Alberta will be celebrating Family Day on Monday, February 19th. This holiday celebrates the importance of families and family life to people and their communities.
In conjunction with our partners at Parenting Power we are happy to support #NoPhoneFamilyDay. A movement and intention to leave the phone on the charger and spend time together.
Please join us at any of our facilities across the city for some specific family programming.
Wibit (inflatable obstacle course in 25m Pool) – 9:30-11:30am
Family Playground (Gym will be set up with obstacles, balls and a variety of gym equipment for children and their parents to explore and enjoy together. Open to children who are walking to 5Y) – 11:30-1:30pm
Family Yoga – 1:00-2:00pm
Family Climbing – 10:30am – 12:30pm
Family Playground (Gym will be set up with obstacles, balls and a variety of gym equipment for children and their parents to explore and enjoy together. Open to children who are walking to 5Y) – 12:00-2:00pm
Family Climbing – 10:00am – 12:00pm Ages 4+ Max of 12 participants
Family Fitness Class – 11:00am – 12:00pm Ages 6+
Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA:
Wibit (inflatable obstacle course in 25m Pool) – 1:00-3:00pm
Family Playground (Gym will be set up with obstacles, balls and a variety of gym equipment for children and their parents to explore and enjoy together. Open to children who are walking to 5Y) – 1:00-3:00pm
Melcor YMCA at Crowfoot:
Family Gym Time – 10:30am – 12:30pm
Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge:
Wibit (inflatable obstacle course in 25m Pool) – 12:00-4:00pm
Family Skating – 2:30-4:00pm
Family Climbing – 2:00-4:00pm
South Health Campus YMCA:
Family Fitness Drop in Class – 10:30-11:30am
Family Climbing – 1:00-5:00pm
Don’t forget to check out our online schedules for gym and pool open times. Or download the YMCA Calgary app. https://www.ymcacalgary.org/drop-in-fitness-class-and-facility-schedules/
Please complete the medical form and return to your Branch Youth Team no later than Wednesday the 28th of October 2015!
Come to our community wellness day!
Saturday October 3rd 2015 – 9:30am – 1pm
Non-profits and health & wellness businesses will have booths set up in the common area through the facility.
There will be a seminar focused on seniors as well as teddy bear activities throughout the complex for younger children, including the outdoor courtyard led by YMCA.
There will also be free admission to the YMCA.
Please note that registration is required for the senior events (call 403 290 5755) and those attending the teddy bear events should bring their favorite doll!
Hope to see you there!
Come along to our Annual Boorific Bash Saturday October 31st 2015 6-8pm!
Lots of fun seasonal festivities for the whole family throughout the facility !
The grade 6 launch party was a great success with lots of people coming to the facility and participating in different activities! Keep an eye out for more special event!
Octobers activity schedules for October will be up soon, for your individual facility please check here.
Check out this awesome creation from Lego free build yesterday!
There is Floor hockey tonight, Wednesdays 5 -6pm in gym 1.
Don’t forget to register for our launch party this Saturday from 1 to 3pm there will be loads of awesome activities for the whole family ! Course code #107011
As always check out the Grade 6 activity schedule for the month, each branch has their own and can be found here!
Thanks for reading and see hopefully you soon!
I am a rock climber. I guess that kind of makes sense as I look after the Wall Climbing Programs at the Saddletowne YMCA. But that is away from my point…
When rock climbing, there comes a point in the climb that is especially difficult. This is either physically or mentally difficult, and takes the most amount of effort to overcome. There are times when it feels impossible to make it beyond that point, but all that is usually needed is a step back and change of pace. This difficult point in rock climbing is known as the “crux”.
Working out, staying fit and wellness routines have this crux in them as well. It may be known by another name: the rut, the plateau, the stall, the trough…just to name a few. There comes a time when a change is needed. We challenge you to spring-clean your time here at the YMCA and try something new!
Throughout the month of May, pick up a passport from member services and do some travelling. Explore everything that we have to offer and add some excitement. Get a grip, get your feet off the ground, get your feet wet, get in the game, get your groove on…get over that crux! Once you complete your passport, return it to member services for 2 guest passes and a ballot for a draw for a 1 month buddy pass. The program board will be passport central, with information on all of our exciting changes of pace.
