Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Lisa Larkin

Recent Posts by Lisa Larkin:

Corporate Wellness: Free Workout Friday - Band Workout with Partner

free workout fridayLooking for new things to do with your spouse/partner, teenage child, best friend, or even co-worker? A partner band workout is a great way to get some physical activity, work on team building skills, and have fun all in one! Partner band exercises require muscle control from both parties, so you have to pay close attention to the speed and location of your partner. This workout can be done anywhere; hotel room, on the beach, at home, in your office or conference room, in the garage/driveway, etc. All you need is a band to fit your resistance level.  So grab your partner and bands to try this workout!

  • Band rows
  • Chest press
  • One arm bicep curls
  • Tricep push backs
  • Core rotation
  • Lunges (alternating legs)
  • Outer thigh steps in combination with outer thigh tap outs


Only have the smaller round bands or have access to both types of bands? Try these other exercises you can do together.

  • Squat with outer thigh lifts
  • Lateral shoulder hold with outer thigh tap outs
  • Single leg squats with outer thigh tap outs
  • Push up arm tap outs
  • Glute lifts
  • Plank thigh tap outs
  • Lower back lifts

Remember to motivate your partner and hold each other accountable to do these exercises on a regular basis!


Topics: exercise at home Free Workout Friday fitness success Fitness Center exercies at your desk

Corporate Wellness: Free Workout Friday - Take it Outside

free workout fridayAre you sad that summer is coming to an end or getting bored with your workouts and just need a change? Taking advantage of the warmer weather is a good way to challenge your body and try different exercises outdoors before it’s too late and the cold winter months keep us all inside. I bet you pass several landmarks and unique open areas every day on your way to & from work that could be used for your next workout. Do me a favor and get creative the next time you are on your way to work or school and find a public place you can run stairs and a bench you can do lunges and tricep dips on.

Living in downtown Indianapolis there are a lot of very cool locations I’ve found to create my own outdoor boot camp workouts. I love to exercise outdoors but get tired of running all over the city (it’s not that large), so I started adding other things in and I’ve even got a few of my friends to try it with me! Yes, some days it’s hot & humid and it can be exhausting but you can always give it a try on a spring or fall day to get out of your corporate wellness center for a change of scenery.

Here is one of my favorite workouts to do, so get creative and find locations near you! Watch our videos for demonstrations to take this workout outdoors.

Topics: nifs fitness management employee wellness Free Workout Friday indianapolis exercise in the workplace

Corporate Wellness: Free Workout Friday - Tabata

free workout fridayWhat is a tabata workout and why should you try it?

Tabata workouts are usually designed with short high intensity cardio exercises along with short rest periods in between. You can also incorporate strength exercises in these workouts. Tabata workouts can help to improve your aerobic and cardiovascular systems. Typically the sessions last 4 minutes and have 8 intervals, but don’t get so caught up on the traditional method because you can mix it up a little and it is just as effective.

Two other very good reasons to try tabata workouts is because it doesn’t take near as much time as traditional cardio sessions and since you are quickly increasing your heart rate you will increase your metabolism and burn more fat. Also, you can design the workout to require
minimal equipment.

Perform each of these intervals below for 20 seconds each and in the order I have them numbered. Since it is only a few seconds be sure to push yourself and give it your all. Ok, now it’s time to give it a try! Good luck!!

High knees in place (1,3)

Pushups (2,4)

Squat hops in place (5,7)

Center plank (6,8)

The only thing this workout requires is a mat for the planks and possibly your knees for the pushups and a stopwatch/timer. You can get more creative with the exercises if you have access to equipment, but if you are traveling or just want to keep it basic at home, this workout is perfect! Last but not least, you need to build your way up to repeating the workout 2-3 times with a short rest period (1 min) in between.



Topics: exercise Free Workout Friday corporate fitness centers Fitness Center

Corporate Wellness: Free Workout Friday - Stability Ball

Free Workout FridayDo you have a stability ball at home that just collects clothes or has turned into a toy for the kids or the dog? Are you asking yourself what is a stability ball? It’s the big exercise ball you purchased awhile ago but never really used. I’ve created a fun strength workout you can do at home or at the gym. All you need is a mat, stability ball, and some free weights.

One of the benefits to using a stability ball is you incorporate more muscles balancing on/with the ball. The more muscles you use, the more calories you burn. Working on the ball helps to improve balance and core strength (abdominal & lower back muscles).

Stability balls come in different sizes, so you want to make sure you have the correct size for you! When seated on the ball, your thighs should be parallel to the floor. In most cases, leave the larger sizes for the taller people.

Incorporate the ball in your next strength workout by trying the exercises listed below.

