Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Employee Health: Healthy Eating on the Night Shift

Many shift workers struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and it’s easy to understand why. The body’s natural routine, or its “circadian rhythm,” is significantly disrupted when they work the night shift.

When you have less access to fresher, healthier foods, eating well can be a challenge. Shift workers may also be unable to find an eating schedule that suits them. One idea that may work well is to eat a main meal before the start of a shift in the evening. Since this meal can be eaten unhealthy food options resized 600at home, you have more control over its nutritional content and the cooking methods used.

Once at work, it’s imperative that you bring along healthy snacks; avoid the vending machine and its processed, high-fat food at all costs! Some type of protein mixed with a small amount of carbs and fat is best because it helps you remain alert. Snacking and a light meal at break time can prevent hunger, and another light meal with healthy carbohydrates after work but before sleeping will promote rest and relaxation.

Avoiding caffeine toward the end of the shift is a must. It’s also a good idea, regardless, to replace coffee and pop with plain water or decaf tea.

Employers can help their night-shift workers in a number of ways, such as providing healthy food options, preventing tobacco use, offering 24-hour worksite gyms, and making employee wellness education available at a variety of times.

Topics: employee health nutrition worksite wellness employee wellness sleeping patterns

Top 3 reasons to outsource fitness center management

Emily works with member.jpgOf course, it’s horribly self-serving for us to say that staffing your onsite fitness center and wellness initiatives isn’t a DIY (do it yourself) project.  We’re not above shameless self-promotion, but the truth is, the consequences of making fitness center management a DIY initiative can be costly.  Read on to learn NIFS top three reasons to outsource fitness center management of your retirement community or worksite fitness center. 

Reason #1: Your actual dollar cost is only part of the cost/benefit picture

If you’re reading this thinking, “Outsourcing is expensive – way more expensive than hiring my own personnel”, you’re right.  Of course, costs come in two types: direct and indirect.  So don’t stunt your thinking about this by looking only at the invoice from the outsourcing partner against your compensation profile for your own employee.

Reason #2: Outsourcing fitness center management provides expertise you can't build on your own

We would never lean toward such exaggerations as to say that health promotion, fitness, wellness (insert your favorite name for it here) is akin to rocket science.  It’s not hard, like organic chemistry hard.  But it’s challenging in that call center, customer service kind of way.  Let’s face it, anyone one who works in customer service knows that the hardest, and most rewarding, part of their job is working with the customer.  NIFS staff are in that same customer service spot.

To that end, there is a benefit to having a pool of like-minded peers who are doing the same type of work, sharing in successes, problem-solving through challenges, and brainstorming new ideas together.  When you hire an outsourcing organization to provide your staffing, they have that built in peer support.  When you hire your own wellness professional – they’re essentially on their own to build a peer network of support.

In NIFS case, the support network extends well beyond peer support.  Our staff-built intranet provides program creation ideas, internal form links, peer-to-peer continuing education and more.  All of these staff resources are a benefit to our clients. When they hire NIFS, they not only get their own manager, they get indirect access to our other 70+ like-minded professional peers.


Reason #3: Outsourced partners are experts in fitness so that you don't have to be.

Risk management related to both the physical spaces and the programming connected to those spaces is an important consideration for our clients.  They don’t lose sleep over their liability exposure in our programs though.  Maybe that’s because we’ve been managing corporate and CCRC fitness centers and wellness programs for more than 20 years.  Maybe it’s because all of our staff -- administrators, managers, and specialists – are all fitness and wellness experts.  We know the industry standards for waiver language, pre-activity screening, industry-appropriate certifications, subcontractor liability management, etc.  Speaking of which, when was the last time you checked the status of the liability insurance for your contracted group fitness instructors?

For more on assessing liability in a corporate fitness program, download our white paper here.

To read about managing liability in a retirement community fitness center, download this white paper.

If you’re the “I’ll fix my own brakes” or, “I’ll build my own home addition” type, then you’re more adventurous then I and perhaps you should hire your own wellness professional.  If you’re looking for an outsourcing solution that is more trustworthy and reliable than your mechanic, and less expensive than your home addition, consider checking NIFS out. 

Read our case studies (Sagewood | Marquette | NextGear) to see how we’ve provided scalable and cutting edge solutions for our clients.

Is outsourcing fitness and wellness right for you?

Topics: corporate fitness program corporate fitness Wellness in the Workplace employee wellness senior center solutions corporate fitness centers senior fitness fitness success Fitness Center

Corporate Fitness Center Turns 20 Years Old!

This blog was written by Bethany Garrity. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.

A few weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure of joining one of our long-time staff members at his corporate client’s fitness center for their 20th anniversary.  In the last 20 years, that location has relocated once, and evolved significantly; the offerings have changed as trends in the fitness industry have changed. 

Step aerobics has been replaced by indoor cycling offerings, and Zumba fills a spot once held by more “old school” group class formats.  They’ve gone through several treadmills, and other types of equipment.  (Though they still have a few original cardio pieces that are kickin’ it!)

Perhaps most importantly, we’re proud to say that the manager of the facility has NOT changed…and his members love him for it.  NIFS knows how important personal relationships are to successful corporate health initiatives, and Scott has helped more than his share of associates make positive lifestyle changes over the last several years. 

