In the mornings, Kathleen Whippler—YMCA of Regina’s senior director of funds development, marketing, and communications—greets a group of ladies on their way to an arthritis exercise class. They’ve told her how the class helps keep aches at bay for the rest of the day. In the afternoon, she sees parents drop their kids off at the Y’s special-needs program. They’ve told her that before the program, there was nowhere for their kids to go, let alone a place they were excited about. Experiences like these keep Whippler passionate about her work at YMCA of Regina. “You can see the difference you make—what I do affects the lives of other people.”
These programs reflect YMCA of Regina’s overarching mission to build healthy communities. As bustling community hubs, both locations tout dozens of programs and amenities, such as four-lane pools, cardio machines, free weights, and more than 65 weekly exercise classes. Furthermore, the centres strive to make fitness a key part of any lifestyle; personal trainers lead private sessions, fitness classes include yoga and Zumba, and the Northwest centre invites guests to scale a climbing wall.
Although physical fitness is a critical part of overall wellness, the Y’s services extend far beyond the workout room. The centres host an alternative suspension program that strives to transform school suspensions into positive, transformative experiences, and the Community Café provides youth with job training. Whippler says services like these help form tight-knit communities. “It’s just a place to belong,” she says.
Blurry vision is not just an annoyance; it?s a health risk. So when the owners of Optiks International and Factory Optical saw a chance to vertically integrate their business model?and cut down time between an eye exam and obtaining glasses?they jumped on it. The optometrists inside their chain offer the convenience of one-stop lens shopping. Technicians can create custom-fitted standard, progressive, and googly-eye lenses. The labs constantly seek out the latest technologies to improve vision, including digital lenses that decrease peripheral distortion and custom cuttings that alter lenses to accommodate the tilt of chosen frames.
Each store stocks a supply of more than 4,000 frames, including options from designer brands such as Oakley, Gucci, Versace, Ray-Ban, Guess, Prada, Dior, Dolce and Gabbana, Michael Kors, and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Every store also offers a two-for-one deal for each pair of prescription glasses sold, allowing clients to give a pair of glasses to a family member or pair their purchase with prescription sunglasses to avoid darkening regular specs with a whiteboard marker when leaving the house.
Mind Body Harmonics founder Dami Egbeyemi emphasizes that while the company’s brain wave optimization does not “diagnose or treat medical problems,” it provides clients “with an outlet to relieve stress and relax.” Featured in O, the Oprah Magazine and People, this treatment places sensors on the client’s head to read activity in six different parts of the brain. A report points out areas of imbalance, and these off-kilter brain waves are used to generate a sound that clients listen to with headphones. The goal is that by mirroring the brain so it can see and hear itself, a state of harmony is achieved. These treatments are offset by the facilities other services and products such as Life Wave patches that simulate the benefits of acupuncture without the use of needles, and Kangen Water systems that improve the alkalinity of tap water.
Seeing Josh Apperley tired is a rare sight. Since graduating from massage therapy school, he has completely revamped his current studio and plans to expand the one-man practice into a full clinic where he will helm a team of multi-skilled therapists. The Regina community has taken notice of Mr. Apperley's efforts; he recently won "Best Massage Therapist" in Prairie Dog Magazine's 2013 "Best of Regina" competition.
He brings this same positive energy and enthusiasm to each of his massages. Concerned with more than just muscles, Josh has learned enough about the body's mechanics to understand when the muscles, bones, and joints are out of balance. He then customizes strokes to help adjust, readjust, and balance the muscle/bone synergy that exists in all humans and the most realistic dolls.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Yoga Mala's impassioned instructors limber up bodies and enliven minds through nine different yoga disciplines. Smooth down frizzy brain waves with the soothing, passive Yin yoga, in which postures are held for up to five minutes, slowly relaxing sore muscles and opening up shy joints. Clients seeking high-energy body bends, meanwhile, can opt for Vinyasa yoga, which focuses on opening the hips and shoulders via intense postures, or the Ujjayi Pulse class, set to the beat of live drum music. Yoga Mala's class schedule invites yogis to align spines and stack chakras morning through evening within Yoga Mala's spacious, sunlit studio, making daily practice as simple as befriending a lonely sock puppet.