If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer, please visit PCPEP.org (for prostate cancer) or CancerPEP.org (for other forms of cancer). These websites provide specialized versions of the PEP program tailored for individuals affected by cancer.

This is an interactive program with a set curriculum which you will be doing alongside the Leads of the program, Dr Gabriela Ilie and Dr Rob Rutledge, for 6 months.

The program is meant to bring everybody closer. For this reason Pictou County PEP has MONTHLY LIVE CHECK-INS, via ZOOM where Gabriela and Rob provide the latest scientific updates on the various pillars of the program and they interact with everyone in the program. COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES are also part of the program giving people a chance to interact in person. DAILY EMAILS AND VIDEOS over 6 MONTHS will focus on various health promoting components to create NEW HEALTHY HABITS, and IMPROVE your PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH, including:

Physical Exercise daily aerobic activity encouragement and a prescribed twice per week strength training workout developed by a Certified Exercise Physiologist. Yoga and Qigong routines to help you stretch your body and improve your balance.

Stress Reduction and Relaxation daily mindfulness breathing and self-regulation techniques to improve your ability to adapt to stress. Practical techniques to help you work with depression, anxiety, daily life stressors and negative emotions.

Healthy sleep habits and sleep hygiene.

Techniques for changing impractical thinking patterns and negative attitudes.

Practical ways to promoting self-compassion.

Dietary recommendations daily recommendations, and weekly cooking videos to better your diet and eating habits.

Time restrictive eating.

Relationships and Connections – teachings and encouragement to experience greater intimacy with others in your life.

Optional Social Support be connected with and call other people in the program. Join a monthly online support group with other people in the program

Practical tools to help support thriving relationships with family and community members

Attitudinal principles promoting healing

Who is Eligible for Pictou County PEP?

Pictou County PEP is being offered as part of a research study to Pictou County residents who meet the following criteria:

How to Get Started

Before you start the program, consider if it is safe for you to do aerobic and strength exercise. Aerobic Exercise includes walking at a moderate rate, and includes many other activities which raises your heart rate and gets you to breathe harder. Watch the video below and consider if you could do all of these exercises (each of them for at least a few seconds) without causing yourself problems. If you’re having problems with this step please contact our research coordinator by filling out the form below or calling our office.

When discussing your eligibility for the program, a staff member will ask you questions about your medical history to determine if it is safe for you to participate.

They will ask the following questions from the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire:

  1. Has your doctor ever said that you have a heart condition OR high blood pressure?
  2. Do you feel pain in your chest at rest, during your daily activities of living OR when you do physical activity?   
  3. Do you lose balance because of dizziness OR have you lost consciousness in the past 12 months? 
  4. Have you ever been diagnosed with a chronic medical condition? 
  5. Are you currently taking prescribed medications for a chronic medical condition? 
  6. Do you currently have (or have had in the past 12 months) a bone, joint, soft tissue (muscle, ligament or tendon) problem that could be made worse by becoming more physically active? 
  7. Has your doctor ever said that you should only do medically supervised physical activity?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you may need to receive approval from a physician or qualified exercise professional before starting the program. A staff member can explain this to you and help you receive approval if needed. If you require any modifications to the exercises, our exercise trainers can work with you to adapt the workouts to your specific needs and limitations.



January 7, 2024 is the first start of the program. A second group will start in February 2024 (date to be released soon!)

Contact us by filling out the form below, emailing PEP@nshealth.ca or calling +1 (902) 237-6277 or +1 (902) 473-7727