness & Fitness Center helped make this possible. It began with a class showing ho my eating habits in both the types and quantities of food affect me. Once I was able to understand and control that, it was time to begin an exercise routine. Kevin Roman helped guide and teach me about exercises to increase both my cardiovascular endurance and muscle tone. He pushed and encouraged me to work harder to get the results I can be proud of. I have lost 126 pounds. I am amazed at how many activities I can do now that never would have been possible before. Exercise is part of my life now. I could not have done any of this without the help and support of the staff has given to me. Thank you!”
– Larry Mumaw
“I’m writing to applaud the group exercise program at Valley Health Wellness and Fitness Center. I always found it uninteresting to work out on the machines on the main floor. I was primarily a runner prior to taking exercise classes at the old hospital on Cork Street in 2007. When VHWFC was built five years ago, I was excited to learn the classes would be offered at no additional cost to the member. I understand there are upwards of eighty classes available to members each week. There truly is something for everyone. Whether strength training or cardio, beginner or intermediate or advanced, land or water, if you’ve ever wondered about taking a class, please do! You will be happy you tried it out. The instructors are all so welcoming and professional. I like to tell people that they “warm you up, work you out, and cool you down”. It is a very efficient workout in one hour. Their focus is to provide a productive workout free of injury. You are working out with a professional without paying additional personal training fees! I used to have minor pains in my lower back or knees, but that is in the past. I’ve strengthened my ligaments and core whereby I no longer have these pains. During the class the instructors will give various levels of each exercise. Most exercises are functional in nature, meaning you are strengthening your body to aid your movement in everyday life activities. For example, we often work on balance which will help outside the gym to prevent falls. The music and the people in the class are a huge motivator. The group creates its own synergy. The music is very uplifting. It takes your mind off the challenging aspects of the class and contributes to an overall feeling of happiness. I can personally attest to the wonderful instruction of Krista, Adele, Victoria and Jeremiah though I’m confident all the instructors are more than proficient. I encourage you to speak with an instructor if you’re interested. They can advise you on a class that will meet your fitness goals. On a personal note, my health became a bigger issue for me after I donated a kidney to my brother 13 years ago. The group exercise classes at VHWFC enable me to live my best life even with this minor health handicap. I encourage you to consider group exercise. The team of instructors are the very best money can buy, but wait, there’s no additional charge! What do you have to lose?”
– Leisa Robinson
“The Wellness Center What can I say? I love this place! Clean and social as I whittle my waist. The staff – friendly and very classy. I’m comfy here as I exercise my 75-year old “chassis”.”
– Marguerite Weems
“On Mother’s Day 2012 I collapsed, paralyzed from the waist down. After making a trip to the Winchester ER where I was informed that I had a damaged spinal cord and that without surgery and a period in rehab I would never walk again. Not what I was expecting. During the next three weeks, I had the surgery and spent 13 days in bed and 6 days doing physical therapy. The two weeks in bed plus the damage to my spinal cord took its toll on the muscles throughout my body, affected my balance, and made this old ex-football player appreciate some of the things I took for granted, like walking, breathing without it being work, being able to get up and down without the use of something to pull myself up using my arms, etc. I was fortunate to have several great people at the rehab center to get me started on my way to recovery. I was extra privileged to have a physical therapist named Kim Brown to jump start my road back to fitness. She worked my glutes off for the 12 weeks during the months of June, July, August, and September of 2012, re-introducing me to squats, side step exercises, bridges, and teaching me to some new exercises, like planks. As my therapy sessions were coming to an end, Kim encouraged me to continue with a fitness program at a gym. Enter the Valley Health Wellness & Fitness Center and Erin Shea. The Wellness & Fitness Center offers the Moving Forward Program for people like me, those recovering from health issues and who want to progress into a exercise program to strengthen their body. That is where Erin entered the picture and developed a program to build up my back, core, legs, knees, and stamina and monitored my progress. That was in October of 2012. Now after three to four workouts a week that include cardio, weight training, Erin’s favorite – Planks, and more cardio in the pool, I have come a long way in getting back to normal, maybe even better than I was 5-7 years ago. I am doing things I could not do even years before the surgery and certainly doing many more physical activities than even my doctor’s thought I would do again. I know my wife must be getting tired me come home and talking about the new things I can do that I could not do a couple of days before. I still have a long way to go to be where I want to be with my fitness. But today, because of the Wellness & Fitness Center, Erin, and many of the other people at the center, I feel like I really have an opportunity be healthier and more fit than I have been in YEARS. At almost 64, I am looking forward to an ACTIVE retirement, which I hope includes continuing to exercise at the Valley Health Wellness & Fitness Center.”
