Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

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

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

Manage diabetes this holiday season with exercise and nutrition

Throughout the year, you have worked hard to stay on course with managing your health and diabetes, but the holiday season has the potential to take you off course. Eating healthy and staying active becomes more difficult during the holidays due to food being one of the central focuses of the season. When the weather gets colder and travel increases, it is harder to maintain an exercise schedule. As the holidays approach, it is appropriate to talk about some ways you can stay happy and healthy even when surrounded by delicious, yes sometimes unhealthy food.

NIFS | Family making choices

It is important to set reasonable and attainable goals for yourself during the holiday months. Weight loss can be a very difficult task around this time of year so adjusting goals may be necessary. Instead of trying to lose weight, set a goal to maintain your weight and not gain throughout the holidays. Be sure to stay active even when the weather gets colder. Find ways to stay physically active indoors such as joining a group fitness class, purchase some enjoyable videos or stream workouts, join a sports team like basketball or volleyball, or find an indoor swimming pool. Check your corporate wellness program to see if they offer an incentive  to help you maintain your weight this season. Exercise can help you maintain your weight, lower blood glucose levels, and boost your sensitivity to insulin.

Overindulging can cause some setbacks or worse yet, setup for continued overindulgence. Be aware of your portion sizes and don’t neglect healthy foods. Your diet should include many whole grains, fruits, vegetables and should include less fat and sugar. These healthy food choices will lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and increase your good cholesterol (HDL) levels. It's also smart to limit red meat and avoid processed meats.

Stick to drinks with no (or low) sugar such as water or tea. Studies show that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to obesity and diabetes. Try rewarding yourself with something other than sweet treats like a movie, pedicure, a book you’ve been wanting, or some new workout gear. If you do consider rewarding yourself with something sweet, make it a healthy dessert like banana bread with less sugar and less calories, something made with fresh fruit, a small piece of dark chocolate or a low sugar latte.

Read our blog [SMART and Healthy Eating During the Holidays]

Don’t let the holiday season take you off course. Do your best to stay on track and enjoy the holidays. Try some of these tips out and hopefully you will be able to progress towards your health and fitness goals even during the holiday/winter months.

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Topics: diabetes winter fitness smart goals healthy choices workout motivation staying active during the holidays

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

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: motivation music fitness goals workout music playlist workout motivation