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Mar 28

Ask Stavroula: The Importance of Routine – The National Herald

By TNH Staff March 28, 2020

The days pass and the measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus are getting tougher. You stay home and your expenses are reduced to a minimum. And even though this seemed beneficial to you in the early days of your compulsory stay at home, its already getting tired. Your life has changed drastically. You quarrel with the rest of the incarcerated, with the younger ones constantly complaining about anything and everything, while the older ones, even if they do not complain, are usually in a bad mood and constantly worried. And even though youre supposed to have more time, the day passes, work never ends, and you feel tired, frustrated and pessimistic. Whats the problem?

You have every right to feel this way, and none of us like to change their habits abruptly and even under the threat of a widespread illness. You have let go of whatever you like to do, the children with their own problems are constantly at home, now you are taking on the role of educator, plus you have your own job or worse you cannot work during this time and you have stress and fear for the future. How easy is it to feel good?

Its not easy at all. But there are some things that can help you adapt to this situation more effectively.

One of them is the daily routine.

Create a daily routine for the children

Routine enhances our sense of security and stability, and this is what we all need, especially the children.

Set your own daily routine.

Make a plan of what you need to do each day and set timetables. Schedule your work hours, being at home does not mean working 24 hours a day. Calculate time for what you need to do but also for what you want to do, your exercise, your relaxation, your communication.

The daily routine helps you maintain the feeling that everything is going well and reduce stress and fatigue. It ensures that you get the important things done and that you have time for yourself. And dont forget that as long as we are healthy things are going well.

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Ask Stavroula: The Importance of Routine - The National Herald

Mar 27

Walk for Health at the Island Free Library – Block Island Times

The Island Free Library is in the second year of our Walk for Health program. You may have even heard of the Walking Program at the library, or know one of our participants. The program, while not exactly static, takes place daily in the lower level program rooms. Walk for Health is akin to low to medium impact aerobics and brings together islanders of all ages, men and women alike.

Why Walk for Health? Many begin our walking program at the encouragement of their medical professional or other participants. Research has shown that walking for 2.5 hours a week or at least 21 minutes a day can reduce the risk of heart disease by 30 percent. This free program and activity can meet you where you are at, whether that is a daily walk workout of 1-2 miles or several miles! Walking as exercise reduces the risk of diabetes and cancer, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, aids memory, improves balance and coordination and boosts your mood! According to Harvard Health online, Even a quick one-minute jaunt pays off. A University of Utah study in 2014 found that for every minute of brisk walking that women did throughout the day, they lowered their risk of obesity by 5%.

Our Walk for Health began as weekly program after library director Kristin Baumann had an opportunity to attend a walking class at the Senior Center in South Kingstown. Around the same time our Circulation Clerk Judy Mitchell was gifted the DVD, Walking Down Your Blood Sugar, for the library through her Diabetes Workshop Trainingthe workshops of which have been going strong for the last four years. Both knew this DVD program would work in the space we have at the library and we are refreshingly surprised at the continued growing popularity. From one class per week, the program has grown to multiple classes every day we are open! You may wonder, what is Walk for Health? The program itself can run anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more and is a low-medium impact cardio-vascular workout.

The class works out to instructed DVD programs in our downstairs meeting rooms A and B. If you come for a morning class, feel free to park in our lot and enter through our side gray door and head downstairs. Room A is designated as our two-mile low impact room and Room B is for 4-plus miles and generally higher intensity longer workouts.

We walk inside and somewhat in place as we work out in concert with the videos instructor and each other. The accountability of a daily workout class keeps many happy and motivated. Baumann adds, Its totally empowering for me to offer patrons a free possibility which assists them in their desire to take care of their health and well-being. Our library has dozens of different workouts with various instructors adding variety and challenge as well as a Zumba dance workout at 8:30 a.m. every Friday.

