SMART LINK is your Gentle Exercise Facilitator information connection, brought to you by Community Support Connections

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You are receiving SMART LINK, your connection to important exercise information. SMART LINK is a monthly newsletter to keep you in the loop and to be a resource for up to date information and success story-sharing! If you have any questions, please email Ashlynne or unsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive it to your inbox.
  Community Support Connections - Waterloo Region News       
From Ashlynne Boven

Beat the Winter Blues
Many people find themselves feeling down during the winter months. The good news is there are ways to improve your overall feelings of happiness. As part of your daily routine, open window blinds and curtains each day to let the natural light in and to get a dose of Vitamin D. If you are unable to leave your home, consider calling a friend or family member, or having a physically-distanced (6ft./2m. apart) chat on your porch, in your yard, or another common space. It’s easy to want to hibernate, but it’s also important to have social activities in your calendar. If you have access to a computer and the internet, consider meeting new people through Community Support Connections’ virtual Exercise classes, virtual Friendly Visiting service, or online Friendly Connections groups. Eating well can boost your mood and energy levels, and exercise is vital to improving your sense of wellbeing. If you are experiencing ongoing sadness that is keeping you from living a happy life, we encourage you to contact your doctor, or call 24/7 Hotline for addictions, mental health, and crisis services at 1-844-437-3247 (HERE247).

We are continuing with our live Virtual SMART exercise classes on Zoom; schedule is as follows:
- Monday - Friday 9am - moderate/high intensity class
- Monday - Friday 1030am - moderate/low intensity class (seated class option available)
- Monday/Wednesday/Friday 1pm - moderate/various intensities

There will be NO Virtual SMART exercise classes on the following upcoming holidays:
Good Friday - Friday, April 2, 2021
Victoria Day - Monday, May 24, 2021

If you know of someone that is interested in joining us, please send them either of the following links to get started with one of our Kinesiologists! 
Kin Leigh:
Kin Sarah:


Celebrating our success! Feedback from our virtual class participants:

- "The Exercise Classes have definitely helped my and my husband. I've noticed a big difference going up and down the stairs in my home. I used to have to take them one at a time, but now I can go up and down with no problem. We have a lot of fun in the classes too!"

- "I enjoyed the class this morning very much! I found the variety very appropriate. I appreciate the breakout room class sizes - it feels good to know the instructor is watching all of the participants in the class. Looking forward to continuing participating!"

- "The class today was great! Me and my husband have really been getting into a good routine with the exercise classes - which is so good for us!"

- Click HERE to read an article from the New York Times on How Exercise Enhances Aging Brains

- Click HERE to read an article from the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal on Three ways to beat the winter blues!


Send us articles or readings of interest if you'd like to share them!

Click on the links HERE for video demonstrations of all of our SMART Gentle Exercise components.
See these video links of our standing and seated options for our SMART Routine.

If there are questions regarding safety of SMART exercises, exercise ideas, etc., from CSC contact Leigh Bouchard (Registered Kinesiologist) or Sarah Cotton (Registered Kinesiologist)

VON Client Success stories:
Here are what a couple clients from Wellington County and Guelph are saying about our classes: 

This is a valuable program that provides a variety of exercise to participants. There is a good balance of cardio, flexibility and balance exercise, always encouraging safety and self-monitoring while participating. The on-line Zoom classes has kept many participants active during this lengthy interruption of in-class exercise.

The SMART exercise class has been excellent.  I currently use the program on their YouTube Channel.  Others I know use the Zoom regularly and enjoy it.  The exercises are presented in such a way that the person can follow to their own specific ability on a particular day.  I find it has improved my balance and strength.  It will be wonderful when in person classes can resume as there was always a fun and social aspect to these classes – all the instructors are great!

Doing the SMART Exercise has greatly improved my physical and mental wellbeing.  I know I have better balance, flexibility and agility.  I think too it has kept my arthritis at a lower level.  I know my breathing and posture has also improved.  My husband and I also gained a lot of knowledge through the falls prevention talks.  My doing SMART has encouraged my husband to do his own flexibility program more regularly. This program is providing us with a better quality of life.

The SMART exercise program here at the Village is not only helpful to the individuals who participate but also helps to build the community.   It builds positive attitudes which spill over into other parts of our lives.  It is very inspirational to see over 85 year olds participate.  During COVID pandemic having the Zoom classes has certainly enabled us to stay a physically fit as possible but, also provided social interaction with friends. This exercise program certainly enables us to stay heathier and more active and hopefully stay in our homes longer.

The VON SMART exercise program has been extremely important not only for my physical wellbeing but also for my mental and emotional health, especially during this pandemic time.  I was very happy, when I moved her less than 2 years ago, this program was in place – it immediately suited my needs.  The instructor, mostly Laurel Berry, has been inspiring she is a breath of fresh air.

I’d like to thank all the educators for their words of encouragement and smiles that they give freely each and every day we meet via zoom or in person should the times allow again someday. SMART is so much more than an exercise program. It’s a time where people who would otherwise not speak to anyone that day have a genuine conversation with a happy and positive individual. SMART is food for the brain the body and the soul.


During this pandemic our three Amazing Volunteers Harm 85, Molly 87, and David 97 have continued to teach up to 20 classes per month for their peers at Guelph Lake Commons the retirement home in which they reside.

VON Guelph Wellington News:  
From Kelly Gee

VON Wellington County SMART Successes during the Pandemic: 

VON Wellington County introduced SMART Zoom Classes
372 Different Clients Have Participated in our Zoom Exercise Class Totaling 11, 379 Visits to a Zoom Exercise Class

Join us for real time classes Via Zoom Monday through Friday!
Classes Monday: 
Tosh – 9:30 Moderate/High
Kerri 10:00
Tanya 11:00 – Moderate / High
Laurel 1:30 – High 
Kelly G – 3:00 – Seated Low

Classes Tuesday:
Bridget 9am – Moderate/High 
Bridget 10:15 – Low 
Brita 10:30 – Moderate 
Michele 2:30 – High 

Classes Wednesday: 
Kerri 10:00
Tanya 11:00 – Moderate / High
Laurel 1:30 - High
Rachel 2:30 – Low/Seated 

Classes Thursday:
Laurel 9:15 
Brita 10:30
Tosh 11:30

Classes Friday:
Bridget 9am – Moderate
Laurel 10 - High
Bridget 10:15 – Low 
Tanya 11am – Moderate / High
Anthony 2:30 – Moderate / High 

If you would like to join us for any of these classes please email: or Call 519-314-0264

SMART Exercise Class on YouTube - 27, 178 Views
Click HERE to access the New Exercise Classes on YouTube, found at VON SMART Exercise Wellington County as seen below

Click HERE to view the exercise classes below on YouTube:

March is Nutrition Month:

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All rights reserved.

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61 Woolwich Street N
Breslau, Ontario
N0B 1M0
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Community Support Connections - Meals on Wheels and More · 61 Woolwich St. N. · P.O. Box 29 · Breslau, Ontario, ON N0B 1M0 · Canada

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