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Jerrie Dodge, center right, coaches a water aerobics class at Club Bethesda in Willmar. The club, open to people age 50 and over, has more than 500 members. The fitness programs are part of Bethesda’s wellness center. People in their 50s and 60s who’ve never set foot in a nursing home come to Bethesda’s Wellness Center every week to use the customized exercise equipment or swim in the heated therapeutic pool. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

Bethesda at forefront of aging demographics, new expectations


Bethesda opened its wellness center in 2010 with a forward-thinking purpose — health and fitness for middle-aged and older adults.             

Bethesda leaders hoped they could initially get 100 people to sign up to become members of the new Club Bethesda. With 300 signups the first year, they succeeded far beyond their expectations. Two years later the wellness center has more than 500 members from 32 towns in the region, some as far as 50 miles away.

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Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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