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NIFS Healthy Living Blog

10 Winter Fitness and Wellness Tips

ThinkstockPhotos-619079130-1.jpgAs much as no one wants to admit it, the winter months are in front of us. Even though I grew up in a northern snow belt along the Great Lakes, cold weather is not my thing. In fact, I really don’t like anything about it. And often along with the winter blues comes a decrease in health and fitness due to the lack of motivation. To counteract that feeling, let’s look at ten tips that can help you be healthier this winter.

  1. Work out. I know it’s easy to lose motivation to keep working out when it’s cold out, it’s dark by 5, and you have to put on your snow boots and warm up the car before going to the gym. But working out actually helps to build your immune system and keep you healthy. So make sure that you build those workouts into your schedule.
  2. Eat well. It’s important to make sure that you stick to clean eating, especially through the holidays. All the additional sweets, snacks, drinks, and other goodies that come with the holidays are sometimes hard to resist; do your best to stay focused on your goals.
  3. Drink lots of water. Being sure that you have proper hydration is always important regardless of the time of year. Carry around a water bottle everywhere you go and make sure you keep drinking.
  4. Cover your head in outdoor workouts. If you do decide to work out outdoors, be sure to wear a hat or something to cover your ears. Making sure you stay warm and don’t catch a cold will be vital to your winter wellness success. (Here are some more tips for dressing warmly for winter workouts.)
  5. Get some sun if possible. Studies show that getting your vitamin D is essential. If you can dress appropriately, try to get outside on a nice day or plan that beach vacation during the cold winter months.


    Training for the Mini Marathon & 5K starts January 25th at NIFS!
    Sign up today and cross the finish line with us in May!

    Mini-logo-2017-new.jpg

  6. Wash your hands. I know this is the standard thing you see in every public bathroom or on the back of the stall doors. But for real, wash your hands to help prevent you from getting the flu or other illnesses going around. Catching something could really set you back in getting in your workouts and healthy eating.
  7. Set a goal for the spring. Have a goal in place as the winter months start so that you can keep it on the forefront as something to work toward.
  8. Get a trainer or workout buddy. There is no better time to treat yourself to some additional accountability. Hire a trainer for the winter months or find that accountability partner to keep you in check!
  9. Watch your intake. You must be mindful, especially around the holidays, of what you are taking into your body. Also, keep in mind that drinks add a lot of unwanted calories, so watch what enters the black hole!
  10. Join something. The options are endless…group exercise, HIT classes, group training, a training program of some sort, co-ed sports…the list can go on. Find something you like and sign up to keep you engaged.

Whatever emotions the winter months may bring you, use these tips to be successful with your winter fitness and wellness!

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

Topics: NIFS winter fitness nutrition fitness center goal setting equipment group training accountability NIFS programs hydration HIT outdoors personal training wellness vitamin D

5 Ways to Keep Up with Workouts When College Stress Hits

ThinkstockPhotos-135551982.jpgWhen it comes to settling back into school, adjusting to the crazy schedule can become one of the biggest tasks. From classes each day, to group project meetings, to homework due dates and the dreaded semester exams, how are we supposed to find the time to keep ourselves healthy and fit?

In the summer you may have had no classes or potentially just one, leaving you with a hefty amount of extra free time to spend how you like. Getting back into those fitness goals that you wanted to accomplish wasn’t such a hard task. However, when school stress sets in, students find that that time gets cut short and they tend to give up on focusing on their own health.

Tips for Fitness in College

Here are a few tips to help you stay focused and driven to keep exercise in your daily schedule, without falling off the wagon, all while being successful in school:

Drink water throughout the day. We all know about the strategically placed dorm and community food/drink venues that are available at our fingertips when we are moving from class to class on campus. However, a lot of them tend to be full of extra sugar and unnatural ingredients. Simply remember to pack a bottle of water. There are many places across campus to refill it, and I would even challenge you to see how many times you can do that in one day! Drinking enough water will keep you hydrated and healthier. It will also assist in brain function to keep you focused during those long lectures and tedious late-night homework assignments you need to finish.

