The Reh-Fit Centre was recently chosen by the Medical Fitness Association as the best medical fitness facility in the world. Yet, some Winnipeggers don’t realize that we have this kind of world class facility right here on Taylor Avenue. In fact, many don’t even know what a medical fitness facility is.
As a medical fitness facility, the Reh-Fit Centre operates like a gym that offers more services. In addition to providing personal training and developing exercise and diet programs for its clients as many other gyms do, the Reh-Fit also focusses on helping clients who have medical problems and will even work with their doctors. Reh-Fit is a non-profit charitable organization that has fitness trainers as well as medical personnel on staff including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and dieticians.
Having access to a medical fitness facility enables people to become more pro-active for their own well-being. Instead of going to the doctor and getting a prescription for whatever ails them, a place like Reh-Fit offers them an alternate route back to fitness and health.
John Rislahti became a member four years ago after suffering a heart attack at work, despite leading an active life that included playing tennis, old-timer basketball and cross-country skiing.
Shortness of breath, confusion, a pain in his left arm and profuse sweating were his symptoms at the time. A surgically implanted stent and post heart attack counseling and exercise at the Reh-Fit Centre were his solution.
The Reh-Fit Centre was instrumental in helping him back to a regular lifestyle by offering him classroom sessions on heart attack education, the causes, cures and prevention. He explained that after a heart attack there is a need for assurance and confidence, and the sessions at the Centre provided just that.
Even though he led an active life John confessed that his dietary habits, like many people, offered room for improvement. He also wanted information on how to handle stress. This pointed John in the direction of the Reh-Fit nutrition, counseling and yoga sessions.
The Centre was founded by Dr. David Mymin in the early seventies and housed in a 250 square foot stress test lab with one treadmill in the St. Boniface Hospital. It moved to the University of Manitoba in 1975 and then to its present site in 1979.
Since then it has been continually updated and recently $184,000 was allocated from the Western Economic Diversity Fund for resurfacing safety exits, repairs to the steam rooms and men’s shower area, upgrading lighting in the weight area and site work to improve vehicle access.
Last year Manitobans made 350,000 visits to the facility.
We should really cherish what we have here in town, as certified medical fitness facilities are few and far between. This is the only one in Canada and one of only 44 in the world. Anyone can go down and take out a membership and start on their programs. If you’ve been battling health problems be it heart disease, diabetes or obesity, it could very well save your life if it leads you on a path to a fit and healthy lifestyle.