Tag Archives: nutrition

Body Shape 101

Not all Fat is Created Equal.

There are two main types of body fat found in our bodies.  Ironically, we tend to focus on subcutaneous body fat, which is the softer fat found beneath the skin.  This is the fat that we can grab with our hands or skin-fold calipers.  Subcutaneous fat is less damaging as it is superficial (closer to the surface), and is less likely to result in major health issues.  Visceral fat is the unseen fat in your body.  It is found deeper inside the body, around your internal organs. It’s a harder fat and has been linked directly to chronic diseases like heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, and some cancers.  Visceral fat hides well beneath the surface, we don’t see it, most people don’t know about it, and it’s the body fat we should actually be more concerned about.

Lucky for our health, visceral fat tends to be targeted first during weight loss.  Unlucky for our esthetics, the subcutaneous fat we all see is targeted second.

Wellness Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

We’re all wonderfully unique.  It needs to be known that fitness doesn’t look like anyone or anything in specific.  We all have a “best” version of ourselves, and we can’t ask for any more than that.  In this delicious fruit bowl we call life, the three basic body shapes are apple, pear and banana.

Apples – you are identified by the majority of your body fat stored in your mid-section.  This puts you at the highest risk of visceral fat accumulation, as well as the health risks associated with that.

Pears – you are identified by an accumulation of subcutaneous fat around the hips, buttocks and thighs.  Not to say that you shouldn’t be concerned with visceral fat within your body, you are simply at a lower risk than your friend the apple.

Bananas – you are identified by your long and lean frame.  Don’t be fooled with the lack of subcutaneous fat, visceral fat may still exist but hidden deep and unseen on your body.

Where your body carries weight naturally can be a factor in determining a lot of things for you.  What doesn’t change is how to work with and manage your body type.  Put down the junk food and grab an apple, pear, or banana – and get moving!


One Step at a Time

What a great day to change your life.  So where do you start?

Part One – Overhauling Your Dietary Habits

This is a huge piece to the wellness puzzle, and oh my goodness is there ever a TON of conflicting information out there.  It’s impossible to be able to tell the good information from the not-so-good sometimes, especially with all the different “fad” diets, cleanses, and restrictions that affect our eating habits.  The resource that is recommended by Health Canada is Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating which includes examples of what foods fit into each of four food groups.  It also offers tips on how to eat optimally for your age and gender, beginning at age two (younger children should follow the advice of their family physician to ensure all health requirements are being met). 

Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating also gives examples of proper portion sizes.  The reality is that we could actually be over or under-eating certain foods and not even know it.  Did you know that one bagel is actually two servings of grain products?  That two eggs is one serving of Meat and Alternatives? That half a cup of pure fruit juice is one serving?  I have personally found it helpful to have a food scale in my home.  Having the visual really helped me to learn what a single portion looks like, and has helped me to ensure that myself as well as my entire family is eating a healthy and balanced diet.  So much information is available just by going to:

www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/order-commander/index-eng.php

Real change takes work, commitment, and willpower.   Dietary habits are life-long habits which you have become accustomed to from a young age, and it can be difficult to learn a different eating culture.  Changing small things (to start!) can help to find long-term success.  A few tips that you can do to get started are:

  • Choose whole grain bread products over white, it will help you feel full longer
  • Increase water consumption – drink a glass of water before you eat a meal
  • Choose vegetables and fruit more often than juice
  • Trim visible fats from your meat and remove the skin from poultry
  • Try something new!  Tofu, quinoa, soy, brown rice, lentils etc. might sound bizarre to you, but you might amaze yourself with the items that you actually like!

It is important to note that that specialized diets do have a place in wellness, however if you are restricting anything from your diet (ie: dairy, gluten/wheat, sugar) My advice is to have a registered dietician or physician’s recommendation and guidance to do so safely. 

Bon Appetit!


Ready for a New Fitness Challenge?

Step up your game with one of our new fitness & wellness classes at Saddletowne YMCA in 2016:

Obstacle Race Training

This is a great class to take whether you are looking for a program that will challenge you in different ways, push you past a fitness plateau or help prepare you for an actual Obstacle Race for the first or fiftieth time! This class will cover muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, balance, agility and grip strength with a variety of drills that will take you out of your comfort zone and drive your fitness to the next level. In addition to studio, track and weight floor work, certain classes may include workouts on the climbing wall, in the swimming pool or outdoors to improve your fitness in a range of environments and modalities.