Walk for Health takes place at the Island Free Library Tuesday to Saturday at 8:30 a.m. We also offer an afternoon walking session at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday. A new addition to this program is our KidZone run by our Youth Services Librarian, Morgan Walsh every Wednesday afternoon, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Kidzone offers a place for kids to engage with various physical activities as well as brain games while their parent or guardian walks for health in the adjoining room.

The Walking Program gets new walkers daily so please feel free to come, step in and join us at any time.

Walk for Health at the Island Free Library - Block Island Times

Mar 27

What to do now that the gyms are closed – WCAX

S. Burlington Thursday, March 26th

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - On most days, parking lots like the one at The Edge would be filled morning, noon and night. For many, going to the gym is part of their daily or weekly routine, and it's about more than just getting in a workout.

"So there's no question that participating and coming to the gym is a big part of the whole experience, and certainly the social aspect is extremely important for everybody."

Mike Feitelberg, President of The Edge, knows that many who visit the gym, especially on a regular basis, enjoy being part of a community. And now with gyms closed as part of the effort to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic, the challenge becomes how to fill that void.

"We're encouraging everyone to maintain a routine to the best they can at home.", said Feitelberg. "Set up a routine in terms of nutrition, in terms of exercise, in terms of working at home. Staying within a good routine, even at home, is going to help really reduce stress and also truly help you sleep at night when you can maintain a routine at home as well."

Even with social distancing and stay at home directives, getting outside for a walk or a bike ride is important. But for those looking for something more, Feitelberg says look online.

"There are a lot of really good apps, online information, in terms of exercise programs and classes, nutrition tips, certain guidelines and activities, just things that people can do to keep them busy.", said Feitelberg. "The virtual content out there is tremendous right now, so people should really take advantage of that."

The Edge has partnered with Les Mills to offer its members online exercise programs, just one example of business finding new ways to continue serve their customers.

"Activities people can do.", said Feitelberg. "Mindfulness activities as well, because the mental aspect of this is just as great as the physical. So we'll doing a lot of different things over various media platforms to keep people informed, try to keep people motivated through this and really, more than anything, just stay connected."

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What to do now that the gyms are closed - WCAX

Mar 27

Parks and Rec asks residents to exercise safely – MyEasternShoreMD

QUEENSTOWN The Queen Annes County Department of Parks and Recreation urges residents and visitors to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community. If you go to a park or trail to exercise, please use common sense and caution. Maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others when outside. Do not gather in groups of more than 10. Do not participate in any team and contact sports, such as basketball, football, softball and soccer. Cookouts are not permitted in county parks, until further notice. Avoid touching surfaces including playground equipment, benches, and other sports equipment that are handled by others.

Be smart. Do your part!

Queen Anne's County parks are remaining open for passive recreation. Some examples of passive recreation include:

Walking or running

Bird watching


The following parks facilities remain open for day use:



Boat ramps

The following parks facilities and programs are closed until further notice:

Blue Heron Golf Course and Driving Range

All athletic fields including artificial turf fields

Playgrounds (including school sites)

All recreation programs

The following activities are not permitted in our parks until further notice:

Team and contact sports


Gathering in groups of 10 or more

All county residents are instructed to continue with social distancing and if you are having symptoms to contact your primary care physician. Persons who have been exposed to the virus have the potential to infect others before they display symptoms. If you have sick family members recovering at home please use this link for more information:

If you are unsure if a facility is open contact the Queen Annes County Government information line. This line is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for questions about county departments and services during COVID-19. Call 443-786-9529.

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Parks and Rec asks residents to exercise safely - MyEasternShoreMD

Mar 27

COVID-19: Like the rest of us, Canadiens struggle to stay in shape – National Post

Health officials recommend everyone get some exercise during the coronavirus crisis and, for most of us, that means a brisk walk around the block while social distancing.

But the shutdown of gyms, skating rinks and swimming pools has posed a greater challenge for elite athletes.