Keep a daily agenda. Whether it be just a few reminders on your phone or a hand-held planner, having something that tells you what you are doing throughout the day can only help keep you more organized. It can also help to keep you more accountable. If you have your workout scheduled and written down as a reminder, you are more prone to complete it. Find what works for you: a set time each day like after your last class, meeting a friend at the gym to work out together, or an alarm on your phone can be the secret to success.

Plan out your workouts. Knowing what you are going to be doing for your workouts is essential when it comes to saving time and being efficient in the gym. Take some time at the end of the week to plan out what you will be doing for the week to come. This not only saves you from walking around the gym wondering which exercise to do next, but it keeps you on task with something that you can build from and see more results. If you need help planning your workouts or some extra guidance, NIFS has qualified trainers who can sit down with you and help you plan out specific goals and personal training. They can also assess your movement through personal fitness testing and a functional movement screen, and then create a personal workout program that works for you. Click here to learn more about setting up your free fitness sessions with a NIFS trainer!

Incorporate HIIT into your busy days. High-Intensity Training (HIT) is a GREAT tool to use for those jam-packed school days where you don’t have much time. Days like that can elevate your stress level, which can have an effect on your blood pressure and fat retention. Workouts in the form of HIT training are shorter, with bouts of high heart rate and little rest in-between. They get the job done in less time, and are a great pick-me-up to burn calories and relieve some stress during your busy day. Click here to check out our HIT schedule and to try a class for free!

Find an accountability partner. If you feel like you are one who tends to start on something and not always complete it, an accountability partner is an awesome thing to have to keep you on track. An accountability partner can be anyone in your life who can commit to help keep you responsible for staying on track with your goals. For example, your best friend, roommate, classmate, family member, and even a coworker are all great options! This needs to be a person you converse with or see on a regular basis, so they can make sure to ask you regularly whether you trained that day or stayed on whatever new eating plan you may have started. This person can even have similar goals as you and work out with you, so you both can cheer each other on. This strategy will help increase adherence and get you closer to success with your goals.

Stay Focused on Fitness

So, while there are plenty of things that can distract you from staying on track, you can use these simple tips to keep focused! If you simply adopt a few new habits like the ones above, you will be more likely to keep on top of your fitness goals.

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This blog was written by Rebecca Newbrough, Lifestyle Program Coordinator and Health Fitness Instructor. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: fitness stress workouts accountability HIT personal training college high intensity functional movement school

Crucial Conversations: I Have 99 Problems, But My (NIFS) Gym Isn’t One

karen8.29.16.jpgFor the next installment of Crucial Conversations, a series where I have a chat with some very inspirational individuals and share it with all of you, I speak with a woman who needs no elaborate introduction. That’s because not only is she pretty well known around these parts, but also because she wouldn’t have it.

She is about the business of being fit and staying fit, no frills or fancy Instagram posts, just the business, and business is good. I am referring to longtime NIFS member Karen. I had the opportunity to ask Karen a few questions about being an “ageless warrior,” what keeps her motivated, and why she continues to make NIFS her fitness home. Join me as we uncover some of the things that make this amazing individual tick!

Tony: Tell me a little about yourself.

Karen: I was born in Indianapolis in 1958 and attended Arlington High School. During my time at Arlington I ran track and field and played volleyball. I got married in 1983, and my son was born in 1984.

Tony: Besides being a high school athlete, have you always been generally healthy, fit, and active?

Karen: I used to do workout videos, when they were popular, with my young son. At the young age of 25 I was diagnosed with high blood pressure [hypertension] after the birth of my son. This was hard for me to process due to my healthy lifestyle and healthy nature. It was something that I would have to deal with for the rest of my life. I began to feel restless and my life was becoming too mundane. I hated only being able to go to work and go home every day. At this point in my life I began to become depressed. I felt that I was not accomplishing anything in my life.

