NIFS Healthy Living Blog

5 Tips to Stay Hydrated While You Exercise This Summer

It is finally summertime! You are looking out of the window from your office and can hardly wait to get outside for your workout after work or on your lunch break. Unfortunately, summer comes along with hot and humid conditions that can have a terrible effect on your body if you have not properly hydrated.476485117

It is important to consider the effects that the sun and warmer temperatures can have on your body and your performance, and to be sure to get appropriate hydration. The heat index chart, which shows where the combination of heat and humidity becomes dangerous, is a great resource in determining whether it is a good idea to go outside to exercise.

Here are five helpful tips to keep you hydrated and healthy as you exercise outdoors this summer.

  1. Avoid exercising outdoors during the hottest hours of the day (generally between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.). This will make for a more comfortable training session and decrease your likelihood of becoming dehydrated.
  2. Carry water with you during your workout. Not only should you drink water in the few hours leading up to your workout, but you need to be drinking water during the workout as well. It is recommended to drink a cup of fluid every 15 minutes during your exercise session.
  3. Replace the fluid that you have lost. A good rule of thumb is to drink two cups of fluid for every pound that you lost due to water loss during the activity. If you have weight-loss goals, don’t be fooled into thinking that the weight you lost during the workout is a good thing. It is just water weight.
  4. Recognize if you are dehydrated. There are many symptoms that determine if you are becoming 153736610dehydrated, including feeling thirsty, tired, or dizzy; having a headache; and having dark-colored urine, to name a few. If you start to experience these side effects, you must rehydrate yourself before the situation becomes a medical emergency. Do not try to continue exercise if you feel you are becoming dehydrated!
  5. Be aware of hyponatremia! This occurs when you are consuming more fluid than you need during an activity, resulting in a low level of sodium in the bloodstream. Consuming a sports beverage rather than water during endurance activities can be beneficial to you if you experience this.

If you are looking for a half or full marathon training program for this fall, consider joining the NIFS Fall Marathon Training Program. It is geared toward preparing individuals to complete in the Monumental Marathon on November 7, 2015 in Indianapolis.

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This blog was written by Stephanie Kaiser, Health Fitness Specialist. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers click here.

Topics: exercise summer hydration endurance outdoors safety

5 Core Exercises to Make You a Better Runner

Runners are generally good at doing the same thing over and over again, day in and day out: RUNNING! Oftentimes they will neglect doing some of the components of what runners refer to as “the little things” that pay huge dividends in overall performance and how you feel while running. The little things include sleeping enough, eating right, staying hydrated, maintaining flexibility, and core strength, and the list goes on. When there is limited time in the day to get in a quality run, the thought of cutting a run one or two miles short to do core and flexibility work is often quickly neglected.

Core strength and endurance is a critical component that should not be neglected by anyone, especially runners. Since running is a repetitive movement, the muscles in the body can become imbalanced when cross training, strength training, and core conditioning are not included in the training plan, which can lead to injury.

Here are 5 simple exercises that you can incorporate into your daily training plan with no additional equipment. All you need is 5 minutes!

  • Planks: plank-2Lay flat on your stomach and tuck your toes underneath. Raise yourself up onto your elbows and toes. Hold this position, maintaining a straight line between the top of your head and your tailbone. Do not let your hips sag down too low or press up too high.

 

  • Bird Dogs: Start in a tabletop position with your wrists beneath your shoulders, knees below the hips, and a flat back. At the same time, extend one arm out in front of you as you extend the opposite side leg behind you. Bring the elbow and knee together in the middle to complete the movement. Complete sets on both sides of the body.

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Bridges: Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bring your heels as close to your hips as you can without pain. Press your hips up as high as you can while keeping your feet in contact with the ground. Hold for a 2-count and return to the start position.

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  • Hip Hikes: Standing tall in a neutral position with one foot flat on the ground on an elevated surface, drop the opposite side of the body below your pelvis on the side of your grounded foot. Activate the grounded leg’s glute to return back to the start position. Complete sets on both sides of the body.

Foot-dips

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Try these 5 exercises before you go out for your next run. Start out completing just one set of each exercise. Hold the plank with good form as long as you can and build up to 1 minute. For the rest of the exercises, gradually build up to 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions. Once you get the hang of this, it will not take you any longer than five minutes to complete. This method will give you a great start to adding core exercises to your running routine.

Here's another core workout you can try.

If you are looking for a marathon training program consider joining the NIFS Fall Half and Full Marathon Training Program. It is geared toward preparing individuals to complete the Monumental Marathon. Training starts July 22nd!

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This blog was written by Stephanie Kaiser, Health Fitness Specialist. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers click here.

Topics: running injury prevention training flexibility strength core exercises

NIFS Staff in Action: 2014 Summer Showdown Challenge Sneak Peek!

SS2We know what crosses through many of your minds in the middle of the workouts that we provide to you through HIT classes, Group Training, and special programs at NIFS: “I bet he/she doesn’t even do this stuff he/she is putting me through!” With that in mind, it would not be fair of us to expect you to complete our Summer Showdown Fitness Challenge without us testing it out first!

