Angela Begas describes her crippling psoriatic arthritis as a “constant war raging” in her body. The mother of two’s chronic pain makes most activities unbearable, leaving her exhausted and disheartened – that was until she discovered “SMILE & Sway”.
SMILE & Sway is a unique chair-based, low-impact workout DVD based on ballroom and latin dancing. Founded by former Australian Junior Latin and Ballroom Dance Champion Gina Buber, the program aims to make exercise fun and accessible to all. “SMILE stands for Social Movement Improves Life Everyday, a philosophy that we believe the program embodies,” says Buber.
After years of repetitive physiotherapy activities to keep active, the program has changed Angela Begas’ outlook on exercise. “The SMILE DVD is a little bit of exercise, a little bit of dancing and a little bit of get up and go without having to get up and go anywhere,” Begas explains. “Physically, I can say that the program keeps me moving. It gets my blood pumping, it is good for my circulation and my joints get some mobility without putting any stress on them. It really is good for the heart and soul!”
However, Begas isn’t the only one in her household doing the workout! “I do some of the routines with my daughter Stephanie and we love it … it’s valuable bonding time!”
Stephanie suffers from CHARGE syndrome – a rare genetic disorder which embraces a wide range of disabilities including impaired hearing, vision and heart abnormalities.
“The great thing about this DVD is that we can do it as much or as little as we need,” says Begas. “If we’re having a good week, we might do it three or four times that week and if we are feeling bad we might just do the parts that we can manage. Most importantly anyone can do it!”
Written By Jenna Benson