Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Kara Gootee-Robinson

Recent Posts by Kara Gootee-Robinson:

Step Your Way Through July to Prove YOU Move with NIFS

July Prove You MoveThis month our corporate members are encouraged to pick a goal of 5,000 or 10,000 steps per day to kick of July’s Prove YOU Move Fitness Challenge. Some people cringe at the thought of 10,000 steps per day, but it isn’t just intentional exercise. Have you ever considered how many steps you actually take in a given day? How often are you moving throughout the office or your house? You might actually surprise yourself. Most phones have a Health App, or you can add a step tracker to your smart phone. If you keep your phone on your body throughout the day, it will calculate your movement and track your steps. As you start digging into your phone, don’t get down on yourself when you discover how little you possibly move, remember your phone must be on your body throughout the day to get the best estimate.

Increasing your daily step count and simply moving more by walking has many health benefits. Let’s take a closer look at why you should Prove YOU Move this month.

  • Heart Health: Moving more of course improves heart health, but did you know it can decrease your risk of heart disease by 20%?
  • No Gym Required: Moving your body by walking is FREE! No gym membership required. Step outside and go!
  • Burn Calories: Many factors come into play like walking pace, distance, and your weight, but moving your body burns calories more than binge watching your favorite shows.
  • Boost Your Mood: Stepping outside and taking in your surroundings helps get your mind off any negative thoughts or situations. Decrease stress in your day by walking.
  • Tone Muscles: Walking is a great way to increase muscle tone. Choose a pace that makes your heart rate increase. Use your arms as you walk and get the most out of those steps. As you complete your walk, you may find you enjoy the lingering tingle in your muscles.
  • Increase Energy: Walking helps increase oxygen flow in your body which helps increase cortisol and epinephrine levels that increase energy. You may not need so much coffee after all.
  • Be Social: How often do you cross paths with a neighbor when out for a walk after dinner or a stranger when walking through the office. A simple hello and smile can not only boost your mood, but make your day or someone else’s simply by being kind.

How much should you move?

A general rule of thumb is 150 minutes of physical activity per week for adults; that is 30 minutes a day! There are about 2,000 steps in a mile, so if you can squeeze in 1.5 miles in 30 minutes you are almost to that 5,000 steps a day goal! Keep in mind that is only considering intentional movement. Here are other ways to increase steps throughout the day.

  • Instead of scrolling social media during your lunch break, go for a walk after you eat. This can also help aid in digestion.
  • Schedule that meeting as a walking meeting. Boost your creativity with your team by taking the meeting on foot.
  • Park further away. Rather than taking that closer spot, park further away or higher up in the parking garage.
  • No elevator needed, take the stairs!
  • Kids have practice? Just say no to bleacher butt, walk around the field.

Eager to see where you stand in the daily step count? Head over to our NIFS Fitness Management Facebook Page and join us by sharing your step goal this month. We’d love to see how you move more this July! Tag us using @NIFSFitnessManagement and #NIFSProveYOUMove!

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Topics: corporate fitness programming incentives exercise habit setting exercise goals

Holiday Celebrations in the Pandemic Season

GettyImages-12803660852020 has been bizarre to say the least. As the holiday season and another wave of caution approaches many are getting creative with how they plan to celebrate this holiday season in a more untraditional way. Don’t let the pandemic bring down your holiday cheer or derail your diet. Check out these tips for keeping things light for both your mood and your stomach!

Gathering at a distance - We are used to coming together in large groups. Whether with family, friends, or coworkers, check out these ways you can celebrate differently.

