Tag Archives: bike

One Step at a Time

Part Two – Putting One Foot in Front of the Other; the Beginning of Cardiovascular Wellness.

Getting yourself moving sounds like an easy step, but for someone who is beginning their wellness journey for the first time, or someone who is starting to work out again after some time off, it can be really daunting.

Try Different Things The first place a beginner heads to when they walk in the door is the treadmill. Keep in mind that there are a lot of different things you can try when getting started, but overall the best place for anyone new to the gym is the place that makes you feel comfortable, safe, and secure.  I’m a fitness professional, and the idea of hanging out on a treadmill for an hour sounds absolutely dreadful to me.  The key to finding a successful cardiovascular program is to change it up and find something that you like to do.  The treadmill might be your favorite place in the gym, others will find the elliptical, track, or bike your happy place.  If you want to try something and don’t know how or are intimidated by it, please ask us!  There are staff working in the weight room at all of our facilities and as active people, we would much rather talk to and help our members than sit at a desk!

Not Everyone is Built to Run Every single one of us is different. Our body’s physiology and genetic code plays a great deal into what our optimal style of workout is.  There are different muscle fibres in each of us that will make certain styles of physical activity easier than others.  If you absolutely dread long distances, try inserting some higher intensity intervals into your workout.  An example of this is to run a lap, do a set of jumping jacks, running stairs, or jump rope etc… in-between resistance training (weight lifting) sets.  So of you don’t like to run, don’t stress! There’s always something else to try!

Find Your Target Heart Rate Zone, and Stay Within It! An individual’s target heart rate zone (THRZ) is based on age.  The easiest way to figure out your THRZ is with this basic equation: 220-(age)= Heart Rate Max (HRM)  This is a number that we should aim to never surpass when doing cardiovascular activity.  Multiply that number by .6 and you will get 60% of your HRM.  Multiply that first number again by .8 to find 80% HRM.  During your cardiovascular workout, you would want to monitor your heart rate and keep it between 60% and 80% of your HRM For example, if you were 25 years old, your math would look like this:

  • 220 – 25 = 195 beats per minute (BPM) as your Heart Rate Max
  • 195 x .6 = 117 BPM
  • 195 x .8 = 156 BPM

This would mean that you want your heart rate somewhere in between 117 and 156 BPM during your cardiovascular workout.

Other Options Hiking groups, team sports or group fitness classes are an amazing way to sneak in a little cardio without even noticing it! It’s fun, it’s interactive, and you can meet new people who are living a healthy balanced life to help keep you on track. Here at the YMCA there are numerous different options to get involved in both aspects.  There are registered and drop-in group fitness classes offered at every branch in the city. We also offer climbing wall classes, swim and aquatic fitness classes, as well as some sport options.  These can differ from branch to branch, so check what is offered at your home branch. A lot of towns and cities have different recreational organizations to help people get involved with team sports as well. In Calgary, a great resource to check out the Calgary Sport and Social Club.  You can join a sport by registering a full team, partial team, or an as individual to make up a full team.

Build the Habit If you miss a day, don’t get discouraged! It’s all about putting one foot in front of the other, and sometimes a stumble will happen.  This is where you need to pick yourself up, dust off those hands and take another step.  Think to yourself the number twenty one. 21. XXI.  It takes twenty one days to build a habit.  Twenty one days to notice a real difference in your physiology. Twenty one days.  Keep putting one foot in front of the other and you’ll hit your stride.  You’ve got this.

Happy Trails!


New for 2015 – Mountain Bike Camp at Camp Chief Hector YMCA – bikes provided

Overnight camp for 10-year old boys and girls – Mistaya – Mountain Bike Option
Camp Chief Hector YMCA
July 5 – 17 | females
July 19 – 31 | males
Aug 2 – 14 | males
$1180 + GST

UPDATE: Recently we were able to acquire mountain bikes and helmets from Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC).

The bikes are the ACE Mountain Bikes. They are excellent for riders between 9 and 11 years-old. They have been tested on-site here, and they perform very well. They will be tuned up before each program.The helmets are the MET Xilo Helmet for children and youth. They are a quality helmet, with padding and adjustable straps to ensure a proper and comfortable fit on all children.We would ask that campers use the camp-supplied mountain bikes and helmets while at camp this summer. This will be a convenience to many. It will provide a level-playing-field for the campers, and it will assist with the tuning and maintenance by the MTB program staff at camp.

