Tag Archives: young

The Yellow Balloon

Last night was a pretty typical Sunday night around our house.

My wife and I were winding down after a busy weekend with our two children, Adam, age 8 and Ashlyn, age 5. The kids’ teeth were brushed, their pyjamas on (bath time was avoided thanks to a wonderful afternoon swim at Crowfoot YMCA) and family books, our nightly reading tradition, was imminent. After a hectic weekend attending the Calgary International Children’s Festival, doing the necessary clean and tidy required to get us through the week, baseball, ballet and the other routines of a young family, we were all pretty ready to be done for the night.

Then, someone blew up a yellow balloon.

My son, always up for a spontaneous game, tapped the balloon and sent it soaring across the living room. My wife, equally game, tapped it back. My daughter quickly got in on the action. Then, emerging from another room to see what was happening, I found the uncovered corner and joined in.

The goal was to slap and pass, push and bash that balloon, avoiding the pointy ceiling and the forbidden hardwood floor.

“Mommy, it’s yours!”

“Adam, hit it!”

“Ha, Dad, it got you in the nose!”

As we played, we talked. We talked about working as a team. We encouraged and cheered each other on. We worked on strategy — slowing down the tempo once in a while, then pounding that balloon for maximum effect and velocity.

Ashlyn squealed with delight each time she took the yellow balloon in an unexpected direction, usually off a parent’s body part. With some encouragement, Adam resisted the urge to hog the balloon from his smaller sister, not always his default position, and soaked up the praise. Mom and Dad enjoyed those love-filled looks parents share when their kids are being simply amazing.

The game went on for 20 minutes. We were totally connected as a family.

We all felt a little lighter.


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

 

 


Visit to YMCA Partnership in Ukraine

YMCA builds healthy communities not only in Calgary, but also in more than 120 countries around the world through our International Initiatives. Partnerships promote sharing of knowledge and resources with YMCAs in other parts of the globe and provide opportunity to support local community development work abroad. Together with other YMCAs in Alberta, our partnership with YMCA Ukraine promotes mutual growth and learning.

View a couple snapshots from Tanis Cochrane, YMCA Calgary’s VP of Children and Youth, who is currently visiting Ukraine to help train young leaders.

Sofia and Leysia, from our YMCA partnership in Ukraine

Hot Chocolate you eat with a spoon in Lviv, Ukraine

 


Exercise & Teens: Surprising Facts

By now, most of us have heard staggering facts about the levels of high weight and lack of exercise/movement in young people today. There are some facts out there though that still take us off guard.

Here’s an article on the Family Education website that reveals some new facts that still catch us off guard and provides suggestions for moving forward in a positive, healthy light:

“Every time our teens sprawl in front of the TV, their metabolism slows to a crawl. Researchers at Memphis State University and the University of Tennessee explored the link several years ago and were startled to find that kids’ metabolisms were lower while they were watching television than when they were resting and doing nothing at all! The typical teen now spends almost 30 hours a week in front of the tube, while eating high-fat snacks.”

Read the full article by on the Family Education website. Maybe you will have a chance to read thru other parts of the website – it’s a good one!


Exercise & Teens: Surprising Facts

By now, most of us have heard staggering facts about the levels of high weight and lack of exercise/movement in young people today. There are some facts out there though that still take us off guard.

Here’s an article on the Family Education website that reveals some new facts that still catch us off guard and provides suggestions for moving forward in a positive, healthy light:

“Every time our teens sprawl in front of the TV, their metabolism slows to a crawl. Researchers at Memphis State University and the University of Tennessee explored the link several years ago and were startled to find that kids’ metabolisms were lower while they were watching television than when they were resting and doing nothing at all! The typical teen now spends almost 30 hours a week in front of the tube, while eating high-fat snacks.”

Read the full article by on the Family Education website. Maybe you will have a chance to read thru other parts of the website – it’s a good one!