Tony: How did you make the change to pull yourself out of the rut you were in?

Karen: My son was in school and doing after-school activities, and my husband was heavily involved in church, and as a firefighter he was gone from home at least two days a week. I wanted to have something of my own; I wanted a place to go to meet and talk to people, a place where I could better myself every time I was there. I felt that the only place it could be was the gym. During this time I had fallen even deeper into depression, but by April of 1994 that would all change. My husband began working out at NIFS, and I would ask him where he was going to work out and he stated NIFS. He eventually purchased a membership for me, and it was the greatest gift he ever gave me. I joined NIFS and I have been a member for 22 years.

Tony: So how did you get started?

Karen: I began to look into going to group fitness classes. Every time I became stronger and the classes became easier for me, so I would begin going to more advanced classes. I started with step, spinning, and boxing, but my true transformation began when I began taking HIT class and group training. I was in the first Slim It to Win It competition, and to compete with other members was very exciting. Each time I would look for the next challenge to accomplish. I felt my body getting stronger and my endurance was increasing; I was feeling better about myself and my life, and I was looking forward to each limit I could cross.

Tony: What has created the most change for you?

Karen: I would have to say that my change came with the challenges I faced to make myself better in the gym. I began noticing these changes when I was able to go farther and longer than I could before. I felt this process could never end; if I worked at it, I would be able to surpass all of my limits, and with each and every class I knew there would be a new challenge for me to defeat. I’ve been able to make new friends, and for me exercising is a way of life. I am the result of hard work, I am in great shape for someone who is 57 years old, and I feel that my medical issues are very minor due to the effort and time that I have put in at NIFS. It has also allowed me to deal with stress, and it gives me a generally positive outlook on life. I would like to thank all of the trainers who have helped me along the way with my transformation, especially Tony Maloney.

***

I had the pleasure of meeting this amazing lady the first day I arrived here at NIFS eight years ago, and have had the continued honor to work with her in so many different capacities. From BOSU class, HIT, Slim It to Win It, and group training, Karen has seen and done it all, and has not just done it but done it well! She took on a nickname I gave her a few years back: “Grumpy”; but those who know her know that she is far from it. But she is focused, and when there is work to be done, she is all business.

Yes! I want to try a HIT class!

This blog was written by Tony Maloney, ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist and Fitness Center Manager. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: NIFS exercise depression fitness center motivation member group training HIT Slim It to Win It Crucial Conversations student athletes hypertension making changes

High Intensity Training (HIT): No Pain, No Gain

HIT-6.jpgIf you have ever participated in High Intensity Training (HIT), you will quickly discover what separates this style of workout from other popular styles you may know, like super sets or pyramid training. The main intention behind high intensity training workouts is that the workout will challenge your body to such a level of discomfort that its threshold or maximum capacity has no choice but to rise. Now don’t let the word “such a level of discomfort” scare you away; it’s the discomfort level that we all feel during exercise at some point, and of course you can push past it.

The Importance of Pushing Past the Pain

During resistance training, you will at some point begin to experience a level of discomfort. This happens because lactic acid begins to be produced by muscles during intense exercise bouts, which causes muscle fatigue. Although lactic acid may slow down muscle productivity and intensity, it does not mean you have reached muscle failure and are unable to continue. Quite honestly, this means your set is just now starting (if you want to bring down barriers and advance to the next level). Most individuals get to this point of discomfort and stop their set. However, if you stop here, you are more than likely not pushing your body past its threshold point, which is important in order to increase muscle strength, endurance, and even hypertrophy (muscle building).

