Tag Archives: energy

Starting A New Program

Whether you are new to the gym or a seasoned gym-goer, beginning any new exercise program should start the same way – safely.  There are a few different things you can do to ensure that you are working out in a safe manner.

1. Don’t copy what you see someone else doing.  You don’t know why they’re doing it, You don’t know if they’re doing it correctly, or if they have modified it for any reason.  Just because someone who looks “fit’ is doing it doesn’t mean it’s right for you and your body.  Proper execution of an exercise trains the targeted muscle(s).  Improper execution can create imbalances and lead to injury.

2. Ask us!  Staff in gyms are extroverts, we want to talk to people.  We thrive on sharing our energy and enthusiasm for wellness.  We’re looking for you and want to answer your questions; we want to see you succeed.

3. Work on the basics – posture, body alignment, core engagement.  If you want to do an exercise correctly, these are part of the package that reduces the risk of injury.

4. Get the Sets and Reps right.  The number of repetitions within a set, and the number of sets completed makes a huge difference from one program to another.  Learn what the difference is between low reps heavy weight, and high reps lower weight – dialing in the correct combo will guide you towards your ultimate goal.

5. Stretch!  Most of us are in a rush and want to get as much packed into our workout time, then off we go to the next part of our busy days.  Take the time to cool down and stretch, it increases range of motion, reduces soreness in the day(s) to come, and reduces risk for injury.

-D

 


Earth Hour 2013

This Saturday March 23, is Earth Hour, an annual worldwide event. It’s a call to action for individuals and businesses to turn off their lights for one hour to raise awareness about climate change and reducing greenhouse gases. For more information about Earth Hour in Canada visit www.EarthHourCanada.org.

YMCA Calgary is committed to global education and awareness. For more information follow the link to find out more about our Global Initiatives department.


Earth Hour 2013

This Saturday March 23, is Earth Hour, an annual worldwide event. It’s a call to action for individuals and businesses to turn off their lights for one hour to raise awareness about climate change and reducing greenhouse gases. For more information about Earth Hour in Canada visit www.EarthHourCanada.org.

YMCA Calgary is committed to global education and awareness. For more information follow the link to find out more about our Global Initiatives department.


YOUTH: Live the Life You Were Meant To

Written by YMCA Volunteer Blogger Chad Baird

What does health mean to you? During extensive interviews with Calgary youth, it became clear that there can be many different interpretations of the word, but they all center on a life that is fun and fulfilled. Words such as happy, Zen, whole, energetic, ripped, and active were descriptions of what the word health meant to young people just like you. However, this raises an important question: Do these words describe your life? If not, YMCA can help you reach your happiness goals.

It can be tough to manage the day to day! There are all sorts of regular responsibilities like school, work, laundry, dishes, relationships, vacuuming, clipping the cats nails, catching the bus… How can anyone find a free moment to workout and focus on their own health/happiness at a time like this?

Schedule some time at YMCA because the personal benefits are incredible. YMCA has its doors open from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Physical activity can give you an outlet for your stress, channelling your energy, making you a more efficient person.

Jenéa McMahon (student) states, “Working out gives you a clear mind and moment to de-stress. When I go to the gym, it is a night and day difference in how I feel – I feel great!”

When you feel empowered, you transform into a powerhouse! Your schedule can become easier to manage because working out releases a large amount of endorphins. This endorphin rush (a.k.a. adrenaline rush) causes a greater amount of focus and mental clarity. This, combined with an overall feeling of health and wellness, will make you feel like a million bucks!

Throughout the interview process one point became exceedingly clear – young people love a variety of machines and a variety of classes. Well, it looks like you are in luck, because the YMCA has both! Collectively, the girls said they enjoyed using yoga mats, exercise balls, an assortment of leg machines, and cardio machines to tone muscle and lose weight. As a whole, the guys stated they loved to use free weights, weight machines, and a variety of cardio equipment to build muscle and advance their fitness level.

YMCA has an incredibly diverse gym which caters to every kind of fitness desire. To compliment this, there are fitness classes offered every week at YMCA. Spin classes, yoga, Zumba!, strength training, Pilates, water aerobics, rock climbing, swimming, full body boot camps, and so much more! These classes range from beginner training to intense fitness levels and everything in between!

A healthy lifestyle defines you and changes a person for the better. It is a way to maintain balance in your life and feel fantastic about yourself every morning. “I wake up happy, and I believe that everybody deserves to feel this way,” says fitness enthusiast Janine Poersch. Working out can create self-confidence, a greater quality of life, and can make you feel better physically and emotionally. Isn’t this what we want out of life? Being happy, being fulfilled?

