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NIFS Healthy Living Blog

SLIM IT: Team "Cast-A-Weighs" Utilized Group Fitness Classes

First off I need to say how proud of our team, the “Cast-A-Weighs” I am! They always give 110% no matter what craziness I throw at them. Coming into Slim It I was the new kid, having only started working here a month steve_team_picearlier. When I was asked to take a Slim It team I said “sure, what’s a Slim It team?”

Being the Group Fitness Coordinator you know I would end up throwing some of the classes into the mix of training. In addition to the regular style of small group training we also added in Bodypump™, CX Worx™ and a little Bodycombat™. I wasn’t sure how this would go over, but now feel confident that the Cast-A-weighs will without a doubt continue their workouts utilizing our amazing group fitness schedule and group training options.

At first look all classes and training programs look different and unique, but at the core many hold several things in common. The first is the effectiveness of the workouts. No one wants to come into the gym day after day and not see the results from their hard work. Every program at NIFS is designed to give you the maximum results for the workout time*. Another important aspect of group training is the accountability factor. As Slim It participants have seen, you instantly have a group of people you are accountaible to and everyone is responsible for  Slim-It-logo2motivating one another; even on days you felt like staying in bed. Finally, and most importantly, is the “fun factor”! Let’s face it, exercise is challenging! No matter how great the workout is, if you aren’t having a good time doing it odds are you will stop. Here at the NIFS we are a community of people with common goals and together we can all achieve those goals!

Don't forget the Slim It Finale and spring launch is coming next Monday 4/28. This is going to be an amazing workout and celebration of all your hard work this year in Slim It. Its also a chance to try a variety of workouts, meet new people and plan out your ongoing fitness routine. As for the Cast-A-Weighs, they will not only be participating in the group fitness classes that night, but will be helping all of the Slim It participants in leading by example! The students will become the teachers! I can’t wait!!

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

Regardless of fitness level or goals, almost every member at NIFS could benefit from Group Training or enrolling in a NIFS program. See our Group Fitness Schedule for more information on classes and programming. If you are interested in trying a small group or HIT training session contact Tony Maloney today to get started!

This blog was written by Steve Koebcke, NIFS Group Fitness Coordinator. Learn more about the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: exercise weight loss group fitness group training challenge strength

Fit & Forty+ (Fabulous) Series—Increasing Your Metabolism

Fit & Forty+ (Fabulous) Series—Increasing Your Metabolism with Strength Training (Dumbbell Workout)Band workout at NIFS

For the fourth, and final, workout in this series we are going to be using dumbbells.

Dumbbell training is another in the line of adding more weight to your moves to make you stronger and to fire up your lean muscle mass. Dumbbells are easy to find in varying sizes, but as with the kettlebell, you do not need to buy a pair of them. I would go with a light weight for pressing moves and heavier for any leg moves you will be doing. If it feels “manageable” to lift over your head in the store go a bit heavier (2-5lbs). You can do less repetitions and more sets.

Remember we want to get strong, burn a ton of calories, and be able to move about your day easier.  It is not “hard” but it will be a “challenge” that we all can conquer.

This is our final workout for our Fit & Forty+ blog. I hope this series has helped you incorporate some changes into your exercise and nutrition routine.  Keep in mind it is not how old the calendar says you are it is what your mind tells you. Keep working small steps equal BIG results.
Coming up I will be doing a series on Spring/Summer shape up workouts for ANYWHERE. Thanks for watching!

If you have just joined this series please be sure to go back and read all the blogs including:

Getting Started

Foam Rolling and Increasing Your Range of Motion

Eat Right to Feel Right

Increasing Metabolism with Strenght Training (Band Workout)

Increasing Metabolism with Strenght Training (Kettlebell Workout)

Increasing Metabolism with Strenght Training (Bodyweight Workout)

Ready to get started with an exercise program designed for you? Schedule an appointment with Kris by contacting her at 317-274-3432 or email.

This blog series was written by Kris Simpson BS, ACSM-PT, HFS, personal trainer at NIFS. To read more about Kris and NIFS bloggers click here.

Topics: exercise fitness equipment muscles challenge workout dumbbell 40

“Fight for Air Climb” Raises Money to Beat Lung Disease

Imagine the last time you ran up a few flights of stairs because you were running late to a Fight for Air Climbmeeting or were struck with a sudden burst of energy. Your legs probably began to tighten up and burn a little. Your heart rate suddenly climbs and you begin to consume more and more oxygen with every step. You have to, your body is craving oxygen to supply a rich blood flow to the working muscles so you can get to that meeting on time.

Now try to imagine that same climb up the stairs, but this time you have lung disease and you are unable to deliver that much-needed oxygen to your working body. I think it would be safe to say that you may be late to that meeting.

The Fight for Air Climb

The Fight for Air Climb is an event that can give you a taste of feeling unable to breathe while trying to get somewhere. This annual event, presented by the American Lung Association, helps raise money for lung disease research and educates people on the seriousness of this group of debilitating conditions.