Specifically, in high intensity style training, most often you will reach that lactate threshold and then be pushed beyond that. Just when you think that your body can go on no longer, you dig deep within yourself and the encouragement of your teammates and find that new level. And this is why we see so many success stories in people who attend HIT workouts. They push beyond what their bodies thought they could do, past the threshold, resulting in an increase in muscle strength and endurance.

hit-high-res-logo-web-new.jpgHow NIFS Can Help

If you need help discovering what those new levels are, and some accountability to keep pushing, then I invite you to try NIFS’s High Intensity Training. Our classes are designed to motivate you to push past the limits you think are there by utilizing short bouts of high intensity work, which will increase your body’s thresholds, causing an increase of metabolism. We use our training expertise to provide the necessary motivation to close the gap between you and your body’s threshold. Once you reach this threshold, we will teach you how to tap into that next level to take your workouts to the next step on the ladder of success!

We invite you to come experience a good workout, a good team feeling, and a good environment where each participant has the same goal: to get better! Get your first session for FREE by contacting Amanda Bireline at [email protected].

Yes! I want to try a HIT class!

This blog was written by Darius Felix, Health Fitness Instructor. Click here for more information about the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: NIFS group training accountability muscles resistance strength HIT pain high intensity muscle building

MetCon Manipulation: Change Up Your High-Intensity Training (HIIT)

HIITHigh-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has “swiffered” the nation in the past decade or so and remains one of the top hot topics of the fitness world. We also use terms such as Metabolic Condition (MetCon), Metabolic Resistance Training (MRT), and Energy System Training to categorize this high-octane method of training. You may know MetCon best by the crazy stuff you do that makes you feel absolutely exhausted, but invincible.

WARNING: It should never be the goal of any MetCon training session to end up in a sweaty pile of your former self. You should be upright and feeling invigorated and not annihilated.

The health and fitness benefits of this style of training are numerous! Benefits are mainly fat loss, an increase in energy demand (calorie burn) during and even after the training session, and even an increase in your aerobic capacity, just to name a few. But just like any other style of training (strength, power, endurance), it can be easy to fall into a rut in the methods and exercise selection of your MetCon training session. Here are a few simple and fun ways to change up and spice up your metabolic conditioning training session.

REMEMBER: Training can be simply defined as providing a stimulus that forces the body to adapt resulting in change (for example, increased calorie and oxygen use). So to alter a training session, think of manipulating the stimulus.

Change the Equipment

It’s comforting to stick to pieces of equipment we know best and have used many times for our training purposes. But you are doing yourself a disservice by not adding in new pieces that usually come with new adaptions. Battling ropes, rowing ergs, kettle bells, medicine balls, and my personal favorite the Airdyne bike are all great tools that can be used to manipulate the stimulus. These are also the things that make this style of training so much fun. The body will be forced to adapt, triggering the affects you are looking for.

Change the Intensity

The intensity of your training session of course plays a huge role in achieving the desired outcomes. Many metabolic conditioning sessions are based on time as a measurement of intensity and duration. For example, I am sure you are familiar with the Tabatta protocol of 20 seconds of max work followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds. Many time combinations are used (depending on your fitness level and program progressions), such as :30/:30, :40/:20, and :45/:15. 

Using time is great, but it could get monotonous, leading to decreased effort and lack of enjoyment. A great alternative is using calorie goals to set your interval as with a rowing erg, or the Airdyne bike (there it is again!). Racing to a predetermined distance is a great way to spice things up as well. Lastly, using repetitions and repetition ladders (10, 9, 8, 7,…1) allows you to simply count your way to completion and can be used with minimal equipment such as one kettlebell or a resistance band. 

Change the Environment

One of the easiest ways to get more out of your metabolic conditioning session is to simply change up your environment. Going outside is a great start when manipulating this training variable. Grab your equipment, get after it, and get some vitamin D all at the same time. On your way outside, invite some of your friends and training buddies to join you. Make the workout more of a competitive challenge to help redefine what you once thought of as limits. Research has proven that you work harder and enjoy training while in a group setting. Use the power of a strong group to get more out your training session.

Two Example MetCon Workouts

TRY THESE: Here are 2 sample MetCon training sessions using some of the preceding tips.

#1: Airdyne Calorie Sprints: 10 minutes

Race to 10 calories resting for 5 calories and try to complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes.

