Not all Fat is Created Equal.
There are two main types of body fat found in our bodies. Ironically, we tend to focus on subcutaneous body fat, which is the softer fat found beneath the skin. This is the fat that we can grab with our hands or skin-fold calipers. Subcutaneous fat is less damaging as it is superficial (closer to the surface), and is less likely to result in major health issues. Visceral fat is the unseen fat in your body. It is found deeper inside the body, around your internal organs. It’s a harder fat and has been linked directly to chronic diseases like heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, and some cancers. Visceral fat hides well beneath the surface, we don’t see it, most people don’t know about it, and it’s the body fat we should actually be more concerned about.
Lucky for our health, visceral fat tends to be targeted first during weight loss. Unlucky for our esthetics, the subcutaneous fat we all see is targeted second.
Wellness Comes in All Shapes and Sizes
We’re all wonderfully unique. It needs to be known that fitness doesn’t look like anyone or anything in specific. We all have a “best” version of ourselves, and we can’t ask for any more than that. In this delicious fruit bowl we call life, the three basic body shapes are apple, pear and banana.
Apples – you are identified by the majority of your body fat stored in your mid-section. This puts you at the highest risk of visceral fat accumulation, as well as the health risks associated with that.
Pears – you are identified by an accumulation of subcutaneous fat around the hips, buttocks and thighs. Not to say that you shouldn’t be concerned with visceral fat within your body, you are simply at a lower risk than your friend the apple.
Bananas – you are identified by your long and lean frame. Don’t be fooled with the lack of subcutaneous fat, visceral fat may still exist but hidden deep and unseen on your body.
Where your body carries weight naturally can be a factor in determining a lot of things for you. What doesn’t change is how to work with and manage your body type. Put down the junk food and grab an apple, pear, or banana – and get moving!
Remington YMCA at Quarry Park is the first facility of its kind in Calgary to feature a universal locker room. The design is similar to a large family locker room you might have experienced in other YMCA facilities in Calgary. It is an open concept, with a few key features:
- Washrooms and showers remain segregated for males and females.
- The locker room contains different sizes of private changing stalls
- This design allows for greater safety and security of patrons. Parents can bring children of both sexes into the common room and still have a private cubicle.
- This design meets the legislated accessibility requirements for disabled persons at recreation facilities, and is easier for people who have an attendant of the opposite sex,
Learn more about the Remington YMCA here.
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.
24th Annual Members’ Dinner
Over 130 members and friends of the YMCA joined us at the Calgary Golf & Country Club on May 18th, 2016 for the 24th annual Members’ Dinner.
We would like to congratulate our new 25-year inductees:
My My Tran
Ramon E. Fosado
William J. Irvine
Frances Van Der Lee
Congratulations on 25 years of membership!
Thank you to all members and friends who attended the event, it was a wonderful evening of friendship, story telling and catching up for all who attended.
We would also like to thank 48-year member George Fink for being the event patron.
What a great day to change your life. So where do you start?
Part One – Overhauling Your Dietary Habits
This is a huge piece to the wellness puzzle, and oh my goodness is there ever a TON of conflicting information out there. It’s impossible to be able to tell the good information from the not-so-good sometimes, especially with all the different “fad” diets, cleanses, and restrictions that affect our eating habits. The resource that is recommended by Health Canada is Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating which includes examples of what foods fit into each of four food groups. It also offers tips on how to eat optimally for your age and gender, beginning at age two (younger children should follow the advice of their family physician to ensure all health requirements are being met).
Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating also gives examples of proper portion sizes. The reality is that we could actually be over or under-eating certain foods and not even know it. Did you know that one bagel is actually two servings of grain products? That two eggs is one serving of Meat and Alternatives? That half a cup of pure fruit juice is one serving? I have personally found it helpful to have a food scale in my home. Having the visual really helped me to learn what a single portion looks like, and has helped me to ensure that myself as well as my entire family is eating a healthy and balanced diet. So much information is available just by going to:
Real change takes work, commitment, and willpower. Dietary habits are life-long habits which you have become accustomed to from a young age, and it can be difficult to learn a different eating culture. Changing small things (to start!) can help to find long-term success. A few tips that you can do to get started are:
- Choose whole grain bread products over white, it will help you feel full longer
- Increase water consumption – drink a glass of water before you eat a meal
- Choose vegetables and fruit more often than juice
- Trim visible fats from your meat and remove the skin from poultry
- Try something new! Tofu, quinoa, soy, brown rice, lentils etc. might sound bizarre to you, but you might amaze yourself with the items that you actually like!
It is important to note that that specialized diets do have a place in wellness, however if you are restricting anything from your diet (ie: dairy, gluten/wheat, sugar) My advice is to have a registered dietician or physician’s recommendation and guidance to do so safely.
Thank you Scotiabank!
On April 11, 2016 hockey Olympians Cassie Campbell-Pascall and Kelly Bechard challenged YMCA youth in the inaugural hockey game on the new sport pad at South Health Campus YMCA. Scotiabank and Calgary Flames mascots were also there at game time.
