Well­ness room helps meet need for in­door ex­er­cise space

The Victoria Standard - - Recreation / Sports - JEN­NIFER RI­P­LEY

For many peo­ple liv­ing in ru­ral ar­eas, ac­cess to a recre­ation cen­tre is not an op­tion. This is a chal­lenge that Nat­u­rally Ac­tive Vic­to­ria County em­ployee Vince For­re­stall has been work­ing to ad­dress. Com­mu­nity well­ness rooms use ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties to pro­vide a space for ex­er­cise and healthy liv­ing.

"I think it's an ev­i­dence-based ap­proach to the men­tal well-be­ing of our res­i­dents, that ac­cess to com­mu­nity well­ness rooms work," said For­re­stall.

Now en­ter­ing its sixth sea­son, the Baddeck well­ness room op­er­ates Novem­ber to April at Baddeck Academy. It fea­tures weight-lift­ing equip­ment, sta­tion­ary bikes, tread­mill, el­lip­ti­cal ma­chine, a heavy bag and an area for stretch­ing. Thanks to a part­ner­ship be­tween the Nova Sco­tia Depart­ment of Com­mu­ni­ties, Cul­ture and Her­itage, Vic­to­ria County, the Cape Bre­ton-vic­to­ria Re­gion School Board, Baddeck Academy, and the Cape Bre­ton Fam­ily Place Re­source Cen­tre So­ci­ety, ac­cess to the space is free of charge.

The ini­tia­tive ap­pears to have struck a chord. Not only has there been an in­crease in the num­ber of reg­is­tered users, but it is be­ing used more of­ten. Last sea­son in Baddeck, there were 42 reg­is­tered users who dropped in a to­tal of 596 times. This com­pares to the pre­vi­ous year when 31 reg­is­tered users vis­ited the room 194 times.

While there is no space for ex­pan­sion, there is in­ter­est in re­plac­ing equip­ment and of­fer­ing new classes. A spin class pi­lot pro­gram will run Wed­nes­days at 6pm, from Novem­ber 15 to De­cem­ber 20, with In­struc­tor Re­becca Wall and As­sis­tant Arie Schopp.

This year, the well­ness room will be avail­able Mon­day to Thurs­day, 6-8 pm, start­ing Novem­ber 14. At­ten­dees must be 16 years and over. For more in­for­ma­tion on the Com­mu­nity Well­ness Room, visit nat­u­rally­ac­tive­vic­to­ri­a­county.com.

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