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How DO They Do It: YWCA Fitness Programs as Unique as You Are

YWCA fitness programs fill a niche in our city that are truly individualized. The YWCA tends to attract many avid fitness enthusiasts, but at the same time, it caters to beginning fitness members who are just getting started, or experiencing health or mobility issues.

With an extensive cardio and weight room, gymnasium, yoga studio and pool, the YWCA has the equipment, classes and instructors to create individualized fitness programs, for both women and men, with very different fitness ambitions.

“We try very hard to break down any barriers and make everyone feel welcome in our facility,” explained Fitness Manager Fred Dyck.

Knowledgeable staff members create an inviting atmosphere that makes you feel at ease as you begin a new routine, with personal trainers available throughout the day and evening. These trained professionals bring a combination of solid credentials, enthusiasm, patience, and expertise, and they are offer one-on-one consultations.

Unique to the YWCA facility is the wide range of wheelchair accessible equipment options. A total of 11 pieces of equipment are wheelchair accessible allowing very full access for members of all ability levels. Even if you have mobility issues or physical limitations, the weight room will accommodate your specific needs.

“We are very versatile and can adapt the equipment so a full range of members can benefit,” said Dyck.“We try really hard to give everyone an opportunity to benefit from the weight training we offer,” said Dyck. “We are here to assist them and make them feel comfortable.”

There are several specialty programs offered for people with health or mobility issues. Bone Fit is a class designed specifically for older adults, offering mild weight resistance. On Thursdays, the Seniors in the Weight Room class is a learning opportunity for maintaining balance, stability and strength.

In its full size gymnasium, the YWCA fills the week with challenging group fitness classes, including High Intensity Interval Training, Functional Fitness and a Country Heat Class.

A total of seven different yoga classes are offered each week including noon hour classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“We have dedicated yoga instructors who really know what they are doing and are able to assist people in learning and practicing yoga,” said Dyck.

With a pool located on site, the YWCA delivers a full aquatic program. A total of seven different aquatic fitness classes run throughout the week, with a range from gentle to vigorous. Specialty classes in the water also include Deep Water Aqua Fit, Aqua Zumba and Aqua Yoga. The YWCA continues to deliver a full complement of swimming lessons under the Red Cross program for both children and adults, as well as lane and family swim times.

Individualized fitness membership options are available, including drop-in rates, 10-packs, senior rates, adult, young adult, corporate packages, and programs for individuals needing financial assistance. Residents in the Crisis Shelter and the Turning Points supportive living program are able to access the full facility. Women enrolled in the YWCA Trade Journey program undertake an intensive training program to prepare them for physically demanding work in the building trades.

“We are a gym that all people can feel comfortable in,” said Dyck. “We want the YWCA to be a diverse and welcoming environment, so that you feel comfortable when you’re here and get the experience you’re looking for.”

The Fitness Centre is eligible for the YWCA Adopt A Room charitable program. By supporting Adopt A Room, you are allowing the YWCA to continue offering accessible fitness programs, breaking down barriers of affordability and mobility. For more information about making a donation designated to health and fitness programming, visit the YWCA Saskatoon website or call Joy-Ann Allin at (306) 244-7034 ext. 132.

By Terri Eger

Photo by Dave Stobbe