Scotiabank has partnered with YMCA Calgary to build a much-needed sport pad at the YMCA’s Alberta Health Services South Health Campus. Scotiabank’s $180,000 donation towards the sport pad will provide an outdoor space for young people to stay healthy, develop physical literacy skills, enjoy the comradery of sport and learn essential life skill of teamwork. This donation will go to the Scotiabank Youth Leadership and Recreation Fund, which the YMCA will use to expand and develop child and youth programming and fund program participation through YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign.
Used for hockey, badminton, soccer, basketball and more, the sports pad will be shared by the South Health Campus YMCA, Alberta Health Services and Calgary Health Trust. All three organizations, and the work they do in the community, will benefit from the addition of the sports pad to the health facility.
A big step in building a healthy youth culture and positive generation of leaders.
YMCA donors truly do make a world of difference for Calgary’s kids.
On March 4, RBC invested $250,000 in YMCA Swim to Survive, a proven and effective drowning prevention program delivered at YMCA Calgary.
As part of the establishment of the RBC Active for Life Fund, RBC’s gift will enable Saddletowne YMCA in the Genesis Centre for Community Wellness to teach more children in Calgary’s diverse northeast neighbourhoods fundamental, water-based skills to survive if they fall into water.
YMCA Calgary has recognized RBC for this commitment to community safety by naming the leisure pool at the Saddletowne YMCA as the RBC Leisure Pool.
Helene Weir, YMCA Calgary’s President and CEO, says RBC’s gift demonstrates a shared commitment to keeping children safe, especially those from new Canadian families who may be less familiar with deep water. “This gift could literally save lives,“ Weir says. “RBC is showing tremendous leadership in enabling the YMCA to help a generation of kids understand the importance of water safety.”
RBC’s donation will also allow YMCA to invest in support, training and programming around physical literacy for children.
“People, especially kids, deserve every opportunity to live healthy and active lives, and we believe that physical literacy is an important part of achieving that,” says Jeff Boyd, Regional President, RBC. “We’re humbled to have the opportunity to support Active for Life and help kids build the confidence they need to enjoy sports safely.”
Brigitte Edwards, General Manager, Saddletowne YMCA, sees an opportunity to affect thousands of Calgary kids positively. “If we can help kids learn these skills when they are young, there’s a much better chance they will remain physically active throughout their lives,” she explains.
“Thank you to RBC for trusting in the YMCA to deliver on our promise to the community,” says Ian Dundas, Co-Chair of the Power of Potential campaign cabinet. “This support will go a long way towards engaging more young people, helping them reach their full potential – the anchor purpose of our campaign.”
Thank you, RBC!
By Wendy Anderson, Childcare Administration Director
My first day on the job this past week provided me with an opportunity to tour the Quarry Park Child Development Center. While still under construction it is clear to see each of the spaces and to imagine children at play. I was able to see the kitchen which will provide the children’s lunches and snack times. There is an indoor gym for children to experience indoor gross-motor play.
A large outdoor play area will feature landscaping, grass and a discovery trail for stroller walks and bike riding.
One feature I particularly enjoyed seeing was the Experience Studio (Below: Caryl Broen & Trudy Halvorsen in the Experience Studio). This space will provide lots of unique experiences to support YMCA Playing to Learn curriculum. I could really envision children baking their own cookies or working on a science project there.
It was great to see the centre as we prepare to welcome children to the facility mid August.
We are excited to also be preparing to open a second Child Development Centre in the Quarry Park community. Located in the Remington YMCA, this centre is scheduled to open early July. Like the Quarry Park Child Development Centre, the childcare centre will feature the YMCA Playing to Learn curriculum. Children will be able to experience time in the on-site Calgary Public Library and utilize YMCA facilities including the pool and active play areas.
For more information about YMCA Childcare please visit our website at YMCA Calgary .
To enquire about our childcare programs please contact the Childcare Registration office at
(403) 351—6689 or email@example.com.
Click here to sign up for news and updates on the YMCA in Quarry Park
Thank you sponsors, runners and volunteers for being part of our 2016 Strong Kids Fun Run.
With the help of our 195 run participants, generous sponsors and volunteers, an amazing $19,000 was raised for our Strong Kids Campaign – an increase of nearly 30% from 2015. This means over three hundred children and youth will now be able to access YMCA programs, services and camps who might otherwise have been excluded because of their financial situation.
Thank you for making YMCA Calgary a place for everyone to belong, grow, thrive and lead. We look forward to having you back to the 2017 Strong Kids Run on Saturday 6th May 2017.
Our thoughts are with the communities affected by the wildfires in Northern Alberta.
YMCA Calgary would like to extend an invitation to all of those evacuated from fire-affected areas to use any of our YMCA Calgary locations free of charge.
Although we cannot accommodate overnight stays, we can offer the use of all facilities, including drop-in fitness and aquatic classes and shower facilities at all five of our Calgary locations.
Facility locations, hours and schedules can be found on our website at http://www.ymcacalgary.org/programs-locations-and-membership/ or by downloading our free app available at the App store or on Google Play (search YMCA Calgary).
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