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NIFS Healthy Living Blog

The Right Attitude to Get You Moving

ThinkstockPhotos-179777962-1“Start somewhere today. Don’t put it off. You can do something, no matter how ‘small’ you think it is in terms of your long-term goal. Every step you take is one you’ll be thankful for when you get there. Remember: You're lapping everyone who’s still on the couch.” —Caressa Sharp

You see the quote above? It screams at you to get moving, doing something. In this post we talked about doing 95 percent of the work. Have you tried? If so, bravo. If not, why not?

In my quest to make you enjoy your workouts, it seems you may need more encouraging. Okay; if you started, there’s no need to be chastised. You’re on your way. Just keep at it! Let me talk to you, those who have not moved off the couch.

I made an interesting observation while attending my son’s sixth-grade (first year in middle school) open house: The teachers with the best attitude had many posters about positive attitudes, while the dull, monotone teachers had none. My take from this is to surround yourself with so much good attitude, including words, pictures, and people.

Group Training May Be the Answer

The people you workout with can pull you along. The problem just may be finding them. At NIFS, there is a great group of active older adults “kickin’ their own butts” as I like to say (I even told them this and they laughed).

We have started small group training for this very reason. I am looking for members who are searching for a training partner or group to help them get moving. If you are interested, please contact me.

Bottomline we want to find you and help you get healthier. DEMO classes are a great way to see if a training group would be just the kick in the pants you need. Any task done with a friend or partner is much easier accomplished—even if those people aren’t exactly your “best buds.”

Get active, stay active, live better!

Yes! I want to try small group training

This blog was written by Kris Simpson, NIFS Personal Trainer. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

 

Topics: staying active group fitness group training attitude

Healthy Kids: Exercise May Help Improve Grades in School


Remember bringing your report card home, nervously wondering how your parents were going to punish you for the slacking grades? Parents, remember opening that report card and trying to figure out how to help your child realize the importance of doing well in school and punishing them for their low grade? One idea I never heard from my parents was, “Hey let’s give exercise a try and see if it helps to improve their grades!” But it might be just the thing that helps.

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The Evidence Is In: Active Kids Are Better Learners

For years, parents have been struggling to find ways to get their children focused and driven to work hard in the classroom. Being a former coach, I have seen many kids who were motivated to work hard in their sport; but when it came to their studies the motivation seemed to be lacking. Practice would be filled with endless complaints about teachers, too much homework, or the test they had the next day. But there is a lot of research coming out saying that with just 20 minutes a day of physical activity, your child can improve their grades in school.

In a recent study, after just 20 minutes of walking around the playground, kids tested higher on a reading test than the other students who just sat inside and watched TV. Due to the development of brain cells in aerobic exercise, improvements are made in attention, concentration, focus, problem solving, behavior, and memory. So why not help kids do better in school by simply spending just 20 minutes with them doing some sort of physical activity?

Ways to Get Kids Moving

Here are some quick ideas that I came up with to challenge your kids to get out of their pajamas and into action:

Yard games: Have your kids play tag with the other neighborhood children, or maybe a quick round of catch with the football or baseball. If someone has a trampoline, spending 20 minutes jumping on that could be both fun and beneficial. You could also challenge them to a jump-rope contest or send them out to climb around on the swing set.

  • Sports games: Go out and shoot some hoops or challenge them to a little one-on-one. You could grab a soccer ball and kick it around the yard, or maybe go for a light jog together. And who doesn’t like a bike ride around the neighborhood?
  • Inside activities: Try setting up an obstacle course in the basement that makes them climb, run, jump, crawl, etc. If you have a Wii, the Wii Sports program is both fun and challenging, or you can also exercise through dance.
  • Other ideas: Some other things that I thought of would be to walk the dog around the block, rollerblade to school, create a fun circuit that they could go through, take your kids to swim at the local pool, and even try letting them invite a friend along!

Next time you're at NIFS, bring the kids along to take advantage of some of our active family services. With a short, fun workout, you may see your kids’ grades improve! Be creative and find ways that allow you both to get your bodies moving and get your heart rate up. Give it a try with your kids and see how they do!

