Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

The Importance of Evaluating Progress

GettyImages-598549636Progress is defined as “forward or onward movement toward a destination,” and in fitness it is usually related to a specific fitness goal. Evaluating progress allows you to track your accomplishments or if you are not making the progress you hoped for, it can help determine what you can do better to reach your goal. Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain muscle mass, improve your 5k time, etc. tracking and evaluating your progress throughout your fitness journey is beneficial.

Tracking is the first big step in evaluating your progress. Based on your goal, you may want to track your everyday strength workouts with sets/reps/weight or how many minutes of cardio you did per day or how many steps you took each day. Whatever it is, you want to keep track of what you are doing. Some people like to use an app on their phone or maybe a journal; anything can work!

Tracking also allows you to challenge yourself from week to week or month to month. Our bodies like to adapt so if we continue doing the same things without “shocking the system” then we won’t see any progress. We can also track how we are feeling during an exercise, if you had a bad day and your strength routine for the day was not great, then write it down. It is important to know why you may not have made progress that week. If you get to a point where you are not making any progress, then reevaluating your goal would be the next step. Determine what can be changed and why was it difficult to accomplish in the first place. How can you avoid those barriers this time? Resetting your goal to be realistic and fit your lifestyle is totally fine. You want to set yourself up for success!

If you accomplish your goal and have made steady progressions, then it is time to create a new goal! For example, let’s say your goal was to run a 5k race in 24 minutes by running 3x/week and strength training 2x/week. And you accomplished this goal in 23:30 in a recent race, then what? You could set a goal to run a 5k race in under 23 minutes then increase your running days to 4x/week and keep strength training 2x/week. You could set a totally different goal and focus solely on strength training to build muscle mass. Determine your plan for accomplishing this goal and what steps you need to take to be successful.

Evaluating your progress is necessary in your fitness journey, even if you aren’t seeing forward progress. You can always reassess goals and determine what needs to be done be successful. If you are seeing forward progress, then challenge yourself again and work towards the next goal.

Topics: wellness and fitness fitness tips health and fitness goals

Change Your Fitness Backdrop to Beat Boredom


NIFS | bored with exercise

Do you get bored with the same workout and find yourself feeling unmotivated in the gym at times? Yeah, it happens to me too. Exercise boredom happens to all of us at some point. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine where you almost forget that you have done the same workout for months, maybe even years. That’s fine, but your muscles need variation to grow and become stronger. I like to call this action, “confusing the body,” by switching up your exercises you prevent the body from plateauing. Exercise is meant to be enjoyed, not dreaded so why not participate in something you like!  Here are some fun ideas to combat exercise boredom.        

Take a hike

I like to hit the trails when I’m feeling stressed. It’s nice outside, and it offers the chance to change up my workout scenery. Hiking is not only good for your body, but also your mental health. Many research studies show that hiking has a positive impact on decreasing the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Fresh air, a good cardiovascular workout (weight bearing exercise) and being surrounded by nature, what is there not to enjoy? Find a local park (or National Park) and appreciate the movement your body is capable of outdoors!

Superset your exercises

Moving quickly from one exercise to another, between two different exercises can add something new to your workout. By shortening the rest period between sets, this will keep your heart rate elevated and overall increase the intensity of your workout by overloading your muscles. This keeps your workout active and exciting.   

Take your workout outside

The environment in which you work out in can become dull at times as well. Add variety to your workout by taking your sweat session outside or in a new place you have never been. Your environment affects thoughts and desires, but by changing your surroundings you can give yourself a fresh burst of motivation. Grab a pair of dumbbells, a mat, and try this workout! This can be done inside, outside, or ever when you travel. Go through both circuits 2-3 times.

Circuit 1 (30 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest)

  1. Burpees
  2. Squat to Press
  3. Downward dog push ups
  4. Dead bugs

 Circuit 2 (30 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest)

  1. Walking Lunges
  2. Plank ups
  3. Straight leg deadlift
  4. High Knees

 Read our blog [My Favorite Workout: Trying New Exercises or Activities]

 Try something different  

Have you always wanted to try rock climbing, kickboxing, or a different fitness class? Break out of your exercise comfort zone by trying something new for you and your body. By challenging your body in ways it is not familiar has its perks. Trying something new helps you overcome fear, stimulates your creativity, and you will even get to know yourself better. When we try new activities we naturally recognize who we are and where we are headed. You might find a new hobby, fitness class, gym, small studio, or meet some awesome workout partners along the way!

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Topics: health and fitness goals fitness routine workout motivation boredom

Corporate Wellness: You Can Do Anything But You Can't Do Everything

NIFS | Corporate Wellness

American is the land of opportunity and from the time we are children, most of our parents have encouraged us to take advantage of these opportunities. They encourage us to understand that we can be anything we dream of when we grow up, accomplish any goal we set our minds to, and with hard work can achieve what others think is impossible. While these are great confidence boosters for children, as we become adults many of us have a hard time distinguishing between being able to do anything and being able to do everything. It is great to set your goals high but you have to prioritize to be able to achieve them.

This is something I see day in and day out as a fitness professional with my clients. I also see it in the unrealistic expectations I set for myself. For example, if your goal is to run a marathon you can’t expect to strength train three times a week, lose those pesky 10 pounds that have been hanging around, keep up with kids activities, maintain a full-time job, sleep eight hours a night, volunteer at your church, and have healthy meals prepared each dinnertime. Something has to give! This is where a dreaded word comes into the mix: “NO.”

Read More [4 Ways to Find a Healthy Relationship with Exercise]

We have a passion for so many things and a desire to please others but we have to prioritize. You can run that marathon but you may have to give up volunteering at your church to complete some long runs on the weekends. You may have to eat leftovers for dinner a few times a week to keep up with your training schedule. It is ok to say no or push some things to the back burner for a while so you can achieve the “anything” you have set out to accomplish. If different things become a priority, you can pull them to the forefront again.

Living a healthy lifestyle can be overwhelming. There are 7 different dimensions of well-being that we are constantly trying to balance. Cut yourself some slack and remember you cannot do everything, especially not all at once. Pick one or two things and make them your top priority. See how these affect your life and decide if they are habits worth keeping. Once you find a good balance, try adding another and see how you do. You can achieve any health/fitness goal but you cannot achieve all of them at once. Write down your top health/fitness goal for the month and focus on that for 30 days. You will feel a sense of accomplishment and build a confident attitude that says that you can do ANYTHING, just not EVERYTHING.

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Topics: corporate wellness healthy lifestyle wellness and fitness health and fitness goals balanced life