My name is Paulina and I am beyond excited to be the new contributor to our very own Aspen Care Blog. Feel free to reach out to me with any ideas you may have.
As a recent graduate from the University of Calgary with a BSc. in Kinesiology, I aspire to one day become a physician. My interests revolve around ameliorating people’s quality of life in all dimensions: physical, nutritional, and psychological! In my day-to-day life I manifest this at the South Health Campus Wellness Centre YMCA by motivating behavior change that results in improved health and wellness. My hobbies include spending time with family and friends, running, travelling, and admiring cute dogs.
Research has shown that people of all ages and abilities can thrive from physical activity that offers both physiological and psychological benefits. We have to remember that physical activity is subjective and should be tailored to each individual. Its safety and effectiveness can be assured by utilizing the individuals who are dedicated to seeking out knowledge provided by the current research.
Many experience chronic conditions, specifically chronic pain, during their lifetime. When we think of the word chronic, we associate it with something that is prolonged, persistent, or constantly reoccurring for several months. In Calgary, we are fortunate enough to have the Chronic Pain Centre that aims to help manage chronic pain via education sessions, goal setting, and exercise. Its multidimensional approach allows professionals from various skillsets to collaborate. The Centre also acts as an applicable relay system to relevant programs and resources shown below:
Link to Chronic Pain Management Lecture Series:
I found that this ten lecture series provides GENERAL insight into several aspects of chronic pain that can help individuals understand more about what the Chronic Pain Centre aims to accomplish.
External Resource: Link to the Pain Resource Centre Website:
This website advocates and educates about a multidisciplinary approach towards alleviating chronic pain.
External Resource: The Pain Toolkit Website:
With convenient technology on the rise, this website allows you to download an app onto your devices that provides workshops and tools that can enhance daily living with chronic pain.
A great program that the Centre endorses is Alberta Healthy Living, which is led by an all-encompassing team of individuals from different specialties. It is a program that educates about lifestyle, provides supervised exercise sessions, and provides support with self-management workshops. I have personally seen the exercise portion of this program run with nothing but positive results.
The Eligibility Guidelines (General Program):
• Adults 18 years of age or older
• Able to participate in a group setting for group-based services
• Individuals with significant learning/memory challenges may not be appropriate
• Must be able to handle group situations without disrupting the class
• Must be able to communicate using basic English, except for programs offered in other languages
Eligibility for Exercise Only:
• Must be able to walk at least 5 meters
• Must have at least one chronic condition
Wait times to get into these programs vary depending on the preferences for location, time, and type of class.
General information on the Alberta Living Healthy Program:
Alberta Healthy Living Program Referral:
The YMCA has partnered with Alberta Health Services to run the exercise portion of the program. It is a truly empowering program that provides physical activity designed for participants living with a chronic condition and teaches them how to safely exercise while also experiencing the benefits of group support. Check out the program guides of the various YMCA locations throughout the city to see which fits best with your schedule!
Link to YMCA program guides:
Are you unsure if you want to commit to an ongoing program? fit2AGE also promotes wellbeing through exercise with both drop in classes and the Healthy Living program at various other locations throughout the city. Get in direct contact with the director, Tracy Rand, via the link below:
I hope this empowers you and your loved ones to seek out the right programs or right forms of exercise to boost your life!
Until next time,