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Life begins at age 80 at the Y

"Another year over and a new one has just begun" are the wise words of John Lennon who describes where we find ourselves contemplating the new year. We can focus on the past or we can look eagerly forward to the future.

We have great examples of pro-active Y members who are the epitome of a positive healthy outlook on life.

Check out the downtown Y Dr Hauch pool every morning and you will be impressed with the vitality of the swimmers. In lane one we have Freddy who is a very young 87 year old British lad in his Speedo swimming suit churning up and down the pool.

His welcoming "cheerio come- on- in the water is delightful" makes you want to join him. Freddy is certainly a charmer who enjoys chatting up all of the girls in the pool. He complains that the life guards are "too old and they keep hitting on him" is taken with good cheer by all who are fortunate to be able to join him.

In lane number two we have Freddy’s match in Dorothy a very youthful 88 year old independent women of determination who when she is not swimming is a world traveler. 40 lengths in the pool with no time to stop and talk sure keeps her in great shape. When her stylish blue jeans get too tight for comfort she just exercises more and adjusts her food intake.

I too aspire to emulate Freddy and Dorothy. Recently my doctor gave me the good news and bad news reports. The good news I will probably live until I am 90. But, the bad news I will be shot by a jealous boy friend of a 20 year old female Wellness Instructor in the back while I am running away from the scene. My wife, Ella, laughs at the prospect hoping to applaud my exploits.

Len Lesser is an education- career counselor www.career-education.ca


Holiday Foods Quiz

Can you pick out the healthiest (and least healthiest) choices to maintain and not gain this Holiday Season? Take this fun quiz from WebMD to find out!
If you do decide the splurge this time of year, don't worry - the Y is open during the holidays! Contact your local branch for their holiday schedule.

Happy holidays from the Y!

5 Tips to Step Up Your Walking Game

5 Tips to Step Up Your Walking Game!
Walking is a major factor in that phenomenon that is referred to vaguely as, “metabolism.” You know that whole, “I’m older now and my metabolism is slower” thing? For a lot of people it just means we’re taking fewer steps than we used to.
In short, walking is really important, which you probably knew. So how can you sneak more of it into your day, especially during the winter months? Well good news! A bunch of people have experimented with new walking habits that have actually increased daily steps count without really even trying. Here are five ideas:
1. Walk when you’re on the phone. Most of us who work desk jobs take at least a couple of phone calls a week. Or maybe just an hour phone call with Mom. I recently made it a habit to walk around when I was on the phone and it added a little less than 100 steps per minute. Even when I was just pacing around my house! One day I fielded 4 phone calls and walked more than 24,000 steps just while I was on the phone. 
2. Every time you catch yourself surfing the internet, go for a walk. This works on two levels: you will move more (1,200 steps each break and about another 4,000 steps per day) and you will feel more refreshed after the breks. The key was not going anywhere (like to get a coffee or a snack), just taking a walk around the block or down the hall and back a few times. This can actually double the amount of steps you take per day.
3. Have walking meetings. For the most part, meetings have a standard format. Sit. Get bored. Fight to stay awake. Maybe bring your laptop so you can pretend you’re taking notes. You know what changes all that? Walking. Not just standing, but actually covering ground. Not only do you get more walking in but the attendees are forced to stay engaged and awake. As an extra bonus, meetings get shorter and more to the point!
4. Meet your friends at the mall. Remember High School? Meeting up your friends at the food court even though you might be too broke to buy any food? Walking to meet other friends? Maybe walking to look at things you couldn’t buy in the stores? People who have done this about 10,000 steps per visit, all in heated and air-conditioned comfort while they caught up with friends and gossip. Just like teenagers.
5. Buy an audiobook and do at least one errand a day on foot. This one is from a colleague who only has certain audiobooks that she listens to when she goes to check her mail. Her walk to the mailbox is more than a mile round trip, and she often walks right on past it into order to hear more of what’s happening in her novel. And the best part is I’m trying to find excuses to get out and walk!

Commit to Making a Difference this GivingTuesday!

Canada’s third annual GivingTuesday is happening December 1st, 2015. It’s a national day to celebrate giving and giving back. A day where charities, companies, families and individuals will join together to rally for causes, give back and think about others.

Show your commitment to making YOUR community a better place this GivingTuesday. Easily donate online today; your gift to the YMCA will help a child learn to swim; a youth develop leadership skills; a senior gain social supports; or provide a family with a place to belong. Help us spread the word about GivingTuesday with friends and family, and give today to be involved in this charitable movement!

Pledge Your Giving Tuesday Activity Now! #givingtuesday


3 Easy Halloween Activities to do with Children

1. Purchase a variety of small Halloween items from the dollar store, such as small plastic spiders, pumpkin shape erasers, felt stars etc. Then with a couple small bowls or an ice cube tray you can create a sorting game. You can add a bit of friendly competition and see who can sort them faster by shape, colour and more. You can talk about why these items relate to Halloween or Fall and what the origin of them is, in regards to Halloween traditions.

2. Build a Jack O’ Lantern. Use craft foam sheets, that can be purchased at a dollar store, to cut out large orange sheets into the shape of a pumpkin. Then use other Fall coloured foam sheets and cut out other shapes like triangles, circles, diamonds etc. Depending on the child’s age you can cut the shapes or they can practice their skills, by tracing them and/or cutting them out themselves. While talking about the different shapes with your child you can make funny faces on the Jack O’ Lantern. You can turn it into a craft and glue the items on or even make a keepsake by adding a magnet to the back of it.

3. Healthy Halloween Treats to make with your Children: These are perfect for the lunch box, or to deter children from requesting candy during this time of year.


-raisins for chocolate chips for ghost faces
-clementines, oranges, or tangerines

Have fun!

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