Cummings Centre: February is heart health month

Each year, the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation designates February as Heart Health Month. The Foundation’s goal is to promote heart health and educate all Canadians as to the risk factors associated with heart disease.

In keeping with the Cummings Centre’s commitment to promote good health to its members, the Wellness Centre’s many participants can attest to their own experience and how their heart health has improved.

Romeo Simon exercises most weekdays as a regular participant at the Cummings Centre Workout Studio. That in itself is an achievement given that it was only five years ago when he suffered a stroke, ”I improved a lot here from an endurance point of view,” says Simon, who also participates in a weekly snowshoeing club, ”The reality of a stroke is that it changes your life dramatically. But there is life after a stroke because of the Cummings Centre.”

Annette Vezina, Cummings’ Wellness Centre Program Manager, notes that Romeo’s regular workout has improved his cardiovascular endurance and enabled him to exercise more often and for longer periods of time, “There are many risk factors to heart disease,” says Vezina,”Some of these factors we can control, such as being over-weight, elevated blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. All of these risk factors are controllable through a regular exercise program. By exercising you are helping to improve your general health.”

The Wellness Centre offers participants a wide array of classes and programs geared to improving heart health while working towards individual fitness goals, “Exercise is the key to staying strong, energetic, independent and healthy as you age,” says Vezina,”The focus is also on fun and making exercise part of your daily routine.”

Barry Chazonoff came to the Cummings Centre two years ago looking to exercise. Following a detailed evaluation by staff, the program developed for him also helped him lose weight. “By exercising, as well as by losing weight, Barry has improved his heart health by removing a risk factor,” adds Vezina,”The load on his heart is much less.”

Barry’s transformation was so remarkable that even his cardiologist did not recognize him at his annual check-up, “I am a new person,” said Chazonoff, whose heart arrhythmia has not limited his ability to work out, ”The progress I have made together with the staff and participants at Cummings Centre is what keeps me motivated and coming back.”

The emphasis of the programs at the Wellness Centre take a holistic view of each participant and are uniquely designed for the adult aged 50 years and older, “Exercise has been shown to greatly reduce the risk for vascular disease,“ says Vezina, ”Individual programs developed by the Centre’s professionals focus on empowering and maintaining general health and enhanced quality of life as well as prevention. Small classes, personal attention and monitoring set us apart.”

For more information, call 514.342.1234 or visit

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