Calgary, Alberta

Author Archives: Erika Holter

December 16, 2016 0

Up for a challenge? Can you run a marathon? Want to be a hero for a great cause?

In 2013, a group of 10 runners, led by Calgarian Blaine Penny, completed the Calgary Marathon while linked together by surgical tubing. Their aim was to bring attention to mitochondrial disease by setting the Guinness World Record for the fastest “linked” marathon. Not only did they break the record by running the marathon in 2:55, but together they raised over $100,000 for the MitoCanada Foundation and received international media attention. Watch

Blaine Penny, no stranger to Calgary’s running community, is once again gathering runners in support of raising awareness and funds for mitochondrial disease or mito for short. This is a cause that is deeply personal to Blaine and his family as his son Evan was diagnosed with the disease. Evan was a happy, healthy child before going in for a routine appendectomy at age 3. He didn’t recover as expected and was left quadriplegic subsequently being diagnosed with mito. He’s fed by a tube, has trouble lifting his head, suffers chronic bouts of pain, and has no reliable way to communicate with the outside world. Evan’s diagnosis led to the founding of the MitoCanada Foundation in 2010 and inspired this video

Next May at the Calgary Marathon, Blaine Penny and TeamMito will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the “Most runners linked to complete a marathon.” In recognition of Canada’s 150th birthday, they will attempt to link 150 runners for this latest feat. So here is your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make history AND make a meaningful difference in the lives of Canadians living with mito. Recruitment is underway. Interested? Email Blaine at to apply for a spot. Tell him what inspires you to be part of TeamMito150. Note that you must be committed to fundraising a minimum $1000 to participate and be confident that you can run a 5 hour marathon. Destiny is calling …

Category : Exhibitor

December 15, 2016 0

The holidays are a great time to spend with family and friends, eating, drinking and being merry – but once January rolls around and the smell of candy canes, chocolates and other holiday treats are gone – reality sets in and we all know it’s time to start the new year on the right track!

The New Year is time to focus on creating and meeting goals for the year ahead, and often that includes health and fitness goals. For businesses focused on service delivery in these areas, this is your Christmas! You’ll often see ads from large fitness giants encouraging people to get active and fit for the new year, and that’s for good reason!

It’s estimated one in five people have gym memberships, and that number is down to increase in the first two months of the year. If you’re a regular gym goer, you can see this for yourself. January and February can take some patience on your part as first-timers may be taking up all your favourite equipment. Health regimens are similar, with many consumers looking for the latest healthy eating and cleansing recipes to get out of those holiday snacking patterns.

If you’re wondering how your health or fitness business can make the most out of these two key months, read on for some helpful tips!

1. Plan Ahead: As they say, the best laid plans … are planned ahead! Don’t wait until December to strategize for the new year – after all, it comes around the same time every year! Since you have the ability to really boost sales during these two months, take your time to plan your campaigns. Depending on your business, different types of campaigns will work. Check out what your competitors are doing, and try to be consistent. Market your campaign on your website, via social media and in-person. A well-organized plan is a strong one!

2. Get into trade shows: North America hosts many health or fitness trade show events each new year. (Note, aside from YYCfit, they are generally either in the health or fitness category, rather than a mix of both.) As part of your marketing planning, do some research to see what shows are coming up that fit your business type. A lot of these shows book fast, so be sure to get in there early!
*If you’re interested in booking at YYCfit’s 2017 show, click here.

3. Offer Seasonal Specials or Discounts
Seasonal sales, promotions or discounts are a great way to attract new customers who are feeling strapped from the spending spree of December. Consider a discount if they purchase before the end of January, for example. You can do special promos where you combine products and/or services, or even do a “refer-a-friend and get a discount” promo. Whatever you do, just keep it simple and consistent across all your marketing platforms.

4. Provide great content
You’ve heard the saying by now – Content is King. This is particularly true in the health and fitness world. there are thousands of health and fitness related businesses out there, so it can be difficult for potential clients to find you and then trust you. By providing high quality content such as blogs/vlogs, videos or graphics you can not only attract attention but effectively stand out from your competitors by showing them how you’re different.

Category : Exhibitor

December 14, 2016 0

With shorter days, longer nights and colder weather, it can be more than tempting to stay warm and cozy indoors and relax on our fitness regimen a little (or a lot).
But why stay cooped up in your house when there are so many options for fun indoor and outdoor activities here in Calgary? Our city offers some of the widest variety of fitness opportunities in the country. Below are just some of the ways you can get out and active during the holidays!

