Tag Archives: stretch

Fitness Fundamentals

Fitness isn’t necessarily what it used to be.  Fitness is a word that brings specific images to mind and for a lot of us, that’s a very specific image of the roots of the word fitness: leg warmers, spandex, and more spandex.  Changing the idea of what fitness is has come over time but it looks like we’re going in a good direction, changing that image to one of overall Wellness. That wellness comes from five different aspects:

Cardiovascular Endurance – Conditioning of the cardiovascular system in the body.  The ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues, and take waste materials away for a sustained period of time Example – biking, running, swimming

Muscular Strength – The maximum force that a muscle can deliver force in in one repetition

Muscular Endurance –  The ability of a muscle to deliver force over a sustained period of time

Flexibility – The movement of a muscle around a joint in a full Range of Motion (ROM).  Important to note: flexibility is different from stretching, stretching actually increases flexibility

Body Composition – The body’s make up of lean muscle, bone, fat mass, and tissues/organs.  The ratio of these masses in the body is considered your body composition

So remember that fitness is more than spandex and leg-warmers.  It’s about our overall wellness, including our cardiovascular and muscular systems, lifestyle, sleep and eating patterns.

Let’s be well.


YSurvive is Coming in February

IMG_0111 IMG_0114

Keep your motivation going after the New Year with some friendly and healthy competition.

Yes YSurvive is back for its sixth year! This is a great way to meet new people, try new activities, shake up your routine and stick with fitness goals.

All YMCA Calgary members, volunteers and staff are welcome to join this fun event. Just stop by Member Services to register, get your t-shirt and be placed on a tribe with a captain. The tribe that earns the MOST points during the competition wins bragging rights and special recognition on the YSurvive Cup!

To earn points you can run, swim, lift weights, climb, shoot basketball, play badminton or participate in yoga and fitness classes. There will also be special challenges, themes and prizes!

Don’t miss out on all the fun! Registration starts in January and the competition runs February 2 through March 9. Watch for details in displays at all locations.

NEW Yoga Classes @ Saddletowne Y

Calling all Yogis & Yoginis!
Saddletowne is happy to be offering the following registered Yoga classes starting this Spring:

Mondays 4:45-5:45pm
Yoga – Active – Gentle
Starting March 31st
Barcode # 91864

Mondays 7:00-8:00pm
Prenatal Yoga *NEW*
Starting March 31st
Barcode# 93132

Wednesdays 7:00-8:00pm
Yoga Active *NEW*
Starting April 2nd
Barcode# 93134

Fridays 12:00-1:00pm
Yoga – Active – Yin Yang *NEW*
Starting April 4th
Barcode# 93137

Call 403-237-2393 to register. Check out our full program listings at ymcacalgary.org.

Good Karma

Have You seen “Karma” on thr drop-in fitness schedule and wondered what it is?
Karma is a gentle yoga-based stretch class taught by certified yoga instructors.   Karma is a great place for all ability levels.  From beginner to advanced, Karma offers something for everyone.

The practice of Karma Yoga is designed to increase your flexibility and focus.
Karma will help to revitalize your body and spirit, incorporating the disciplines of proper breathing techniques, stress reduction, and muscular strength.
Karma is offered on Mondays at 7:15pm, and Fridays at 5:00pm at Shawnessy YMCA.

So now you know!

Kicking Off YSurvive

YSurvive is back for another year of healthy competition!

The Shawnessy YSurvive Kick-Off event will be held on Tuesday February 5th, 2013 starting at 7:15pm in Gym #2*.

Attending the Kick-Off will earn you and your team bonus points, so be sure to come down to the Shawnessy YMCA (in your stylish YSurvive shirt) and take part in a 45 minute fitness class with a variety of components including step, strength training, bootcamp intervals and an amazing stretch!  Taught by your team leaders, it’s a great way to get to know one another. 

