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Albany Supermarket Adds a Gym

Update Date: May 27, 2014 10:44 AM EDT

Exercise is a vital part in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Even though people know that exercising is good for the body, not everyone might have the means to go to a gym. Now, in Albany, New York, a supermarket has added a gym right next to its pharmacy center for people who might want to get a short workout done before or after they finish grocery shopping.

"It's about me getting healthy and losing some of this excess weight," Ann Lawson who shops at Hannaford said according to Philly. "And I like the idea of being able to work out and shop in one trip."

The Hannaford supermarket has a gym right behind the pharmacy counter. Even though the gym is small, it has the necessary machines, such as treadmills and stationary bikes. On top of these cardio machines, there is a state-of-the-art Zumba room. Aside from having easy access to these machines, the best part is that there is absolutely no fee.

The concept of adding a gym inside a supermarket was conceived in last year's meeting between the supermarket chain, the local YMCA, and Capital District Physicians Health plan, a health care provider. At the time, the Albany store had extra space due to remodeling, which made it relatively easy to add a gym.

"It's been a natural partnership," said Nancy Gildersleeve, director of healthy living for the Capital District YMCA. "This was perfect for our community. We have got to partner to prevent these chronic diseases. This is really a first step for people that have never felt that connection and support. This has become a community center. People meet folks just like them."

"Obviously, we've had people use it who weren't customers and have decided to shop in the store," store manager Dave Farrell, said. "It's definitely a win for us, but that wasn't the goal."

According to the Hannaford, which is based in Maine, the Albany store is the only one with a gym. The company does not plan on adding a gym in the other 183 stores.

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