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NIFS Healthy Living Blog

The Social Benefits of Running with a Group

DSC_4644Running with others is one of the most effective strategies for creating a running habit and continuing it. The social benefits of running are among the biggest reasons why runners start and stick with running. Whether you’re running with one friend or a running group, here are some ways you can benefit from group running.

  • You’ll have group role models. People naturally start to adopt the habits of those around them. Spending time with other runners will help you form a running habit because you’ll start to mirror your running friends’ habits.
  • You’ll motivate each other. With a running group, you get regular encouragement. Members encourage each other at races and during long runs. You’ll be more motivated to stick to your training because you’ll hold each other accountable. It’s harder to skip a workout when you know others are waiting for you.
  • You’ll feel a sense of belonging. Being part of a cohesive team can you give a sense of purpose and help you make new and meaningful connections.
  • You’ll get creative stimulation. It’s fun to share ideas when running with a group. You can bounce ideas off your running friends and ask them for advice.
  • Your performance will improve. Everyone flourishes with a little healthy competition. When you’re running with others who are pushing you to run faster and harder, it’s easier to take it to the next level. When running alone, you may be tempted to cut your workout short; when others are depending on you, however, you’ll want to do the entire workout, and maybe even a little extra.
  • You can network. Running with people you know is a great way to network and build your professional relationships in an informal way. You’ll develop a camaraderie with other runners that’s difficult to replicate in an office or other work setting. Building and strengthening relationships through running may lead to a new job or other opportunities. Many runners have found new jobs or made important professional connections through running.

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This blog was written by David Behrmann, NIFS Health Fitness Instructor.To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here

Topics: motivation running group training accountability athletic performance habits social aspects networking

Finding the Motivation to Work Out

GettyImages-1164633763Let’s be real. We aren’t always motivated to work out, and sometimes it’s hard to find that motivation. It’s even harder to find motivation when you don’t even enjoy exercise. It’s important to learn why getting active is so important, and it all starts with changing your mindset about it.

So Why Exercise in the First Place?

There are hundreds of good reasons why it’s important to stay active, but here are a few reasons that you might not know of.

  • Exercise charges you up. Thirty minutes or more of vigorous exercise releases endorphins to the brain, giving you energy and an intense natural high. This can help you have more energy for your everyday activities and keeps you going.
  • Exercise can help your positivity. Studies show that exercise is a great way to help manage depression. It not only releases endorphins, but it also helps clear your mind of stress, confusion, and worry
  • Exercise can help with your social life. Exercising with others who are going to the gym for Group Fitness classes can be a great way to meet new people and help each other stay motivated.
  • Exercise helps you sleep. Working the body and clearing the brain ensures a good night’s sleep. It can help regulate problematic sleeping patterns.

Switch Your Mindset

The biggest key to staying motivated with exercise is trying to switch your mindset. If you really dislike the idea of exercise, you need to switch the way that you’re thinking, or you’ll never get up and get active. Start to think of exercise as “being active” or “feeling healthy.” A great way to start is to increase the overall amount of movement and activity in your day. For example, you can start by walking 10,000 steps per day. You also don’t have to work out in a gym. Of course, gyms are useful and have a lot of equipment, but some days you can go outdoors or ride a bike. You can also try yoga or dancing as another method to stay active. At NIFS, we offer a variety of different Group Fitness classes to fit your needs and wants, so you are never bored or tied down to one form of exercise.

Small Steps

Sometimes you just have to take small steps to keep motivated. For instance, laying out your workout clothes or packing your gym bag the night before can remove several barriers in the number of decisions you need to make the next day. Or you can even have your gym bag in your car ready for the next day! You can also give yourself achievement awards, such as your favorite drink or new workout shoes. Use it as your motivation to get your workout done so that you can reward yourself with something you enjoy. Maybe you can even try a lunchtime workout. This will allow you to mix it up with some outside lunchtime training, and it can be an awesome way to experience natural light in your workout. Consider taking a brisk walk around the block or doing a quick HIIT workout before you go back to work.

