All posts by Kaia Kjar

Ready for a New Fitness Challenge?

Step up your game with one of our new fitness & wellness classes at Saddletowne YMCA in 2016:

Obstacle Race Training

This is a great class to take whether you are looking for a program that will challenge you in different ways, push you past a fitness plateau or help prepare you for an actual Obstacle Race for the first or fiftieth time! This class will cover muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, balance, agility and grip strength with a variety of drills that will take you out of your comfort zone and drive your fitness to the next level. In addition to studio, track and weight floor work, certain classes may include workouts on the climbing wall, in the swimming pool or outdoors to improve your fitness in a range of environments and modalities.

Mondays | Starts Jan 11 | 5:30-6:30pm | M $90 NM $126 | 9 classes | Barcode# 107157
Wednesdays | Starts Jan 13 | 6:30-7:30pm | M $100 NM $140 | 10 classes | Barcode# 107158
Fridays | Starts Jan 15 | 10:30-11:30am | M $100 NM $140 | 10 classes | Barcode# 107159

Sport Conditioning

Are you passionate about sports? Do you want to build strength and stamina to improve your game? This class will provide sports-based exercises and drills to help you increase muscular strength & endurance, coordination, agility, quickness and stability to improve your sport performance. Exercises and drills will be determined based on the interests and needs of the group, according to their sport(s) of preference.

Thursdays | Starts Jan 14 | 7:00-8:00pm | M $100 NM $140 | 10 classes | Barcode# 107161
Fridays | Starts Jan 15 | 5:15-6:15pm | M $100 NM $140 | 10 classes | Barcode# 107163
Sundays | Starts Jan 17 | 5:30-6:30pm | M $90 NM $126 | 9 classes | Barcode# 107162

Advanced Conditioning

Are you tired of machines and dumbbells? This class will teach you about different training techniques and equipment that can be used to take your workout to the next level. Learn how to use things like Kettlebell, TRX and Battleropes with proper form and apply principles of HIIT (high intensity interval training) for optimal efficiency. Step out of the rut with Advanced Conditioning!

Tuesdays | Starts Jan 12 | 7:30-8:30pm | M $100 NM $140 | 10 classes | Barcode# 107121
Wednesdays | Starts Jan 13 | 9:15-10:15am | M $100 NM $140 | 10 classes | Barcode# 107160

Nutrition 101: 7 Keys to Eating for Good Health

Are you wanting to make changes to your eating habits but are unsure where to start? Have you tried dieting and found that you were left feeling hungry and unsatisfied? Are you aware of the changes you want to make but just need a bit of extra support getting there? Are you confused by all of the conflicting nutrition information and advice being dished out by the media?

If any of these situations apply to you, this is a course you won’t want to miss! Facilitated by a Registered Dietician, this course will introduce you to simple dietary changes you can adopt that will make the most difference to your health, along with practical strategies for doing so. The science behind the information will be explored to help clarify nutritional advice and dispel the myths. In addition, you will have the opportunity to keep a personal food journal and receive weekly feedback and support on your progress and challenges over this 8-week program to give you the best chances for success in reaching your goals.

Saturdays | Starts Jan 16 | 9:30-10:30am | M $80 NM $112 | 8 classes | Barcode# 111873

Healthy Eating: Practical Tips, Tricks & Answers to Your Questions

On Wednesday, May 13 from 6-8pm Saddletowne YMCA will host a workshop called Fundamentals of Healthy Eating.

This workshop will offer very practical information with ideas, strategies and recipes that you can take home and put to use right away. Our presenter Cheryl Strachan, a registered dietitian, offers a very down to earth perspective that covers not only the ‘what & why’ but the ‘how’ of creating healthy eating habits with plenty of examples along the way and answers to all of the commonly asked questions & concerns.

Click this link to sneak-a-peak:

Register early by calling 403-237-2393 and quoting course# 102733.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 | 6-8pm
Saddletowne YMCA, Studio A
Members/Staff/Volunteers: $10
NonMembers: $15
Course#: 102733


Saddletowne YMCA Power Outage – Friday, February 13, 2015

UPDATE: Saddletowne YMCA re-opened it’s doors as of 11:30am today. The pool remains closed for the rest of the day but will re-open Saturday, February 14th. Saddletowne Child Development Centre also remains closed for the rest of the day and will re-open on Tuesday, February 17th.

8:56 AM The Genesis Centre has experienced a power outage. As a result the Saddletowne YMCA is currently closed until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience while we work to restore our operations.

