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 Jenn or unsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive it to your inbox.
  CSC Waterloo Region News       
From Jenn McDonald

A few news pieces to share from the Exercise Team at CSC:

  • Your October SMARTLink Newsletter will come from the desk of Ashlynne Boven ( (so be sure to check your Junk folder just in case!) as she is taking on the role of Exercise & Falls Prevention Manager during Jenn's maternity leave from Sept 2020-2021. Ashlynne (and the Exercise Team!) is a superstar, and many of you have no doubt worked with her before. Please reach out to her with any and all of your Exercise & Falls Prevention related queries going forward. 
  • A reminder that our office is closed and there is no programming on Labour Day - Monday September 7, 2020
  • VIRTUAL STAND UP TO FALLS sessions have kicked off, we are excited to be using the virtual platform to interact with our clients. Feel free to share the below poster with anyone who may be interested in joining, no registration required.  

Celebrating our success! Feedback from our virtual participants:

  • "I wanted to tell you how impressed I am with the Zoom fitness classes! I have had 4 different leaders and they have all been excellent! Thank you so much for your hard work!"
  • "I am so loving doing this at home and not having to drive anywhere, 
    I tried other DVD exercise programs - and one of them was too much strain
    on my ankle - the routines that are offered by your programs are so perfect
    for this 70 year old - who wants to keep active safely. 
    Thanks so much! "

 Client Safety Tip of the Month:

Flu Season is around the corner!
It’s never too early to think about flu prevention. Flu season is November through April each year. Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a respiratory illness caused by viruses that affect the nose, throat and lungs. Flu-related complications are more common for those in high risk groups including older adults (people 65+ years), children under five years old, pregnant women, and people with underlying health conditions. Complications from the flu can include pneumonia, which is a serious illness and can result in hospitalization or death.
In this Coronavirus pandemic period, it is of critical importance to address the additional risks of the flu, which is similarly spread through coughing or sneezing, or by touching surfaces that are contaminated with the virus.

Fortunately, that means several methods that are effective at combatting the spread of the Coronavirus are also effective at preventing the spread of Influenza! To protect yourself, frequently wash your hands with soap and running water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub, clean and disinfect common surfaces and items. Additionally, and most importantly – get your free flu shot! Call Waterloo Region Public Health at 519-575-4400 for more information.  

Tuesday September 29th is World Heart Day!
This day is aimed at drawing attention to various cardiovascular illness and measures we can take to prevent them. DID YOU KNOW 17 million people die from heart related illnesses every year. This is more than those who die from HIV, malaria and cancer.
High cholesterol is one of the very serious, yet not as frequently discussed contributors to heart disease.

Only overweight and obese people have high cholesterol
Being overweight/obese increases your chances of high cholesterol, but being thin doesn’t exempt you from having high cholesterol
Diet and exercise (or lack there of) are the only contributors to high cholesterol
While a poor diet and lack of exercise can contribute; age and genetics can also leave you vulnerable to high cholesterol
If your doctor hasn’t mentioned your cholesterol levels you’re ok
Take charge of your own health – in addition to eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of physical activity ask your doctor to assess your risk factors and test you cholesterol levels
To learn more about cholesterol, it’s role in the body and how to take control visit    
Send us articles or readings of interest if you'd like to share them!
VON Client Success stories:
  • The recreation staff at Stone Lodge informed the SMART Coordinator that there was a client in the home that attended the SMART exercise program religiously and was in great physical condition.  After COVID 19 hit, the home was not able to run group programs therefore no exercise programs were taking place.   The client mentioned above became deconditioned to the point where she required a walker to ambulate.  The recreation staff set her up with a tablet and the VON SMART Exercise YouTube videos she started out exercising with the low intensity, she has now graduated to the moderate intensity exercise program and is no longer needing a walker. 
  • VON Kinesiologist Rachel received an email from a couple that are regular Zoom SMART Exercise Participants.  They informed her that were at the cottage for two weeks and did not have access to the internet and how they were feeling creaky and stiff after two weeks of not doing it. They wanted to let the VON SMART Staff know how important the program is to them, they are grateful to have this opportunity during these times. They also wanted to let all of the VON SMART Staff know that they are so appreciative of the hard work setting up zoom, for the classes and phone calls that the staff all make every month. They feel that the staff in the SMART program are so important and helpful! They sent out a huge phone hug to ALL of VON staff for their hard work
  •  One participant from Centre Wellington shared some amazing success that she has had over the last year. She was attending the class at the Central Pentecostal Church and was enjoying the positive changes that were happening due to participation in the program.  When COVID 19 hit she did not want to lose any of the positive gains she had made with her body composition, energy and fitness levels so she started participating in the SMART Program by watching it on TV, Wightman Channel 6 three times a week.  In addition she started walking 3o mins a day every evening, she has also been watching portions sizes and has gone from size 16 down to size 14!  To top it all off her sugar levels and mood are much better now too!