– Neil Raper
“After two heart attacks and subsequent years of depression, I came across a bumper sticker that has become my mantra. It simply said ‘she didn’t just survive, she became.’ So I joined Valley Health Wellness & Fitness Center. I did my fitness assessment but had no intentions of using a personal trainer. By accident I met Olivia Legge and she was kind enough to share what training could do. So both my husband and I began working with her. I have now been with Olivia for over a year, working three days a week both on the equipment and in the pool. It’s part of my life. I don’t (or very rarely) miss appointments and I feel energized after my hour. I turn 65 in October and only wish I had started earlier. Some days it’s a struggle to show up but in the end it is worth it. I am also now working with Karie on building my core and feeling better every day! I am becoming comfortable with my body and not apprehensive about exercise. I have proved I can help myself to a better life and I am seeing great results. Thanks you Olivia and Karie for the push and encouragement!”
– Pam Reed
“I have an amazing story to tell how my life has changed over the past three years. I joined the Valley Health Wellness & Fitness Center not knowing what benefits I would be able to achieve from the facilities. When I began, I had several health issues. I was extremely overweight, had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. I was always tired and had no energy. All of my doctors told me that exercise would be the most beneficial thing for me. I needed to start but exercise regularly, but wasn’t sure I would be able to. I started out with an evaluation and physical assessment from one of the team members. This gave me a staring point. I started walking around the track everyday. When I reached 2 miles I was so happy. Late,r I began to use the equipment on the floor to help strengthen and tone my muscles. It had been a long time since I had done any regular exercises. One thing that helped me the most was the instructors who showed me how to use the equipment properly. At first I used the program recommended by the trainers, and then I was able to create my own program that fit the goals I was trying to achieve. Three years later, I have lost over 65 pounds and 12 inches from my waist. I have a better than normal blood pressure and my glucose level in normal. I have learned what foods I should eat to stay healthy and fit. I have more strength and endurance. All of this motivated me to continue. I have almost become “addicted” to working out. Five days a week and at least two hours a day. Sometimes it’s hard for me to get up and go to the fitness center, but all I have to do is look in the mirror and see the new me. A lot of my friends and family commented on my physical and mental improvements. It makes you feel good to hear people that you don’t really know comment on the great things you have accomplished. People ask me what motivated me. My response is that something has to “CLICK”; everyone has a point in their life that will get them motivated. It may be health issues or something emotional happening in your life, but whatever the reason you will know it when it happens. Then it becomes a habit and a part of your new lifestyle.”
– Raymond Welch
“I joined VHWFC to get my weight under control. I have been a member for three years and have lost 25 pounds. I make the effort to get here everyday to workout.”
– Ricky Harris
“A year and a half ago, I was close to 300 pounds. I was having major health issues and reduced alertness. To counter my family health issues, in the past I have tried a variety of diets and other healthier choices. These fad diets all had the same results, initial success, long term failure. I realized I was looking at the remedy to the issue all wrong. Instead of trying to get to the end goal as a whole, I needed to break each segment down into manageable, shorter milestones to reach my overall goal. Additionally, with the support, encouragement, and the feedback of my friends, family, and the staff of the gym, I am able to keep moving forward to reach my end goal. Even though I am not at that final goal yet, I have lost 115 pounds, gone down fives sizes in shirts and six sizes in pants. I feel so much better and my pain\health issues are almost gone or have become more manageable in my everyday life. I feel healthy like I was in high school. I believe I can outrun my former self. Thanks to all of your staff for working with me as I could not achieve the results by myself.”
