One in two Canadians will be diagnosed with Cancer in their lifetime and one in four will die of the disease. Survivorship is commonly believed to start the day of diagnosis. Individuals are living longer in this stage and often have to deal with treatment side effects, both physically and emotionally. Survivorship is an area that is not very well addressed from a medical perspective.

There is strong evidence to suggest that improving modifiable risk factors like activity and nutrition can reduce the risk of recurrence, reduce the risk of another primary cancer, and improve quality of life (QOL). In fact, it is recommended that where possible, people living with cancer exercise in a group or supervised setting. A group setting may provide superior benefit/ outcome in QOL and muscular and aerobic fitness. (Curr Oncol. 2017 Feb;24(1):40-46)

There are currently no programs/ supports in the area that teach individuals HOW to implement survivorship guidelines and support them step by step.

Active Wellness is an 8 week program developed and facilitated by a Physiotherapist and a Dietitian to provide residents in North Bay and area with a “hands on”, integrated approach to improving activity and nutrition post cancer diagnosis. The group will meet twice a week for 1 1/2- 2 hours each session. The adult style learning will focus on individuals learning self management and goal setting skills to help them achieve good health and recovery in a supportive, positive environment. 

The program will be evidence based and include current practice guidelines from Cancer Care Ontario, Government of Canada, Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology, American College of Sports Medicine and the World recognized American Institute for Cancer Research. The implementation of the program will follow the high standards of practice set by The Canadian Physiotherapy Association and College of Dietitians of Ontario.

Each week, there will be goal setting, action planning & problem solving. Participants will work through this activity together to build accountability.

There will also be an education component, a practical learning component (taste testing, simple food prep demo,) followed by a group exercise program targeting, flexibility, strength, cardio with a focus on proper form and gradual progression to improve fitness and prevent injury.

Program Developers & Facilitators

Lisa Després Registered Physiotherapist. Lisa is a Registered Physiotherapist with over 25 years experience. Lisa started working and helping cancer clients early on in her career. She employs a multifaceted approach including scar mobility, movement patterning and individualized exercise programs. In 2005 she co-founded Active Running creating a dynamic physiotherapy centre and store which focuses on healthy living, injury prevention and group dynamic support where clients can take part in a variety of classes such as walking, pole walking, running, stretching and core classes. 

Tara Blake Registered Dietitian. Tara is a Registered Dietitian with over 20 years experience. She is also a Certified Fitness Instructor with CanFit Pro. Tara has worked across the oncology trajectory in hospital, community and the cancer centre. She is an enthusiastic home cook and enjoys teaching people how to take the recommendations and translate them into quick, easy meals and snacks. Tara is also a recent breast cancer survivor.

If interested please call us at 705-497-0004 for more information. The first session is scheduled to start mid-September 2018.