NIFS Healthy Living Blog

Steps to Create Your 2017 New Year’s Resolution Training Plan

ThinkstockPhotos-523286853.jpgIt seems nearly impossible that the holidays have crept upon us already! And not just that, but those dreaded New Year’s resolutions that loom over our heads are just around the corner. But with the right plan in place, we can look at those resolutions as something exciting: a reset to get focused and to really accomplish something this year.

The key to not letting those goals slip by you and hit you on the backside is to have a plan in place that sets you up for success and not failure. A good, solid strategy that has been thought through early enough will get you where you want to be.

5 Simple Steps to Your New Training Plan

Here are 5 simple steps to help you set your New Year’s resolution.

  • Figure out your goal. What is it that you really want to accomplish in your health and fitness this year? Take some time to really hash out what you truly want to do. Maybe it’s finally committing to that first half marathon, setting a new PR in your deadlift, or simply being consistent and getting to the gym three times a week. Whatever it is, make sure your goal setting is attainable and realistic.
  • Make a plan. Once you have figured out what is realistic, it’s time to make a plan. Figure out what tools you need in order to be successful and how you are going to do it. For example, do you need new running shoes, a fitness tracker like a Fitbit, or to hire a trainer? Once you have your plan in place, share it with someone. This will help you to stay accountable; whoever you share it with can check in on you to see how your progress is going.
  • Schedule it NOW! Like most things, if we don’t get them on the schedule we might as well just forget about it. Make sure that you set aside time in your weekly schedule so that you are not digging for time each day. If it’s in the schedule you are more apt to do it, so get it in there and don’t make compromises!
  • Get an accountability partner. One of the easiest ways to stay on track is if someone else is checking in on you. Find a person who can be this for you. Maybe it’s your spouse, best friend, or a coworker; or if you are lucky, you can find someone to meet you at the gym each day and don’t let them down! Be sure to fill them in on your goals, your plan, and your schedule.
  • Reward yourself. And I am not talking about with brownies! Once you get into the habit and are staying on track, find something that you reward yourself with. Maybe it’s that Fitbit that you wanted in the beginning but didn’t get, those new running shoes you’ve been wanting, or signing up for a race in another state and making it a mini-vacation. Figure out how to reward yourself for doing what you planned!

Don’t be afraid, and together let’s make 2017’s New Year’s resolutions ones that we will actually achieve!

NIFS Can Help with Marathon Training

If one of those goals that you set is to complete your first 5K or half marathon, we would love for you to come and train with us in our Mini-Marathon and 5K Training Program! Let us be that accountability partner for you.

Minilogo_2017.jpg

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM AND GET REGISTERED TODAY!

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

Topics: NIFS goal setting resolutions accountability training workout 5k new year's Mini-Marathon Training Program

NIFS Crucial Conversations: I Took My Life Back (Part 2)

What does it take for someone to make the critical changes in their life to regain control and live the life they have always wanted to live? This is one question Katie and I tackle in part 2 of Katie’s journey to health, wellness, and happiness.

Katie_After_3.jpgWhen I last left you in part 1, we learned a great deal about where Katie has been, her struggles, her mindset, and her life just a few short years ago. Katie painted a pretty good picture of what she was dealing with every day. Now let’s see what Katie did about it! Let’s learn about what it takes to take a life back.

Conversation with Katie, Part 2

“Among the hundred small changes you have to make, it adds up to Big Change.”

Tony: When was the moment you knew something was different and there was a transformation happening?

Katie: Probably about six months into working with my GT group was when the change became real to me—the “a-ha” moment. I had quit my job and found one that was a much better fit with my personal and professional goals. Once I had the structure and support of group training, I was making better choices for myself in all aspects of my life—nutrition, habits, activities, exercise. I was getting positive reinforcement weekly from my coach and group. I could see it and feel it. Somewhere in there, among the hundred small changes you have to make, it adds up to Big Change, and I realized that’s where it happens.

Tony: What were some of the things that made the biggest impact in your change process?