Pierre Allard, director of sports science for the Canadiens, said the players have been given a program similar to the one they receive for off-season training with one notable exception.

With all the arenas closed, theres no ice and that means they cant skate, Allard said.

He added Patrick Delisle-Houde, the Canadiens strength coach, and Stefano Lanni, his counterpart with the Laval Rocket, are in contact with the players and have formulated three workout programs for them.

Some of the players have home gyms and we have one program for them, Allard said. Theres another group of players that might have a treadmill or a cross-trainer and maybe some weights. And theres a third group which doesnt have any equipment.

The key is for players to maintain their cardiovascular conditioning until team facilities reopen and that has become a moving target.

The NHL, which has ordered all players and team employees to self-quarantine until April 4, had originally hoped teams could reopen their facilities to small groups of players this weekend. During a conference call with general managers this week, that date was pushed back by 10 days, but Willem Meeuwisse, the NHLs chief medical officer, suggested that timeline might be overly optimistic.

Its difficult to predict where the pandemic is going and what the timeline will be, but we do expect this is going to get worse before it gets better, Meeuwisse told

Meeuwisse said the NHL is fortunate that only two players, from the Ottawa Senators, have tested positive for the virus.

We have a pretty good idea now because were at almost the two-week mark that the likelihood of [players] being infected prior to that period is pretty low, Meeuwisse said. That doesnt mean that somebody cant be exposed now, and I would expect that as this disease progresses and becomes more endemic that were going to see more tests in players.

The NHL has postponed the draft combine, June 1-6, in Buffalo, the NHL Awards in Las Vegas and the NHL Entry Draft, which was scheduled for the Bell Centre on June 26-27.

Most NHL players have returned to their off-season homes. Thats a direct contrast to Major League Soccer, which has asked its players to remain in their respective markets. The MLS has a moratorium on training through April 3 and hopes to resume league play on May 10.

Scott Livingston, a personal trainer who once worked as the strength coach for the New York Islanders and the Canadiens, has focused on Olympic athletes and educating trainers. He noted the national training centres for elite athletes in Quebec and across Canada are shuttered and access to facilities is the greatest challenge for elite athletes.

You might have access to a treadmill or some weights, but youre not going to be able to do any heavy lifting, Livingston said. You can get some coaching through the internet but, if youre in a team sport or a sport which requires facilities, your options are limited.

McGill University track coach Dennis Barrett, who has served as a personal trainer for numerous Olympic athletes, said its important for athletes to keep the stimulus going until we get to a reset.

For runners, particularly distance runners, its relatively easy to find a place to run and stay out of populous areas, Barrett said. For any athlete, you can stay in shape with interval training, doing squats, jumping, sprint lunges. If you dont have weights, you can do exercises like pushups.

Barrett said the decision to postpone the Olympic Games scheduled for this summer in Tokyo was the right thing to do.

There was a possibility that this could have been behind us, but there were so many athletes who would have been unable to be at their best, said Barrett. Athletes who rely on facilities like swimmers will need time when this is over to work on specifics and athletes like gymnasts and divers may have to regain their confidence.

Note to readers: We know the speed and volume of coronavirus-related news is overwhelming and a little frightening. To help with that, we will dedicate a Montreal Gazette reporter each day to devote their time to synthesizing the most important coronavirus-related news, especially as it relates to life in Montreal and Quebec. Follow their live updates from March 27 here. All our coronavirus-related news can always be found

Sign up for our new email newsletter dedicated to local coronavirus coverage here:

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COVID-19: Like the rest of us, Canadiens struggle to stay in shape - National Post

Mar 27

Small fitness clubs respond to pandemic by getting creative – GuelphToday

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But when life closes physical doors, then you open virtual ones.

Many small fitness centres in Guelph have done just that by switching their fitness classes online, getting inventive and focusing on elements that worked specifically for their business model.