The unique format is unlike any other race or fitness challenge out there. The site for this year’s event is the Chase Tower, and the challenge is to climb all 47 floors. If that’s not enough of a challenge for you to climb the tallest building in Indianapolis, do it twice or even three times for a total of 141 floors. There is a challenge for everyone.

A True Fitness ChallengeFight for Air Climb

I climbed my first event last year at the Regions Tower, made up of 35 floors, with a motivated and determined group from NIFS. Now I have run my fair share of half marathons, and even conquered a Tough Mudder, so I was pretty confident that this would be a challenge I could soar through. It wasn’t until I reached the 17th floor on my first run that I realized I was very much mistaken.

I took the Ultimate Challenge course and climbed the tower three times. It was about that time, halfway up on my first run, that I knew I was facing a mountain of a challenge (insert lame-joke rim shot here). It really is like no other feeling, midway up, and not being able to breathe very well at all and having 18 floors to go, plus 70 more. It really was like no other challenge I have ever faced.

Although the physical effort was immense, it did not compare to the empathy I felt for those who can barely walk around their homes without feeling this way. It’s for those individuals that we climb, because they can’t. It is so uplifting to see so many climb in hope of making the lives of those suffering from a lung disorder better by supporting the research needed to battle these conditions.

Fight for Air Climb Boot Camp

Last year, I also had the pleasure of helping train many of the individuals participating in the climb here at NIFS through our Fight for Air Climb Boot Camp. It was great to work with so many inspiring climbers all with a unique story of why they have decided to put their body through a grueling challenge. Many of them have loved ones battling a lung disease or have lost someone to the same battle. No matter the details of the story, there was always a consistent message: “Let’s climb for those who can’t.” 

The American Lung Association and NIFS have joined together to bring participants a FREE training program for the climb. You do NOT need to be a member of NIFS to participate, you just need to be registered for the The Fight for Air Climb event.

Tony Maloney is NIFS Fitness Center Manager and leads group training Sunday through Thursday. Follow Tony on Facebook at NIFS Elite. Meet all of our NIFS Bloggers.


Topics: NIFS cardio running step group training challenge boot camp endurance training disease prevention

Make 2014 Your Year to Complete Your First Half-Marathon!

In the past decade, the half-marathon distance has grown at an extraordinary rate, almost tripling in the number of participants across the country. Although in the past few years the growth has began to slow some from the preceding rapid rate, it is the most popular road race distance for runners and walkers to complete, with 43 half-marathon distance races consuming the top 100 largest races in the country in 2012. Included in that list as the highest attended half-marathon for 2012, the Indianapolis OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon continues to be a go-to event for runners and walkers of all abilities.marathon

A few reasons that I believe so many people set a goal of training and completing a half-marathon is that the idea of running a half-marathon is a manageable health and fitness goal from a time commitment and physical capability standpoint. Along with this, it is an excellent challenge for those looking to improve fitness, manage weight, or just accomplish something out of their ordinary routine.

Tips for Running Your First Half-Marathon

Here are a few tips that I suggest for first-time half-marathon participants:

  • Find a beginner's training plan! Starting with no base can still result in success when you follow a plan. First-time half-marathon runners should be sure to start out with lower mileage and gradually work into longer runs. This will help with confidence level initially and help prevent injuries that can occur if you start running too much too soon.
  • Visit a store that can fit you for the proper pair of shoes to run in before you begin the training program. Figuring out the right pair of shoes is very important and should be done before you start a training program.
  • Eat and hydrate appropriately prior to and following each training session. This will have a great impact on how you feel during all of your runs throughout the week.
  • Finally, have fun with training for the race! If you are motivated and feed off of others, find a group of people you enjoy being around to train with.

Join the NIFS Mini-Marathon Training Programmini marathon training

Now is the time to check the half-marathon off of your bucket list and join the hundreds of thousands of people who complete half-marathons every year! The NIFS Mini-Marathon Training Program was created to offer NIFS members and local residents a training program geared toward completing the spring half-marathons. Program participants are given a training plan to follow, which prepares them to complete the Mini, the Geist Half Marathon, the Carmel Half Marathon, or a combination of the races for those looking to complete multiple races in the spring.

Each Wednesday night for the duration of the 14-week program, runners and walkers of all abilities meet with their designated pace group to complete their long run for the week. Volunteer group leaders ensure that the participants are staying on pace and are completing the designated distance for the night. The distance of the long run progresses as the weeks go on, capping out at a 12-mile long run two training sessions prior to the Mini, which leaves participants prepared to conquer the 13.1. Following each training session, recovery snacks are provided to the participants.

Click here to register for the 2014 NIFS Mini-Marathon Training Program. Starting from scratch and not sure if you are ready to complete a half-marathon? Try our 4-week training program to build your base!

This blog was written by Stephanie Kaiser, NIFS Health Fitness Specialist and co-coordinator of the NIFS Mini-Marathon Training Program. Meet our bloggers.

