Tag Archives: safety

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

 


10 Tips for Biking Safely

Men with bikes
 

10 Tips for Biking Safely

Biking is a fun and healthy family activity, and a great way to get from A to B. But don’t forget about some basic safety tips.

1 – Wear a well-fitting helmet. Everyone should wear a helmet, even adults and toddlers in bike trailers. The helmet should be snug and cover the forehead, two fingers should fit between the chin strap and chin. By law, all cyclists under 18 need to wear a helmet. Four provinces in Canada have laws that all cyclists must wear a helmet.

2 – Know your hand signals. Let the cars and people around you know what you’re going to do. You can find hand signals here.

3 – Have a bell and use it. Again, let cyclists and pedestrians around you know what you’re going to do, especially when you are coming up behind them to pass.

4 – Know what’s around you. Be aware of possible hazards around you, including other vehicles, road or path conditions, pedestrians, pets, and even parked cars.

5 – Be cautious coming down hills or going around blind corners. Remember that the uphill cyclist has the right of way.

6 – Walk your bike on crosswalks. Crosswalks are for pedestrians, so become a pedestrian by walking your bike. If you would like to ride through the intersection, remember to remain a vehicle and cross the intersection on the roadway rather than in the crosswalk.

7 – Only ride on bike paths or the street and give way to pedestrians. When you are riding your bike you are a vehicle (ie. car). Sidewalks, like crosswalks, are for pedestrians.

8 – Obey the rules of the road. Again, when you are riding your bike, you are a vehicle. Stop at stop signs and red lights, stay in your lane, pass on the left, ride single file, go with, not against, the flow of traffic and give pedestrians the right of way.

9 – Wear bright colours so you can be seen. Cars, other cyclists, and pedestrians can’t see you if it’s getting dark and you’re wearing all black.

10 – Have a reflector or light if you plan on biking during dusk or dark. You’re a lot smaller than a car and drivers have a lot less visibility. Be seen.

CAA has a great Bike Safety website with tips for cyclists and drivers to share the road, a quiz and even a cyclist road test. If you ride on the road a lot, check it out.

Read our blog post about 6 Great Things About Biking here.


Fall Fitness Class Etiquette

As the weather gets a little bit cooler this fall, a lot of people are returning to the YMCA gyms, studios, and their favorite fitness classes to keep up their wellness routine.  As our classes begin to thrive, please take a moment to reacquaint yourself with five Fitness Class Etiquette Tips to make the experience smooth for everyone.

1. Arrive on Time – joining a class late* can be both distracting and unsafe.  Please respect your fellow attendees as well as your instructor and arrive to classes a bit early or right on time.  This will also allow you a proper warm-up, reducing your chance of injury.  *If lateness is unavoidable, please go to the back of the class.

2. Choose Proper Footwear – closed toed shoes (running shoes, cross-trainers etc…) will provide a non-slip grip on the floor and any equipment utilized in your class.  Ensure that your footwear is clean of all dirt and debris.  If you wouldn’t wear it in your house, please don’t wear it in our workout areas.

3.  Make your Workout Your Own – The instructor is there to guide you through YOUR workout; listen to your body and modify as you see fit.  If you are going to modify your workout significantly from the instructor’s planned program, please move to the back of the room as to not distract others from the instructor’s guidance.

4. Socializing – should be done either before or after the class.  Talking throughout the class can be viewed as disrespect to not only the other participants, but to the instructor as well.  If you can talk, you’re not working hard enough!

5. Stay for the Whole Class – Flexibility is a large part of your overall wellness!  Be sure to take the time to stretch out the muscles you’re worked.  Not only will it reduce soreness in the day(s) after, but it will reduce risk for injury down the road.


Let The Day-Camp Games Begin!

Today is Day One of 2013 Summer Day Camps at your YMCA!

Things To Remember As A Day Camp Parent:
~Give yourself extra time. The line-up for check-in on day one is always the longest. Remember that ID will be checked before you enter the drop-off zone and again with the councellor. This will happen every day at drop-off and pick-up.
~Anyone who hasn’t completed a med form online will have to fill one out before entering the drop-off zone, no exceptions.
~It’s a hot one out there! Be sure to send your child with a water bottle and lots of sunscreen.
~Bug spray will probably be necessary; it’s going to be a “mosquito” kinda year!

Things To Remember As A General Member:
~Day Camps have a lot of campers that are going to be taking up a lot of space; check the gym pool schedule at your branch for accurate room availability
~These are our future leaders! Patience and kindness and appreciated as our campers roam our halls, swim in our pools, and play in our fields.

Things To Remember As A Camper:
~Have Fun!

Here’s to a wonderful summer!
YMCA Calgary: Honesty, Caring, Respect, Responsibility


Let The Day-Camp Games Begin!