#2: Kettle Bells in the Park

Get outside, get a group, and complete the following as quickly as you can.

Working from 10 Kettle Bell Swings, 10 Goblet Squats, 10 Push-ups down to 1, but the swings will always be 10.

Example: 

  • R1: 10/10/10
  • R2: 10/9/9
  • R3 10/8/8 … 
  • Down to 10 Swings, 1 Goblet Squat, 1 Push-up
    Yes! I want to try a HIT class!

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: cardio workouts group training calories metabolism HIT kettlebell high intensity

To the Extreme: Gearing Up for High-Intensity Training

High-intensityI have witnessed and been a part of a growing trend in fitness these days: “If it’s not hurting, it’s not working,” and the end of a workout consists of you lying in a pool of sweat unable to move for a few minutes. What I see are mainly poorly coached high-intensity movement jamborees with little concern for proper progressions, obsessions to complete extreme events such as marathons and mud runs, and a great deal of overtraining.

Some mistakes I have made in my own training and the training of others were based on this “it’s not effective if you don’t feel like dying at the end of it” mentality. Having completed two Tough Mudders and a Train Like a Navy Seal program myself, I understand the draw and the fascination with this type of training and events. The mistake is the notion that these are the “standard” by which we measure ourselves when it comes to our physical fitness and capabilities and what our workouts should ultimately look like. I am here to tell you that they are not.

Now, I am not advocating that you should forget about completing that first marathon pr obstacle run, or aspiring to participate in high-intensity training to challenge yourself physically. These are all fine and good, and high-intensity training can be very effective in many aspects of our fitness. What I am advocating is that you be smart about it and take the proper approach and not get caught up with the mainstream idea that this is the standard of health and fitness.

Here are some key steps to ensure that you get the best results from your training, safely. At the end of the day, it should be about getting your desired results and being able to live your daily life.

1. Get Evaluated

Receiving a proper evaluation from a qualified professional before starting any program is paramount. A good evaluation should assess your mobility, stability, relative strength, and cardiac capacity. At NIFS, we use the Functional Movement Screening to help evaluate these aspects and pinpoint any problems you may have first and foremost in your mobility. Without proper mobility, adding load will soon lead to an injury. Knowing your ability to stabilize those mobile joints will provide a focus for the next link in the chain. Having a good grasp on how strong you are with your own body is vital to future strength programming.

Lastly, how healthy are your heart and lungs? A solid evaluation will ensure you do not bite off more than you can chew when beginning your program. Sadly, most people skip this step and their first evaluation is with their doctor diagnosing an injury that occurred during training. Get the movement and fitness evaluation now!

2. Build a Foundation

After gathering that crucial information in the evaluation step, it is now time to build a strong foundation. I am sure you all have heard the story of the Three Little Pigs, so I won’t bore you by reciting it. But the important message there is without a stable and strong foundation, any gust of wind will knock you over, so to speak. Attempting high-intensity, power-based movements on a weak foundation will certainly cause the house to crumble. Adding a positive to a negative will not produce positive results (another Gray Cook truism); it will only continue to train the dysfunctional movement pattern and weaken the foundation. After you find those limitations, take the time to fix them and beef up your foundation on which to build.

3. Master Your Body

A rather frustrating trend I see a great deal is attempting advanced exercises (whether it is barbells, kettlebells, or dumbbells, to name a few) before mastering basic body-weight movements. You learned to crawl before you learned to walk, right? So why would you do heavy bench press if you cannot complete a proper push-up? I think it is drilled into our heads that the best way to look cool on YouTube or Facebook is to load the barbell up with some bumper plates (because they look bigger) and bang out a few crappy reps of a barbell squat. Utilize the best equipment that you have at your disposal, all the time, YOUR BODY! Mastering basic body-weight movements such as the push-up, squat, pull-up, and lunge will set you up properly to attempt more advanced exercises while decreasing your chance for injury. By the way, some of the most effective work I do with people does not involve any additional tools, just the most important one, themselves.