Find What Works for You

The key is to really find what works for you. What might work for someone else might not be the right fit for you. Your health is your journey, and sometimes you must personalize it to make it worth it. Continue to try new things until you make your workout routine a habit. Remember that it’s okay to take rest days. But always get back up and fight the next day.

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This blog was written by Emily Lesich, NIFS Health Fitness Specialist. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: staying active healthy habits motivation group fitness accountability HIIT outdoor exercise

The Three P’s of Group Fitness at NIFS

bootcamp-outsideGroup fitness classes are fitting for many people because the classes provide participants with predetermined workouts led by highly motivated instructors in a group setting. The niche of group fitness is constantly evolving. Classes in the category of group fitness look a lot different than they did 10 or 20 years ago. Not only do the classes look different, but they are more diverse than ever. Many participants use group fitness as supplementation for a typical workout at the gym because all you have to do is show up. Ease of participation coupled with the accountability of other members makes group fitness classes a unique environment.

NIFS takes pride in its group fitness offerings. This is why I want to share a little more about the three P’s our instructors prioritize in every class.

Prioritizing Purposeful Education

Educating members by encouraging them to attend workouts in complementary categories to get the most from their workouts while protecting their bodies.  

Group fitness classes are goal-oriented. No matter the format, every class has a goal that falls into one of these categories: endurance, strength, flexibility, or toning. A balanced group fitness schedule for a participant could look like this:

  • Monday: Les Mills Core and BODYPUMP Express
  • Tuesday: Cycling
  • Wednesday: Vinyasa Yoga
  • Thursday: Tabata and Core n More
  • Friday: Yoga
  • Saturday: Cycling

Group Fitness Schedule

Prioritizing Positive Experiences

Group fitness is a community. Studies have shown when you work out with others, there is a level of trust formed that enables people to be vulnerable and push each other to reach fitness goals. 

Encouragement within the group emphasizing small victories within classes makes the environment positive for participants. Our main goal is to make sure everyone feels good after their workout here at NIFS.

Prioritizing Participation

Group fitness cannot be group fitness without a group. NIFS instructors make participant needs and wants a priority. If a class time is not working to maximize participation, we edit it. Monthly revisions to the schedule are common to test and try class times and formats. 

Whatever works for participants, works with us. Additionally, these are unprecedented times; this is why a majority of our classes take place on the basketball court. We know how important mirrors are when checking form in group fitness classes, so we bought safe, glassless mirrors specifically for group fitness. Participation is the heart of group fitness, so the more the better. Come join us!

Come work out with us. Joining is easy, and once you’ve committed, the community is for a lifetime.

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This blog was written by Payton Gross, Group Fitness Coordinator and Barre Above Instructor. Learn more about the NIFS bloggers here.

Topics: NIFS fitness center motivation group fitness accountability Les Mills education

The Culture of Group Fitness

Screen Shot 2021-02-02 at 11.47.30 AMGroup fitness is so much more than doing the same workout as everyone in a group of others. Research on people who participate in group fitness classes has shown that participants work harder in a group setting than they do in solo workouts because of their subconscious thoughts.

Find Motivation and Accountability

There is a driving force within group fitness that makes you think that if the person next to you can push through something such as the challenging 45-second plank, you can too. Group fitness classes are a safe space where participants can push themselves to complete a workout alongside others who are right there with them. When a participant completes the challenging metcon of the workout alongside others, they inevitably feel a sense of community or connectedness because they did that together.

If I were to describe the type of culture present within group fitness, I would say group fitness classes are comprised of motivated individuals who use positive social stimulation to make their workouts better.

Meet Likeminded People and Work Together

Group fitness for many is a crucial aspect of their daily socialization. Friendships made in the gym are strong because of the shared fitness. Sharing a hobby with someone can be the foundation of a great friendship outside of the group fitness atmosphere. Friendships within the world of group fitness can be a healthy motivator to work harder in every workout. No matter your strength or fitness, there is a place for your within group fitness. Everyone there has the same goal as you: to complete the workout and have a good time doing it. Don’t be afraid to share your goals with the group because, in the end, you'll have more friendships and workout buddies to conquer challenges with.