Today is Day One of 2013 Summer Day Camps at your YMCA!

Things To Remember As A Day Camp Parent:
~Give yourself extra time. The line-up for check-in on day one is always the longest. Remember that ID will be checked before you enter the drop-off zone and again with the councellor. This will happen every day at drop-off and pick-up.
~Anyone who hasn’t completed a med form online will have to fill one out before entering the drop-off zone, no exceptions.
~It’s a hot one out there! Be sure to send your child with a water bottle and lots of sunscreen.
~Bug spray will probably be necessary; it’s going to be a “mosquito” kinda year!

Things To Remember As A General Member:
~Day Camps have a lot of campers that are going to be taking up a lot of space; check the gym pool schedule at your branch for accurate room availability
~These are our future leaders! Patience and kindness and appreciated as our campers roam our halls, swim in our pools, and play in our fields.

Things To Remember As A Camper:
~Have Fun!

Here’s to a wonderful summer!
YMCA Calgary: Honesty, Caring, Respect, Responsibility


Contributing to a Healthy Community

Outdoor Exercise

Now that we have “sprung forward” and the weather is getting nicer, many of us like to take our workouts to the great outdoors.  Outdoor exercise has many great benefits:  it adds variety and interest to your workout, it feels good to be in the sunshine, you just have to step out your door and begin – no travel time, and the changing terrain can add more of
a challenge to your routine.  There are also some precautions that will keep your workout safe:

  1. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you can check the weather channel for pollens in the air and exercise at a time when the pollen count is low.
  2. Ensure you dress in layers – the weather in spring is very changeable – it’s easier to take layers off if you become too warm than it is to have too little clothing if you get cold.
  3. Watch out for that winter gravel – many a cyclist and runner has been injured by a fall due to slipping on gravel – take extra care until the street sweepers have done their job.
  4. The UV index is also available on the weather channel – it’s early in the year right now, but is still possible to sunburn if you’re out too long unprotected.  Try to
    exercise when the UV index is low; if this isn’t possible, make sure you wear a hat, sunglasses and, of course, slather on that SPF 30 or higher!

Stay healthy and accident-free and enjoy your outdoor workout!


Swim to Survive at Saddletowne YMCA!

Swim to Survive is a program designed for those afraid of water or those
who don’t know how to swim but want to be safe around the water. There are 3
skills involved:   learn to roll into deep water, swim 50 m (any style) and then
tread water for 1 minute. These are the skills required to survive an
unexpected fall into deep water (backyard pool, lake, ocean, river etc). This
program can first be tried with a PDF (personal floatation device) and then attempted
without it. Y Calgary is offering this program for the first time at Saddletowne YMCA for kids 8-12 and adults 18+. There are 3 classes  and anyone who wants to join, can talk to members services!


How AEMA Keeps You Safe

Did you know the Goverment of Alberta has a department dedicated to your safety? The Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) works to inform and prepare the public should an emergency take place in your home, office, school, public or just about any place you can be:

The primary objective of the public awareness and education programs and services of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) is to create an informed public that knows the steps that should be taken to prevent and respond to a wide range of emergency incidents. These steps are to protect life, property, and the environment, and to promptly notify emergency response services.

Emergency preparedness is everyone’s responsibility. The basic tenet of public awareness and education is to increase their knowledge to enable safe attitudes and behaviours.

Check out what the Province of Alberta is doing to help inform people and keep us all safe by visiting the AEMA website.


Teaching Kids to Get Involved

Kudos to Canadian Living for the article entitled: How to teach your children to become involved in their community. This is something we need to care about to build strong, safe and healthy communities.

Teaching kids to be aware of not only their own immediate world, but the community that surrounds them encourages greater caring and appreciation for others, care for the environment, realization that small acts can have massive positive results and more. At the core is caring kids become caring adults–the end result being a friendlier, safer, warmer and kinder world.

“Advances in technology and social networking have changed how we view community. Instead of waving and saying hello to the elderly couple next door, a lot of young people are instead texting their friends about who said what at school that day. They’ve increased communications within their circle of friends, but they’re actually interacting less with the people around them. What’s more, with information on just about everything available at our fingertips, it’s easy to think we don’t need help from anyone these days.”

Read the full article on the Canadian Living Moms website.


3-Minute Drill to Home Safety

Have you seen this great website by the Government of Alberta about keeping your home and family safe from fire? It is an excellent tool for planning for such an emergency and making certain everyone knows what to do:

“Unlike 25-years ago, a house fire today can turn deadly in as little as 3-minutes. When you consider it will take the fire department 7-minutes or more to respond, learning how to prevent, detect and escape a fire has never been more critical. Start now.”

Learn how to be safe with the 3-Minute Drill website.

 

 


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