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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 May 1, 2019 Ending August 31, 2019. *Some exceptions may apply.
Day Time Class Name Venue Instructor Start/End Date
Monday 9am-10am Barre Fitness for Older Adults Churchill Senior Recreation Centre Anita Findlay May 1-June 24
July 8-August 26
NO CLASSES ON: Easter Monday, Victoria Day, and July 1
5pm-6pm Stretch and Strength Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation Kim Boudreau May 1-August 31
Tuesday 10:30am-11:30am Stretch and Strength Nepean Creative Arts Centre Nadine Fishman May 1-June 30
10:30am-11:30am Nia Fusion Dance and Sensory Based Movement Practice Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation Shar Chowdhury July 2-August 31
11am-12pm Nordik Pole Walking (Poles Provided) Haley Rehab
1902 Robertson Road #200 A
Jennifer Freymond May 7-August 31
11:30am-12:30pm Gentle Restorative Yoga Beyond Yoga Diane Lanthier May 1-August 31
Wednesday 10am-11am Stretch and Strength Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation Gina Grotelli May 1, 8, 15
June 12, 19, 26
10:45am-11:45am Mindfull Meditation Metta Movement and Meditation, 5 Hamilton Avenue North Sher Van Aarle June 4-July 24
2:15pm-3:15pm Stretch and Strength Goulbourn Recreation Centre Patti Dalby May 1-June 29
5pm-6pm Gentle Restorative Yoga Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation Kim Boudreau May 1-August 31
Thursday 11am-12pm Stretch and Strength Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation Mary-Jo Lewis May 1-June 30
1:00pm-2:00pm Teena's Book Club - The Butterly Effect Once registered you will be provided with the address in Orleans.
Marie-Louise Doyle (interim) July 2-August 31
No Book Club on July 30 or August 6
2:00pm-3:00pm Aqua-size St Laurent Community Centre
TBA May 9
May 16
May 23
Classes will resume in September
Friday 9:30am-10:30am Stretch and Strength level 2 Arcana Martial Arts Mary-Jo Lewis May 1-August 31
11:30am-12:30pm Yoga Level 2 Beyond Yoga Diane Lanthier May 1-August 31
12pm-1pm Belly Dancing Greenboro Community Centre Laura Savard May 1-June 30
1pm-3pm Art Expression through Painting and Visualization (FULL) Once registered you will be provided with the address in Kanata
Polly Erskine May 24 - August 31
2:00pm-3:30pm Franklin Method Balance and Coordination Greenboro Community Centre Rowena Hall May 17
June 21
July 19
August 16
Sunday 10:15am-11:15am Stretch and Strength level 2 Arcana Martial Arts Jenny Lewis May 1-June 30
Returning Registrant

For More Information:

Call 613-736-5921 or e-mail us at