Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

What is a fitness assessment and how can you benefit from it?

GettyImages-1299445663One of the best things you can do when it comes to tracking your progress with fitness is a fitness assessment. A fitness assessment is roughly a 30–60-minute consultation with a health and fitness professional where you are tested on the 5 components of fitness: body composition, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance. Some assessments may also test for balance, mobility, or more sports performance biased like power and agility. But for the sake of this article, we are focusing on the 5 components of fitness.

Generally, a health professional will want a client to go through an assessment before they start any form of a fitness program so they can best create a program that is going to work for them based on their goals and outcomes from the assessment. After the initial assessment it would be a good idea to reassess your progress 3-6 months later to see if you made any progress and how you can continue to improve. Fitness assessments are also scored and evaluated based on your age and gender. A health professional will sit down with you after your assessment and compare the results to normative data or age-adjusted charts to show where you should be based on data that has been researched to be accurate.

Why Are Fitness Assessments Important?

  • They serve as a baseline measurement that a personal trainer or health specialist can use to compare results over a period of time.
  • Serves as a source for a health specialist to build an exercise and/or nutrition program around.
  • Evaluates strength, endurance, cardiovascular health, flexibility, and body composition that may shed light on how you can best reduce the risk for injury.
  • Can increase motivation for a client to participate in an exercise program.
  • Build trust between a client and health specialist that can cultivate great relationships.

3 Ways You Can Benefit from a Fitness Assessment?

  1. Fitness Assessments Give You More Information Than a Scale.

One of the biggest benefits of a fitness assessment is they give you more information to use than your generic bathroom scale. This is not to say tracking your weight isn’t valuable, because it definitely has its place, but a fitness assessment will allow you to see how you perform from a physical perspective. There are more data points that show more change over time which could lead to longer involvement in a fitness program and healthy habits.

  1. The Assessment Will Help You Set Goals.

With the ability to dig deeper into learning more about your body via the assessment, you can create more specific goals that are going to beneficial for your overall health and longevity. This will allow you to have more intent with your fitness program, so you have something more specific to work towards.

  1. The Assessment Will Help Keep You Safe.

There are so many ways to program for different types of people. A fitness assessment allows a health fitness specialist find out what exercises they can incorporate and what exercises may not be best for an individual. The assessment will also uncover any underlying issues that could be made worse by engaging in a fitness program.

Before starting an exercise program, a fitness assessment can be really beneficial in measuring the 5 components of fitness: muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular health, flexibility, and body composition. The results from the assessment will also help a health fitness specialist design your individualized fitness program. Many benefits come from these assessments and can help uncover more about your body and how to keep it safe and live a healthier life. Now that you have more information on fitness assessments, reach out to your local fitness center staff and get your appointment scheduled!

See how NIFS can help your employees when staffing your onsite corporate fitness center! 

NIFS Corporate Fitness Services

Topics: body composition fitness assessment corporate fitness center wellness and fitness setting exercise goals tracking your fitness progress

Exercise with Arthritis and Joint Replacement

GettyImages-951890104Arthritis is an increasingly common condition that refers to 100 different types of diseases, affects all age groups and affects 1 in 4 adults, equating to 80 million people in the United States. The most common form seen is osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease and we see these conditions impacting the lives of residents in the senior living communities we serve every day. Studies have shown that half of adults living with this condition do not believe anything can be done, but in fact there are many strategies that can be employed in daily living and in exercise that can provide a better quality of life for those affected.

Everything starts with your feet so investing in shoes with adequate cushioning and stabilization should be a top priority. Sneakers with extra cushioning should be your choice for most athletic activities, New Balance are great for different width selection and are very durable. Hoka provides excellent cushioning and a ‘rocker’ shaped sole for easier propulsion. Some trial and error is required to find a brand and style that will work best for each individual. Ensuring you are at your healthiest weight will also relieve stress on the joints and associated pain. Speaking of pain, use the 2-hour rule which is if a joint is still hurting from an activity after that duration of time it is a sign that you are most likely overexerting yourself. Next, learn how to move with efficiency and purpose using the best posture and techniques possible. That means reducing range of motion on movements that cause sharp pain and avoid exercises with heavy heel strikes like running or stairs. Low impact is always better, exercising in water, exploring yoga and tai chi and choosing an elliptical vs a treadmill are all savvy decisions.