Topics: NIFS fitness center running group training mini marathon half marathon race challenge

2013 NIFS Programs: A Look Back at Our Year

It is hard to believe that we are wrapping up another year at NIFS! As instructors looking back over the last year, we like to think that the variety of fitness opportunities that we have offered has provided individuals with the tools needed to move forward toward reaching and surpassing their health and fitness goals. Along with the variety of group fitness classes, personal training, group training opportunities, and fitness assessments and personalized exercise programs, we offer additional special programming throughout the year to keep our members on track and motivated!

Mini-Marathon Training ProgramMini Marathon 2014

Every year, One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and other spring half-marathon participants look to NIFS for their training program. NIFS offers a unique program providing pace group leaders for each training group, ranging from a 7-minute run pace, to a run-walk group, to the 16-minute walk group. You will find a group of individuals ready to train for the same goal as you within your group each Wednesday night of the program when you meet for the long run. Participants also receive a snack after they finish their run. With nearly 325 participants and leaders last year, the program proved to be a success and resulted in many happy participants crossing the finish line reaching their goals in the 2013 spring half-marathons.

Slim It logoSlim-It-To-Win-It

Kicking off at the right time, just after the New Year’s resolution rush has worn off and the thick of winter has settled in, NIFS rolls out the Slim-It-To-Win-It 10-week fat-loss team training program, which has proved to be a great motivator for the members to stay on track with their weight-loss goals. This year proved to be a tight competition, with 11 different teams competing for the team title. The aBENger’s claimed the title, losing an average of 2.35% body fat!

Triathlon Training Program
Tri Training logo

As the only program in the city that has been training for the Go Girl Triathlon since the very first race, NIFS spent much of the summer training women of varying abilities to complete the sprint triathlon in August at Eagle Creek Park. Twenty-five very happy women completed the race that day! The program met at NIFS, the IU Natatorium, and Eagle Creek Park on Tuesday nights to complete a weekly group workout with coaches and concluded with a post-workout snack thanks to program sponsor First Watch Daytime Cafe.

Summer Showdown

Always promising to be an excellent fitness challenge, Summer Showdown never disappoints as a challenging test for those looking for an extra push to beat the heat in the height of summer. This past year, participants completed a partner 100 workout at the beginning of the program. After 6 weeks of training two days a week with a team and coach with workouts geared toward improving performance of the challenge, the partners completed the same workout to conclude the program.

Staff Rowing Challenge

A little friendly competition never hurts anyone; it also proves to be very motivating when looking at fitness! That is how we view the annual staff rowing challenge. From November 25 to December 24, members row as many meters as they can for their team. The team that rows the most meters and the team that rows the most meters per person gets bragging rights as team champions. We are currently wrapping up this program, but it has proven to be successful as a motivating fitness competition again this year.

Maintain Not GainMaintainGainLogo

Also currently occurring as a holiday incentive program, Maintain Not Gain proves to be a popular program year in and year out as it encourages fitness and weight maintenance throughout the holiday season. The program includes weekly motivational emails, group workouts, and incentive prizes for those who maintain or lose weight upon completion of the program. With 208 participants completing the 2012–2013 programs, the group lost a total of 208 pounds over the holidays!

Les Mills Launches

Over the past year, the Les Mills classes have become increasingly popular in the fitness center. In January, April, July, and October, Les Mills launches took place in the fitness center to introduce new releases with the goal of injecting energy in the facility and to pump up the members!

NIFS Barbell Club

New this year, Josh Jones headed up the NIFS barbell club in October. The program is great for anyone who is serious about wanting to improve their power-lifting abilities. This session focused on the clean and the snatch. Participants learned the correct way to complete the exercises and saw drastic improvements in their ability to lift like the pros!

Start 2014 off right by getting involved in one of NIFS specialized programs! Mini Marathon training starts Jan 22nd! Get Registered today!

This blog was written by Stephanie Kaiser, Health Fitness Specialist at NIFS. Meet our other NIFS bloggers.

Topics: NIFS fitness center goal setting weight loss group fitness group training mini marathon half marathon NIFS programs challenge Summer Showdown weight management Les Mills

NIFS Staff Completes Summer Showdown

You know (and love) your NIFS staff members. We greet you when you first walk into the facility, we guide you through your workouts, we correct your technique, and we push you to your limit. We are always there during your workout, but I bet that many of you wonder when we work out. You probably wonder if we ever push ourselves with the same crazy exercises that we put you through.
NIFS staff summer showdown workout

Well, there is no longer any need for you to wonder.

The NIFS staff completed the 2013 Summer Showdown: Partner 100s workout, and boy was it a sight to see!

A group of NIFS staff representing the Fitness Center, Membership, Group Fitness, and even the interns got together and partnered up for this summer workout challenge.

It was hard work, and although we were sweaty and tired once it was all over, we truly enjoyed the challenge.

Now you know that when we are telling you to push harder, squat deeper, or do just one more rep…we have been there. We know it’s hard work, but we also know that you can do it!NIFS workout

Have fun these next six weeks working to improve your Summer Showdown time. We will be right there with you every step of the way!

This blog was written by Tara Deal Rochford, NIFS Membership Manager and a group fitness instructor. Author of Treble in the Kitchen. Meet our other NIFS bloggers.


Topics: NIFS fitness group training functional training NIFS programs challenge Summer Showdown