  • Side Lunges -  lift leg up & over the ball
  • Hamstring ball roll
  • Preacher ball bicep curl
  • Outer thigh lift on ball
  • Tricep dips on ball
  • Ball wall squats
  • Chest press on ball
  • Seated shoulder press on ball
  • Seated reverse fly on ball

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Corporate Wellness: Free Workout Friday - Band Workout

Free Workout FridayDo you feel that you have to use machines or dumbbells to get a good strength workout? Well, it’s time to think outside of the box and incorporate resistance bands into your workout. In the past, bands were seen for older adults because they may not make you sore or you don’t feel they are as intense. Bands are great to throw in your bag or car while traveling because they don’t take up much space and aren’t near as heavy to carry around.

One advantage to using bands is you have to use your muscles to control the band throughout the entire lift. Usually with dumbbells there is a part of the lift where you’re not using much muscle control. If it’s not burning your muscles at the end of a resistance band workout, then double up! That’s right; grab two thicker bands for added intensity.

When using bands, think slow and controlled movements! You need to control the band, don’t let the band control you. Adding in holds & pulses with your reps really helps to “feel the burn”. Try this band workout at least a couple times a month to mix up your strength workouts. Also, keep your eye out for a part two to this blog incorporating partner band exercises.

  • Band underneath both feet, wide squats with an outer thigh lift (alternating legs on the lift). 40 squats total, 20 outer thigh lifts on each side
  • Band underneath front foot, lunges (add intensity by bringing the band handles up by shoulders or higher). 20 on each leg
  • Band underneath both feet, outer thigh walks back & forth. 1 minute
  • Band underneath both feet for added intensity or under one foot for less intensity, bicep curls. 20 reps
  • Band underneath both feet, arms straight by sides, tricep pulses, push the back away from your body. 1 minute
  • Band underneath both feet; place both handles in front of your body, grabbing both handles with both hands, upright rows (elbows come up high than your wrist). 20 reps.
  • Repeat!

Fit tip - the thicker the band, the higher the resistance, so pick your poison by challenging yourself!

Topics: Free Workout Friday fitness corporate fitness centers corporate fitness managment

Corporate Wellness: Free Workout Friday - Elliptical Routine

free workout fridayAre you one of those people that only use the elliptical machine when told to lie off of exercise due to a lower body injury? Even though most studies have found that the treadmill may burn a few more calories, it’s still important to mix up your workouts. If you are a runner I’m sure you have heard about the importance of cross training your muscles to prevent injuries. The elliptical is a good way to cross train and can be just as challenging!

The elliptical mocks a running motion but does not have a high impact on the joints and spine. Most ellipticals are now made with a movable upper body too, so you get the upper and lower body moving together. I prefer the ones with the adjustable incline too, but not all come with that option. Moving forward and backward helps to target different muscles, and prevent boredom.

Have fun with the elliptical and try this workout! I have you playing around with it enough that time should fly by!!

Forward on the elliptical

  • 2 minutes – resistance level 4
  • 3 minutes – level 5 (if ramp can be adjusted, take it all the way down – similar to cross country skiing)
  • 3 minutes – level 8
  • 2 minutes – level 5 (if possible adjust the incline all the way up – similar to climbing stairs)
  • 3 minutes – level 10
  • 2 minutes – level 12

Backward on the elliptical

  • 3 minutes – level 8 (if possible adjust the incline at the half way mark)
  • 3 minutes – level 10 (if possible adjust the incline all the way down)
  • 2 minutes – level 12
  • 5 minutes – level 6 (if possible raise the incline all the way up)
  • 2 minutes – level 10




Topics: corporate wellness employee health exercise nifs fitness management Free Workout Friday elliptical training

Corporate Wellness: Free Workout Friday - Cardio Circuit

free workout fridayCardiovascular exercise…..people either love it or hate it! I’m sure by now you’ve heard that cardio alone is not the answer to reaching your fitness goals. It is important to add a strength and flexibility component too. Although, cardio and physical activity in general have many health benefits, but they have even more when you “mix it up”!

Changing up your activities can help to get you over that plateau, improve your mood, prevent boredom, fight against high blood pressure and cholesterol, and increase your energy levels. You don’t always need to be on a cardio machine for an extended period of time to get a good cardio workout.

Try some of these cardio exercises in short intervals to get a great 30 minute workout, rest for about 10 seconds in between if need be. Check out the demonstration video links for each set and get to your corporate wellness center to try them out.

Set 1:

  • Squat Jacks – 30 seconds
  • Lateral Squat Hops – 30 seconds
  • Plank Hop Overs – 30 seconds
  • Traveling Burpies – 1 minute
  •  Rest – 1 minute

Set 2:

  • Hop Throughs – 30 seconds
  • Skater Lunges – 1 minute
  • Bottom Down Hops – 30 seconds
  • Rest – 1 minute

Set 3:

  • Twist Box Jumps – 30 seconds each side
  • Gliding Discs Mountain Climbers – 30 seconds
  • Gliding Discs Floor Jacks – 30 seconds
  • Repeat (work your way up to repeating 2 – 3 times for added intensity)

*Don’t have access to gliding discs? Use paper plates or towels.

