Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

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

How to Address Senior Fitness Class Challenges

senior stretch classWhat are some challenges in developing group fitness classes for active older adults? One of the hardest things for me is that there is a wide variety in exercise knowledge and ability. For example, you might have someone who has never exercised a day in their life sitting next to someone who has been exercising in a gym for decades. Or, you may have someone in their middle 60s next to someone who is 85 with two knee replacements.

To overcome these challenges, make sure that you give both a progressive and regressive option for each exercise that you are teaching. Allow the individuals to experiment with what works for them. Each individual will choose how hard they want to make the exercise, but it is the instructor’s responsibility to ensure they are able to complete the exercise in a safe and effective manner for their varying ability levels. Encourage the participants to try new exercises, but also let people know that it’s okay to progress slowly over several weeks or months. The most important aspect is that they keep moving and have fun while feeling accomplished at an appropriate intensity level for their needs.

Use Visual and Verbal Cues

Each individual will learn in his or her own way. Make sure that you not only show them a visual demonstration but also use verbal cueing that may help them. At this age, some of your residents may not see well and others may not hear well. Pick out key words or moves that may help them remember from one class to the next.

Explain Why They Are Doing the Exercise

It is also important to educate senior fitness participants on why they are doing different exercises. Describe the reason for the exercise, the muscle group being worked, and how it should feel while performing the exercise. This can help participants become more in tune with their bodies and may help prevent injury if they develop improved body awareness.

For example when cueing upright rows, explain to the participants that the exercise can help improve their posture because it engages the muscles of the upper back and backside of their shoulders. As you cue them through the movements, explain how to engage the shoulder blades so they can specifically feel and identify where the muscles should be working if the exercise is being done correctly. For someone who does not have a good visual of the exercise being demonstrated, it may provide reassurance that they are performing the exercise correctly if your verbal cueing is matching up with what they are feeling.

Topics: motivation senior fitness management senior fitness fitness success

NIFS Fitness Management: 2013 Resolutions

Every year we set new resolutions with every intention to improve our health, stay better organized, lose weight… the list goes on.  Often these fall to the wayside and we fall back into our routines we know so well.  We are kicking the year off by asking some of our fitness staff what their 2013 resolutions are and if you keep reading you will see that even individuals in our industry have to recommit each year!

New Year… New You… Resolutions from NIFS Fitness Management:

PPohlmannPenny Pohlmann: Wellness Center Manager - Atlanta, GA

I noticed that our family’s TV/Internet usage on week nights had gotten out of control lately so we have resolved to limit it this year. We plan to watch no more than two hours of TV and spend no more than one hour in front of the computer on weeknights with limited time on weekends as well. We hope to spend the time we’d ordinarily be in front of the TV or computer reading, cleaning, and completing other odd jobs around the house that never seem to get done.  We also plan to hike all 76.4 miles of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia before the end of the year!

KSwiftKimberlee Swift: Fitness Manager – Towson, MD

This year I have decided to go VEGAN! I have been a vegetarian for over 10 years, and feel that giving up all animal byproducts will only increase my health, wellness, and vitality. I also look at this change as my way to give back to the environment, and significantly decrease the impact my dietary choices have on our ecosystem.

 

H  NIFS Pictures blog pics CJohnson resized 600Callie Johnson: Wellness Program Manager - Indianapolis, IN

My resolution this year is to live more consistently in all aspects of my life!  I plan to do this by: eating cleaner, living simpler and being happy with less, being more appreciative of all around me, and being a better, more phenomenal, more genuine ME!

 

MBoyleMichael Boyle: Manager – St. Louis, MO

I tend to be overzealous when it comes to New Year’s resolutions and I actually come up with an entire list each year, but for now I’ll focus on a few of the ones that are important to me. First, I’d like to spend more time with God. Whether it’s through reading the Bible, volunteering or just being more giving, I want to spend more time in His presence. I’d also like to cook dinner for my wife at least once per week. As far as fitness is concerned, I’ve got an overall plan of action that culminates in a sub 1h45m half marathon. Here we go!

DCarterDonisha Carter: HFS - Indianapolis, IN

Run the Mini, Save money! My main goal this year is to compete and finish my first ever Mini Marathon. I’ve managed to complete step 1 (actually signing up for the Mini)! I’m a little nervous because I’ve never considered myself a “runner”, we’ll see how well this goes. Another resolution for me this year is to shop less and save more.  I’d really like to focus on paying off my credit card and student loan.

 

KThielKimmberly Thiel: Manager – Middletown, NY

My goal for 2013 is to increase my strength and endurance to a point where I can compete with the males on my team for the Spartan Races this summer. I got my butt kicked by these races last year and I won’t let it happen again. This year’s teams can count on me to be a coach and motivator in the pre-race season and the ‘white rabbit’ on race day! Bring it on boys!

