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NIFS Healthy Living Blog

Stephanie Kaiser

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Summer Health Tips and Fitness Ideas

Summer is finally finding its way back to Indiana! If you haven’t already, it is time to get outside and get moving! Indianapolis provides an abundance of outdoor activities that work well for promoting healthy lifestyles.

Indianapolis Attractions for Active Fun

Here are five ways for people to be active in Indianapolis this summer:

  1. ThinkstockPhotos-185469754web.jpg Indiana Pacers Bikeshare. With 250 bikes around the downtown area at your disposal, enjoy a day of physical activity and sightseeing in downtown Indianapolis by renting a bike and taking it for a spin on one of the local trails. I personally enjoy riding the Cultural Trail down to Fountain Square, among the many trail options available right downtown.
  2. Rent a kayak and enjoy some time out on the water while earning some physical activity points! Kayaking is an excellent form of exercise that can be learned easily at any age and enjoyed at varying levels of fitness. If you have never been kayaking before, do not be intimidated. Kayaks are available to rent around the city, including in Eagle Creek Park.
  3. Try a triathlon! Any age is a good age to try a triathlon for the first time. Here at NIFS we host a training program geared toward completing the Eagle Creek Sprint Triathlon for women both new and veteran to the sport. One of our participants was 68 years old when she completed her first triathlon with success!
  4. Take your kids or grandkids to the park and play. Being active with young children is great for everyone and is an excellent way for you to sneak in some physical activity. Consider that you may not be able to keep up with all of the moves that the kids are doing and stay within your capabilities while participating in the activities that they are doing.
  5. Consider training for a road race! You don’t have to be a top-notch runner to go out and try to run or walk your first 5K or marathon. NIFS is hosting a marathon training program geared toward completing the monumental marathon for those of you who have ever considered running a marathon. It is never too late to check that goal off your bucket list!

Health Tips to Keep in Mind

Being active in the outdoors during the summer adds another level of concern that you should keep in mind when selecting and preparing for your outdoor fitness activities.

  1. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your time spent outdoors. With the heat and humidity that come along with the Indiana summer, your body will lose the water that it needs at a rapid pace. Drink-waterDehydration can lead to heat illnesses, so it is important to stay hydrated and drink water even if you do not feel like you are thirsty. Read more about this in our 5 Tips to Staying Hydrated While you Exercise this Summer blog.
  2. Be cautious of extreme temperatures and avoid being outside for extended periods of time during these times. Hot temperatures can be dangerous, even if you are not exercising, so save your outdoor physical activities for later in the evening or earlier in the morning when the temperature is cooler and the sun is not beating down on your back.
  3. Wearing clothing that is lightweight, light in color, loose fitting, and moisture wicking will help you to stay cooler in warmer conditions.
  4. Apply sunscreen when you know that you will be outside. Whether you are working in the yard, walking the dog, or playing a round of golf, the sun has the same impact, so apply sunscreen to prevent damage to your skin.

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

NIFS Fall Marathon Training Program is August 15th-November 3rd. Get Registered Today!

 

Topics: NIFS staying active fitness center triathlon NIFS programs summer hydration Indianapolis

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.

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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.

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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

Four Common Character Traits in People Who Exercise Consistently

exercise priority

Do you find yourself to be inconsistent with your fitness routine? One week you are completing all aspects of your program without missing a beat, and the next you are struggling to get just one workout in? There is a laundry list of ideas for people to adapt to keep themselves on track with their fitness routine, but what are the major character traits seen in individuals who have a consistent workout routine? The best part about these traits is that they can be developed by anyone over time!

1. Exercise Is Valued

Whether material or moral based, things that we consider valuable in our lives are given a much higher priority than things that are not. People who are able to stick to an exercise routine place a value on exercise. This may be something that has been inherent and always a part of their life, or something newly developed based on how they have benefited from exercise itself. They have witnessed how exercise has added value to their life overall.

Think about how adding a consistent exercise routine will add value to your life, whether it is for improved health, some type of outlet, or any reason that you believe makes it valuable to you.

2. Accountability Is Apparent

Not everyone benefits from the same form of accountability, but this can be achieved in different ways and is apparent with those who have a successful routine. Some people are successful with holding themselves accountable and are guided by the voice in their head. They may take it a step further and write down what they have done and plan to do to have a visual form of accountability. Others join a group and find accountability through a coach or the other individuals that are looking for similar results.

Having a group is an excellent source of accountability; if you start to miss workouts, it will not go unnoticed, and you will have a large group of people there to help you stay on track. Others just need one person to stay accountable to their routine, whether it is a friend that is joining them a few days a week or a supportive family member checking up on them regularly. If you are lacking accountability to your fitness routine, give each of these forms of accountability a try and see which you have the most success with!

