CF Foundation, Beam Partner to Offer Free Online Exercise Classes

CF Foundation, Beam Partner to Offer Free Online Exercise Classes
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The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) is sponsoring free access to Beam, an online exercise platform that provides a variety of live and on-demand classes tailored for people with cystic fibrosis (CF), through Labor Day, Sept. 7.

Complimentary registration through Beam’s website is available to adults with CF in the United States, according to a release provided by Beam to Cystic Fibrosis News Today.

The offer is an extension of  a 2019 pilot program between CFF and Beam that included four U.S. care centers and more than 100 patients. It is also tied to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has resulted in widespread home confinement.

image provided by Beam to CF News Today
(Photos courtesy of Beam)

Beam’s overarching aim is to get individuals who have health conditions — particularly those with CF, or recently gave birth or are going through menopause — moving in a way that makes them feel good physically and mentally. On-demand classes offer convenient variety, while live sessions can be experienced wherever the patient is, with real-time interactive support.

CF classes are led by physical therapists and trainers who either have, or are experts in, CF. Instructors include Taylor Lewis​, a pulmonary exercise physiologist, and ​Tim Sweeney,​ a fitness instructor with CF who finished his first marathon less than a year after a double-lung transplant.

Sessions are focused on improving strength and cardiovascular fitness, getting lung mucus moving, and building better posture and stronger bones.

image provided by Beam to CF News Today
Tim Sweeney, a Beam instructor with CF.

“One of the best things I’ve done for my mental health this month is to take Beam classes,” Kristin Dunn, a CF patient and member of the Greater New Jersey CFF Chapter, said in the release. “There is such variety — yoga, HIT [high-intensity training], strength training, dance, core training, MMA [mixed martial arts] workout, singing, guided relaxation and more.

“Joining a live class and seeing my friends from the CF community … makes me smile,” Dunn said. “The dance classes especially — barre, latin, and jazz — put me in such a good mood the rest of the day.”

Within its CF program, on-demand classes include a warmup routine, a lower-body and upper-body fitness tests, a core muscles fitness test, how to deal with breathlessness when walking, how to stand for better posture and better breathing, a cool down and stretch sequence, stretching for better chest clearance, seven principles of alignment, a breath awareness exercise, an introduction to singing with CF, and a full-body conditioning workout.

Live CF exercise classes incorporate dance, Pilates, yoga, cardio, resistance training, and conditioning disciplines for all levels. Some of the sessions available are “Feel good yoga,” “Get up and dance,” “Calming and restorative yoga,” “Gentle yoga for CF,” Strength training for CF,” “Pilates for wellbeing,” “Ballet barre,” “Family fitness,” “Cardio coaching,” and “Mental toughness placeholder.”

Beam hand-out photo
Pamela Scarborough, an instructor and Beam co-founder.

“I love my Beam community,” said Marissa Benchea, a CF patient and Louisiana CFF Chapter member. “It really is uplifting to join a class online and see my friends from around the community … I love how the sessions are geared for people with CF and our needs. Sessions focusing on airway clearance, posture, and breathing … have helped me tremendously.”

Current and eligible Beam members will be automatically switched to a free membership. Adult CF patients joining the program may register without charge at beamfeelgood.com.

Founded by Katie Bell and Pamela Scarborough and first launched in the United Kingdom, Beam regularly adds new on-demand and live sessions. Visit this link for an introductory video.

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