 

JPearsonJenna Pearson: Wellness Center Manager - Albany, NY

Put my own oxygen mask on first! It wasn’t until I was flying home from spending Christmas and New Year’s in England that I set my New Year’s resolution.   As we were getting ready to take off, the stewardess said something I’ve heard hundreds of times before, but this time it meant something different.  I need to learn to put my own oxygen mask on before helping others with theirs.  I get so consumed with making other people happy and taking care of everyone around me that I have literally worried myself sick!  It’s time to start taking better care of myself, making time to do the things that I want to do, because every day is a gift and sometimes you just need to be a little selfish.

 

 

AKistnerAdrienne Kistner:  Wellness Manager - Cincinnati OH

My biggest resolution for 2013 is to have a baby!  This little miracle baby was not suppose to be in the cards for me, so I am super excited to give birth to a baby boy at the end of March.  From a fitness standpoint, I am hoping to resume my Ironman training as soon as the doctor clears me and I plan on competing in my first half Ironman by the end of the year.  Nutritionally, I plan on cutting back on my wine-drinking habit.  I’m off to a good start, being pregnant, so I’m hoping to continue after the baby is born.  Finally, I have several projects around the house that are on my to-do list for 2013.  A bathroom renovation is currently in the works.

 

ETrenthamErin Trentham:  Wellness Center Manager - Columbus, GA

My first resolution is to cook more.  I know how to cook the basics (i.e. meat and veggies), but I really want to try and think outside the box and come up with some new dinners for my family.  I know my husband would love this!  I would also like to concentrate on my flexibility more (yes I know we are in the fitness industry).  I tend to neglect that aspect of my workouts. 

 

 

SPenceStephanie Pence: Assistant Manager - Mason, OH

Expand my Cooking Knowledge!! My New Year’s resolution is to try one new recipe a week.  I would like to expand my cooking abilities and add new healthy recipes to my cookbook.  I have never been a very good cook so I would like to take this year to become more comfortable in the kitchen.  Hopefully I won’t be eating too many burnt dinners!

 

KLedbetterKeith Ledbetter: Fitness Center Manager – Indianapolis, IN

Organize Everything… My New Year’s resolution is to get organized. My plan is to organize one room a month, for the first six months. The following six months go back and tweak and the system I put in place the first time around. Step one is the bedroom, starting with the closet. 

 

 

  

SDurham

Sara Durham: Wellness Center Manager – Indianapolis, IN

To cook more nutritious meals at home for my family rather than eating out. (So far so good)

 

 

 

RHuffmanRachel Huffman: HFS – Indianapolis, IN

Shift away from my “procrastinate now, don’t put it off” habits.  I’ve never been one to create a list of resolutions, because taking on a laundry list of changes all at once quickly becomes daunting.  This is simply because we try to conquer everything at once rather than taking baby steps toward a better direction.  In my attempt to continue in a “better direction”, this year I will focus on altering the choices that can be made on a conscious level, namely the ones that sound like this: “Hmm, I can do that later.”  This small change is so simple, yet so effective, because it taps into and balances my social life, organizational habits, the cleanliness of my home, and, subsequently, my work life.  I recently asked a friend to teach me his ways of keeping up with his social life and responsibilities all while having an adult job.  “Just do it,” he responded.  So I’m going to just do it.

 

Mhayhow

Mistie Hayhow: HFS - Indianapolis, IN

Pick up a new hobby. I received a sewing machine for christmas so my goal for the new year is to learn to sew. I think the gift was a hint from my family that they will be expecting some hand made gifts this year. So in 2013 I will test my patience and creative and hopefully have a new hobby to enjoy in my spare time!

 

 

We want to know... What resolutions do you plan to stick with in 2013?

  

 

Topics: Be inspired Aim High fitness corporate fitness managment fitness success healthy habits resolutions staying active

NIFS: Overcoming a Nutrition and Fitness Backslide

time for changeOvercoming a setback in life can be pretty challenging, be it a job loss, divorce, financial distress, or a setback in reaching the health and fitness goals you have set for yourself at the onset of your fitness journey. So what should you do if you happen to gain weight? Body composition results are less than ideal? Mile time is slower? How you we get back on track before slipping any further back into the old behaviors that probably got you to the point of change in the first place?
Here are a few steps to follow if you experience a slip in the diet, lack of exercise, energy loss, or any other reason (or excuse) that results in a health and fitness setback.

