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Supporting Our Veterans

Recognizing the challenges faced by disabled returning war veterans, the Northeast DuPage Special Recreation Association (NEDSRA) set to work on providing a fitness and wellness program to better serve wounded, ill or injured vets and their dependents. In 2010, thanks to a collaboration with the Addison Park District’s Club Fitness, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, the National Center on Physical Activity & Disability and the U.S. Paralympics, the Healthy Minds, Health Bodies program was created.

Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies provides qualified veterans and a friend or family member a free, one-year fitness center membership at participating facilities. Included in the membership are personal training sessions, post-rehabilitative exercise materials for home use, expert advice from trained staff at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and monthly social events that offer participants a chance to meet and form new relationships with former brothers- and sisters-in-arms.

In 2012, NEDSRA was presented with the annual Illinois Park & Recreation Outstanding Program Award for Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies.

NEDSRA provides training workshops for personal trainers looking to complete Certified Inclusive Fitness Training (CIFT). CIFT provides personal trainers the necessary tools to support people enduring an assortment of conditions, including loss of limbs, spinal cord and head/brain trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These bi-annual training sessions are free and open to all personal trainers. Since its establishment, NEDSRA has trained more than 100 in-state and out-of-state personal trainers.

While the Buffalo Grove Park District is not located within NEDSRA’s service area, it is independently operating the Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies program at the Buffalo Grove Fitness Center. This unique program is available to a limited number of participants and is tailored to suit each individual need. An initial consultation is required to determine whether or not the Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies program is the right choice. For more information, please call Division Manager Liane Faigen at 847-353-7582 or lfaigen@bgpkr.org.

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