Wellness room helps meet need for indoor exercise space
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.