The “More than just Fitness” Program

A recent review article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (July 2017) summarized that ‘Physical activity… has the most powerful effect of any lifestyle factor on breast cancer outcomes. At least 120 minutes per week of physical activity is recommended, but less than 13% of patients with breast cancer attain this.’

We at Breast Cancer Action are aware of the importance of physical activity, not only in reducing the risk of cancer recurrence, but also in improving one’s confidence, self-esteem, mood, and a sense of inner strength. It also allows us to enjoy work and leisure activities with more energy, and handle some of the tests and treatments we must have with resilience. We aim to assist our members in acquiring or maintaining an active lifestyle, which can only benefit them and their families.

Our program offers a variety of activities to suit different levels of fitness and interests. We offer yoga, stretch and strength (which aims to be about half aerobics and half stretching and resistance training, belly dancing, Tai Chi, and now pole walking as an intermittent offering. The emphasis is on getting fit, doing activities safely especially in view of the surgeries we have undergone for our breast cancers, and having FUN. Down the line, we are hoping to include occasional ‘extra’s’ like nutrition workshops, information sessions on the prevention and management of lymphedema, the do’s and don’ts of a personal home based exercise program, and perhaps even updates on breast cancer itself. We are collaborating with other organization In Ottawa in order to provide better information and access to programs that may be of interest to our members. One example is the free nutrition workshops offered by OICC (Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre). Another specialized fitness program under our umbrella is the Dragon Boat Team who train all year and attend many events through the summer, linking with other teams across our city, provinces and country. The camaraderie enjoyed by our Dragon Boat women is powerful.

Some women join our fitness classes for a short time during or shortly after their acute cancer treatment, and then move on. Other stay on for years and benefit from the social and emotional support that often accompanies the exercise. Many do a combination of both, wanting to remain ‘connected’ with friends and informal peer supporters. Often our members will say that taking the BCA classes gives them the training they need to do other exercise safely and more confidently given their post-surgery or radiation concerns. Some of us are in our 20’s; some in our 70’s or 80’s. Some of us have had an exercise routine all our lives; others are becoming active for the first time ever. We each progress at our own pace and according to what’s safe and enjoyable.

Every attempt is made to offer classes in different parts of Ottawa and at different times of the day. Our vision is that we will be able to provide more variety in future.

Class Schedule

Beginning January 7, 2019 Ending April 30, 2019. *Some exceptions may apply.
Day Time Class Name Venue Instructor Start/End Date
Monday 5:00pm-6:00pm Stretch and Strength Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation Kim Boudreau January 7-April 30
Monday 9:00am-10:00am Barre Fitness for Older Adults Churchill Senior Recreation Centre Anita Findlay January 7-March 8
Tuesday 10:30am-11:30am Stretch and Strength Nepean Creative Arts Centre Nadine Fishman January 15-April 30
Tuesday 11:30am-12:30pm Gentle Restorative Yoga Beyond Yoga Diane Lanthier January 7-April 30
Tuesday 7:00pm-8:00pm Stretch and Strength Hintonburg Community Centre Jenny Lewis January 7-April 30
Wednesday 10:00am-11:00am Stretch and Strength Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation Gina Grotelli January 7-April 30
Wednesday 2:15pm-3:15pm Stretch and Strength Goulbourn Recreation Centre Patti Dalby January 7-April 30
Wednesday 5:00pm-6:00pm Gentle Restorative Yoga Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation Kim Boudreau January 7-April 30
Thursday 11:00am-12:00pm Stretch and Strength Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation Mary-Jo Lewis January 7-April 30
Friday 9:30am-10:30am Stretch and Strength Level 2 Arcana Martial Arts Mary-Jo Lewis January 7-April 30
Friday 11:30am-12:30pm Yoga Level 2 Beyond Yoga Diane Lanthier January 7-April 30
1 Friday / Month 12:00pm-1:30pm Franklin Method Balance and Coordination Greenboro Community Centre Rowena Hall January 11-April 12
Friday 12:00pm-1:00pm Belly Dancing Greenboro Community Centre Laura Savard April 5 - May 3 (no class on Good Friday)
Sunday 10:15am-11:15am Stretch and Strength Level 2 Arcana Martial Arts Jenny Lewis January 7-April 30
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For More Information:

Call 613-736-5921 or e-mail us at ed.bca@bcaott.ca