1. Get your head right. Remember the reasons you started your journey to better your life. Work through and dispose of the negative thoughts that are becoming self-fulfilling prophecies. Understand that even the strongest of individuals can relapse into destructive behaviors, and that it is usually due to a detour from positive thinking.
2. Remove yourself. I don’t recommend becoming a hermit who throws potatoes at stray cats (my dad does that), by any means. I do recommend removing yourself from the environments that are filled with triggers that lead to poor decision making. This may mean staying away from friends or family who enable the lapses in judgment. Trust me, you will find who your true friends are when you are taking steps to better yourself and they resent you for it. Sometimes there are just too many bad notes playing in your symphony, so remove them.
3. Return to the plan. You formed a plan to aid you in your journey to health and wellness when you began, so get right back to it! If you consume too much food at a dinner, the next day get right back on your normal eating schedule filled with the proper foods. If you are diligent most of the time, your body’s metabolism will be able to handle a caloric onslaught from time to time, avoiding the setback altogether. Work your plan that is directly related to achieving your goals. That is why it is in place.
4. Get active. Moving can do so much to help you return to your motivated state. Not only are the physical responses to exercise very helpful, but the mental and spiritual benefits of moving are far reaching and will help you put into place the preceding three steps. I get a lot of thinking done out on a run or during a strength-training session. The physiological response to exercise is so much more than cells and muscles. The hormones that are released during exercise can be just what the doctor ordered to get your head right, remove yourself from damaging situations, and get back to your plan of attack.

Arm yourself with these steps to help you bounce back if a setback happens. Just remember that everyone gets knocked down. What matters is whether you get back up! I have learned a great deal from Coach Divine of SealFit.com and am implementing some Seal habits into my daily life. You can read his blog here.

Topics: fitness fitness success healthy habits Fitness Center

Top 3 reasons to outsource fitness center management

Emily works with member.jpgOf course, it’s horribly self-serving for us to say that staffing your onsite fitness center and wellness initiatives isn’t a DIY (do it yourself) project.  We’re not above shameless self-promotion, but the truth is, the consequences of making fitness center management a DIY initiative can be costly.  Read on to learn NIFS top three reasons to outsource fitness center management of your retirement community or worksite fitness center. 

Reason #1: Your actual dollar cost is only part of the cost/benefit picture

If you’re reading this thinking, “Outsourcing is expensive – way more expensive than hiring my own personnel”, you’re right.  Of course, costs come in two types: direct and indirect.  So don’t stunt your thinking about this by looking only at the invoice from the outsourcing partner against your compensation profile for your own employee.

Reason #2: Outsourcing fitness center management provides expertise you can't build on your own

We would never lean toward such exaggerations as to say that health promotion, fitness, wellness (insert your favorite name for it here) is akin to rocket science.  It’s not hard, like organic chemistry hard.  But it’s challenging in that call center, customer service kind of way.  Let’s face it, anyone one who works in customer service knows that the hardest, and most rewarding, part of their job is working with the customer.  NIFS staff are in that same customer service spot.

To that end, there is a benefit to having a pool of like-minded peers who are doing the same type of work, sharing in successes, problem-solving through challenges, and brainstorming new ideas together.  When you hire an outsourcing organization to provide your staffing, they have that built in peer support.  When you hire your own wellness professional – they’re essentially on their own to build a peer network of support.

In NIFS case, the support network extends well beyond peer support.  Our staff-built intranet provides program creation ideas, internal form links, peer-to-peer continuing education and more.  All of these staff resources are a benefit to our clients. When they hire NIFS, they not only get their own manager, they get indirect access to our other 70+ like-minded professional peers.


Reason #3: Outsourced partners are experts in fitness so that you don't have to be.

Risk management related to both the physical spaces and the programming connected to those spaces is an important consideration for our clients.  They don’t lose sleep over their liability exposure in our programs though.  Maybe that’s because we’ve been managing corporate and CCRC fitness centers and wellness programs for more than 20 years.  Maybe it’s because all of our staff -- administrators, managers, and specialists – are all fitness and wellness experts.  We know the industry standards for waiver language, pre-activity screening, industry-appropriate certifications, subcontractor liability management, etc.  Speaking of which, when was the last time you checked the status of the liability insurance for your contracted group fitness instructors?

For more on assessing liability in a corporate fitness program, download our white paper here.

To read about managing liability in a retirement community fitness center, download this white paper.

If you’re the “I’ll fix my own brakes” or, “I’ll build my own home addition” type, then you’re more adventurous then I and perhaps you should hire your own wellness professional.  If you’re looking for an outsourcing solution that is more trustworthy and reliable than your mechanic, and less expensive than your home addition, consider checking NIFS out. 

Read our case studies (Sagewood | Marquette | NextGear) to see how we’ve provided scalable and cutting edge solutions for our clients.

Learn how we find the best staff in the business.

Topics: corporate fitness program corporate fitness Wellness in the Workplace employee wellness senior center solutions corporate fitness centers senior fitness fitness success Fitness Center

New Habits, a Lifetime of Results at NIFS's Slim It to Win It

This blog was written by Lori Griffin. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.

