2 Step Program to Weight Loss and Increased Fitness

Hello everybody! It has been a while since I have written due to a bit of craziness at University. Long nights and early mornings and wading through endless emails and assignments forced my writing pen away from me! But hark! I have some more time, so I thought I would give you some more fitness advice to further fulfill my ultimate objective: to make you a better you through fitness.

get active

I have found the key to weight loss and increased fitness. I promise if you implement my advice, you will see results. Alright…Are you ready for the magic formula?

Chad Baird’s 2-step guide to weight loss and fitness

1. Eat Healthy

2. Workout

Are you disappointed? Did you think that I was going to offer you some quick fix to have you looking like the Hulk in a matter of days? Unfortunately, it is not that simple nor will that quick fix ever exist.

Oprah Winfrey said, “There is no easy way out. If there was, I would have bought it. The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you are willing to work.”

I absolutely love this quote for a variety of reasons. Oprah has immense wealth, resources and contacts. If there is ANYONE on the planet who could find a quick fix for fitness, it would be her. However, that fast-track fitness diet has yet to surface. The magic beans to grow the health benefit beanstalk are yet to be found.

Hard work and dedication are the keys to success, not some pill or program. Have you ever read the fine print for diet pills and quick-fix workout programs? I have taken the time to scan through these documents and one line of fine print on an advertisement particularly grabbed my attention. The focus group who took the diet pill collective lost 2.4 more pounds than the focus groups that did not. 2.4 pounds! Society is spending billions of dollars annually for 2.4 pounds!  You and I can lose 2.4 pounds in one spin class or by eating great salads for a few days. These programs are not the solution.

Another humorous ad I found was on the front of a magazine in a grocery store I was recently at. I kid you not, the ad proudly proclaimed, “Lose 30 pounds eating nothing but cake!”

You know what won’t help you lose 30 pounds? Cake. You know what will help you lose 30 pounds? Eating healthy and working out.

Health is not a destination, it is a journey. To reach your fitness goals you do not need to consume some pill filled with chemicals you can’t pronounce or go on the latest diet fad that won’t help you in the slightest. Being healthy is about a lifestyle choice. Health is about you consciously deciding that YOU are a priority.

Eat lots of salad and lots of colors on your plate. Sweat multiple times a week. Do something active that you actually like to do.

There is no magic program. There is no fitness fairy dust. The cake-palooza plan is not your best action plan.

Eat healthy. Workout. See results. Period.






Exercise and Wellness for Women with Breast Cancer

happy senior  2 friends

Coming to Saddletowne YMCA September 2014!

This FREE program aims to empower women to regain control of their life through physical activity. Offered in partnership with the U of C Health & Wellness Lab, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and Wings of Hope, participation includes:

  • A personalized fitness assessment
  • An individualized exercise program
  • Group exercise and healthy lifestyle education classes

Eligibility: Currently undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment or within three months of treatment completion
Call (403) 210-8482 to enroll


Stay in shape with new things: speed & agility

Do something outside of your regular workout routine. It will improve your body-mind connection, coordination and you will also get an immediate sense of accomplishment! You burn more fat and calories too. Go for outdoor boot camp, trail run, mountain bike ride or try speed and agility training. New things will help you too boost your fitness and performance this summer!

Check out our new programs at Crowfoot YMCA

Learn to be fast, explosive, agile with fun & dynamic work outs. Improve balance and gain confidence through movements. Accessible exercise program: 6 classes out of 8 weeks so you will have time off for vacation

Speed & agility training for fitness and sports: Monday 7:00-8:00pm

Outdoor boot camps: Monday 5:15-6:15pm Tuesday and Thursday 10:00-11:00am




Free Grade 6 Memberships!

Can you believe it?

All Grade 6 Students in Calgary are now eligible for a free YMCA Membership during their grade 6 year (September-August).

We’ve partnered with the awesome Calgary Flames and Flames Foundation for Life to make grade 6 the best year ever and get Flames Friday’s going.

