Category Archives: group exercise classes

Nordic Pole Walking!! Give it a try!

Looking for a new activity for Spring?  Why not give Nordic Walking a try!  You may have seen this all around the city, and if so, many of those groups may have been YWCA Hamilton!

Click here for our upcoming program information:  NPW Classes blog

Here are a few shots from our wonderful Nordic Walkers throughout the city!!  Come and join in the fun!


Fitness Leadership Training-Spring 2015!!

The Spring term for the Fitness Leadership Certification Program is just around the corner!  Fitness Theory starts May 4. This course is the first on the journey to becoming a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, or just learning more about how the muscles move the body. If you love fitness and want to share that passion-this is for you!

Message me for more information!  -Deanna

facebook Love what you do everyday

Would you like to get paid to workout?

If you have a passion for fitness and helping others achieve their health and wellness goals, it might be time to consider taking the lead! A fitness leadership role that is…….the YWCA, in partnership with the Ontario Fitness Council, the Certified Professional Trainer’s Network and Mohawk College, offer the Fitness Leadership Certification Program to certify people as group fitness instructors and personal trainers. Our next round of training begins September 10, 2014-registration is now open! Message me (Deanna), email at or give a call at 905-522-9922 ext 118 for more information!

FLCP Poster Fall 2014


Would you like to be paid to be a personal trainer? #becomeapersonaltrainer

Interested? Email me at !

flcp flyer for blog

November is Osteoporosis Month!

(written by Carah, YWCA Hamilton Fitness Instructor/Personal Trainer)

November is Osteoporosis Month in Canada.

This month we are shining the spotlight on this crippling disease. One in three women in Canada will suffer a bone fracture from osteoporosis in their life time as opposed to one in five men. Why are women more susceptible? In general, women have smaller bones than men to begin with, therefore when bone loss occurs we have less to lose before osteoporosis sets in. In addition, declining estrogen levels during menopause can cause bone loss at an alarming rate. (Estrogen helps bones absorb calcium) If a woman has not built a healthy bone mass throughout her life (healthy and active lifestyle) this rapid loss can lead to osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a largely preventable condition. Here are a few strategies you can utilize to help combat and prevent osteoporosis.

Nutrition: When we think strong bones we think calcium, however calcium does not work alone to do it’s job, it has a team of nutrients that help it do its job (building strong bones) most effectively. The following nutrients are critical in the fight against osteoporosis and can be found in certain foods:

BORON: dried fruit, nuts, avocados

MAGNESIUM: pumpkin and sesame seeds, soybeans

SILICON: whole grains, dried fruits, seafood

VITAMIN D: fatty, fortified milk and milk alternatives

VITAMIN K: (K1) kale, spinach, collard greens, swiss chard, brussel sprouts, (K2) eggs, cheese, and certain fermented foods

CALCIUM: dairy, sesame seeds, almonds, leafy greens, canned fish, tofu

(Alive: Canada’s Natural Health & Wellness Magazine, Nov.2012)

Exercise: When muscles contract creating a pull on bones, this triggers the bone building cells to start working. Regular weight bearing aerobic activities like walking, hiking, step/aerobic classes or strength training exercises are most effective for building bone density.

Here at the YWCA Hamilton we have some great fitness programs to help prevent osteoporosis from occurring later in life, don’t wait get active!

 We also have a great program called Bones Plus at our Ottawa street location which is targeted toward improving bone density for individuals who already have osteoporosis or osteopenia. For more information about this great program call 905-522-9922 press 8 and ask for Debbie Hannah.

In addition, the Osteoporosis Canada Hamilton/Burlington Chapter is located here at 75 MacNab Street South, Hamilton. This group offers a variety of different speakers and workshops regarding osteoporosis. Upcoming sessions include “Traditional Chinese Medicine and Your Bone Health” on November 21st, 2012 from 7-8:30pm at YWCA Active Living Centre (75 MacNab St. S)

For more information or to register please call 905.525.5398

“They make it look so easy!”

As it is that time of year that I am running a course for future group fitness leaders, I am reminded once again, how much work, and knowledge!, it takes to be a great group exercise instructor.  Once upon a time group fitness instructors had a reputation of being a little, shall we say, “dippy” and leading the group because she was nice to look at.  Perhaps, as aerobics began, that was the truth. I reflected on this idea (and even discussed it in class) when I started to break down the knowledge that is required to put a class together.  I had that “look” from students.  That look is the one that says to me, “are you kidding me, I thought we just put on a random piece of energetic music and got moving”.  People don’t realize how much knowledge it takes to lead safe, effective and fun classes!  I heard the comment, “but they make it look so easy” once again. And the truth is, great instructors do make it look easy.  It comes from experience and, let’s face it, a lot!, of practice!  The “dippy” reputation is a thing of the past as more and more knowledge and certification becomes required for people to teach classes.

