Tag Archives: flexibility

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.



Fitness Fundamentals

Fitness isn’t necessarily what it used to be.  Fitness is a word that brings specific images to mind and for a lot of us, that’s a very specific image of the roots of the word fitness: leg warmers, spandex, and more spandex.  Changing the idea of what fitness is has come over time but it looks like we’re going in a good direction, changing that image to one of overall Wellness. That wellness comes from five different aspects:

Cardiovascular Endurance – Conditioning of the cardiovascular system in the body.  The ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues, and take waste materials away for a sustained period of time Example – biking, running, swimming

Muscular Strength – The maximum force that a muscle can deliver force in in one repetition

Muscular Endurance –  The ability of a muscle to deliver force over a sustained period of time

Flexibility – The movement of a muscle around a joint in a full Range of Motion (ROM).  Important to note: flexibility is different from stretching, stretching actually increases flexibility

Body Composition – The body’s make up of lean muscle, bone, fat mass, and tissues/organs.  The ratio of these masses in the body is considered your body composition

So remember that fitness is more than spandex and leg-warmers.  It’s about our overall wellness, including our cardiovascular and muscular systems, lifestyle, sleep and eating patterns.

Let’s be well.


New Fitness Space at Eau Claire YMCA

Eau Claire YMCA has a new versatile yoga studio!

Beautifully tailored décor and manually adjustable dimmer lights lend the perfect ambience for mind/body programs.

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And there’s more excitement! The area offers Fitness on Request. This virtual group fitness platform system is available FREE to members during non-program times to try a variety of fitness and wellness videos led by top qualified instructors from WELLBEATS. With the flip of a switch members can choose from a selection of Mind/Body, X-training, cycle step and more!

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Crunched for time? Can’t make one of our regularly scheduled classes? All the more reason to try Fitness on Request. We’ll set it up every day from 2pm-3pm. Then you decide which program you want to do.

Great variety and flexibility for everyone! See Eau Claire Member Services for more details.

– Namaste!



NEW Yoga Classes @ Saddletowne Y

Calling all Yogis & Yoginis!
Saddletowne is happy to be offering the following registered Yoga classes starting this Spring:

Mondays 4:45-5:45pm
Yoga – Active – Gentle
Starting March 31st
Barcode # 91864

Mondays 7:00-8:00pm
Prenatal Yoga *NEW*
Starting March 31st
Barcode# 93132

Wednesdays 7:00-8:00pm
Yoga Active *NEW*
Starting April 2nd
Barcode# 93134

Fridays 12:00-1:00pm
Yoga – Active – Yin Yang *NEW*
Starting April 4th
Barcode# 93137

Call 403-237-2393 to register. Check out our full program listings at ymcacalgary.org.

How Often Should I Exercise?

Good question. While the answer varies depending on individual goals and circumstances, these general guidelines can be helpful for your good health.

Cardiovascular Exercise

  • Adults should accumulate 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity activity
  • The activity can be one continuous session of 30 – 60 minutes, or multiple bouts of at least 10 minutes

Resistance Training

  • Adults should train each muscle group 2 – 3 times per week, using a variety of exercises and equipment
  • Muscles need at least 48 hours of rest in between sessions to recover.
  • For general fitness, 30 – 90 seconds or rest in between sets (helpful hint:  try a Muscle Works class!)


  • Don’t skip this!  Work into your program at least 2 – 3 times a week to improve range of motion
  • Stretches should be done after your workouts so the muscles are warm, hold each stretch for 15 – 30 seconds.

Use these guidelines for a great workout. If you’d like to seek some specific advice, there’s no better time than now to invest in personal training!

Andrea Oikawa
Shawnessy YMCA Strength and Conditioning

Contributing to a Healthy Community

Flexibility Training:

AAAhhhh – stretching, the feel-good, relaxation part of your workout.  Flexibility is much more than this, however; it is a critical component of your physical fitness.  Many people short-change themselves on this important aspect of fitness or, even worse, skip it altogether.  If we neglect our flexibility training, muscles become chronically shortened, leading to imbalances, tightness and decreased range of motion.  As we age, it can even lead to dependence on others for basic necessities.

In order to improve flexibility, stretches need to be held for a minimum of 30 seconds (1 minute is even better if you have the time) and every major muscle needs to be stretched every day.  If you are unsure of how to stretch certain muscles, one of our weight floor staff will be happy to help you, or come to a group exercise class and you’ll get a stretch at the end of class!

FREE Yoga Demo Class

Whether you’re new to yoga or have experience and are ready to take it to the next level, come join Larissa for a free multi-level yoga class Monday January 7, 7:00-8:00pm.  You’ll thrive in a peaceful atmosphere while experiencing flexibility, strength, balance, relaxation, stress management and breathing techniques designed to help you on your path of health and wellness.