Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Mechelle Meadows

Recent Posts by Mechelle Meadows:

Corporate Fitness: Free Workout Friday - Mini Boot Camp

free workout friday

If you have ever thought about trying out a boot camp, but are intimidated by the name, you aren’t alone! Boot camps will typically rotate between high intensity intervals of both cardio and strength. They also add in elements of speed, agility and power. Many boot camps will take place outdoors and use elements like natural hills, sidewalks and park benches to make for more interesting workouts. Other boot camps can make use of fitness equipment such as agility ladders, parachutes, and small hurdles. To sum it up, these classes never have a dull moment, and you can be assured you will leave having had an exhausting total body workout that challenged you at your individual level.

To give you a taste of what kinds of exercises might take place in a boot camp, try the workout below. Then, take the next step and to sign up for a boot camp class at NIFS! Remember that many instructors are able to give individual modifications to exercises to take the intensity up or down, depending on participant needs.  

Begin with a warm-up including 30 seconds of each:

  1. Jog in place
  2. Arm crosses
  3. High knees
  4. Shoulder rolls
  5. Butt kicks

Then, for the workout, complete 30 seconds of each exercise. Return to the beginning, and complete again for a second round. As your body becomes conditioned, work up to completing 45 seconds of each exercise, 3 rounds through. 

  1. Burpees
  2. Crabwalk
  3. Cone jumps
  4. Walking lunges
  5. Plank row
  6. Power jumping jacks
  7. Pike push-ups
  8. Wall taps

Free Workout Friday: Indy 500 Endurance Workout

Free Workout FridayLadies and Gentlemen: Start your engines! As the whole town of Indianapolis gears up for the Indy 500, you can test out your endurance abilities with this 500 workout!

Start by completing the following exercises for the designated amounts of time. At the end, you will have completed 500 seconds of strength exercises! Choose weights that are light to moderately heavy, because you will be doing most of these exercises for a full minute.

  1. Basic squats: 60 seconds
  2. Rows: 60 seconds
  3. Alternating lunges: 60 seconds
  4. Chest press: 60 seconds
  5. Crunches: 60 seconds
  6. Alternating shoulder press: 60 seconds
  7. Hammer curls: 60 seconds
  8. Wall sit: 60 seconds
  9. Plank: 20 seconds

Finish with a 500-second (8 minutes, 20 seconds) run around the track! Take “pit stops” when you need to by walking for 30 seconds or stopping for a quick water break. 

After you’ve made it to the finish line of your workout, make sure to refuel with more water and a healthy snack, like a banana with peanut butter or whole wheat crackers and string cheese!

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Topics: exercise at work healthy workforce exercise Free Workout Friday fitness

Free Workout Friday: Partner Workout

Free Workout FridayIn celebration of National Employee Health and Fitness Month, be a healthy trendsetter in your company by inviting a co-worker to join you for a workout at your corporate fitness center! Not only will working in a group help keep you motivated, you can push each other to strive for a better workout.  Here are some ideas that are featured in the video below for partner exercises that are great for any level of fitness!

  1. Partner squat with med ball toss
  2. Partner sit-ups with med ball pass
  3. Partner plank w/ high five
  4. Partner band  core twist
  5. Partner band rows

Your workouts don't have to be stressful.  If you find you struggle with fitting exercise into your routine, take ten minutes at a time to go for a walk, stand up at your desk to stretch, perform exercises at your desk, anything that can help you FIT IT IN to your schedule. 

Stop reading... Get up and Move! 

Talk to your corporate fitness staff about Deskercise and how you can fit exercise into your routine from your desk!



Topics: exercise nifs fitness management Free Workout Friday fitness Fitness Center exercies at your desk

Free Workout Friday: Balance Challenge

Free Workout FridayClose out the week with a simple workout that will not only work the muscles, but test your balance.  We’ve probably all heard that balance becomes increasingly important as we age to help prevent falls and loss of coordination. But, it’s never too early to start working to improve your balance! Some easy tips to instantly challenge your balance are to stand or sit on an unstable surface (i.e. a BOSU or stability ball), try performing an exercise standing on one leg only, or try closing your eyes—taking away the sense of sight will increase the rest of the body’s proprioception. Try the following exercises to add in an element of instability to your regular strength training moves.

