NIFS Healthy Living Blog

Inspiration for Inspiration: Where NIFS Trainers Get Fitness Ideas

trainers-2.jpgTo begin, let us visualize a scenario: the sound of weights moving; bodies exercising yet moving in unconventional patterns; and grunts and groans from fitness enthusiasts, gurus, and wannabes alike. The setting is unlike any you have experienced, because there are hundreds of people, exactly like you, motivated to not only learn about fitness and new exercises, but also driven to get better (both physically and mentally) from a personal standpoint.

If you guessed that you were at a Fitness Summit, you are correct. Every year thousands of trainers descend into various summits around the world, all looking for professional development, motivation, and enlightenment.

Where Your Trainer Finds Inspiration and Education

Fast-forward a few weeks or months. Your trainer asks you to do the impossible: a single-leg pistol squat on a BOSU ball with an overhead dumbbell press. “Whoa, did you just say what I think you said?” or “Do you trainers just sit around and dream up these crazy exercises as a way of torturing us?” you may think to yourself. The answer to that question is “Well, yes, we do.”

From a professional standpoint, learning about new exercises is very important in making sure you are getting the best, most up-to-date information available for not only safety, but also results. When you aren’t here at the gym working out with us, we like to “sit around” and discuss new exercises, variations of exercises, new equipment, what works and what doesn’t work, and programming. Then once or twice per year, we drive to another city to meet with hundreds and thousands of other trainers who all bring their individual ideas. We actually learn a lot every time we go to a summit. We bring it back to NIFS and share it with you and our coworkers.

Other Sources of Workout Ideas

Other than summits, we read fitness journals and blogs, watch web videos, and meet daily to discuss what we have found. Watching other trainers train and other members try their own exercises from a distance gives us inspiration to try something new, or at least register it into our fitness library. But be warned: just because Suzy can do one-armed handstand pushups doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea for you to do it as well. If you see something and want to try it, ask a NIFS staff member whether it is right for you. There’s a good chance it is good for you, but if not, there are possibly several alternatives.

For an updated fitness plan or to try something new altogether, see a NIFS HFS or personal trainer to discuss your needs. We will provide the direction and motivation, and you provide the SWEAT!

As always, muscleheads evolve and rejoice.

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

Topics: NIFS Thomas' Corner motivation workouts education inspiration

Wonder Woman: The Indy Women Fitness 2015

IWF2015As a fitness professional, I have had the honor and the privilege to work with some amazing women over the past decade. Strength, passion, and a focus on excellence are just a few of the characteristics that I have witnessed women displaying day in and day out, and I have gained strength and motivation from them. So when I was asked to join some of the strongest fitness minds on the planet to celebrate and inspire some of the women of our wonderful Indianapolis community, it was a no-brainer. I’m IN!

Using What You Learn

I have been attending seminars and fitness summits for some time now. I love them, because I absolutely love to learn. I have gained so much from attending different events, but mainly I have learned that you have to be a lifetime learner, no matter what you do vocationally or personally. 

Inspiration and motivation are served up in buckets at these events, and you can’t help but get amped up about the impact we as fitness pros have on people. I always return from summits refreshed, revived, and ready to rock. My Group Training warriors know when I go to these events and prepare for when I return from them. They know that we are going to take it to the next level and learn some very cool ideas. I just can’t wait to get back and share what I have learned. I believe that when you catch fire, you just can’t help but to spread it. 

A Preview of the Event

Unlike any other event in our great city, the Indy Women Fitness 2015 event is designed for women of all fitness ages (from enthusiasts to those just starting out) to come and learn, train, and be inspired on their journey to greatness. The event will be held July 18, 2015 at NIFS. One of the keynote speakers for this event, Molly Galbraith, puts it best by saying that “unleashing the inner wonder woman” inside all women will be a side-effect of attending this event. Molly is the co-founder of Girls Gone Strong and dedicates her life to the education and empowerment of women everywhere; I really look forward to meeting and working with her.

