Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

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. 





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.



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 and am implementing some Seal habits into my daily life. You can read his blog here.

Topics: fitness fitness success healthy habits Fitness Center

NIFS Nutrition News: 'Tis the Season for Holiday Baking

holiday bakingOne of my favorite holiday traditions is making fabulous treats for friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors.  Entire days are spent baking in the kitchen and the best part (after sampling the treats first hand) is hearing how great everything tastes.  Little do they know that with just a few simple tweaks, those holiday cookies and candy can be dramatically lower in fat and calories.  Here are a few easy substitutions to try:

  • Reduce - Many recipes call for an amount of sugar or fat well above the amount needed for taste and texture. Try reducing these ingredients by 1⁄3 or 1⁄2 when making your recipe. By using non-stick pans and cooking spray, you can reduce the oil or butter on baking sheets and pans.
  • Substitute! There are healthier alternatives to use without compromising taste. Give the following substitutions a try.
    • Eggs - For every egg, use 2 egg whites or 1⁄4 cup egg substitute. Scramblers or Eggbeaters can be found in the dairy/egg section of the grocery store. You can also make your own version of egg substitute: 6 egg whites, 1⁄4 cup nonfat dry milk, 1 tsp. oil, and 6 drops of yellow food coloring. Refrigerate for up to one week.
    • Whipped Cream -Make your own! Beat together 1⁄4 cup ice water and 1⁄4 cup non-fat milk powder until thick. Add 1⁄4 tsp. vanilla, 2 tsp. lemon juice and 1⁄4 cup sugar. Another option is vanilla non-fat yogurt.
    • Baking Chocolate - Use 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder for every ounce of baking chocolate.
    • Applesauce - Rather than using all of the oil, margarine or butter in baked goods, substitute a portion with applesauce. For example, instead of 1⁄4 cup oil, use 2 Tbsp. of oil and 2 Tbsp. of applesauce. The applesauce provides moisture, but you still have the benefits of the fat in the oil and save 23 calories and 28 grams of fat!
  • Prunes - For your best baked chocolate recipes, try baby food prunes as a fat replacement. They retain moisture and add to the color. Substitute the same amount as in the recipe, or try replacing with a portion of the prunes.

Whatever you decide to bake or eat this holiday season, just remember moderation.  Enjoy 1 or 2 cookies, not the whole batch!!  Happy holidays and happy baking!

Topics: nutrition NIFS calories weight control healthy habits

Employee Health: Having Eggs for Breakfast Can Help You Lose Weight

eggsI actually witnessed my brother order a large hamburger with a fried egg on top. It was like Man v. Food! I’m pretty sure that’s not what they are talking about when I read articles about eggs helping you lose weight.

I love eggs, so it’s easy for me to eat those most mornings and even other times of the day. There are many benefits to eating eggs throughout the day. Some like to eat them late at night or throw a hardboiled egg on their salad. But eating eggs in the morning for breakfast is the way to go!

Eggs Are a Healthy and Nutritious Choice

Eggs are packed full of nutrients. They are high in protein, which helps you to feel full longer. Eating eggs for breakfast can also help you to eat a smaller lunch. Eggs are a very low-carb food, and have only roughly 85 calories per egg (depending on the size). I think it’s a myth about the yolk being unhealthy. A lot of protein and nutrients are found in the center. So, quit separating and eat the whole thing!

Boost Wellness with the Inexpensive, Versatile Egg

In addition to the health benefits, there are other great things about eating eggs. Eggs are inexpensive and can be stored in the fridge for long periods of time. They don’t take much time to cook, and can be cooked several different ways to help with variety.

Try these different options: omelet, sunny-side-up, scrambled, hardboiled, or poached. I like to make breakfast wraps with scrambled eggs, hot sauce, and a little bit of cheese. I also like to eat egg sandwiches using English muffins, or cut up some fresh vegetables for omelets.