VON Guelph Wellington News:  

From Kelly Gee

VON News:

“Take care of your body it is the only place you have to live”

                                                                   Jim Rohn
Exercise is the universal prescription to pretty much everything.  Frailty is not inevitable it is in fact reversible!  You are never too young or too old to start exercising.
Interesting Fact:
 Getting just 10% of Canadians to sit less and move more would increase workplace productivity and decrease absenteeism, injecting $1.6 billion into the economy by 2040. Additionally, it would reduce health-care spending on chronic disease by $2.6 billion.
Saying Good-bye to a couple amazing members of the SMART Team
Enjoy Your New Adventure Kyra Ash
Congratulations on your recent acceptance into the Dietitian Program! We know you will tackle this new venture with the same passion and dedication you've displayed as part of our team. Working alongside you has been an honor and privilege, and we know you will continue to succeed in all that you do.  Good Luck with School!
Time to Make Dreams Come True Sharon Rogers
It is with mixed emotions that I announce that Sharon Rogers is going to be retiring from her position as a GEF with the VON SMART Program.  Sharon has been such a wonderful addition to our team and has helped to put several systems in place to help the program run more efficiently.  I do hope that you continue to volunteer in the office and exercise in the SMART program as a participant so that we still get to see that beautiful smile.   The nice part about retiring from doing what you do so well is there is no more rushing around to meet deadlines and complete tasks. You'll have lots of time to make all your dreams come true. The bad part is how much we will miss the pleasurable experience of working with you. We wish you the all the best and thank you for your years of dedication, enthusiasm and team spirit.
Labour Day is another one of those Holidays that has lost its significance over the years.  Sure it’s a fun day off at the end of the summer where people can have BBQs and relax and perhaps celebrate the fact that their children are going back to school.  But while we celebrate, we shouldn’t forget why we have the ability to do so every first Monday in September.  It’s because we are making it a point to celebrate workers by giving them a day off for all their hard work.  On that note VON would like to express it sincere appreciation to all of the SMART Gentle Exercise Facilitators for the professionalism, energy, compassion that they display while teaching exercise classes.  Thanks to all the facilitators that have got out of their comfort zone and taught virtual classes and made hundreds of phone calls to check in on all our SMART clients during this COVID 19 Pandemic.  VON is extremely lucky to have such an amazing, dynamic team!


Take advantage of technology

The VON is offering a number of ways that one can participate in the SMART exercise Program through the use of technology:
One can access our Low Intensity, Moderate Intensity and High Intensity Exercise on YouTube: 

(This YouTube Link and a link to our Falls Prevention Education Series can be easy accessed from our homepage of our website)

Click here for the VON SMART exercise class schedule Monday through Friday

If you would like to join a live Zoom Class email Kelly Gee and she will send you the Zoom Link to access the live classes.

If you have no access to technology her are some exercises you can do at home:

Please note that not all exercises are appropriate for everyone. It is recommended that you discuss your participation in any exercise program with your family physician before you start exercising.

Thank you to everyone who has stuck with us during these strange times! Whether you've participated alongside one of our YouTube videos, Wightman TV airings, completed the exercises in our in-home booklet, participated in Zoom or just kept in touch! We are grateful to continue to be a part of your activities. Because of all of your support and hard work following along with the YouTube videos, our YouTube Channel has almost 16, 000 views! That is amazing!
Thank you! Keep up the great activity!!


Check out our VON SMART Exercise Website and Facebook Page for updates as to when our programs will continue to run in the community.!

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 Caitlin Poth (Registered Kinesiologist) or Leigh Bouchard (Registered Kinesiologist)

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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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