By Jayne Miller-Morgan, JCC Fitness Assistant Director, Group Exercise Coordinator
It all started in the Spring of 2016, when I attended the National Cancer Exercise Training Institute to become an Advanced Cancer Exercise Specialist. We discovered that no one in our community was offering this type of program for this disease. It was then that I realized there was a need for Wellness programs at the JCC.
Last Fall, we began by offering a pilot program, Cancer Recovery & Survivorship Training, for both individuals and small groups battling cancer. I was posting a poster for the program when a member, Richard Klein, inquired, “What is this program about?” I told him that we’re beginning to offer new Wellness classes at the JCC but were somewhat limited due to space. He wanted more information on what Wellness programming was all about.
I explained that Wellness is a healthy balance of mind, body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being, and wellness programs are often pursued by people seeking recovery from an illness, specific health conditions such as chronic illness or those interested in simply improving overall health. Our goal at that time was to develop a variety of programs to help facilitate life improvement and positive lifestyle changes for people of all ages. What I didn’t know was that Mr. Klein, an avid golfer and active person, had recently joined the JCC after being referred from his physician. He was recovering from physical limitations due to unfortunate surgery complications.
The next thing I know, Mr. Klein gave us a generous donation to convert a space into our new Wellness Center at the JCC! We began construction in January 2017 and started planning for our ultimate goal – to bring exciting new programs to our community!
We began with 6 areas of interest to focus on:
- Cancer Recovery Training
- Weight Loss Programs
- Lifestyle Management
- Young Minds & Bodies, and
- Small Group Specialty Wellness classes
One of our most popular programs is Jumpstart! This supervised and multi-dimensional weight loss program helps to achieve and maintain a healthy weight level and is an important building block to accomplishing overall Wellness. But don’t take my word for it:
“I started the Jump Start Program last March and as of today, I am down 60 lbs. One of my biggest achievements was when I could slip my engagement ring on after not being able to wear it for 9 yrs. I feel amazing and I am looking forward to the next step in my journey.” – Jumpstart participant, Missy Palumbi.
We realized that children and seniors could benefit from this type of program too, so coming this fall we will offer Jumpstart Silver and Jr. Jumpstart.
A new program for improved posture is Stand Tall, now in its second 6 week session and members have already seen results improving their core stamina to help improve their posture. Members who need assistance with standing asked for a Sit Tall program so they could participate and improve their posture. Sit Tall is this Fall, look for this new option as well.
We are proud to provide assistance through our programming for those struggling with Parkinson’s disease. Each Thursday at 1:00pm, come join Stacey M. in the Richard Klein Wellness Center for our Movement & Motivation ® (Dance for PD) program to help better manage your lifestyle for those afflicted with chronic illness. Coming soon are 2 new classes – Rock Steady Boxing ® and Pedaling for Parkinson’s ® for those looking for assistance in managing daily life with this disease.
Nutrition is another very important component of Wellness. Visit Allyson Mitidieri, our nutritionist, in the Wellness Center to see all the various types of consultations (and areas of expertise) she provides. “Nutrition for improved Bone Density” is the latest class offering (ie; learn how to eat to build stronger bones) and a one day workshop is coming on July 11th. Bone density decreases for all of us as you age so this is a valuable class for all ages.
Another forgotten variable when exercising is Exercise Recovery – how do we best recover from the exercise exertion and effort to make the exercise session more effective and safe? Allyson will be teaching a 4 week recovery program starting on Wednesday, July 5 to teach different ways of recovering from exercise and life in general to keep your body functioning at its best.
We have developed a variety of programs specifically for children to encourage them to start thinking about wellness, nutrition, and a healthy life at a young age (and help battle the nationwide epidemic). One of these new programs is S.U.G.A.R. (Start Up Good and Right). We have been working with Cooper Hospital to develop the program and will launch in July which includes both exercise and nutrition components. A program for children with diabetes will allow them to learn how to improve the body’s ability to use insulin while working out and help to lower blood glucose levels. They will also learn to make better food choices at the right time before, during and after exercise.
Various Small Group Wellness exercise classes have been offered such as Restorative Yoga, Healthy Back, Yoga 101 and Qigong, which provide you with individualized attention while enjoying a small group atmosphere.
This month our staff is getting Certification Training in the latest revolutionary small group wellness exercise class called, The WAV! This low impact, whole mind-body training incorporates the principles of neuromuscular science to do more than just strengthen and tone muscles. The fluid motion bar awakens the body’s neural pathways and unlocks our curiosity and spirit through sound, sight, and sensation.
Be on the look-out for this and many exciting NEW programs on the horizon as we look to better assist all in the community who wish to pursue a HEALTHY lifestyle. The Richard M Klein Center for Wellness was created for our JCC (and community at large) and we want to help all those interested and in need.
Don’t hesitate to contact me – -and let us help you or a family member reap the benefits of what this facility space was created for! Contact me anytime: [email protected].