YMCA Calgary Flames Grade 6

YMCA CEO Helene Weir and Calgary Flames CEO Ken King with some excited Grade 5 students.

Starting in September 2014, students in grade 6 in Calgary can bring proof of their grade to any YMCA Calgary branch and sign up for a free membership.

We’ll have cool activities, opportunities to try unique sports, and chances to hang out with Calgary Flames players.

Parents – we’re doing this because we know how important your kids’ health is and we thought this would be a great way to help grade 6 youth get more active, make some new friends, have a positive place to hang out, and learn some leadership skills too.

For more information, click here.


One Year Later

Flood 2013 YMCA Helps Donations

As the one year anniversary of the 2013 Southern Alberta Flood comes up, we at YMCA Calgary cannot help but remember how it impacted us and our community.

Eau Claire YMCA was evacuated and closed from June 20-June 27. Amazingly, there was no damage to our building.

As a gesture of goodwill and support, Westside Recreation Centre welcomed our Eau Claire members to use their facility free of charge and we welcomed members of the Talisman Centre and the Glencoe Club into our facilities.

Shawnessy YMCA was closed June 22-June 24 and used as a City of Calgary Evacuation Site for 300 long-term care seniors who had been displaced by the floods.

Premier Alison Redford and Minister of Health Fred Horn toured the Shawnessy YMCA and South Fish Creek Recreation Centre Evacuation site and with YMCA CalgaryAlison-Helene CEO Helene Weir and COO Kelly Smith, visited with seniors and nurses and thanked people for their patience and incredible demonstrations of resiliency during such a time of crisis.

Sadly, programming and a number of special events were cancelled, including our Annual Aboriginal Youth Hoops Basketball tournament, the Aboriginal Awareness Week Family Day Event, YMAP Grad, Saddletowne YMCA’s Preschool Party, and even the golf portion of our Annual YMCA Strong Kids Golf Tournament fundraiser.

The disruption to events and programs was unfortunate. The disruption to the lives of so many members of our community was immense and we are so proud to have been witness to the incredible volunteerism, community support, and care demonstrated by so many Calgarians.

Banjo-playerYMCA Helps

We teamed with local agencies to accept relief donations for First Nations communities who were affected by the flooding, and were overwhelmed with the tremendous support from our city.

Thank you

Thank you again, Calgary, for being such amazing neighbours. We are so glad to be a part of a community that demonstrates amazing community engagement.


Space Still Available at Camp Chief Hector Overnight Camps

As of June 24, the following camps still  have room:


10Y Mistaya 13-day Traditional | Jul 20 – Aug 1

12Y Kananaskin 13-day Traditional | Aug 17 – 29

13Y Kananaskin 13-day Horse | Aug 3 – 15 & Aug 17-29

14Y Pioneer 13-day Hike | Jul 6 – 18 & Aug 17 – 29

15Y Pioneer 13-day Hike | Aug 17 – 29

15Y Pioneer 13-day Canoe | Aug 3 – 15

14-15Y Pioneer 13-day Hike/Horse Gray Jay | Aug 17-29

16Y Leadership 1 Canoe | 27-days | Jul 6-Aug 1


10-11Y Mistaya 6-day Overnight Hike | Jul 6 – 11 & Jul 13 – 18 & Jul 20 – 25

12-13Y Jr Shotungwa | Jul 13 – 18

13Y Kananaskin 13-day Canoe | Aug 3 – 15

14Y Pioneer 13-day Hike | Jul 6 – 18 & Jul 20 – Aug 1

15Y Pioneer 13-day Canoe | Aug 3 – 15

15Y Pioneer Gray Jay 13-day Hike | Jul 6 – 18 & Aug 3 – 15

16Y Leadership 1 Canoe | 27-days | Jul 6 – Aug 1

16Y Leadership 1 Gray Jay Hike/Horse | 27-days | Aug 3 – 29


CONTACT US: 403-269-6156 or toll free 1-866-430-9622 As with all YMCA Calgary programs, financial assistance is available to those who qualify.


