Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Active Aging: Taking an In-Depth Look at Community Programs

4399_KF_3168Community wellness programming is one of the most important ways to keep your residents engaged. As wellness professionals, it’s our job to make sure that the programs being put into play are impactful and enjoyable, and continue to set precedents and work on the varying dimensions of wellness.

ZOOM: Get a New Perspective on Wellness

Have you heard of the book Zoom? It’s a children’s book by Istvan Banyai. Each page zooms out a little bit farther until you see the bigger picture. Sometimes, as wellness leaders, we tend to forget to “zoom out” and look at what’s working and what isn’t.

When looking at the bigger picture, try to take in all of the offerings at the community. What is working? What isn’t working? What programs need to be revamped or even tossed out? How is your community keeping up with fitness and wellness trends in order to stand out among the rest?

Collecting and Analyzing Data

Most communities have a way of collecting attendance data and feedback from residents. If this isn't happening at your community, consider it to be of utmost importance in order to provide quality programming and understand how residents react to evolving programming.

For communities that do not have data collection in place, consider looking at this blog post by Emily Davenport, NIFS Director of Fitness Management and Active Aging Services, to help you understand how to get started. Once you have a clean, simple way of collecting resident data, it will eliminate a lot of stress.

For communities that do have this in place, look through the data to see what is trending at the community and what isn’t. What trends are you seeing? Are you noticing an influx of residents committing to a program for a couple of months and then falling off the wagon? Are you seeing numbers holding steady and noticing a positive benefit from certain programs that are worth keeping the same? Being able to tap into this data collection is key when deciding what works for the community and what needs to be improved upon.

To Keep or Not to Keep?

Taking an in-depth look into offerings is also a great way to understand whether something needs to be let go. A great way to do this is to look at comparative data over the months/years and start asking questions. If you notice that a program or offering fluctuates in attendance, you may want to consider revamping the offering in a new and exciting way. Maybe the program went from being well-attended to never attended. If that’s the case, you probably would be better off taking away that program and adding something else, or recreating a different offering to increase attendance.

Always Leave Them Wanting MORE

When resident attendance starts to increase, keep in mind that your programs need to evolve. This doesn’t mean that you need to constantly reinvent the wheel, but it does mean that you should continually add different aspects to your programs. If we lack evolution of our offerings, our communities start to get stagnant and too comfortable. Including new and innovative ways to get our community members involved is a key piece when standing out as wellness professionals.

The reason most of us have become wellness professionals is to impact the well-being and improve the quality of life for our residents, patients, or team members. It’s our duty to continually provide engaging, fun, and interactive ways for our community members to learn, grow, and live out their lives in a positive way.

Check out our Quickread to evaluate the quality of your wellness program, click below.

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Topics: senior wellness active aging data collection resident wellness programs wellness programming resident engagement data analysis community wellness

Top 5 Balance Training Tools for Seniors

Functional training (also referred to as balance training in our circle) is one of the four main components of fitness that the American College of Sports Medicine recommends be incorporated into weekly exercise programs for all populations. It’s not just cardio, strength training and stretching these days as the physical benefits of functional training ring true for all. The days of static exercises like standing on one foot are behind us – and thank goodness because frankly that’s boring and doesn’t truly simulate how we move in our everyday lives. Dynamic movement patterns, utilizing different training surfaces and unique pieces of exercise equipment can make balance training far more engaging and far more effective.

Here’s our equipment checklist for an effective balance training program:

  • Balance Pads & Beams – there are a variety of foam products on the market that can be utilized to enhance the challenge level of many balance exercises. Performing a balance stance on a foam pad or performing a tandem walk on a foam beam creates an unstable base of support kicking the somatosensory system into overdrive for improved lower body and core stabilization.
  • Biodex Balance System or Wii Fit – technology can make everything a little more fun and when any fitness endeavor feels less like “exercise” it can be a win! The Biodex Balance System provides an array of assessments, drills and games to track progress and engage residents in balance training exercises. The platform of the Wii Fit is a less expensive yet fun option to help residents play games while also working on weight shifting and balance.
  • Agility Ladders – these aren’t just for athletes! Tasking participants with a variety of stepping patterns both front to back and laterally can help improve stability and gait. Qualified fitness professionals can create countless exercises for residents to perform on an agility ladder for low to high-impact movements.
  • Painters Tape – perhaps the most basic piece of equipment of them all! Use painters tape to create a variety of grids and paths on the floor in your fitness center, aerobic studio, or even in an outdoor area. Fitness staff can help guide residents through a variety of movement patterns simulating ADL’s or perhaps other functional movements for recreational activities like GettyImages-526312285 (1)pickleball.
  • BOSU or Wobble Board – much like the challenge of completing a stomach crunch on a stability ball opposed to the stable floor, using a BOSU or Wobble Board while performing side leg lifts or squats helps to further engage the core and lower body muscles to get more bang for your buck out of that movement.

 

Our staff are using these tools every day in senior living communities across the US as part of NIFS Balance Redefined fall prevention programming. Having the equipment is one thing and having the creativity and expertise to apply them in balance classes, one-on-one services and other balance training offerings is another. The price points range greatly on these items from just a few dollars to thousands of dollars but the options are endless in how to creatively engage participants in effective balance training.

Learn more about Balance Redefined 

Topics: equipment improving senior fitness coordination agility balance challenge

Garnering Marketing Gold from Your Community Fitness Program

MMFC-3Our fitness management staff members have some of the best stories around on the impact their fitness programs are having on resident lives in the senior living communities we serve. They hear comments from residents or their family members, they see new faces in classes, and they track the data in programs and services that demonstrate solid engagement. Our staff takes great pride in these affirmations knowing that the work they are so passionately committed to is truly making a difference not just for residents but also for the culture of a community as a whole.

In 2020, NIFS is embarking on a new platform to more effectively bridge the gap from these stories garnered in community fitness centers directly to the marketing and sales teams. We have always partnered with clients on helping them in their marketing and sales messaging, but we are taking this to a new level in 2020 as more clients want to differentiate their communities during prospect tours and via social media in particular. Community fitness centers are becoming more commonplace in the industry. Communities know they need to have the physical space available. However, a truly comprehensive program can be a distinguishing element to showcase through the right storytelling about your resident successes.

How to Capture and Share Your Stories

Here are a few tips to help your community capture and share some of that marketing gold happening in your fitness center!

  1. It starts with the data. Having a strong foundation in your fitness program, where you are tracking total members, visits to the fitness center and classes, engagement in various services each month, etc., can help you identify the wins and program successes you want to spread the word about during prospect tours and social media postings. If you don’t have a solid foundation established to track this data with consistency, it’s difficult to substantiate the impact your program has with any bearing. Click here for more insight on the value of strong data.
  2. Capture the feedback. With a qualified fitness professional at the helm of your fitness program, you have someone who has a strong relationship with your residents, who is coaching them and guiding them in the fitness center, and who hears directly from your residents about the strides they are making in their fitness, balance, and overall well-being. Having a system in place to share resident success stories can be marketing gold to help your consumers identify how living in your community might positively impact their quality of life as well.
  3. Make it visual. On your website and social media channels, avoid use of stock art where possible. If prospects are following you socially, let them genuinely experience your community by seeing your spaces alive with vibrant activity week after week. They’ve likely seen your fitness center, pool, or aerobic studio during a tour, but you can help them truly feel what your residents experience through your images and videos or let your fitness manager go live for an even more engaging experience. Being able to see their friends and acquaintances thriving in a space they once toured can build a much stronger connection than stock art alone.

Let NIFS Help

The era of social media is changing how consumers shop from afar. Don’t miss out on creative opportunities to help your prospects experience your community week after week as they scroll through their Facebook feeds. If you have questions about how to effectively move forward with some of these components or how to have the right structure in place to do so, contact NIFS for more information on our fitness management or consulting services.

Find out more about NIFS Consulting Services >

Topics: senior fitness management data collection success social media marketing in senior living senior wellness consulting

Marching into Better Balance: NIFS Annual Balance Challenge

Balance Challenge logoAs you might know, just the fear of falling can have significant and lasting impact on older adults or family members’ quality of life. In fact, the fear itself is a risk factor for falls. The good news is that falls can be prevented through balance-specific training and education, which is why NIFS has adopted a comprehensive balance-training method that goes far beyond simply offering balance-training group fitness classes.