Katie: Looking back now, I see several things in the GT program that made a major impact for me:

  • Katie_After_2.jpgThe work we do helped me understand that change is incremental. For me, the biggest change was realizing I had to make changes in my habits, and change is something you have to chip away at every. Single. Day. Knowing that there will be setbacks, and things won’t happen overnight. And that’s why I don’t set New Year’s resolutions. Sure, I set short- and long-term goals with my coach and myself, but I don’t set one giant resolution on January 1. Every day is a resolution.
  • Accountability and support in the group is HUGE for me. HUGE. One of my GT pals calls us her “gym family.” It might sound dorky, but it’s true. We listen. We support. We encourage. We build each other up. We help each other when things are tough. We are there to support each other when we need a hand. We are a team. And while no one in group is food-policing me, I am in-my-head accountable to my team and coach.
  • The overall Group Training program at NIFS and all it offers is unique. I am not aware of any program like this at any other gym. GT provides you with a structure, a framework, ongoing personal attention to structure a program that helps achieve your specific goals, guidance, and a group of like-minded people to support you.
  • Coach Tony gave me the help I needed with behavior change. The GT program allows me the personalized time with Tony to dig into my behaviors, and figure out what I need to do to change to more positive behaviors. I needed to learn how to deal with hard things and be successful at doing that so I could apply those in life. Coach Tony is an expert on movement, but he fundamentally understands the behavior element that is so important for fitness professionals working with clients—this is about not just showing up to work out a few times a week. It’s about, as he always says, “getting right in the head”—healthy body and healthy mind. And he told me this on day one after a depressing BOD POD®—that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Exercise is not a punishment. There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone, and with the personal attention I get from my NIFS coaches, I was able to figure out what I did need. They know to push me when I need it.
  • I needed accountability without being nagged. I’ve always loved being part of a team. So I needed a group of people that I knew could support me when I was having to make tough decisions about letting other things go in my life. I needed people who would cheer for me whether or not I could do something, to rebuild my confidence. I needed a group of people to make working out fun and make me laugh! Who looks forward to going to the gym? I do. Why? My GT friends.
  • This is what I call a “whole-person” approach to fitness. GT does not bring people in and put us through crazy hour-long workouts five days a week. Yes they are hard, but functional movement, foam rolling, and correctives are as important as progressing on a bench press or doing 50 burpees. We have access to the kind of expertise with the NIFS trainers, Functional Movement Screens, and other tools to keep us healthy.

“Every day is a resolution.”

Tony: What are some of your biggest accomplishments since deciding to make a change? Brag for me a little!

Katie: It’s difficult for me to think about the scared person I was who entered my first GT session nearly three years ago. I was intimidated—but not for long. I only had to spend a few minutes with the trainers and group to feel welcome and know I would be encouraged, even though I couldn’t run a mile then, or hold a plank from my feet. Since starting GT I have:

Katie_After_1.jpgKatie_Before_4.jpg

  • I lost more than 60 pounds (more than 100 since I started my journey)*.
  • Resolved my back-pain issues—where traditional medicine and even PT to a degree failed after my herniated discs, GT did what I needed from a movement, strength, and weight-loss standpoint to really bring this debilitating problem to a resolution*.
  • Climbed a mountain.
  • Continue to make forward progress on my FM screening.
  • Finished two Tough Mudders (both with fellow GTers) and ridden the Hilly Hundred twice.
  • Conquered fears—I had and still have a little bit of a jumping fear, but my vertical and broad jumps continue to get better. There were so many movements I was unable to do three years ago. When I do them now, my GT teammates and Coach Tony recognize this and cheer me on.
  • I’m stronger! I continue to be able to lift heavier weight on bench press and leg press.
  • Conquered my fear of running by doing the NIFS Mini-Marathon Training Program.
  • Built and installed a flagstone patio on my own last summer. I hauled more than 3 tons of rocks. I had some help moving them, but did most of it on my own. It’s not about the patio—it’s about having the confidence and ability to do it! 

Tony: How is your life different now?