Topics: corporate wellness employee health exercise nifs fitness management Free Workout Friday fitness

Corporate Wellness: Free Workout Friday - Sprint Workout

free workout fridayI woke up one morning and my obliques were really sore and tender to the touch. I couldn’t figure it out because I hadn’t taught or taken a core class the day before at my corporate wellness site. Then it hit me that the only thing different I had done was sprints. I hadn’t done sprints since track practice, which was a long time ago, but I had no idea how much I use my core! I loved the feeling of my obliques being that sore, so I decided to start incorporating more sprints into my workouts.

Don’t consider yourself a sprinter? That’s ok, I’m not either! Athletes may laugh at my speed but for me it’s a “sprint”. I push myself to run as fast as I can for short periods of time. First, let’s talk about form. Use your arms and core to help pick up the speed. Control your arms and keep them tucked close to your body, elbows at 90 degree angles. Keep your toes straight and lift your knees. Be sure to keep your head/eyes up and slightly lean your upper body forward. The faster you pump your arms, the faster your legs will go! Add some variety to your life and try this sprint workout. 

  • Warm up with a slow jog for 3-5 minutes
  • Pick it up for a faster run (75%) for 1 minute
  • Sprint (100%) for 45 seconds
  • Jog (60%) for 2 minutes
  • Sprint (100%) for 1 minute
  • Go back & forth with the jog for 2 minutes and sprint for 45 seconds or 1 minute at a time for 20-30 minutes.
  • You can also take breaks to add some pushups or planks in for 1 minute intervals.

This can be done anywhere….treadmill, in your neighborhood, on an actual track, or anywhere else that you have an open space and is a safe environment.


Topics: corporate wellness employee health exercise exercise at home Free Workout Friday

Corporate Fitness: Free Workout Friday - Training Ropes

free workout fridayYou walk into your weekly boot camp class, see this big rope on the floor and start to panic. You might be thinking what on earth are we going to do with this big rope that almost weighs more than I do? Originally designed for contact sports like football, training ropes are becoming more popular and visible in fitness facilities. Ropes aren’t just for the fit & strong. I think it’s an excellent way to add some variety and increase muscle endurance.

Rope workouts can be done anywhere. You can even go to a hardware store and purchase a large sturdy rope to put around a tree in your back yard, or something strong enough to handle the waves from the rope.

If you concentrate on contracting your abdominals, you can get a “hard core” workout while getting your heart rate up as well. Perform 2-3 sets of 30 second intervals, on for 30 seconds then rest for 30 seconds. Be sure to use your entire body (lower, upper, & core) during all exercises.  Check out our video for demonstrations of the following exercises:

  • Double Arm Slam
  • Alternating Arm Slam
  • Power Slam
  • Oblique Twist (change grip)
  • Arm Circles (both directions)
  • Rope Jacks
  • Plank Slams (using both arms)

You could even use the rope for line jumps to finish off your workout!

Free Workout Friday: Switch up the cardio routine

Free Workout FridayGetting bored with the same old workout? Out of habit, do you get on the same cardio machine because it’s what you always do? Not sure what to do to get over the plateau and start seeing results again? I’ve created this cardio workout to help guide you to trying new things. More than likely you’re not pushing yourself hard enough by doing the same cardio workout. The body gets in a routine just like you do, it’s time to change it up and keep the body guessing what is next. You will be surprised what your body can do and how good you will feel afterwards! Watch the short video for guidance, give it a try, and let me know what you think….

  • Slide and glide back & forth for 1 minute to warm up
  • Light jog (stationary if need be) for 1 minute
  • High knee runs (stationary if need be) for 1 minute – be sure to use arms
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Jump rope (don’t have a rope? pretend if need be – see video) for 2 minutes
    • 30 seconds feet together
    • 30 seconds right foot only
    • 30 seconds left foot only
    • 30 seconds feet together
    • Using dumbbells, quick squat press for 1 minute
    • Traveling broad jumps for 1 minute
    • Rest 1 minute
    • Jump rope for 2 minutes
      • 30 seconds feet together
      • 30 seconds right foot only
      • 30 seconds left foot only
      • 30 seconds feet together
      • Burpees for 1 minute (see video for modifications)
      • Squat hops for 1 minute
      • Rest 1 minute
      • High knee runs (stationary if need be) for 1 minute – be sure to use arms
      • Jump rope for 2 minutes
        • 30 seconds feet together
        • 30 seconds right foot only
        • 30 seconds left foot only
        • 30 seconds feet together
        • Burpees for 1 minute (see video for modifications)
        • Slide and glide back & forth for 1 minute to cool down.
        • Haven’t had enough yet? Repeat the workout or start from the bottom and work your way back to the start!
        • Last but not least, have fun trying something new! Your body will thank you for it!Like what you just read? Click here to subscribe to the blog.