Your Workouts Are Already Planned for You

Another pro of attending group fitness classes is that you do not have to think or plan your workout. Just show up and allow our certified instructors to lead you through a structured warm-up, killer workout, and dynamic cool-down. In addition to a planned workout, the instructors are also there to cue you into the correct form to prevent injuries and push you to get the most from your workout. What more could you ask for? You get a free workout plan, motivation, and a group of like-minded individuals to do it with you!

Check out our monthly group fitness schedule and try a new class today either online or at NIFS!

Group Fitness Schedule

This blog was written by Payton Gross, NIFS Group Fitness Coordinator. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: motivation group fitness workouts group training accountability group fitness culture social aspects

Finding Motivation to Beat the Holiday Workout Blues

Finding Motivation_2I don’t know about you, but often during the holidays it just seems easy to blow off your daily workout. You have done well up to this point, staying committed and getting yourself into the gym or out for a run. But with the dark evenings, busy work schedule, and possibly some travel, it tends to be the first thing to take off the list. It’s important for your body to take a break, but if you need some tips on how to keep yourself going, keep reading!

Here are some tips I have come up with to beat the holiday workout blues:

  • Keep it on the schedule. One of the best ways to make sure that you are getting your workout in is to keep it on your schedule. If you have it set in place, it’s not as easy to skip it and head home for some Monday Night Football instead!
  • Meet your workout buddy. If you don’t have one, now is a great time to find one. Find someone that you can be accountable to and make sure you’re getting yourself to the gym.
  • Try a home workout. It’s okay to stay in if you can’t seem to get yourself to the gym; there are plenty of things you can do at home to keep yourself fit. Some ideas are pushups, lunges, squats, planks, and going for a run.
  • Get up early to get it done. If you get your workout done in the morning, you won’t have to think about it the rest of the day! Then once you get out of work and it’s dark, you can just go home and relax.
  • Try something new. This is a great time to try a class or something that you haven’t done before. Try new group fitness class or meet with a health fitness instructor to get a fresh and new personal workout plan.
  • Keep yourself accountable. Check it off in your calendar, put your plan on the fridge, or track your workout in the NIFS app to keep yourself focused on what you need to be doing and create your own accountability.

Whatever it may be for you, find that one thing that keeps you clicking along. You will have to indulge at some point over the next month and half in something that you may have not normally ingested, and if you keep up the workouts, it’s okay! It’s all about discipline during these holiday months, but do your best to keep yourself on track in your exercise to limit the workout blues!

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MM5K Logo_2023_name and tagIf your looking for a new challenge in the new year consider registering for the NIFS Mini-Marathon & 5k Training Program that starts in February. We can help you train for any race you want to accomplish in the spring! Click below to fine out more information!

Get REGISTERed TODAY!

 

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

Topics: exercise at home motivation workouts holidays accountability new year's

Finding Community in Group Fitness

Screen Shot 2020-10-20 at 11.38.06 AMDo you want to be part of a community and hold yourself accountable while working out? Group fitness classes just might have what you are looking for!

Group fitness has been around for decades. Many probably remember classes such as Jazzercise and aerobics that were common in the 1970s and ‘80s, followed by Tae Bo and step aerobics in the ‘90s. Not much has changed in the realm of group fitness except the current trending workouts. Today, group fitness participants enjoy Zumba, Barre, CrossFit, as well as Pilates, yoga, and Boot Camp formats. Nevertheless, all group fitness classes have essentially the same benefits.

Benefits of Group Fitness

What are some of the benefits of group fitness? Group fitness…

  • teaches you motivation and to push others to be their best
  • adds variety to your workout
  • supplies you with people to work out with
  • leads to positive competition

As the Group Fitness Coordinator here at NIFS, I have witnessed firsthand throughout my years of experience that group fitness communities are unlike any other. I have developed lifelong friendships with those who have pushed me and held me accountable. As an instructor, there is no better feeling than watching others achieve their fitness goals. I look forward to my "regulars" in my classes, and often over time they feel like family. The community of group fitness is not just people who work out together, but also individuals you enjoy spending time with as a de-stressor from daily life.