Another important factor to note is exercising with joint replacements which have general and specific guidelines depending on the joint that was replaced. A general rule is to decrease the range of motion and speed of movement for all replacements as well as avoiding contact sports. Total hip replacements should avoid flexion greater than 90 degrees or 70 degrees with a history of dislocation and crossing the midline of the body in the front or back. Total knees should look out for rotational stress and begin with closed chain work such as a bicycle before progressing to open chain exercises with heel and toe strikes such as pickleball. Total shoulder replacements should avoid contact sports like basketball, heavy, repetitive lifting and chopping motions.

A rest day in between every bout of exercise is recommended with 3 days a week being a great goal for most exercisers. Respecting pain and prioritizing recovery are essential for adherence as well as adapting extra rest days when your body is calling for a long, less active weekend.

Finally, rest and relaxation are essential to managing arthritis with flexibility done at the end of sessions to ensure adequate blood flow in the areas being stretched. In addition, meditation and guided imagery are helpful in focusing on areas that are tense and can be relaxed through isometric contraction and relaxation such as Jacobson’s progressive technique.

As you can see, there are numerous considerations to improving or maintaining joint health and our qualified fitness staff in senior living communities across the US are developing customized exercise plans helping residents move more with less pain.

Find out how to evaluate your program

 

Topics: arthritis joint health senior fitness staying active improving senior fitness

Bold Moves – an inclusive class for residents with Parkinson’s

“What keeps NIFS from inviting folks with varying neurological conditions into our Bold Moves for Parkinson’s class since it is also a neurological disease??

BM photoThis is a great question because it is a priority for our clients (and for us) to make sure programs and services are as inclusive as possible. But in this situation, Bold Moves is specifically designed for those who have Parkinson’s Disease and here are a few considerations on why that is the case!

Did You Know...

  • ...Parkinson’s Disease is progressive and without a cure?
  • ...medications and surgical procedures are only to help minimize symptoms?
  • ...those same medications start to wear off and do not help as much as they did at the start of use?
  • ...exercise is prescribed just as much if not more than medication for symptom management?

NIFS Bold Moves group fitness class is exclusively available to residents with Parkinson’s because the training modalities they need to manage symptoms are unique. We followed the science to make sure we were bringing our clients and their residents an evidence-based program for their fitness center and while exercise is GREAT for anyone, that doesn’t mean ALL exercises are meant for everyone. Some training modalities that benefit those with Parkinson’s in Bold Moves may be contraindicated for individuals with other neurological conditions.

Our goal with Bold Moves is to provide a safe space that encourages the types of exercise that will assist those with Parkinson’s to ease symptoms of the disease. For example, large, big, (dare we say, bold 😉,) movements are encouraged for range of motion and fighting rigidity, but did you know we should not encourage cross over steps for these participants? Another example of a warmup we might include is for facial muscles due to the symptoms that limit muscle movement in the face which can lead to further problems with swallowing and talking. Yes, we will include fitness staples like cardiovascular exercise, full body strength, and flexibility exercises, but they will each be nuanced for the symptoms individuals experience with Parkinson’s. Furthermore, if a group setting isn’t enjoyable for a resident, they can receive an individualized Bold Moves fitness program utilizing the equipment in the fitness center or the pool!

While these exercise considerations are clear in the Bold Moves training NIFS team members receive, how they format their classes remains unique for their participants. We don’t take a cookie cutter approach across our communities in how we format a fitness class, plan an exercise challenge, or promote the next big splash in aquatics programming and Bold Moves is no exception. Our skilled staff learn from their residents at each community and create a program that meets participants where they are with Bold Moves classes looking different at every client site NIFS serves. We love seeing how our team applies their Bold Moves training to give the program its own unique flavor at every community!

Recently, NIFS interviewed several members at varying client locations to get their feedback on why they participate in this program and if it has helped them. The answer is a resounding yes! They are feeling the difference in how their body moves and feels after their sessions. They are paying attention more to the cues NIFS fitness staff provide them during class and remind themselves when they are out in the community. Most importantly, they are thankful someone has the understanding that they cannot control these movement symptoms and they have confidence that they are performing the best exercises unique to their needs as part of their symptom management.

Learn more about our program for residents with Parkinson's Disease by clicking below.