Mondays | Starts Jan 11 | 5:30-6:30pm | M $90 NM $126 | 9 classes | Barcode# 107157
Wednesdays | Starts Jan 13 | 6:30-7:30pm | M $100 NM $140 | 10 classes | Barcode# 107158
Fridays | Starts Jan 15 | 10:30-11:30am | M $100 NM $140 | 10 classes | Barcode# 107159

Sport Conditioning

Are you passionate about sports? Do you want to build strength and stamina to improve your game? This class will provide sports-based exercises and drills to help you increase muscular strength & endurance, coordination, agility, quickness and stability to improve your sport performance. Exercises and drills will be determined based on the interests and needs of the group, according to their sport(s) of preference.

Thursdays | Starts Jan 14 | 7:00-8:00pm | M $100 NM $140 | 10 classes | Barcode# 107161
Fridays | Starts Jan 15 | 5:15-6:15pm | M $100 NM $140 | 10 classes | Barcode# 107163
Sundays | Starts Jan 17 | 5:30-6:30pm | M $90 NM $126 | 9 classes | Barcode# 107162

Advanced Conditioning

Are you tired of machines and dumbbells? This class will teach you about different training techniques and equipment that can be used to take your workout to the next level. Learn how to use things like Kettlebell, TRX and Battleropes with proper form and apply principles of HIIT (high intensity interval training) for optimal efficiency. Step out of the rut with Advanced Conditioning!

Tuesdays | Starts Jan 12 | 7:30-8:30pm | M $100 NM $140 | 10 classes | Barcode# 107121
Wednesdays | Starts Jan 13 | 9:15-10:15am | M $100 NM $140 | 10 classes | Barcode# 107160

Nutrition 101: 7 Keys to Eating for Good Health

Are you wanting to make changes to your eating habits but are unsure where to start? Have you tried dieting and found that you were left feeling hungry and unsatisfied? Are you aware of the changes you want to make but just need a bit of extra support getting there? Are you confused by all of the conflicting nutrition information and advice being dished out by the media?

If any of these situations apply to you, this is a course you won’t want to miss! Facilitated by a Registered Dietician, this course will introduce you to simple dietary changes you can adopt that will make the most difference to your health, along with practical strategies for doing so. The science behind the information will be explored to help clarify nutritional advice and dispel the myths. In addition, you will have the opportunity to keep a personal food journal and receive weekly feedback and support on your progress and challenges over this 8-week program to give you the best chances for success in reaching your goals.

Saturdays | Starts Jan 16 | 9:30-10:30am | M $80 NM $112 | 8 classes | Barcode# 111873


Healthy Eating: Practical Tips, Tricks & Answers to Your Questions

On Wednesday, May 13 from 6-8pm Saddletowne YMCA will host a workshop called Fundamentals of Healthy Eating.

This workshop will offer very practical information with ideas, strategies and recipes that you can take home and put to use right away. Our presenter Cheryl Strachan, a registered dietitian, offers a very down to earth perspective that covers not only the ‘what & why’ but the ‘how’ of creating healthy eating habits with plenty of examples along the way and answers to all of the commonly asked questions & concerns.

Click this link to sneak-a-peak:

http://www.sweetspotnutrition.ca/ymca-workshop-05-13-15/

Register early by calling 403-237-2393 and quoting course# 102733.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 | 6-8pm
Saddletowne YMCA, Studio A
Members/Staff/Volunteers: $10
NonMembers: $15
Course#: 102733

 


Post- Workout Eats

smoothie
 

Post- Workout Eats

Post-workout snacks are important to help your body recover from exercise. Give yourself a boost of energy and your muscles the tools they needs to repair and rebuild. Get some protein and some carbohydrates within 2 hours of working out.

Some great post-workout eats are:

 

Chocoloate Milk
The newest craze in post-exercise snacks. Chocolate Milk is packed with carbs and protein along with calcium to strengthen your bones. And it’s oh, so tasty.

 

Blend it!
Make a smoothie with berries, bananas, spinach and milk for a tasty, and cool, treat to cool you down and fuel your body’s recovery. Want some more protein? Add a bit of peanut butter to the blender.

 

Apple & Cheese Please
Another of my favourite snacks – it’s just enough to quiet the little tummy rumble, and it’s a great combo of sweet and not so sweet. Apples are filled with fibre, just make sure you eat the peel too.