There are lots of good ways to eat eggs, so get creative and have fun with it! Your body will reap the benefits. You can also talk with your corporate fitness center staff about other healthy options for breakfast.

Topics: employee health overweight employees nutrition weight loss weight management employee wellness healthy habits

Avoiding Chemicals and Germs for Workplace Wellness

hand sanitizerCould your office be to blame for making you sick? This article refers to a recent study that found certain types of furniture, carpet and paint can contain harmful chemicals called PFCs, or polyfluorinated compounds. These chemicals are so widespread that 95 percent of Americans have been found to carry at least some level in their blood. The workplace, however, was the environment found to have the highest amount of PFCs in the air.

Interestingly enough, the study found that employees working in the buildings with the newest carpet, paint, and furniture showed more exposure to PFCs than employees working in buildings with older office surroundings. If you find yourself in the position of purchasing new carpet, paint, or furniture for your workspace, it could be worth asking the manufacturer whether there are any known substances in the materials that could be harmful in high level of exposure.

Chemical exposure isn't the only risk of working in an office environment. Offices are also breeding grounds for viruses and bacteria. Here are some things you can do to avoid catching germs in the workplace:

  • Keep a bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer at your desk and use it periodically throughout the day.
  • If you use a shared computer or phone, wipe down items like the computer mouse and phone receiver regularly with an antibacterial wipe.
  • In restrooms, use automatic flush, sinks, soap dispensers, and paper towel dispensers where available. The less contact your skin has with these items, the better.
  • In the office kitchenette, appoint one person per week to clean surfaces such as countertops, sink faucets, and handles on the refrigerator, microwave and coffeepot. General housekeeping may not be cleaning these items.
  • In your corporate fitness center, clean all machines and other equipment before and after use.
  • Exercise and eat a healthy, balanced diet to boost your immune system no matter where you go!


Topics: corporate wellness employee health healthy workforce Wellness in the Workplace worksite wellness common cold allergies disease prevention healthy habits

NIFS Nutrition News: Take It Off, Keep It Off!

This blog was written by Angie Scheetz, RD. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.

NIFS, nutrition, portion controlI love what I do. Seeing people succeed with their weight-loss goals is one of the most rewarding feelings as a dietitian. However, it can also be very challenging when I see clients revert back to old habits and struggle to keep off the weight that they worked so hard to remove.

After checking out some research of highly successful dieters, I have found the best things that can be done to keep off the weight for good:

  • Keep a food journal. Individuals who keep food logs tend to eat 40 percent less because they are writing it down. Also, a recent study found women who kept a food journal lost 6 pounds more than those who didn’t. Some excellent online food tracker sites include My Daily Plate and Choose My Plate. Free apps for your smartphone that are highly rated include My Fitness Pal and Lose It.
  • Practice portion control. As a society we are terrible at eyeballing portions! The secret to success is consistently measuring food items to make sure you are eating the same amount you are journaling. The simplest way to do this is to use measuring utensils to dish out your meals and to associate common items to certain portions. For example, a serving of meat should be the size of a deck of cards, a baked potato should be the size of a computer mouse, a half-cup of pasta is the size of a tennis ball, and a teaspoon of oil is the size of one dice.
  • Don’t skip meals. Lots of people think if they skip a meal they will be decreasing the total calories they are taking in for the day. In reality, the opposite usually happens. When someone skips a meal they typically end up overeating at a different time of day to compensate for missing out on the food that their body needed. Also, whenever you skip a meal it makes your metabolism work at a slower rate and, therefore, makes it harder to lose weight. Eating balanced meals and snacks throughout the day is the best way to stay on track!

The more you follow these rules, the higher chance of success you will have in keeping off the weight. For more information or to set up an individualized nutrition appointment, contact me at

Topics: overweight employees nutrition weight loss weight management NIFS weight control healthy habits

NIFS Wellness Coordinator and Dietitian loves the Farmers' Market

This blog was written by Angie Scheetz, Wellness Coordinator and Registered Dietitian at NIFS. 