NIFS Bold Moves Program for Parkinson's

 

Topics: senior living wellness programs activities calendar senior living disease management Parkinson's Disease Bold Moves

Worried About Retaining Staff in Your Senior Living Fitness Center?

AlyssaStaffing shortages and employee retention challenges: the headline every organization hopes to leave behind in 2022. Finding the right staff and providing them with the connection and resources to grow is a key focus for many as we charge ahead into 2023. The creativity and networking of ideas forging our current team of staff has NIFS Fitness Management on fire, and I can’t think of a better way to start the year! As your community evaluates employee satisfaction, retention, and recruiting efforts as well as the impact your fitness program is having on resident lives, here are a couple of scenarios to consider regarding your fitness staffing model.

Do You Have the Time to Manage Your Community's Fitness Center Staff?

We recently experienced a client change where a new executive director with a background in fitness decided quickly in his new role that he wanted to bring fitness staffing in-house and do all the hiring. He felt he had the vision and expertise to effectively lead the fitness staff. Though he knew the qualifications to look for in candidates and had some programming experience, what he did not recognize was the time and commitment it would take to run such a valuable part of their community.

Six months later, the community’s newly hired fitness manager was applying for positions with NIFS and said he felt like he was on an island with little support, collaboration, or resources to help him serve the residents. His executive director had a full plate and couldn’t be dialed into fitness, and his life enrichment director was also busy and had no expertise in fitness programming herself. Within a short period of employment, he was looking to leave the community and seeking an organization that would offer him the support and a team of like-minded peers to grow and develop his skills. The executive director’s intentions were in the right place, but with a full plate, he lacked the time to fully support his new employee.

Is Your Fitness Staff Getting the Support They Need?

On the flip-side, we have numerous clients who have had their own in-house fitness staff and they saw opportunity to do better for their residents. Their staff had the qualifications for NIFS to onboard them, creating a seamless transition for the community and residents. The one common theme these new team members tell us is that they are grateful that they will have resources, best practices, and a team of peers doing this work across the country to help them take their senior fitness center program from good to GREAT. This is a win-win because we were able to onboard someone who knows the community and the residents, and inspire them with the solutions to their daily challenges and networking of new ideas.

In other instances, the staff the community hired did not possess the qualifications or skills to enhance what they were doing and the community made a change altogether, allowing NIFS to recruit a qualified fitness manager. In both instances, we helped clients evaluate the fit of their personnel when looking to elevate their resident service model.

If your community is looking at employee retention strategies, consider the support, growth potential, and collaboration available to your fitness staff. Think about the limits of your fitness program without new ideas, resources, and innovation pouring in from a network of fitness professionals in a similar setting and how you might better support your fitness staff.

NIFS Fitness Center Management Is Ready to Go!

To say we are excited about our current team and the ideas being developed for 2023–2024 for our clients and their residents is an understatement! NIFS Fitness Center Management staff members are developing relationships, sharing ideas, and inspiring one another to serve their residents with a fresh focus in 2023. We are providing them with professional development funding for new certifications, an annual curriculum of staff enrichment trainings, and a leadership team with 50+ years of experience in fitness and senior living to guide and support them. Let’s go!

Staffing your fitness center with NIFS

 

Topics: senior fitness management nifs fitness center management staffing fitness center staffing staffing struggles

How NIFS Became Experts in Parkinson’s Fitness Programming

Exercise continues to be one of the best tools to slow the progression and combat symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease and the need for senior living communities to have dedicated exercise programs for residents with Parkinson’s is increasing. According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, 60,000 Americans are diagnosed annually and 96% of those diagnosed are over the age of 50 leaving seniors looking for best-in-class amenities and services including fitness professionals who understand their condition and can help them safely maximize the benefits of exercise.

Executive directors and marketing directors in the senior living communities NIFS serves were asking us for a marketable program they could offer in their fitness centers to support both current and prospective residents with a Parkinson’s diagnosis. NIFS culminated our years of experience developing expert health and fitness programming, supporting residents with Parkinson’s, and immersing ourselves in the science and research to develop Bold Moves™ a Parkinson’s Program by NIFS.