Group Fitness Is Where You Need to Be

If you are looking for a group of likeminded individuals who enjoy setting goals, exceeding expectations, and using each other as motivation to complete challenges, group fitness classes are exactly where you need to be. I look forward to seeing you participate in our group fitness offerings here at NIFS! 

Try a Class for Free!

There are lots of options when it comes to group fitness classes. Come try one of our classes for free!

GF_E-news Header 1This blog was written by Payton Gross, NIFS Group Fitness Coordinator. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: stress group fitness accountability competition fitness community group fitness culture friendship

Fitness Professionals Aren’t Perfect, Either!

GettyImages-685849082nThere’s always an assumption that fitness professionals work out 2 hours a day, 7 days a week. They eat healthy all day long and never have any junk food. Basically people think that we are perfect and never make mistakes. I have been in the health and fitness industry for more than 10 years now and I can honestly say that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Now, before anyone thinks I’m ratting out other trainers or telling you all we don’t practice what we preach, let me explain.

We Are Actually Humans, Too!

I know it’s hard to believe, but we are human; we make mistakes, we have cheat days, we indulge a little, and we even skip workouts from time to time.

Take a look at a conversation I had with one of our trainers at NIFS:

Ashley: How often do you work out?
Lauren: About 5 days a week.
Ashley: How long do you work out for?
Lauren: Anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. If it’s conditioning, it’s much less.
Ashley: Do you have cheat days? Exercise or nutrition?
Lauren: I try to have cheat meals or situations. I try not to have it be the whole day. In the past, I would have cheat days, but they would turn into a stream of days. So I basically try to allow myself to have something sweet occasionally, so that I don’t fall way off the rail. And there are days where I fail at that, but that’s the goal.

We Aren’t Perfect in the Kitchen

I know this might come as a shock to some of you, but the truth of the matter is, we aren’t perfect when we eat, either. As if the world and our lives aren’t filled with striving for perfection as it is, why would we want to make the kitchen another stressful place?

I say all that to tell you this: it’s okay if you have a little extra of something one day. It’s okay if you have that piece of cake when you are celebrating yourself or someone special. It’s okay to have a “cheat meal.” It’s okay to NOT BE PERFECT.

If it happens, don’t beat yourself up about it. Be aware of it; Learn from it; and move on! The next snack, meal, and day will be better because you came out of the previous situation aware and stronger.

Tips for Staying on Track

Consider the following tips to help you take it easy on yourself, but also keep yourself motivated to stay on track.

Use a Planner

If you are someone who needs to stick to a schedule, plan it out. Write down your meals for the week, plan your schedule around when you can work out, and write down the day and time you will be able to work out. Keep on a schedule!

Provide Rationale

Understanding your “WHY” should be your biggest motivator. I encourage you to write down your reasons why you want to eat healthy and exercise, and keep it someplace where you will see it and can refer back to it for a motivational reboot.

Build Accountability

There is strength in numbers! Try creating more accountability. Tell family, friends, or coworkers about your goals. If you’re out to lunch with them, they can help remind you of what your goals are. They may even join in with you, and you will have created a community that’s trying to become healthier!

***

We would absolutely love to see you at our fitness center and set up an appointment with you. There are so many tools to assist in your training, nutrition, weight loss, and strength training goals! We aren’t perfect people, but we do have the tools for greatness and want to share them with you.

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This blog was written by Ashley Duncan, NIFS Program and Weight Loss Coordinator. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: exercise nutrition motivation weight loss accountability NIFS programs

7 Tips to Get Back on Track with Weight Loss

GettyImages-506933707You’ve told yourself that it would just be one “cheat meal,” but the next thing you know that one meal turns into everyday meals and you feel like you have fallen so far off the wagon that there’s no getting back on.

I’m here to tell you that LIFE HAPPENS, and it’s okay occasionally to stray from a healthy lifestyle. What’s important to remember is that the tools to hop back on and get back motivated are right at your fingertips, waiting for you to grab tight.

