By: Barbara Jenkins, CPTN-CPT, CLM, Fitness Instructor, Healthy-Steps instructor and Stephanie Phan,
OTReg. (Ont.), CLM, Occupational Therapist, Healthy-Steps instructor, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Healthy-Steps is a group exercise program designed to help cancer patients and survivors thrive.
The program is offered at the ELLICSR centre once a week for an hour, for a total of 10 weeks.
The program aims to:
- Improve health and well-being.
- Encourage an active lifestyle.
- Help cancer patients and survivors move from a hospital or cancer
center-based exercise program, to community-based programs.
The Healthy-Steps exercise program is structured to be a fun, rejuvenating set of:
- Lymphatic opening exercises,
- Light resistance exercises, and
- Dance movements to music.
It uses smooth, slow, resistance movements designed to help patients heal their bodies safely and effectively.
When the new owner of Healthy-Steps announced last Fall that the organization needed a song to be
used at conferences and meetings, she issued a challenge out to all the instructors world-wide.
The challenge was to find a tune most people would know, then write a Healthy-Steps song to that tune.
The lyrics had to include 11 compulsory words and phrases. Obviously, Lebed Method Healthy-Steps was
one, but it also included some posers like smooth, slow resistance and Lymphedema, as well as Sherry,
Mark and Joel (the original creators of the program).
Barbara picked the tune by accident. A copy of the 1915 wartime song, “Pack Up Your Troubles in Your
Old Kitbag” was sitting on her piano. She remembered what a catchy chorus it had, coupled with a lovely
repetition of “Smile, smile, smile”, which is the essence of Healthy-Steps - to have fun! After a week of
playing around with the words, she practiced “Do Healthy-Steps” with the group, had it audiotaped (with
thanks to ELLICSR’s video team Julian Cardozo and Natasha Icliates) and sent off a CD to Healthy-Steps
headquarters in Virginia. We were delighted to hear mid-January that our song was the winning entry.
The implications of this win means that the CD will be played at Healthy-Steps conferences and ELLICSR’s
name will be mentioned when it is sung. There are 4 conferences scheduled in US cities this year, as
well as one in the UK. It is up to the individual instructors whether they decide to use it in their classes.
Healthy-Steps is helping to put ELLICSR on the international map!
For more details on how to “Do Healthy-Steps each week, enjoy the fun and smile, smile, smile!”,
visit the Healthy-Steps class page.