Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Why You Might Be Wrong About Outsourcing Fitness Center Management

NIFS | Corporate Fitness ClassNIFS isn't the only agency that provides fitness management expertise to businesses. There are several like us because the market demands it. While many organizations have adopted a DIY attitude about managing their own fitness programs, an additional (and substantial) set of businesses has recognized the value in outsourcing fitness center management for their corporate fitness center or in their senior living community.

We’ve been at this for almost 25 years and I’ve heard a variety of objections to outsourcing fitness staff. I’ve got my own list of objections to those objections...so here we go:

Objection 1: Outsourcing fitness center management is too expensive.

This objection really comes down to a comparison of direct versus indirect employee costs. Working with a partner may be more expensive when you compare wages and benefits you pay your employee with the billing you would get from a partner. The fitness management organization has overhead and a margin they need to earn.

When you look at the cost to hire, train, and supervise an employee, your cost comparison starts to even out. Then throw in the consideration of ongoing training and supervision, potential turnover, and statutory costs related to employees, you may find that partnering with a staffing agency like NIFS provides significant value.

Objection 2: I have no control over the staff person.

I don’t know who you’ve worked with historically, but any organization in this business that doesn’t put service first and foremost is making a gigantic mistake. When you’re working with the right outsourcing partner, that organization should be keenly interested in keeping you, the client, happy. To that end, they should be very interested in your feedback about the strengths and weaknesses of the staff they’re providing at your location.

Objection 3: An outsourced staff person won’t have buy-in from our constituents.

For starters, see objection #2. Keep in mind that the only way a staffing agency stays in business is if they have learned to be nimble and highly adaptive to a variety of environments. You can check on a potential outsourcing partner’s flexibility by talking to a variety of references.

When we go to work in senior living settings, we often pair up staffing services with wellness consulting (at no additional cost) so that we can better support the organization and further understand the culture with that client. This understanding is communicated to our staff on the ground so that we’re all operating from the same educated starting point.

Are you ready to do wellness better? Learn more about wellness consulting.

Objection 4: Fitness isn’t rocket science; we’ve got this.

Okay. You’re right. Fitness isn’t rocket science, and you may very well “have it.” There are a host of highly capable, service-minded, passionate health and fitness professionals out there who are ready to work directly for you. But who has their back?

Who provides them with fresh ideas, resources, direction, and support? Your human resources director? Your activities director? Not likely—unless you’ve somehow hit a gold mine of fitness-educated staff at your business, the fitness manager you employ is probably the only one of his or her kind in your four walls. Outsourcing partners (the best ones, anyway) bring a team of resources, professionals, expertise, and support to the staff member they provide your organization.

Maybe you have other objections I can address. If so, leave them in the comments below. On the other hand, if I’ve just addressed your objections and you’re ready to start looking at outsourcing partners, drop me a line, or take a closer look at us through the rest of our blog. If your business has to move through an RFP process, you might want to read what I wrote on my top 10 RFP questions for corporate fitness management.

CORPORATE FITNESS STAFFING ›SENIOR LIVING FITNESS STAFFING ›

 

Topics: worksite wellness nifs fitness management NIFS corporate fitness centers corporate fitness managment employee health and fitness corporate wellness staffing wellness consulting outsourcing fitness managment

What If: There Were More than One Class of Elite Performers at Work?

Throughout 2015, we’ll be blogging about our dreams for corporate wellness, fitness, and aging well. Some of the content will represent a gentle “poking fun” at the industry, but it’s all written to stimulate thought about what really could be if we put our heads together and started mapping out what’s really possible in the realm of individual wellbeing. We hope you’ll join the conversation by commenting on the blogs, giving us additional ideas about which topics to explore, and by finding us on Twitter at #wellnesswhatif.

Businesses need top performers in order to survive. We need sales staff who are heavy hitters, research staff who are actually rocket scientists, and customer service professionals who can turn any frown upside down. You know who those folks are in your organization, that top 5% of all performers. In some cases, they might be unsung heroes, but at a lot of businesses, the best among us are often publicly lauded. They are the elite.

Changing the Definition of “Elite”

Not everyone can fit into that narrow industry-specific definition of elite. But maybe, if business leaders opened their minds about what counts as elite, we could have more than one class of top-tier performers.

