Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

NIFS Personal Training in Active Aging Communities

NIFS | Active Aging Personal TrainingThere are many reasons to work with a personal trainer from NIFS, and in this blog we cover the top five: forming habits, fun, accountability, comfortability, and safety.

 

F: Forming Habits

One of the many benefits of working with a NIFS personal trainer is forming healthy habits. When you decide to start personal training, you and your trainer will being with some goals by picking a set number of days and times to meet each week. Your NIFS personal trainer will encourage you to stick to this schedule every week in order to develop a habit. By sticking to this new habit of “every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1pm, I will work out with my trainer,” you will start to develop the habit and some consistency. Eventually you will feel more energized (and hopefully excited) around that time every week and look forward to the health benefits that you are gaining.

F: Fun!

Going to group fitness class and exercising can be fun as well, and it is something that many people prefer. Your NIFS trainer will ensure that your workout is educational, appropriate for your goals, safe, and enjoyable! When doing any kind of physical activity, it is important that you are doing something that you enjoy. When you are having fun with your workout, you will more than likely perform better—and most importantly, come back for another session!

A: Accountability

Having a NIFS personal trainer also provides a sense of accountability. Your trainer can help you stay on top of your appointments by sending reminder cards and personal phone calls. It is also encouraging to know that someone is counting on you to be there, which increases the sense of accountability. We do, however, know that life happens and things pop up. When this happens we are willing to work with your busy and ever-changing schedules and life scenarios. Your trainer will be empathetic and flexible to your needs and can reschedule as needed.

C: Comfortability

It is also our job as NIFS personal trainers to provide an environment where our residents are comfortable. This entails many aspects. During the exercises themselves, we want to avoid any exercise that causes you pain either during or after your workout. We will ensure a strong line of communication throughout our sessions in order to avoid painful experiences. We also strive to create an environment where you feel comfortable with us as your trainer. For every session and with a smile, we will explain what we will be doing for the day, educate you on our focus and how it helps you, and maintain a positive and encouraging attitude.

S: Safety

The most important part of having a trainer is their knowledge and ability to train safely. Falling is a risk, but with a NIFS personal trainer, that risk is always considered and mitigated to the best of our ability. Beyond that, we look for exercises to help reduce this risk, and are right by your side every step of the way. No matter what task you are taking on that day, you can trust that your trainer will be there to help keep you safe. We always look for safer ways to perform exercise and are there in case you stumble. Our number-one priority is to help you safely improve your quality of life and provide the tools for you to succeed.

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Topics: personal training group fitness active aging healthy habits accountability injury prevention

Water Volleyball Tournament Is the Definition of Active Aging Week 2018

Active Aging Week is always an exciting time for the NIFS Active Aging team. Our team members work hard to create opportunities for the residents ranging from sports, recreation, and trivia to meditation, education, and beyond with the goal of celebrating a positive view of aging. NIFS staff members across the country went above and beyond this year to encourage residents to step outside of their comfort zones and celebrate actively aging all week.

This spirit was most certainly demonstrated by the water volleyball tournament that took place between our senior living sites in Chicago, IL, and Lincolnwood, IL this year. I had the opportunity to speak with both Ruth, the NIFS Fitness Manager at Lincolnwood, and Leah, the NIFS Fitness Manager at Chicago, to see how the day went. Check it out!

NIFS | Seniors playing water volleyball

Q: What inspired the idea of a water volleyball tournament between Lincolnwood and Chicago?

Ruth: I really wanted to put together more activities between our Illinois sites, and water volleyball seemed like a great way to get our residents together and get to know the other community. Leah did a great job of getting her residents to practice and actually come with their A game this year. I really would like to host chair volleyball tournaments to include Wyndemere as well since they don’t have a pool.

Leah: Last year, Lincolnwood came to the Chicago site to play water volleyball. We assembled a team for the event without ever practicing. The Lincolnwood players told the Chicago players that they “skunked us,” and that didn’t sit so well with our competitive residents. A rematch with Lincolnwood was one of the first requests I received when I started in Chicago last March. From there it was just a matter of timing, and we thought tying it into Active Aging Week was a great idea!

