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New gym looks to keep older adults independent
The keys are in her hand — now all Candace Swick needs to do is install and shine the floors, finish building some walls and hang some mirrors before opening the doors to her 23-year-old dream.
On Sept. 24, the Charleswood resident will open up Bee Wellness Inc., a fitness facility focusing on functional one-on-one and group training for older adults. It will be located in Charleswood Square near the corner of Roblin Boulevard and Dieppe Road.
"I’m the type of person who wants it to happen today, not tomorrow," laughed Swick. "It’s exciting."
Swick is looking to attract everyone from boomers to individuals in their 60s and even their 80s, to help improve their flexibility, co-ordination, and upper and lower body strength which will help them maintain their independence as they age.
"The more active we are, the less of a burden we are on the circle of life," she said, noting the stress not being active can have on families and the medical system.
"If we want to be our own person and stay independent, fitness is where we have to be."
Swick has been working as an older adult rehab therapist since she was 19, feeding off the testimonials of stroke patients, osteoporosis and arthritis sufferers, and those recovering from knee and hip replacements.
"They’re challenging me as much as I’m challenging them," said Swick, who holds certifications with Can Fit Pro and YMCA Canada, has authored certification manuals, and has made presentations across Canada.
"They appreciate what you do for them. It’s the reward of seeing someone go from not being active to being active and becoming independent again."
Swick recalled the story of an elderly client she met four years ago who was at serious risk of losing her mobility completely.
"A vibrant woman who all of a sudden hit a wall," she said. "After two years of training, she went to Minneapolis to visit an old friend. It was the first time in years she was able to walk the Mall of America without needing help or having to stop.
"She came and hugged me and said ‘I did it!’ Those testimonials are what it’s all about."
Tania Tetrault Vrga, founder and owner of Crossfit Winnipeg, said it’s becoming more common to see teens and people in their late 70s and early 80s exercising next to each other at the gym.
"I think that generation is starting to see they want to continue to travel and play with their grandkids, and I think functional fitness is what they want," Tetrault Vrga said.
Maintaining and even building new muscle mass allows us to keep our mobility as we age, and can help prevent broken bones and inflammation, she said.
Tetrault Vrga recommends short, 20 to 30-minute workouts, about five times a week that, yes, get progressively more challenging.
"Even if you’re starting to just get out of a chair, ideally, in a few weeks, we’re doing more than that," she said.
Swick is still signing up members and looking to meet the community until she opens.
"My goal is to get them to ask questions, tell them what they want from me," she said.
"It’s a short amount of time for a long term gain. You can’t put a price on your health."
For more, visit beewellnessinc.com or call 204-794-8756.
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(1 of 16 articles for this week)05/15/2013 1:00 AM 0
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