Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Stephanie Hackett

Recent Posts by Stephanie Hackett:

Free Workout Friday: Boost Your Heart Rate With A Cardio Circuit


Boost your cardio and push yourself with this workout. Remember to take short rests between each exercise. Longer rests come at the end of the round! Your heart is a muscle so you want to challenge it when you work out. Alternating between bouts of high intensity cardio exercises and rest gives your heart a tough workout.  Music with higher beats per minute (120+) helps me get through tough cardio workouts. I focus on the beat of the music instead of how many reps I do. This workout doesn’t require any equipment. That means no excuses! You can do this circuit just about anywhere: your home, gym, or a park.

Work 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds, repeat circuit 1 time

  • Jumping jacks
  • Mountain climbers
  • Tuck jumps
  • High knees
  • Run in place
  • Star jumps
  • Butt kicks
  • Burpees

Do you find it hard to fit exercise in to a demanding workday?  Read this blog post for tips on how you can make exercise a part of your day!  For more blogs like this one, subscribe to our blog to receive them directly to your inbox.  

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Topics: exercise at work corporate fitness Free Workout Friday fit it in

Free Workout Friday: Circuit Training for a Full Body Workout

c--users-kgootee-desktop-free-workout-friday-final-resized-600Circuit workouts are a great way to incorporate many exercises, using cardio, strength, or a combination of the two. Changing up stations throughout the workout will help increase your bouts of cardiovascular activity to increase your heart rate.  You can either choose to use time as an interval or a set number of repetitions. Don’t dilly dally and move quickly from one exercise to the next, only resting after each full round is complete.  Try for at least two rounds, if not three. 

 If you aren't much for timed workouts complete 10 reps at each stations and strive for three times around.

  • Bridge
  • Alternating lunge
  • Plank hop
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Pike
  • Superman
  • Fire hydrants
  • Leg raises

Check out this blog for another cardio circuit workout and subscribe to our blog below for more great content from NIFS Fitness Management.

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Topics: exercise at work exercise at home Free Workout Friday health and fitness

Corporate Fitness: Free Workout Friday - Progressive Overload


As much as a proper warm up and cool down and flexibility, cardiovascular, and strength training are essential to an effective workout regimen, so are progressive overload and periodization. Progressive overload ensures that the program continues to challenge you over long periods of time in order to meet your specified goal. It is important to match any increase in training with an increase in rest and boost strength prior to increasing the overall load. Periodization refers to the planned variation of a program over time. You can’t expect to continue to get results if you do the same workout over and over again. It can be really easy to change up your workout. For example, refer to this previous blog. Repeat the same strength exercises but in a different order and add 3 more repetitions for each one. To mix up your cardio routine, choose a piece of cardio equipment you haven’t used in a while. If you’re cramped for time, don’t worry! A rowing machine is a great way to get a strength and cardio workout at the same time.

Check out this site for an overview of Progressive Overload Training. Every peak (shown with a downward pointing arrow) symbolizes a training session or a workout. Directly after each workout, performance drops while your body recovers. Once it has fully recovered, you are in your peak performance time. Follow this with another difficult training session; performance drops again while your body recovers. As you can see in the graph, your performance increases over time using Progression Overload Training.  Keep it up and join us next month for Free Workout Fridays!

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Topics: exercise at home Free Workout Friday

Corporate Fitness: Free Workout Friday -- Flexibility


We kicked of the new year with tackling the components of a workout.  Flexibility is often overlooked, but is needed in everyday activities. Not stretching properly or a sedentary lifestyle can negatively affect one’s flexibility and range of motion. Without appropriate stretching and activity, our bodies’ posture and movement patterns can change overtime reducing range of motion. There are two kinds of stretching: dynamic and static. Dynamic stretching uses controlled movements that bring muscles through their full range of motion. Static stretching involves taking joints through a range of motion to a comfortable end point, holding that position for a period of time (at least 10 seconds).

Self-myofascial release, commonly used with a foam roller, is another method to increase flexibility. In this technique, one uses a foam roller to assist in self-massage to release muscle tightness or knots. Foam rollers are available in different densities. At the beginning, the process may be uncomfortable. A softer roller is ideal to start with. Foam rollers are available for purchase online or in any store that provides basic to advanced fitness equipment.

For dynamic stretches, check out our blog about warming up which includes dynamic stretching.

Static Stretches:

  • Arm hold across the body
  • Triceps overhead
  • Upper back
  • Chest
  • Obliques
  • Inner thigh
  • Hamstring and calf
  • Quadriceps

Foam Rolling: (demonstration video)

  • Hamstring
  • Calf
  • Glute maximus
  • Glute medius
  • Piriformis
  • IT Band
  • Upper back (1)
  • Upper back (2)
  • Lats
  • Quadriceps

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Topics: Free Workout Friday employee health and fitness

Free Workout Friday: Cardiovascular and Strength Training


It's important to fit exercise into your daily routine and both cardiovascular and strength training are recommended by the CDC to be incorporated weekly. One hundred fifty minutes of moderate aerobic activity is recommended for cardiovascular training. To strengthen and ton your muscles, strength training should be done at least twice each week and include all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abs, chest, shoulders, and arms). Cardio stresses your heart and lungs making you breathe harder, while strength training focuses on muscle strength, power, and endurance. It’s okay to enjoy one activity more than the other; most people have preferences, but a proper balance between cardiovascular and strength training is what is important.  Check out the following suggestions.  Pick one or two of the cardio activities, break it up into 15-20 minute bouts.  Complete the strength exercises to tone and improve muscular endurance.  Strive for 12-15 repetitions of each exercise using moderate weight.  


  • Running
  • Bicycle
  • Brisk Walk
  • Treadmill
  • Elliptical
  • Arc Trainer
  • Row Machine
  • Stair Master
  • Recumbent Bike
  • Upright Bike


  • Shoulder Press
  • Squat
  • Lunge
  • Chest Press
  • Bicep Curls
  • Tricep Extension
  • Reverse Fly
  • Leg Raise
  • Back Extension
  • Plank

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Topics: Free Workout Friday employee health and fitness

Free Workout Friday: Components of a Cool Down


Last week we talked about the proper way to warm up before exercising.  This week lets talk about cooling down post workout.  A proper cool down at the end of your workout is just as important as a total body dynamic warm up. Your goal during a cool down is to decrease heart rate and static stretch the muscles. To decrease heart rate, continue with low intensity cardio and reduce pace every minute or two. Marching, light jogging, or walking are great ways to get your heart rate back to its resting level. Static stretching prepares the body for its resting state. Start with some basic stretches. As you feel comfortable, incorporate some compound moves.


  • Upper back
  • Check
  • Quad
  • Hamstring/calf
  • Tricep
  • Oblique
  • Shoulders



  • Cobra
  • Triangle
  • Warrior 1
  • Down on knee, hand inside foot, torso twist
  • Eagle arms
  • Downward dog
  • Child’s pose

Check out these other blogs from NIFS Fitness Center Management's staff in regard to stretching:

Employee Health: Stretching and Ergonommics to prevent Injury

Workplace Wellness: Prevent Injuries with Stretching


Topics: Free Workout Friday active living stretching