NEW Youth Hap Ki Do class 6:45-7:45pm on Fridays at Saddletowne YMCA

Due to the immense popularity of our Youth Hap Ki Do programs we have created an additional class on Fridays from 6:45-7:45pm for children aged 6-11 years. If your child missed out on the 5:30 class here is your second chance!

Parents – this is a great opportunity get your own workout in while your child is busy learning new skills!

Youth Hap Ki Do (6-11 years)
Fridays 6:45-7:45pm
Starting January 16th
M$90 NM$120 (10 classes)
Course# 102294

Call 403-237-2393 to register or visit Member Services.

Fitness Kickboxing is a great way to build strength & confidence while relieving stress.

I attended the Fitness Kickboxing demo class here at Saddletowne a little while ago and I found the class to be invigorating and fun. After the warm up, the instructor taught us a variety of punching techniques and combinations which we then got to practice with a partner using gloves and pads. Afterwards she led us through some kicking techniques and combinations which we practiced again. By the end of the class we put it all together in punching and kicking combinations with our partners.

I worked up a good sweat in the class and definitely felt my muscles the next day. The exercises especially helped to challenge my core strength and coordination as well as my mental focus and reflexes. I loved being able to engage in a contact sport with another person, express some playful aggression and let off  steam in a way that was safe, fun and empowering.

I definitely recommend Fitness Kickboxing as a different kind of fitness class that will produce great results, increase your confidence and challenge you in new ways.

Fitness Kickboxing is offered at the Saddletowne YMCA on Sundays from 6:30-7:30pm beginning January 11th. To register call 403-237-2393 and quote barcode # 96569.


Women’s Only Fitness Classes at Saddletowne YMCA

Calling all ladies! How about some time out with the girls to be healthy and have fun in a supportive, female environment?

Saddletowne YMCA offers 9 different types of fitness classes for women only:

Belly Dance Level 1 & 2
Bellyfit Sage
Post-Natal Fitness
Prenatal Aquatic Fitness
Prenatal Fitness
Prenatal Yoga
Women’s Resistance Training
Yoga for Women

Read below for class descriptions, times & course codes:

Belly Dance Level 1 & 2 Combo
Explore the cultural and artistic components of Belly Dance by focusing on Egyptian styles, learning about music through interpretation, and choreography. This is for women who really want to dig deep into the technique and style of Belly Dance, and get personal feedback from an experienced instructor. This class combines levels 1 & 2 offering beginner progressions as well as more advanced options for returning students.
Mondays starting January 5th
6:30-7:30pm (Barcode 95525)

Bellyfit offers a full workout utilizing elements of dance, yoga and pilates. If you want a class where you can dance, sweat, breathe, and liberate yourself from the daily grind then Bellyfit is the class for you! The cardio dance portion of Bellyfit incorporates movements from belly dance, East Indian, Bollywood and African dance. The core and stretch portions are inspired by yoga and pilates.  Bellyfit is one hour of continuous movement flow without pauses in the music. Each movement in the cardio segments is broken down to give students time to get into the rhythm before moving on to the next section. There are also different layers of movement and levels of intensity, so it is up to the student how she wants to use these levels and layers to produce the intensity she desires. Bellyfit will inspire you laugh, smile, glow and feel genuinely good about yourself afterwards.
Wednesdays starting January 7th
5:30-6:30pm (Barcode 96572)

Bellyfit Sage™
From the creators of Bellyfit® comes a brand new low impact format designed for wise and mature or recovering bodies. Combining inspiration from Fitness, Belly Dance, Hula Dance, Yoga and Meditation, Bellyfit Sage is a mindful and gentle yet powerful class. Move your body with sensuality, ease and grace, and then let build stamina and serenity with a balance, core and stretch sequence using the support of a chair. Set to world-fusion music that will uplift your heart and spirit. Come join a community of women and celebrate the vibrancy and wisdom of your inner Sage!
Mondays starting January 19th
10:30-11:30am (Barcode 96573)

Post-Natal Fitness
Bring your baby to this fitness class for Moms. The class will incorporate cardio, resistance, core and stretching exercises appropriate for post-natal women. Babies aged 2-12 months are welcome. Post-natal women may attend with or without baby.
Mondays starting January 5th
12:00-1:00pm (Barcode 95680)
Thursdays starting January 8th
9:30-10:30am (Barcode 96949)

