NIFS Healthy Living Blog

What It’s Like to Be an Intern at NIFS: Emily Iddins

Emily has been an intern for a corporate client of NIFS. She has contributed to the success of the center, and we wish her luck as she moves on to the working world after college. Thank you for being such a great asset to the NIFS team, and for sharing your experience on our blog!NIFS internships

Some come to the area for a taste of Indianapolis; I came for a taste of the professional world. When I originally applied to NIFS I thought that the internship would be a great opportunity to broaden my horizons; a chance to get out of my comfort zone and to work in a different environment with different populations. NIFS accomplished that and so much more.

I did my share of weighing pros and cons when finding a challenging internship that would further my development as an exercise science major. Maybe it was the hands-on experience, maybe it was the professional development, or maybe it was simply the professionals I was able to interact with that have helped to reaffirm my choice of career path.

My internship was located at corporate client of NIFS. Working with the team was a breath of fresh air. I was not just an intern, but an employee with duties that depended on contributing to a successful team strategy. Having a strong team dynamic is crucial when hosting team-building events to promote cooperative work atmospheres. Tasks also included fitness assessments, teaching group fitness classes, and leading facility orientations.INTERN 3

My greatest task, however, was that of managing a Women’s Half Marathon Training Program. Throughout this program, I have been able to shed the skin of the structured classroom environment and reemerge with a more profound meaning of what being a professional entails: leadership, planning, communication, and organization. Through the training program, I came into contact with women who I coached, but who were in turn a source of motivation to me. To see and be a part of individuals’ success in achieving goals is why I am so drawn to this field.

NIFS offers so much to each intern. Through shadowing, volunteering, and specializing at one’s site, the student has a chance to explore, find their niche, and leave with a new set of goals in mind.NIFS internships

Although there are still classes to take and lessons to learn, working as an intern at NIFS is an experience that I will always remember and cherish.

To find out more about applying for NIFS internships click here.

Topics: NIFS fitness center marathon training

Start Your Day Off Right: How Not to Skip a Healthy Breakfast

If it is the most important meal of the day, why do about 31 million people (or 10 percent of the population) still skip breakfast? Here are the top three reasons people skip breakfast and how you can overcome those excuses to make eating breakfast a part of your daily routine.breakfast

I’m just not hungry in the morning.

You should wake up in the morning and be hungry. Your body has gone at least eight hours without food, so it should be ready for some fuel. If not, take a look at your before-bedtime habits and check to see whether you are constantly snacking on chips and ice cream late into the evening. If so, this can affect your hunger levels in the morning. Don’t go to bed hungry, but instead choose a reasonable snack around 100 to 150 calories like Greek yogurt or an apple with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.

I don’t have time for breakfast.

If you would rather hit the snooze button a few more times than prepare breakfast for yourself, you might find yourself without enough time to eat in the morning. The key is to aim for three food groups at a meal, so even if you grab a turkey sandwich and a banana as you run out the door, you are still starting your day right. The key is to combine some protein and whole grains to help give you energy and keep you full. Breakfast is also a great time to get in a dairy or fruit serving, too!

If time is an issue, use this recipe to prepare breakfast for the whole week. Add the egg to an English muffin and grab a glass of milk or piece of fruit to go with it and you are set!

I want to save my calories for later in the day.breakfast

Some people think that if they skip breakfast, it will help with their weight-loss efforts or give them more calories to consume at lunch and dinner. Unfortunately, this is not the case. A recent study compared two groups: one ate more for breakfast and the other ate more at dinner, with both consuming the same amount of calories. The breakfast group lost more weight and inches than the dinner group. Typically people who skip breakfast overcompensate the rest of the day by eating more calories than if they had started their day with a balanced meal.

Whatever your reason for skipping breakfast, try to break that habit and start eating something every day. Start small with a glass of 100 percent juice or a piece of fruit and then work up to a balanced meal between 400 and 500 calories and at least three food groups!

Angie Scheetz, RD, is the wellness coordinator at NIFS and organizes the Mini Marathon Training Program, Dealing with Diabetes, and Lite ‘N Up. Enrollment for Lite ‘N Up is open though September 17, 2013.