4. Follow a Progressive Program

After completing the above steps, you will know the best place to start and where eventually you would like to finish. Following a fitness program that gradually increases technical needs and intensity will allow you grow the strength and skill to take on more advanced and intense workouts and events. This program really needs to be developed specifically for you, and following a program of someone else will not elicit the same results. To get stronger, you have to start where you are capable of completing the exercise with proper technique and then gradually and systematically increase the load. That’s how it works, that’s it. You will not jump onto a bench press and bang out a world-record lift without the proper progressions. Same thing goes for all aspects of fitness.

So if that is the case (and trust me, it is), why do we think it is okay to hop right into a high-intensity workout or event that we have not yet prepared for by following proper progressions? Even worse, we wonder why we get hurt or don’t see the results we were promised by the very motivated and sweaty individual on TV. You can’t be the best at something right now. It takes methodical and progressive steps, and failure, to get there. A very important part of your progressive program is recovery. Overtraining is a huge problem these days, and I think it is simply due to the lack of knowledge that recovery equals training. The benefits of your work happen during recovery, and not necessarily during training. Keep your eyes open for an upcoming post centered around this important and sometimes neglected concept of recovery in fitness and training.

I’ll be the first to admit my mistakes and that I was “that guy” in the past. “Show up and throw up” was the motto, and anything less than that was a failure. Due to that mentality, I am not ashamed to say that I am still dealing with injuries today from that time in my training journey, and it has definitely affected my training and daily life. John Maxwell once said that “a man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them,” and I believe I have.

Don’t do what many people do: do the above steps in reverse order. If you have, be big enough to admit the mistake and correct it. Be smart about your training, and don’t get caught up in the hype of what some camps believe fitness and physical activity should look like. Gray Cook put it best when he said, “More is not better; better is better.” Be better!

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

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Topics: injury prevention weightlifting overtraining HIT

NIFS HIT Program Participant: Carla Breinlich

CarlaHigh-intensity interval training is one of the hottest trends in the fitness industry. Here at NIFS we offer HIT classes to accommodate this method of training. These workouts provide a total-body workout with an emphasis on metabolic training. They are fast-paced and led by a certified fitness instructor. Read why Carla continues to come to HIT classes year after year.

SHARE YOUR “STORY” OR A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF IN A FEW SENTENCES:

I joined NIFS about five years ago and love the journey to being strong and healthy that has become my way of life. The trainers and instructors have given me the tools to continue to grow and meet my goals.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO START HIT?

I joined HIT for the challenge and was really scared that I would fail or be the only person who was not in perfect shape. But I found great encouragement from the HIT leaders and LOVE it!

SOMETHING YOU HAVE ENJOYED:

I enjoy trying a new movement or exercise and love working with a group. And I love that no one even considers my age as a deterrent.

SOMETHING YOU HAVE LEARNED OR SOMETHING THAT SURPRISED YOU:hit-high-res-logo-web-new

I am stronger and more capable of meeting my fitness goals than I ever knew! With training, we can accomplish almost anything!

FAVORITE WORKOUT or EXERCISE FROM ONE OF THE TRAINING SESSIONS?

I like the functional movement exercises included in the workout and really enjoy the variety the class offers. I can’t imagine doing the same exercise every day.

WHAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS HAVE YOU ACHIEVED DURING YOUR TRAINING?

I love that I have gained strength and core stability.

TIPS YOU HAVE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY FROM YOUR TRAINER?

Never say never….I can do it! The encouragement from the HIT instructors helps to make me stronger.

HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED?

I love feeling strong and that gets me out of bed to hit the gym in the morning.

ANY OTHER THOUGHTS YOU WISH TO SHARE: 

The unexpected gift I received from HIT and working out is that I am much more of a risk taker in my personal life as well. Training does translate to other areas of your life, and when you succeed in accomplishing a fitness goal, the tools used will give you confidence in other areas of your life. BONUS!

