Spring Break Overnight Camp

Looking for something for the kids to do over Spring Break? Send them to Camp Chief Hector, where they’ll have a week full of fun!

This overnight camp, which runs during CBE’s and CRPS’ March break, runs Monday through Friday. Activities include: arts & crafts, music, drama, drumming, high and low ropes courses, climbing, challenge courses, hiking and exploring, winter cookouts, and more!

Spring Break Overnight Camp

Monday, March 24 – Friday, March 28 2014
8-12 yrs
$325 + GST

Bussing will be available from Crowfoot YMCA and Shawnessy YMCA.

Registration is now open! Please call 403-269-6156 or toll free 1-866-430-9622.

8 Ways to Sneak a Little Exercise Into Your Day

Woman stretching Woman standing in office

If you work an office job, you probably spend a lot of time sitting. Here are 8 ways to get moving just a little bit more while at the office.


1. Take the stairs instead of the elevator/park at the back of the lot

We’ve all heard this one. And yet… we still take the escalator or the elevator, we still drive around the lot for 10 minutes until a closer parking spot opens up. Those extra few steps won’t take any extra time (they might even be faster!), you’ll get the blood flowing and you’ll probably feel better for it.

2. Have a glass of water at your desk – drink it and refill it

Drinking water is good for you. Moving during the day instead of just sitting at your desk for 8 hours is good for you. So, have a glass of water on your desk, sip it throughout the day, and when it becomes empty (which it will), get up, walk over to the break room and refill it.

Many people have water bottles at their desk, that’s good. But a water bottle holds a lot more than a standard glass. So use the glass and you’ll get a few more steps on that pedometer of yours.

3. Sit up straight

We all remember being told not to slouch by our parents or teachers. It’s time to take that advice and bring it back into our day. Sit up straight, with good posture – back straight, shoulders down and back, core muscles engaged. Your back, shoulders, and neck will feel better throughout the day, your brain will be more responsive, and you’ll be working on that six pack just by sitting.

We often forget the impact that just engaging our core abdominal muscles can have. We often forget those muscles are even there. So practice finding them and engaging them (gently pull your belly button in to meet your spine). When sitting, standing, walking – you’ll improve your posture and your balance. You’ll look and feel better.

3. Go talk to your coworkers instead of phoning or emailing them

Email and phone are convenient, easy, and don’t require you to get up and search for someone. But when someone sits 10 feet from your desk, walk over and ask your question. Conversations flow, questions are answered and decisions made a lot faster when you are talking face to face with someone. And if they’re not at their desk the first time you go look, you’ll get the added benefit of getting to walk over to their desk a second time later in the day.

4. Stand while you talk

If you do need to make a phone call, stand with your feet shoulder width apart while you speak. You’ll wake up your muscles and your brain. You’ll think and speak a little more clearly, and get a bit of exercise too.

5. Set an alarm to stand up

Sitting all day is being compared to smoking as one of the worst things we can do for our health. Set a timer on your computer or cell phone for an hour and when it goes off, whatever you’re doing, stand up. You can go for a walk, you can simply stand and slowly move and stretch your muscles a bit.

Your body will feel better. Your muscles will be less tight and sore. And you’ll be more productive when you sit back down.

6. Balance while you wait

Do you find yourself waiting beside the printer for your reports to print? Or waiting in front of the kettle or coffee maker for your brew to be the perfect temperature? Take turns standing on one leg and balancing for a count of 10. You’ll engage your core muscles and the time will pass a little bit faster.

7. Try a walking meeting

Planning on meeting with someone to discuss a new endeavour?  Walking meetings are becoming very popular. Instead of sitting in a board room or coffee shop – meet a colleague or two on the park trails and have your conversation while walking side by side.

8. Get a standing desk

If you can, incorporate a standing desk into your office space instead of a seated one. Sure, it’s good to still have a chair nearby so you can sit when you need to. But typing, and most ways we use a desktop computer, don’t require us to be seated. A standing desk will force you to utilize a lot more muscles. Just make sure you have proper footwear so your feet don’t get sore.

Man laughing by stairs

Youth Summer Day Camp Hiring Event at the Saddletowne YMCA

Are you looking for a really rewarding summer job? Do you enjoy working with children? Are you available eight weeks out of the summer?