Fitness Junction Health & Fitness Club, Fit Body Boot Camp, Lift Guelph and Loyobo FIT have all shifted to offering online classes at a time when gyms are required to shut down by the province as a safety precaution to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Loyobo FIT founder Courtney McCarthy said while battling the consequences of the pandemic has been difficult, its important to use this as an opportunity to be creative and think about what really works for a business. In her case, its retaining that sense of community.

Two weeks ago, Loyobo FIT, which has approximately 150 members, adopted a new business model where it offers scheduled live online classes and pre-recorded classes.

With our live class format, were able to still provide that, meaning the instructor and participant can still see one another, we still talk to them, were still able to have conversations and have that interactive engaged element, said McCarthy.

It brings a sense of normalcy to a routine with participants logging in to classes at a set time to meet people in their class on live video just like they would if they were in the studio.

In order to make to feel a sense of relatability for her members, McCarthy rearranged her fitness studio to look like a living room so people can relate to her when they are isolated in their homes.

Because people are restricted with space and equipment in their homes, McCarthy said the classes can get extremely creative and gave an example of a drumming class online that saw participants at home use spoons and pipes and rolled-up magazines.

That became a whole new way we can laugh and be playful together.

She said while large fitness brands are able to offer free of highly discounted prices, small businesses arent which is what pushed them to retain the element that works for her business which is the community element.

She said for those who have been financially impacted by the pandemic, Loyobo FIT will soon share fitness videos with a pay what you can option to help those going through difficult times.

Lift Guelph has also changed its business model by focusing on specific abilities.

The videos we share with people are about skills, theres a lot of push up challenges and there are a lot of other things going online right now, said co-owner of Lift GuelphIan Conlon, who is now trying to create revenue for his business by shifting his business model from in-person training to focused exercise programs such as Little Lift, an exercise program created specifically for children.

You dont need a lot of space or a lot of equipment. And the thing we like to do in our exercise practice connects people across ages and abilities.

Over a month ago, Conlon began creating Instasodes, mini fitness episodes available online for free. This was after he spent five months of learning the ins and outs of film making, marketing and business which coincidently supported his business when the COVID-19 crisis hit.

Conlon said he had talked about generating online revenue with co-owner and wife Lauryn Conlon for a long time but never had the time to do it.

Its been interesting. Its been hard because its the first time in our six years of business that we had somebody else tell us to close our doors, said Lauryn.

Theres that aspect but then theres also turning lemons into lemonade and finding ways to continue to stay motivated during this time, said Lauryn adding that moving online is beneficial for the family business in the long run where they wont be able to spend long hours to run classes in person.

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Small fitness clubs respond to pandemic by getting creative - GuelphToday

Mar 27

WWE and the Special Olympics Announce School of Strength Program with Becky Lynch –

WWE and the Special Olympics have launched a new School of Strength fitness campaign, featuring RAW Womens Champion Becky Lynch.

You can see the School of Strength teaser with Lynch above.

The campaign was created in response to Special Olympics athletes requests for at-home workouts, which have increased during the coronavirus pandemic as many people are unable to train at public gyms or recreation centers.

The campaign, launched today at, is targeted at athletes in their teens and late 20s. It features 4 workout videos with varying levels of difficulty. The videos are accompanied by downloadable interactive toolkits for coaches and caregivers, which feature recipes, games, health tips and a fitness tracker. The workout video series features Lynch in the ring with 6 Special Olympics athletes from across the country.

The goal is for everyone, no matter your fitness level, to benefit from these videos, Lynch said in a press release. Its important to me to join this campaign and support those who are breaking barriers for inclusion.