NIFS, Slim it to Win it“Exercise is boring…,” “I don’t have the time…,” or “I don’t know where to start” are words many have used as excuses at some point or another in regard to a fitness routine or lifestyle change. With the emergence of Slim It to Win It in 2011, NIFS sought to squash not one, but all three of those excuses. With the guidance of health and fitness professionals two hours a week, members teamed up to conquer fun, limit-pushing workouts.

After experiencing personal successes the first year, members anxiously awaited the return of Slim It to Win It, and the second run of the program proved to be life-changing once again. Slim It is a chance for people to step outside their comfort zones and into a new way of life. With a total weight loss of 635 pounds and 1.6 percent body fat lost on average, coaches and participants alike celebrated forming new exercise habits and breaking old eating habits.

Slim It Helps Participants Achieve New Fitness Levels

While the empirical evidence demonstrates the physical success, it is the individual stories that explain the true victories. Participants accomplished fitness feats they never thought possible. From kicking their walking pace up to a jog to finally tackling a box jump, participants used the team atmosphere as fuel in their quest to shed some weight.

Nutrition and Healthy Eating Benefits

Not only did Slim It provide stellar exercise sessions, the program also spurred participants toward healthier eating habits. One participant in particular completely shifted his mindset regarding food. Rather than look for convenience at the last minute during lunch breaks, he learned to plan ahead for healthier, more satisfying options. Another member lost 26 pounds in the 10 weeks and attests to a true change in her body composition. “I am wearing jeans I have not worn in months! Not only did the numbers on the scale change, but I can really see a difference in myself.”

The Fun of Working Out as a Group

In addition to encouraging participants to challenge their fitness boundaries and reset their food mentalities, the program also instills a unique camaraderie among team members. Members exchanged numbers and worked out together outside of the team time. Even as the program ends each year, participants still connect to keep up their fitness.

With Slim It, people discover the fun in working out as a group. For example, coaches encouraged participants to log into a calorie-tracking website and when teammates noticed it had been awhile since someone had tracked his or her food intake, teammates made it a point to razz the individual a bit to get back on track. Each year with Slim It, “teammates” quickly turns into strong friendships rooted in a common lifestyle.

A Lifetime of Fitness Results

At the start of Slim It to Win It, 155 people began a 10-week program that took each of them to a new health and fitness level. With the challenging and encouraging group atmosphere, participants conquered their weight-loss goals. Coaches worked to instill new habits so that weight-loss goals were not only achieved, but also maintained. 

One member comments as to why he chose NIFS’s Slim It program two years in a row: “I’ve been able to maintain the weight loss. In the past the weight would reappear.” Combining raw statistics and personal success stories, it is safe to say Slim It to Win It creates a lifetime of results for NIFS members.

Topics: nutrition weight loss weight management motivation NIFS fitness fitness success Fitness Center

Corporate Fitness: How to Pick a Personal Trainer

This blog was written by Mechelle Meadows. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.

C  Documents and Settings kgootee My Documents Dropbox Images New personal training resized 600There are many reasons for seeking the help of a personal trainer. Corporate health and fitness specialists can introduce you to an exercise routine, help you break through a rut, or give you the extra boosts of knowledge, motivation, and accountability that you need to achieve the next level in your fitness. But how do you pick a trainer?

Check for Fitness Certifications

First, make sure that your trainer has the appropriate credentials. The most basic certifications on a personal trainer’s resume would be CPR, AED, and first aid; a four-year degree in the health and fitness field; and preferably a certification from a well-recognized organization, for example the American College of Sports Medicine.

While most corporate fitness companies will have already screened potential employees for this information, many commercial gyms require only minimal certifications or experience in the field. Knowing that your trainer has met these standards, you have a better chance of achieving your goals and staying injury-free.

Ask About the Personal Trainer's Background and Specialties

Ask about the trainer’s background and what his or her specialties are. While health and fitness specialists should have experience training with a wide population, most will be honest if they have a passion for certain demographics, for example children or senior citizens. Also, some trainers may be more inclined to work with people looking for specific athletic goals, while other trainers prefer working with those striving for everyday fitness or disease prevention.

Make Sure the Trainer Pays Attention to You

During your consultation and first personal training session, make sure that your trainer thoroughly listens to you and understands your goals. While you are exercising, make sure that he or she is watching your form and not gazing off at the TV in the corner of the gym or chatting with other people during your whole workout. Ask for feedback if they do not give it automatically.

Don’t be afraid to shop around for a personal trainer. Put your fitness into someone else’s hands only when they have shown the experience, interest, and encouragement that you deserve from a personal training relationship.

Topics: corporate fitness fitness success Fitness Center personal trainers injury weight training