Campers and counsellors will spend two days of their camp experience exploring our trails and surrounding natural areas. The group is introduced to the basics of mountain biking technique and simple bike maintenance by a staff member who is also a certified cycling coach; trained as an Alberta Bicycle Association Community Cycling- Initiation (CCI). Before their half day (2-4 hour) rides, the group learns to manage the risks associated with travel on trails, group management and wildlife concerns. Over the course of their stay at camp, the group will set out on 4 of these half day rides, introducing and reviewing skills learned on each trip. This program is intended for novice riders.

Read the full description of Mistaya Mountain Bike Camp.

As with all camps at Camp Chief Hector YMCA, financial assistance is available.

kids on mountain bikes


10 Tips for Biking Safely

Men with bikes
 

10 Tips for Biking Safely

Biking is a fun and healthy family activity, and a great way to get from A to B. But don’t forget about some basic safety tips.

1 – Wear a well-fitting helmet. Everyone should wear a helmet, even adults and toddlers in bike trailers. The helmet should be snug and cover the forehead, two fingers should fit between the chin strap and chin. By law, all cyclists under 18 need to wear a helmet. Four provinces in Canada have laws that all cyclists must wear a helmet.

2 – Know your hand signals. Let the cars and people around you know what you’re going to do. You can find hand signals here.

3 – Have a bell and use it. Again, let cyclists and pedestrians around you know what you’re going to do, especially when you are coming up behind them to pass.

4 – Know what’s around you. Be aware of possible hazards around you, including other vehicles, road or path conditions, pedestrians, pets, and even parked cars.

5 – Be cautious coming down hills or going around blind corners. Remember that the uphill cyclist has the right of way.

6 – Walk your bike on crosswalks. Crosswalks are for pedestrians, so become a pedestrian by walking your bike. If you would like to ride through the intersection, remember to remain a vehicle and cross the intersection on the roadway rather than in the crosswalk.

7 – Only ride on bike paths or the street and give way to pedestrians. When you are riding your bike you are a vehicle (ie. car). Sidewalks, like crosswalks, are for pedestrians.

8 – Obey the rules of the road. Again, when you are riding your bike, you are a vehicle. Stop at stop signs and red lights, stay in your lane, pass on the left, ride single file, go with, not against, the flow of traffic and give pedestrians the right of way.

9 – Wear bright colours so you can be seen. Cars, other cyclists, and pedestrians can’t see you if it’s getting dark and you’re wearing all black.

10 – Have a reflector or light if you plan on biking during dusk or dark. You’re a lot smaller than a car and drivers have a lot less visibility. Be seen.

CAA has a great Bike Safety website with tips for cyclists and drivers to share the road, a quiz and even a cyclist road test. If you ride on the road a lot, check it out.

Read our blog post about 6 Great Things About Biking here.


It’s YYC Bike Month!

Family Biking
 

#yycbikemonth

The City of Calgary has declared June to be Bike Month. There are events throughout June all over the city.

Check out the City of Calgary’s website for events and a fun checklist of things to with your bike.

There’s even an iphone with maps of the City of Calgary’s Pathways & Bikeways! (I’ve downloaded it and it’s great!)

 

6 Great Things About Biking

1 — You can cycle alone or with a group. My husband and I love biking together on the paths along the Bow River, the trails in Fish Creek Park, or on trails in Canmore and Banff.

2 – It’s free! Yes, you need a bike – but the one-time cost opens up an infinite number of days of free activities.

3 – Anyone can go on a bike ride! Babies can ride in seats or trailers, toddlers can ride tricycles or bicycles with training wheels, and kids and youth can get their very own bikes in whatever colour they choose. I grew up going on family bike rides along the trails in Red Deer – a caravan of six bicycles in a row, Dad leading and Mom being a watchful rearguard.

4 – Biking is easy on the joints. My brother has had multiple knee surgeries and running is just too painful now, but biking he can do with ease.

5 – You get to be outside and see the scenery. One of the best parts of biking is discovering new paths, new neighbourhoods, and new areas of nature. You can enjoy warm weather and cooler weather alike, all you need is a light jacket and the exercise of pedaling to keep you warm.

6 – You can go fast or slow. Some folks enjoy the speed and the breeze, others prefer meandering along quiet paths or streets. I love seeing how fast I can get going, then tackling a big hill, and then I cool down with a slow meandering pedal through a neighbourhood and enjoy the scenery of nature and the always interesting diversity among the facades of older homes.

 

Before you head out on your family bike ride, check out our 10 Tips for Biking Safely blog post.

