Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Keep Motivated to Workout During Those Cold Winter Months


NIFS | Winter Workout

As winter approaches, many of us tend to slack on our workouts. I don’t know about you but on dreary, cold days all I want to do is put on a good movie and lay on the couch. The weather gets colder and there is less daylight available during the winter months, making it difficult to find time to get a workout in. Ever heard of the Winter Blues? Feeling down can contribute to decreased motivation as well. The happy feel-good hormone tends to decrease with the lack of sunlight and warm air.

 When winter starts to approach, I try to find new activities around the city to keep me moving and to give me a little motivation. Now is also a great time to start thinking about weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly goals. Setting small weekly goals that will lead up to a larger goal typically work best for me. One great way to stay motivated is to sign up for a race or trying a new fitness class. Whether it be a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or marathon, having something to work towards could be just what you need to keep you inspired through the winter. I plan for a race by deciding what an achievable goal time should be; I am my own biggest competitor so this approach works best for me. Another way to keep that motivation would be to try a new group exercise class or fitness trend. There are unique fitness classes that are very efficient ways to burn calories. Who knows, a yoga class or exercise DVD might get you hooked and keep you coming back for more.

[Read more: Don't Wait Until You Feel Motivated to Make Healthy Changes]

One popular fitness trend right now is high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. I really enjoy these quick high intensity workouts because they are easy to fit in during those shorter days of the year. These workouts can be done virtually anywhere and you only need a short amount of time. These classes usually consist of a little competition mixed with an intense cardio session.

There’s no shortage of options for continuing workouts even if you have to move them inside for the winter. So before the winter months hit, I encourage you to find a new fitness class or to set some new goals to keep you motivated this winter season. Don’t let the cold days and holiday treats keep you from your goals.

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Topics: winter blues winter fitness motivation fitness goals fitness routine setting exercise goals goal setting

Boost Your Workout with Motivating Music

NIFS | Group Fitness GroovePop in those earbuds and get moving. Exercise and music go hand-in-hand for many gym-goers. Listening to music is a great way to make your work out more enjoyable. There’s nothing like cranking up an upbeat, energetic, song that adds a little pep to your step. An excellent motivator, music helps you to keep up with the pace of your workout, and inspiring lyrics keep you moving. Those specific beats and lyrics can encourage you work harder and push you to complete your workout. Keeping up with the beat provided by music can prevent you from slacking and help you power through to reach your goals. 


Music can also be a good kind of distraction. It can help distract you from the so called “pain” or “burn” of the workout. The music can help to take your mind off the exercise that is being performed and might even challenge you to complete just “one more” repetition or finish that last mile! Those catchy tunes can make working out more bearable rather than it being quiet and listening to yourself breathe. Listening to music allows you focus more on your workout and definitely makes it a little more fun!

Have you ever had a song come on and instantly you feel your mood improve? Music can elevate your mood and get you excited about working out too. It can give you that extra boost to make you more energetic and it might even get you “in the zone.”  Music can drown out external distractions so you can concentrate on the exercise.  It also might push you to keep moving until the end of the song. Music can put you in a positive mindset providing motivation and making your workout more enjoyable.

Select songs with that perfect beat. Put together a playlist that will keep your muscles pumping and your body moving or check out some of the latest music apps specifically made to jazz up your workout. Or, skip the playlist and check out this list of 5 music apps that you can install for some motivating tunes. Just like your workout, remember to periodically change your playlist. This can make your workout be more challenging and less predictable. The more enjoyable your music is the easier your workout might just be. So, crank up that music (just not too loud) and start moving to the beat of your favorite tunes!

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Topics: workout music music motivation workout motivation playlist fitness goals

Tracking Your Fitness Progress - Is it Important?

NIFS | Writing | Tracking GoalsAs someone who exercises daily, I have fought myself on this topic. Why should I track my progress if I am feeling good about what I am doing? If I am working out every day, I will gradually see results and continue to climb that never-ending improvement ladder! Well, as it turns out, achieving goals more complicated than that.

Everyone hits a point in their exercise journey where they feel like they aren’t seeing results. In the beginning, your workouts are new and fresh! Heck, they might even be exciting! You are thinking about the endless possibilities and goals you're going to crush. Then the novelty starts to wear off around week three (at least, that is where I notice a downward trend). By the third week, you're starting to play a head game: “You’re tired. Why don’t you just take a rest today and just relax.? Its good to rest sometimes, right?” Then, it begins to snowball and eventually you notice you haven’t exercised in weeks. We have all been there.

And that's right where tracking your progress comes in. I will admit, at first I was skeptical. I thought, “I don’t need to do this. This is just an added ‘thing’ I have to do and I am already busy.”  Benefits of regularly tracking your fitness journey can include keeping your goals in sight and your accomplishments in perspective. It also helps you to become more mindful of why you are taking on regular exercise.

[Read more: Do you have a healthy relationship with exercise?]

When you have had a hard day at work, your kid(s) are screaming for attention or crying because you didn’t put their shoes in the right place, this is a great opportunity to go back and look at all the tracked progress you have made in your fitness goals – especially if you are planning on skipping out of your nightly or morning sweat session. Added stressors in our lives creep up on us and try to take over. If you haven’t laid out your goals or are not keeping a close eye on what you are trying to accomplish, then they could consume you and you may fall off the wagon.