Below is the full announcement from WWE and the Special Olympics with more details, plus another video with The Man calling on others to participate:

Class is Now in Session! Special Olympics Launches School of Strength Fitness Campaign in Response to Athletes Need for At-Home Workouts

Partners with WWE Superstar Becky Lynch to Develop Series of Peer-Led Workout Videos to Inspire Year-Round Fitness

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ For the first time in its over 50-year history, Special Olympics has created a fitness video series in partnership with WWE for Special Olympics athletes, led by Special Olympics athletes. Launched today, the School of Strength fitness campaign targets Special Olympics athletes in their teens and late 20s, and lives on The fitness campaign features four workout videos with varying levels of difficulty in flexibility, strength, balance and endurance exercises encouraging athletes to commit to a lifetime of fitness habits. Now, more than ever, all athletes, including those with intellectual disabilities, need to keep their bodies fit and strong in a challenging routine. The videos are accompanied by downloadable interactive toolkits for coaches and caregivers that feature recipes, a fitness tracker, games and health tips. The School of Strength campaign was created in response to Special Olympics athletes requests for the development of more fitness resources that excite and inspire them to stay fit year-round, especially now, because like many other athletes, they arent able to train or compete alongside their teammates.

This fun, engaging workout video series features WWE Superstar Becky Lynch in the ring alongside six Special Olympics athletes and trains them in a series of exercises to achieve varying levels of fitness, including Superstar Trainer, Champion Trainer and Master Trainer levels. Special Olympics athletes selected to participate in this campaign and leading their fellow peers in exercise include: Angel Athenas (Special Olympics New York), Beth Donahue (Special Olympics Massachusetts), Stephanie Ching (Special Olympics Northern California), Vince Egan (Special Olympics Colorado), Gerarado De La Cerda (Special Olympics Southern California) and Greg Demer (Special Olympics Southern California). Exercises demonstrated in the videos include warm-ups exercises such as arm circles and leg swings, endurance exercises including mountain climbers and jumping jacks, balance exercises including leg lifts and half-kneeling chops and strength exercises including power push-ups and super squats.

The goal is for everyone, no matter your fitness level, to benefit from these videos, said WWE Superstar Becky Lynch. Its important to me to join this campaign and support those who are breaking barriers for inclusion.

Special Olympics fitness programs focus on physical activity, hydration and nutrition and offer year-round fitness clubs, fitness challenges for friends and families as well as wellness classes. The School of Strength campaign is the latest addition in a selection of fitness resources created for Special Olympics athletes.

The School of Strength campaign resources augment the Fit 5 resource series developed in 2017 to educate and empower athletes to live a healthy lifestyle with the promotion of fitness cards, videos, and a guide that emphasizes exercising 5 days per week, eating 5 total fruits and vegetables per day and drinking 5 bottles of water per day. Both the Fit 5 resources and the School of Strength campaign support a Unified approach to fitness where people with intellectual disabilities can join their friends and family members for workouts in their homes or on the go. To date, the Fit 5 resources have been utilized by over 50 Special Olympics Programs in at least 36 countries. Special Olympics fitness programming has demonstrated strong impacts on health outcomes:

* 32% of athletes increased their levels of physical activity

* More than a quarter of overweight athletes lost at least 3 pounds

* Overweight athletes with high blood pressure went from 140/95 to 134/90 on average

Fitness plays a vital role in both physical and mental health as well as sports performance. Our athletes are fierce competitors who should have the same opportunities as everyone else to be active, workout, and eat healthy. We are changing the face of inclusive health by giving our athletes opportunities to enhance their fitness even while we are all physically distanced from each other, said Dr. Alicia Bazzano, Chief Health Officer, Special Olympics. People with intellectual disability die on average 16 years earlier than those without intellectual disability due to preventable causes. We know that becoming and staying fit can reduce those gaps. The School of Strength campaign is a fantastic asset that encourages our athletes to not only stretch their fitness goals, but stay committed to their health journeys during these tough times.

Follow Marc on Twitter at @this_is_marc. Send any news, tips or corrections to us by clicking here.