Katie: I am 41 but I feel better than I ever have mentally and physically. Physically, I have energy! My metabolic issues are no longer issues. My asthma is better. A recent doctor’s visit revealed excellent blood pressure, my LDL cholesterol is 47 and HDL is 87, and my resting heart rate is around 45 to 48*. I sleep well. I have the energy to live a full life—I’ve always had a full life, but before I was in survival mode. Now I have the energy to live my full life! To not just get through each day, but live each day—and do things I had always wanted to do but lacked the confidence or physical ability to do them. I get up everyday and practice self care, because that makes me a better friend, sister, dog mom, employee, and general citizen of the world. I feel like a fog has lifted and I live every day with intent. I had some significant losses in 2014, including the passing of my mother, and I had the tools and mental toughness to cope with them while maintaining my healthy habits. Finally, I have confidence. I am so grateful for all the support I get from Tony, Mike, and my fellow GTers.

***

I am so very proud of Katie for the success she has worked so hard for, and applaud her willingness to share her story in hopes of creating change in others who may be as lost as she once was. Inspiration is Katie’s middle name, and she takes her role as a “fitness ambassador” very seriously and is a leader of the Small Group Training groups she speaks so highly about. No matter the circumstances, change is possible, and you never have to do it alone.

*Weight loss claims and/or individual results vary and are not guaranteed.

***

GT-logo-revised.jpgInterested in trying Small Group Training? Contact Tony today to attend a free session!

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: goal setting resolutions group training functional training BODPOD obesity

Avoid This Goal-Setting Mistake When Making New Year’s Resolutions

ThinkstockPhotos-497123324.jpgIt’s that time of year again when most evaluate their current year and set their sights on the upcoming one. Goals and plans of being more successful, losing weight, being more fit, and countless other hopes and dreams will be on the minds of so many individuals hoping for change and happiness. And although goal setting is not for everyone (nor does it have to be), for those who take part in this annual renewal and planning effort many fall victim to a huge mistake that will inevitably leave them in the same spot a year from now.

The biggest mistake most people make when developing their goals for the New Year is the failure to define the behavior that is needed to accomplish that given goal. We are great at defining what are considered outcome goals, but we make the unfortunate mistake of stopping there and not defining behavioral goals. What is the difference between the two? Let’s take a look and define the two, understand the need for both, and learn some tips to make your New Year’s resolutions stick.

SMART Goals

You might have heard about using the acronym SMART when writing a goal. But just in case you haven’t, here is SMART defined. A well-written goal should be

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

I will add another term to this: a goal should also be meaningful. The particular goal should have some significance to you and your life. This is an important aspect to consider when deciding where and how to spend your time and effort.

Now that you’re all caught up, I’ll define both outcome and behavioral goals.

Outcome Goals

An outcome goal is just that: it is the outcome you want to obtain in a certain time frame. These are defined usually by numbers such as a weight goal, or specific levels to be reached in your profession, or even starting a retirement fund. These all have specific end products to be reached, and unfortunately most people stop right here.

Examples:

  • I will lose 20 pounds by April 1.
  • I will make $75,000 this year.

Behavioral Goals

A behavioral goal is a series of actions that will eventually lead you to the achievement of your outcome goal. This plan of attack to get to the outcome you defined is essential to see the results you hope to obtain. The experts at Precision Nutrition consider behavior goals to be goals that you have control over. You ultimately do not have control of your body’s cells or how fast they metabolize fat. Nor do you have complete control over whether your boss pays you the $75,000 you feel you have earned. You do have control over the actions that can get you to that outcome you have defined. Adopting behaviors that lead the way toward your goal is key in obtaining the results you are after.

Examples (expanding on the outcome goals listed above):

  • I will lose 20 pounds by April 1.

I will add more vegetables and protein sources to each meal.

I will eat slowly and mindfully at each meal.

My dining out of the house will be limited to one time per week.

I will limit processed foods and choose mainly whole-food options for every meal.

I will exercise 5 times a week for 60 minutes each session, mixing both resistance and aerobic-based movements.

  • I will make $75,000 this year.

I will acquire a certification or more education in my field.

I will spend more time on big tasks or projects.

I will organize my day to maximize productivity by defining a daily schedule and sticking to it.

I will surround myself with goal-orientated, like-minded individuals every day.

I will ask big questions.