It's Time for the Annual Balance Challenge

As part of our commitment to improving balance and reducing the risk of falls, we launched the annual Balance Challenge in 2013 and have been expanding on it ever since. Residents across the country will join us this month as we March into Better Balance with the 8th Annual Balance Challenge. This hallmark program has truly become a fan favorite, and NIFS staff at senior living communities across the country will be focusing on educating their members on fall prevention while providing special balance-training classes, programs, and events.

Participants will be encouraged to complete a Fullerton Advanced Balance Assessment as well as a pre and post self-evaluation survey relating to their perceived levels of balance and confidence. During the month of March, participants will have the opportunity to choose from a menu of programming that includes a balance fair, a fall-prevention presentation, a workshop on how to get up from a fall if one were to occur, small group discussions addressing the fears surrounding falls, a home safety check, and multiple modalities of balance training through group fitness classes, circuit courses, balance games, and more.

One strong advantage of hosting the Balance Challenge is that it shines a spotlight on the fall-prevention program offerings readily available all year long in the fitness center. NIFS staff members regularly collaborate with rehab and the healthcare team at the communities we serve to support resident transitions into and out of therapy. Residents appreciate the opportunity to continue building on the gains they made in rehab with the help of NIFS degreed and certified staff in the fitness center. This strong collaboration with rehab and robust service menu of programs is a great service model for supporting resident well-being year round, and the Balance Challenge serves as a reminder of everything that is available.

Results of Last Year’s Balance Challenge

Last year’s Balance Challenge resulted in many valuable accomplishments:

  • Perceived balance: Across the communities, participants’ perception of their balance taken from their pre and post self-evaluations demonstrated a 12% increase in confidence.
  • Fear of falls: Across the communities, participants’ fear of falling decreased by 18% as reported from their pre and post self-evaluations following the Balance Challenge.
  • Total visits: There was an average increase of 11% in total resident participation to the fitness centers in March 2019 compared to March 2018.
  • Group fitness visits: Group fitness classes saw an average increase of 17% participation in March 2019 compared to March 2018.
  • Appointment volume: Resident engagement increased by 32% in the number of appointments conducted in March 2019 compared to March 2018.

The data tells a story, and clearly the residents increase their participation in fitness program offerings when there is an emphasis on comprehensive fall-prevention programming. They truly turn out to learn, train, and experience these offerings.

NIFS partners with premier senior living providers across the US to bring their residents best-in-class fitness and wellness programming. The NIFS Balance Challenge is a great example of how our qualified fitness professionals have the skills and resources to support resident well-being while increasing education about fall prevention and increasing overall participation in the fitness program. Click here to learn more about resident successes from participating in NIFS fall-prevention programming. Looking to get started with some balance training exercises? Click here for inspiration!

Check out NIFS Premier Fall Prevention Program: Balance Redefined, our comprehensive approach to fall prevention programming.

Learn more about Balance Redefined 

Topics: engagement fall prevention group fitness for seniors NIFS programs balance training for seniors balance challenge

Five Ways to Incorporate Stability Training into Your Client’s Program

GettyImages-1157822544 (1)We hear a lot about stability, but how do you accurately incorporate it into a client’s program? Understanding how to incorporate stability training will help keep your clients functional, independent, and healthy regardless of age.

Here are five ways to incorporate stability training.