 


YMCA Spin for Strong Kids – March 3

It’s time to kick off the 2014 YMCA Strong Kids Campaign! This year we’ll hold another signature cycling event to raise $1.5 million to benefit 25,000 local youth and children.

Spin for YMCA Strong Kids will be held on Monday, March 3! Sign up to ride a stationary bike for a 30-minute spot (or more) and start collecting pledges. Raising donations for YMCA Strong Kids means that children and youth have positive experiences, make healthy choices, feel connected with others and learn the skills required to become leaders.

Visit your YMCA branch to sign up. Don’t miss out on the fun!

 


TODAY is the 2013 YMCA Strong Kids Kick-Off!

2013 YMCA Strong Kids Kick-Off event is happening TODAY at all YMCA branches in Calgary!

Please join us as we celebrate the children and youth in our community! The 2013 YMCA Strong Kids goal is to raise $1.5 million to benefit 20,000 local youth and children. Raising donations for YMCA Strong Kids means that children and youth have positive experiences, make healthy choices, feel connected with others and learn the skills required to become leaders.

Want to get involved? YMCA Spin for Strong Kids is a great way to get active while helping out a great cause!

It’s not too late to participate in Spin for Strong Kids! Every YMCA in Calgary will have spin bikes in the lobby today—all of our fantastic staff, volunteers, participants and members who want to participate will be taking turns spinning for 30 minutes each–raising money for our charity, YMCA Strong Kids. Visit Member Services to see how you can participate!

One in four kids coming to YMCA needs financial assistance. 100% of all donations raised by YMCA Strong Kids goes directly to children and youth. Administrative costs are covered from YMCA’s operating budget; not from donations received.


Strong Kids Spin

Shawnessy’s fourth annual Spin for Strong Kids will be taking place on March 4!

Join us at Shawnesssy YMCA beginning at 6am on Monday March 4th for a 30 minute ride, that will show your support for the development of children in our YMCA community.

For all you YSurvivors, it’s a perfect way to get some bonus points for your team!  Pledge packages are now ready for pick-up at Member Services.
For more information, please call 403-256-5533.


It’s Not Too Late to Sign-Up for YMCA Spin for Strong Kids!

YMCA Spin for Strong Kids is a great way to get active while helping out a great cause! Please join us on March 4 for our 2013 YMCA Strong Kids Kick-Off and celebrate the children and youth in our community.

How do I Get Involved?

Sign-up at your YMCA branch. Every YMCA in Calgary will have spin bikes in the lobby all day long.  Members, participants, staff, volunteers and ANYONE who wants to participate will be taking turns spinning for 30 minutes each–raising money for our charity, YMCA Strong Kids. Visit Member Services to sign-up for a bike and get ready to spin and have fun on March 4!

What is YMCA Strong Kids?

Did you know YMCA is a charity? Raising donations for YMCA Strong Kids means that children and youth have positive experiences, make healthy choices, feel connected with others and learn the skills required to become leaders. The 2013 YMCA Strong Kids goal is to raise $1.5 million to benefit 20,000 local youth and children.

One in four kids coming to YMCA needs financial assistance. 100% of all donations raised by YMCA Strong Kids goes directly to children and youth. Administrative costs are covered from YMCA’s operating budget; not from donations received.


It’s Not Too Late to Sign-Up for YMCA Spin for Strong Kids!

YMCA Spin for Strong Kids is a great way to get active while helping out a great cause! Please join us on March 4 for our 2013 YMCA Strong Kids Kick-Off and celebrate the children and youth in our community.

How do I Get Involved?

Sign-up at your YMCA branch. Every YMCA in Calgary will have spin bikes in the lobby all day long.  Members, participants, staff, volunteers and ANYONE who wants to participate will be taking turns spinning for 30 minutes each–raising money for our charity, YMCA Strong Kids. Visit Member Services to sign-up for a bike and get ready to spin and have fun on March 4!

What is YMCA Strong Kids?

Did you know YMCA is a charity? Raising donations for YMCA Strong Kids means that children and youth have positive experiences, make healthy choices, feel connected with others and learn the skills required to become leaders. The 2013 YMCA Strong Kids goal is to raise $1.5 million to benefit 20,000 local youth and children.

One in four kids coming to YMCA needs financial assistance. 100% of all donations raised by YMCA Strong Kids goes directly to children and youth. Administrative costs are covered from YMCA’s operating budget; not from donations received.


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