1. Lunge w/ medicine ball chop (hi to lo)

2. Stability ball plank

3. 1-leg overhead shoulder press

4. 1-leg squat on box

5.  BOSU bicep curls

6. BOSU mountain climbers

Free Workout Friday: Summer Arms

describe the imageThe weather is warming up a little more each week, so that means it’s the season for swimsuits and tank tops! Even though many people exercise hard for the first half of the year to prepare for “swimsuit season,” many people tend to let their workouts take a vacation as well during the summer. Some easy ways to squeeze in exercise during the summer months are to take a walk outside, take the kids to a pool and play with them in the water, plan a vacation that involves activity such as hiking or canoeing, or walk or bike to your favorite restaurant instead of driving.

As you are getting those arms summer-ready, remember that when toning and shaping of muscles is the goal, strength exercises should be done in addition to a weekly cardio routine. Performing both cardio and strength exercises will help eliminate excess body fat while sculpting lean muscle. Here are some specific toning exercises for the shoulders, biceps and triceps that can be done anywhere. If you don’t own dumbbells at home or aren't able to make it to your corporate fitness center, you can use water bottles, cans or anything that can be easily held and is light-medium weight. Complete the following exercises striving for 10-15 repetitions, 2-3 sets.

1. Basic push-ups (on toes or knees)

2. Alternating lateral/frontal raise

3. Overhead tricep extension

4. Bicep curls

5. Shoulder press

6. Dips

Topics: exercise nifs fitness management muscle toning Free Workout Friday mixing workouts

Free Workout Friday: Weight-Loss Circuit

Free Workout Friday

It’s Good Friday! That means two more days until we find ourselves seated around the Easter dinner table, snacking on chocolate eggs, and getting second helpings of ham.

It’s important to remember that even though physical activity is important to overall health and weight-loss or maintenance, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. A person may be able to burn roughly 300 calories for a 3-mile run or 30 minutes on the elliptical, but it is very easy to consume 300 calories in just a handful of candy, a large soda, or a coffee drink with added flavors and whipped cream.

As you try your best to maintain healthy eating patterns around the holiday, try this weight-loss circuit to help shed calories before (and after) the big feast. Alternating cardio exercises with higher-impact or combination strength moves will keep your heart rate elevated throughout the entire workout, thus burning more calories!

Complete 45 seconds of each exercise, allowing 15 seconds of recovery time in between each exercise. Try not to rest for more than the allotted 15 seconds in order to keep the heart rate up. Repeat the circuit 3 times through for a jam-packed 24-minute workout! Watch our short video for exercise demonstrations!

  1. Butt kicks
  2. Squat, bicep curl, shoulder press
  3. Line jumps
  4. Rolling medicine ball push-ups
  5. High knees
  6. Side lunge with upright row (switch sides halfway through)
  7. Plank jacks
  8. Plié squat with overhead medicine ball swing

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Topics: weight loss weight management Free Workout Friday cardio calories strength training high-intensity workouts

Free Workout Friday: March Madness Workout

Free Workout FridayYou don’t have to be a collegiate athlete to join in the fun of NCAA’s March Madness! The tournament is now in full swing. You may be glued to the TV and swept up in “bracketology,” but you can use the half-time breaks to sneak in a quick workout!

Cardio is important for basketball or any sport that involves constant running up and down a court or field. Quick reaction time is also important for basketball players so that they can capitalize on rebounds and open holes in the opposing team’s defense. As for strength training, developing power in the legs for jumping is crucial as well as building upper-body strength for long passes and three-point shots.

The following exercises are similar to those that basketball athletes use to help them train for the big game. But they are a fun challenge for anyone! View the video below for exercise demonstrations.

  1. Basketball single-leg squat
  2. Basketball push-ups
  3. Basketball lunges (side to right and crossover to left)
  4. Medicine ball squat throws
  5. Medicine ball slams

The NCAA Men’s Final Four takes place in Atlanta this year, with the championship game on April 8. The Women’s Final Four will happen in New Orleans, with their final game taking place on April 9. For more information about March Madness, click here!