 

Turkey & Cheese
Need something a little more filling? Some roasted turkey, Swiss cheese and a pile of veggies between whole wheat bread will fill you with good carbs, fibre, protein and vitamins.

 

Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is packed with fibre and protein. Mix your favourite veggies with this grain instead of a pile of lettuce for a tasty, filling, and recovery-boosting snack or meal.

 

Studies have shown that eating after exercise is important for insulin sensitivity levels, which impacts how the body takes sugar from the bloodstream into tissues for fuel. Give your body the fuel it needs by eating balanced, whole food snacks after hitting the gym.

Don’t forget to keep drinking water before, during and after your workout. The body gets dehydrated faster than normal when exercising because of the moisture loss from sweating.

As always, listen to your body. Learn to recognize what food makes you feel good before and after your workout.

 

apples and cheese
*Photos: Flickr – Katie Earley John Watson


Pre-Workout Eats

yogurt and berries
Pre-Workout Eats

Forget about soda, chips, and fried foods. Give your body fuel for your workout by eating the right things before you hit the gym. The right snacks can provide you with the right balance for fuel, building muscle, burning fat, satisfying hunger and aiding in recovery. Eat your snack 30-60 minutes before your workout.

Some of my favourite pre-workout eats are:

 

Parfait Okay!
Plain yogurt with strawberries and whole grain cereal or unsweetened granola will give you healthy (and sweet!) boost.

 

Oatmeal Mania
A small bowl of steel cut oats with some dried or fresh fruit and sliced almonds. Especially great when it’s chilly outside. Mmmm….

 

PBA – Peanut Butter and Apple
Slice up an apple and dip in PB. Yum.

 

PBBT – Peanut Butter Banana Toast
For a slightly heavier snack (or the perfect breakfast) try 2 tablespoons of peanut butter with sliced banana on whole grain toast. Banana and PB go so well together.

 

Eggcelent
A hard-boiled egg spread with hummus gives a boost of protein.

 

Did you notice anything about this snack list?

Simple food.

Natural food.

Small servings.

Protein powder and supplements can be useful. But sometimes your best bet is to stick with simple snacks made of simple ingredients. Fruit, whole grains and the like. They provide tasty combinations of carbs, proteins, fats and various nutrients your body needs. Small servings will help you avoid the dreaded stomach ache and cramps during your workout.

banana PB toast
*Photos: Flickr – Penn Waggener & Jen Waller


6 Tasty & Healthy Snacks for Kids

yogurt-dipped-strawberries-660x440

Forget cookies, granola bars and regular chips. Here are some fun, tasty, and healthy snacks your kids will love.

Frozen yogurt strawberries

For the sweet tooth, dip strawberries in vanilla-flavoured greek yogurt and lay them on a tray lined with wax paper. Place in the freezer for a few hours so the yogurt hardens. You can coat and freeze them once or twice. It’s pretty, it’s fun, and it’s packed with flavour!

Frozen Peanut Butter Banana Sandwiches

As long as there are no nut (or banana) allergies, slice a few bananas into medium-sized coins. Lay them out in pairs and add a ½ teaspoon of peanut butter on one row. Stack the remaining slices on top to create little sandwiched. Place in a wax paper lined container and freeze. Pop them out for a bite-sized sweet snack.

Apples and Cheese

Slice up some apples. Slice up some cheese. Simple. Tasty.

Fruit Kabobs

One of my favourite snacks when I was a kid. Mom would slice up fruit and my brothers and I got to slide the slices onto wooden skewers in as many different patterns as we liked. Apple slices, banana slices, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, orange slices, watermelon cubes. Tasty, all natural, and fun! Draw some patterns for your kids to follow and make it a contest to see who can follow the pattern.

Homemade Popsicles

Make your own flavours without the added sugar. Again, another great one for kids to get involved in. Allow children to pick their favourite fruits, puree them in the blender and pour into molds purchased from the dollar or grocery store. Add some coconut water if the mixtures are a little too thick. Then place in the freezer and wait a few hours. If you know the day will be scorching, make popsicles in the morning just after breakfast and they should be ready by mid-afternoon!

Homemade Potato Chips

For those who prefer a saltier flavour, try four ingredient homemade chips. Ingredients: potato, salt, garlic powder, onion powder. Microwave thin potato slices for 6 minutes between sheets of parchment paper. It can take some time to make a good size batch, but the fun of making your own potato chips can definitely make it worth it.