This is not practice life. According to Kelsey MacCuaig (student), “When you don’t work out, you feel that a part of your life is missing.” Complete the puzzle and place the piece in the empty space. You are currently up to bat and YMCA wants to ensure that you knock it out of the park with a smile on your face.

Let 2013 be YOUR year! A life of health and wellness is on the horizon and the winds of change are blowing – may the breeze bring you through our open doors.

Written by Chad Baird | BCMM Public Relations Student | Mount Royal University

 

 


Alberta Health Services – Be Your Best Speaker Series – Eating For Energy

Shawnessy YMCA – Thursday, March 7th from 7-9pm, Course Code# 78953

Alberta Health Services, Be Your Best Speaker Series – Eating for Energy, Presenter, Sarah Frank. Sarah Frank is a Registered Dietitian with Women’s Health Resources, Alberta Health Services.

Do you get tired in the afternoon or find it difficult to get through your day?  Come and learn which foods and combinations can boost your mental clarity, vitality and stamina throughout the day.


NIA – So What Is It Anyway? Read about the NIA Experience…

Tina Thrussel, Instructor, describes her experience with NIA:

The very first time I participated in a Nia class I cried… tears of joy!  I couldn’t help myself;  it just felt so good!  After years of feeling stiff and rigid, I felt at home in body, given permission to move my body’s way.  The music was uplifting and the movements were easy and fun.

This fusion fitness class seemed to be the answer to my prayers! The combination of the grace of the dance movements, the power of the martial arts and the relaxing stretching of yoga all felt so natural, so effortless… so freeing!!  I was hooked!

Shortly after that first class, I became a Nia teacher myself. I’ve been sharing the Joy of Movement through Nia for more than 6 years now and  I love Nia as much today as I did that first day.

Nia is:
Stress relief
A great workout
Dance-based, barefoot movement to uplifting music
Healing – on all levels!
A way to connect your mind, body and spirit
A place to feel the warmth of community
FUN!!

Nia is like chocolate – you just have to taste it to know how good it is!  Come and taste Nia at the FREE demo class at the Saddletowne YMCA on Wednesday, Feb 13 from 5-6 pm.

Woman Who Dances with Light
(Aka Tina Thrussell)

Inspiring you to bring more Life into your life.

The registered NIA session will run as follows:
Wednesdays Feb 20-March 20
5:00-6:00pm
M$40 NM$60 (5 classes)
Barcode: 83609
Call Member Services (403-237-2393) to register.


Next Kids’ Health Crisis: Caffeine?

We try to post upbeat stories on the YMCA blog – but once in a while we come across something that veers down a less postive path that is worthy of sharing for the greater good.

In the article Generation C: Is Caffeine the Next Kids’ Health Crisis? which recently appeared on the Health.com website talking about not just how uch caffeine appears in our food/drinks, but how a shocking amount is being consumed by young people.

Stats listed include things like over the past 30-years, caffeine intake amoung young people has spiked an incredible 70% and 2/3 of the younger generations consume caffeine on a regular basis.

This article is worthy of checking out. Maybe discussing the article is a good way to have open dialogue with your kids/youth about what they are consuming and making healthy choices?


Next Kids’ Health Crisis: Caffeine?

We try to post upbeat stories on the YMCA blog – but once in a while we come across something that veers down a less postive path that is worthy of sharing for the greater good.

In the article Generation C: Is Caffeine the Next Kids’ Health Crisis? which recently appeared on the Health.com website talking about not just how uch caffeine appears in our food/drinks, but how a shocking amount is being consumed by young people.

Stats listed include things like over the past 30-years, caffeine intake amoung young people has spiked an incredible 70% and 2/3 of the younger generations consume caffeine on a regular basis.

This article is worthy of checking out. Maybe discussing the article is a good way to have open dialogue with your kids/youth about what they are consuming and making healthy choices?


Want more Energy?

Click image to enlarge

There are many ways to generate more energy. Exercise is likely one of the most obvious and commonly used methods.  The body is an energy production factory. When we exercise, we create flow. Flow results in the movement of particles throughout the body. When these particles are flowing they bump into one another resulting in a number of chemical reactions. These reactions result in the creation of energy. It’s that easy. Better digestion, muscle contraction, alertness or faster running all result from chemical movement in the form of exercise.

