While I’ve “taken the waters” from the hot springs bubbling below Bath, England and West Virginia’s famous White Sulphur Springs, I derived just as many beneficial and healing properties from a much closer destination. Spending the better part of a day at the McConnell Heart Health Center is my close-to-home version of a spa experience.
Located in Columbus next to OhioHealth’s Riverside Methodist Hospital, the center is the result of the philanthropy of John H. McConnell, founder of Worthington Industries, former majority owner of the Columbus Blue Jackets and author of Our Golden Rule, and his wife, Peggy. The McConnells championed the prevention and treatment of heart disease through improved lifestyle habits and rehabilitation.
The McConnell Center integrates health and fitness with preventing heart and musculoskeletal disease and improving the health of those being treated for those diseases. The facility includes cardiovascular and weight-training equipment, a half-court gymnasium, steam rooms and saunas, relaxation and meditation rooms, as well as an indoor track, a 25-meter lap pool and two warm-water pools. The experience is completed by a retail store, a café with a heart-healthy menu, and a health education resource center staffed by physical therapists, registered nurses and dieticians and exercise physiologists who design personal health improvement programs for members. Aquatic, spinning, fitness and education classes are all complimentary for members.
Imagine beginning the day by soaking up the benefits of a warm-water pool that’s reminiscent of a perfectly tempered bath. An hour-long Water Yoga session adapts basic yoga poses for execution in the water to strengthen, stretch, balance and relax. In honor of Thanksgiving, a “Yoga Birds” theme incorporated the Flamingo and Pigeon poses into the routine.