  1. Functional balance. Think advanced balance exercises that are performed with slight movement. Because functional balance is directly correlated to everyday life, performing these types of exercises can be an eye-opener for clients, highlighting their ability to balance. Functional balance can look like marching on foam pads, lunging forward and twisting your upper body, or lightly tapping your foot on top of a cone.
  2. Strength. Having muscular strength is good, but can your clients perform exercises like the single-leg Romanian Deadlift and control their shoulders or hips so that they don’t rotate? Strength directly correlates to better balance, and putting the body in positions where the torso needs to stabilize enhances training.
  3. Reaction. Every day we react to either verbal or visual stimulus. Why not train it? Training reaction can look like having clients partner up and do mirrored exercises like tandem walk, lateral shuffle, or even marching forward and back or left and right, while mirroring your (or a partner’s) movements. Another fun twist on reaction training with a larger group is to form a large circle and start marching in place. The leader tells the group which way to march and sees how some individuals respond quickly to the command while others have to think about it.
  4. Coordination and agility. Training the limbs to move in sync with one another is a challenge. Exercises with an agility ladder provide multiple opportunities to see the exercises demonstrated and make your body do what it just saw. Want to add more of a challenge? Try asking your clients to keep their heads up—and not keep their eyes down on their feet.
  5. Central nervous system. Combining the training approaches above either allows for new pathways to be formed in the CNS, or uses old pathways that have not been used recently. We all know the benefit of creating pathways throughout the CNS, but how do we train for this? Envision a difficult exercise, one for which you know what the body needs to do but successfully doing it is another story. Incorporate exercises that require one part of the body to do something separate from the other, for example one of my favorite exercises is Quick Feet, Slow Arms: the feet are going rapid fire, but the slower the arms move, the better.

The fun in training stability is seeing different peoples’ thought processes. What is easy to one person can be hard to someone else, yet for the next exercise it could be vice versa. Our clients enjoy stability training because it’s unlike any class they have experienced, provides a new learning opportunity, and keeps them on their toes.

What are some of your favorite ways to train stability? Click below for more information on how to maximize balance training for your residents. 

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Topics: balance functional movement stability coordination agility

Create Your Own Legacy: A Keepsake for Senior Living Families

Welcome to February, the month when most of us are feeling like we are moving oh so slow through the remainder of the winter months. We have come off the high of gift giving and receiving, enjoying time with family and friends, and even the excitement of the New Year. We are still reflecting on the past year or even the holidays, wishing we could bottle up that time we had with family and friends.

GettyImages-1047684930 (1)When it comes to programming options in senior living, NIFS understands that communities strive to create a memorable experience for residents and their families all year long, which is why we are excited to bring clients the NIFS Legacy program. This is a simple one, but with a memorable result. We are inviting each resident to participate by handwriting answers to simple life questions and to have their photo taken to create a nostalgic piece that will then be transformed into a keepsake for the resident to share with their family.

Building Connections

While NIFS staff are known for providing traditional fitness programming, we also find it engaging to offer opportunities like this program. Interacting with residents each day in our social atmosphere allows us to build relationships and connections that go beyond fitness alone. We often have the privilege of getting to know the residents’ family members through holiday visits, summer vacations, or the weekly check-in. So being a part of a project that will provide a memorable keepsake is icing on the cake for us, knowing how much their son, daughter, niece, or nephew will enjoy it!

Well-Being is More Than Healthy Eating and Exercise

We’ve written before how well-being extends beyond exercising and eating right. With the NIFS Legacy program, residents and staff collaborate to discuss and capture memories and turn them into a special memento that residents can share with their family and friends. Not only does this opportunity foster a connection, but it also helps fulfill a more well-rounded wellness program at the communities we serve. It hits home on the holistic approach to supporting resident well-being by offering an outlet for emotional and spiritual wellness, acknowledging the meaning and purpose of their life and creating new memories with their loved ones.

The meaning of legacy is to “put a stamp on the future,” and we know that our residents have contributed a great amount of time, knowledge, and love to such a thoughtful keepsake. By sharing their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, they will be contributing to the future.

A Partnership Between NIFS and Your Senior Living Community

NIFS partners with premier senior living providers across the US to bring their residents best-in-class fitness and wellness programming. The NIFS Legacy program is a great example of how our qualified fitness professionals have the skills and resources to artfully marry creative programming with relationship building to offer programs of intention and purpose for residents. Click here to learn more about how the NIFS team integrates with communities to help you achieve your wellness goals.

We are excited to invite residents to create their own legacy with handwritten answers to simple life questions alongside a photo that will inspire their family and peers. Throughout the month of February, residents will have an opportunity to visit the community wellness center to create this wonderful keepsake.