C  Documents and Settings kgootee My Documents Dropbox Images New couple at market resized 600One of my favorite things to do in Indiana is to visit the various farmers’ markets around town.  As a dietitian I am a sucker for the fresh fruits and veggies but I also love the homemade desserts, candles, pasta, kettle corn, fresh flowers, and other wonderful items you can find.  Here are my top five reasons why visiting your local farmer’s market is a must.

1.  Support for the local community – Since the produce is grown and purchased locally, the money remains in the community and stimulates the local economy.   Also, when you shop at the farmers’ market you are cutting out the middle man and the product is generally less expensive than if you purchased it in the grocery store. 

2.  Eating foods that are in season – Farmers’ market produce is picked ripe and sold soon after picking. Supermarket produce, on the other hand, can take up to two weeks to travel from the farm to the store, even when it is in season.   The produce tastes richer and more flavorful and the nutrients are better retained.  Check out the downtown City Market website for what products are available during the months the market is open.

3.  It is good for you – The average American eats 4.4 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.  The current recommendations are 9 servings per day.  Picking up multiple servings of fruits and veggies and incorporating them into recipes, meals, and snacks is a great way to get closer to the 9 serving per day goal.  This will guarantee you are meeting your recommended vitamin and mineral requirements, increasing your daily fiber intake, and acquiring cancer fighting antioxidants too.  Locally grown produce is lower in pesticides and chemicals also.

4.  You can talk to the farmers who grew the food you are about to eat - You can meet the farmers who grew your food, ask when it was picked, how it was grown, and ways to prepare it.  When else do you get the opportunity to learn so much about what you are putting in your mouth?

5. There is certain to be one that fits your location and schedule – I love being able to go to the City Market farmers’ market on my lunch break downtown and sampling the hot, fresh kettle corn, picking up sweet corn, and getting homemade cookies on Wednesday afternoons.  Saturday mornings it is off to the Carmel farmers’ market to purchase bon bons from Holy Cow Cupcakes, homemade pasta, and a whole assortment of fruits and veggies for the week.  To find out where the location of a farmers’ market is close to you check out this website .

Whether you are picking up items for dinner or for the whole week, the local farmers’ market is an inexpensive, healthy alternative to the grocery store.  Try to get there early to get the best variety and options.  Not all vendors accept credit cards so be sure to have cash on hand.  Finally, bring along your own reusable grocery bag to put all of your goodies in so it is easier to carry home your fresh, delicious finds.

Topics: employee health nutrition Food for Thought weight management NIFS healthy habits health culture

Employee Health: Healthy Teeth Make a Healthy You!

This blog was written by Lisa Larkin. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.

oral health, mouth careHow would you rate your oral health?

It’s not just about staying away from sugar to protect your teeth from cavities! Poor oral health can lead to a lot of other health issues. I feel that parents are always on their kids about brushing their teeth, but in actuality, a lot of adults don’t take care of their own mouths.

It’s also not just about brushing your teeth, but brushing your teeth the proper way and flossing on a regular basis. It shouldn’t be something you rush through in the morning. You need to spend some quality time on your mouth; you get only one set of adult teeth.

Scheduling the recommended regular dentist visits can help to save your life! Not taking care of your teeth can lead to infection, which can also spread to other areas of your body. Practicing good oral health can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Dental hygienists can also screen you for serious health problems, such as oral cancer, diabetes, eating disorders, and substance abuse.

Here are some tips to help you maintain good oral health:

  • Drink fluoridated water.
  • Avoid tobacco.
  • Avoid foods and snacks that are high in sugar.
  • Visit the dentist regularly.
  • Floss daily.
  • Don’t brush really hard; relax and take your time.

Take this quiz to discover how your mouth affects your general health.

Topics: employee health healthy habits oral hygiene