 

What are your kids’ favourite snacks? Tweet them to us or share them on our Facebook page.


Tabata for Weight Loss

Dance Fitness Group_98284244

Tabata Bootcamp is a 9-week program designed to help you achieve your goals of weight-loss, toning, fitness & increased energy through 4 components:

  • Exercise Program
  • Nutritional Guidance
  • Social Support & Motivation
  • Assessment &  Results Tracking

Exercise Program

Attend 3 group classes each week and do daily 7-minute workouts at home using the Tabata Bootcamp website.

Nutritional Guidance

Attend 4 group sessions with a Registered Nutritionist to learn how to:

  • complete a food journal
  • make healthy choices and understand why they are healthy
  • track your calorie intake
  • manage your portion control

Social Support & Motivation

Motivation and support from others is a key part of reaching your health goals. Connect daily with your coach and your peer group. Get to know other participants who have similar health and lifestyle goals.

Assessment &  Results Tracking

Get help assessing and tracking your progress so you can really see the difference your hard work is making.

Space is Limited. Register Today!

9 Week Program begins Monday, September 15, 2014
Crowfoot YMCA- 403-547-6576

Cost: $300 for YMCA Members $399 for General Public

Members can register online (Course Code# 96028)

Contact Bogi for more information.
403-241-4606
bgyorfi@calgary.ymca.ca

Reach for your goals today!


Free YMCA Memberships to Grade 6 Students

Grade6Bball_478747809_small Grade6TweenHeart_467105659_small

YMCA Calgary and the Flames Foundation for Life are excited to announce a partnership to provide free YMCA memberships to all City of Calgary youth registered in Grade 6.

Grade 6 Membership Benefits:

  • Free membership for grade 6 school year
  • Access to all 5 city-wide YMCA Calgary locations
  • Access to no-cost programs such as Adventurers (leadership training including character development, communication, volunteerism, and fundraising) and Active Y Kids (physical activity, nutrition, and goal setting) and Flames Friday & Teen Night activities
  • Advanced registration and discounted fees for programs

Why Grade 6?

Studies have shown grade 6 is the age in which a child is faced with many decisions, often with two options – a healthy one and an unhealthy one.

At YMCA Calgary, we believe youth need a place to belong, to feel safe, and to explore and grow during the important developmental stage of their grade 6 year. We want to support our youth in this critical time as they:

  • age out of traditional care models
  • develop new interests
  • prepare for junior high

We intend to give grade 6 youth opportunities around leadership, recreation, and holistic health. Our ability to promote and build healthy relationships will help the youth

  • expand their pro-social networks
  • have opportunities to build healthy relationships with peers
  • establish relationships with positive, adult role models

Why is the Flames Foundation for Life partnering with the YMCA?

The Flames Foundation want to make Calgary the healthiest City in Canada and this is a step. We want youth to not only be active but to become educated in a healthy lifestyle. This includes teamwork, leadership, social skills, goal setting and positive decision making. We hope that this age group is exposed to elements of a healthy lifestyle and will have the education required to motivate healthy choices moving forward in their physical and mental development.

How does a Youth get a Grade 6 Membership?

Drop in to any YMCA Calgary location to complete a membership form for your youth (parent/guardian signature, proof of child’s grade required).

When does it start?

The Grade 6 Membership program will officially launch September 1, 2014. Students in grade 6 will be able to get a one year membership valid September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2015, with the program continuing for new grade 6 students in September 2015.


Earth Day – Food Drive!

Did you know that next Tuesday is Earth Day?!

To celebrate Earth Day this year, the YMCA Global Initatives Committee has organized a Food Drive!  

Boxes will be set up for donations at Shawnessy and Saddletowne YMCA locations from Monday, April 21st until Saturday, April 26th. 

 

We encourage you to donate non-perishable food items that may otherwise go to waste, or perhaps sit in your cupboards for years to come! There will also be information on environmental issues, food waste, and what YOU can do to get involved in Earth Week.

Earth Week Food drive poster

Why a food drive? Because food waste is an extremely important environmental issue affecting our planet. For example, methane produced from food waste in landfills is 25 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide!

 

Statistics Canada estimates that about 40% of all food produced in this country goes to waste – that’s $27 billion each year.

 

*All food will be donated to the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank

 

More info:
Carla Bitz, Community Outreach & Global Initiatives Director
403-899-4047 | carla.bitz@calgary.ymca.ca


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