*Open Basketball will begin at 8pm on Tuesday, February 5th

New Drop in Class@noon at Saddletowne

Hello all

Today was the first day of our new Fitness Director, Kaia Kjar, noon BARBELL BLAST drop-in class.  I was one of the participants and I really loved this class!  Kaia was awesome and we really worked up a great sweat!  I loved the new time of day for this class and she has a lot of knowledge and expertise to share with all.  The stretch was especially good and hit all the right spots.  Why not come out next Wednesday and see for  yourself?

Ideas for Staying Active at a Desk

For many people, a day at work means a day sitting at a desk. Sitting for long periods of time can cause bad posture, discomfort, numbness. Holding the body upright also increases tension and sore muscles and joints.

Find a Good Chair

A good chair can do wonders. Your shoulders should not be slouched, your back should be straight and the top of your computer screen should be level with your eyes. If you cannot work without looking up or down, then you need to adjust the height of your screen. Feet should be flat on the floor.

Stretching Exercises

Every so often, make sure you stretch your arms, legs, neck and torso while sitting. This will help prevent you from feeling stiff.

This article by Work Awesome has some great stretching and exercises to do while sitting.

Stand up Take a Walk

Continuous blood circulation in your body will keep it from discomfort or from getting too strained. If you can, take longer breaks such as a short walk outside and get some fresh air. Don’t forget to use the stairs.

Give your Eyes a Break.

Looking at a computer screen all day can also strain your eyes. Give your eyes a break by looking around the room every so often. If you’re lucky enough to work near a window, even better! This can help lower the chance of eye irritation and headaches. Another technique is to rub your hands together, then place your cupped hands over your eyes.

Convert to a Standing Desk

If your work allows it, a standing desk could help keep your body active. This article by Smarterware explains the benefits of a standing desk.

Other tips to keep your body moving throughout the day:

  • Park farther away.
  • Stand up and walk to the file cabinet instead of rolling your chair.
  • Don’t email but rather walk over and talk to a coworker.
  • Take the scenic route to the bathroom.
  • During lunch, go outside and take a long walk.

Avoid Injury: Yoga for Sports

A lot of sports injuries come from repetative motion or from imbalance in posture. Writer Tiffany Cruishank tells about different yoga poses that can help avoid injuries on her posting on YogaJournal.com:

“A yoga practice encourages you to take inventory of your body as you practice. The more awareness you have of how your body feels from day to day or from pose to pose, the more likely you are to notice tight or injury-prone areas of the body that need attention before full-blown injuries can occur.”

Click here to read the full article on www.YogaJournal.com.

Contributing to a Healthy Community

Strength Equipment

When doing a strength-training routine using dumb-bells, kettle-bells or bar-bells, please check with your weight-floor staff as to the appropriate space to do your workout. The designated stretching area is for stretching and core work only; free-weight work in that area is unsafe for everyone.

Tips on Getting Back on Track After the Holidays

Written by Social Media Youth Volunteer, Anne Liao.

The winter holidays have put everyone into a festive mood and most of us have probably found out that transitioning into the new year is difficult. There’s a lot more to do now after the Holidays. Here are some tips to help manage busy lives and to get back on track.

  • Use an agenda or calendar to keep track of obligations and dead lines. The agenda/calendar can be an electronic or physical copy, whichever fits your needs the best. It’ll help with organization and you won’t forget your important dates.
  • Set S.M.A.R.T. goals to help get things done. You may already be familiar with the S.M.A.R.T. goals but for those who don’t know here’s a brief overview.
  • Specific – You are more likely to achieve a specific goal than a general one. You can start by answering who, what, when, where, why and how.
  • Measurable – Make sure there is a measurable way to see if you are progressing towards your goal.
  • Attainable – The goal you set should be reasonable and possible to achieve based on your skills.
  • Realistic – Choose a goal that you are willing to work towards.
  • Timely – Set a time frame for the goal. Avoid “someday”.
  • Set aside a couple minutes each day to exercise. The length can vary depending on your schedule but even 10 – 15 minutes of stretching or running up and down the stairs can help relax your muscles and relieve some stress.
  • Reward yourself. Getting back on track is difficult and if you’ve stayed on top of your workload or achieved a goal then you deserve a reward.