CCAA group includes:
Front row (left to right): Mary Jane Lally, Bill Absolon, Nancy Biehl, Bala Balakrishnan, Rosemary Jaco, Mary Absolon, Bob Kymlicka, Frances Toll, Mary Vernon, Mary Ellen Kirk, Patricia Orrell, Shirley Johnson. Second row: Mary Anne McCoy, Christy Micallef, Gary Blay, Joan Blay, Loraine Patterson, Jackie Lutz, Barb Belbeck, Al Adili, Lauren Snell, Nick Jaco, Betty Bartlett, Doreen Jones, Katherine Turner, Ed Jackman, Nancy Johnson. Third row: Clara Fitzgerald (CCAA Director), Liz Beaujot, Rod Beaujot, Mary Lou Douglas-Dubois, Chrystal Sharp, Roberta Reardon, Teresa Janik, Steve Ries, Linda Mara, Barb Wilson, Vicki Noble, Louise Sabourin, Steve Males, Shirley Eastwood, Dave Johnson, Maeve Nugent. Back row: Doug Leighton, Margo Chris, Steve Mara, Ted Wilson, Suzanne Elston, Chandra Gajjar, Barb Robins, Tova Zarnowiecki, Nathan Garber, Susan Leach
Every week, close to 500 Londoners ranging in age from their late 50s to their mid-90s go through their paces in a former high school gym across Richmond St. from the main campus of Western University. The energy in the gym is infectious, and it spills over into the weight room and down the hall, clearly demonstrating the benefits of maintaining physical fitness as you age.
That message is at the foundation of the Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging (CCAA), a national leader in current research and program development for improved physical ability and healthy aging within Western’s Faculty of Health Sciences. Its mission: to develop, encourage and promote an active, healthy lifestyle for Canadian adults that will enhance the dignity of the aging process.
“We are unique in Canada” says CCAA’s Director, Clara Fitzgerald. “We promote physical activity, exercise, and well-being for older adults through a combination of basic and applied research, educational resources, training, and exercise programs for community, home, and long-term care settings.”
The centre’s annual conference, ‘Research to Action,’ will be held June 9-10 this year at Brescia University College. The conference is open to the public and features keynote presentations and active sessions for a hands-on demonstration of some of CCAA’s exercise programs.
For participant Jackie Lutz, seeing and feeling the physical benefits of exercise has motivated her to keep coming to the program three times a week for the past 20 years.
“Once you start, you really do have more energy,” Lutz says. “Exercise is so important, especially when we’re all living so long, not only for our bodies, but also for our minds. If I’m going to live to 100, I want to be vigorous and alert – mentally and physically.”
CCAA’s exercise programs include combined fitness classes, personal training, strength training and dynamic balance training. The programs are open to the public and anyone can join after completing a fitness assessment.
Submitted By Lella Blumer and photo by Greg Matthison