All posts by Lisa Kingston

Kettlebell Bootcamp at the Eau Claire YMCA

Starts Friday November 1st  12:00-1:00pm – Space is limited.



Learn the exercises that are unique to the kettlebell to enhance the effectiveness of your strength training and improve overall fitness results.

Please call 403-781-1682 for more information or to register today.



Come Zumba with us at the Eau Claire YMCA

Zumba – one of the top 10 trends in fitness for the second year in a row.


Wednesdays 1:15-2:15 pm Zumba Gold

Wednesdays 6:30-7:30pm Zumba

Move and smile your way through this fun and invigorating workout. No dance experience required.

Programs start October 30th

For more information please call 403-781-1684.

Eau Claire YMCA Halloween Howler – Sat. Oct. 26th

Save the date and join us for this fun family event, Saturday October 26 from 2-3:30pm.

Dress in costume for a howling good time. Crafts, games, music and a Halloween treat. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.

Free family event. To register please call 403-269-6701

Youth Programs at the Eau Claire YMCA

YMCA Calgary is dedicated to making sure our youth get the skills and experiences needed to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Through regular physical activity, organized sports, leadership and mentoring programs, YMCA programs will help develop you youth giving them a place to Belong, to Grow, to Thrive and to Lead.

Youth Programs include: Parkour, Soccer, Volleyball, Steve Nash Basketball, Floor Hockey, Badminton, Swim lessons, H20 Extreme, Recreational Swim Club

* Financial assistance is available.

Leadership Programs include: Jr. Lifeguard Club, Babysitting Certification, Leaders, Adventures, Leaders in Training, Active Y Kids.

* These programs are free of charge

Other options available for your youth to experience the Eau Claire YMCA –

Youth open basketball (supervised open basketball Saturdays 12-1pm)

Youth open badminton (Sundays 1-2pm)

Teen Night (ages 12-17 Fridays 7-10pm),

H20-Extreme (ages 8-12 Fridays 6-7pm).

Jr. Squash Drills (Ages 7-11 Saturdays 10-11am)

Aboriginal Active Life Drop-in (offered to Aboriginal youth ages 13 to 30, Tuesday evenings) For more information, contact the Aboriginal Community Outreach Coordinator at 403-537-1723.

*These opportunities are available free of charge for members and minimal drop in cost for non members.

For more information on these or any other programs please call – 403-269-6701

10 Reasons to Love Oatmeal

Your grandma and the Scots ate oats because they are inexpensive and grow anywhere. I eat it for its taste and nutrition and many other benefits. It’s on my list of Powerfoods that I eat regularly.

It’s really true what the cereal TV commercials say about those “crunchy oat clusters.” They are good for you, particularly if you make your own.

10 Reasons to Love Oatmeal
1. Low calorie food; stops cravings. A cup is only 130 calories! It also stays in your stomach longer, making you feel full longer. You will have less hunger and cravings.

2. Provides high levels of fiber, low levels of fat, and high levels of
It’s on the short list for the highest protein levels of any grain.

3. Stabilizes blood sugar and reduces risk of diabetes (type 2) The high
fiber and complex carbohydrates slow down the conversion of this whole food to
simple sugars. The high levels of magnesium nourish the body’s proper use of
glucose and insulin secretion.

4.Removes your bad cholesterol (without affecting your good cholesterol). Many
studies have shown that the unique fiber in oatmeal called beta-glucan, has
beneficial effects on cholesterol levels.

5. Gluten-free safe. I am gluten sensitive and have no problem with oatmeal. If you are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease there is some cause for concern. Oats lack many of the prolamines (proteins) found in wheat (gluten) but oats do contain avenin.
Avenin is a prolamine that is considered toxic to the intestinal mucosa of
avenin-sensitive individuals. Oats can also contain gluten from nearby wheat
field contamination and processing facilities. Many studies have shown that
many celiacs can consume wheat free oats with no problems.

6. Contains lignans which protect against heart disease and cancer. Oatmeal,
like many whole grains, contains plant lignans, which are converted by intestinal flora into mammalian lignans. One lignan, called enterolactone, is thought to protect against breast and other hormone-dependent cancers as well as heart disease.

7. Contains unique antioxidants beneficial for heart disease. A study
at Tufts University shows that the unique antioxidants in oatmeal called called avenanthramides, help prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

8. Protects against heart failure. A Harvard study on 21,000 participants over 19 years showed that found that men who enjoyed a daily morning bowl of whole grain (but not refined) cereal had a 29 percent lower risk of heart failure. Guess
what grain is most easily found and prepared unrefined – oats.

9. Enhances immune response to disease. The unique fiber in oatmeal called beta-gluten also has been shown to helps neutrophils travel to the site of an infection more
quickly and it also enhances their ability to eliminate the bacteria they find there.

10. It tastes good! All oats whether in flakes or groats form have gone through a heat process which gives them their rich nutty flavor. This keeps them from spoiling. They have also been hulled. This process does not strip away all the bran and germ allowing them to retain a concentrated source of fiber and nutrients .

This means however, that oats are not raw and will not sprout.

