YSurvive is Coming in February

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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 Exciting Programs for 2015

Now that January is almost here, it’s a great time to resume a healthy active lifestyle. YMCA Calgary offers a variety of programs for all ages and fitness levels. You can still find all of your favourite programs plus get inspired with some new choices to keep you moving towards your 2015 wellness goals!

  • Self Defense at Crowfoot YMCA
  • Bellyfit® at Saddletowne YMCA
  • Western Dance at Eau Claire YMCA
  • Tae Kwon Do at South Health Campus YMCA
  • Preschool Yoga at Shawnessy YMCA

Please call Member Services at your branch for more information and to register.

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Spring Break Overnight Camp at Camp Chief Hector YMCA

Spring Break Overnight Camp | 8-12Y
$325 + GST

A week of winter fun at Camp Chief Hector YMCA. This overnight camp during CBE and CRPS March break runs Monday thru Friday. Activities include arts & crafts, music, drama, drumming, high and low ropes, climbing, challenge course, hiking and exploring, winter cookout and more!

Registration begins Jan 5, 2015.
Phone our city registration office to register at 403-269-6156 or 1-866-430-YMCA(9622).

Tips to Keep You and Your Family Well and Safe


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When it comes to health and safety, some of the first things that come to most people’s minds are aspects related to the medical industry or accident prevention in the workplace.

But what does health and safety mean at YMCA Calgary? First and foremost, YMCA Calgary is committed to an incident- and injury-free environment for our members, participants, volunteers and staff and this is a high priority in our day-to-day plans and activities. And YMCA Calgary is proactive to ensure this happens.

Staff and Volunteers
All staff and volunteers are required to take annual health and safety training and key personnel are certified in First Aid and CPR.

Help at the Push of a Button
Rest assured as each of our buildings are equipped with safety alarm buttons in activity areas. Should a medical or safety issue arise, immediately press the button and trained staff will respond accordingly.

Keep it Clean
On the weight floor and cardio areas, there are new cleaning products provided. When finished your workout, please take a minute to spray and wipe down the equipment you used. This simple measure is a courtesy to other users and helps prevent the spread of germs.

Lend a Hand
Proper hand washing is such an important way to stem the spread of infection and illness. Here are some great recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Safety Equipment
All of our locations have automatic external defibrillators and several first aid kits in various areas. Staff and volunteers are trained to use them should an emergency arise.

Fire Alarms and Other Emergencies
In the event of a fire, please stop all activity and take direction from staff and/or volunteers. In the case of a suspected lost child scenario, please assist staff and volunteers as directed.

Health and Wellness
We invite you to consider the wide range of programming available for children, youth and adults. All are intended to support development of individuals in spirit, mind and body. Please browse our online program guides.

We also have some thoughts about using good judgment at home or work and at the Y.

  • Go easy with new exercise and activities
  • Get enough food and sleep
  • Remember to take necessary medication
  • Use the steam room wisely (be follow guidelines
  • Secure personal belongings in the locker room

As always we consider ourselves partners in your health, wellness and safety plan. Best wishes as you begin the New Year. We hope you have the best experience possible whenever you’re at our facilities.

Self Defense Classes at the Saddletowne YMCA

Written by Amber McInnis

On Saturday morning, I attended the demonstration of the Self Defense class that is running for five Saturdays starting January 10. The teacher was welcoming and had a very kind demeanor and calming presence.  In our hour together, he focused not only on physical defense (body), but also on mind and spirit, reminding the participants that power comes from all three sources.

Some of the things I learned include how the body changes as a person becomes increasingly agitated, and how to recognize these changes simply by observing the person.  I left the class equipped with many ways to protect myself, and with the confidence that I would be able to take the actions necessary, should I find myself in a threatening situation.

I highly recommend that if you can take this class, do. I feel so empowered after just one hour of new knowledge and I know that all people – women, men, teens, adults – will benefit from this class.


Please contact Kaia, Fitness Director, at 403-537-2720 or for more information.


Saturdays| 9:30–10:30am

Starts January 10th 2015

M $45 NM $60 (5 classes)


Saturdays| 9:30–10:30am

Starts February 21st 2015

M $45 NM $60 (5 classes)


FREE Demo Classes at the Saddletowne YMCA

Get Your Move On! Here are a dozen & 1 ways to do it! Attend a free demo class and enter to win a FREE registered class! One ballot provided for each demo class attended. Must attend the full class. Draw will occur on December 24, 2014 at 12:00pm. Winner will be contacted by phone or email.


Saturday, December 13

Pilates Level 1 – 8:00-9:00am – Studio B – Jacqui

Self Defense – 9:30-10:30am – MP1 – Geri

Sunday, December 14

Fitness Kickboxing – 6:30-7:30pm – Studio B – Diane

Monday, December 15

Belly Dance – 6:30-7:30pm – Studio B – Serena

AquaBootcamp – 7:00-7:45pm – Pool – Kristin

Tuesday, December 16

Active Yoga – 5:15-6:15pm – Studio B – Agatha

TRX – 6:30-7:30pm – Studio B – Agatha

Wednesday, December 17

Bellyfit® – 5:30-6:30pm – Studio B – Serena

Active Yoga – 6:00-7:00pm – Studio A – Agatha

Metabolic Conditioning – 7:15-8pm – Studio A – Agatha

Thursday, December 18

Hard Core – 6:00-7:00pm – Studio B – Agatha

Kettlebell Bootcamp – 6:30-7:30pm – MP1 – Jacqui

Monday, December 22

Women’s Resistance – 9:30-10:30am – Studio B – Kaia

Bellyfit SAGE™ – 10:30-11:30am – Studio A – Serena

Thank you, Nurses!