Topics: nutrition weight loss healthy eating snacks breakfast

What It’s Like to Be an Intern at NIFS

Each semester, including the summer, NIFS welcomes a new class of fantastic interns to come learn what it takes to work in a fitness center. With each group that we welcome with open arms, there is a point when we must say goodbye. Our most recent group of interns is wrapping up their final presentations and parting ways with the friends, coworkers, and clients they have met along the way. intern Rachel

Rachel Potter interned with NIFS for three months during the summer of 2013, and although we know she has to move back to her home state of Oklahoma to begin her career, we sure will miss her! Here is her perspective about what it’s like to be an intern at NIFS.

If you had told me five years ago that I would move to Indianapolis for a three-month internship, I would have said, “NO WAY!” Having moved to Oklahoma from the San Francisco Bay area, my perspective began to change and I began to realize how open I was to exploring the rest of the country.

Coming to NIFS was one of the best decisions I could have ever made. Sure, it was tough being away from my nice, comfy bed; three months on an air mattress seemed like a great idea in the beginning. The reward is everything I learned from the experience and the confidence I have gained in the process.

intern at NIFSI came into the internship with a strong fitness background, so I chose to work with the actively aging community, a setting way out of my comfort zone. It was tough at first knowing that I wasn’t familiar with the population and sometimes feeling like a chicken with its head cut off. I remember the first class I taught. I did about fifty things you aren’t supposed to do! Luckily, I had great instruction from my supervisor and eventually began to settle in to the site.

What was so unique about the internship at NIFS was the option to explore the different departments offered. Because NIFS encompasses multiple facets of their industry—including corporate wellness, active aging, and athletic training—I was able to shadow different areas, which allowed me to see the differences between each place. I also learned how diverse the sites were. Seeing what each position entailed helped me realize the avenues I liked and may want to pursue further and the things I would never want to do in a million years.

Having learned so much more about myself and being able to apply my education to so many different areas, I could not have asked for a better intern experience.NCAA Frog

This blog was written by Rachel Potter, NIFS Intern and Les Mills BODYCOMBAT and BODYPUMP certified instructor.

Topics: NIFS fitness center senior fitness Les Mills

Injury Prevention: Foam Rolling

Foam rolling is the layman’s term for self-myofascial release. What you are doing is giving your muscles and fascia (the connective tissue that runs head to toe in the body) a good massage. If you have had a deep-tissue massage, however, you know it can be painful. This is the only time in the gym that I recommend no pain, no gain. Now, that may seem masochistic, but a little discomfort on the roller can make a world of difference in how you feel as you move after a session.

How Foam Rolling Works

The rollers come in different densities, with softer being gentler. But if you want to break down tight muscles and fascia, you need to need to suck it up and take the pain. Let me explain it this way: When your muscles get stressed, they will tighten up in spots to hold on so they don’t strain or tear. Those spots limit mobility, thus decreasing your ability to move with your max range of motion. When the muscles have been stressed too much, the force will go up or down the chain into the joints (knees, hips, shoulders, etc.). Many times pain is not a result of the joint being damaged; it is from the muscles not being able to do their job.photo1n

When you roll on the roller, all those tight spots are the muscles with a little ball, so to speak, of tight fibers. When you roll over those spots, they will release. Over time, with commitment to your rolling, you will feel those spots be less tender and pain will decrease. With a muscle at full strength, you can do more with it in terms of flexibility and strength.

The Basic Foam Roller Exercise

So how is this done? Ideally the body should be warm (although you will break a sweat hitting your sore spots, I can tell you from personal experience).photo4n

  1. Grab a roller to lie on. You do want to try and hit the entire body. Surprisingly, you will find other spots you did not realize were sore.
  2. Move your body over the roller, avoiding bones and joints (those don’t respond to rolling).
  3. Make 5 to 10 passes over a muscle (or fascia) and then move to another part of the body.

You can do this after a workout as well to enhance recovery. You may notice you are less sore than when you started—aahh, the body’s way of working things out!photo2n

This is great for the day-after muscle soreness you get from a great (or new) workout.

This blog was written by Kris Simpson, BS, ACSM-PT, HFS, and a NIFS Certified Personal Trainer. To find out more about Kris and our other NIFS bloggers click here.