Prenatal Aquatic Fitness
Experience the benefits and relief of weightlessness in this refreshing deep water workout designed specifically with the needs of pregnant women in mind. This class will help strengthen upper body, lower body and core muscles without the impact of land-based exercise. Participants must bring a Par Med X for Pregnancy Form signed by their doctor/midwife indicating that they have clearance to participate. Participants should feel comfortable in deep water with the assistance of a flotation device.
Wednesdays starting January 7th
6:00-6:45pm (Barcode 96566)

Prenatal Fitness
Experience a fit pregnancy and meet other moms-to-be in this fun fitness class designed with the unique needs of pregnant women in mind. Pre Natal Fitness will incorporate cardio, resistance, core and stretching exercises suitable for pregnant women of all fitness levels.
Mondays starting January 5th
6:00-6:45pm (Barcode 96566)

Prenatal Yoga
Experience Hatha yoga to help with a healthy pregnancy, delivery and recovery.  This course will guide you through slow poses, breath work and relaxation techniques in a serene atmosphere to support your mind, body and spirit throughout your pregnancy.
Tuesdays starting January 6th
7:15-8:15pm (Barcode 96561)

Women’s Resistance Training
Learn all about the benefits of resistance training (training with weights) for women including how it can help you lose weight, reduce pain and improve physical function. In this class you will learn proper weight training form and technique with a variety of equipment types and without the intimidation factor of trying to figure things out on your own!
Mondays & Wednesdays starting January 5th
9:30-10:30am (Barcode 96945)
1:15-2:15pm (Barcode 96946)
Tuesdays starting January 6th
1:15-2:15pm (Barcode 96950)

Yoga for Women
Strengthen, lengthen, balance and release in this active yoga class for women only that will guide you to find strength, flexibility and calm from within. Release your stress and tension and leave feeling radiant, refreshed and ready for life!
Tuesdays starting January 6th
5:15-6:15pm (Barcode 96555)


Research Shows Practicing Tai Chi Improves Some Chronic Conditions

A number of studies have been conducted in recent years on the effect that practicing Tai Chi has on patients with various chronic health conditions. The results provide positive evidence that Tai Chi can be beneficial in improving patient outcomes on a variety of levels having physical, psychological and behavioural impacts. Here is a basic summary of some of the research findings:
Philip W.H. Peng published a review article on Tai Chi and Chronic Pain in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine 2012. He found that Tai Chi is beneficial for providing pain relief and improving physical and psychological well-being for people with Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Low Back Pain. Tai Chi’s effects on muscular strength, cardiovascular health, bone health, stress reduction and quality of life may also prove benefical to patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Jun-Hong Yan, et al. conducted a study in 2013 on the Effects of Tai Chi in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and found that practicing Tai Chi significantly improved patients’ total scores on the Chronic Respiratory Disease Quesitonnaire and the St. George’s Respiratory Questionnare.
Hui-Ming Lo, et al (2012) conducted a study on Tai Chi and patients with Hypertension. The study concluded that both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were reduced and exercise behaviour and exercise time were improved when hospital outpatients with hypertension participated in an 8-week Tai Chi exercise program.
Sukhee Ahn, et al (2012) conducted a study on the effects of Tai Chi Exercise on Glucose Control, Neuropathy Scores, Balance and Quality of Life in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Neuropathy. The results indicate that total symptom scores, glucose control, balance and quality of life were significantly better in the Tai Chi group than in the control (nonintervention) group.
Whether you live with a chronic health condition or not, you can improve your health with Tai Chi! Sign up for a class and find strength, balance, coordination, improved digestion & circulation, greater mental clarity and relief for stress.
Saddletowne YMCA offers the following Tai Chi course:
Tai Chi Level 1
Saturdays 11:00-12:30pm
Beginning January 18
M: $90 NM: $135 (10 classes)

Call 403-237-2393 to register or visit for full course listings.

Ahn, S., Song, R. (2012). Effects of Tai Chi exercise on glucose control, neuropathy scores, balance and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes and neuropathy. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Dec;18(12), 1172-8.
Lo, H.M. et al (2012). A Tai Chi exercise programme improved exercise behavior and reduced blood pressure in outpatients with hypertension. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 18(6), 545-551.
Peng, P.W.H. (2012). Tai Chi and chronic pain. Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Jul-Aug; 37(4):372-82.
Yan, J.H., Guo, Y.Z, Yao, H.M., Pan, L. (2013). Effects of Tai Chi in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. PLOS ONE (10), 1371.

Challenge Yourself with Capoeira

Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that will challenge you both physically and mentally.

In a ‘game’ of Capoeira, two opponents ‘play’ in a circle or roda (pronounced hoda) and try to ‘outsmart’ the other with kicks, blocks, evasions, handstands, cartwheels, hooks/trips, etc to the rhythm of the berimbau – a unique Brazilian instrument.