Is outsourcing fitness center management right for your community?

This blog was written by Lindsay Knox, Assistant Director Active Aging Services, National Institute for Fitness and Sport.

 

Topics: senior wellness senior living memory family emotional wellness well-being

You Say You Want a Resolution: Change Your World in 2020

We all have places we get stuck, and January tends to be a time when we reassess what’s not working for us anymore. Mostly we are looking for ways to be better, healthier versions of ourselves. The trouble with trying to figure out how to get unstuck is that we limit our thinking. In fact, there are eight different areas that have been identified as contributors to overall wellness:

  • GettyImages-1166631072Emotional
  • Spiritual
  • Intellectual
  • Physical
  • Environmental
  • Financial
  • Occupational
  • Social

There are countless possibilities for satisfying resolutions.

Look for Inspiration

In the past, I limited my resolutions to what I “should” be doing, such as weight loss and getting to the gym; or what I “shouldn’t” be doing, such as drinking wine during the week or eating bread and sweets. Last year I decided to take an entirely different approach. I took a look at where I was feeling poor—emotionally, spiritually, physically, and socially.

Then I began looking for inspiration. I thought back to conversations that lingered in my head, to social media posts that gave me pause, to pictures in magazines that I had saved, and to impromptu experiences that made me happy. I listened for the voice inside that said, “Isn’t that different? Isn’t that interesting? More of that, please.” I understood that this was where my body was asking me to resolve something; that my inner voice was letting me know that there was an opportunity to integrate something that would provide extraordinary satisfaction. It was time to think outside just the physical wellness box.

A Creative Way to Improve Well-being on Many Levels

I remembered reading a social media post about a man who set out to visit all of his Facebook “friends.” He decided that he wanted to put the personal aspect back into friendship. A little bell rang inside my head. I too was feeling disconnected emotionally from many of the people I was connected to on social media.

With a milestone birthday approaching, I was reminded of a person I used to train who decided to try something new every month for her 50th birthday year. I had become an empty nester and was feeling that my “almighty calendar” was empty. I liked the idea of a monthly goal—of looking forward to going somewhere each month.

During the December holiday celebrations, I wore a shawl that I had crocheted for myself from a simple pattern and inexpensive yarn. Almost every woman stopped to admire my work. This pattern that I had learned was satisfying and helped hone my (self-taught) crocheting skills.

Next, an idea formed inside my head. I decided to run a half-marathon every month with the following stipulation: I had to ask/find a friend to run with me (or simply cheer me on!). As a surprise thank you to any person who signed on, I presented them with a homemade shawl stitched together by my hands and filled with gratitude.

Guess what? I have never had a more satisfying year in my life. I added time with family and friends. I added adventures in new places. And I expressed gratitude. Sure, I was also able to check off the physical wellness goal too, but my year was about so much more.

Let me share an example of my March half-marathon experience. One race morphed into a weekend in Philadelphia with my nephew, his mother, sister, aunt, cousin, and stepmother, and my sister-in-law and husband. The weekend was filled with laughter, food, running, and love. It kept my hands busy; I made six shawls to show my appreciation for the connections we made.

Challenge Yourself to Look at All the Wellness Dimensions

So ask yourself, “Where am I hurting?”, “Where do I want to add more significance to my life?”, and “Where can I develop more of myself?” I challenge you to look at all the wellness dimensions and creatively piece together a New Year’s resolution that changes your world in a way that is deeply meaningful and satisfying. Here’s a cheat sheet on the dimensions of wellness that you can use to get started. 

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Topics: resolutions social wellness new Years resolution half marathon training well-being inspiration

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

Kicking off 2020 with the 5 Star Fit Club

GettyImages-494388997 (1)It should come as no surprise that most people aim to improve their lives in one way or another with the start of a new year. Particularly when it comes to focusing on better health and fitness, January’s clean slate seems to be the ideal time to get back on track and into shape immediately following the busy holiday season and prolonged period of indulgence. This seems to be a universal practice as we have found that to be no exception for our members and residents in senior living communities!