 

 

Topics: fitness center workouts injury prevention muscles joint health

What’s In My Lunch? Nutrition for a Productive Day

We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but what about lunch? Lunch is just as key because it allows your body to rest and renew and get geared up for the second half of the day. If you are choosing the wrong thing at lunchtime or skipping altogether, this can lead to overeating in the afternoon and evening, poor performance at work, or an unproductive evening workout.ANGIE2

Whenever people find out I’m a dietitian, I get asked a lot of questions about what I eat. My typical response is “I eat normal.” However, I guess everyone has a different version of normal! For me that means following the recommendations in the USDA guidelines at ChooseMyPlate.gov. Half of my plate is filled with fruits and vegetables, a quarter of my plate grains, and a quarter of the plate protein. Then you can sprinkle in a little dairy with that. There is also room for some good, healthy fats and even the occasional dessert!

My rule of thumb is 80/20. 80 percent of my diet is filled with fresh, unprocessed foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and nonfat dairy; and 20 percent includes foods such as cheese, chocolate, and alcohol. On most days I try to make sure I get the 80 percent met first before even thinking about the 20 percent!

What Angie Eats for Lunch

So, what do I eat for lunch? Well, I tend to switch up the main part of my meal each week, but the rest stays pretty constant. I always have a Greek yogurt, some baby carrots, and a Clementine. Every Monday I bring to work four yogurts, four Cuties, and a bag of baby carrots. That way I don’t have to worry about it the rest of the week. Then, I make a homemade chicken salad, tuna salad, or egg salad mixed with nonfat Greek yogurt instead of mayo and put it on whole-wheat bread or whole-wheat crackers. Other weeks I choose an old standby: peanut butter and jelly on whole-wheat bread. Sometimes it is turkey sandwiches or even leftovers from dinner the night before. There are even a few days here and there that I grab a frozen meal because they are quick and convenient.lunch

If I want a sweet ending to my lunch, I typically stop by my co-worker’s office for a few of the M&Ms she keeps on her desk. This is much better than buying the whole package from the vending machine!

One day a week I go out to lunch with some friends, and it can be challenging to choose the healthiest options. However, the main thing I always try to do is to balance my plate! So, if I really want a slice of pizza one day, then I opt for a side salad instead of a breadstick to go with it. Or if it is a sandwich place, I will bring my own sides such as the Clementine and carrots to go with the sandwich instead of the chips. The key is to picture the plate and then fill in the holes!

Need Advice on Healthy Lunches? Ask the Dietitian!

Packing your lunch can sometimes be a pain, but it is definitely worth it in the end! Figure out what works for you so that you can make it part of your weekly routine. If you need assistance planning your meals, please contact me for a personal nutrition consultation at [email protected] or 317-274-3432, ext. 239.

Liten' Up starts Tuesday, September 17 – Tuesday, November 12. Register now for this upcoming class on nutrition and exercise. Find out more here.

Topics: nutrition healthy eating lunch employee health

Thomas’ Corner: Why I BOSU

BOSU Conditioning has been around for over five years at NIFS. During this time, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead nearly 1,400 classes. With class sizes ranging from 3 to 18, from 18 years to 80 years—including athletes and former athletes, and non-athletes and former non-athletes—BOSU has the ability to make every exercise harder or easier so that it complements all fitness levels and everyone can enjoy it.bosu

I have also embraced many of the BOSU philosophies that make BOSU a total body and cerebral mind challenge in my own workouts as well as with my training clients to enhance their overall fitness experience. These philosophies include balance, symmetry, and flow.

In the book The Art of War, Sun Tzu states that without struggle there is no progress. This statement can be used today with our training methods. Being within your comfort zone constantly allows the body to plateau. While it may seem challenging, being outside of your comfort zone will allow your body and mind to learn and eventually master new movement patterns. With your body constantly learning new movements, plateaus become less relevant and we see overall fitness growth.BOSU logo

BOSU is a tool that we use to create a fitness atmosphere where the body and mind are constantly challenged. You have the ability to reach new potential; give BOSU a try and  experience a new challenge today! Find a class on the group fitness schedule and attend this week for a new fitness challenge!bosu moves

This blog was written by Health and Fitness Specialist and BOSU Conditioning instructor Thomas Livengood. Meet the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: NIFS fitness center Thomas' Corner group training attitude balance