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

Yes! I want to try small group training

 

Topics: group fitness group training HIT fitness trends

Healthy Eating on a Budget

469650455One of the biggest reasons people give as to why they aren’t eating healthy is the cost of foods, specifically fruits and vegetables. However, a study found that adults could eat the recommended servings of produce for $2 per day. Here are some ways that you can save money on your next visit to the grocery store!

  • Don’t shop when you are hungry. A study from Cornell University found that shoppers purchased 19 percent more food and bought 45 percent more high-calorie snacks than those who had a snack prior to going shopping. This is an easy way to save 19 percent off your bill by having a handful of almonds, a piece of fresh fruit, or a string cheese before your next trip to the store.
  • Buy in season. Your produce will be cheaper if you purchase it during the time of year that it is most plentiful. Use this growing guide to see what produce is most abundant at which time of year. Also, take advantage of local farmers’ markets to get the best deals on locally grown produce. Use this map to see when and where the closest Indianapolis-area farmers’ market to you is. During the winter months, you can purchase frozen fruits and vegetables and they are just as nutritious and less expensive than fresh!
  • Buy in bulk. It makes sense that when you buy more of something, the individual unit price will be less per product; and this is true with food, too. So instead of buying single apples or oranges, purchase bags of them. Or, instead of the single-serving packets of oatmeal, grab a container of oats. Over time the savings will add up. The other option is to join a warehouse club like Sam’s or Costco that offers savings for purchasing in bulk.

There are lots of other ways to save money while practicing healthy eating, such as shopping at discount stores like Aldi, clipping coupons, and buying plain items and flavoring them yourself. The goal is to try as many of these options as you can so that you see the benefits to your health and your bank account!

For tips on packing healthy lunches, read this post from NIFS Dietitian Angie Scheetz.

This blog was written by Angie Sheetz, NIFS Registered Dietitian. Read more about the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: nutrition healthy eating HIT Indianapolis

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

Team Ben-A-Fits (Team 200) Workout for Slim It To Win It 2014

The Slim It to Win It workout highlighted today focused on a circuit-based, team-style approach. We broke our team into five groups. Each team started on a different exercise and completed 200 repetitions of that particular exercise. The catch was that only one team member could perform the exercise at a time. Once the 200 repetitions goal was met, the team moved on to the next exercise.

The Exercises in Our Circuit-Based Workoutslim it to win it

The following exercises made up the circuit:

  1. Battle Rope Tom-Toms
  2. Medicine Ball Thrusters
  3. Halo Pushups
  4. TRX Rows
  5. Slosh Pipe/jogging laps

This workout is perfect for a Slim It To Win It group for a number of reasons.

Everyone Gets a High-Intensity Workout

One of the biggest challenges of large group training is catering to different fitness levels while maximizing everyone’s results. It is always a priority to keep the intensity high for both seasoned NIFS veterans and newcomers to the program. Splitting the repetition load among teammates allows for different fitness levels to perform a different amount of reps, so all team members can keep their workout intensity at a high level.

A Workout with Just the Right Amount of Rest

Another reason I like this workout is the work-to-rest ratio. Performing the particular circuit exercise to exhaustion allows your partner to get rest time while you work, so you are recovered adequately when your turn is back up. You want to stay moving as much as you can during training, but rest is a very important aspect. The design of this workout allows for rest, but not too much.

A Workout That Emphasizes Camaraderie and Motivation

Finally, this workout has an emphasis on team camaraderie and motivation. While one team member rests, the other can ensure proper technique is being used and provide extra motivation to work together to complete the task.

Training with a group is a proven strategy for sticking with a workout routine and is more economical than one-on-one training. If you are interested in trying a small group or large group training session contact Tony Maloney today to get started!

This blog was written by Ben Norris, NIFS Heath Fitness Instructor. Learn more about the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: NIFS group fitness workouts NIFS programs circuit workout HIT Slim It to Win It