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WWE and the Special Olympics Announce School of Strength Program with Becky Lynch -

Mar 27

How to Measure the Business Impact of Your Workforce Training Programs – ATD

Given the significant investment on time and money organizations make on workforce training programs, there is an intrinsic need to ascertain its impact on business. Not only does this have a bearing on approvals on further investment, it can serve as a great cue to determine which programs are delivering impact and tweak or update the ones that arent.

However, there are challenges associated with this exercise of determining the impact of the workforce training on business. Without the supporting analytics (that can help confirm the business impact), L&D teams often find it difficult to showcase the impact on business and justify the ROI. I typically see the following two reasons given by L&D teams on why this is a challenging task:

As a result, this area is often neglected, or the exercise takes so much time that it may now be too late to apply the actionable insights. As a result, the business finds that the training investment of a given financial year will not really help them see the impact of the workforce training on the business goals for the year.

I believe that the L&D teams need to look beyond the basic assessment of training impact, which typically includes:

What is required is to map the evaluation of the L&D parameters to the parameters the business wants to see. Essentially, you need to couple theL&D Metricswith theBusiness Metrics.

Let me illustrate how you can work with the combined view (L&D and Business) with an example.

Training Need:A Sales team needs to undergo training for the new CRM tool (as the organization moves from multiple tools or Excel based trackers to a single, enterprise wide tool).

Audience Profiles

Set 1: Sales Executives, Sales Managers, and Head of Sales Maps to acquiring three levels of tool proficiency.

Set 2: CEO and COO Only Dashboard review with a focus on actionable insights.

The TNA would lead L&D teams to create a training that would help the Sales team achieve the required proficiency levels. This would be duly validated through assessments.

However, the focus is only on theL&D Metricsand theBusiness Metricsis currently missing.

For instance, the expected gain from the Sales Manager was that with the new CRM tool, the individuals spend less time on creating reports and more time on prospecting and customer engagement. This should translate to 12.5% increase in time spent on prospecting and customer engagement (basically, additional 1 hour/executive/day). This should have a proportional impact on leads conversion.

You see how the two teams are looking at very different pictures!

Unless, the L&D teams work with the Sales team to identify how the business impact of the training will be measured, the desired gain will not be demonstrated. This exercise (to couple theL&D Metricswith theBusiness Metrics) needs the following:


There are several models that can be used to ascertain the business impact of the workforce training programs.

At EI Design, we use a custom approach an adaptation of theKirkpatricks model of training evaluation.

For each level,

Level 1: Reaction

Objective:As a first step, we need to validate the learners reaction did they find the training to be useful, was it relevant, will the acquired learning be easy to apply on the job, and so on.

From an evaluation perspective, this feedback allows L&D teams to get the basic insights if the training was relevant and useful. Furthermore, would it help the learners apply the learning on the job. If there are any gaps, they can fix them through remediation or reinforcements.

Level 2: Learning

Objective:The TNA provides the L&D teams to arrive at the learning objectives of the training. The second level helps them validate if these learning objectives were met.

From an evaluation perspective,this feedback allows L&D teams to measure if they met the required learning mandate (this could range from knowledge gain or triggering a behavioral change).

Level 3: Behavior

Objective:The third level is used to evaluate if there is a change in the learner behavior that is directly attributable to the training.

From an evaluation perspective,we are moving up to validate the application of the acquired learning leading to behavioral change.

Level 4: Impact

Objective:The fourth level is used to evaluate the gain or the impact of the training.

From an evaluation perspective,this should validate if the goal of the desired gain that the business had sought (that is, the Business Metrics) was met.

At EI Design, we use the following approach to assess the business impact of the workforce training and we leverage the Kirkpatricks model of training evaluation. We overlay this on aLearning and Performance Ecosystemto deliver the training and ascertain its impact.

Step 1: Training NeedsAnalysis (TNA) + Methodology to measure the training impact:As I had highlighted in my example, besides identifying the learning outcomes, we focus on collating the improvement areas the key parameters where the business wishes to see a tangible improvement.