What if you didn’t have to exceed your sales quota to be considered among the elite at your worksite? Don’t get me wrong. You’d still have to work really hard. After all, becoming top tier is definitely hard work. Some would say rising to the top requires strength, agility, and grace under stress.

Rollerblading_woman_ThinkstockPhotos-476542628According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center found one way to get into the top 5% is to sweat. In their analysis of the American Time Use survey, they concluded that only 1 in 20 Americans engages in vigorous exercise (the kind that makes you sweat) on any given day. 

That’s right, a paltry 5% of us are working hard enough to actually sweat when we work out.

What Does This Have to Do with Employee Health? 

The way to sustained weight loss toward a healthy weight is through a healthy diet combined with prolonged cardiovascular exercise (45 to 60 minutes) at least five days per week. Employers: If you want a workforce that is at a healthier body weight, you have to (among other things) create an environment that supports and provides opportunities for your employees to work out hard enough to sweat. You need to build a corporate health culture that supports breaking a sweat in your worksite fitness center, or through another avenue of the employee’s choice.

Certainly, there’s more to individual well-being than being physically fit. But I wonder how many employees hold back on working out because of their environment (lack of access, lack of support). What if businesses publicly rewarded the exercising (aka sweaty) elite alongside the elite sales force and recognized the importance of employee health and fitness?

Download our whitepaper for tips on adding exercise to your worksite wellness program. 

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Topics: corporate fitness weight management corporate fitness centers cardio employee health and fitness health culture what if

NIFS Member Speak: Mandy Kisamore transforms herself and her family

members_speakMandy Kisamore was a little reserved when we first met. She is not a jump in the front of the room type of person. She came to a few classes and then became more of a regular.  After a while she started to hang around after class and ask questions that began with her and then shifted toward her children, and her family. She has done a lot of work from when she started and it hasn’t stopped with her.  Check out her story about how she transformed herself and her family.  It has been extremely rewarding to be able to be a part of Mandy’s success. 

Transforming Myself and My Family

Exercise was not one of my favorite things to do.  It was never fun; I would never look forward to it, or hate to miss a class. Today is a different story.

Three years ago I started to get serious about taking care of myself.  This transformation has been, and continues to be, a struggle that I have to work on at every class, at every workout, and every time I exercise.

Here is my story.  In the beginning, my family and friends would always tell me that I needed to find some “me” time.  Having a husband and two kids at home, finding “me” time was the last thing I thought was a possibility.  After thinking about this “me” time that I apparently needed, I decided that I would start checking out the gym at work and the classes that were offered.  I thought that would be something positive for me, mentally and physically.  That could be my “me” time, one night a week for 45 minutes. 

Mandy_Kisamore

Of course going to the gym itself is overwhelming, and joining a class for the first time was terrifying for me.  I found myself frustrated during the past three years because the scale did not tell me the number I wanted it to. I have had to shift my thinking to look at the inches I have lost, the new pants I have had to buy, the muscles I have built, and the confidence I have gained.  During the past three years I have had some setbacks which were frustrating, but I know that I cannot stop now. I feel that I have come so far that giving up and going back to where I was is not an option for me.  I started with a lower body class, it was only 30 minutes and who doesn’t want a better back side? A few friends and I started going to the class together. It was definitely a good decision to start with people I knew.  To my surprise, I ended up enjoying the class and started going once a week.  I attended this class for a month, and then added two classes a week for the next month, then three a week the next month. I soon found myself going to as many classes as I could fit into my schedule. As time went on, I could feel how much better I felt inside, and I could see the changes that were happening to my body.  These helped me stay motivated and continue trying different exercise classes.

My motivation to keep pushing through and continuing to make this more of a lifestyle change than what started as just a way to find “me” time is definitely my family.  To see the changes and the positive thought process this “me time” has brought to my family is amazing to see.  At one point during this journey my son said he was proud of me.  That was such a motivator for me to keep going no matter how hard it was, or how much I didn’t think I could keep up with it.  Since then, my kids have started paying attention to their eating habits, and exercising because they want to.  My husband, sister, and father have been making changes to be healthier as a result of what I have started.  It is wonderful to see that what started as one group fitness class has turned into a positive change for my entire family.

