Calgary, Alberta

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Big Four Building, Stampede Grounds

Calgary, Alberta

Category Archives: General Fitness

June 19, 2018 0

Your journey to fitness and weight training, and building muscle and bone, is as close as a walk, run or bike ride on Calgary’s many pathways. The City of Calgary has over 200 pieces of permanent weight training and exercise equipment scattered along the pathways in clusters or separately along pathways forming a circuit.

And this summer the City will have instructors at five locations to help users navigate the equipment and lead you in exercises at no cost. This pilot project to have instructors available is designed specifically for people over age 65, but anyone can take part in the scheduled drop-in fitness program, says AJ Matsune, Calgary Recreation program co-ordinator.

“We’d like to give people an opportunity to try the equipment, and to give them a way to be active in parks,” she says.

A 2015 Alberta Survey on Physical Activity shows just 42% of Albertans over age 65 are physically active enough to benefit their health. Exercise is one of the most important things older adults can do to maintain physical and mental health as well as quality of life, according to The Canadian Centre for Active Living.

“We feel (also that the equipment) isn’t utilized as much as we’d like,” AJ says, noting permanent exercise equipment has been in Calgary parks for several years. “Trying the equipment is easier with an instructor.”

Julie Guimond, lead of environmental education for Calgary Parks, says adults are hesitant to use park exercise equipment because think they need permission to use it or that it’s there for someone else.

“Bringing in an instructor and signage lets people know the equipment is there for them,” Julie says. “It’s intimidating to use equipment when you don’t know how. Providing help from an instructor gives people that competence and confidence. The goal of this pilot is to determine if usage increases in existing and new mobile outdoor fitness sites in order to improve physical and social well-being in Calgarians (particularly older adults); to decrease barriers to usage of outdoor fitness equipment by providing free fitness training opportunities in community parks; and to decrease isolation of older adult populations by facilitating active social interactions.”

Calgary Recreation is providing fitness instructors from June to September to introduce you to the equipment and coach you on how to use it. Instructors will be at two sites that have permanent equipment and three sites where mobile equipment will be brought in. A leg press, step-up and recumbent bike are some of the equipment that will be available.

Instructors will teach stretches and exercises. Circuit training will include the use of trees, curbs and benches. And hand-held fitness equipment will be available.

Having instructors at fitness parks was one of the strategies from the Inclusive Playground Implementation Plan that City Council approved this winter. The pilot this summer is funded from Community Service Preventative Investment Funding.

Participants will be able to comment on their experience using the equipment with evaluation forms available at the five locations.

By Louise Gibbs

Category : General Fitness

January 24, 2018 0

It’s January, gyms are busy, machines are at full capacity, classes are packed….all in all an appropriate time to revisit a little ‘sweatiquette’ (Urban Dictionary defines sweatiquette as: the act of cleaning up gym equipment after use so the next person is not subjected to sweat and other bodily fluids).

Here are some basics:

• Spray, wipe, repeat. No one wants to hop onto a chest press machine that is drenched from the prior user, so work together with your fellow gym-goers to keep machines dry and clean

• Cell phone usage – a big no. If your phone is your source for workout tunes or for timing purposes, then set it to airplane mode, and get your sweat on, but otherwise, just put it away. If you’ve ever waited patiently for a machine while someone sits there texting away, or had to endure listening to someone on the elliptical next to you recounting last night’s date in remarkable detail, you can understand the frustration.

• Put your equipment away. Is that where the kettlebell was when you found it? If not, you know what to do

• Group fitness class newbies – arrive early and get a spot up front. Cool kids at the back of the class definitely does not apply here. You’ll get more out of the class, and the instructors will be in a better position to help you along.

If you have some treasured tips to pass along, we’d love to hear them!

Category : General Fitness


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