Capoeira can be modified through skill progressions for beginners, intermediate players and those who are more advanced. It is great for people who want to try something new & exciting to improve their strength, agility, balance & coordination in a unique and fun class that helps to build camaraderie through friendly competition.

At Saddletowne YMCA we offer the following classes on Tuesday evenings:

Youth Capoeira (6-11 years)
Beginning January 7
Tuesdays 6:15-7:15pm
Barcode: 86253
M$88 NM$132 (11 classes x 60 minutes)

Adult Capoeira (12+ years)
Beginning January 7
Tuesdays 7:30-8:45pm
Barcode: 86243
M$110 NM$165 (11 classes x 75 minutes)

Pre-Natal & Post-Natal Fitness Classes at Saddletowne YMCA

Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby

Did you know that Saddletowne YMCA offers Pre & Post Natal fitness classes?
(Skip to the end of this article for Pre/Post-Natal course offerings)

Pre-Natal classes are a great way to maintain fitness, core strength, mobility and proper posture throughout one’s pregnancy. Engaging in regular physical activity during pregnancy offers health benefits for both mom and baby. It helps to prevent or reduce some the uncomfortable side effects such as back pain, constipation, swelling and fatigue and reduces the risk of gestational diabetes.

Pre-Natal Aqua Fitness classes offer the added benefit of buoyancy and the feeling of weightlessness which can be a great relief during mid-late pregnancy. The water has a massaging effect on sore muscles and swollen joints and is a great way to work out without adding further strain on the body. It is not necessary to know how to swim or to put your face in the water when participating in Prenatal AquaFitness, however, women should feel comfortable in the deep water with assistance from a flotation support (noodle).

After baby arrives, Post-Natal classes are a great opportunity to get out of the house with your baby and work out with other new moms and their babies in a class specifically designed for post-partum recovery. These classes offer a combination of cardiovascular and strengthening exercises that target major muscles groups and re-condition the core.

Pregnancy and post-partum can be lonely and challenging times for many women. Attending a class that is specially designed for pre & post natal women provides the opportunity to meet other moms & moms-to-be, share experiences and improve one’s physical, social and emotional well-being.

Sign up for a class today!

Winter Session Pre & Post-Natal Classes:

Pre-Natal Fitness
Mondays | 6:00-6:45pm
Beginning January 6
Barcode: 86317
M$60 NM$90 (10 classes x 45 minutes)
Participants must have their physician or midwife complete a Par Med X for Pregnancy form and bring it by the second class.

Pre-Natal Aqua Fitness
Wednesdays | 6:00-6:45pm
Beginning January 8
Barcode: 86318
M$66 NM$99 (11 classes x 45 minutes)
Participants must have their physician or midwife complete a Par Med X for Pregnancy form and bring it by the second class.

Post-Natal Fitness
Mondays | 12:00-1:00pm
Beginning January 6
Barcode: 91791
M$80 NM$120 (10 classes x 60 minutes)

Post-Natal Fitness
Thursdays | 10:30-11:30am
Beginning January 6
Barcode: 86320
M$88 NM$132 (11 classes x 60 minutes)

To register call 403-237-2393 or visit for more information and full course listings.

Tai Chi Offers a Wealth of Benefits for Mind & Body

On Saturdays beginning January 11, Saddletowne YMCA will be offering registered Tai Chi classes from 11-12:30.

The instructor will teach 24-form, 48-form & Tai Chi Sword, Dong-Moon Tai Chi. Dong Moon 24-forms & 48-forms have a similar sequence to Chinese Yang style Tai Chi, however the styles differ in the more detailed skills.

Some of the benefits you can expect from Tai Chi are:

  1. Stronger lower body and increased upper body flexibility which helps to maintain function & independence, improve balance and prevent falls or injuries resulting from falls.
  2. Cleansing of internal organs through various actions that stimulate and strengthen the core thus improving digestion and assisting the body to purge toxins and fatty elements.
  3. Stabilized metabolism and improved circulation which helps to protect against or improve various cardiovascular diseases.
  4. Stress reduction, improved memory and concentration and a sense of calm and well-being through brain engaging activities.

As Tai Chi is an art that requires practice and progression through various skills that build upon each other, it is important to register early and practice regularly.

Sign up for a class today!

Saturdays | 11:00-12:30pm
Starting January 11
Barcode: 87289
M$99 NM$149 (11 classes)

To register call 403-237-2393 or visit for more information and our full course listings.