Let’s face it, leading people through exercises has the potiential to injure. So we must know what we are doing!  Leaders must be, yes positive, energetic and motivating for sure. But, just being these things does not equal a safe and effective class.  Consider for a moment what leaders must include in his/her warm up alone:

The warm up goals are to increase body temperature and heart rate, mentally prepare for what is coming up, and loosen joints by warming up the synovial fluid (our body’s natural joint lubricant). 

In addition to achieving these goals, she must have a variety in movements and directions, move all joints through their normal expected ranges of motion, use the proper beats per minute of music, keep her choreography on the beat, on the 8 count and phrased into 32 count blocks of choreography.  Oh yes, and she must be energetic, motivating and positive! 

AND this must all happen in the first 5-10 minutes of the class! You can only imagine the list that must be covered in the cardio and muscle components!

So, the next time you attend a class and think “wow, that was great!”, be sure to go and thank your instructor and tell her what a great job she did!   She certainly worked for it! Oh and by the way-congratulate yourself for getting to class that day! 




Interested in becoming a Personal Trainer or Group Exercise Instructor?

In partnership with Mohawk College, Certified Professional Trainer’s Network and the Ontario Fitness Council, the YWCA Hamilton offers training for people who wish to become certified as Group Fitness Leaders, and or Personal Trainers.  Or, who just wish to learn more about fitness, and the body and how it moves.  Check out the info below!  Contact the Mohawk College Continuing Education department to register (  ).  Contact me (Deanna) if you have other questions!  You can reach me at 905-522-9922 ext 118 or

Fitness Theory

Study basic anatomy, movement mechanics, physiology of exercise, principles of training, basic nutrition and weight management. A PREREQUISITE FOR ALL SPECIALITY MODULES. Final written exam.

13 weeks, 7pm-10pm, Wednesday evenings. Cost is $402.89.  Begins Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Speciality Modules:

Personal Trainer Module

Prepare for a Certified Professional Trainer Network designation. Study advance anatomy, exercise physiology, biomechanics and program design.  As well, consulting skills and the business aspects of personal training will be covered.  Prerequisite: Fitness Theory. 

13 weeks, 7pm-10:30pm, Monday evenings. Cost is $457.29.  Begins Monday, September 10, 2012

Group Fitness Leader Module

Apply fitness theory in the development of a safe, effective, fitness class, with emphasis on music and phrasing, class design, cueing, program planning, and teaching/leading.  Prerequisite: Fitness Theory

5 weeks, 9am-2:30pm, Sundays. Cost is $232.86. Begins Sunday, October 14, 2012


Group Fitness Classes: Are they for you?

ABSOLUTELY YES! Of course they are! By offering a variety of different training techniques, environments, and challenging workouts for all fitness levels, group fitness classes are on the rise. Here are some great reasons to join the crowd!

1. THE TIME FLYS-Group Fitness Classes tend to feel as if they go by quickly. By changing up the pace, routine and exercises, you will be focused on following the instructor, not the clock!

2. THE SOCIAL ASPECT- Group fitness classes are made up of similarly motivated people and can be a great way to bond with others over your common goals and experiences.

3. MOTIVATION-The group experience can help motivate people to work harder. In addition to being lead and challenged by the instructor, working with others may offer an additional level of competition and camaraderie.

4. THE CHALLENGE-Working out on our own is great, but most of us tend not to work as hard as we can when we’re alone. Exercising with others and having a leader guide the group provides a boost to the workout, making us work harder and push ourselves and add that extra little bit of intensity.

5. VARIETY- Group fitness classes offer so many different options: Aerobics, step, bootcamp, spinning, kickboxing, pilates, yoga, running clubs and more! Try them all see what you like and what works for you!

6. EDUCATIONAL-A good class will not only challenge and motivate, it will teach you new moves and show you how to do them properly. Trying something different is a great way to exercise your mind and your body. 

7. SAFETY- We should always take safety precautions when we exercise, whether on our own or in a group setting. However, when in a group fitness class,  a good instructor will be able to help explain what you’re doing, how to do it, and what you should be feeling. Instructors are able to model exercises and use tactile cues to help ensure the safe execution of their routines or exercises. Be sure to ask questions or ask for alternative exercises if you need additional assistance. 

8. MOVE AT YOUR OWN PACE-An experienced group fitness instructor will be able to offer modifications that allow for different fitness levels among the participants. Most classes will offer beginner, intermediate, and advanced exercise options. If you’re concerned, be sure to show up a few minutes prior to class and chat with the instructor and ask for advice. Developing a relationship with your instructor is key to finding the workout that will challenge you in a safe manner.

So to sum it all up taking a group fitness class at your local gym, community center, or maybe even one of the YWCA Hamilton Fitness Centres is a great way to get out of a fitness rut, avoid plateaus or just get started in a fitness routine.