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YMCA LiveWell

Providing accessible, personalized, evidence-based community wellness programming across Nova Scotia

I used to swim a lot but now I realized I needed to do more. I am glad I heard about the program from my doctor. My low back pain has improved, and my overall fitness has to. I wish to continue for as long as possible

YMCA LiveWell is a group exercise program that focuses on improving the physical and health of Nova Scotians with chronic conditions.*

*Chronic conditions are defined broadly as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention, or limit activities of daily living or both. 

Check out this video of what to expect in the Active for Life class. 

YMCA LiveWell programs:

  • Create smooth transitions for patients between hospital care and community health.
  • Deliver care in the most appropriate setting for promoting and sustaining health and wellness.
  • Improve health outcomes of individuals with a focus on secondary prevention and chronic disease self-management.
  • Reduce health disparities through the elimination of both real and perceived barriers to participation.


YMCA LiveWell supports both physician and self-referrals and offers a comprehensive intake process, supervision, and progression within a socially supportive environment. It embraces a person-centric approach that focuses on secondary prevention and chronic disease self-management. LiveWell encourages participants to take control of their own health.

YMCA LiveWell Programs

Assessment by exercise expert

Meet with our Clinical Exercise Physiologist for a detailed assessment where we get to know you, your abilities and limitations to make sure you are exercising safely while progressing over time.

Individualized group exercise instruction

Begin your YMCA journey with our group exercise classes instructed by a quailed exercise professional who will give you individualized modifications.

Transition to YMCA Fitness Classes

Let us guide you in a transition to other group fitness classes the YMCA has to offer to keep you committed on your physical activity and exercise journey!


This 12-week supervised exercise and education program is for people with any type of cancer at any stage. Whether you've been recently diagnosed, are in the middle of treatment or in remission, this 12-week exercise and education program can help. CanWell is offered through a partnership between the YMCA, Nova Scotia Health and Dalhousie University. You will be supported by specially-trained YMCA staff including a clinical exercise physiologist.

Active for Life

Active for Life is designed to improve strength, balance, and general fitness for anyone managing a chronic disease. This program is intended for those with risk factors or who have stable medical conditions following medical treatment from a chronic disease diagnosis.

Healthy Hearts

The Ottawa Heart Institute has deemed our YMCA's Cardiac Maintenance program a suitable and ideal next step for cardiac rehabilitation graduates or those affected by heart disease. You will complete exercise assessments and have an exercise program tailored to your abilities and goals. All programs are designed and overseen by our Clinical Exercise Physiologist and instructors with HearWise training.

Small Steps for Big Changes

If you struggle with exercising consistently, you can learn to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine with the help of a certified health coach. You’ll also learn how to improve your diet, set realistic goals, measure progress and build healthy habits.

Meet Joy

Joy Chiekwe, MSc (she/her)
CSEP-Clinical Exercise Physiologist
General Manager, Health Management
LiveWell Provincial Lead
Phone: 902-222-5889
Email: [email protected]

Access the enrollment referral form for healthcare providers to enroll their patients in the program by clicking here:

Heart Wise and the YMCA
heart wise loog.png

Our health management programs follow Heart Wise exercise guidelines developed by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. A program or class at our YMCA that is designated and approved as heart wise will have the heart wise exercise logo. Heart wise exercise classes meet the following criteria:  

  • Encourages regular, daily aerobic exercise
  • Encourages and incorporates warm up, cool down and self-monitoring with all exercise sessions
  • Allows participants to exercise at a safe level and offers options to modify intensity
  • Includes participants with chronic health conditions – physician approval may be required
  • Offers health screening for all participants
  • Has a documented emergency plan that is known to all exercise leaders, including the requirement of current CPR certification, phone access to local paramedic services and presence of a defibrillator. 

Approved heart wise program classes cover different types of exercise with different levels of intensity.  

Please visit Ottawa Heart Institute for further information 

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