1. Head to Calgary Olympic Park:
Calgary Olympic Park’s year-round facility offers a plethora of both outdoor and indoor activities the whole family can enjoy!
• Get your skates and head to COPs indoor rink! Public drop-in skating is available seven days a week and the prices are great, ranging from $2.99 for children and seniors to just $5.99 for adults. They even have a family pass for $14.99, which includes two adults and children.
• Love sledding? COPs tube park is the largest of its kind in Western Canada, featuring 10 lanes, each 200 metres in length. It’s also located on the main hill so you can easily take advantage of nearby washrooms, eateries, retail store and other amenities.
• Of course if you’re looking for a local or beginner/intermediate place to go skiing and snowboarding with family and friends, COP is convenient and fun! The hill features a beginner area, a beginner park, a terrain park and even a super pipe!
• If you love hockey, COP has drop in shinny games every Tuesday as well as every other Friday. You just ned to be 18+, have all you own equipment and a helmet to play! They even host adult rec hockey if you’re looking for more of a team experience.
• If you’re more of the adventurous type, COP also has bobsleigh and luging!
Visit the COP website for more details on prices, hours of operation, regulations and more.

2. Try Cross Country Skiing, Skating or Tobogganing
The city of Calgary has a host of great places to take your family for skiing, skating and tobogganing, no matter what side of the city you live in!
Cross Country Skiing & Snowshoeing can be done in any park, plus there are several dedicated cross-country skiing tracks available in and around Calgary. visit for more details.
There are plenty of city-run outdoor rinks, as well as community and volunteer-run rinks throughout our city. Visit to find out more about one near you!
Kids and adults alike love tobogganing and sledding, and Calgary’s foothills landscape provides an abundance of great hills to choose form! Check out for more info.

3. Head to the Mountains!
We are very lucky to be living so close to some of the most scenic mountain ranges in North America, and they also lend themselves to some great activities too!
Skiing/Snowboarding; Take a day-trip to one of Banff area’s three great mountains for some skiing and snowboarding! Visit the Mt. Norquay, Lake Louise or Sunshine Village for more info on hours, prices and more!
If you’re looking for something a little different, try snow tubing at Mt. Norquay, or snowshoeing at Sunshine Village or Lake Louise, in Marble Canyon, or to the Paint Pots. Visit for more info!

4. Get Active Indoors
Of course, Calgary has some great year-round facilities for the whole family too. So if you’re looking to stay warm but still get active, check out any of these great places this winter:
• Test your footwork at the Calgary Soccer Centre
• Practice your tennis swing at The Tennis Academy or the Osten and Victor Alberta Tennis Centre
• Take a swing at the National Golf Academy
• Climb to new heights at the Crux Climbing and Bouldering
• Bounce on fun interlocking trampolines at Extreme Air Park

Category : Staying Active

December 14, 2016 0

When temperatures start to dip below -20, Calgarians start thinking about winter getaways. YYCfit exhibitor, G Adventures, is a good place to start for the adventure traveller. G Adventures has defined (and redefined) small group travel for over 25 years, and provides excursions for a variety of travelers, including YOLO tours, Active tours, Local Living tours and even National Geographic journeys.

G Adventures is also differentiated in that they have a strong focus on sustainable tourism, which they deliver on in a variety of ways:

• Through Planterra Foundation, the G Adventures nonprofit organization established in 2003 to support and empower women, at-risk youth and indigenous communities through a number of sustainable tourism projects
• Through economic investment, G Adventures works with locally-owned businesses to ensure travel dollars benefit and strengthen local communities
• Animal welfare – G Adventures is committed to ensuring that all animals encountered on their tours are treated humanely

G Adventures is currently offering 15% off tours booked before December 30th – visit to take advantage.

So, all that’s left to decide….is where to go?

• Galapagos Land and Sea
• Tanzania Safari Experience
• Rome to Madrid on a Shoestring
• Amazon Riverboat and Machu Picchu Adventure
• Vietnam Hike, Bike and Kayak

These are just a handful of the more than 80 excursions available – see a full list at

Happy travels!

