Health and Wellness Classes


FREE Online Group Health and Wellness Classes:

ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE BEGINNING ANY EXERCISE PROGRAM.

Want to be notified of upcoming classes? Email us at gatheringstrengthinc@gmail.com


Stroke Survivors’ Cardio and Strength Exercise Class (upper body, lower body, and core)

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:00 – 4:00 ET
June 15 – August 26, 2021. Live on Zoom.
Improve your Core Strength, Balance, and Endurance!

  • This is a FREE, online, 1-hour class taught by a stroke survivor for stroke survivors, This class is a moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity that includes cardiovascular and strength exercises for the whole body, including upper body, lower body and core. No equipment is necessary.
  • The class will be done mostly while seated in a chair, but also will include some standing exercises. Standing exercises will have adapted, seated options for those who don’t wish to stand.
  • The class will be lead by Iisha Taylor, who had a stroke when she was 3-years-old. She earned a BS in Physical Education and Health in 2014, and a Masters in Exercise Science in 2015. She has been a personal trainer for eight years and has a personal training business called Taylor’d Training, LLC., taylordtrainingcoaching.com
  • CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN before participating to determine if this activity is advisable for you. A signed waiver and release will be required of each participant.

PLEASE READ THIS DISCLAIMER. By clicking on the video start button, I certify that I have read and understand the following:
The Chair-Based Cardio and Strength class is a moderate- to vigorous-intensity cardiovascular exercise class. It is my responsibility to determine with my healthcare provider my fitness for engaging in this activity. Although normal responses to exertion may be expected, if I experience any unusual pain, discomfort, faintness, dizziness, or shortness of breath while engaging with the video I should cease and consult with my health care provider.

A 53 min class w/exercises for the upper body, lower body, and core. Click Play and then click square in lower right corner to enlarge.

Chair-Based Upper Body Cardio and Strength Exercise Class (upper body and core)

Monday at 1:00 ET
Wednesday at 3:30 ET
Starting June 9, 2021

  • A FREE online class especially for people with paralysis who use wheelchairs and those who cannot exercise with their lower bodies.
  • Each 1-hour class is a moderate to vigorous intensity activity utilizing upper body and core muscles. No equipment is necessary.
  • Monday classes are lead by Michelle Arington, and Wednesday classes by Ben Clark. 
  • Michelle Arington is a certified Integrative Nutrition Mind-Body Health & Wellness Coach, and a certified NASM personal trainer. She is the owner of Elevate Athens Body Sustainability Online Studio in Athens, Ga. www.ElevateAthens.com
  • Ben Clark is a certified personal trainer who has a C-7 spinal cord injury. He was a competitive swimmer before his injury, and has been teaching online exercise classes for 3 1/2 years. You can see his exercise videos on his Adapt to Perform YouTube channel.
  • CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN before participating to determine if this activity is advisable for you. A signed waiver and release will be required of each participant.

PLEASE READ THIS DISCLAIMER. By clicking on the video start button, I certify that I have read and understand the following:
The Chair-Based Cardio and Strength class is a moderate- to vigorous-intensity cardiovascular exercise class. It is my responsibility to determine with my healthcare provider my fitness for engaging in this activity. Although normal responses to exertion may be expected, if I experience any unusual pain, discomfort, faintness, dizziness, or shortness of breath while engaging with the video I should cease and consult with my health care provider.

This 56 min class is focused on the core. Also includes warm up, upper body exercises, and cool down. Click Play and then the square in the lower right corner to enlarge to full screen.

Eating for Optimal Health After Paralysis

Wednesdays at 5:30, May 5 – May 26
Live on Zoom

This is a FREE, online series of four 1-hour classes offering practical tips and evidence-based guidelines especially for people with paralysis. The topics will be:

5/5/21 Guidelines for Healthy Eating

Click Play, then click the square in bottom right to enlarge to full screen

5/12/21 Achieving and Maintaining a Healthy Weight.
There is no recording for this class. Click the button below to see and download the presentation slides.

5/19/21 Nutrition for Digestive Health— addressing gastrointestinal dysfunctions most of us face.

