Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Staff High Five: Kaitlyn Pando

We say it with pride quite regularly, our amazing staff in corporate and senior living fitness centers are what help us serve our clients so well. Their strong educational background in health and fitness helps us set the bar high while their exceptional creativity and relationship building skills allows them to keep their members engaged and asking what’s coming next. Since we have the privilege of getting to know our staff across the country, we thought our followers might like to as well. Join us monthly as we throw a different NIFS team member a High Five.

  • KPandoName: Kaitlyn Pando
  • City, State: Indianapolis, IN
  • Years with NIFS: 2.5 years
  • Position: Health Fitness Specialist
  • What brought you to NIFS: I went to school at Ball State, and I always heard of NIFS in our classes. I knew that if my professors were always mentioning NIFS that it must be a great place to work. I graduated knowing that I wanted to go into corporate wellness, so when I saw NIFS had a position in corporate fitness I had to apply.
  • What is the most impactful moment you have shared with a member: I received a personal fitness quest client who was not active. I started working with them to slowly add in a little bit of movement into their days. I worked with them beyond the 4 weeks because I knew that this could help change their life. Fast forward a few months and we ran a program that required them to try and workout 5 days a week for 6 weeks. This member ended up being one of the few that got almost every single day in for 6 weeks straight. I am so proud of this person. They went from not being active at all to getting some form of movement into their day every single day.
  • What separates a NIFS fitness professional from the rest: One thing that separates a NIFS fitness pro from the rest is that NIFS puts an emphasis on having background knowledge in the fitness industry. We all come to this job with at least 4 years of schooling in this field. NIFS then encourages us to get certifications, attend workshops, and more. We are always learning as NIFS fitness professionals.
  • What is your favorite thing about working at your client site: The members are by far the best part of my job. We have so many great members here that keep work fun and exciting. I love getting to know all of them and help them achieve whatever goals they may be.
  • What motivates you: My group fitness class participants motivate me. I want my participants to leave every class knowing that they got a great workout in. This makes me continue to think outside of the box on how to make my workouts challenging, but fun so they keep coming back.
  • What is your favorite hobby: Camping with my husband and dog!

Interested in learning more about our staffing services? Click below for what best fits your needs.


Topics: nifs fitness management staffing nifs staff

5 Tips for the Beginner Hiker

GettyImages-1223350324Hiking is amazing in so many ways. It is great for physical activity, mental health and stress-relief, cardiovascular health, socialization and more. I’ve always loved the outdoors, but my love for hiking drastically increased when I went to Sedona, Arizona. The red rocks, the greenery, the breeze thousands of feet above sea level…breathtaking. No matter where you hike, you will experience many wonderful things along the way. If you have never hiked before or have only hiked a handful of times, follow these five steps for a great hiking experience:

  1. Hike with a friend or a group of people. Hiking is a great time to socialize with friends and family. You don’t have to carry on conversation the whole time, but it’s nice to have someone with you to keep you company. Hiking allows you to take a break from the hustle and bustle of life, take part in physical activity together, and experience the wonders of nature. It’s also a good idea to have someone with you for safety reasons.
  1. Plan your hike and have a map. Before you lace up and hit the trail, make sure you have your hike planned out. Here are some details that you should plan for: distance, elevation, estimated traffic of the trail, weather, layers to wear/bring, estimated duration and travel time to and from your house to the trailhead. Distance and elevation are important because the longer distance and the higher elevation, the harder the hike will be. Some apps and websites list the estimated level of difficulty to help you determine if it’s the right trail for your desired intensity. The traffic of the trail isn’t as important to determine ahead of time; but if you plan to bring your dog hiking and you know he barks at people all the time, then it would be best to go on a trail marked as low traffic. Check the weather to make sure you bring the right gear. Generally, the higher elevation, the colder the weather, so make sure you bring the right layers with you just in case the weather changes as you are hiking and increase elevation. Finally, estimate the duration of the hike and the time to and from the trailhead to your house. Make sure your group members know the plan and don’t forget to bring a map! Most trails have maps they give out at the park entrance.
  1. Wear appropriate hiking shoes. It is not necessary to have hiking boots but choose shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty. In the summer, I would suggest tennis shoes or hiking shoes. Wear tall socks that protect your feet and ankles from blisters. In the colder or rainier months, I would suggest wearing waterproof hiking shoes or boots to keep your feet warm and dry.
  1. Pack the essentials. Make sure to bring a water bottle and snacks. It is also a great idea to bring a first aid kit. Be smart with the gear you bring, such as sunscreen on a hot day or a scarf on a windy day. Even if you plan a short hike, bring the essentials in case you are out longer than planned.
  1. Soak in the moment. Breathe the fresh air. Slow down and enjoy. Yes, hiking is physical activity and can be challenging, but it is also a chance to rest your body and mind from the day-to-day routines you have in place. I would encourage you to stop for 5 minutes during your hike and just look at the beauty of the nature around you. Take slow, deep breaths. Talk to your friends about something you notice that you otherwise would have missed. Enjoy the moment!

 I know these tips will allow you to plan ahead properly, so I hope you are excited and ready for your next hike! Where are your favorite hiking locations?

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Topics: exercise and wellness outdoor exercise