If you have answered Yes to all these questions we would like to meet you!

April 4, 2014 from 6-8 pm and April 5, 2014 from  2-4 pm  the Saddletowne YMCA will be hosting a Summer Day Camp hiring event. During this event you will have the opportunity to meet with the Youth Director and talk about the opportunity of summer employment, and participate in a sample of summer day camp activities.

If you would like more information about this event or to confirm a spot, please contact Nikol @ 403-537-2710.


Volunteers needed at the Saddletowne YMCA

Are you looking for a great way to impact and engage in the lives of really awesome youth?

The Saddletowne YMCA youth department is looking for volunteers.

If you can kick around a soccer ball, shoot a jump shot , bump a volleyball  or paint a sunrise on a canvas ,you are definitely the kind of person we are looking for!

WE are currently recruiting  volunteers for our spring and summer youth programs.

IF you have as little as two hours a week and are over the age of 14 years old please contact 403-537-2719 for more information and to schedule an appointment.

Some of the current programs we are looking for volunteers are:

Basketball-Volley ball-Floorball-Art-Soccer-Multi -sports-Climbing- Special Events



Spring Break Day Camps at the Saddletowne YMCA

March 24-28 2014 the Saddletowne YMCA will be offering Spring Break camps for children between the ages of 4 and 13 years old. Spring break camps are day long camps that start as early as 8:30 am and end each day at 4:30 pm. We also offer early drop off and later pick up for a small additional fee.

Each day the campers will swim, play active gym activities, climb on the climbing wall,  read in the library and create brilliant take home camp art.

That is a lot of fun jammed into one day!

If you are looking for something  super cool for your children, this is definitely the place.

Registration has already started and spaces are limited?

Register soon to secure your child a spot.

If you would like more information please contact 403-237-2393.

YMCA Calgary Volunteer Raising Funds for YMCA Ukraine

Ukraine Fundraiser

YMCA volunteer Analu Lobos is raising funds to support YMCA Ukraine to assist families affected by the conflict.

With an information table in Eau Claire YMCA and a display of photos showing the diversity, natural beauty, architecture, culture and people of Ukraine, Analu is hoping to spread awareness of the beautiful country.

She spent 6 months in the Ukraine in 2013 as part of the International Youth Internship Program (YMCA Calgary and CIDA) to start a local YMCA in Kyiv. She recruited the initial volunteers and helped them gather resources and begin programming for children and youth.

The violence in Ukraine has directly impacted the YMCA there; two YMCA volunteers have been killed. YMCA Ukraine is supporting the families of those affected by the violence and helping with clean up in their communities.

For Analu, gathering funds here is a way to let her friends in Ukraine know they are cared for. “Not able to be there with the people who became my family, I feel displaced and helpless. The money and the emotional support that we can send means a lot to them, that they matter to us,” she says.

Photos are for sale by donation at Analu’s booth until 6pm, Friday, February 28, 2014. Prints will be available for pick up at Eau Claire next week. All funds raised will be transferred directly to YMCA Ukraine to help with relief efforts.

YMCA Calgary has been partners with YMCA Ukraine since 2006. There are now 21 local YMCA Associations in Ukraine – all led by volunteer presidents – and all with a dynamic, young core of volunteers who deliver programs and services to children and youth in their communities with the hope that they can be the generation that leads true change in their country.


Community Wellness Day at the Genesis Centre

The Saddletowne YMCA is excited to host our first Community Wellness Day on Saturday, March 29th from 12:00-6:00 PM.

Entry to the facility will be free for all. Participants are invited to enjoy a variety of exciting workshops, demonstrations and activities fit for all ages.

Get a sneak peek at the Saddletowne YMCA’s spring programs while connecting with guest speakers from organizations including the Mount Royal University, the University of Calgary and the Norlien Foundation.   Topics include healthy early brain development in children, physical activity and mental health in youths, and making healthy food choices.  Learn about different wellness opportunities and resources and meet the different services providers of our vibrant community.

Bring the whole family to our open family swim in the main pool, Youth Sports demonstrations in the gymnasium or our Preschool open-gym.  Blood pressure testing, free blood tests for prostate cancer screening and healthy snacks will be offered throughout.

Stay tuned to our website for a full list of scheduled activities.  We look forward to seeing you on March 29th!


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!