The Western New York Wellness, Inc. operates a program designed to offer physical activities to help cancer survivors regain physical fitness. Physical activity has been shown to improve several components of quality of life (physical, functional, and emotional) including:
- improve cardiovascular fitness
- improve muscle strength & body composition
- reduce fatigue
- reduce anxiety & depression
- improve self-esteem
- increase happiness
Physical activity has also recently been shown to reduce the risk of recurrence of cancer in patients who have had surgery for breast and colon cancer. Physical activity therefore has multiple benefits and is safe and feasible for cancer survivors.
The Western New York Wellness Program (WNYWP) is a not-for-profit corporation and directs the Wellness Program which was initially founded in 2003 and which was previously operated as a program of the Interlakes Foundation, Inc., a New York not-for-profit corporation.
The WNYWP operates a series of physical activity programs targeted and geared to cancer survivors. The goals of the physical activity program is to engage and motivate people who have survived a diagnosis of cancer to reach their physical and social potential through participation in a program of regular physical activity centered around cycling. This is facilitated by providing opportunities in the form of camaraderie, regularly scheduled chaperoned outdoor bike rides in the spring and summer months, regularly scheduled indoor spin classes in the fall and winter months and year round free access to participating local health clubs.
The program is continuously evaluated through various mechanisms:
- participants in the program are encouraged to provide feedback
- the number of participants is tracked
- sign in sheets are completed prior to each indoor spin class and outdoor ride
- ID cards are issued to participants for access to health clubs