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Women & Weights: Resistance Training is crucial


woman holding dumbbell 260We all understand the importance of healthy living, and the components of fitness which contribute to a healthier lifestyle, but there is one of the puzzle that’s often neglected – by women, in particular – and it is resistance training. Resistance training is the single most effective way to build lean muscle mass, tone the body, lose weight, and build stronger bones.

For many of us, the term ‘weight-lifting’ conjures up images of body builders, brute force and biceps the size of watermelons, but what’s it really all about? For many women, the very thought of lifting heavy weights is daunting.  Those with joint issues might balk at the thought of adding weight to an already troublesome joint problem, or a very common misconception, heard by instructors and trainers all too often:  “I don’t want to bulk up!”  The good news is, so long as the form and technique is sound, resistance training only adds to a workout, and makes everyday functional movement and abilities that much easier.  And no, you will not “bulk up”, ladies!
We know the benefits of regular exercise are great, but the statistics of incorporating resistance training regularly to any exercise regime prove it can further assist in combating disease, increasing bone density, boosting the metabolism, and even reducing pain.  


It seems so simple: Lifting weights on average about 3 times each week is proven to be incredibly efficient at preventing or reducing the risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes, and research also shows that resistance training in and of itself, three times per week for a minimum of six months, can also help lessen oxidative cell damage, a great finding, as damaged cells often can lead to further immunological distress such as cancer.  Along with these facts is the emotional boost one gets from resistance training and a good workout. Being able to deal with stress effectively and sleep better – both, of course, further evidence of the benefits of weight training – also help to combat disease in their own ways!


We think of resistance training and naturally we think of muscle development, but have you considered what the weight lifting does for the bones? With chronic conditions such as Osteoporosis becoming ever more prevalent today, there is a shift in the way we help manage and possibly delay these issues from worsening, and at the forefront is, once again, resistance training.  The act of lifting weights not only strengthens the muscles, but also assists in building bone density, causing the bones to become stronger, and the joints to become more stable in preventing fractures. Those who suffer from joint issues can also benefit just as much from resistance training, as the stabilizing muscle groups of certain movements can further assist in strengthening and working efficiently on joint stabilization. Simply modifying the hold, changing the distribution of weight, or the weight used (example, lifting a Spri Ball as opposed to a traditional free weight), can further enhance the efficacy of the joints. Of course, it’s important ensure the correct form is always being used, where attending a specialized class or training session is ideal.  


We’ve determined that a solid resistance training regime has been proven to counter disease, improve emotional and physical wellbeing, and strengthen bones and joints to protect against further damage and falls, but how can lifting weights assist in weight loss?  Cardiovascular activities – running, brisk walking, cycling, the list is long – are extremely beneficial here, but it’s actually resistance training again for the win when it comes to dropping a few extra pounds. The act of lifting heavier weights will actually increase the body’s basal metabolic rate, essentially increasing the metabolism and the body’s ability to efficiently burn calories, even when the workout is complete! Up to about 24 hours post weight lifting, the body continues to work to burn calories, something cardio alone cannot do.

For those who still might have doubts, a study from Penn State University yielded an interesting result: In a study of 3 control groups, one group was put on a low-calorie diet with little to no additional exercise. A second group was put into an exercise program of three days per week, with only aerobic activity, and a final group was selected to be in a program which incorporated aerobic and strength exercises for the same time-period. In the end, it was the final group who came out on top, with an average of 6 pounds more weight loss per person than the other participants!

Of course, engaging in a strength training program can be intimidating, and potentially cause harm if proper form is not used. For those women searching for the perfect fit to get started in resistance training, or those looking to increase their strength training repertoire, Dovercourt offers the one and only Women on Weights program, a great varied workout to accomplish all your fitness goals.


Women on Weights is available Wednesday evenings at Dovercourt, from 7:00 - 7:55pm.

Questions? We're here to help. Email or call our Health and Fitness team at (613) 798-8950 x227.

Dovercourt Receives Community Partner Award

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Doug Wanke - Facility Manager and Robert Demmery - Supported Worker accept a Community Partner Award from the Tamir Foundation for 12 years of service. 

Dovercourt is... music & art: for families


Thursdays this summer is family music night. We have guitar and ukelele lessons for the whole family. (6+ yrs). 

