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Video: Cold-shmold, Finlandia's Trail Trekkers won't let a northern winter stop them

Program aims to engage seniors in physical activity and provide education

An all-season walking program, designed to get seniors moving and active, is proving to be quite popular at Finlandia Village.

The Trail Trekkers program provides a safe and supportive group activity on the scenic trails surrounding the facility in Minnow Lake. It's available to all seniors in the community, and participation has grown since it was launched last October.

The goal is to engage seniors in physical activity and provide them with education on such topics as proper hydration, optimum movement and regular fitness activity, said Joanne McKee, director of Therapy Services at Finlandia.

Trail Trekkers walk twice a week. Each walk includes a warm up, fitness breaks, balance and stretching exercises, and it's all aimed at helping participants achieve their individual fitness goals.

Trekkers Nicole Dignard and Theresa Paquin said they both enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of the program.

They have both made new friends, and their health has improved, as well.

“My balance is much better,” said Dignard.

“It gives me so much, it get to go out with new friends, and mentally it's a good thing, socially, it's a good thing,” said Paquin.

It more than just a walking program, said McKee. It incorporates strength training, balance training and flexibility work.

“We feel like we're trekking through the wilderness, and it's a lot of fun, said McKee.

Through a grant from the Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility, McKee and her staff were able to purchase safety equipment, outdoor exercise equipment, as well as training and educational opportunities through a wellness series that brings guest speakers to Finlandia Village to address topics important to seniors and their everyday lives.

The next speaker is Dr. Susan Lane, who will speak about mobility as an integral component of recovery from illness. She speaks Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. in the Voima Hall.

For more information, contact Finlandia Village at 705-524-3137 or visit


Arron Pickard

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