To me, every positive change you make is a success, whether it is stepping foot in the gym, joining your first class, or trying a healthier meal out on your family.  These changes can lead to so many more positive changes in your life. Although I haven’t reached my initial goals yet, I have found the smaller goals I have made are just as important.  I have to remind myself of what I’ve already accomplished, and that I am a work in progress.  I am going to keep trying to be a better healthier me, for myself and my family.   

Interested in helping your employees make great strides in changing their habits to live healthier lives?  Checkout NIFS Fitness Management Services to see how we help your workforce.

*Weight loss claims or individual results vary and are not guaranteed.

Corporate Fitness Services

Topics: employee health and fitness NIFS member speak corporate wellness success

Corporate Fitness: Free Workout Friday, Utilizing your Bodyweight

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Bodyweight exercises are trending in 2015.  If you missed last week go back and check it out.  Now it's time to crank up your bodyweight workout from last week? We have another workout for you. Before you begin this workout, make sure your form and technique for each exercise is correct first. You want to get a good workout in while avoiding injuries. Watch the video for correct form and technique.

Instructions: Complete 3 sets of each exercise with a 30 to 60 second rest in between sets.

Workout

  1. 20 jump squats
  2. 15 burpees
  3. 10 broad jumps w/ squat thrusts
  4. 15 downdog push-ups
  5. 10 tricep dips w/ leg extensions
  6. 60 sec plank
  7. 15 single leg squats (both right and left sides)
  8. 60 sec bridge march

It's importatnt to stay hydrated when working out. Make sure your water bottle is close by; you’ll need it!

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Topics: Free Workout Friday employee health and fitness

Corporate Fitness: Free Workout Friday -- Flexibility

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We kicked of the new year with tackling the components of a workout.  Flexibility is often overlooked, but is needed in everyday activities. Not stretching properly or a sedentary lifestyle can negatively affect one’s flexibility and range of motion. Without appropriate stretching and activity, our bodies’ posture and movement patterns can change overtime reducing range of motion. There are two kinds of stretching: dynamic and static. Dynamic stretching uses controlled movements that bring muscles through their full range of motion. Static stretching involves taking joints through a range of motion to a comfortable end point, holding that position for a period of time (at least 10 seconds).

Self-myofascial release, commonly used with a foam roller, is another method to increase flexibility. In this technique, one uses a foam roller to assist in self-massage to release muscle tightness or knots. Foam rollers are available in different densities. At the beginning, the process may be uncomfortable. A softer roller is ideal to start with. Foam rollers are available for purchase online or in any store that provides basic to advanced fitness equipment.

For dynamic stretches, check out our blog about warming up which includes dynamic stretching.

Static Stretches:

  • Arm hold across the body
  • Triceps overhead
  • Upper back
  • Chest
  • Obliques
  • Inner thigh
  • Hamstring and calf
  • Quadriceps

Foam Rolling: (demonstration video)

  • Hamstring
  • Calf
  • Glute maximus
  • Glute medius
  • Piriformis
  • IT Band
  • Upper back (1)
  • Upper back (2)
  • Lats
  • Quadriceps

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Topics: Free Workout Friday employee health and fitness

Free Workout Friday: Cardiovascular and Strength Training

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It's important to fit exercise into your daily routine and both cardiovascular and strength training are recommended by the CDC to be incorporated weekly. One hundred fifty minutes of moderate aerobic activity is recommended for cardiovascular training. To strengthen and ton your muscles, strength training should be done at least twice each week and include all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abs, chest, shoulders, and arms). Cardio stresses your heart and lungs making you breathe harder, while strength training focuses on muscle strength, power, and endurance. It’s okay to enjoy one activity more than the other; most people have preferences, but a proper balance between cardiovascular and strength training is what is important.  Check out the following suggestions.  Pick one or two of the cardio activities, break it up into 15-20 minute bouts.  Complete the strength exercises to tone and improve muscular endurance.  Strive for 12-15 repetitions of each exercise using moderate weight.  

