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:

  • We are pleased to announce that beginning August 18th, 2020 we will kick off our VIRTUAL STAND UP TO FALLS sessions! Our Kinesiologists are very much looking forward to getting back to group education and discussions with the falls prevention curriculum. 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.
  • Congratulations to Ashlynne Boven (, who has accepted the contract Manager, Exercise & Falls Prevention position and will be covering Jenn McDonald's maternity leave beginning Sept 2020-21. And to Cindy Rossignoli (, who has accepted the contract position of Exercise & Falls Prevention Support, from Sept 2020-21.
  • Based on our virtual classes survey, beginning in August we will be offering our virtual exercise participants the option of attending an afternoon class session on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1pm. This is in addition to our existing Monday-Friday 915am and 1030am class sessions.
Did you know!? 
Refilling a ½ liter water bottle 1,740 times with tap water is the equivalent cost of a $0.99 water bottle at a store!


Celebrating our success! Feedback from our virtual participants:

  • "A positive side to the pandemic is that we have more exercise opportunities than during a typical summer when many locations close down. There are plenty of canned resources available, but I don't do them. Having that daily appointment with familiar faces is what does it! I'm so happy that you all are doing this. Thank you!"
  • "The instructors are very good. They are enthusiastic and encouraging and allow for individual limitations. It is easy to connect with classes as frequently as I wish. The class times are convenient."
  • "I have really enjoyed the variety of instructors and the variances in the exercises. I like the convenience of being able to do the exercise program in my home."
  • "(I am really enjoying) The consistent presentation of safe, adaptable exercises offered live every day."
  • "Provides a regularity to COVID life!"
  • "Classes well managed and facilitators are very good to monitor the participants. Particularly reminding participants about posture."
  • "I like exercising with other people. I like that the instructor can see us. However when the breakout room is very small it's almost like a personal trainer."
  • "My flexibility & stability have improved. Also enjoy the social contact during this pandemic."
  • "I like the freedom of choice depending on my schedule. If I miss one there's 4 more. I can do them anywhere! I like having different facilitators which gives us variety. I love it!!"

 Client Safety Tip of the Month:

The risk of food poisoning increases during the summer because harmful bacteria grow quickly in warm, moist conditions. Always remember to keep food out of the temperature danger zone of 4°C to 60°C (40°F to 140°F). Harmful bacteria can grow in as little as two hours in this temperature range. 

Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from other foods to avoid spreading harmful bacteria. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds, before and after handling food.   

 Food safety is especially important for Meals on Wheels clients. Clients are encouraged to enjoy their hot meal upon delivery, and volunteers should never leave a meal outside on a doorstep or unattended. If clients would like to eat their meal at a later time, they should place it in the refrigerator and ensure that the meal is consumed within two days. Meals that have been in the fridge longer than two days should be thrown out.  

Feel the heat! Here are some informative and easy-to-read links from our Kinesiologists on hydration and managing the summer heat:

Hydrating Foods: The top 20 and their Benefits
Staying hydrated isn't just about drinking water and non-alcoholic drinks - 20% of our fluid comes from food. Discover 20 of the best to boost your intake! Click above for more!
Does Coffee Dehydrate you?
Most people drink coffee to get their daily caffeine fix. However, caffeine has been shown to have a dehydrating effect on the body. Does this mean that your daily coffee intake is actually dehydrating you? Click above for more!
Staying Hydrated During the Hot Summer Weather
Stay safe and perform at your best this summer with these hydration tips! Whether you’re doing high intensity training, or simply enjoying the outdoors on a hike or a run, it is important to stay hydrated, especially when the mercury rises during the summer months. Click above for more!
Heat Exhaustion: Care Instructions
How to care for heat exhaustion and when to call for help. Take care of yourself in the hot weather and understand when the heat becomes too much. Click above for more!

Send us articles or readings of interest if you'd like to share them!
VON Client Success stories:
  • "Thank you so much for posting this. We have been trying to do the program on our own while isolating, but this is much better."
  • "I am loving doing the VON classes during covid 19 isolation. I hope they will be available after, as particularly in the winter, I can’t get to a class, and could augment my exercises with an online one. It would never replace the “in person” classes, but would be an excellent backup"
  • "Have been loving Kelley’s high intensity program. Thank you!"
  • "Thanks for the wonderful videos!"
  • "Love these classes!"

VON Guelph Wellington News:  

From Kelly Gee

VON News:

VON is committed to protecting the health and safety of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. We follow recommendations from provincial government authorities and all levels of public health agencies to keep everyone safe and stop the spread of the virus. 
VON’s most important priority is the health and safety of our clients, their families, our employees and volunteers. Here are some of the health and safety measures we are continuing to take during the pandemic:
  • All VON staff are required to screen themselves for illness, every day. Employees are instructed to come to work only if they pass all screening questions, do not have any symptoms or are cleared to come to work by public health. 
  • VON care providers are provided personal protective equipment (PPE) and are trained to wear it according to direction from Public Health. All PPE worn by VON employees meets or exceeds recognized standards set by Health Canada and other health agencies.  All VON care providers wear a surgical mask and eye protection for any direct client care. If an employee is ever faced with a situation where proper PPE is not available to them, they will not provide care until the suitable PPE is available.
  • VON employees screen all clients before delivering any care or service. If a client answers ‘yes’ to any of the screening questions, our care providers take additional precautions, put on suitable PPE for the visit and provide the client a VON-issued face mask to wear while receiving care. VON employees also report all positive screening results to VON management and to Public Health to determine next steps for the client’s care.
  • VON care providers are trained to safely put on and remove any PPE and are regularly checked to make sure they are doing this safely. This includes handwashing before and after wearing PPE to reduce spread of germs and illness. 
  • At VON offices, clinics and locations where programs and services are delivered, we are screening everyone before they enter the premises. Anyone who answers ‘yes’ to any of the screening questions will not be permitted to enter VON spaces unless prior arrangements have been made and extra precautions are in place to ensure the safety of other clients and staff.
  • All VON offices, clinics and locations have increased infection prevention and control procedures and are following best practices to keep our clients and employees safe.
  • To ensure our employees’ safety, we are encouraging infection prevention and control measures suitable to their roles. Wherever possible, VON employees are practicing physical distancing. VON employees who can work from home are currently doing so. 
  • All VON employees are required to follow federal and provincial directives related to self-isolation, gatherings and travel.
Safety Tip for the Summer:
Let’s chat about something so important for our health but so easily forgotten: Agua, H2O, liquid ice, or more commonly known as water!  With the hot weather this summer it is more important than ever to ensure that we are drinking enough water to stay hydrated!
As we age, our sense for thirst slowly diminishes putting us at risk for dehydration. Dehydration is one of the most common reasons for hospitalization for older adults.
Staying properly hydrated is crucial for so many things including maintaining body temperature, preventing infections, keeping your joints lubricated and delivering nutrients to your cells.
On average, we need 8-12 cups of fluid each day. Remember we need even more water when it is hot or we are active (like following along to a SMART exercise class/video).
We know it is easy to forget, so here is our tip: make water fun! Fruit or vegetable infused water is a great way to change up your water routine and get some added minerals and vitamins in at the same time!
Here are some great infused water recipes for your sipping pleasure:

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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Breslau, Ontario
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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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