Brain and Body exercise program

The Brain and Body exercise program is a structured and individualized exercise program for people living with any form of dementia (including those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI)) and their care partner. 

The Brain and Body program is a 12 week program focused on restoring and improving the health, wellness, energy and function of individuals living with any form of dementia or mild cognitive impairment, in a safe and supportive environment.

Trained exercise specialists take into account medical history and health status when developing individualized exercise programs aimed at improving cardiovascular function, balance, muscular strength and endurance, as well as range of motion.

The specialized program provides safe, private, small group one hour exercise sessions twice a week over the 12 week period. Appropriate for everyone regardless of fitness level, each program is tailored to the individual's specific health needs and goals. The exercise program is fee-for-service.

Who is a candidate for the Brain and Body program?

If you are living with any form of dementia, including mild cognitive impairment and live in Kitchener-Waterloo or surrounding areas, you are a candidate for the Brain and Body exercise program. Care partners have the option to participate in the class as well and receive their own individualized exercise program.

Referral to participate

If you’re interested in participating, please have your doctor complete and fax the referral form to clear you for participation in an exercise program. If you prefer to contact us over the phone or schedule an in-person meeting to complete the registration process, please contact us for the referral script and to book an appointment.

What happens next?

Once registered, clients join a twice weekly, 60 minute class for 12 weeks. Typically, classes are offered in the Fall, Winter and Spring terms. Classes are a small-group format with 6-10 participants and supervised by our certified Fitness Staff.

An initial assessment is performed to understand baseline capabilities and ensure clients are started at a safe and comfortable exercise level. Each week clients participate in a warm up, aerobic exercise, strength and balance exercises, and cool down stretching. Care partners who wish to participate can express interest during this initial assessment.

Instructions for assessment

This assessment takes up to two hours to complete. All information regarding directions and preliminary instructions to follow on the day of the assessment will be sent to you prior to your initial appointment. You will be asked to bring a list of current medications.

If you have any questions after reading this information, please contact our fitness staff.

Where to find us

The Brain and Body exercise program is located at the University of Waterloo in the Toby Jenkins Applied Health Research Building: 340 Hagey Boulevard, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R6.

For map and detailed directions, see directions and parking for access to the Toby Jenkins Building.

Support Brain and Body

The Brain and Body exercise program is currently fee-for-service. It is our hope that additional support for the Brain and Body exercise program could be obtained to make the program more affordable to those living with with cognitive impairment and their care partners.

To donate directly to the program, contact Sherri Sutherland, Director of Advancement, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences or complete Waterloo's secure online donation form. Designate your gift as "Other - Brain and Body".