Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being supporting members virtually

Brock University press release – Physical activity is an important part of staying healthy and boosting immunity, but doing so during the COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge — especially for older adults and high-risk groups.

In response, the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being is using social media and online tools to keep members engaged and active.

“The Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being is a social hub for many of our members,” says Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Director of the SeniorFit program Kimberley Gammage. “It’s important to us that our community doesn’t feel isolated and we are taking steps to contribute to the social, mental and physical health of our members.”

To assist members with their health and fitness goals, Centre staff are posting daily Home Workouts which do not require exercise equipment on their public Facebook page and have launched a new Brock webpage to provide information and important safety tips.

“We’re committed to providing our members with continual comprehensive service,” says Department of Health Sciences Chair and Centre Director Deborah O’Leary. “Our team is dedicated to providing a virtual, communal environment so that our members do not feel socially isolated and continue to partake in a healthy lifestyle.”

The Centre membership is comprised of older adults, individuals with cardiovascular disease or risk factors and individuals with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or amputations.

Each daily home workout posted on Facebook and the Brock webpage will have two options to allow individuals to make modifications based on their own unique needs, including seated exercises.

“Despite our best efforts, the reality is some of our members with a disability may not be independent enough to take advantage of the online exercise options,” explains Kinesiology Professor and Director of Power Cord, David Ditor. “For members in our wheelchair accessible exercise program, a phone call during this period can help them to fight off loneliness and isolation. We plan to reach out to our members and let them know we’re thinking about them.”

Another facet of the Brock community being engaged online are 30 Pelham residents, ranging in age from 59 to 91, who were a part of a 12-week functional exercise program at the Meridian Community Centre. Through a formal partnership with the Town of Pelham, FIT with Brock, a program of circuit classes had been running three times a week since January and ended prematurely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the shut-down, Centre Co-ordinator Katherine Crockett has been reaching out via email to provide members with home workouts and online video resources.

The Centre team is currently looking into the feasibility of running virtual fitness classes in real-time so all members can continue their exercise and social interactions from home.

For more information and updates on these initiatives, please visit the Home Workouts webpage on the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being website or the Centre’s public Facebook page.


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