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

 

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Topics: staying active education productivity kids

10-Minute Desk Exercise Routines for the Office

86490362Even though I work at a gym, I can still relate to people who work in an office setting sitting at a desk for several hours out of the day. On a typical day, I try to get in my workout before or after the work day, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen and I need to squeeze some movement into the middle of my day.

Getting up and moving around at the office doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t take a long time to get in movement that will truly make a difference.


Here are two 10-minute workouts you can do at your desk (or anywhere!) when time, space, and equipment are limited. Also, notice the exercises are hyperlinked—click the link for a video demonstration of the specific exercise.

10-Minute Total Body Desk Exercise Routine

Complete each exercise for 1 minute, resting when needed. Repeat the circuit of exercises twice through. Make sure to do some light stretching at your desk when you are finished!

10-Minute Cardio Blast Desk Exercises

Complete each exercise for 1 minute, resting when needed. Repeat the circuit of exercises twice through. Make sure to do some light stretching at your desk when you are finished!

Bring NIFS to work with you! Contact us about our Corporate Wellness Programs and bring fitness to your workplace. Contact Don Galante for more information at 317-274-3432 ext 234 or by email.

This blog was written by Tara Deal Rochford, LES MILLS® certified BODYPUMP® and CXWORX® instructor and contributing writer. Author of Treble in the Kitchen. Meet our other NIFS bloggers.

Topics: staying active workouts exercise at work desk exercise workplace fitness videos workplace wellness

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

Fit & Forty+ (Fabulous) Series—Getting Started

Fit & Forty+ (Fabulous) Series—Getting Started

by NIFS Personal Trainer Kris Simpsondescribe the image

Who Says That 40+ Women Can't Be Fit?

This four-part blog (and "vlog") series looks at what happens to women as we get into our fourth decade. As you see the scale creep higher and the clothes fit tighter, you know something must be done—now!

I will include both blogs and videos, giving you information and showing you ways to become FIT and FABULOUS into your 40's and beyond. Look for each part in the series to be posted weekly each Thursday. Subscribe to our blog so you don't miss an installment!

So What's Changing?

When we hit the big 4-0 the loss of muscle and decrease in metabolism seem to go hand in hand. Of course this varies for each person but some sources claim that your metabolism can decrease by up to 5% every 10 years once you hit 40. That means you have to eat fewer and fewer calories every year just to maintain the same weight.

As you edge closer to 40, you face the realization that workouts are not something you do or don’t do; they become what you need to do. You are starting to get into your routine: family, work, and social commitments, which invade your me time. You need to carve out some time for you, but it does not need to be long hours on the treadmill.

Getting Started the Right Way

(Before starting any workout program, get a checkup from your doctor.)

Just some basics here. Get good gear: shoes, sports bra, and comfortable, breathable shorts and top. The key is your shoes; your feet need to have support for the work you will be doing. The biggest mistake I see with new clients is old, broken down, poor-fitting shoes. If you are going to be running, get running shoes. If walking, get walking shoes. If you are doing strength and interval workouts, get a shoe that allows for side movements (like a court shoe). For most who have worn high heels or tight, ill-fitting dress shoes in the name of looking fabulous, the minimal (or barefoot) shoes will not give you enough support and could lead to injuries.

Also, don’t pay top prices for shoes. Look through the clearance section and buy some that you like the look of (this is a great motivator), that feel great on your feet walking around the store (bring workout socks), and are within your budget.

Sports bras are just a necessary evil, so buy a good one! If you have a difficult time with sizes and support level, look into online companies.

Shorts and tops should be made from breathable and comfortable material to help you move through the workout without getting in the way. Plus you can get designs and colors that can encourage you to get moving. These items can be bought off the clearance racks as well.

Start with Measurements To Track Your Progress

Getting fit is a process. Changing poor habits to better ones, at times, can seem long and slow. Remember you did not gain the extra 20, 30, 40lbs in a week so you won’t lose it that fast either. By taking measurements you can gain encouragement by results, even if the scale doesn’t show it.

Watch my video now on the right way to take measurements. This is an important step in getting started so don't skip it! Tracking your progress will help you see the changes and will also keep you movitated when you need it most.