Here are 7 tips to get back on track and keep moving forward:

  1. Don’t take it so personally. You’re not a bad person or destined always to be overweight just because you slip up here and there. Just think of it as a minor setback for a major comeback!
  2. Don’t look for a quick fix. You might lose weight this way, but you’re almost sure to gain it back. This has the potential to set up an unhealthy pattern of gaining and losing. Slow and steady wins the race!
  3. Find an accountability partner. This can be someone who is just starting out, or starting back over, or an experienced, never-falls-from-the-wagon person. Finding someone who can provide you encouragement for your efforts will help you continue down the right path. Be sure to be upfront and honest with them about your goals and have them check in on you regularly.
  4. Plan ahead. We schedule meetings, and hair and nail appointments for ourselves; why not schedule a time out of our busy days where we can exercise? Even planning your meals ahead can help with overeating and you won’t get too hungry throughout the day.
  5. Track your food. Keeping an account of exactly what it is you eat throughout the day helps keep you honest and aware. It will help give you insight on your eating habits and where you might need to give a little.
  6. Understand you’re not alone. Thinking that you’re the only person in the world who has fallen off the wagon will achieve nothing but negative thoughts and make it even more difficult to get started again. Somewhere, some place, someone is going through the exact same thing you are or they’ve been through it before. You’re not the first person to have to start back over, and you certainly won’t be the last.
  7. One day at a time. This tip needs to be bold, underlined, highlighted, and anything else to grab your attention! Taking this journey one day at a time is so critical to your success. All you need to do is try. By doing your best each day, you’ve put together a chunk of how your future will look.

While it might be tough, it is definitely not impossible to get back on track. If you aren’t sure where to start, come in and talk to us. We would love to get you set up with one of our personal trainers, enrolled into a program like our Ramp Up to Weight Loss, or simply design a program for you to follow on your own. Whatever you feel you need, we are right here to help you!

You’ve got this!

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This blog was written by Ashley Duncan, CPT, Weight Loss Coordinator. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

 

Topics: weight loss healthy eating accountability NIFS programs personal training diets

The Balance of Lifetime Wellness: Find a Mentor, Be a Mentor

GettyImages-641793510-1As fitness professionals, we promote good habits to our clients and encourage people to make positive changes in their lives. Sometimes we help others find the spark to exercise or offer the accountability to make those hard-earned results stick. Overall, “helping individuals achieve success in goals and happiness in life” sums up what it means to be a trainer.

The next challenge I pose to you, once you have achieved your goals and are happy, is to find someone else who needs encouragement and help them make better choices. This could be a friend, coworker, or loved one. How can you help ensure that the people you care about are here for the long haul? There are many answers to this question, and sometimes it might take some time for things to work out, but there can be no change without that initial spark.

Find a Fitness Mentor

This scenario that I created places you in the middle of two important individuals every person should consider having in their life. The first person would be someone you look up to for advice, also known as your mentor or teacher. When you seek knowledge about anything, specifically fitness in this case, you need a person you can not only trust, but also someone who cares about your well-being. Whether you are an elite athlete, brand new to fitness, an experienced trainer, or a right out-of-college intern, you need someone to look up to. Even the greatest minds in the world have mentors (for example, Socrates taught Plato, who taught Aristotle, who taught Alexander the Great!). I look up to many trainers who give me inspiration and knowledge (some of whom are part of our NIFS family: Tony Maloney and Rick Huse).

Now Be a Mentor

Now that you have established a mentor and are getting your fitness and nutrition under control, you can now follow through with the second important person, who I alluded to earlier. This second person is the person you used to be, before you started seeing results. They are just beginning the long journey toward fitness prosperity. Now, you can’t be expected to do all the work yourself, but you do have the ability to be encouraging and informative. You can be there for someone. Tell them where they can find the resources, become a workout partner, collaborate on a home cooked dinner, anything you can do that allows for that person to know that you care and that there is hope. They will have to make decisions toward health and wellness, and hopefully they will make the best choice for their overall well-being.