From someone who climbs, there are many ways to stay fit on the climbing wall, challenging both your body and your mind. Be it climbing to the top, or just staying down nice and low, I always can get a workout in. The best part is that it doesn’t feel like one, but the next day, I can feel it in my arms, legs and core muscles. When I am stuck at a crux, I go for a climb and can then literally reach new heights!
The challenge is on, talk to member services and get started on overcoming your crux today!
We always seem to be working hard, so I am going to take time to focus a bit more on some stress-reducing activities. I would like to start off by saying that these types of activities have quite a few things in common. They are done in places that have a relaxing atmosphere, are generally filled with groups of people with their noses buried in their electronic devices…wait a minute! Filled with people encompassed by time spent with an electronic device? This is true. Most people these days seem to relax by turning on the TV, computer, smartphone, tablet, video game console. This can be for a number of reasons, some obvious and some not so much. Relaxing used to be done by going to places to interact face to face with friends or colleagues, but these days most people seem to use the internet, TV, game console or phone instead for relaxation. All out of convenience.
I remember running up the block to knock on a friend’s door to see if they could come “outside” and play. I never texted or Facebooked (possibly a new word), mostly because it was unavailable, but I would go for the face to face interaction. There was also no Googling (another new word) or going onto YouTube when I hung out with friends. It was mostly imagination, talking and play, and, a lot of the time, this was done in the outdoors. Occasionally when the weather didn’t cooperate we did hang out inside, but there were not that many screens around when we did (If you know me, Hot Wheels and Lego). Remembering this can give credence to healthy relationships. Conversing face to face, usually with nothing in between. No phones to be seen. Face to face interactions without a screen in the midst are becoming few and far between.
Most interactions these days take place over email, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and the list goes on. This is especially true with the younger generations. Convenience is stepping between us and our health, both physical and mental. It has become way more convenient to turn to technology, instead of going into nature or even doing the simple task of meeting to chat with friends. Even though we are connecting a lot more easily through technology, relationships are suffering and we are actually becoming more alone.
These experiences ended up bringing groups closer together and helped to develop strong relationships. There were so many opportunities to develop new strong relationships and build upon existing ones. Technology has the power to connect us, but make us more alone. That is if we are not careful and mindful about it. This video is great and delves deep into how we are becoming more connected through technology, but asks the question of whether it is actually making us more alone:
When we are connected through technology, we are together, but alone. I don’t really need to say more…
Unplug and Play!
Take a good look at the things around you. What do you see? Cars have 5-star safety ratings, there are warning labels on almost every food and object, playgrounds are to be removed from schools, that little bump in the sidewalk is painted yellow, we are trying to eliminate every little health risk. There are so many things out there to try to minimize the risk that we are exposed to every day. Now imagine these things in nature. On your hike through the woods, there are fences on the sides of the trails to keep creatures out, roots and rocks are painted bright colours or removed completely, signs warn you of what might be unexpected around the next bend in the trail. It all sounds a little ridiculous, but that is what our society seems to be moving towards. We try to minimize the risk that we are exposed to in almost every way. We are striving for perfection.
Looking at nature, we are going at all of this the wrong way. Adaptation by living organisms carry no goal of perfection. Trying to eliminate risk in our lives is like trying to eliminate predation in nature. It is a bit of a ridiculous concept. The relationships that have developed in nature over the last millions of years come from adaptations to hostile interactions. They have created symbiotic relationships that work! Many plants and animals have multiple solutions to deal with the problems that they are faced with. For organisms, when there is trouble, there is no one right way to deal with it. They expect the unexpected!
This exposure to risk has the possibility to be dangerous. However, it keeps us alive, makes us think for ourselves, helps us to deal with everyday problems and is what makes being human exciting. For all of us big kids, we grew up with this exposure to risk in our lives. I know that I occasionally got hurt, but that is how I learned about the world. It was all trial and error. I think that this exposure to natural risk has made me into a well-rounded individual. I feel I can make solid decisions in all aspect of my life. What will things be like without that exposure to natural spaces and risk? Striving to perfect our environment is taking away from a lot of the things that we all grew up with.
