Tag Archives: class

Let the Rhythm Move You!

Inspiration comes in many forms, for me music is a huge motivator.  I’ve always been a musically inclined person, even if I didn’t know it.  I started in elementary school playing the recorder, graduated to the clarinet for junior and senior high school, and I still play the clarinet today, mind you not nearly as well anymore.  I have always been able to feel and move to the beat of the song but don’t be mistaken, I dance like Elaine from “Seinfeld”.  There I go dating myself again.

Music is an expression of feeling or mood, even an expression of identity for some.  I have several playlists that I listen to when working out, and they’re all based what my program of the day consists of as well as the mood I am in walking into my workout.  I edit my playlists about once a month to update my motivation and keep from overplaying these delightful gems.

When I want to hit the cardio hard, I focus on pop music, whether it’s current top 40 or from another generation all together, if it makes me smile and want to dance, it makes the cut.  This week’s current cardio-killer favorites include Justin Timberlake’s “Cant Stop The Feeling”, Will.I.Am and Britney Spears “Scream & Shout”, Nicki Manaj “Super Bass”, and Men Without Hats “Safety Dance”. Love them or hate them my friends, but they make me smile and move a little bit faster.

Weight lifting/resistance training is a completely different beast for me.  My focus and mindset changes, as I suddenly have to pay close attention to my posture and form as well as breathing and core engagement.  With so many more factors to be considered, I need something rock to focus..  My favorite lifting anthems right now include Rise Against “Prayer Of The Refugee”, Metallica “Better Than You”, and Social Distortion “Story Of My Life”.

Cool down and stretching are important components of fitness that are forgotten or skipped quite frequently.  I have made my self an amazing chill playlist to enjoy at the end of my workout to inspire me to stay those five minutes longer and work on my balance, range of motion, and relaxation.  Current favorites include The Gaslight Anthem’s “Bring It On”, Pearl Jam’s “Release”, and Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You”.

I’m pretty passionate about both wellness and music, so I’m elated that the two can go hand in hand for me.  I feel like my musical tastes are a part of me and I’m happy to share a snippet of myself in the form of musical identity with you.  Take the time to build a stellar playlist.  Keep a list in your “notes” app on your phone of songs you hear and decide you love so you can download and add it later.  Something that makes you want to dance, sing and have a great time.  It’ll brighten up your day, kick up the intensity in your workout, and leave you feeling refreshed and in a better mood walking out of the gym.

Shake it Off!


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.

 


Youth Drop-in Hip Hop and Latin Freestyle !

Hey Youth! Join us at Eau Claire during Flames Friday tonight from 6:30-7:30 PM for some Hip Hop and Latin Freestyle Dancing!

hip hop dance girlsOur dance instructor, Melvi Alvarado, is one of our former YMAP students. He is currently a part of Dance Fusion Calgary and has generously donated his time to teach some of Eau Claire’s youth the ins and outs of Hip Hop and Latin dancing.

Melvi will be joining us every Friday from 6:30-7:30 until the middle of December. Come by and check it out!


Bridal Bootcamp for Couples

Do you know anyone getting married in the summer that would like that extra push?

Eau Claire YMCA Fitness Director Cathi Molson is starting a Bridal Bootcamp for 10 couples staring Monday, May 19 at 5:30pm.

Monday nights 5:30-6:30pm

May 19-June 23  (6 weeks)
Register with course code 93269

June 30-Aug 4 (6 weeks)
Register with course code 93270

Get Fit Together! Perfect for couples who are planning to get married and want to begin the path to a healthy lifestyle.

Cost (per person): YMCA Members $60.00 | Non-members $72.00

couples exercising together


How to measure your portion size

Portion control is easy when you know what a proper serving size looks like. Discover easy ways to practice portion control when you’re at the food court, making a snack or sitting down to dinner.
Along with our expanding waistlines, the sizes of our bowls, cups and plates have also grown over the years. Just look at antique dinnerware as a comparison. Plate diameters are about 2 inches (5 cm) smaller on old porcelain, whereas today’s new sets of china include plates that may be mistaken for serving platters. Using smaller plates, bowls and cups can help cut down on portion size, since petite serving vessels hold less food. Some people even use salad plates for their main course in an effort to curb gigantic helpings.

Select a plate that is 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm) in diameter and arrange your favourite healthy foods on it to look like this:

• Half-filled with vegetables and salad
• Quarter-filled with starch (rice or pasta)
• Quarter-filled with protein (such as fish, chicken breast or beans)
• One serving of fruit on the side

Food court options, such as plates of piled-high rice with chicken souvlaki or chow mien, provide enough food for two dinners. When preparing dinners at home, you have more control over the size of the plate and the amount of food you serve, so you can control the portion you consume.

Look no farther than your own two hands. your hands are the guides to proper portions

Here’s how to estimate the amount you should eat.