Keith McCuaig is our featured instructor this summer leading our family lessons. 

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Keith McCuaig has been a musician for almost 20 years, and has played guitar and bass in several blues, rock, and reggae bands over the past 15 years. He has a B.A. and M.A. in musicology, both from Carleton University, and wrote a thesis entitled “Jamaican Canadian Music in Toronto in the 1970s and 1980s: A Preliminary History.” Keith has lectured at universities and presented at international musicology conferences, and most recently, wrote several pieces for the Ottawa Rocks! museum exhibit and archival project with the City of Ottawa Archives. Each week, Keith teaches around twenty guitar and ukulele lessons, and plays with his band, Airliner Blues Band. He also works with youth bands through the Bluesfest Be in the Band program, and teaches group lessons at the Bluesfest School of Music and Art. A love of music has led to a life of playing, teaching and writing about music.


Family Ukelele 6:30-7:20pm

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This course will introduce both parents and their kids to the ukulele. They will learn chords, strum patterns, and then put it all together and play songs. By the end of the course, parents and kids will be able to play several chords, strum patterns, and read chord charts.


Family Guitar 7:30-8:20pm

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As an introduction to the guitar, this course will teach parents and kids chords and strum patterns, plus how to read TAB and chord charts.  Completion will provide a solid foundation for anyone who aspires to play guitar as a hobby or performer.


For more information check out the full descriptions and registration information with the Bluesfest School of Music & Art

Take me to Bluesfest School of Music & Art


Bluesfest School of Music & Art is powered by the Dovercourt Recreation Association in association with Bluesfest. 

Dovercourt is... Music & Art!

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Dovercourt is... Music & Art: #bluesfest workshops


Do you play a musical instrument?

RBC Bluesfest and BSOMA - Bluesfest School of Music and Art - are offering two unique workshops that will take your summer music experience to a new level.

July 8th and 10th Join these incredible musicians in a unique small group session!

Tuesday, July 8th 6-8pm: Horns Arranging with the Texas Horns and Dave Maxwell


Join the amazing Texas Horns at BSOMA for a very unique horn focused workshop. The three members of the Texas Horns, Kaz Kazanoff, John Mills, and Al Gomez will demonstrate how a small (3-piece) horn section works in various styles of music. We will cover voicings, arrangements, and soloing. Hands on work with individual players will happen as time allows. Participants must bring their own instruments

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE (window will open on Bluesfest School of Music & Art website)


Thursday, July 10th 6-8pm: Keys of Soul with David Maxwell

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This workshop/session will be an examination of blues related piano styles. Renowned keyboard player David Maxwell will perform some of his original pieces as well as some classic piano works drawing upon Chicago Blues, New Orleans, boogie woogie, gospel, funk and jazz styles. A dialogue is encouraged throughout the class; questions are welcome. This is a not to be missed keys session with one of the best in the business.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE (window will open on Bluesfest School of Music & Art website)


"Dovercourt is... Music & Art!"

The Bluesfest School of Music & Art is powered by Dovercourt Recreation Association in association with Bluesfest

Take me to Bluesfest School of Music & Art

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2014 Camp Day at Dovercourt #awesomecamps


Saturday June 14th is Camp Day at Dovercourt. 

All campers, future campers, and friends of campers are invited (okay, parents can come too) to join us for an afternoon of our favourite camp activities. Activities start at noon and run until 4pm. Find us behind the Recreation Centre in the Westboro Kiwanis Park. 

First time campers are encouraged to come for a tour, a swim, a play in the playground, and to meet your camp counsellors... and of course DOVERCAT

For first time campers and everyone else we have an afternoon of activities that includes bouncy houses, rock climbing, LEGO building, camp bracelets, and melty-beads plus more...

  • The pool will also be open for a free camp swim from 1:30-2:15pm and a regular open swim until 4pm. 
  • The DoverStore will be open to purchase any last minute essentials for camp including t-shirts, hats, waterbottles, and a few other items to get your camper ready for the summer. 
  • Adam's Apple Cafe will be open for afternoon snacks, drinks, ice cream and to take pre-orders for your summer camp bag lunches. 
  • Cowguy Nick Miller will be here as our special guest demonstrating some spectacular circus juggling and balancing techniques.
  • And, we are hoping Antique Skate Shop will be on site for skateboard demo's and selling equipment and skateboards. 

