Countless cancer patients call The Journey Program “life-changing.” Currently provided in three Northern Michigan locations, the free 10-week program bridges the gap between treatment and recovery. And soon, some Journey Program classes will be available to cancer patients anywhere in Michigan, the United States, and even the world—thanks to their downloadable exercise videos.
Founded in 2009, Jean Mahoney and Annemarie Wigton recognized that every cancer patient’s journey is different. Wanting to help these patients along the way, they formed The Journey Program, with tailored exercise classes specifically designed for cancer patients on their paths to survivorship. Through strength training, cardiovascular training, core, balance, and chest-opening exercises, patients build their confidence back up and become independent with exercise. When patients complete the 10-week program—which is free to patients thanks to the generosity of sponsors—they’re not only physically stronger but mentally stronger as well.
“In Traverse City, Frankfort, and Suttons Bay we offer the free 10-week class to increase strength and stamina so patients can return to work and their daily activities,” Annemarie says. “Plus at the Cowell Family Cancer Center, we offer drop-in beginner exercise classes.
“Now The Journey Program has a new facet through which we can assist patients in reaching their fitness goals: downloadable exercise videos. This makes exercise accessible to those who are too fatigued to travel, live too far away, or cannot afford a gym membership or classes. It also helps to have a visual on what the exercise should look like.”
For $10 a video, cancer patients can download two different exercise concentrations—core and posture—with exercise instruction led by Annemarie, who is a Certified Cancer Exercise Specialist and NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer.
“The core exercises are gentle and can even be done in bed while people are recovering,” Annemarie says. “The main focus is for them to reconnect with their body post surgery or treatment. How should movement look? How should it feel? We want individuals to regain their confidence.
“The posture video helps strengthen the back and shoulder girdle while gently stretching the pecs. This can be used to help regain range of motion after breast cancer surgery or for anyone struggling with posture and limited shoulder mobility.”
“The video is perfect and done so well. I have a lot of deficits on my left side and I worry I waited too long. I’ve been trying to passively stretch, I’ve been going to the gym and I started swimming, but that hasn’t been enough apparently! I will definitely be watching this video again to get more familiar with these exercises, but I think this would be great for a lot of post-surgical patients.” —A cancer patient
To download the cancer exercise videos, become a sponsor, or if you’d like to bring the program to your location, visit thejourneyprogramtc.com.