5/26/21 Nutrition for Healthy Skin — how to prevent and treat pressure wounds.

Click Play and then click the square in bottom right to enlarge.

The class is lead by dietitian Jen Boisvert who has a Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition and has been a registered dietitian since 2014. She currently works part time at St Joseph’s Hospital in New Hampshire as an Inpatient Clinical Dietitian. Jen has a C6 spinal cord injury which she sustained from a car accident in 2001.

Chair-Based Cardio and Strength Exercise with Chris and Michelle

Mondays at 12:00
Wednesdays at 4:15
Apr 14 – Jun 7, Live on Zoom

  • A FREE 8-week class especially for people with paralysis who use wheelchairs or prefer to exercise while seated.
  • Each 1-hour class is a moderate to vigorous intensity activity utilizing upper body and core muscles. No equipment is necessary.
  • Monday classes are lead by Michelle Arington, and Wednesday classes by Ben Clark.
  • Chris Gray has 10 years of experience working with people with paralysis at Frazier Rehab Institute. He has studied Shaolin Kempo Karate since 1994 and has attained the rank of Master. He teaches martial arts courses as well as adapted Tai Chi to people with disabilities in Louisville, Ky.

PLEASE READ THIS DISCLAIMER. By clicking on the video start button, I certify that I have read and understand the following:
The Chair-Based Cardio and Strength class is a moderate- to vigorous-intensity cardiovascular exercise class. It is my responsibility to determine with my healthcare provider my fitness for engaging in this activity. Although normal responses to exertion may be expected, if I experience any unusual pain, discomfort, faintness, dizziness, or shortness of breath while engaging with the video I should cease and consult with my health care provider.

A 39 minute session with stretching, warm up, and upper body exercise. Click Play and then the square in the bottom right to enlarge
A 48 minute session with a warm up, stretching, upper body cardio. Click Play and then the square in the bottom right to enlarge.

The Facts About Social Security Disability

Tuesday, March 23, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Click play, and then click the square in bottom right to enlarge.

Websites mentioned: SSA listing of Conditions.
Resources: https://www.harrell-law.com/social-security-disability.html, and https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/
The speaker is Chris Harrell, who is an attorney in Louisville, KY. He has over 20 years of experience helping clients apply for benefits from the Social Security Administration.


Adapted Yoga for Stroke Survivors: Strength, Balance, Flexibility

Thursdays at 11:30am
Jan 14 – Feb 4, 2021
Live on Zoom

  • a 1-hour neurorehabilitation-focused, chair-assisted and mat yoga class, with added strengthening exercises, and ending with a secular iRest meditation.
  • People of all abilities are welcome. The class includes standing balance exercises (while holding onto a chair) and some mat work, but participants can opt out of those exercises and remain seated for the whole class.
  • Taught by Rachel Torres (below), who has over 500 hours of yoga teaching experience, an MS in exercise physiology, and extensive knowledge of stroke.
Head shot of a smiling woman

Moving Forward After Spinal Cord Injury:
An Online Peer Discussion

Every other Sunday 4-6pm
Jan 31; Feb 14; Feb 28; Mar 14.
Live on Zoom

  • a 4-session, peer-led discussion group about learning to move forward and adapt in order to achieve a quality of life worth living. Discussions will be based on peer-requested topics, including adaptations in daily life, health, personal care, relationships, etc.
  • The facilitator of this discussion is Chris Lanham, who suffered a C5 spinal cord injury in 2002 when he was 18 years old.
  • Chris has a BS in Sociology, with a minor in Psychology, from the University of Louisville. He is a co-owner/founder of Blue Sky Case Management. In his free time, Chris enjoys making assistive technology devices with off-the-shelf equipment, fishing, hunting, yard work, racing RC cars, and general tinkering.