3. Satisfaction Is Measured

Finding the right balance of opportunities in our life that bring us satisfaction in a healthy way is important. At the end of a long week, it is common to reflect and determine how satisfyingly the week went in all aspects of life. Individuals who see their fitness routines as a valuable aspect of their life reflect on how satisfied they are with sticking with their fitness routine that week. No, these individuals are not always satisfied at the end of the week. Many miss a workout or two for one reason or the other during the week, but they reflect and determine why they missed it. If they are satisfied with the reason that they missed a workout, they will move past it quickly since it was probably missed due to something else of high value in their life. But if they are unsatisfied with their reason for missing, they will look for a way to ensure that it does not happen the following week.

If you do not find satisfaction from exercise currently, consider trying different forms. You might not have found the right fitness niche to achieve this, or to determine whether exercise is a value to you yet.

4. Prioritizing Is Plannedcalendar

There is always an underlying reason that exercise has become a priority for these individuals. Whether they started to exercise because they were told they should to improve their overall health, they exercise to satisfy a competitive drive, or they have just done it for so long that it is a part of their daily life, these individuals will always make their exercise routine a priority. Although they still may miss a workout, they develop a plan that will best ensure that they will have time to make this priority happen during the week.

Two examples of this include waking up early to make it into the gym before work instead of after because of another obligation that came up during your regularly slated time, or having a backup plan available at home if getting out to go to the gym is not going to be an option. Here are some other ways to help make exercise a priority.

The best part about these traits is that they can all be developed if you are lacking in one or more right now! If you are struggling to stick to a fitness routine, take a look at yourself and see where you stack up with them. Learning to develop these traits as they relate to you individually will help you to stick to your exercise routine.

If you are ready to make exercise a priority in your life NIFS is here to help. Membership at NIFS includes a personal assessment and training programs designed for you by a Health Fitness Specialist. Try NIFS free for 7-days and see how we can help you make exercise a priority.

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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: exercise healthy habits motivation group training attitude workout

7 Quick Tips to Get Moving at Work

Are you one of the many Americans who are glued to a desk throughout the day? On top of that, do you have other responsibilities outside of your work hours that limit the amount of time that you can spend exercising throughout the week? Here are some ways that you can become more active at work. Remember, 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week can make a huge difference in your long-term health!

1. Bike or Walk to Work932463446_bike

If you can ride a bike or walk to work each day, you can add a significant amount of physical activity minutes to your week. If you have a bike path or walking trail near your home that leads to your work, this is an excellent option. Many do not have this luxury or live too far away, but that doesn’t mean it is completely out of the question. If you have a longer commute, you can drive to a path and park nearby and bike or walk the remainder of the trip. This is a great solution for those who work in busy cities.

2. Take the Stairs

Even if you are stuck at a desk the majority of the day, you can get in some quick cardio bursts if you have a set of stairs in your building. Anytime you have the opportunity to switch to a different floor, utilize the stairs instead of the elevators. For example, instead of using the restroom that is a few steps from your office, take the stairs to a restroom on a different level to sneak in some extra steps. (You can even go up and down a few extra times while you are up!) 

3. Walk on Your Lunch Break

Squeeze in a few extra minutes on your lunch break by taking a stroll around the block or through the hallways. If your time is limited, do not underestimate the value of a short 10-minute walk. The small additions of physical activity throughout your day add up fast! Some companies even offer incentive programs at work for walking so be sure to join in!

4. Walk During Meetings and Brainstorms

When possible, have meetings while walking. This can be especially beneficial during brainstorms. Instead of sitting for 20 minutes with a colleague discussing the next task, walk!

5. Desk Exercises

When you feel like you have brain block or just need to pause for a few minutes from what you are doing, complete a few exercises right at your desk! Try alternating between incline push-ups on your desk and body-weight squats for 3 sets, 10 to 15 reps for each exercise, for a quick burst of energy. All you need is your own body weight and your desk!

6. Sit on a Stability Ballbusiness women on ball

Not all companies will allow this, but if yours does you should definitely take advantage of it! Sitting on a stability ball throughout the day improves posture, strengthens the core, and is an excellent piece of equipment for a few quick desk exercises throughout the day. A regular stability ball will work, but balance ball chairs are excellent and provide additional ergonomic benefits.

7. Stand Up

Simply stand up at your desk when possible! Standing burns more calories than sitting and allows for your body to stretch from the seated position. Oftentimes we need to be seated to complete a job task, but you can easily stand during a phone call or while you are reading a long document. If you want to add an extra burst of cardio along with this, try marching in place to increase your heart rate.

Have specific questions on ways to incorporate more physical activity into your day? Sign up for a free fitness assessment with one of our expert trainers!

This blog was written by Stephanie Kaiser, ACSM certified Health Fitness Specialist. Meet our bloggers.

Topics: staying active walking employee health exercise at work