Q: So, let’s get the obvious question out of the way…who won?

Leah: I’m proud to say we brought the Poinsettia Trophy home this year. We had several residents who had played last year say they would only play this year if we practiced first. I put four practice times on the schedule, and the players enjoyed it so much they requested two additional practices. They were taking no chances this year and their hard work showed…we “skunked” them!

Ruth: Yeah, yeah they beat us...this year! We have an ongoing water volleyball group here at Lincolnwood that meets on Saturday mornings. They have a team resident leader, and honestly they were overly confident this year and really didn’t play to their full potential. Nonetheless, we loved having the Chicago team here and enjoyed the time together since we do a lunch afterwards as well.

Q: What do you think the residents enjoyed the most about the tournament?

Leah: Play is one of the best things you can do for your mind, body, and soul; and unfortunately, it seems like we lose sight of that as we age. This tournament gave our residents the opportunity to reconnect with their younger selves, become part of a supportive team, play, and have fun! Our team is a competitive bunch. They were jumping, leaping, and diving for the ball. One resident told me after the tournament that being on this team was the best workout and the most fun she had had in years.

Ruth: Definitely promoting water volleyball is a way to reach out to our residents as another form of exercise beyond the standard fitness classes. They love the competition aspect and really enjoy developing as players, regardless of their age! Many of them played volleyball throughout their life.

Q: Were there any surprises? Anything that stands out from the day?

Leah: My residents were shocked and not too happy to find the beach ball at Lincolnwood was quite a lot bigger and heavier than the ball we have at Chicago. It really threw the team off during the first game (which is the only game we lost at the tournament). It was fun to see them adjust their style of playing.

Ruth: We actually were equally surprised last year when we had to play with a smaller-version volleyball; perhaps we need to come up with an in-between ball. I think the biggest surprise for us was how prepared the Chicago players were, their setups were definitely practiced.

Leah: There were many highlights of the day, but the thing that stood out to me most was the game-winning point of the final game. There was so much tension in the air as our resident made the final serve. When the ball dropped to the water and scored the final point, the Chicago residents just erupted with a cheer. On our way home the team asked if we could continue to play once a week and open it up to all senior living residents. It is now on our schedule every Wednesday at 1 pm!

Ruth: The good news is that our players surprised me by not being upset over the loss; they embraced the camaraderie among both communities. They also appreciated the positive comments regarding the pool size and the luncheon, but they are excited about next year and heading back to playing at The Clare.

Q: Do you have any advice for fitness staff who want to host a similar tournament in their community?

Leah: I definitely recommend having a few practices before playing an actual game and communicating with the other facility about towels and water. The site in Chicago provides towels at the pool, but Lincolnwood does not, so I was thankful Ruth let me know that in advance so we were prepared.

I’d be sure to clarify the rules with the players before the game.

Ruth was kind enough to coordinate a buffet lunch after the tournament so all of the players got to enjoy a lunch together. Timing wise, we allowed 30 minutes between arriving at Lincolnwood and starting the game, and 30 minutes between the last game and lunch. We could have done 20 minutes between each instead because our residents transitioned more quickly than expected. In addition to the Poinsettia Trophy, Ruth also prepared a laminated certificate for the winning team, which we framed and will hang in our pool area. The residents are extremely proud of the certificate and have brought their grandkids in to show them.

Ruth: Ditto on the above. Have those rules laid out in advance so all the players understand before the tournament and set up practices months to weeks before the actual game! It really is just a fun way to bring communities together and showcase NIFS’s work in providing programs that continue to encourage a “healthy lifestyle” for both the mind and body to equal active aging!

Thanks for sharing, Ruth and Leah!

To learn more about partnering with NIFS to manage your senior living community, click the link below. 

