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Reh-Fit Centre is one-of-a-kind in Canada

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The Reh-Fit Centre on Taylor Avenue was recently chosen by the Medical Fitness Association as  one of the best medical fitness facilities in the world.


But what is a medical fitness facility?


It’s similar to a gym, yet it offers far more.


For example, the Reh-Fit Centre will act to some extent as a personal trainer and develop exercise and diet programs for you. This is available at a lot of gyms around town. but what sets Reh-Fit apart is that it offers these services to clients who have medical problems and even works with their doctors. It is a non-profit charitable organization and in addition to fitness trainers there are also medical personnel on staff including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and dieticians.      


Reh-Fit enables people to become more pro-active for their own well-being. Instead of going to the doctor and getting a prescription for whatever ails them it can offer them an alternate route back to fitness and health.


John Rislahti became a member four years ago after suffering a heart attack at work, despite leading an active life that included playing tennis, old-timers’ basketball and cross-country skiing.


Shortness of breath, confusion, a pain in his left arm and profuse sweating were his symptoms at the time. A surgically implanted stent and post heart attack counselling and exercise at the Reh-Fit Centre were his solution.


The Reh-Fit Centre was instrumental in helping him back to a regular lifestyle by offering him classroom sessions on heart attack education, the causes, cures and prevention. He explained that after a heart attack there is a need for assurance and confidence, and the sessions at Reh-Fit provided just that.


Even though he led an active life, John confessed that his dietary habits, like those of many people, offered room for improvement. He also wanted information on how to handle stress. This pointed John in the direction of the Reh-Fit nutrition, counselling and yoga sessions.
The Centre was founded by Dr. David Mymin in the early ’70s and was originally housed in a 250-square-foot stress-test lab with one treadmill in St. Boniface Hospital. It moved to the University of Manitoba in 1975 and to its present site in 1979.


Since then, it has been continually updated and recently $184,000 was allocated from the Western Economic Diversity Fund for resurfacing safety exits, repairs to the steam rooms and men’s shower area, upgrading lighting in the weight area and site work to improve vehicle access.


Last year Manitobans made 350,000 visits to the facility.


We should really cherish what we have here in town, as certified medical fitness facilities are few and far between. This is the only one in Canada and one of only 44 in the world. Anyone can go down and take out a membership and start on their programs.


If you’ve been battling health problems be it heart disease, diabetes or obesity the Reh-Fit Centre could very well save your life as it leads you on a path to a fit and healthy lifestyle.

Trevor Smith is a community correspondent for River Heights. You can contact him via email at smitht@mymts.net.

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