Look to NIFS

Being a part of this chain is pretty awesome! Being able to help someone change their life can also change yours. You could be a difference maker, too! In the meantime, NIFS trainers are here to help you with your workouts and fitness testing. Scheduling an appointment to meet with a trainer is as easy as making a phone call (317-274-3432), sending an email (tlivengood@nifs.org), or stopping by the NIFS track desk and meeting in person. We would love to help you become the best version of you possible. In doing so, we pass our knowledge to you, which we have learned from our mentors and teachers. Hopefully, with time, you will be able to do the same.

Muscle heads rejoice and evolve!

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This blog was written by Thomas Livengood, NIFS Manager, and Trainer, and posted in loving memory of him and all the great blogs he wrote for NIFS over the years. To read more about the other NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: Thomas' Corner motivation accountability nifs staff mentoring lifetime wellness

Productivity Hacks: Ditch the Productivity Shame Guilt Trip

GettyImages-601357430Welcome to the final installment of the productivity series. If you need a second to catch up, check out these posts regarding action (productive) vs. motion (busy), the Ivy Lee Method for prioritizing, and the Pomodoro Technique for time management. But if you’re all up to speed, we’ll dive right in!

Feeling Ashamed of Falling Short

Up to this point, I’ve covered topics and methods that are all geared toward the act of being productive. But what happens when you fall short of the productivity goals that you set for yourself?

Maybe you’ve stared down at the to-do list on your desk and asked yourself, “How did I only get this much done today?” Maybe you start to beat yourself up, or scold yourself like a parent would their kid. If you’ve ever found yourself in this position, you are not alone. Many high achievers have described themselves as having an “internal cattle prod” when it comes to their own productivity, constantly pushing themselves to do more and go further, until finally they reach an unsustainable pace. Researchers have coined the term productivity shame in regard to this phenomenon. But why do so many of us experience this feeling with regard to work?

A Productivity Expert on the Causes of Productivity Shame

Jocelyn K. Glei is an author, lecturer, and host of the podcast Hurry Slowly. She researches and presents on ways to optimize productivity and creativity, and how to be more resilient in the workplace and in our daily lives. She describes productivity shame as “a toxic substance that slowly corrodes your ability to take any joy in your work.” She cites examples that may sound all too familiar to some, such as committing to a workload that you intuitively know is unrealistic. Or maybe you set an incredibly challenging goal for yourself (not inherently a bad thing) but you fail to set up a structure for support or accountability, then berate yourself for failing to reach that goal.

Glei has run into this numerous times with students in her class and those with whom she consults in the workplace. She cites potential causes as our instant-gratification culture, one that is fueled by social media and technology. If we have to wait for something to download because the internet connection is weak, if our Instagram post doesn’t get a certain amount of likes right away, if we have to wait longer than 2 minutes in a drive-thru line, its nearly to the point where some feel accosted by these things. It’s downright annoying. Over time, we may slowly be wiring ourselves to expect this same level of speed when it comes to our creativity and productivity—which only sets us up for failure.

Tips for More Realistic Productivity

So how can you combat productivity shame? How can you be more realistic in both the workplace and in your daily life when it comes to your to-do’s? Here are a few techniques you can use today to avoid productivity shame:

  1. Limit your to-do List to only the absolutely necessary things. Try the Ivy Lee Method the night before, but limit it to your big-ticket items, and no more than two or three. The more on your list, the more likely that guilt will creep in at the end of the day.
  2. Set aside designated time within your day to work only on those two or three big to-do’s. If you work in an office, have a closed-door policy for an hour. If you work from home, set a timer, put the phone in a drawer out of sight, and close out unnecessary tabs on your computer. Those small, seemingly insignificant distractions add up in a big way.
  3. Find an accountabili-buddy. This can be someone in the workplace or your personal life who can act as a check-in for you on the way to your goals. Having a physical means of accountability can help you stay on track, whether it’s a project at work or a side hustle at home.
  4. Get up and move! Sometimes a short workout or even a walk can stimulate ideas, clear your mind, and spur creativity.

Give a few of these a try, and see if that inner guilt trip voice of “shoulda-woulda-coulda" quiets down for a bit.

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This blog was written by Lauren Zakrajsek, NIFS Health Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer, and Internship Coordinator. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: staying active accountability productivity time management positive attitude Productivity Hacks priortization