Judy Siek believes that exercise is the key to mental, physical and emotional health. “It makes us feel good about ourselves and it makes us healthier human beings,” she says.
The yoga and movement specialist has led exercise classes at Waterford Place for four years, providing a variety of specialized movement classes that meet the needs of participants. “Movement is essential before, during and after a cancer diagnosis,” she explains. “Exercise has been proven to help cancer patients feel better when going through treatment – not strenuous movement but practical movement.”
She typically teaches five classes each week: Pilates, yoga for bone health, group movement for individuals in treatment, group movement for those out of treatment and Hatha yoga. The variety allows participants to try different things, and they appreciate that.
“Judy does a great job at making sure there are multiple options for different levels of participation,” one participant said. “Judy is awesome,” another agreed. “She is always learning and improving the class. A third complimented Judy as an excellent teacher with a very positive attitude.
When not working, Judy likes biking, walking her dog while listening to audiobooks, eating “good clean food” and searching out good vegetarian food. She also enjoys visiting the Art Institute and the city of Chicago.
Judy says the best part of her job is sharing in the camaraderie and love that Waterford Place participants have for one another.
“Waterford is a place of comfort and love,” she says. “It brings so many people together. Friendships blossom here. I would encourage people dealing with cancer to connect with Waterford Place and allow us to make their journeys less of a burden and more of an experience of creating long-lasting bonds between one another.”
While the Waterford Place facility is temporarily closed due to the pandemic, Judy has recorded videos of workouts for participants to use. They are posted on the Waterford Place website. She looks forward to the day the building reopens and says, “I can’t wait to get back to the work I love so dearly.”