Registration is not required. Just come on by and introduce yourself! 

Dovercourt is now a HIGH FIVE Accredited Organization. This follows a number of years of Dovercourt being a HIGH FIVE Recognized Organization but in the last three years making the concerted effort to achieve the highest level and joining just 16 other organizations in Ontario to earn the right to say we are HIGH FIVE Accredited. 

HIGH FIVE is a national Quality Standard for children's sports and recreation sector developed by Parks and Recreation Ontario. To learn more about HIGH FIVE click here:

High Five Accredited

Bluesfest Community Open House - School of Music and Art

The Bluesfest School of Music and Art brings a whole new range of recreation programs to Westboro! Come see the new facility, meet the instructors, participate in mini-workshops and watch the various showcases. Classes start soon and registration can be done in person, by phone or online through Dovercourt. For the Spring program guide visit

Bluesfest House Poster

Dovercourt Day Camps: Article Reprint

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Dovercourt Day Camps: Experience the Difference

With the holiday decorations now tucked away and winter weather in full effect, it’s hard to think about making concrete plans for summer. What is your family’s plan for the summer? When is the family vacation? What are the kids going to do?

Summer camps are the “go-to” childcare option for most working parents. With so many camps to choose from within the city, summer for your children need not be boring, or for that matter, routine.

Dovercourt Recreation Centre in Westboro has built a reputation as one of the city’s most popular camp destinations.  Dovercourt boasts one of the largest and most varied camp programs in Ottawa serving children and youth from 3 to 17 years old.

“We learned early on that day camps serve as child care need for most families” says Steve Nason, Sr. Program Director at Dovercourt. “We have built a camp program to address the need for childcare, but go well beyond, providing a vast selection of themes and specialties to provide both choice and variety for the entire summer. Summer at Dovercourt is about much more than childcare. It’s about fun.”

Dovercourt Recreation Centre’s small community feel is reflected in the delivery of its summer programs.

“Over 80% of our staff are past campers who have grown and developed their way through our leader and counselor in training programs” says Robin Cloutier, Program Manager.  “Few camps, especially day camps, can claim this level of commitment, familiarity and loyalty of its staff.”

Writing about the camps at Dovercourt logically leads to the innovative programs offered at the Centre each year. The variety, and in many cases the uniqueness of the opportunities for children and youth need to be highlighted. Last year, the camp staff created “Grease Monkey” – a camp that featured not only tours of a local garage but a soapbox derby. Dovercourt is not your typical day camp.

Each year the staff serves up a new and varied menu. “Our camps are like a theme park, we need a new set of rides each year” says Steve Nason. The full menu is available in the Camps 24-page Camp Guide that is available in both print and online.

After a recent visit to Dovercourt before Christmas it is apparent that summer camp is more than just a summer activity. A fire truck now sits at the front entrance. It’s the centre-piece of the new 911 Rescue Academy Camps. Not only is the camp new, but it will be one of the first camps offered in a bilingual format.

The sports camps have been revamped and enhanced with new partners and programs to help campers step up their game. Parmar Sports Training is back for its second year for high level soccer instruction, and the basketball camp is now a Steve Nash Basketball program.

Rogers TV has joined Dovercourt and is offering a special one-week Introduction to TV Production camp. The camp will make use of the studios and equipment at Rogers Richmond Road offices.

In addition to the prominent camp-swims in the warm and shallow Dovercourt pool, your children can take their summer swim lessons as an add-on to their day camp schedule. The Day Camps Program guide includes a full listing of the Pre and Post camp swim lessons that are scheduled in conjunction with the daily camp programming.

As if that was not enough, the staff have taken a leap forward this year in its expansion of the Expedition Camps. Rebranded as Overnight Camps, these programs blend day and residential camp experiences into one program unique to the Ottawa area. These camps will serve as a stepping stone for older campers to experience residential camping or as something new for campers who feel they have outgrown day camps. The program features a 3 day, 2 night stay at The Ark Outdoor Education Centre in Quebec. Mike Caldwell runs this outdoor education facility and has worked with Dovercourt`s Adventure Camp staff for the past 5 years in designing and delivering the programs.

