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YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka Expands Healthy Living through Community Partners

YMCA CEO Rob Armstrong talks about Peace Week at the Y

In response to changing healthcare needs, I’m pleased to announce that the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka has partnered with the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) to deliver an innovative, community-based health and wellness service.

YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka Healthy Hearts Program

The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka Healthy Hearts program is currently located at the Barrie and Innisfil YMCAs, and is a community-based cardiac prevention, rehabilitation and maintenance program. RVH currently provides an intensive 12-week rehabilitation program for moderate- to high-risk heart patients.

The YMCA Healthy Hearts program will focus on low-risk patients who do not need to participate in a hospital-based program and for patients who have been transitioned from RVH’s rehabilitation program.

Heart Disease in Canada

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death and hospitalization in Canada, affecting over 1.3 million Canadians. Multiple studies have shown that people who do cardiac rehab live longer, have fewer heart attacks, and need repeat hospitalization less frequently.

That’s why we believe that community support like the YMCA Healthy Hearts program is crucial to recovery. It’s not just about learning how to exercise, it’s about learning how to eat well, learning how to stop smoking, controlling your stress factors, and ultimately, improving your quality of life.

Is YMCA Healthy Hearts Right for You?

The YMCA Healthy Hearts program offers a customized plan to help individuals regain their strength, prevent their condition from worsening and reduce the risk of future heart problems. Once the participant completes the Healthy Hearts program, they are transitioned to a YMCA Wellness Coach, who will continue with their existing program and work on improving all fitness levels.

Health isn’t just an individual thing, or limited to physical fitness. It’s about the holistic, positive development of people on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. It’s about the connections between each person, family and community, over time. As a longtime leader in healthy living and prevention, we are so pleased to provide this community based program to embrace healthier lifestyles.

Together, we can have a greater impact on addressing preventative care and a better quality of life.

Learn More About YMCA Healthy Hearts

For more information about the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka Healthy Hearts Program, please contact the YMCA Healthy Hearts team at 705-726-6421 ext. 231 or

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Heart

Here are some tips from the Heart and Stroke Foundation to help you get physically active:

  • Try to make physical activity a part of every day. Walk to work, take a physical activity break at lunch time, or go for an after-dinner stroll. That way it’s easy and fun, not a time crunch.
  • If you’re just starting out, go slow and work up gradually. Make sure you have an action plan for each season, so that the weather doesn’t get in the way. Work physical activity into your daily life.
  • List the activities you like (swimming, bowling, biking) and the rewards you hope to gain (better heart health, reduced stress). Then plan how to make them part of your daily routine. At work, carve out 10 minutes to walk during lunch. If you have children, ask your family, friends or neighbours to pitch in to watch the kids while you take that fitness class you’ve always wanted to sign up for.
  • Involve family and friends in your physical activity program. You’ll gain support and companionship. You don’t need to do it alone!
  • Keep at it, and within three months or less, you’ll notice a big difference in your fitness level. You’ll feel better, have more energy, sleep more soundly and reduce your stress.

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