Bonus Tips For Success This Year

I think the biggest step you can take to success in this upcoming year is taking it one step at a time! For example, so many of us want to overhaul our entire diet to get to that goal of losing 20 pounds by April 1, only to fall short because we could not sustain the behavior, or the sheer amount of change at one time was just too much. This could lead to failure, which could lead to a backslide, putting us right back where we were to begin the year.

Implement one behavior for a few weeks, and once you have success with that one behavior, add another one, but not until you are successful with the first one. Create a snowball effect of behaviors and you increase the chance of success in the new year.

Getting started is usually the hardest part. Let us help, sign up for a free Fitness Assessment today!

Free Fitness Assessment

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: goal setting resolutions weight loss goals behavior new year's

What’s Your 2016 Running Fitness Goal? Consider Marathon Training

ThinkstockPhotos-100454471.jpgI am not someone who is really into New Year’s resolutions. I prefer to use the term “goal” when thinking about next year. When looking ahead, everyone is always trying to make some sort of health and fitness resolution (which for some is awesome and works), but we all know that come the end of February to mid-March, many have fallen off the bandwagon already.

But I feel that when we have certain goals in mind, we typically tend to stick to them more. So, if you have on your bucket list or Yearly 2016 Goals to complete a half marathon, let NIFS Mini-Marathon Training Program help keep you on track!

Running is one of the most popular fitness activities these days. With thousands of races going on around the nation each year, popularity and interest continue to grow. 2015 is killing it with weekly themed races around every corner. If you are not a runner and your 2016 goal is to start running, begin with a 5K; or if you are an experienced runner, work to increase your time in a race, or increase the distance of a run.

Top Tips for New Runners

If you are a new runner, there are some great tips put out by Runner's World to help you get started. Here are the top 10 things (with a little personal addition from me) they suggest to help:

  • Buy the right pair of running shoes. It’s absolutely hands-down worth your investment!
  • Be patient. Don’t freak out about getting a certain time; be patient and focus on completing the race instead of trying to set a pace that might be impossible to complete.
  • Don’t forget rest days. Rest is often neglected, but it’s one of the most important aspects of staying healthy during training. Read this earlier blog on the NIFS page about the importance of recovery.
  • Join a running group. This helps to keep you accountable and committed to your training plan.
  • Make it a habit, even if it’s just a few minutes a day. The toughest part of any exercise routine is to stay committed. Do your best to schedule it into your day.
  • Build your distance gradually. If your goal is 3 miles and you don’t currently run, take your time to build to 3 miles—it’s a process!
  • Mix in some things other than running. Running exclusively can have the the opposite of the effect you want and leads to injury. Be sure to cross-train as well as do some strength training.
  • Make goals that are achievable. You want to be sure to set goals that you can reach and be successful at.

TIME TO TAKE ACTION: Join the NIFS Mini-Marathon Training Program

This program is geared to help both members of NIFS and non-members complete their 5K or half marathon. Program participants are given a specific 14-week training program to follow, which will prepare you for the Mini, the Geist Half Marathon, or the Carmel Half Marathon or a combination of the races. The program is for people of all levels: walkers, joggers, and runners!

Each Wednesday night during the 14-week program, runners will complete their long-distance run with a group. There will be pace groups to help you stay on track for your goal time. Recovery snacks and drinks are provided at the end of each Wednesday training session.

REGISTER NOW! for the 2016 NIFS Mini-Marathon Training Program. We would love to have you join us!

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

Topics: running marathon training resolutions mini marathon half marathon goals

New Year Fitness ReSOLUTIONS ReDEFINED: Stop Starting Over

ResolutionsIt’s that time of year again, the time when most are bombarded with messages of New Year’s resolutions and how to not fail in your health and fitness endeavors this time around. If you ask me, that should be the first red flag, that we have to talk about starting over, again. We will get to that in a bit, but I want to take the conversation in another direction and ask some hard-hitting questions that will hopefully provoke personal evaluation to correct miscues on the road to success in 2015.

I’m quite sure I don’t have to give the definition of “insanity” as defined by Albert Einstein, but I will for the sake of those that may need a refresher. The definition of insanity (and not the highly marketable living room workout program) is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So if we approach a new year the same way we always have, we can expect the same results.