Mike Robertson, our other keynote, will be breaking down many fitness misconceptions and teaching how to transform cookie-cutter exercise programs into individual-driven programming. I have attended one of Mike’s presentations and walked out of it having gained so much in so little time. Mike’s partner in crime, Bill Hartman, will be covering “Butts & Guts”; I love that title, by the way. Bill will be speaking the truth about what strategies and principles are actually effective in building “strong abs and a shapely posterior.” These two guys are fountains of knowledge and are sure to lay it all out for you.

The NIFS Presenters

Our very own Kris Simpson dives into those daily habits that women may fall into which negatively affect posture and increase pain. Kris will cover strategies to help you shoulder the load of your daily tasks to maximize productivity in the real world and in the gym. One of the super members of NIFS, Buffy Linville, will be discussing the habit of a new normal and ways to stop sabotaging your health and fitness. Buffy is a complete story of health and fitness success and will explore what has worked for her and what will work for you.

As for me? Presenting and public speaking is something I truly enjoy! Since I have been attending different seminars and summits over the years, it has been my ultimate goal to be one of those presenters and be considered good enough to rub elbows with the best in my field. Through many opportunities leading up this July 18th event, I have been honing my skills for this awesome chance to join a team of great presenters and impact our community. It truly is a dream come true to take this first of many steps to be one of those great presenters I have revered for so long. 

I am so excited to cover what an effective, movement-based, and fun program will look like for any woman at any level of fitness. Consistent with what I love to do, we will start the session moving and not stop till that bell rings! We will cover everything from warm-up to metabolic finishers and grab a taste of everything. By no means will this session be exhaustive, but will certainly cover the crucial basics of any program.

If you are a woman searching for some direction, new to fitness or looking to take your health and performance to the next level, you won’t want to miss this event. Join me in the excitement of learning, training, and being inspired to be a better you! Early bird pricing runs through June 18, 2015 and you will receive $100 off the registration cost.

Get Registered

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

Topics: NIFS fitness NIFS programs education Indianapolis women

5 Tips for Healthy Living in College

184813283Nothing can replace my four years at Butler University. I made sure to enjoy myself and my friends, try new things, and study hard, so I know what a juggling act college can be. With so many organizations to be part of, parties to attend, events to host, and exams to ace, there are a lot of things on your college plate and it’s easy to put your health and wellness on the back burner.

Instead of just eating a couple of pieces of boring lettuce from the salad bar during meal time and missing out on a social life, I used a few simple tricks to keep the freshman 15 weight gain from creeping up on me.

1. Focus on making the best choice in each moment, not on being perfect.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when thinking about living a healthy life, but being healthy isn’t about exercising all the time and eating only nutritious foods. Being healthy is about being balanced and being happy with your life. There will be times when all of your friends want to go out for ice cream, skip a workout, or do something that may not be in your “healthy-living plan,” and that’s okay. One of the biggest lessons I learned in college was to go with the flow, make the healthiest choice for my body and mind in that moment, and enjoy every second of every day.

2. Stock the mini fridge.

Having a mini fridge was one of the smartest things I could have done during my college career. I made sure to stock it with fresh vegetables and hummus for snacking, fruit for breakfast, and almond milk to put in my coffee. Some easy dorm-room snack essentials to have on hand (even without the mini fridge):

  • Chopped carrots, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower (I would chop this up at my parents’ house and bring it to the dorm with me!)123097912
  • Hummus
  • Nuts and seeds (cashews, almonds, and sunflower seeds are my favorite!)
  • Dried fruit
  • Natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • Portioned-out baggies of oats

3. Get involved in your campus fitness center with programs like First Year Fit.

The fitness center was where I spent my “me” time while I was in college. I loved experimenting with new classes, meeting people, and getting high on endorphins! Many campus fitness centers (NIFS included!) are hosting incentive programs to encourage new students to become gym members, try new classes, and get fitness into their weekly routine. The staff wants to help you get into your healthy living groove, so don’t hesitate to ask questions—that’s what they are there for.