For the Summer Showdown this year, we are sticking with basic fundamental movements that almost everyone can complete with no trouble. The challenge comes into play when we ask that you select a level and complete as many rounds as you can in a given period of time.

Beginner: 10 minutes
Intermediate: 15 minutes
Advanced: 20 minutes

Here is what we have in store for you this year:SS4

Complete as Many Rounds as Possible

50m Suitcase Carry

10 KB Goblet Squats

10 KB Swings

10 TRX Rows

10 TRX Chest Presses

10 Slider Mountain Climbers

As a staff, we had a great time completing the workout! Now you can rest assured that we can relate to what you are going through. If you have never participated in the Summer Showdown, don’t be intimidated. This is your year to pick your level and complete the challenge to give you that extra push this summer!

If you are looking for a a great summer challenge participate in Summer Showdown from June 23-July 25! Sign-up  6/9-6/20 on the bulletin board located in the fitness center hallway.

This blog was written by Stephanie Kaiser, Fitness Center Manager and Health Fitness Specialist. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers click here.

Topics: group training nifs staff NIFS programs Summer Showdown summer HIT

What It’s Like to Be an Intern at NIFS

AU_XC_picFour years ago when I began applying for schools, if someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have laughed and said, “I have NO CLUE!” I was not sure where I wanted to go, who I wanted to be, or what type of job I could see myself in. All I knew was I wanted to be close to home. Growing up I was very family oriented, so I knew whatever college I chose needed to be close enough to come home on the weekends for family dinner.

I found the perfect one, Aurora University—small campus, small class size, with the added bonus of being only 30 minutes from home! Here I found my niche in the Fitness and Health Promotion major, understanding various levels of exercise prescription for diverse populations, and having the expertise to plan and implement prescribed exercise programs.

First_day_of_senior_yearWhen my senior year rolled around, I had one last program to complete before I could hold my diploma: a 16-week internship! Completely overwhelmed at the thought, seeing that the internships I did previously were barely a month long, I spent countless hours searching for a good fit. And after 3½ years of living at home as a college student, I was finally ready to be out on my own. I wanted to challenge myself and find something completely out of my element.

When I came across NIFS, competitive was a complete understatement. I knew I would really need to step up to get accepted as an intern. But all the long hours of resume and cover letter work really paid off. Coming to NIFS was the best decision I could have made at this point in my career. Sure, it was hard for me to pack up all my belongings and live in a city by myself, but the reward was well worth it.carmel_finish_with_family

Wanting to find out where else my major could take me besides the personal training/coaching realm, and having a love for healthy lifestyles, I worked in the Education Services department with Angie Scheetz, RD. I did not just feel like another intern, but an employee who had my own responsibilities and tasks to contribute to the department. I worked on anything from wellness presentations and nutrition consultations to Mini Marathon training. Working with Angie I learned more than I had ever expected and was able to see how maintaining a healthy lifestyle goes hand in hand with exercising.

NIFS was different from any other internship that I have ever experienced, because there was the option to investigate the various other departments. Through shadowing and volunteering, I was able to experience just how diverse each was. Seeing what each job entailed helped to point me in the direction I wanted to go and left me with a better idea for a future career.

Although I still have a long road ahead of me in the fitness and health world, working at NIFS as an intern was a great experience that truly applied my education. I could not have asked for a better end to my senior year.

This blog was written by Alyssa Furman, NIFS intern. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers click here.

 

Topics: NIFS nutrition mini marathon nifs staff education interns

Incorporating the Erg Rowing Machine into Your Exercise Routine

Thomas_Rowing_Blog_3Tired of running, stair climbing, and cycling? If you are looking for a cardio workout that promises plenty of calorie burning, upper- and lower-body conditioning, all while being low impact, look no further than getting in some indoor rowing exercise.

This exercise is not necessarily new (its origins date back nearly 2,000 years to ancient Greece) and not exclusive to outdoor rowing enthusiasts. For the average individual, rowing provides an excellent warm-up source, while the seasoned CrossFitter may use the rower as a cardio component in an elaborate superset. Regardless of your fitness level, the erg rowing machine is designed to give a low-impact, smooth exercise movement that provides training for outdoor rowers as well as an uncomplicated total-body exercise for the average Joe or Jane.

Steps for Learning Indoor Rowing

Indoor rowing technique can easily be taught in four convenient steps:

  1. The Catch: The starting point; legs are bent at the knees, arms are straight, and the back is flat.
  2. The Drive: The legs are extending and the handle is pulled toward the chest.
  3. The Finish: Legs are extended and the handle is at the chest.
  4. The Recovery: The sliding motion in which the body moves back to “the catch” position and performs another rep.

Like most exercise patterns, rowing requires practice and sometimes coaching to fully and safely get the most out of the movement.

For more detail, check out these instructional videos from the manufacturer of our rowing machines, Concept2.

NIFS staff is here to help and encourage you all the way! Please contact a NIFS Health Fitness Specialist with help on improving your rowing technique or incorporating the rowing machine into your current exercise program.

To get started or develope a new workout routine, contact us for a free fitness assessment!

Free Fitness Assessment

Evolve and rejoice,

This blog was written by Thomas Livengood, Health Fitness Specialist at NIFS. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers click here.

Topics: exercise cardio calories rowing