Category : Exhibitor

December 13, 2016 0

Coming up on the YYCfit seminar stage: The Importance of Vitamin (N)ature

We all know the importance of Vitamins A through E and we know to get our daily dose through the foods we eat or the supplements we take. But what about vitamin N? Why is it important to get your daily dose of nature? How can this best be accomplished in our increasingly high-tech, urbanized, over-scheduled lives? What are the dangers of “sitting disease?” Learn the answers to these questions and get inspired to get active outdoors.

Presenter Urban Poling Alberta Ambassador Mandy Johnson has spoken internationally on topics related to active living, walking, Nordic walking and walk-friendly communities. In addition to her role with Urban Poling, Mandy also has a company, Active by Nature, where she consults on independent active living and transportation.

Category : Seminar Stage

November 25, 2016 0

The Guinness Book of Records was first published in 1955 and has since grown to be one of the most recognized brands in the world. The act of securing a world record in any given activity is no small feat. Records range from the downright bizarre (I’m looking at you Gary Bashaw Jr. and your record for 1.82 ounces of milkshake dispensed through the nose) to the can’t-look-away variety (like the 358 dancers who twerked simultaneously in 2013 for two minutes straight) to the utterly inspiring (Zak Kerkoulas performing the iron cross on the Roman rings for 39.23 seconds). And we’re fortunate to have a few of these utterly inspiring record holders right here in Alberta, and they will be on hand at YYCfit taking part in our panel discussion on “The Road to Guinness”.

Meet our current confirmed panelists:

Rob “Frisbee Rob” McLeod and Davy Whippet: Rob McLeod holds 6 Guinness World Records and 10 World Championships in frisbee. Two of these Guinness records involve Davy (402 foot distance to canine catch and 10.56 second canine MTA). The remaining four records are: MTA on ice skates, TRC on ice skates, SCF on ice skates and drink cans hit in one minute with a flying disc (28 cans!) In addition to working hard to help further and grow disc sports through involvement with the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF), Rob is also a published author, having released The Davy Rule, a book starring Davy, that teaches readers aged 4 – 10 about kindness, acceptance and curiosity.

Martin Parnell: Martin Parnell: Nicknamed Marathon Man, Martin Parnell, started his “Quests for Kids” initiative in 2010 and subsequently raised $1.3 million for the organization Right To Play. One of these quests included completing 250 marathons in one year. Another quest saw Martin summit Mount Kilimanjaro in 21 hours. Martin is also a five time Guinness World Record holder as follows: longest game of netball; longest game of indoor soccer; longest game of lacrosse; biggest game of ice hockey and the biggest game of ball hockey. Martin’s Road to Guinness began in 2010 at the age of 54 – Martin is proof positive that there is no age limit on reaching your goals. Martin recently released his second book, Running to the Edge, and is an accomplished motivational speaker.

Blaine Penny: With so many worthy causes and charities, competition for charitable donations is tough, and organizations need to get creative. Setting a Guinness World Record is a fantastic way to help raise funds and awareness for charity, as Blaine Penny, founder of MitoCanada, knows well. At the 2016 Calgary Marathon, Blaine and his team broke six Guinness World records, raising over $75,000 for MitoCanada in the process. Two solo runners (Dave Proctor and Arielle Fitzgerald) broke treadmill records (two each) and female and male teams of 12 runners also set new world records for cumulative distance run on a treadmill over 24 hours. Blaine also led MitoCanada to the first ever Guinness World Record completed at the Calgary Marathon in 2013 by achieving the ‘Fastest Marathon by a Linked Team’ with 10 runners linked together, raising $115,000. These inspiring displays of athletic endurance were a huge draw at the Marathon and also helped spread the word on Mitochondrial Disease, which is a debilitating genetic disorder impacting 1 in 4,000 people that negatively impacts the body’s ability produce energy at the cellular level, resulting in widespread health implications.

This presentation will explore the motivations and the steps required to achieve a Guinness Record, and will give attendees the opportunity to ask questions of our panel members and hear about their Road to Guinness first-hand.

Category : Seminar Stage

November 21, 2016 0

Hit a popular running trail on a nice (or even a not-so-nice) day and you will see that Calgary has no shortage of runners. Running Room was established in 1984 in Edmonton in the living room of an old house (thus, the name Running Room), and today has 117 locations across Canada and the US. Their Calgary locations are: Kensington, Cross Iron Mills, Glenmore Landing, Crowfoot, Shawnessy, Country Hills, Eau Claire Market and Westhills.

