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NIFS Healthy Living Blog

Thomas’ Corner: Why I BOSU

BOSU Conditioning has been around for a decade now at NIFS. During this time, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead thousands of classes. With sizes ranging from 3 to 18, from 18 to 80 years of age —including athletes, non-athletes, former athletes, and new athletes—BOSU has the ability to make every exercise harder or easier so that it complements all fitness levels and everyone can enjoy it.bosu

I have also embraced many of the BOSU philosophies that make BOSU a total body and cerebral mind challenge in my own workouts as well as with my training clients to enhance their overall fitness experience. These philosophies include balance, symmetry, and flow.

In the book The Art of War, Sun Tzu states that without struggle there is no progress. This statement can be used today with our training methods. Being within your comfort zone constantly allows the body to plateau. While it may seem challenging, being outside of your comfort zone will allow your body and mind to learn and eventually master new movement patterns. With your body constantly learning new movements, plateaus become less relevant and we see overall fitness growth.BOSU logo

BOSU is a tool that we use to create a fitness atmosphere where the body and mind are constantly challenged. You have the ability to reach new potential; give BOSU a try and  experience a new challenge today! Find a class on the group fitness schedule and attend this week for a new fitness challenge!bosu moves

This blog was written by Health and Fitness Specialist and BOSU Conditioning instructor Thomas Livengood. Meet the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: NIFS fitness center Thomas' Corner group training attitude balance

Join the Zumba® Party at NIFS!

Zumba® is a cardio-based class based on Latin dance styles such as Merengue, Salsa, Reggaeton, and Cumbia. While the majority of the class uses Latin songs, Zumba supports cultural unity and can also use songs of hip-hop, bellydance, soca, or even tribal origins.Zumba

It is a high-energy class with a unique teaching style. The instructor rarely uses verbal cues, and instead cues the next fitness dance movement with facial expressions, hand gestures, or body movements, again promoting cultural unity because anyone can take part in the class regardless of language.

What to Expect from Zumba

Zumba can be adapted for all fitness levels and dance backgrounds, and challenges both the body and the mind. As a first-time student, it is normal to feel unaccustomed to some movements during the class. However, movements become more fluid at a very quick rate with every class thereafter. Students begin to learn patterns in the songs and their bodies begin to move gracefully. In class, you should expect to feel confident yet challenged, surprised at how quickly the 60 minutes passed, and rejuvenated after class!

Why I Zumba

I have been instructing Zumba classes for more than three years. I always say that I am so lucky to be an instructor because I look forward to coming to class each time. Even on long, tiring days, I always leave class feeling better than before. On a personal level, I simply love to dance and move as much as possible. I have also grown to love the Latin music that I use in class, and more often than not, am listening to it in the car or at home.zumba teaching

As an instructor, Zumba is a rewarding class for me to teach. I have watched many students come in the first day unsure of themselves, and have had the pleasure of watching them grow into confident dancers who stand at the front and practically lead the class themselves! Students become engrossed in Zumba, creating their own song playlists at home, purchasing Zumba athletic wear, dancing at Latin night clubs, and requesting songs for class.

Together, my students and I form supportive relationships. Their dedication and enthusiasm in class drives me to create new and challenging choreography routines, learn new styles of dance that might be specific to their nationality, and incorporate aspects of wellness that they need most, such as stretching or core strength. Seeing their smiles and faces light up when a favorite song comes on keeps me energized throughout class, even though instructing is still a hard workout even for me! We laugh at our mistakes in class and move on to the next song, and students gain the confidence to put their own flair into movements.

Zumba is offered in 151 countries with over 14 million people participating in classes worldwide. With numbers like those, there’s no reason not to Ditch the Workout, and Join the Party!™

If you like to move to fast, upbeat music or would like to improve your cardio endurance, balance, strength, and agility, come to NIFS and try a Zumba class for Free!

This blog was written by Marcy Kerr, a Zumba®-certified group fitness instructor at NIFS. Meet our NIFS Bloggers.

Topics: exercise cardio fitness center group fitness balance endurance Zumba

NIFS March Class of the Month: CXWORX™

Are you in a time crunch when heading to the gym and trying to squeeze in the most effective workout in a short amount of time? Les Mills CXWORX™is geared toward those who are looking for a quick, to-the-point workout that will help to build strength and lean muscle.

Les Mills CXWORX resized 600

CXWORX™ is the group fitness class of the month for March at NIFS. When attending this class, you can expect to work your core, back, and glutes. The class focuses on strengthening these muscles through movements such as crunches, leg extensions, and balance exercises such as the hover. But don’t worry; you won’t be lying on the floor doing crunches the entire class!

CXWORX™ is great for participants of all levels, and classes are put together using scientifically proven exercises set to awesome music to maximize your 30-minute workout. Before you know it, your workout will be complete!


If you are looking to increase the amount of time you can hold a hover, run faster, play harder, or build overall strength, this is the class that will push you to achieve your goals.

Equipment needed for this class often includes a mat, a resistance band, and a weight plate. No need to bring your own, though. NIFS has plenty of equipment to go around. All that you need to bring is a towel, a water bottle, and your mental determination to power through this 30-minute fitness class.

Just like other Les Mills classes, every three months, a new release of music and the latest exercises are launched to keep your body in peak condition.

Make sure to join Ryan, Tasha, Mary, Michael, and Kristen for CXWORX™. Check the Group Fitness Schedule for times and locations!

Want to see more? Click here to see a portion of a CXWORX™ class by Les Mills.

Request a free class pass to attend this group fitness class or any other class you want to try at NIFS.

This blog was written by Tara Deal, NIFS Group Fitness Instructor and author of Treble in the Kitchen.

Topics: NIFS exercise fitness group fitness balance strength core