This is one explanation for why you receive countless messages from guys like me this time of year on how to avoid this insanity from happening again. But I would like to take another swing at it, from another direction this time. I plan to get real here, and hold nothing back, not to offend anybody, but to awaken and highlight some of the mistakes we make when attempting to bring about change in our lives. SO if you are truly ready to bring about some real change in your life, stick around and answer some questions.

Questions to Ask

It’s time to ask yourself some important questions. These questions may sting a bit, but they need to be answered. Here are some examples:

  • Do you wait until January to make a change instead of acting right now?
  • Do you neglect evaluating last year’s failures instead of airing your grievances like you do when celebrating Festivus, and determining a course of action from there?
  • Do you set a weight-loss/fat-loss goal without knowing the actual cost of being that lean?
  • When working toward a weight-loss goal, do you dive into caloric restriction, eliminating entire food groups (such as carbohydrates) instead of adding better choices of that food group?
  • Do you have the mindset of giving something up instead of gaining a better behavior?
  • Do you keep your goals to yourself, making it easier to give up on them?
  • Do you think the harder you work in the gym (with your new membership as of January 1), the more you deserve a “treat” when you get home?
  • Are you blind to known hurdles and fail to plan for them?

How to Say Goodbye to Resolutions Forever

Now, if you would like to be able to ignore New Year’s resolution messages for the rest of your life, follow these steps:

  • Define the triggers that lead to poor choices: Get your mind right and the rest will follow. If you don’t, you will be right back where you started because you focused on the symptoms and not the problem.
  • Focus on behavior changes: For example, it’s behaviors that cause weight gain, not Milky Ways.
  • Stay positive: There are going to be bumps in the road, but remain positive about the path. Here’s a take-home strategy for you to try. When you find yourself rehashing your day (with someone or yourself), start by listing at least two positives from the day before listing the flaws of the day. You will find that the conversation and your attitude will take a much different and more positive direction.
  • Have a timeline and sense of urgency: Have you heard the saying “a goal is a dream with a deadline”? If there is no deadline, there is no urgency, making it easier to give up on the end result. Have a timeline and work every day to reach that deadline.
  • Make the goal scary: Your goal should scare you. If it doesn’t, it’s not big enough! Don’t be afraid to reach further than you can imagine while keeping a level head about what is achievable.
  • Ink It: If you think it, you need to ink it. I learned that from Martin Rooney at Training for Warriors. It’s one of the best pieces of advice I have received from him. Write down where you want to be—it’s powerful!
  • Look at them daily: After you took the step of writing your goals (I also like to call them “promises”), post them where you will see them on a daily basis. This will keep your daily intentions toward achieving those things you have set out to accomplish.
  • Make it public: Tell somebody, anybody, what you want to accomplish. You not only created an accountability partner, you made the goal real by sharing it. Make it real, and then make it happen!

I am a firm believer that one succeeds from failure because they don't make the same mistake twice. If you are tired of starting over, stop making the same mistakes that will inevitably allow you to stumble again. Take this chance to make a fresh start with the process of making a new ending.

Start right with a free fitness assessment of where you currently are and build from there.

Free Fitness Assessment

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: fitness goal setting resolutions weight loss accountability

Escape the “Resolution Bubble” to Achieve Fitness Results

You know that magical time when you are riding on the initial motivation wave that comes just after making a fitness resolution. You tell yourself, “This is my year to lose a few pounds and get back into shape,” and you really mean it. Then a few weeks later, the newness wears off, the glitz of new equipment is gone, and along with it your attitude of fun. Your workouts become more of the same. You’ve gotten bored.

There are numerous ways to overcome this bubble so that you actually make your resolution a reality. Here are seven of the best ones which, when used together, can help you keep your fitness resolutions.

group workout

Find fun ways to work out that don’t feel like exercise.

You can dance, swim, ride a bike…whatever is fun and doesn’t seem like hard work. Here are some more ideas.

Find a workout partner to share your experiences.

