YMCA Ukraine Emergency Response Fundraiser

The emergency response fundraisers for YMCA Ukraine hosted by Analu and Carla at the end of February were very successful. Almost  $2000 was raised through their efforts, all of which will go to support YMCA Ukraine. The YMCA plans on using the funds in two different ways. The first will be to partner with other organizations to support the families of the victims of the violence that led to the change in government. The second will be to deliver new YMCA programming.

While YMCA volunteers across Ukraine continue to deliver their regular child and youth programming, they have recognized a need to deliver new programming to address some of the underlying issues in the country. These programs will be focused on helping to build awareness around democracy, tolerance and the building of a peaceful society.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our partners.

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

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

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

Preschool Graduations, Spring Term just around the corner!

The Saddletowne Preschool department is proud to celebrate another round graduates! Our Winter Term is coming to an end, with songs, games, and smiles. We are very proud of all of our students and all that they have accomplished. We have a strong focus on early literacy and playing to learn; and our students strongly embody these elements.

Our Spring Term will begin on March 31st. If you would like to register your child in a fun, and engaging class: please contact our Member Services Desk for descriptions, times and costs, or contact Preschool Director, Shay O’Brien at 403-537-2712

Some exciting classes:

Cookie Monsters: Thursdays from 3:15-4:15 pm

Let your preschooler learn the basics of baking and cooking in a fun, age-appropriate, and messy class!

Imagination Station: Saturdays from 11:00 -12:00 pm

Allow your child to explore their imagination through art, games, and songs! An hour of wonderful play with fantastic instructors; you could hit the gym while your child enjoys Imagination Station



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 April 5
M: $108 NM: $162 (12 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.

Thanks to Canadian Oil Sands Limited for AMAZING Outreach support!!!

Thanks to Canadian Oil Sands not only for making a monetary donation to our OS Geiger School Support Program – but also to John and Laureen for taking the time to visit the kids at the site.   We celebrated with the youth last Wednesday, after learning about Healthy Drinks – did you know there are 2 cups of sugar in an average can of POP?

After celebrating with a special ice cream cake (even Strong Kids can take a break) we headed to the gym for 30 minutes of physical activity including broom sticks and balls, a dodge ball version of the popular Harry Potter theme.

All in all it was a fun afternoon spent connecting our special donors with some really deserving kids.


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 including a brand new Prenatal Yoga class?

Skip to the end of this article for Pre/Post-Natal course offerings or read on for program descriptions.

Pre-Natal Fitness 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 Yoga classes will guide you through slow poses, breath work and relaxation techniques in a serene atmosphere to support your mind, body and spirit in creating a healthy pregnancy, delivery and post-partum recovery.

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!

Spring Session Pre & Post-Natal Classes:

Pre-Natal Fitness
Mondays | 6:00-6:45pm
Beginning March 31
Barcode: 92318
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.

Pre-Natal Yoga *NEW*
Mondays | 7:00-8:00pm
Beginning March 31
Barcode: 93132
M$99 NM$154 (11 classes x 60 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 April 2
Barcode: 92319
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 March 31
Barcode: 88950
M$88 NM$132 (11 classes x 60 minutes)

Post-Natal Fitness
Thursdays | 10:30-11:30am
Beginning January 6
Barcode: 88951
M$96 NM$144 (12 classes x 60 minutes)

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