Chair exercises help with chronic health conditions

Chronic health condition sufferers can improve their health with chair exercises.

A sore back can seem like a big hurdle to overcome when a person wants to exercise.

Bad knees can affect the ability to bend and perform squats. People who have difficulty walking may ponder how to increase their activity levels without injuring themselves.

Tara McNeil, a personal trainer and fitness instructor, says people often don’t know where to start to increase their physical activity. It can sometimes be intimidating to go into regular classes and exercise alongside people who may not suffer from chronic health conditions, she said.

This fall, McNeil is instructing a parks, recreation and culture course – Learning to Exercise Again – for people with chronic health conditions who want to increase their activity levels, but need guidance to ensure they don’t injure themselves.

McNeil said the key to her classes is making sure people have fun.

“If you go to a class and it’s drudgery, you are never going to go back,” she said.

The dynamics of a class are important and people also need to feel safe and comfortable while exercising, McNeil said, adding that she also likes to keep people motivated and help build their self-esteem

The course is offered in two levels.

Level one requires a doctor’s note so McNeil knows how to tailor exercises to participants’ abilities. It consists of exercises where participants either sit in a chair or stand beside it. Level two involves similar exercises building on progress from level one.

“You can get an amazing core workout in a chair,” said McNeil, who previously taught a similar course as part of Vancouver Island Health Authority’s integrated health network plan.

The class will also help people increase their strength, balance and flexibility. McNeil tailors exercises to people’s fitness levels and there are several variations of the routines for people to choose from depending on their health condition.

McNeil teaches a total of 12 exercise classes for parks, recreation and culture this fall, including a number of full-figured fitness classes.

McNeil knows what it’s like to struggle with losing weight. She’s lost more than 100 pounds and kept it off. McNeil said an important thing to remember is to be as fit as you can be for the shape a person is in. She said everyone has a different internal and external shape that can be improved with exercise.

When not teaching for the city, she’s busy as a personal trainer and fitness instructor at her own business, The Shape You’re In. She combines a degree in psychology and aerobic and personal trainer certification from the British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association to help people reach their fitness goals.

People with questions about which class would be the best fit for them can e-mail McNeil at tara@theshapeyouarein.com. For more information on the fall fitness classes please call parks, recreation and culture at 250-756-5200 or go to www.nanaimo.ca.

reporter3@nanaimobulletin.com

 

Just Posted

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman who was killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Nanaimo artist Melissa Anderson has paintings on display at White Rabbit Coffee Co. for the next month. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo painter showcases coastal Island views in first exhibit in two years

Melissa Anderson presents ‘Seascapes’ oil painting exhibit at White Rabbit Coffee Co.

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read