Cardio:

  • Running
  • Bicycle
  • Brisk Walk
  • Treadmill
  • Elliptical
  • Arc Trainer
  • Row Machine
  • Stair Master
  • Recumbent Bike
  • Upright Bike

Strength:

  • Shoulder Press
  • Squat
  • Lunge
  • Chest Press
  • Bicep Curls
  • Tricep Extension
  • Reverse Fly
  • Leg Raise
  • Back Extension
  • Plank

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Topics: Free Workout Friday employee health and fitness

Corporate Fitness: 5 Tips for Staying Motivated

couple_working_outWe all know that exercising is good for us.  It keeps us full of energy, lowers our risk for disease and helps us look our best.  For some people, these reasons alone are enough to keep them going and motivated to stay on track with their fitness goals.  On the other hand, we all know somebody who struggles to stay motivated enough to adhere to, or even begin a fitness regimen.  Maybe this person is a family member, a friend, a co-worker or even yourself!  Whatever the case may be, I am here to offer five tips that can help even the most unmotivated individual get going. 

Change your Perspective!

Look at your time exercising as your time away from all other distractions.  This is a time that you have set aside for your own personal gain and shouldn’t be spent stressing or worrying about daily issues!  Allow this time be a highlight of your day and use different means to find something that works for you!

Use Your Pets

One of the easiest ways to stay motivated to get some extra activity in is to use your dog!  They will always be a friendly reminder of when nature calls and this can be a cue for you to get up and take a walk around the neighborhood.  This is a great way to get going and enjoy time with your pet while keeping the intensity low and being able to enjoy the outdoors.

Grab a Buddy

Sometimes all you need is that little nudge to get you going.  Get with a friend or co-worker to help keep you honest and agree on a weekly exercise schedule and hold each other accountable!  Support each other on walks or jogs, play a sport or game, or head to the corporate fitness center together to work out and encourage one another.  Work together to make it fun!

Grab Some Headphones/Find a book!

Music is a great motivational tool to finish that cardio session or to finish that last repetition.  Pick some music you can enjoy with a higher tempo you can follow along with.  Are you the type who would rather be swept up in a good story?  Pick up a couple audio books by your favorite author and make a goal to listen to so many chapters during your session.

Be an Inspiration!

Maybe you have children, family members, or friends that would also benefit from developing positive health choices and fitness routines.  Seeing you succeed and commit to a regular exercise routine could be all that a loved one needs to also make a positive change in their lives as well!  What is better than being someone else’s inspiration!

I encourage you to be a motivator, grab fellow employees and go for a walk at lunch, or head to your corporate fitness center to make today your day to live a healthier lifestyle. 

Guide to Successful Corporate Fitness Centers

Topics: corporate fitness employee health and fitness

NIFS: Encourage bike to work week for employee health

man biking to workIt’s MAY, birds are chirping the sun is out and oh yea watch for blinky lights and reflective leg bands, bike season has started! While some dread sharing the road with the two wheeled, foot powering transportation others love this chance to take advantage of the trails and bike lanes in your city. Well the truth is you SHOULD! Step outside of your normal comfort zone and bike to the store or run other errands while getting some exercise in!

Getting back on your bike can be a great way to involve the family, get involved with a new community and a little extra physical activity into your day! Great benefits of biking or commuting by bike include:

  • low impact exercise
  • creates a low environmental impact
  • it’s the most energy efficient type of transportation
  • reduces stress and travel stressors
  • saves money and so much more

Conduct an ABC Quick Check before each ride:

  • Air: Check the air in your tires. They should be inflated to the maximum rated PSI, you can find this number on the side of your tires. They should be inflated to the firmness of a basketball if you don’t have a pressure gauge.
  • Brakes: Brakes should be in working order if they stop the back when pushed forward or backwards. Brakes should be in working order if they stop wheels when pulled.
  • Chain: Chain should move freely, lightly oiled and rust-free. 

May 12-16 is Bike to work week this supports all levels of bikers to take advantage of active transportation. Here is a great website to get tips and tricks on biking to work or everyday biking. Check into other employee benefits at your work such as a bike commuter reimbursement.

How is your company promoting worksite wellness for employees?  Our staff offer great programs to encourage employees to get healthy.  Opt in to our Best Practice Series to receive 11 of our Best Practices implemented by our staff.

 

NIFS Best Practices Corporate
Topics: corporate wellness corporate fitness program nifs fitness management employee health and fitness

Corporate Fitness Program Spotlight: Club PED

Club PedAt our client sites, we’ve been offering walking initiatives for years. After all, it’s kind of the original fitness opportunity at worksites, right? They’re super-simple, generally easy access for participants, and most people can participate. For better or worse, we’ve steered clear of linking the program with pedometers, but we do get a lot of really useful self-report data from participants for the program.