SW old  SW new 

The 20th anniversary celebration was marked with fun carnival-type games (great for ANY fitness level!), fun prizes (necessary for any celebration!), and brand new selectorized strength equipment from Cybex.  They've been a great partner for us with great equipment, and solid service.

Corporate Fitness Games Cybex strength

NIFS is proud to be a long standing provider of fitness center management services for this client, and we’re grateful to Scott for his long service to his members.

Topics: exercise at work corporate fitness program exercise corporate fitness Wellness in the Workplace worksite wellness employee wellness corporate fitness centers business fitness solutions

UV Safety Awareness for Corporate Wellness

This blog was written by Kara Gootee-Robinson. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.

describe the imageSummer has arrived along with barbeques, pool parties, ball games, and all those outdoor activities we enjoy this time of year. When those events are planned, you are most likely prepared to wear your hat and sunglasses and to apply sunscreen. But what about those everyday occurrences? Long walks from the car to the office, a bicycle commute to work, walk-at-work events, or simply enjoying your lunch outside expose the skin to harmful ultraviolet rays.

Tips for Reducing Skin Cancer Risk

Skin cancer kills thousands of Americans each year. The main cause of skin cancer is ultraviolet radiation, and there are many ways to prevent skin cancer and reduce your risk:

  • Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are the strongest.
  • Use sunscreen daily, with an SPF of 15 or higher.
  • Protect your skin with long sleeves, a hat, and sunglasses.
  • Self check―be sure to watch for changes in your skin.

Promote Employee Sun Safety

July is UV Safety Month and a great time to promote sun safety for your employees. Spread the word in your workplace. Let your coworkers and employees know how easy prevention is. Easy ways to increase awareness and encourage sun safety in the workplace include the following:

  • Post signs and posters about sun safety.
  • Offer skin cancer screenings onsite.
  • Provide sunscreen samples.
  • Designate a shaded area for outdoor lunch breaks.

Even on a cloudy day, grab that hat and apply sunscreen because even on the haziest of days the sun’s rays are powerful and damaging!

Topics: corporate wellness cancer disease prevention employee wellness

Weight Loss Success in the Work Place

People always ask me, "what's your secret?" and I laugh and tell the it's no secret.  Thanks to a huge lifestyle change and the wonderful support system of work buddies, friends, and The Body Shop (worksite fitness center) and it's staff (NIFS) I have lost almost 100 pounds, maybe more!

A couple of years ago, the girls I ate lunch with every day decided to lose weight.  I had been down the path before and was not excited.  I hadn't weighed myself in well over a year and had no intention of starting.  Because my friends were doing it, and I didn't want to eat lunch alone, I gave a half hearted effort.  I decided to stop drinking regular soda and participate in whatever physical activity they did.  And that is exactly what I did, and miraculously my clothes started getting bigger.  We were just walking on the treadmill or outside at our lunch time and giving up soda and I could see results. 

As the initial loss, whatever it was, had slowed because the changes I made were only mild, and as I saw my friends who were already participating in Weight Watchers begin to lose more rapidly, I wanted to make bigger changes too.  So I had to finally weigh myself.  By this time, I had started at a size 24 and was now in a 22, and some 20's, but still hadn't stepped on a scale.  When I finally did I weighed 238 lbs.  I cried the entire day, and thought how did I let myself go this far?  And so I began to count calories, and changing everything about my life.  Eventually through regular physical activity, tracking what I ate and counting calories, I have made huge changes.  It's still a struggle every single day, but when I fall off the wagon, I started again immediately and you know what, the struggle is worth it.  I have zero health issues and I can keep up with my kids.  I look like a different person and I feel like a different person, a happier, much healthier person.

Do you have a support system at work to motivate each other to reach your weight loss and health goals?

 

Topics: corporate wellness employee health corporate fitness weight loss weight management motivation NIFS employee wellness corporate fitness centers

Employee Wellness: A Healthy Makeover for School Lunches

This blog was written by Anna Hiple. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.

With the recent release of new standards regarding school lunches and theischool lunch resized 600r nutrition content, it won’t be long before the food on your child’s plate will be more colorful, more portion-conscious, and more nutritious than ever before. The changes brought forth by the National School Lunch Program, in connection with the USDA, feature the following in lunches at participating public and not-for-profit private schools as well as various child care institutions:

  • Minimum requirements for veggies and fruits, with more choices and an emphasis on color variety

  • More whole grains and less refined carbohydrates

  • Milk choices of either skim or 1%

  • Calorie ranges for different grade levels that promote portion control

  • Limits on sodium and fat content

To better illustrate the improvements being made as the guidelines were introduced, a “before” and “after” menu was provided for a typical day. Instead of pizza sticks, raisins, a banana, and whole milk, the choices were a chef salad with low-fat dressing and a whole-wheat pretzel, choice of raw carrots or cooked corn, a banana, and chocolate skim milk. The healthier menu is certainly more well-balanced, yet reasonably attractive to a child’s appetite.

Plans are in place for a movement toward healthier breakfast and vending machine options as well. With about 32 million children taking advantage of these school lunches in America today, it’s hopeful that the new guidelines will not only help kids be at their best both mentally and physically, but perhaps put a dent in childhood obesity as healthier food habits are instilled at an early age.

Topics: employee health nutrition employee wellness kids