– Rob Bigsby
“Well actually it’s not MY story…. This is the story of my wife, Kali 2 ½ years ago we joined the gym like so many other people do “oh it will be good, we’ll do this, we’ll do that…” and so on. And just like so many other people, we promptly stopped doing it. And then life went on, and one day Kali woke up and said “ I can’t believe I’m living my life like this, I’m suddenly a heavy person.” This was her a-ha moment. She has dropped 35 pounds and is at the weight she was when she graduated high school, the weight she was when we got married. Now let me explain that Kali is not a runner; she’s not even an athlete. She can’t dribble a basketball; she can’t throw a ball; she can’t lift anything; and she can’t contort her body. She’s not strong and she doesn’t move with the athlete’s grace if you will. Really, she’s not much good at anything physical and at only 5’1” she never has been. She’s embarrassing actually. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, she’s not a runner. Well, she just signed us up for our fifth 5k together and she is making plans for her first 10k with an ultimate goal of completing a ½ marathon. What a departure this is for Kali: 5’1” people do not have long legs. I believe I’ve already mentioned that she’s not much of an athlete……. In short, I want to thank the atmosphere and the staff at Valley Health Wellness and Fitness Center for being such an excellent place for her to live her life to the fullest. Her path to wellness has been to come in EVERY DAY and she spends 90% of her time in the gym just going around the track. Over and over and over, using a heart rate monitor religiously and just …keeps…going….every….day. She is an inspiration to me and I am now on my way as well; but only because of her. 4 kids, a Masters Degree, and lose 35 pounds just because she wanted to do it? Crazy, yet inspiring. And she is smoking hot. I have always thought that she was beautiful but now she thinks she is too, and that is a great accomplishment for her. I’m very proud.”
– Steve Klubertanz
“In 2010, spinal stenosis completely paralyzed my left arm. After surgery and one year of Physical Therapy, I was finally able to make the jump from working with a three pound weight to five pounds. It was time to thank my therapist and tackle the weight machines at the Wellness Center. I knew some of the nerve damage would be permanent but was determined to recover as much strength and control as possible. I had to set the machines on the lowest setting at first, but the equipment, each unit designed for a specific muscle group, allowed me to recover better than I or my doctor thought I would. After just three months my doctors first word was “amazing”, Followed by “remarkable recovery” and “I’m impressed” While I did not have a personal trainer, Kevin would often stop and give me tips on how to get the most benefit from the equipment – repositioning my hands or maybe just my thumbs, or raising or lowering the seat. “All of these machines have their own little secrets”, he would say. And Olivia was like my own personal cheerleader- “Go Steve Go” whenever she walked past. I’m now three years post surgery and everything just keeps getting better.”
– Steven Foley
“Thanks to Bryce taking time to encourage me to have a reassessment. I finally know I am on a path to good health. Amanda has helped me so much in her classes, with her smile and upbeat nature. She makes what used to be awful, fun!! We laugh & really help one another. Everyone looks forward to the next time. She has the best cool down. I would work 50 minutes any time just to do her cool down. I leave stress free!”
– Susan Carter
“The Swim Around Winchester program has been exceptional for me. When I started the program in July 2014, I was a widower of seven weeks in deep mourning for my dear wife of 55 years. Additionally, the joints in my knees and shoulders were hurting. The swimming routine relieved stress as I could let my mind relax and go where it wanted while swimming laps. It also loosened my joints in my shoulders and knees. I no longer grieve as I settle into my new normal. When I started Swim Around Winchester, I could not do the crawl stroke due to a locked left shoulder. Now after 12 plus miles I am able to do the crawl stroke for a lap or so. VHWFC has eased my sadness and improved my body. I could not want more from you.”
– William Heidelberger
VHWFC has provided me with the most outstanding service a gym has ever provided me. The staff at VHWFC is always willing to help myself, my father in law, and not to mention the kids zone area is outstanding. My son has gained a great amount of knowledge by simply being in kids zone for two hours every day with the exception of Sunday when they are closed. I have nothing to complain about as I am planning to be a member of this gym for a lifetime. When I walked in the door for the first time Greg showed me around the whole building, was kind, and I have been coming almost every day since then. Every staff member at the gym recognizes me which makes me feel welcomed every time you walk in the door. I am very pleased and happy with the classes the center has to offer and with the swim lessons I did for my son and myself instructed by Sue. My journey at VHWFC has built my self-confidence and has been life changing for me. I am thankful and would recommend this gym to any and every one.
– Nicole Vershay
My wife (80 yrs) and I (86 yrs) have been using Valley Health Wellness and Fitness Center for 15 months. We have found the staff and equipment to be top quality. We both enjoy using the cardio machines. My wife uses the aquatic area and enjoys exercising in the pool. I have been using a new stationary bike and am pleased with the results. We feel both the machines and pool have helped us maintain our strength and overall fitness.