We also identify how this training impact will be measured. This needs a methodology to be defined that encompasses:

Step 2: Select the right training delivery format:The next step is toselect the learning format (ranging from online, blended, or facilitated)that will resonate with the audience (for instance, should it be on the go, available within their workflow, or facilitated or a blend) and help them meet the learning objectives.

Sometimes, we recommend other supporting measures to achieve the business mandate (for instance, coaching or mentoring).

Step 3: Identify the learning strategy:The right learning strategyhelps engage the learners, acquire the learning, and apply it on the job.

Besidesformal training, there must be room for just-in-time learning aids. These nuggets are available within the learners workflow and go a long way in supporting both learning and business mandates.

Additionally, we support the program through teasers (before the training), reinforcements, and challenges (post the training) to offset the Forgetting Curve and ensure learners are well equipped to learn, apply, practice, and gain the required proficiency and behavioral change.

Step 4: Validate the learners gain: This focuses on assessments to determine if the learning acquisition was in line with the learning mandate.

We integrate additional measures to facilitate the application of learning (business mandate).

Step 5: Assess and measure the business impact:This crucial step entails looping back to the TNA phase and seeing if the identified parameters show the required improvement.

If not, we assess what reinforcements or remediations would help the business see the desired impact. This may impact the selections made in Step 2 (training format) or Step 3 (learning strategy) or Step 4 (validating the learners gain).

While there is no single approach that can help you measure the business impact of workforce training, I hope my article gives you several practical cues you can use to measure thebusiness impact of your workforce training programs.

Meanwhile, if you have any specific queries,docontact meor leave a comment below.

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How to Measure the Business Impact of Your Workforce Training Programs - ATD

Mar 27

Stratford offering seniors health and wellness programming via Facebook Live – The Beacon Herald

Diane Hernden runs her LivFit Exercise program for members of the Stratford Lakeside Active Adults Association through Facebook Live Wednesday morning. Submitted photo

The City of Stratford is helping seniors stay active and connected while in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Tuesday, the city and the Stratford Lakeside Active Adults Association (SLAAA) are offering almost daily health and wellness programming through Facebook Live to the associations members and others in the community.

With the closure of the Agriplex, which is the community centre our (SLAAA) membership comes to, we thought, Well we have to think about new ways of providing programming for our members that obviously isnt in the physical environment, said Brad Hernden, Stratfords manager of recreation and marketing.

We knew some of the obvious programs that could be posted online, like yoga and exercise classes, but as the ball got rolling with that, we just kept brainstorming: What else from our current weekly activities can we put online?

Starting this week and lasting until its once again safe for seniors to meet at the Agriplex, the list of programming available online includes line dancing on Mondays, music with local singer-songwriter Dayna Manning on Wednesdays and Saturdays, gardening demonstrations with Cozyns Garden Gallery on Fridays, and much more.

For a complete schedule of programming and a link to each live stream, visit

The goal, Hernden explained, is to developed a diverse slate of programs led by locals at the same time and on the same day every week. The list of programs will grow as more instructors, all of whom are being paid by SLAAA, step forward to lead new weekly classes.

And while the live streams have only been running since Tuesday, Hernden said more people are already tuning in and participating remotely than when those programs were held at the Agriplex.

We are thrilled to see the success of our Facebook live-streaming classes and presentations, SLAAA president Russ Diamond said in an email. Its heartwarming to hear from our members how much they appreciate our work, and it fuels us to develop more content to ensure our members and their friends stay active and engaged. Were pleased to continue to invest and extend our programming in the online format so long as theres an audience.

For those members who arent as experienced in the social media realm, Hernden said city staff have been helpin with Facebook setup and navigation over the phone so as many people can participate in and enjoy the programming as possible.

For more information on how use Facebook and access the live streams, call 519-271-4310.