While NIFS had the resources to develop such a program, it was no easy feat and as usual we relied on our expert staff to help us learn what works, what doesn’t, and what resources and education we needed to enhance our department. Our staffs’ passion and commitment to finding exercise solutions to support the needs of their residents is boundless and supporting those with Parkinson’s is no exception as they helped us develop Bold Moves to incorporate:

BM Offerings_graphic icons-1We were able to learn from the experiences of team members across the US and industry experts in the field of exercise and Parkinson’s to create a truly unique program for our residents. Best of all, it’s making an impact with how much residents are engaging in exercise generating a 96% increase in group fitness visits by participants and 92% of them rating Bold Moves as good to outstanding. These statistics are from residents already residing at these communities which indicates a dedicated Parkinson’s program supports these residents in moving more!

Today, NIFS team members complete a comprehensive 8-week training including a specialty certification in Parkinson’s & Exercise to effectively launch Bold Moves for our clients. We collaborate with community personnel to incorporate an interdisciplinary team approach to bridge resources and care where needed. Residents with PD have confidence in the credentials of their fitness staff and a program uniquely designed to meet them wherever they are in their fitness journey. In turn, NIFS senior living clients have a marketable service that helps them create distinction in their marketplace with 100% of participants rating Bold Moves as a great feature of a great community!

Here are a few questions to evaluate on how your community could take steps to support residents with Parkinson’s:

  • What are the credentials of my fitness staff to deliver effective and safe Parkinson’s fitness programs?
  • Do we have a class on the group fitness schedule that provides the training modalities, equipment and safety factors to support residents with Parkinson’s in a class setting?
  • For those who don’t like group exercise, how can we provide exercise options for them in the fitness center or pool that can help them manage symptoms?
  • What pathways to bridge resources are established with other disciplines in your community like physical, occupational or speech therapy, dietitians, or healthcare navigators?

    NIFS Bold Moves Program for Parkinson's
Topics: senior living wellness programs disease management Parkinson's Disease Bold Moves

Why Exercise is Important for those with Parkinson's Disease

Bold MovesWhat is Parkinson’s? It is neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement. An individual might start with a gradual tremor in one hand, but this disease can result in numerous symptoms at different levels of severity including stiffness, slowing of movement, and disturbances to his/ her sense of balance. It cannot be cured but medications are given to try to improve symptoms. Exercises can be prescribed to help improve strength, flexibility, and balance and adherence to a regular exercise program is one of the best treatments options in managing symptoms and empowering those with Parkinson’s to fight back against the disease!

There are multiple benefits of exercise for those with Parkinson’s including:

  • increasing muscle strength, flexibility, and balance
  • improving well-being by reducing depression and anxiety
  • slowing down the disease and controlling symptoms
  • reducing pain and helping with emotional well-being
  • preventing falls by building strength and decreasing fatigue
  • improving sleep

The specificity of an exercise program for those with Parkinson’s is important to adequately manage symptoms and prevent fatigue.

  • Most people should try to reach a goal of 30-40 min per week of cardiovascular exercise such as walking, biking, and swimming.
  • As Parkinson’s can affect your posture, it is important to also add strength training and a stretch program to improve your core strength and overall range of motion.

There are different stages of the disease and medications will affect an individual suffering from Parkinson’s differently. Consulting with a qualified exercise physiologist who understands the unique needs of someone with Parkinson’s is important to ensure a safe and effective plan is being followed and tailored as needs change. An individual needs to be mindful of their movements, and at times, it can be overwhelming. A supportive exercise physiologist to observe, adjust and encourage participation can be a significant help! An individual with Parkinson’s needs to focus on walking heal to toe, taking large steps, swinging their arms, building core strength and upper back strength, and continue a quality stretch program. It is also best to continue sequential movements for brain health such as line dancing (crossing your feet and moving backwards might be a challenge) or boxing can also aid in brain health. Most importantly, find something you enjoy doing that contains all of these benefits, and make it apart of your lifestyle, ask your friends to join you!

See how NIFS wellness program, Bold Moves supports the physical, social and emotional needs of residents managing life with Parkinson's by clicking below!

NIFS Bold Moves Program for Parkinson's

Topics: senior living wellness programs Parkinson's Disease Bold Moves

4 Tips for Aging at Home

GettyImages-1313001485In sharing the many benefits of living in a senior living community with seniors, I often receive the response “I want to live in my home as long as I possibly can”. Making sure you are active and healthy can improve your life to maintain that desire to remain in your home. Below are 4 tips to consider before making that important decision.