We want to extend our many thanks to the friendly and helpful staff.
– Ray and Mailyn Steizi
The entire team at VHWFC is fabulous –professional, knowledgeable, courteous- tops in every way!
– Ann Ferrante
I am a 77-year old man with arthritis in nearly every bone in my body. I have been a member for over 4 years. The equipment, classes and instruction I receive at VHWFC allows me to keep functioning at nearly a normal level. I also enjoy the friendships that have developed over the years as well along with the cheerfulness and cleanliness of the facility.
– Wayne M.
When I got beyond retirement age, I noticed that my strength, stamina and coordination was falling off and my weight was going up. I joined VHWFC to hopefully stop the downward slide. I am very pleased with my results and plan on continuing here. In my opinion, my membership and attendance at VHWFC is every bit as important as seeing my doctor for my regular check-ups. I do believe that if I had not received a free assessment and workout program I would have become frustrated and given up on the whole thing.
I have been a member of Valley Health Wellness & Fitness Center since it opened. It has helped me stay fit and in good health. At my last assessment I was able to reduce my equivalent age to 48. This is quite an accomplishment because I am 65.
– Gerald H.
When I joined VHWFC 7 years ago, I was 45 lbs. overweight after having 3 babies in 4 ½ years. I worked 12 hour shifts as a nurse and decided that I needed to make a change. The availability of the daycare and its amazing staff was one of the biggest perks for me. I could take all 3 kids with me, get in a great workout, and not have to worry about the extra step to find a babysitter. The various classes that are offered were a great change up from using the equipment. The instructors are always willing to advise and give helpful tips to further your goals. At 38 years old, I am now in the best physical shape of my life. I have energy and stamina to keep up with my 3 children, and have completed 2 marathons, 2 half marathons and numerous other races. All because I made the decision to join this great facility! Thank you!
– Kristi M.
I have been a member since 2010 with a year break due to health issues. Without my exercising at my age (72) my strength and balance wouldn’t be as good as it is today. I have a history of lower back problems and need the help from my chiropractor. Since working out at Valley Health my back has greatly improved and I very seldom need to see the doctor. Many thanks to Diana and Becky for their support and instruction in the Easy Mover classes. I enjoy the walking track and help from all of the employees at Valley Health. It is a great place to stay well and fit.
– Arvin W.
I have been involved with the Wellness Center since we opened back in 2008. Although I was and am an employee, I have taken advantage of what this center has to offer and believe that is has made a profound impact on my health and quality of life. For over six years, I was very active in a wide variety of group exercise classes. Yoga, step, Pilates and spinning classes were all taught by very competent and motivating instructors. My involvement with teaching and taking classes kept me fairly fit. Then I came aboard as a full time employee at the Wellness Center over two years ago. I started working with personal trainers 2-3 times a week to supplement my daily workout activities. I first worked with Christin Yokiel, who had great focus on interval training and brought more free weight exercise into my workouts. She did a great job designing workouts that kept me challenged. Part of my goal while working with her was to improve my running stamina and start doing obstacles races. Her conditioning exercises definitely helped me to be successful at both running and starting my current obsession with obstacle racing. Now I train with Chris Armel who is a fantastic trainer and brought in a whole new style to help improve my conditioning and fitness goals. I know personal training is an extra expense that a lot of people cannot justify, but I will advocate for our personal training staff through my own experience with two exceptional individuals (Christin and Chris). One of the many benefits of this facility is the assessment/exercise orientation sessions. These are great options for members who do not use a trainer or take classes as it is a way to help develop new and challenging exercise routines without the extra cost.
I’ve been a member since the Wellness Center opened. I’ve come and gone, with the breaks much, much longer than they should have been. In October 2016, I made a big commitment to my health. I’ve used what I learned from Suzie in my nutrition class and started slow. I’ve walked a little and now I walk a ton. I used to only shoot for 10 mins of elliptical; now I can do 60+ min with no problems. I started coming every other day or every two days. Now I’m here all the time. I love coming here because there are no judgements; just a commitment to improving your health. I’ve lost 45 lbs. and have a lot more to go, but more importantly, I feel my goals are more realistic now and that I have the tools to succeed.