What started out as a simple community walking program has now become a lifeline for anyone in the Kindersley area who needs help improving their fitness and mobility.
Pathway to Wellness is a community-based, supervised exercise and rehabilitation program. Currently, there are around 85 people per week from the Kindersley area attending classes that have expanded hours of operation and programming options.
Group with Exercise Therapist Stephanie Fusnik (far right), Student Volunteer on left.
Exercise Therapist Stephanie Fusnik, who leads Pathway to Wellness, says interest from various groups in the community is what led to the expanded programming. As an exercise therapist, Stephanie cannot diagnose people’s health issues, but once a diagnosis is in place, she can work with individuals to customize programs to make improvements to their health.
Whether it is to lose weight, rehabilitate from injuries, increase their strength and mobility or work through a chronic condition, the program offerings help participants achieve their goals with supervision and social support from other participants.
Pathway to Wellness also helps youth with cognitive impairments like autism. Once a week, an exercise opportunity helps these participants develop motor skills in a non-competitive environment. This allows them to develop the skills they need to participate in life-long physical activity.
Shawna Bobbee approached Pathway to Wellness about programming for her daughter who has autism, hoping to see her daughter to get some physical activity.
“We love this program as our kids are getting to know each other in a safe, comfortable environment that improves their coordination, social skills and confidence. It’s a great fit,” Bobbee notes.
Just recently, a program for special needs adults with cognitive impairments was added, in partnership with the group home in Kindersley.
Other programs offered through Pathway to Wellness include:
“When you have chronic conditions you are always fighting an uphill battle, but I think with this program we are on the right track,” says participant Wendy Besplug. “The program has been great for me. We all motivate and push each other to achieve more each week. Without attending regularly, I would be back sitting in my chair, hurting.”
Wellness Room participants Wendy Besplug (on bike) and Nancy Kelley
The open wellness time allows clients to have access to the exercise therapist to develop a program specific to them. It also allows one-on-one access for clients to assess their movement patterns, and progress their programming on a regular basis.
The equipment available to clients is state-of-the-art and was funded by donations from local industry.
Many of the clients who take part in this program have chronic health conditions or are recovering from surgery and are not able to go to another fitness facility on their own. This program allows them to receive care closer to their home and not have to travel to other areas such as the Saskatoon Field House, which is over three hours away.
The collaborative team involved in this program is working to enhance the client recovery process and are referring people to the program more often. Exercise benefits the entire body, and they have seen health outcomes improve with their clients involved with Pathway to Wellness.
“This is an amazing example of a community working together to be able to provide the right services, to the residents in their community,” says Pat Aylward, Chronic Disease Manager for the area. “The passionate volunteers, the Town of Kindersley and the community support the Saskatchewan Health Authority receives towards this program is exceptional and we couldn’t do it without them.”