Creating YMCA Strong Kids

We all wonder how our individual gift could ever have an impact?

YMCA Strong Kids Campaign raises much needed financial support for children, teens and families who are unable to afford the full cost of participation in a YMCA program or activity.

YMCA Strong Kids Campaign helps one person at a time, one family at a time and one program at a time. That might mean providing funds to:

  • Help a youth gain the confidence and skills to avoid isolation
  • Help a child attend day camp for the first time and meet new friends
  • Give a teen a safe place to go
  • Help a young immigrant learn English
  • Enable a struggling family to use a child care facility
  • Enable a child to make healthy choices by participating in a recreation or fitness activity

In 2012, our goal is to raise $1.4 million to help enrich the lives of more than 13,500 children and youth in Calgary. All money raised goes directly to children and youth so they can belong, grow, thrive, and lead.

Why is there a need for YMCA Strong Kids Campaign?

Research conducted by McMaster University has demonstrated that YMCA programs have a positive impact on low-income children, youth and families, dramatically enhancing their health and overall well-being, both today and well into the future. Calgary’s economically disadvantaged includes:

  • 1/5 of Calgary’s children
  • More than 50% of all single parent families
  • More than 50% of all recent immigrants
  • More than 50% of all Aboriginal people
  • Close to 1/3 of all visible minority persons

Examples of how your investment in YMCA Strong Kids is used:

  • $10/month ($120/year) enables a family peace of mind as their child attends Camp Riveredge in a fun, nurturing, and safe environment
  • $20/month ($240/year): supports a teen to participate in leaderhsip devleopment programs; building their skills, character, and self-esteem
  • $50/month ($600/year): can change a child’s life at our residential summer camp, Camp Chief Hector
  • $83/month ($1,000/year): ensures a whole family can enjoy the lasting benefits of regular physical activity at YMCA Calgary
  • $10,000 – this major gift ensures the support of much needed and fully funded programs such as Aboriginal Active Life, School Support, and the YMCA Achievement Program (YMAP)

Donate to YMCA Strong Kids Campaign

  • Give a gift online
  • Pick up a pledge card at any YMCA location
  • Mail a cheque payable to YMCA Strong Kids to 101 3 St SW Calgary, AB T2P4G6
  • Make a contribution by phone (403-781-1663)
  • Become a volunteer Strong Kids Campaign Chairperson (call 403-781-1663)

Parenting Youth Athletes: Reversed Roles?

Guest blogger Marla Miller on the Moms Team website talks about changing the culture of youth sports.

Marla talks about parents needing to have empathy for their own children out on the playing field and thinking more about what children go through before, during and after sports play:

If there was a youth sports “P.T.A.” and I happened to be president, here’s what I’d do: ferret out all parents who never played out their own athletic dreams and make them play one season in the sport of their choice.

Okay, you may think this sounds crazy, perhaps, but if parents had to do this before their child played a sport in any serious and focused way, what these parents might learn is just how tough it is to perform on a field/court filled with teammates and opponents; some rooting for you, some hoping to take you out.

Click here to read the full post on www.momsteam.com.

 


Sports Hydration for Young People

The Moms Team website takes a look at the importance of hydration for young atheletes:

“Proper hydration is just as important to athletic performance as the food your child eats, and more important to his safety. An athlete who becomes dehydrated is at risk of a heat illness, among the most dangerous sports injuries, as well as the most preventable.”

Read more: http://www.momsteam.com/nutrition/sports-hydration#ixzz1saji82VJ

 


How to Find a Summer Job

Here’s a really comprehensive article from Randall S. Hansen at Quintessential Careers about how to find a summer job. The article breaks this seemingly tough chore into super easy steps that are easy to follow.

“Even if summer vacation is still a few months away for most teens, now is the time to plan and lay a foundation for landing that cool summer job you really want.”

Click here to read more. This article is posted on www.quintcareers.com.


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