Different Kinds of Oatmeal: All the benefits mentioned above are actually for oats.
Most people don’t think about oats – they think about oatmeal. In fact most people could not identify whole oats if they were sitting in front of them.

There are many different levels of processing of oatmeal. Generally the larger the
“flake” – as in rolled oats or the bigger the seed or groat – as in steel cut oats – the less processed it will be, the more nutrients it retains and the slower it will be to digest. It will also be slower to cook though.

Most people think steel cut oats are the least processed since that is how the largest groats are labeled, but some of the most processed oats like instant and baby are also steel cut.

Interesting fact: Oats were the favorite cereal of Prophet Muhammad.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Pumpkin pie is one of my most favorite American desserts – it’s so comforting, so clearly connected to that most wonderful time of year, Thanksgiving, where no matter what race or religion, families and friends gather to celebrate how grateful
they are for each other. What better way to start your day?


  • 1 (14-ounce) can pumpkin puree (the unseasoned kind)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk, or water
  • 2 tablespoons raisins (golden or regular)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice OR 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom plus 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups quick cooking oatmeal(not the instant kind)
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • Honey or maple sugar, for serving

In large saucepan over high heat, combine the pumpkin puree, water, milk, raisins, salt, and pumpkin pie spice (alternative spices). Bring to a boil. Add the oatmeal.
Turn the heat down and cook according to your oatmeal instructions; mine usually takes about 15 minutes. Stir often.

Meanwhile, in a small cast iron skillet over medium heat, toast the pepitas until they’re fragrant and a gentle golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Once the oatmeal is cooked (each grain should be tender), serve with honey or maple sugar on the side, pepitas to sprinkle on top.

Per Serving
(without optional add ins); Calories: 282; Total Fat: 9 grams; Saturated Fat: 1
grams; Protein: 11 grams; Total carbohydrates: 43 grams; Sugar: 8 grams; Fiber:
10 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Sodium: 220 milligrams

Read more:

Exercise as good “as medicines” in treating disease

According to scientists, exercise maybe just as good as drugs to treat heart disease and should be included as a comparison when new drugs are being dveloped and tested.

Read more:

YMCA Calgary can help on the journey to health and wellness. Check out our new programs starting the week of October 28th!

Yoga, Pilates, Fusion, Zumba, TRX, Kettlebell, XFit, Outdoor Bootcamp and many more.


NEW! Jr. Squash Drills – FREE

Ages 7-11yrs

Intended for first time players up to the aspiring pro, players will be catered to in order to facilitate learning.

Emphasis is on sportsmanship and fun.

Learn the rules of squash in a fun atmosphere promoted by mini games that will encourage hand eye coordination, footwork, court awareness and fitness. Additional practice lessons will be available for all participants.

Saturdays 10:00-11:00am – starts September 21st.

Please call 403-269-6701 to register for this free program!

Registered Programs – it’s not too late!

It’s not too late to join in the YMCA registered programs! Sign up today!

Visit member services to register today!

Physical Literacy and Youth

Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE) describes a physically literate child this way: “Individuals who are physically literate move with competence and confidence in a wide variety of physical activities in multiple environments that benefit the healthy development of the whole person.”

Research has shown that being physically active later in life depends on an individual’s ability to feel confident in an activity setting. That confidence most often comes from having learned fundamental movement and sport skills, or physical literacy, as a child. Physical literacy is an indispensible means for active participation in the societies and the development and maintenance of good health.


Physical literacy is an extremely important aspect in youth development because it provides the fundamental movement skills needed to enjoy the wide range of physical activities that are available to us. Basic motor skills are the building blocks for more specialized movement skills and patterns that an athlete will need to reach greater levels of achievement.


Recent studies show that youth who have high physical literacy levels have an increased confidence in their abilities, a greater likelihood of participating in sport, and have a higher tendency to remain active as they age.

Fundamental movement and sports skills – also called “physical literacy” – help a child learn to move with confidence and control. There are many benefits to learning movement skills. It enhances brain function in the early years. It improves motor skills, balance, strength, posture, coordination, and sleep patterns. It enhances confidence, social skills, and self esteem.

Think of how important learning the alphabet and phonics are to eventually reading novels. In the same way, developing fundamental movement skills helps children to be successful in sports later on.


Youth Badminton


In addition, the growing body of research from Canada and around the world shows that children who engage in regular physical activity have improved academic performance.

Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that children and youth accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity per day. Yet research shows that only 9% of the boys and 4% of girls achieve that goal.

Benefits of Physical Literacy

  • Enhances academic performance. Basic classroom skills including arithmetic, readhing, memorization and categorization improve with sufficient physical activity.
  • Is beneficial psycologically, improving self estime regardless of the childs weight
  • Improves skeletal health, which in turn reduces their risk of developing osteoporosis in future. Daily weight bearing, of even brief duration during adolescence is critical for enhancing bone development that affects skeletal health throughout life.
  • Has a positive impact on behavior and healthy lifestyles. Among young people, high levels of fitness are associated with a decline in smoking and drinking behavior and healthyier eating habits.
  • Results in having less body fat.