I am not saying that tracking your goals will completely silence the “I need to quit” voice in your head. Other factors can (and sometimes will) lead to you needing to postpone your exercise routine temporarily. Fitness related injuries or family matters can require a pause. Those are outside influences we can’t control. If it happens to be you feeling like your exercise routine is just not for you anymore because you are tired and “over it,” make sure you look back and see all of the amazing progress you have made (which you can only do if you've been tracking your workouts), re-evaluate the situation, and continue to focus on your goals. Staying mindful and motivated by assessing your progress will help you realize that some of your goals have been met, and others are attainable. And of course, there's an app for that.

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Topics: fitness tips fitness goals tracking your fitness progress

Put Some "Spring" In Your Step

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Were you one of the many people who made it a goal in 2018 that you were going to work out more and start focusing on your health? Then, perhaps as the days began to pass and you found yourself two months into the New Year, with nothing to show for your ambitious goal.

The shorter winter days and cold weather make it difficult to convince ourselves to get up and workout, when instead we could be on the couch watching a favorite TV show. But then the weather begins to get warmer, the sun shines longer, and everyone seems to feel a little bit more motivated and energized – because spring is right around the corner. If you're feeling a little more motivated, you might be wondering how you go from binge watching that TV show to committing to the fitness goal you made on January 1st. Follow these simple fitness tip to put some "spring" in your step!

Be Realistic. If you haven’t been working out then the likelihood of you getting to the gym 5x per week is unrealistic. Start small with your goals and gradually work up from there. The goals you choose should be attainable. Once you have found yourself sustaining and keeping with your workout and fitness goals is when you should begin to increase your workload.

[Read More: Tips for An Effective Exercise Program]

Be Held Accountable. Ask a family member or friend to start this journey with you. Make gym dates and don’t cancel at the last minute. Your workout partner will help keep you on track and you can do the same thing for them. A partner is also a great person to vent and share things with. Did you splurge and eat that bowl of ice cream or miss the gym on Sunday morning? Share it with your partner. They will be there for you through your lows and highs but also push you to achieve your milestones!

Make A Plan. You’re geared up and ready to go get your workout on. Then, you step into the gym and you have no idea what you are going to do. We have all been there. Make it a point to not only plan out when you are going to work out but what you are going to do when you get there. Remember, plans are not set in stone. However, they help keep you on track and pointing toward that end goal.

It is time to take full advantage of what spring has to offer in helping to achieve your goals. I encourage you to use our recommended tips toward becoming a healthier you, and what better time to do it then now? Make a realistic exercise plan and join that Cardio Pump class you and your co-worker have been interested in. Get ready to say, “so long” to old man winter and “hello” to spring by jumping back into fitness!

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Topics: fitness tips new Years resolution fitness resolutions fitness goals

Fitness Tips to Jump Start Your New Year's Resolutions

If you've been considering a New Year’s resolution, "starting a regular exercise program" may have been on your list.  And why not? Starting an exercise program is a healthy choice that can help you feel better physically, mentally and even emotionally. In this blog we'll discuss four simple fitness tips that can help you stay on track with becoming more active.

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First, start with an exercise plan and write it down on your calendar. This simple step of asking yourself to make a commitment can provide a regular reminder to keep you on track with your schedule and goals.  Ask yourself a few questions before solidifying your plan to ensure your fitness routine is maintained.

When and how will I exercise? Reserving the same time to exercise on a weekly basis will ensure you make your new fitness program a priority. Make sure the times to exercise are suitable for you and can be repeated without interruption. Choose activities you will enjoy to increase the likelihood that you'll keep coming back to your routine.  If you think exercising alone might make it hard to stick to your plan, then consider group fitness classes. Also, be realistic about your capabilities. If you can only exercise for 10-15 minutes then work within that time frame.  Some movement is better than none.

[Read More: 4 Fast Exercises For When You're In A Hurry]

Let's talk about some tips for ensuring success, staying on track and most of all making sure you continue to enjoy your healthy choices. Exercise doesn't have to be a pain or a nuisance. If you can find enjoyable activities, set reasonable goals you're much more likely to succeed and make this a lifestyle change, not just a New Year's resolution. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you go. 

Slow and steady wins the race. See your resolution as a lifestyle changer. You will be less likely to continue in the long-term if you are too hard on yourself and increase the intensity without proper preparation. Starting off with a low intensity program for only 10 minutes a session, 3 times a week is a good way to prevent injuries, avoid burnout and make your new routine a healthy habit. Keep your eyes on the prize and only worry about your capabilities. Comparing yourself to others physical abilities may discourage you and we all had to start somewhere!

Set the bar low (at least initially). When creating a healthy resolution focused on adopting regular exercise, set a goal that isn't focused on body weight. Becoming regularly active isn't an end game; it's a lifestyle choice and your goals should reflect that.  Life is busy and things happen that may modify our exercise program throughout the year. Setting a goal such as walking a 10k by June is more achievable than simply focusing on weight. As you feel good striving towards your goal, other achievements will be gained along the way. Remember you can also modify your resolution as long as it’s initially a reasonable expectation.

Bring a friend. Working out with a friend or partner can be the push you need to stay consistent. Consistency is key to achieving your goals and having a friend or partner is added support. Friends keep us accountable, motivated and in some cases a dose of healthy competition!

No matter the goal, remember that a fitness resolution is taking a step in the right direction to improve your quality of life. Keeping your eyes on the prize will reap benefits such as increased energy, healthier bones, and a positive attitude! Cheers to a healthy and active year!

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Topics: new year fitness resolutions fitness tips healthy habits resolutions fitness goals