Physical activity can play an important role in improving physical and mental health of Canadians (Pathways to Wellbeing: A Framework for Recreation in Canada, 2015). Unfortunately, during the pandemic and in the colder winter months, accessibility to quality physical activity opportunities can become more of a challenge for older adults.
To help combat these challenges, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) hosted a Forever…in motion Leader training workshop in the Age Friendly community of Rosetown in November 2021. Eight new Leaders were trained, and will go on to deliver programs for their peers in environments such as the long-term care home, seniors' condos and public facilities in and around the Rosetown area.
“The last two years have been so hard, and exercise and socialization are two of the best ways to prevent depression, illness and other diseases like dementia,” said Carmen Ledding, Branch Coordinator for the CMHA in Rosetown. “I think it will benefit the physical and mental health of our senior population,” said Ledding. “They are really looking forward to making an impact in their community and having an activity to look forward to again!”
Originally developed by the Saskatchewan Health Authority, the Forever…in motion initiative aims to improve and maintain the health of older adults living in the community through education and physical activity. The program incorporates endurance, strength, balance and flexibility, which may be performed either in sitting or standing positions.
Those who wish to lead Forever…in motion classes for their peers must attend a 20-hour Leader training where they learn how to facilitate and lead these exercises in a safe, effective and inclusive manner.
Moving forward, the CMHA – Rosetown Branch and Age Friendly Saskatchewan will continue to support the program’s implementation in the community. Said Ledding, “Our hope is that the Forever…in motion Leader Training will give our volunteers a sense of purpose in giving back to their community, while improving their physical and mental health in the company of peers.”
To learn more about Forever…in motion or how to host a Leader training in your community, please visit our website or contact us today.