Chris Thomas has instructed the Use It or Lose It class since it was created in 2009. The specialized balance

“Use It or Lose It” program gets a boost

There was a mad dash to register for the Use It or Lose It classes last week when the Winter 2016 Recreation Guide came out on Dec. 1.

There was a mad dash to register for the Use It or Lose It classes last week when the Winter 2016 Recreation Guide came out on Dec. 1.

The specialized balance, stability and fall prevention class has been running for over five years.  It has helped many people recovering from injury, surgery, and living with specific physical needs.

It has been popular as a preventative class for falls and overall improvement in physical strength, mobility and balance.

Chris Thomas has instructed this class from its inception back in 2009.  It was initially called Fall Prevention and more recently Use It or Lose It.

“I’ve seen people who have been falling previously not falling anymore with this program.  People who needed assistance in daily living become more independent.  This program gets people stronger,” Thomas says.

This niche class has been subsidized to make it affordable to the people who need it most.  The classes run twice a week for a three month period each season. The program works out to $3 per class.

There are a maximum of eight participants per class.

Since there is limited space in the room, and a wide range of abilities, it is preferred to have a low instructor to participant ratio.

With patron affordability also being key, it is difficult to continue running small classes at that price point.

Thanks to a Forever Active Bodies (FAB 55+) grant, the Use It or Lose program will be run free of cost to participants from January to March 2016.

The grant was awarded from the province of BC through the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and administered by ViaSport British Columbia and $2,000 was granted to fund the Winter 2016 program, cover the cost of instructors and to purchase some updated equipment for the class.

We were thrilled to learn that the Use It or Lose It class received the Forever Active Bodies grant.

This means that our community will not have to pay for this program, we can continue to offer the program without running a loss.

People can continue to improve their health and wellness goals without any constraint on their pocket books.

Louise Read, who has been in the class for four years says, “For me, it got me back on my feet.  I was stronger already with the program when I broke my leg.  I recovered faster.  I swear by it.”

Louise describes Instructor Chris’ class, “Its fun.  She makes us work, she makes us safe but fun is the key.”

Wanda Ward and Anna Lock will instruct the January to March classes that run Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday.

Pre and post assessments will be conducted on each participant to measure their improvements and monitor the results of the program.

Joanne Malar is the program coordinator for Summerland Recreation, three-time Olympic swimmer, 2012 Olympic Commentator, kinesiologist and holistic nutritionist.