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Jewish Community Center

Strength Over Cancer

Strength Over Cancer is a specialized fitness course for both cancer patients and those who have completed their treatment. As certified cancer exercise specialists, our instructors, who provide hands-on guidance needed by cancer patients and those who have completed treatment, are specifically trained to meet your unique needs in the short-term and long-term, through recovery and into survivorship. Even if you were not active before your cancer diagnosis, you will receive the help you need to build your strength and mobility safely and successfully.

Benefits of the Strength Over Cancer Fitness Class can include:

  • Reduced treatment-related fatigue and improved sleep
  • Improved overall physical ability
  • Reduced muscle loss
  • Build strength
  • Improved balance and mobility
  • Reduced anxiety and depression
  • Improved sense of well-being
  • Associated with better survival rates

This 11-week course is FREE and open to both J members and the public, courtesy of The Hamsa Wellness Community and its partners. Classes are held weekly on Tuesdays from 5-6pm at the Staenberg Family Complex.

The initial class will be a physical assessment, allowing our instructors to build you a personalized fitness program based on your health and wellness. From there, you will train alongside a small group of other cancer patients, giving you a support network as you build your strength. Additionally, you may bring one person as a support person, who must be identified at the beginning of the course. For the duration of the Strength Over Cancer course, both you and your guest will have access to the J’s facilities, including the fitness floor, the pool, and group exercise classes. Learn more about the J’s fitness options on our fitness webpage.

The next 11-week course will begin on April 30. Classes are small (10 participants per 11 week course), and held in person at the J’s Staenberg Family Complex. To get more information or to sign up, email our Director of the Hamsa Wellness Community, Debbi Braunstein, at dbraunstein@jccstl.org. Participants must have a doctor’s note in order to participate.

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What is the Hamsa Wellness Community?

The Hamsa Wellness Community (formerly known as Sharsharet Supports STL) is a cancer community program at the J and a community partner of the national nonprofit Sharsheret organization. The Hamsa Wellness Community educates individuals regarding hereditary cancer risks, especially women and men of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, who have an increased risk of carrying a hereditary cancer gene mutation. The Hamsa Wellness Community also supports those facing a cancer diagnosis – especially those with breast and ovarian cancer – anywhere along their journey.

In partnership with the J’s Fitness team, the Hamsa Wellness Community offers programs like Yoga for Cancer, Strength Over Cancer, and Oncology Massage led by oncology-trained instructors and therapists. The Hamsa Wellness Community welcomes the full spectrum of diversity and supports all who reach out. These programs are available to J members and the public.

The Hamsa Wellness Community is founded on five pillars: Connection, Hope, Education, Strength, and Support. These pillars focus on the care of the whole person and provide those dealing with cancer diagnosis a community during what is often an extremely challenging time.

Request More Information

Reach out to our Hamsa Wellness Community by filling out this form or contact Debbi Braunstein, 314.442.3266, for more information and resources.

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