Un-plugging the Youth…
Youth today now have a lot less exposure to a lot of the things we remember about being young. Youth should do dangerous things as a rule. They ride skateboards, make jumps, climb trees, fall – sometimes on purpose to “see what happens” – play sports, get in scuffles, and make hairpin turns at breakneck speeds while dribbling a ball. Activity and sports are dangerous, but so is just about anything that involves the human body and the laws of physics. Let youth figure it out themselves. You’ll be there if something goes wrong.
I say to unplug from the electronic devices, and embrace risk in your life. Let others do the same. Let us stop trying to perfect our world. It just cannot be done. Instead, let us all learn to live with the risks we are faced with. Everything from finances and work to exercise and play. Take from nature, and have multiple solutions to our problems. I like to unplug every once in a while, and embrace risk in my life. It is exciting, and is how nature has dealt with problems for millions of years.
Today is “Unplug and Play Day”. What does that mean? I think you should take a risk by leaving your electronic devices behind.
Here are some ideas to get started:
Start a garden
Organize a neighbourhood clean-up
Join a walking/running/cycling group
Host an outdoor BBQ
Help out at a local farm
Volunteer for a nature group
Explore, get dirty and play in the mud!
Don’t forget to share your thoughts on how you plan to “Unplug and Play” by clicking here!
There is such irony in writing an online blog about unplugging to get out to play, but with our increasing reliance on technology and time spent with our noses in our devices, it seems like an okay medium to pass on a message. Enough about the great irony of reading online about disconnecting from it all, it is now time for my point…
A main obstacle preventing people from unplugging and playing is the convenience and the availability of other types of entertainment. It seems more convenient to turn on the television, the game system, the computer, or the smart phone instead of going outside to play. You also don’t need to get dirty to watch television or play a video game. I work with youth, and what stands out the most is that passive leisure and inactivity is becoming a habit for those of us who are growing up with technology. This needs to change for the health and wellbeing of everyone.
In his research in 2008, R. Tagles said that “…the absence of direct experiences of natural environments appears to be a significant disadvantage in terms of development and health, and may also have a negative impact on the preservation of natural environments.” We need these natural spaces around, for food, for activities, for industry, for the health of the planet, and most importantly our own sanity.
I do not feel the need to preach. I do not feel the need to tell you to throw away all of your technology. I am not going to tell you to go live in the bush for a month. Feel free to do any of these things if that is what you wish. What I am here to do is to share some learning about the benefits of unstructured time in the outdoors, natural areas, things that grow, living actively, and share with you the enjoyment that can be gained from creating balance in our ever technological-focused lives.
When we try to do too many things at once, as it happens so often with technology, it takes away from our relationships, health, focus, work or school, and most importantly our overall enjoyment of what we are doing. Even what may seem like the most mundane of tasks can be enjoyable if is becomes our sole focus.
This coming Monday, March 23 is “Unplug and Play Day” used to help to recharge your soul. It is a small step to take to help to focus on enjoyment here and now as well as help to create balance.
This day is a great idea, but I say take it one step further. It is better to regularly take a little time to unplug and try just focusing on one thing. Call it “uni-tasking”. An easy way to do this is to go out and experience nature, or to visit your local recreation facility. Leave all those gadgets at home and see how enjoyable just being outside of the house looking at the environment around can be.
For some ideas, here are my top “uni-tasks” that I do here and now:
- Do some “soul skiing” by going for a day on the slopes (no music here);
- Practice some nature/outdoor photography or drawing (I’m not very good, but it is enjoyable);
- Bomb a hill on my longboard;
- Do some gardening;
- Climb a mountain, a rock face, a hill, a tree, a playground or anything I can possibly jump off;
- Find a quiet spot to read or journal;
- Simply go for a walk or long run without my phone.
I want to hear from you! What do you do to live in the here and now? How and where do you like to enjoy “uni-tasking”? Comment here!
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