1. Decide exactly where you want to live.

The ultimate goal of aging in place is to maintain your independence and avoid moving. But if your current home has too many stairs, you live far from public transit, or you’re located too far from emergency help, consider a senior living community. After all, isolation is a major issue for older adults, and maintaining social connections should be a priority when considering where you will spend your golden years. Weigh your options carefully for considerations like dining venues, activities and outings you enjoy and whether it has fitness amenities and professional staffing to help you remain physically active.

2. Adapt your home.

If you chose to stay at home, you need to make sure it will be suitable for you. A safe environment is critical to healthy aging. Home modifications can easily make a living space more accessible and comfortable. Plan ahead so modifications will already be in place when you need them such as extra handrails, walk in shower access, removing trip hazards, etc. 

3. Explore technology solutions.

Technology can be a key tool to keep you connected with the wider world. And there are many computers, tablets and cell phones suitable for older adults that can be made more senior-friendly with a few adjustments.

Voice-controlled assistive devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo can allow you to set medication reminders or control your home's temperature or lighting with simple verbal commands. Such devices can also place phone calls, read books aloud, or play music. Video doorbells that enable you to see who’s at the door without opening it and sensor systems that can detect falls and alert emergency contacts can be very handy for older adults who live alone.

4. Consider hiring a companion or in-home caregiver.

You may need extra support to remain in your home, such as help with household chores or personal care. Companion care can be a good solution for seniors who need more social interaction or require help with tasks like cooking, cleaning, getting to appointments, or shopping for groceries. And home care services can assist with bathing, dressing, taking medications, and more. Using these types of services can give you the support you need to remain in your home safely.

Aging in place is all about optimizing your environment in a way that lets you live where you want as long as you possibly can. Healthy aging doesn't necessarily mean avoiding physical challenges, but it does mean being prepared to deal with those challenges by making the necessary modifications to your lifestyle or living space. You can help ensure that you are well-positioned to enjoy your golden years in comfort by planning ahead.

All these tips can also be beneficial while living in a Senior living community. They are going to make your daily activities and routines easier, more attainable, and safer.

How will you plan for your future?

Read our senior living case studies

 

Topics: active aging senior living

Get Rid of Winter Blues with Attitude, Fitness, and More

GettyImages-683382226After the excitement of holiday parties and festivities slows down, we sometimes find ourselves in a funk. Life can seem a bit slow, minimal sunlight and weather keeps us cooped up inside, and we feel a bit sluggish. Get rid of winter blues with these tips to warm the soul.

Warm Your Mind

  • Think positively. When you’re feeling drained, it’s important to keep a glass-half-full mindset. Positive thinking starts with taking control and responsibility for your mind and attitude. A bad mood can be flipped simply by taking a slow, deep breath. In that moment you can change your entire day.
  • Be nice to yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, so let yourself move forward.
  • Smile. A simple smile can do wonders for your mind. How negative can you be if you are smiling?
  • Meditate. Meditation is a great way to keep the mind healthy and thinking happy thoughts. It can be as long or short as desired. Meditation forces the mind to focus on the moment, allowing us to leave the world for a while and de-stress. Breathe in, breathe out, repeat.

Warm Your Body

  • Move. Moving more throughout the day keeps blood circulating to all parts of the body. This includes blood flow to the brain, increasing alertness and productivity. (Here are some tips for finding motivation for winter fitness.)
  • Break a sweat. Working out can provide feelings of accomplishment and happiness. Exercise causes serotonin secretion, the catalyst for a great mood. 
  • Practice mindful eating and nutrition. It’s easy to get carried away indulging in favorite comfort foods. The downfall is that they are typically high in carbs and fats. Although you think you want these foods, it’s not what your body needs. Stick to the basic guidelines: half of your plate fruits and veggies, one quarter protein, and one quarter grains.