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We’ve wrapped up another fantastic semester working with the U of C nurses here in the North LINC program! The LINC students wrote letters to the nurses in beautiful handmade cards to say goodbye. These thoughtful notes really illustrate the impact of the partnership, and highlight the importance of building relationships between the newcomers and health care professionals in our community. Check out what they had to say!

Every week, I learnt something special. In the first week, I learnt physical exercises to make our heart stronger. In the second week, I learnt to eat less sugar, salt and fat, and also choose healthier fats. In the third week, I learnt to look for fresh products at the grocery store. -Najeeba, Pakistan

Now I know how to read the labels that I can understand what I’m buying. Your presentation also help me improve my English. I also want to thank YMCA for inviting the nurses for the health guide, and making it possible to learn how to be healthy.   -Tram, Vietnam

I’m glad I got the chance to meet you. I like to thank you for your positive attitude and vibrant energy. I’ll always remember your nice smiles. -Sarita, India

I learn from your class many different things that I didn’t know before. How much percent of sugar, fat, sodium, are dangerous, and I know how many percent are useful. I now know how to know your heart rate without medical things. -Esrael, Eritria

I like the time spent with you in the gym. I appreciate you give us knowledge about healthy living and importance of gym. I hope you will become successful women in future. – Mehwish, Pakistan

All of you tried your best to guide every single person about their heart beat, sugar level, and blood pressure. We appreciate your positive attitude, to help us get to know about things in the facility. – Rehama, Pakistan

I begin to drink more water and I use iron, and vegetables. When I go to the grocery store, I begin to look for fresh products. – Faride, Iran

I’m glad to meet such patient and professional people like you, with whom I enjoyed speaking during gym exercises, and your letting me know how my English speaking improved. –Soufia, Morocco

I learned more English. I enjoyed so much with you nurses. I learn about less salt. Now I begin to drink 1% milk. I eat whole wheat bread. – Mandeep, India

I appreciate you coming to my class. It is rare to find such kind friends. With your help I learned about exercises, activity, heart beat, sodium, high blood pressure, cholesterol, fat, and also healthy food. I didn’t know anything about these before and I never read the labels. I’m grateful for you coming to our class. We hope you enjoyed having us as much as we enjoyed being with you. –Ravinder, India

Thank you, Nurses! We hope to see you again soon!


YMCA Shawnessy Profile: Bruce Moncrieff Mortimer

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Name: Bruce Moncrieff Mortimer

Position: Front desk volunteer and member, Shawnessy YMCA

Years at YMCA: 4 years with the YMCA, 2 years as a member in Shawnessy.

What made you choose the YMCA?

What made me come to the Y, other than I have a very good feeling for it, was that I didn’t have to sign a contract. The YMCA represents good values historically, and I’ve always thought well of it. I like the facility and I like the way the YMCA is run. It’s very clean and friendly.

How has the YMCA positively impacted your life?

I get a good workout in a good facility, there are a lot of nice people and I enjoy it.

What has your best experience here been?

I don’t have a unique experience. I do enjoy volunteering at the front desk. It’s fun to get to know the members’ names and eventually be able to call them by their names. I work out and volunteer during the same times, so the people coming through the gate in the morning are also the people I work out with, and they always wonder how I know their names. Well, I’m the guy at the front desk looking at all the card information that is displayed. That’s fun. I enjoy the people contact.

What is your favourite thing about working at the YMCA?

I don’t have one favourite thing, but I find it a very well-run and friendly place. It’s just a great place to go. I don’t feel like it’s a corporate place where they’re trying to make money. In fact, one of the things that I didn’t know and I’ve been very impressed with is how much financial assistance they give to people in the community. The Y offers some of its members discounted rates to help them participate in the YMCA programs and use the facilities. I didn’t realize that a lot of the money that comes into the Y is being used that way.

What would you say to someone thinking about joining the Shawnessy YMCA?

Go for it! It’s a great facility, it’s clean, it’s neat, it’s well-run, it’s affordable, it’s competitive and you don’t need to sign a contract. I have no complaints and expect to be there for as long as I can go.

Healthy Breakfast Recipe

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Veggie Omelette

This recipe is one of my favourites. It can be adapted to use whatever you have in your fridge.

Chop one handful each of the following items:  peppers (any colour), zucchini, mushrooms, onions. Omit or add any veggies you like.

Saute the above in 1 to 1.5 teaspoons canola oil in a large wok or frying pan. Once they start to soften, add enough fresh baby spinach to fill the pan. Cook until the spinach wilts.

Beat one egg and ½ cup egg whites and then add veggies and mix.

Pour into non-stick omelet pan and add a few tablespoons grated cheese (mozzarella, cheddar or crumbled feta).

Cook until it starts to set (about 2-3 minutes) and then carefully flip and cook the other side.

Divide into 4 and serve with salsa and whole-grain toast. Delicious, filling and healthy!

Written by Janette Couch, Fitness Director at Crowfoot YMCA