Exercise has been shown to have numerous positive benefits for patients with cancer, including quality of life as well as muscular and aerobic fitness. Now, a new partnership between the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario (CCSEO) and the YMCA of Kingston is making it easier than ever for patients to include physical activity as part of their care.
Beginning on Tuesday, April 24th, people who receive treatment through the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario will be able to participate in a monitored group exercise program specific to those living with cancer. This program runs twice a week out of the YMCA of Kingston Wright Crescent branch and will be overseen by a certified personal trainer.
“We know that the care needs of our patients don’t end as soon as they leave the cancer centre and that we need to provide as many supports and resources as possible to help our patients in their care journey beyond hospital walls,” says Renée Hartzell, interim manager of Cancer Services. “With the creation of this program patients will be able to continue their care journey in a supportive environment with a community of their peers.”
The model of the Cancer Care Exercise Program is based off of one that is currently in place for cardiac patients. The Y’s Hearts Cardiac Maintenance Program helps patients of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre based out of the Kingston Health Sciences Centre – Hotel Dieu Hospital site work out in a monitored environment overseen by a certified personal trainer.
“After seeing the success and positive impact our cardiac exercise program has had we’re thrilled to partner with CCSEO and help patients who are either undergoing or have completed treatment pursue exercise,” says Leslie Dunn, Supervisor of Adult Programming at the YMCA of Kingston. “Members of this program will have the support of staff to encourage them through their exercise program and help them maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Funding for the space and program was generously donated by Kingston’s Empire Life, who will provide $15,000 a year over three years to support the purchase of new exercise equipment, expansion of programs and subsidizing of participants’ fees for those who can’t afford the programs it offers.
For any patient who is interested in joining the Cancer Care Exercise Program, please speak with a member of your care team.