Yoga for Every Body:
for people with paralysis and family/caregivers

Monday and Wednesday at 5:30pm
Feb 8 – Mar 3, 2021
.
Live on Zoom

  • Twice a week 1-hour classes for people of every ability, especially people with paralysis and their family/caregivers.
  • Exercises will be adapted so everyone can benefit.
  • Particular focus given to core strength, flexibility, and stress reduction.
  • Taught by Monica Sweeney Johnson, who is a KBN certified Registered Nurse.
  • Monica is a certified Yoga Instructor, with 20 years of teaching experience, and a yoga therapist certified by the International Association of Yoga Therapists (C-IAYT).
  • She has worked closely with Matthew Sanford, a paraplegic Iyengar teacher.

Online Wheelchair Fitness

Wednesdays and Fridays, 11:00am via Zoom, December 2, 2020 – January 29, 2021

This class is a wheelchair-based, moderate to vigorous intensity, cardiovascular exercise class. The intensity and complexity of the exercise will start at an accessible pace, and increase as the class progresses to keep you challenged.
Each class is an hour long with interactive instruction and time for Q&A. No equipment is necessary.
The instructor is certified personal trainer Ben Clark, who has a C-7 spinal cord injury (pictured left). He was a competitive swimmer before his injury, and has been teaching online exercise classes for 3 1/2 years. You can see his exercise videos on his Adapt to Perform YouTube channel.
CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN before classes begin to determine if this activity is advisable for you. A signed waiver and release will be required of each participant.

The video below is a recording of a portion of the first Wheelchair Fitness class. Ben advised participants to grab a towel, or broom stick, or something that can be grasped with both hands, if possible. He uses a piece of pvc pipe that is a little over 3 feet long.
PLEASE READ THIS DISCLAIMER. By clicking on the video start button, I certify that I have read and understand the following:
The Wheelchair Fitness class is a moderate- to vigorous-intensity cardiovascular exercise class. It is my responsibility to determine with my healthcare provider my fitness for engaging in this activity. Although normal responses to exertion may be expected, if I experience any unusual pain, discomfort, faintness, dizziness, or shortness of breath while engaging with the video I should cease and consult with my health care provider.

1. Wheelchair Fitness Class 12/2/20 Interval training workout
2. Wheelchair Fitness Class 12/9/20 Core and Cardio (part 1 of 2). For core, do the first set of exercises 3 times. (first 2 sets were mistakenly not recorded)
Wheelchair Fitness Class 12/9/20 Cool Down
(Part 2 of 2)
3. Wheelchair Fitness Class 12/11/20 20 min Low Intensity (70%) Solid State (LISS) workout + cooldown
4. Wheelchair Fitness Class 1/8/21, 40 min: warm up, Pyramid workout, and cool down.

Beginner Adapted Chair Yoga for Core Strength, Better Breathing, Deeper Sleep (ends 11/19/20)

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30a.m. via Zoom, ENDED NOVEMBER 19
This class is especially for people with paralysis and their family/caregivers. Everyone can participate.
Yoga includes physical movements as well as an opportunity for relaxation, stress reduction and relief of muscular tension. This is low-intensity exercise. CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN before classes begin to determine if this activity is advisable for you.

Taught by Rachel Torres, MS, E-RYT-500, C-IAYT, CIFT iRest Level 1 instructor.

PLEASE READ THIS DISCLAIMER. By clicking on the video start button, I certify that I have read and understand the following:
Yoga includes physical movements, including bending and twisting, as well as an opportunity for relaxation, stress reduction and relief of muscular tension. This is low-intensity exercise. Although normal responses to exertion may be expected, if I experience any unusual pain, discomfort, faintness, dizziness, or shortness of breath while engaging with the video I should cease and consult with my health care provider.

1. Beginner Chair Yoga for Core Strength, Better Breathing, Deeper Sleep 11/13/20 47 min long w/24 minute meditation
2. Beginner Chair Yoga for Core Strength, Better Breathing, Deeper Sleep 11/17/20 51 min long w/18 minute meditation
3. Beginner Chair Yoga for Core Strength, Better Breathing, Deeper Sleep 11/19/20, 52 min w/14 min meditation

Wellness Edge logo

The classes described are supported by Grant Number 90PRRC0001-01-00 from the Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the Wellness Edge staff and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Administration for Community Living Or HHS.