  • Stick to your quarantine crew. Rather than extended family dinners, choose to dine with your immediate family/friends or those who have been in your circle.
  • Friendsgiving doesn’t have to fall to the wayside. If the season is your time to unite with old friends, set up a time to zoom. (#ZoomTogether, Zoom announced they are lifting the 40 minute limit on Thanksgiving). Nothing like a cocktail hour from the safety of home at a safe distance to round out the year.
  • Family game night, enjoy the time with family differently. If annual cousin meet ups are your jam for fun games simply plan differently. Virtual games like Pictionary, charades, Bingo and more can be a fun way to enjoy each other.
  • Pick up the phone, simply make some phone calls to brighten your mood and the mood of your loved ones. Share stories and memories of your favorite past holidays.
  • Miss those work pitch-ins and chili cook-offs? Zoom your work friends and enjoy a lunch together. So many employees are working remotely and miss that interaction, change up your week and schedule a lunch zoom with your co-workers.

Avoid a diet derailing – Just because you might enjoy the holidays in your pajamas, or better yet that new Zoom dress code, (business up top, lounge wear on bottom,) doesn’t suggest you eat the whole pie. Stick with these tips to avoid over doing it at meal time and over stretching the elastic in your pants.

  • Don’t overdo the menu. Consider the size of your quarantine crew, you may not be cooking for as many people.
  • Be prepared for healthy snacks, having fruit and veggies readily available.
  • Drink a large glass of water before you eat. It really does help you from the start of your meal.
  • Choose and make one dessert rather than multiple pies.
  • Healthy side options can be just as tasty, choose wisely.

There are many tips and tricks to survive the holidays in a healthy way. Start your day with a walk or workout and set yourself up for holiday success. That way if you do choose an extra sweet treat, you earned it!

How are you celebrating differently this season?

Topics: healthy diet holidays

Fitness through the Holidays

 

GettyImages-638573962 (1)The holidays are always such busy times! Managing all the things from day to day tasks, much less the extra holiday parties, celebrations, decorating, shopping, etc. Many times people decide to skip  workouts or cooking at home to make time for holiday activities. You shouldn't forgo your normal routine and it's best if you try to maintain some normalcy when it comes to your exercise routine and eating healthy. Take a moment to pause and incorporate even just 30 minutes of activity that includes the whole family.

One way to manage your time between celebrating and exercising is to choose an activity with friends and family that involves exercise. There are a lot of festive activities that involve activity. Ice skating as a family is great exercise and can be done indoors or outdoors. During a snow fall, you can shovel and offer to help neighbors who may not be able to. Involve the whole family in building a snowman or snow fort to burn energy. One of the best snow activities is going sledding. Climbing those hills is not only a great leg workout, but also a cardiovascular workout. 

Fortunately, there are a lot of indoor activity centers. If you belong to a gym or club, you can certainly use their facilities to do a traditional workout, play basketball or even swim as a family. Many area high school pools also offer open swim time.  Trampoline parks have become a trend for family fun and instead of watching your kids jump, parents can join in on the fun. It’s quite the workout to jump for an hour, just use caution! Check out other options in your town such as laser tag, rock climbing, indoor batting cages and indoor playgrounds. Most of these involve a fee but if you plan ahead you can often get group discounts and coupons to make it affordable.

Don’t have time to plan ahead or need to save time? Create games and workouts at home. If you have stairs you can all walk or run up and down the stairs and do an activity at the top and bottom to create your own workout. Turn up the music for a family dance party and take turns choosing your favorite songs.  The possibilities are endless, just think like a kid and use your imagination, or simply let your kids choose the activity!

Instead of grabbing food on the go, involve your kids and make it part of family time. Make your own pizzas at home and everyone can vote which is their favorite. Make a healthier Christmas cookie recipe together. There are great recipes that minimize processed sugars and flours. Allow your kids to pick the meal if they help make it. These are all ways that you can still spend family time together without disrupting your healthy eating.

The most important thing is to keep up as much of a routine as you can. If you are used to exercising and eating well then you should keep doing it as much as you can through the holidays. You can certainly take a break but don't disrupt your routine, make the holidays about friends and family, but you can also maintain your health as a priority.

Topics: balanced diet fitness routine workout motivation staying active during the holidays