Centre for Human Performance and Health partners with cancer program

On Wednesday, Jan. 16, the Centre for Human Performance and Health (CHPH) partnered with Windsor Regional Hospital and Erie St. Clair Regional Cancer Program on expansion of a fitness program tailored to cancer patients. 

CHPH logoThe RENEW exercise program is intended to help cancer patients improve their physical, social, and mental health during the cancer journey. Fitness instructors are specially trained to provide participants with exercise prescription that helps build strength, enhance flexibility, improve balance and increase self-confidence. The exercises are specifically modified to meet each participant’s needs and achieve their individual goals.

Chad Sutherland, director of operations for CHPH, and Sandra Ondracka, Lancer Recreation co-ordinator, are leading the UWindsor involvement with the RENEW exercise program.

Sutherland expects many positive outcomes to the patients involved in the program but cites access to safe and effective exercise as the most important benefit to the patients.

“Research shows that fitness training throughout the cancer continuum has been very beneficial to the patient’s overall health,” he says.

Ondracka agrees with Sutherland’s assessment of the health benefits but adds the benefit of student interaction as a positive outcome of the RENEW program.

“Our students will be delivering this program on-campus at the St. Denis Centre, with direct connection to the patients,” says Ondracka. “In terms of high-impact student experiential learning opportunities, this is as good as it gets.”

Michael Khan, dean of the Faculty of Human Kinetics, echoes Sutherland’s comments.

“Our core values in HK are research, teaching, and community,” he says. “The RENEW-CHPH partnership demonstrates all three values clearly.”

The RENEW exercise program has been in existence since 2013, but with the help of CHPH and seven other fitness facilities, the program will grow to service patients throughout the Windsor-Essex, Chatham-Kent, and Sarnia-Lambton regions.

—Ryan Donally

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