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Stratford offering seniors health and wellness programming via Facebook Live - The Beacon Herald

Mar 27

Expert advice on coping with coronavirus anxiety at home – 9Coach

The coronavirus pandemic is the first time we have lived through a global crisis of this kind and at this scale. Feelings of anxiety understandably through the roof.

With Australia in Stage 2 of lock down, most of us are working from home and self-isolating from others, only leaving our homes when it is absolutely necessary. Most schools are closed leaving children feeling rattled.

To make matters worse, some of us have lost our jobs or are trying to live on a reduced income.

Psychologist Sandy Rea has been doing her best to alleviate some of this anxiety, advising the public of ways to care for themselves and their loved ones as we navigate fear and uncertainty.

"Many are reporting increased levels of anxiety which the otherwise would not have experienced," she tells 9Honey. "Associated with anxiety is fear... fear of the unknown, the implications of COVID-19, how long this will last, consequences financially, emotionally and being isolated. All these have become our new 'normal'."

Rea says 'anticipatory anxiety' is particularly difficult to deal with as it is based on the realisation we have "absolutely no control over the future" which can lead to "inviting concerns into the present which may or may not ever eventuate".

She says while this is manageable to a degree, it's when "catastrophising behaviours" begin that psychological intervention is needed.

"These include 'herd behaviours' like buying toilet paper when coronavirus doesn't give you gastro, irrational beliefs about how the world may end and irrational links to other deadly diseases.

"In my lifetime and many others, this is the first time where we have experienced the true impact of a pandemic i.e. where our communities are directly affected (and not just something your read about in the paper)," she says. "Every media outlet has information, 'breaking news' and updates on deaths and the spread of the disease and this contributes to the escalation of anxiety."

She says while COVID-19 will worsen anxiety in those who already suffer from it, it will also cause some to develop it.

RELATED: Coronavirus: Expert warns about 'impossible' progress without moving to stage three, 'complete lockdown'

"Some will develop a misinterpretation of minor or normal body sensations as serious disease symptoms and this is very disabling for them and they feel extreme distress about real or imagined symptoms," she says.

Rea advises that during this time that we are confined mostly to our homes with our loved ones, it's important to lean on some "go-to" mentally healthy behaviours including "good sleep, good food and good exercise".

"Each of these can be achieved at home," she says.

Rea says it's important to stick to your normal schedule.

"Do not binge-watch until 3am and then sleep until 1pm," she says. "Practice good eating habits and establish school lunch boxes for children as though they were attending school to stop them grazing throughout the day."

"In Victoria, for example, the Premier has said non-infected people can go for walks and bike rides, adhering to the 1.5 metre social distancing rule," she says.

She also recommends Australians access online exercise programs and apps.

"Follow one of these," she says. "It requires self-discipline. If you have a pet go outside and play for a while or take it for a walk. Pick up the phone and talk. Use family apps and Skype.

"Consider how you can help others and step outside of yourself," she says.

In the event the crisis worsens and Stage 3 lock down comes into play, Rea says it is "critical" to remember that life is about coping with change, "being flexible" and "adaptive".

"These are critical skills we need to instil in our children," she says. "When there are 'hiccups' during our week, we manage these through developing 'coping behaviours'. The opposite to these are developing 'acopic' behaviours - catastrophising, anticipatory anxiety, panic buying - which is poor role-modelling for our children"

Rea says building resilience in our children during this trying time will serve them in the future.

"Emotions often impair our perceptions of risks when in highly emotional states we interpret things in a threatening way this decreases our ability to self-soothe," she says. "So follow the protocol and advice. This should give comfort"

And she suggests making the most of your time at home and with your kids.

"Change the narrative from threatening to opportunity," she says. "For parents who normally work, here is a great time to share some time with my children.


Sandy Rea will be hosting a free 'webinar' on April 1 about coping with coronavirus stress and anxiety at 11am AEST.

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Expert advice on coping with coronavirus anxiety at home - 9Coach

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