4. Take the fruit.

Most campus dining halls have a bin of fresh produce that usually includes apples, bananas, and oranges. While I was in college, the dining hall staff really didn’t encourage removing foods from the dining hall, but grabbing a piece of fruit to go was okay. I always made sure to take one or two pieces to have on hand, in my bag, and ready to go as soon as hunger struck so that I had a healthy option to keep me focused and fueled through the afternoon. My tip is this: Always take a piece of fruit, even if you aren’t hungry at that moment and don’t want to eat it right then. Fruit can keep for up to two weeks without being refrigerated, and having that fruit nearby will give you an instant (and free!) snack to tide you over until mealtime.

5. Inspiration on YouTube

It’s not always easy to get to the gym, and when there is time to get there sometimes it’s hard to decide what equipment to use and what workout you want to do. This is where YouTube comes into play. I love following fitness professionals, healthy living bloggers, and my fitness center on YouTube for easy-to-follow workouts and motivation. Some of my favorites are NIFSindy, Jennifer DeCurtins of Peanut Butter Runner, and Livestrong.

NIFS 1st Year Fit program was designed to help keep students on a healthy track as you start a new chapter in your college career. This is a completely free program for IUPUI students who are NIFS members.

Get started today!

This blog was written by Tara Deal Rochford, contributing writer, group fitness instructor, and author of healthy living blog Treble in the Kitchen. Meet our other NIFS bloggers.

Topics: exercise nutrition healthy habits fitness center healthy eating weight management education

Healthy Kids: Exercise May Help Improve Grades in School


Remember bringing your report card home, nervously wondering how your parents were going to punish you for the slacking grades? Parents, remember opening that report card and trying to figure out how to help your child realize the importance of doing well in school and punishing them for their low grade? One idea I never heard from my parents was, “Hey let’s give exercise a try and see if it helps to improve their grades!” But it might be just the thing that helps.

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The Evidence Is In: Active Kids Are Better Learners

For years, parents have been struggling to find ways to get their children focused and driven to work hard in the classroom. Being a former coach, I have seen many kids who were motivated to work hard in their sport; but when it came to their studies the motivation seemed to be lacking. Practice would be filled with endless complaints about teachers, too much homework, or the test they had the next day. But there is a lot of research coming out saying that with just 20 minutes a day of physical activity, your child can improve their grades in school.

In a recent study, after just 20 minutes of walking around the playground, kids tested higher on a reading test than the other students who just sat inside and watched TV. Due to the development of brain cells in aerobic exercise, improvements are made in attention, concentration, focus, problem solving, behavior, and memory. So why not help kids do better in school by simply spending just 20 minutes with them doing some sort of physical activity?

Ways to Get Kids Moving

Here are some quick ideas that I came up with to challenge your kids to get out of their pajamas and into action:

Yard games: Have your kids play tag with the other neighborhood children, or maybe a quick round of catch with the football or baseball. If someone has a trampoline, spending 20 minutes jumping on that could be both fun and beneficial. You could also challenge them to a jump-rope contest or send them out to climb around on the swing set.

  • Sports games: Go out and shoot some hoops or challenge them to a little one-on-one. You could grab a soccer ball and kick it around the yard, or maybe go for a light jog together. And who doesn’t like a bike ride around the neighborhood?
  • Inside activities: Try setting up an obstacle course in the basement that makes them climb, run, jump, crawl, etc. If you have a Wii, the Wii Sports program is both fun and challenging, or you can also exercise through dance.
  • Other ideas: Some other things that I thought of would be to walk the dog around the block, rollerblade to school, create a fun circuit that they could go through, take your kids to swim at the local pool, and even try letting them invite a friend along!

Next time you're at NIFS, bring the kids along to take advantage of some of our active family services. With a short, fun workout, you may see your kids’ grades improve! Be creative and find ways that allow you both to get your bodies moving and get your heart rate up. Give it a try with your kids and see how they do!

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

 

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Topics: staying active education productivity kids

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