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Topics: Free Workout Friday fitness cardio strength training

Free Workout Friday: Upper and Lower Body Combo Exercises

Free Workout FridayOnce you have learned basic strength moves separately and have mastered the form for each, consider trying a workout where you combine both a lower and upper body strength exercise into one. Combo exercises have many benefits, such as burning more calories and increasing your physical and mental coordination. They also allow you to pack more into a certain amount of time, making your workout thorough and efficient. On busy days, this can be a good way to squeeze your normal 40 minute workout into 20!

There are many ways you can combine separate, basic strength moves into a combo exercise: upper body paired with lower body, lower body plus core, two arm exercises combined, etc. Even combinations of more than two are possible, for example a squat with a bicep curl into a shoulder press. Get creative, as long as you are using proper form for all exercises. Here are five upper body/lower body combos to try today:

1. Squat w/ tree-hugger - placing a band behind your back (or ancor if possible), sit back into a squat while bringing your extended arms out in front of you as if you were hugging a tree.

2. Deadlift w/ upright row - maintain a straight back while performing the deadlift, as you return to standing position, perform an upright row leading with your elbows.

3. Step-up w/ bicep curl - stepping up onto a box or bench while performing a bicep curl, maintain proper form keeping knee in line with the ankle.

4. Backwards lunge w/ front raise - as you step back into a lunge simultaneously perform a front shoulder raise with manageable weight, strive to maintain proper form.

5. Shoulder press w/ leg extension - can be performed sitting or standing, if standing you will balance on one leg lifting the opposite knee. You will perform a shoulder press while simultaneously extending the lifted leg at the knee and lowering.

Take a 10 minute break today and work through these exercises for worksite wellness.  Be sure to complete exercises on both sides where applicable.

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Topics: employee health healthy workforce exercise corporate fitness employee wellness Free Workout Friday fitness corporate fitness centers Fitness Center exercies at your desk

Free Workout Friday: Strong, Pain Free Lower Back

Free Workout FridayThe lower back can be a problematic area for many people. It is a common area for tension, tightness, discomfort and even chronic pain. Those who sit for long periods of time at a desk or in a car can be especially prone to lower back problems.

A fact that many people don’t know, is that the hamstrings (muscles of the back thigh) are so closely connected to the lower back, that often tight hamstrings are the actual cause of back problems.

The best bet to preventing or alleviating low back discomfort is to both strengthen and stretch the muscles of the low back and hamstrings. When you strengthen muscles, you maintain increased range of motion and capacity for load bearing. Then, when you stretch muscles, you physically lengthen the muscles, fending off chronic tension and tightness.

Here are 4 exercises to strengthen these muscles, and then 4 to stretch them, see video below for exercise demonstrations:


1. Single leg deadlift

2. Single leg bridge

3. Superman

4. Bird Dog


1. Forward fold

2. Child’s pose

3. Seated hamstring stretch

4. Lying down “figure 4” stretch


Free Workout Friday: Strengthen Your Muscles with Yoga

Free Workout FridayAfter a long week you may just need to relax, de-stress and put your mind at ease.  Yoga not only can help you relax with deep breathing, but can help to relax while working your muscles.  One of the many benefits of yoga is increased total body strength. When you hold certain poses for extended periods of time, you are building your muscular endurance while also working on flexibility and breathing.   There are many varieties of yoga and whether you are a novice or have been doing it for years, the following five poses can help you to build strength.  You don't have to stress about this Friday workout, simply do it during your lunch break.

Try these 5 poses for a strength-building yoga session this Friday!  It is important to properly warm up before stretching the muscles with these poses, simply walk for 5 minutes, do some toe taps and step side to side to get the blood pumping!

Hold each pose for five to ten deep breaths.  If you are able, try to inhale and exhale through the nose, lengthening your muscles with each breath.   For more poses and descriptions click here.

1. Warrior I

2. Chair Pose

3. Plank and side plank

4. Boat pose

5. Bridge

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