Partner with NIFS to improve your senior living community

Topics: active aging week, competition adding fun to senior fitness activities calendar senior living exercise and aging senior living activities water

Keep Motivated to Workout During Those Cold Winter Months


NIFS | Winter Workout

As winter approaches, many of us tend to slack on our workouts. I don’t know about you but on dreary, cold days all I want to do is put on a good movie and lay on the couch. The weather gets colder and there is less daylight available during the winter months, making it difficult to find time to get a workout in. Ever heard of the Winter Blues? Feeling down can contribute to decreased motivation as well. The happy feel-good hormone tends to decrease with the lack of sunlight and warm air.

 When winter starts to approach, I try to find new activities around the city to keep me moving and to give me a little motivation. Now is also a great time to start thinking about weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly goals. Setting small weekly goals that will lead up to a larger goal typically work best for me. One great way to stay motivated is to sign up for a race or trying a new fitness class. Whether it be a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or marathon, having something to work towards could be just what you need to keep you inspired through the winter. I plan for a race by deciding what an achievable goal time should be; I am my own biggest competitor so this approach works best for me. Another way to keep that motivation would be to try a new group exercise class or fitness trend. There are unique fitness classes that are very efficient ways to burn calories. Who knows, a yoga class or exercise DVD might get you hooked and keep you coming back for more.

[Read more: Don't Wait Until You Feel Motivated to Make Healthy Changes]

One popular fitness trend right now is high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. I really enjoy these quick high intensity workouts because they are easy to fit in during those shorter days of the year. These workouts can be done virtually anywhere and you only need a short amount of time. These classes usually consist of a little competition mixed with an intense cardio session.

There’s no shortage of options for continuing workouts even if you have to move them inside for the winter. So before the winter months hit, I encourage you to find a new fitness class or to set some new goals to keep you motivated this winter season. Don’t let the cold days and holiday treats keep you from your goals.

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Topics: winter blues winter fitness motivation fitness goals fitness routine setting exercise goals goal setting

Manage diabetes this holiday season with exercise and nutrition

Throughout the year, you have worked hard to stay on course with managing your health and diabetes, but the holiday season has the potential to take you off course. Eating healthy and staying active becomes more difficult during the holidays due to food being one of the central focuses of the season. When the weather gets colder and travel increases, it is harder to maintain an exercise schedule. As the holidays approach, it is appropriate to talk about some ways you can stay happy and healthy even when surrounded by delicious, yes sometimes unhealthy food.

NIFS | Family making choices

It is important to set reasonable and attainable goals for yourself during the holiday months. Weight loss can be a very difficult task around this time of year so adjusting goals may be necessary. Instead of trying to lose weight, set a goal to maintain your weight and not gain throughout the holidays. Be sure to stay active even when the weather gets colder. Find ways to stay physically active indoors such as joining a group fitness class, purchase some enjoyable videos or stream workouts, join a sports team like basketball or volleyball, or find an indoor swimming pool. Check your corporate wellness program to see if they offer an incentive  to help you maintain your weight this season. Exercise can help you maintain your weight, lower blood glucose levels, and boost your sensitivity to insulin.

Overindulging can cause some setbacks or worse yet, setup for continued overindulgence. Be aware of your portion sizes and don’t neglect healthy foods. Your diet should include many whole grains, fruits, vegetables and should include less fat and sugar. These healthy food choices will lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and increase your good cholesterol (HDL) levels. It's also smart to limit red meat and avoid processed meats.

Stick to drinks with no (or low) sugar such as water or tea. Studies show that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to obesity and diabetes. Try rewarding yourself with something other than sweet treats like a movie, pedicure, a book you’ve been wanting, or some new workout gear. If you do consider rewarding yourself with something sweet, make it a healthy dessert like banana bread with less sugar and less calories, something made with fresh fruit, a small piece of dark chocolate or a low sugar latte.

Read our blog [SMART and Healthy Eating During the Holidays]

Don’t let the holiday season take you off course. Do your best to stay on track and enjoy the holidays. Try some of these tips out and hopefully you will be able to progress towards your health and fitness goals even during the holiday/winter months.

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Topics: workout motivation winter fitness smart goals diabetes healthy choices staying active during the holidays