Running Room is a store by runners for runners. In addition to a wide range of running shoes, accessories and apparel, Running Room also has several training programs available for runners, ranging from Learn to Run to Marathon Training.

Running Room is also involved with sponsoring several races, and YYCfit attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about these races at the show. Running Room is an awesome addition to the expo, and truly reflects the healthy and active lifestyle that YYCfit is striving to promote.

Category : Exhibitor

November 18, 2016 0

There will be no shortage of things to see and do at YYCfit. One of the exciting show elements is the demo stage, which will be jam-packed with a variety of demonstrations, starting at 11:00 am on May 13th and going right through the weekend.

What can show-goers expect to see on the demo stage? A few of the confirmed activities include:

• Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
• Freestyle disc
• Hip hop dancing
• Aerial yoga
• Gymnastics
• Tai Chi
• Sword Fighting
• ….and more!

The full schedule of demo stage activities will be posted in 2017. In the meantime, let us know if there is a particular activity you would like to see at the show!

Category : Demo Stage

October 24, 2016 0

Between Thanksgiving pumpkin pie and Hallowe’en jack-o-lanterns, and the surge of pumpkin-spiced lattes in coffee shops, October is a very pumpkin-filled month. One of the best parts of cooking with or carving up pumpkins….is getting to chow down on fresh-roasted pumpkin seeds afterwards! And, bonus, pumpkin seeds are nutritional powerhouses!

So, once you manage the somewhat messy task of extracting the seeds from the pumpkin, what’s next?

1. Rinse the seeds thoroughly in a colander.
2. Spread out on a cookie sheet, cover with a cheesecloth and allow to dry overnight.
3. Toss the seeds with some olive or coconut oil, depending on your taste preference, approximately one tablespoon per cup of seeds.
4. Get creative with adding spices. Our favorite is Cajun seasoning and garlic salt, but the possibilities are endless.
5. Roast the seeds at 170 degrees for 20 minutes.
6. Allow to cool….and enjoy! Pumpkin seeds are fantastic on their own, or added to a salad.

Category : Recipes

October 21, 2016 2

Disc sports are on the grow, and we are excited to have them represented at YYCfit!

Anyone who has ever played Ultimate Frisbee will tell you it is a blast – an intense game, but also newcomer friendly. Ultimate Frisbee engages throwing and catching skills, speed, stamina and agility. Ultimate Frisbee was born on a New Jersey high school campus in 1968 and has continued to evolve since:

• Spreading to Europe and Asia in the mid-70’s
• Incorporation of the governing body, the World Flying Disc Federation in 1984
• The first world championships were held in Germany in 1989
· Today, disc sports are played by 7.5 million people globally in more than 70 countries

And then there is Disc Golf! This fun sport is similar to traditional golf, except players progress down the fairway to land a flying disc in a Disc Golf basket rather than using a ball and clubs. Like Ultimate Frisbee, modern day Disc Golf has been around since the 1960’s. At the time, Disc Golf targets would range from trees to trash cans to fire hydrants. The game was formalized in 1975 with the development of the first Disc Pole Hole, a disc golf catching device consisting of 10 chains hanging in a parabolic shape over an upward opening basket, and the first standardized Disc Golf course was subsequently opened in California.

Calgary is home to some fantastic Disc Golf courses:
• Baker Park (18 holes)
• Lloyd Park (18 holes)
• Midnapore (private community course)
• Old Refinery (18 holes) – currently closed, but reopening in 2018
• Park 96 (private community course)
• Sundance Lake (private community course)
• Thornecliff (9 holes)

Now is a perfect time to pick up a disc, get out for a workout and enjoy the beauty that is fall in Calgary!

YYCfit is pleased to be featuring the following exhibitors who will be educating attendees on these fast-growing sports:

Calgary Ultimate Association – founded in 2004, and a member of Sport Calgary, Calgary Ultimate Association coordinates year-round leagues, tournaments, a growing juniors program and engages in outreach efforts to promote the sport of Ultimate Frisbee in Calgary

Calgary Disc Golf Club – founded in 2010 to help grow Disc Golf in Calgary, this organization has been instrumental in bringing new Disc Golf courses to the City of Calgary

Lifesport – Located in Sunnyside, this sporting goods store has been in Calgary since 1987, and will be selling Ultimate Frisbee and Disc Golf products onsite at the show

Category : Exhibitor


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