The palm of your hand: one serving (75 g/2.5 oz) of chicken, meat, fish or seafood

A closed fist: one serving (1 cup/250 mL) of salad

A cupped hand: one serving (1/2 cup/125 mL) of vegetables or grains, such as pasta or rice

A thumb tip: 1 tsp (5 mL) of added fat, such as oil, butter or margarine

An entire thumb: 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of salad dressing


FREE Community Wellness Day at Saddletowne YMCA

Community Wellness Day Invite

Saddletowne YMCA and the Genesis Centre of Community Wellness will host a Community Wellness Day on Saturday, March 29, 2014. This event is made possible by support from the Norlien Foundation’s Alberta Family Wellness Initiative.

It’s an opportunity for community members to gather and enjoy a day of fun activities and learn about healthy child development and life-long health and wellbeing. The Community Wellness Day will connect participants to relevant community services and provide an opportunity to learn from experts in health and wellness.

What: Free activities and workshops for families

When: Saturday, March 29, 2014 | 12pm-6pm

Where: Saddletowne YMCA in the Genesis Centre of Community Wellness, 7556 Falconridge Blvd NE

Who: Families – adults, youth, kids. Anyone can come!

Activities and services will include:

  • Fun programs for children, youth and adults like preschool open gym, martial arts demonstrations, pre and post natal fitness classes, open family swimming, floorball and open climbing
  • Workshops and presentations from experts in health and wellness  focused on healthy child development, brain development, mental health, heart health and more
  • Representatives from Mount Royal University, University of Calgary Faculty of Nursing and Faculty of Medicine, Norlien Foundation, Alberta Health Services, Man Van (free Prostate Cancer Screening), Mosaic Primary Care Network, and Calgary Public Library
  • Information takeaways from various service providers in the community

Mark your calendar today to bring your family to learn about health and wellness through fun, free activities!

 


Exercise Class Try Outs #2: The Worx

I’ve decided to do something a little bit out of my comfort zone – Try out different fitness classes offered at YMCA Calgary locations.

I will document my experience in each new class here on the YMCA Calgary blog.

The Worx

I decided to try this group fitness class simply because I walked past it one day and it looked like fun. The class is described as:

Total body conditioning class combining circuit training, cardio & strength intervals, and agility drills; this class also focuses on core stabilization and balance.

It was fun! I’m sure I’ll be sore tomorrow, but a good sore I assure you.

The Worx is a large group fitness class where you simply follow what the instructor does. Cathi at Eau Claire called out instructions and encouragement as we did some cardio and free weights.

We had music going as we stepped and squatted at our steppers, and did bicep curls, punches, shoulder presses, and tricep dips with free weights.

It was energetic and tiring. Lots of reps and constant movement make for an all-around whole body workout.

As a first-timer I was a little scared, but it was easy to follow along and Cathi gave us lots of little breaks to rest our muscles and get a sip of water. She also demonstrated variations of the movements for those wanting the easier version or the tougher one.

The Worx was definitely a little bit of everything. I’m glad I went…we’ll see how glad my muscles are tomorrow.

Fitness class


New Karma Yoga Class

Group yoga class

A new Karma Yoga class begins at Eau Claire YMCA on Thursday, March 6, 2014. This drop-in class will run from 12:50-1:30 in Studio C/D.

Karma yoga is a gentle, yoga-based class. It revitalizes body & spirit by blending practices of breathing techniques, stress reduction, flexibility and muscular strength.

Yoga classes at YMCA Calgary locations are taught by certified yoga instructors. This class is suitable for beginners.

Go ahead – get your yogi on!


Exercise Class Try Outs #1: Yoga

I’ve decided to do something a little bit out of my comfort zone – Try out different fitness classes offered at YMCA Calgary locations.

I will document my experience in each new class here on the YMCA Calgary blog.

Group yoga class

Yoga – Passive

I was invited to participate in a lunchtime yoga class. The program guide describes it as:

Tune in to your true self and find peace and belonging within. This yoga class will guide you through slow poses, breath work and meditation in a serene atmosphere intended to create calm, restore energy and promote healing in mind, body and spirit.

I was a little hesitant. I’ve never taken a real yoga class before. I’ve done yoga at home with friends following a video, I’ve done yoga-like classes at the dance studio I danced at when I was younger, but never a real yoga class.

Thankfully, my coworkers who invited me to come along were very welcoming and even set out a mat for me while I changed.

The instructor was very welcoming, came over and introduced herself. The other participants in the class smiled or said hello, or just focused on their breathing and relaxation while lying on their mats waiting for the class to start.

Yoga-passive is a slow moving class focused on breathing. I found it easy to follow along. The instructor demonstrated each pose or movement while describing it in a soft voice. I felt both relaxed and invigorated during this class. I felt like I got a workout but didn’t feel tired like I had just gone running or weightlifting.

Some of the poses were easy for me. Others were more difficult. But looking around the room I did not feel out of place – everyone else was good at some poses and not so good at others.

I’ll be honest though – yoga, even passive yoga – is still a workout.

I was sore for a couple of days after this class. The workout comes from moving and lifting your bodyweight in poses like downward dog.

I think I’ll continue with yoga – I like that it is a stress-reliever, a relaxation, and a workout all at the same time.

Check out this infographic to find out more about the benefits of yoga.


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