Warm Your Heart

  • Pay it forward. Do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return. We’ve all heard about buying coffee for the person who’s in line behind you. If you’ve experienced this, you understand how great the heart-warming gesture feels and why you might do the same for a stranger the next time. However, paying it forward does not have to be monetary. Simple notions such as opening the door or smiling as you say, “Hello” to someone can go a long way and often creates a ripple effect. One day, I came across an envelope lying on a bench, addressed as “to whoever comes across this.” I opened it to find a card with an incredibly nice and uplifting note written inside. It ended with a request to leave the card in a new place in order to brighten someone else’s day.
  • Don’t be alone… all the time. Surround yourself with positive people. Spend time with those who make you laugh, who make you feel good about yourself, with people who motivate and encourage you.
  • Play or exercise with puppies. Animals and pets can have a therapeutic effect on us humans. Find a furry friend to give your attention and love to; I prefer puppies. Don’t have any around? Visit a local animal shelter, or better yet, volunteer your time and double up on the fuzzy feelings!

Warm Your Spirit

  • Be grateful. Showing gratitude shifts focus away from you and brings mindfulness to a greater purpose in life, helping strengthen the Spiritual Dimension of Wellness. Take a minute to let someone know that you are thankful for them or for something that they did. Writing down what you are grateful for can affect your spiritual side in a similar way.

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Topics: nutrition winter fitness motivation fitness meditation mindful eating winter blues

Health and Wellness Trends to Incorporate in 2023

GettyImages-1277414671Everyone is always wanting to know what the top trends for health and fitness each year are and in 2023 we are seeing concepts we can get on board with and fully support! Check out these tops trends and why we support and encourage our corporate fitness center members to adapt these trends.

Low Intensity Workouts

You don’t have to strain yourself to reap the benefits of a workout. Don’t let the idea of exercise keep you from avoiding it all together. Simply walking for 20 – 30 minutes each day of the week will help you reach the recommended physical activity goal of 150 minutes per week. Incorporate stretching into your routine and feel your body loosen up and feel more limber for the better. Don’t over think it, simply move no matter your location.

Earlier Dinner Times

Maybe your grandparents knew better all along, and we should ditch those late dinners. Eating at an earlier time in the evening will allow your body time to properly digest your food before going to bed. Your body has more time to stabilize and regulate blood sugar levels and nutrient absorption. Make the shift by adjusting your dinner time by 10 minutes every week. It might not always be possible so strive for 5 out of 7 nights a week. If you are left feeling hungry at bedtime, drink a glass of water.

Movement Breaks

How often are we lazy during breaks in our day whether it’s grabbing our phone or plopping on the couch we can utilize that time. Incorporate movement breaks into your day. Get up from your desk and walk around the office, walk laps in your house, or take the stairs a few times. Movement adds up when you break it up into increments. When you have two to three movement breaks in your day, you suddenly have 20 – 30 minutes of accrued activity. We are encouraging our corporate fitness members to strive for 23 minutes a day in 2023, see how simple it can be?

Exercise in Groups

It’s no surprise that exercising in groups is on the trend list. People want that interaction after the past few years of covid isolation. Individuals are looking to get back to having community in the gym, at work, and certainly in their favorite fitness classes. Check out your onsite corporate fitness center for class schedules, invite a co-worker and keep each other accountable by adding it as an event on your calendar. Fitness is always more fun with friends.

What habits are you adapting in the New Year? Remember, not every day will be perfect and that is ok! Simply start each day with a fresh mindset and restart as needed.

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Topics: corporate fitness New Year's Resolutions in Action fitness trends 23 Minutes

Parkinson’s & Exercise: Enhancing Skills of NIFS Bold Moves Coaches

BM2We make no bones about it that our staff are the best in the business not only in their creativity but in their expert knowledge and appetite for continued learning. It takes this combination to make the most impact in reaching residents with engaging health and fitness programs in the senior living communities we serve. As NIFS was developing our Parkinson’s program, Bold Moves, we knew that equipping our staff with new certifications would not only boost their confidence, but the success of the program and we were right! Here’s some insight from three of our degreed fitness managers on how NIFS Bold Moves training aided them in elevating how they support the unique needs of their residents with Parkinson’s.

Becca G. – Bold Moves Coach in Indianapolis, Indiana

There was an abundant request at our community for a class for Parkinson’s Disease.  I researched some things on my own, but I felt like I needed more to effectively offer a class for PD.  The Bold Moves program helped me feel confident to lead class.  I feel like it gave more information about the disease, for example, how medication timing is imperative to consider when building an exercise program and encouraging participants to keep pushing. Prior to the Bold Moves training, I did not know to avoid cross over exercises, like the grapevine, or that PD causes impaired exercise-induced blood pressure levels.  After completion, I felt qualified to lead group classes and guide individuals in tailored exercise plans. Also, because of the education and training behind the program, the residents are ensured they are receiving safe, effective, and appropriate workouts from us.  I’m happy NIFS built the Bold Moves program with tools and resources to help us serve our residents with PD! It’s more than just the initial education, I have the sustained support and materials to manage the duration of this ongoing program.