Safety is paramount to the Dovercourt programs. Uniformed staff each wear first aid kits and carry two-way radios for the duration of both on and off-site camps. The city`s most qualified lifeguard group accompanies all camps on out trips that involve water including trips to swimming and boating locations, as well as the very popular water themed weeks at which include a trip to Calypso.

Managers at Dovercourt are always available and happy to talk about the camps. They can be reached by calling the centre if you are looking for more details. Of course the Day Camps Guide is available on their website; but parent communication doesn’t end there. Dovercourt publishes a Parent’s Handbook, has a June Camp Day, Parent info sessions for leadership camps, and posts weekly newsletters for each camp program. And, get this…. Dovercourt’s camp directors call each and every camp parent each week to introduce themselves and answer any questions.

For 25 years, Dovercourt Recreation Centre has been a leader in community programming. I encourage you to come see the difference. Download the full program guide at

Published in EMC News February 2013

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Winter 2013 Registered Fitness Class Sale

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Really? A Fitness class sale at Dovercourt?!

Starting Wednesday February 6th - ALL remaining spaces in our Winter 2013 registered fitness classes are 70% OFF, while spaces are available! That's more than 8 weeks of great fitness classes available at a huge, one-time discount! Click on the Special Promotions button below to learn more!

Why are we doing this?

We haven't done it before. But just last week we looked at our fitness classes and realized just how much opportunity is perishing now that the session has begun - with such a large and varied program mix the few remaining spaces in each class really add up! So why not give our current and committed registrants the opportunity to take advantage of these spaces? And since it is often more fun to workout with folks you know, we extended the offer to bring a friend and give them the deal as well. 
We also believe, like most of our customers, that regular participation in fitness and physical activities is good for our health. So we have offered this promotion to new people in our community who have yet to meet our fabulous instructors and get started. And we are extending this offer to past members who may have struggled to find the right program for themselves or their schedules. 
So hopefully the rest of our Winter classes will run FULL, and the great opportunities for health and physical activity are not wasted as spaces go unused.
For our current fitness participants, thank you and we hope you take advantage of this special offer to try something new, step up your game, or spread the word about the great class you are taking. 
For more information on this Special Promotion visit our Special Promotions page. To go there, simply click here...

Dovercourt Fitness Workout of the Day for Saturday (February 2)

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Ahhh.... its the weekend!

And what a weekend to get outdoors and PLAY! Winterlude, Skiiing, Skating, Tobogganning! But don't forget to take a bit of time this weekend for you... Here's tomorrows (Saturday) Workouts!

Early Morning

7:15-8:00am Aqua Power Circuit
8:00-9:00am Low N Sculpt
9:00-10:00am Bootcamp/Step Interval/Skip Circuit
9:00-10:00am Pilates Beginner
9:15-10:15am Spinning

Mid Morning

10:00-10:55am Pilates Intermediate/Advanced ***1 spot left***
10:00-11:00am Cardio Fusion
10:30-11:25am Family Yoga
11:00-12:10pm Pilates Yoga Mix Equipped


8:30-9:15pm Womens Only Aquafitness

Drop in fees available. For additional program information check out our fitness flyers here. 
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Dovercourt Fitness Workout of the Day for Friday (February 1)

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TGIF! Here's Friday's Workouts!

Early Morning

6:30-7:20am Low Impact
6:30-7:20am Spinning
6:30-7:15am Wake Up Workout Aquafitness


8:00-8:45am Deep to the Core Aquafitness ***Only 3 spots left***
8:30-9:25am Strength Mix
9:15-10:00am Healthy Back Aquafitness
9:30-10:25am Complete Conditioning
9:30-10:30am GOLD Senior Weight Training ****FULL*****
9:30-10:25am Pilates Beginner
10:30-11:25am Pilates with Baby
10:45-11:45am GOLD Cardio Balance and Stretch


12:00-12:45pm Aqua Box


5:15-6:30pm Cycle Yoga ***FULL***
6:45-8:15pm Cycle Yoga

Drop in rates are available for programs. For more information on these programs click here. 
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