The Basics of Club PED

It’s a mileage-driven walking and running program, and with some of our clients, we run this initiative annually. It’s become such a staple in our program planning that associates ask about it, wanting to be sure they don’t miss the registration.

Participants self-select into their desired weekly mileage goal: 5 miles per week, 10 miles per week, or 15 miles per week. They can complete their mileage anywhere, including walking the halls at work, in the corporate fitness center, or on vacation at the beach! The goal is to maintain their chosen goal mileage each week for the duration of the program. We allow a few “off” weeks (you know how life gets in the way), so participants must maintain a minimum of their goal mileage for 8 of the 10 weeks of the program.

We’ve witnessed participants start out lacking confidence that they can finish 5 miles per week for 12 weeks, and by the time the next year rolls around, they have a 5K or 10K under their belts with an eye toward upping their Club PED mileage goal.

The Data from Club PED

As I mentioned, we’ve been running this program for years. But in the last two years, we have seen some important jumps in participation and completion rates.

In 2012 and 2013, we averaged 59 miles per participant, which means that a typical Club PED member walked 7.4 miles per week beyond his or her normal daily activity. This represents a 34% increase over the average miles per participant for the preceding three years. Another positive trend in the last two years is our finisher rate. Our staff saw an average of 44.6% of Club PED participants successfully meet their weekly mileage goal for the duration of the program. From 2009 to 2011, we achieved a completion rate of 30%.

I know our staff are really proud of how hard their members worked to meet or exceed their mileage goals during the most recent Club PED offering, and I’m excited about the positive improvements the staff have worked hard to achieve.

The Feedback from Club PED

We get positive feedback from this program each time we run it. I don’t know if it’s our staff, the program’s simplicity, the low threshold for entry, the easy-to-use online portal, or a combination of those factors. Regardless, we’re always honored by the unsolicited compliments we receive. Here are a few examples of the ways this simple initiative has helped to improve members’ lives:

Thank you so much for the program. Because of it, I bought a Fitbit and continue to wear it daily. Can’t say I move as much as when I’ve had jobs out of the house, but I am [more] aware of my steps and take more breaks to move around.

—Dana, Ohio

 

I have been faithful to my walking, getting 4 to 5 miles per week. This Club PED program really helps me focus on my health and on keeping my blood pressure down. Staying healthy is my life change.

—Latongi, Georgia

 

To learn more about Club PED or other programming that our corporate fitness management staff can bring to your worksite, contact me.

Topics: corporate wellness corporate fitness program corporate fitness walking employee health and fitness data

Top 6 Reasons to Join Your Corporate Fitness Center

group fitnessNeed a convenient, cost-effective way to get in shape and get healthy?

Many corporations have gotten on board with the idea of an onsite fitness center and have been reaping the benefits of healthier, happier employees. If your worksite has an onsite fitness center, consider the following reasons why you should join.

1. Price

Corporate fitness centers are usually much less expensive than commercial gyms (or even free!). Who doesn’t want to save some extra cash?

2. Convenience

Think you don’t have time to exercise? When you use your onsite fitness center, you can get in a workout any time of day, between meetings, before or after work, during lunch…the excuse of “I have no time” is truly taken away from you. Also, many corporate fitness centers are open 24/7.

3. Motivation

Many corporate fitness centers offer incentives and fun programs throughout the year to help keep you motivated.

4. Group Fitness Classes

Onsite group fitness classes aren’t only convenient, but are usually offered at a cost that is competitive to group fitness classes offered at your local gym, or even FREE! Classes are also an amazing way to meet new people and develop some great friendships at work.

5. Mental Health

Exercise has been proven to help relieve stress and inspire positive moods. If you ever have a stressful day or an extra long meeting, come down to your fitness center for a few minutes of stretching or a walk on the treadmill to let yourself relax before tackling your next project.

6. Environment

Generally, corporate fitness centers have considerably fewer members than a commercial gym. This way, you won’t have to fight for machines or space.

No more excuses! Try out the most convenient fitness center available to you, the one at your workplace!

NIFS Corporate  Fitness Services

Topics: exercise at work motivation corporate fitness centers employee health and fitness brain health