Alyssa O. – Bold Moves Coach in Raleigh, NC

I feel the training was great because it educated us on the disease of Parkinson’s, the symptoms to be aware of, and walked us through several different exercises geared to manage those symptoms for maintenance or improvement in quality of life. It was very comprehensive in listing which exercises were better and why those exercises benefit this population of people.

They incorporated studies as well as example exercise programs for Parkinson’s that emphasized symptoms to look for when exercising this group of people. The training also guided intensity level and provided ways to structure the class so that it is conducted smoothly. The Bold Moves training was very helpful in my opinion!

 Charles B. – Bold Moves Coach in Atlanta, GA

As someone with a background in physical therapy, I already had some prior training and education for working with residents with Parkinson’s. However, Bold Moves training did give me a new list of Do’s and Don’ts for working with this population (avoiding grapevines and other advanced balance exercises while needing to implement exaggerated movements and elevate heart rates). The training also gave us the idea to install balance bars all along the back wall of our aerobics room, which has made our training much safer and accessible. I have 2 residents in wheelchairs and 3 in walkers who can perform standing exercises thanks to having these bars installed!

We are proud of our staff and their continued commitment to finding exercise solutions that work for all residents! For more information on NIFS Fitness Management services and our expert staff, contact Emily Davenport!

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Topics: senior group fitness classes senior living wellness programs activities calendar senior living Parkinson's Disease Bold Moves

New Year, Better You! Finding Motivation for Focusing on Healthy Habits

GettyImages-1070617536Are you striving to accomplish a new health goal this new year? Whether it is eating healthier, exercising more, or beginning a new health routine, you will need to create habits to help you achieve your goal. When deciding on which habits you want to form heading into the new year, you may want to first consider WHAT a habit is. A habit is a behavior that is repeated on a regular basis whether it is an action, routine, or lifestyle and often we don’t even think about it.

So, why do you want to form that habit? How will it help you accomplish your health goals? Finding the motivation to form healthy habits can sometimes be the most challenging part of accomplishing that New Year’s Resolution you’ve been promising yourself. To be successful in forming that healthy habit, you first need to understand what motivates you and how that will impact the outcome. To find your motivations, first ask yourself:

What are you motivated by internally and externally?

  • External Motivations:
    • Seeing physical results – weight, circumferences, toned muscles, mileage
    • Paying for a service to help you in achieving your goals
    • Receiving a discount for striving to be healthy – going to the gym, attaining healthy lab results
  • Internal Motivations:
    • Boosting your confidence and feeling good about yourself
    • Feeling better – more energy, stronger, healthier

Every individual is motivated differently. We can identify those external motivators easily, but really homing in on the internal motivators will help you stay on track and maintain motivation for longer. On the days that motivation might be hard to find, there are a few tips you can follow to really help put your best foot forward towards accomplishing your goals.

  • Include Others or Find an Accountability Partner – This will provide not only accountability but a support system as well. You will be more likely to follow through if you know there are others counting on you.
    • Examples: attend group fitness classes, work with a personal trainer, partner up with a friend or family member for workouts, meals, or whatever health habit you are trying to form!
  • Visualize Your Success – Imagine what your life will look like once you are following this new health habit.
    • Keeping the positive picture in mind can motivate you to turn that vision into a reality.
  • Keep Track of Your Progress – Find a way to track your results so you can visually recognize your hard work.
    • Set up check points for yourself to create accountability.
    • Celebrate your successes and reflect on your setbacks.
  • Be Patient and Give Yourself Grace – Remember that changes take time and not every day will be full of huge strides forward.
    • Embrace the changes and be patient with your results.
    • Recognize the little wins each day that you work towards forming a new health habit.

 Finding motivation to form new health habits can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Keep the above tips in mind, and your chances of success will improve. This is your year; share your habit you are focusing on in the comments!

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Topics: employee health and wellness New Year's Resolutions in Action healthy habits 23 Minutes