NIFS partners with communities across the US to manage their fitness center programming. Similar to most public gyms, our staff also notice patterns related to New Year’s resolutions. In the first few days of January we have come to expect an influx of participation, but these numbers start to decline after a few weeks as old routines creep back and resolutions are abandoned.

Knowing how to set goals, find motivation, build better habits, and remain consistent are all huge components of why so many “resolution-setters” fail. In fact, one study conducted by the University of Scranton suggests that only 8% of people stick to their resolutions, so we saw this as an opportunity to better support the communities and residents we serve and developed NIFS Five Star Fit Club. We piloted this program in ten communities for the first time in January 2019 and it resulted in:

  • Total visits: An average increase of 21% in total resident participation to the fitness centers in January 2019 compared to January 2018.
  • Group Fitness Visits: An average increase of 28% in participation in group fitness classes in January 2019 compared to January 2018.
  • Appointment Volume: Resident engagement increased by 135% in the number of appointments conducted in January 2019 compared to January 2018.
  • New Members: Across the communities, a total of 43 residents began participating in their fitness center for the first time as a direct result of the Five Star Fit Club program.

This incentive program is three weeks long and includes both a personalized assessment and exercise prescription as well as an interactive workshop where residents learn how to effectively change their habits and routines. Additionally, members are encouraged to visit their community’s fitness center independently and attend a set number of group fitness classes. The premise of the program is for participants to earn five stars over the three-week period by participating in the mentioned programs and services. In doing so they are being recognized and rewarded, experiencing accountability, and sensing small wins all while creating sustainable healthy habits and routines to keep them on track for the remainder of the year!5-Star Fit Club

In 2020, even more NIFS clients are kicking off the New Year with the 5-Star Fit Club and we look forward to hearing about the healthy habits and lifestyle choices residents adopt. Robust programs like the 5-Star Fit Club are a great way for senior living providers to support resident well-being while increasing utilization of amenities such as their fitness centers and pools. Click here for some other programming twists brought to NIFS clients.

Get Our Guide to Successful Fitness Programs

Topics: fitness programs for seniors senior living communities NIFS programs adding fun to senior fitness

Sticking with your Routine through the Holidays

GettyImages-864508820 (1)The holidays are a busy time for everyone. Multiple family gatherings, end of the year projects, tons of shopping, yet somehow you have to find time to exercise. Consistency is key with almost everything in life if you want to continue to have motivation towards something important to you. Often times individuals find themselves taking one or two days off from something and those couple of days turn into a week or a month. Exercise is especially something that can be difficult to get back on track after a short break, so continuing your normal routine is vital.

Tips for Fitting it In:
  • Schedule it - add a time to your calendar and treat it like an appointment
  • Pack your bag the night before and set it by the door - take active steps to be prepared
  • Wake up and exercise - the day of an event, or function, start your day with exercise
  • Short bouts - if time doesn't allow, 10 minute bouts are better than none!

This time of year also brings about a lot of stress. Exercise is proven to reduce stress in various ways such as swimming, biking, running, lifting, yoga, and many more. Exercise has benefits in reducing feelings of anxiety, fatigue, anger, frustration, and even depression. Along with stress, this time of year also brings about depression and sadness for many. Continuing with a routine not only helps you stay on track even after the holidays, but can also be beneficial to help you get through them. Exercise helps provide structure during the day. If it is something individuals are used to, it is important to continue that during a long break from work. The Food Diary mentions that having a consistent routine helps individuals stay on track with proper meals, getting proper sleep and provides a “framework” for the day to keep you prioritized and on schedule.

Aside from the mental benefits, there are physical benefits to sticking with a routine with exercise. It does not take that many days off to lose everything you had been working for throughout the year. Endurance declines quickly when taking too many days off from exercise. Studies have shown that when a regular exercise routine is disrupted and an individual stops working out, the de-training process begins within a couple of weeks. In addition, it is a time of year where weight gain can quickly occur. Continuing with the same workout routine can help prevent this from occurring and allow you to better maintain your weight. If the exact same routine cannot be managed due to access to proper equipment, shorter maintenance workouts should still be followed so that exercise is not stopped all together.

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