Gray Jay Clean Up

On Friday, June 13 a group of YMCA Calgary staff headed out to clean up the Gray Jay camp site and remove debris and trash that had accumulated over the winter months.

The weather wasn’t great – it was raining, it was 4 degrees Celsius. But Cris brought a great lunch and we worked hard and it was so worth it.  It’s a great place for youth to really see the wilderness.

Cleaning up camp


Gray Jay is an outtrip site of Camp Chief Hector YMCA. Groups of youth go out to the wilderness at Gray Jay to hike, trail ride, and gain inspirational leadership experience.

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

A lovely picture handed in this morning at Eau Claire YMCA by two of our younger members, able to access the YMCA through our Strong Kids Campaign.

Strong Kids Thank You Letter and Drawing

Thank you to everyone who supports Strong Kids for helping to impact the lives of these two wonderful boys.

Crowfoot Summer Day Camps

gym kids

Crowfoot YMCA Summer Day Camps

Voted by 2013 Calgary’s Child Magazine Parents’ Choice awards for Best Children’s Day Camp, YMCA Crowfoot Summer Camps are back to for another exciting summer! We have limited spots so register early so your camper can experience the highlight of their summer!

What better way to spend the summer than with friends- old and new, kicking a soccer ball or figuring out whose cannonball made the biggest splash in the pool? Crowfoot YMCA Summer Daycamps offers each child the opportunity to grow, thrive, lead and belong in a safe, fun and exciting environment.

Whether they are making geckos out of beads & string, a new superhero mask, or visiting great places in and around Calgary such as Rotary Park, Butterfield Acres, TELUS Spark, each day in our Daycamps guarantees not be the same as the last.

Register today to reserve your child a place and get them ready for an action packed summer. Call 403-547-6576!

Find out more about Crowfoot YMCA here.


10 Tips for Biking Safely

Men with bikes

10 Tips for Biking Safely

Biking is a fun and healthy family activity, and a great way to get from A to B. But don’t forget about some basic safety tips.

1 – Wear a well-fitting helmet. Everyone should wear a helmet, even adults and toddlers in bike trailers. The helmet should be snug and cover the forehead, two fingers should fit between the chin strap and chin. By law, all cyclists under 18 need to wear a helmet. Four provinces in Canada have laws that all cyclists must wear a helmet.

2 – Know your hand signals. Let the cars and people around you know what you’re going to do. You can find hand signals here.

3 – Have a bell and use it. Again, let cyclists and pedestrians around you know what you’re going to do, especially when you are coming up behind them to pass.

4 – Know what’s around you. Be aware of possible hazards around you, including other vehicles, road or path conditions, pedestrians, pets, and even parked cars.

5 – Be cautious coming down hills or going around blind corners. Remember that the uphill cyclist has the right of way.

6 – Walk your bike on crosswalks. Crosswalks are for pedestrians, so become a pedestrian by walking your bike. If you would like to ride through the intersection, remember to remain a vehicle and cross the intersection on the roadway rather than in the crosswalk.

7 – Only ride on bike paths or the street and give way to pedestrians. When you are riding your bike you are a vehicle (ie. car). Sidewalks, like crosswalks, are for pedestrians.

8 – Obey the rules of the road. Again, when you are riding your bike, you are a vehicle. Stop at stop signs and red lights, stay in your lane, pass on the left, ride single file, go with, not against, the flow of traffic and give pedestrians the right of way.

9 – Wear bright colours so you can be seen. Cars, other cyclists, and pedestrians can’t see you if it’s getting dark and you’re wearing all black.

10 – Have a reflector or light if you plan on biking during dusk or dark. You’re a lot smaller than a car and drivers have a lot less visibility. Be seen.

CAA has a great Bike Safety website with tips for cyclists and drivers to share the road, a quiz and even a cyclist road test. If you ride on the road a lot, check it out.

Read our blog post about 6 Great Things About Biking here.