Virtual memberships available as students help Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being expand offerings

The Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being continues to adapt under the COVID-19 pandemic challenges to help older adults and others stay active throughout the quarantine.

When the pandemic first started impacting Niagara, the Brock University-operated Centre closed its doors, but began offering online tools and daily home workouts to keep members engaged and active. As it became clear that local businesses would need to stay closed for a significant period of time, the Centre enhanced its remote operations.

Applied Health Sciences master’s student Taranjot Dhillon leads a workout class for an online audience of Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being members.

The Centre has now begun to offer online fitness classes hosted by the Centre’s staff and Brock graduate and undergraduate students who have previously worked or completed courses in the Centre.

“Initially, only existing members of the Centre were eligible to join; however, with appropriate documentation, online membership is now open to community members,” said Debbie O’Leary, Professor of Health Sciences and Director of the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being. “A virtual membership includes live fitness classes, educational seminars, weekly check-ins and social meetings with the students.”

The Centre has about 75 online members, but that number is growing. Classes being offered include yoga, circuit workouts, golf, chair-based, osteoporosis, core and Parkinson’s classes, all delivered on the video conferencing platform Lifesize.

“The virtual fitness classes are extremely important for our members to promote physical and mental health and to maintain their social connections,” said Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Director of the SeniorFit program, Kimberely Gammage.

Brock Kinesiology, Health Sciences and Therapeutic Recreation students will be teaching virtual classes throughout the Spring and Summer Terms that will count towards the placement aspect of their credits.

Specifically, Kinesiology students are offering one-on-one sessions to develop personalized home-based workout programs. They will use these sessions to create a library of exercise-related videos, presentations and pamphlets. Health Sciences students are working on social programming designed to enhance mental health and well-being.

Four master of Professional Kinesiology students doing their placements with the Centre will be offering virtual programming, as well as doing the intake of new members, mentoring undergraduate students and doing online fitness testing with members.

“These classes are allowing us to continue to offer student-learning opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge about working to promote health and well-being in diverse populations,” said Gammage. “Our students are also developing a whole range of new skills related to communication and the implementation of technology in the workplace.”

For information on joining the Centre with an online membership, please visit the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being website.

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