The Coach Approach Program offers a window to your energy levels. The Coach Approach is a program that we offer free to our YMCA members. It supports people, who are not exercising 2-3 times per week or have not been doing so consistently for the last 6 months, to build the habit of exercise.

As a part of the program, you complete the Personal Feelings Inventory before and after exercise at each visit. This inventory is an easy questionaire. Your answers result in a graph that indicates your stress, fatigue and energy levels before and after exercise. The questionaire consistently shows that engaging in exercise lowers stress and fatigue while increasing energy. You will find this outcome occuring within a single 1 hour appointment!

This effect is compounded by how long you are engaged in the program. The full program is approximately 6 months. Each time you come to an appointment you immediately feel better – less stress and fatigue and more energy. This pattern is escalating each and every day as you progress through the 6 months. The benefits don’t end there. The benefits keep on-going and getting stronger as you continue with your lifelong habit of exercise.

So exercise is a critical way that you can naturally increase your energy. Yes, naturally, no sugar, caffeine, cigarettes – nothing added. To compound the effects of exercise, consider nutrition. Nutrition can give a big boost to your energy levels.

Remember, the body is an energy producer. Flow creates the interaction of chemicals within the body. These interactions result in energy. Nutrition effects these interactions in that it is one of the most powerful factors in determining what kind of chemicals are interacting.

“You are what you eat.” You hear this all the time. It’s true. True right down to the molecular level. Every food item is made of different kinds of building blocks. Your body takes the food in and mixes it with different digestive chemicals to break the food down into those simple building blocks. From there, the body arranges the blocks into new patterns to build what the body needs – muscle, bone or fingernails.

How does eating a lot of potato chips make you feel? What about drinking tonnes of alcohol or a big hunk of red meat? These things make you feel lethargic, slow and less alert. This is because of the building blocks that make up these types of foods and drinks.

You are what you eat. When you take these things into your body, they move slowly within you gumming up your system and not creating lively interactions. Imagine a party where everyone has ate and drank way to much. All the people are lying around on the couch or passed out on the floor. There is no dancing happening. Dancing is the equivalent of the lively, good quality, chemical interactions in the body that result in energy production.

To get those quality chemicals that interact well with your internal chemistry to produce energy, you must drink water and eat fruits and vegetables. The building blocks of water and these types of foods are full of life and easily dissassembled and reassembled to fulfill the growing needs of your body. Now your internal party is like having a whole bunch of healthy, fit people dancing within you. The night never ends. The dancing just goes on and on and on…

Want to learn more? Want to learn for FREE? Alberta Health Services is sending a Registered Dietitian to the Saddletowne YMCA this Monday, February 4 to discuss Eating for Energy. The presentation takes place from 7-9pm in Multi-purpose Room 1. You can register for your free space by calling 403-237-2393 or dropping by our Member Services desk. Quote course code number 78604. Space is limited. Sign up now if you are interested in creating an internal dance party!


Should I do Cardio Before or After Weights?

One of the most frequently asked questions in the gym is, “should I do cardio before or after I lift weights?”

Well the answer is not as clear cut as you think. Trainers, fitness experts, exercise physiologists and scientists are all still debating if it is better to do cardio before or after your resistance training session, if you were going to do both on the same day. There is very little peer reviewed literature on the subject, so what should we all do?

Well everyone needs to be their own scientists and figure out what works for them.

What I find when working with a lot of my clients is if my clients does an intense cardio session at the beginning of their workout they expend a lot of energy and they cannot lift as heavy or as intensely as they would normally be able to if they just warmed up and then went right to lifting weights.

The same is true for cardio. If one of my clients comes in and has a really heavy and intense strength workout and then tries to do an intense cardio session they don’t have the energy and are not able to go as fast or as long or train at the same level because they have depleted a lot of their energy stores when they were lifting weights.

When it comes to the general public I get them to take note of their goal, (lose weight, gain muscle, get stronger etc…). Then take note of their current program, the order that they do their exercises in, the intensity they are able to train at.

If they want to gain muscle and strength then they should be putting the majority of their energy into their resistance training workouts. If they are training for an endurance race then their focus should be on increasing cardio and endurance.

If you are not training for anything specific it is a good idea to change around your program every few months so that you don’t get bored and so that your body continuously need so adapt to the changing stimuli. Try doing cardio first for a few months then do your strength first for a few months and see if you notice any difference in your goals.

The key is to find out what works for you because what works for you may not work for everyone else.


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