June 8, 2017 4:39 pm
Updated: June 8, 2017 4:53 pm

New program gives boost to New Brunswick women battling cancer

WATCH ABOVE: New Brunswick women battling cancer are getting a boost to help cope with the disease. A new fitness and healing program using physical activity was launched today in Miramichi, and the women behind the program hope they can soon offer it across the province. Paul Cormier Reports.

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New Brunswick women battling cancers are getting a boost to help cope with the disease with the launch of a new fitness and healing program using physical activity.

The free weekly fitness and healing program, known as Ageless Grace, was launched Thursday in Miramichi and aims to help women with cancer manage their symptoms.

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“You can see the joy that they have when they’re in the classroom and how it helps them afterwards,” said Ageless Grace instructor Patty Gallant. “They feel better about themselves, they’re in better condition, they’re recovering quicker.”

Gallant adds that evidence shows that physical activity improves cancer survival.

READ MORE: Canadian researcher hopes to prove exercise can be an anti-cancer ‘drug’

April Richardson not only survived breast cancer, she saw so much value in the program, she chose to become an instructor.

“When you’re going through your struggles, there is some that don’t want to reach out there or don’t know where to go or who to talk to, so me putting my foot forward, I am here, I am ready to support,” Richardson said.

Seniors and Long Term Care Minister Lisa Harris sees this initiative as something other communities may want to adopt.

“As a woman and a daughter of a mother who went through cancer, I see the great benefit of this, and will certainly bring this to my colleagues,” Harris said.

Which is why organizers are hoping the province will invest into spreading the program province wide.

READ MORE: B.C. researchers working to bring ‘game-changing’ cancer treatment to Canada

The one hour sessions focus not only on physical fitness, but also on how to keep the mind strong as women fight their disease using “out-of-the-box” fitness programs that stimulate the brain.

“It’s based on neuroplasticity, about the functions of the brain, and so the movement of the body and the brain together, using those tools  you optimize health and function,” Gallant added.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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