You can find partners at the gym, in the personal training programs, in various groups, and even online. When you have a partner, it not only makes working out fun, but it also adds accountability for everyone involved and a higher commitment level.

Create small competitions between yourself and friends or co-workers.

Create a body-fat or weight-loss challenge or a “who visited the gym the most during the month?” contest. NIFS has a program starting in February to help you get competitive, called Slim It to Win It.

Schedule your workout during times that last-minute excuses are least likely to pop up.

Minimize the chance of finding an excuse not to work out. Convince yourself that the workout is important and anything else can wait.

Celebrate your small accomplishments more often.

Do not celebrate with food! Make a reward chart for yourself with a list of things you want to accomplish and then add a suitable reward. For example, lose five pounds and buy a new CD, or go to the gym at least five times a week for a month and get new shoes. Make the rewards tangible items you want. Make yourself work for the things and you will recognize your achievements and feel motivated to continue.

Create a three-step process to follow:
  1. Tell as many people as possible about your goals. The more people you tell, the more people there will be to hold you accountable. You could make an announcement at family reunions, work functions, and parties so people around you will be supportive of your decision and maybe not bring triple chocolate cake to the next function, but rather something healthy to show their support.

  2. Write down all of your goals and put them in a place where you can see them frequently.

  3. Identify and write down any and all compelling reasons you have for wanting to reach your goals. Examples of compelling reasons include something that moves you personally, such as extending your life so you will be around to see your grandchildren grow up, something as simple as bending over and tying your shoes, being able to climb stairs with groceries easily, and maybe losing enough weight to fit into your clothes again.

7. Reconnect with your compelling reason on a daily and frequent basis so that your mind is focused on always attempting to accomplish your goal.

The more you think about it, the more apt you will be to continue working on the goal. Remember, my fellow NIFS trainers and I are here to help you get there, too. Just give us a call at 317-274-3432.

Written by Thomas Livengood. Click here to meet Thomas and are other NIFS certified Personal Trainers.

Topics: NIFS fitness center motivation goal setting resolutions weight loss accountability

How to Succeed with Weight-Loss Resolutions

It’s a new year and many people make a resolution to lose weight. Here are three key points that will help you make your weight-loss resolution successful.

1. Create a Weight-Loss Plan with Short- and Long-Term Goals.

Your goals should be realistic, specific, measurable, and attainable, and can be accomplished in a timely manner—nothing five years down the road. Keep a long-term goal in mind, maybe something like losing a certain number of pounds in six months. But definitely include short-term goals. The short-term goals could be daily, weekly, and even monthly.

weight loss

   For example, three short-term goals could be adding a   
   vegetable to your lunch, practicing portion control by
   measuring out your food, and visiting NIFS to exercise every
   day for an hour. These short-term goals will lead you to the
   long-term goal.

   Not everyone will have the same goals, so create the goals
   based on your individual needs. If you know you tend to
   overeat, make short-term goals related to cutting back on
   certain foods and portion control.

   2. Strive for Consistency in Your Weight-Loss Routine.

Time and time again I meet people who want to lose weight, but something gets in the way. Life happens; they regress or slip up. The secret to overcoming those hang-ups is to bounce back and keep moving forward. Don’t let a few bad days defeat or deflate you. Keep a motivated mindset. Don’t be a yo-yo exerciser who exercises, leaves, and comes back a few months later only to start the whole weight-loss process all over again. It is such a vicious cycle and not a good place to be.

One great way to get past this block is to find a good support system. Whether it’s your spouse, friend, co-worker, or a workout partner you meet at NIFS, you need someone to hold you accountable and call you to find out where you were or ask you about your progress.

3. Refuse to Choose a Defeated Mindset!

It takes hard work and you have to stay focused. Every day is a new day. Wake up with a fresh start and regroup. Don’t ever feel like you have failed. Learn to overcome your obstacles and keep pressing forward. Like the old saying goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Believe in yourself and you will be successful with your New Year’s resolution of losing weight!

Written by NIFS Health Fitness Specialist Christy Monday. For some extra motivation, learn how NIFS members have achieved their weight-loss and fitness goals here.

Topics: motivation goal setting resolutions weight loss