 

The changes you start making will need to be life-long. If you can make small modifications, it will lead you to a healthier and happier you. I look forward to challenging you in this series to be your best at 40 and beyond!

To schedule a Bod Pod fitness assessment (mentioned in the video), click here for more information.

This blog series was written by Kris Simpson BS, ACSM-PT, HFS, personal trainer at NIFS. If you have questions about something in this series or would like to schedule an appointment with Kris please contact her at 317-274-3432 or email. To read more about Kris and NIFS bloggers click here.

Topics: fitness staying active motivation goal setting running walking equipment

Finding Balance in Your Life

So I have a question for you: How is your “balance”? I’m not referring to your single-leg stand on the BOSU. I’m referring to the balance in your life. The juggling act of all the responsibilities and the people we are responsible for and to can be as if we upgraded from simple juggling balls to flaming knives.Work life balance

Sometimes I think of that line in the movie Fight Club, when Brad Pitt’s character says to Ed Norton, “Things you own, end up owning you.” For me, it is my career that at times owns me, and tends to monopolize my focus and energy. The balance among work, rest, play, and spiritual wellness is a crucial one, and it does take some juggling at times to ensure that proper balance.

Legendary coach Dan John puts it best that if you have to work more (say, your busy time of the year), you must plan to rest more, play more, and spend more time developing spiritually (this could be religion, alone time, meditation, etc.). As you expand each facet of your life to ensure the proper balance, you too should expand. It just makes sense, doesn’t it? If you work more to complete an important project at work and increase your rest time revolving around solid sleep patterns, you will increase the benefits of great sleep. Expanding work and rest will then lead to more play time, resulting in better moods and perception.

Lastly, expanding the preceding three facets of your life will result in you spending more time expanding your spirituality. Now this is different for everybody. For me, it is alone time where I develop both personally and professionally. Or it is a long walk with my wife, Teri, and our Snorkie dog named Traveler. What is it for you? I feel to be the best “YOU” that you can be, all other facets of your life must lead you to a strong and centered spiritual sense that must involve a close relationship with the ones you love the most.

I came across a survey years ago, and if it has stuck with me for this long it is probably worth repeating. The survey polled 100 senior citizens about what they would do differently if they could do it all over again. Here were their top 3 answers:

  1. Laugh more
  2. Spend more time with loved ones
  3. Take more risks

As you look at your current balancing act, would those three be on your list later in life? Sometimes you need reminding of what is truly important in your lives. THIS IS YOUR REMINDER! Spend time with the people you love and who love you, find a way to laugh out loud every day, and have the courage to take that risk you have been fearful to take. Create the true balance in your life. You won’t regret it.

Tony Maloney is the Fitness Center Manager and leads Group Training Sunday through Thursday. Follow Tony on Facebook at ELITE. Meet our NIFS bloggers.

Topics: NIFS staying active healthy habits fitness center motivation work/life balance sleep

How to Make Time for Health During the Busy Holidays

The holidays are known as a time of temptation, bustling around, and busy schedules. It’s part of what makes me love the holiday season so much. Despite the cheerful feelings in the air, many times when we get busy, nutritious foods and regular exercise are the first things to go!

I can definitely relate to feeling the holiday rush and not knowing where or when to fit in my healthy lifestyle. I also know that with a little pre-planning and a conscious effort put into my food and exercise routine, I feel much happier overall and I am able to enjoy fun holiday events even more! Whether you are attending holiday parties, working long hours, or enjoying your child’s holiday performance, it’s still important to make time for health.

Here are my six tips for staying healthy during the busy holiday season.

1. Schedule the Appointment

At the end of the weekend, I like to take out my planner and write down my workouts where I have time available (in ink!). This allows me to know ahead of time I have an appointment. And just as if I were meeting with someone for business, I don’t want to miss it or be late. Looking at my time day by day, and sometimes hour by hour, makes the busy schedule seem a lot more manageable and allows me to find empty time pockets that I can fill if necessary.

2. Make It a Traditionworkout buddy

A couple of years ago, I signed up for my first Thanksgiving morning run and it was a blast! There were tons of crazy costumes, families, and runners of all experience levels participating. The atmosphere was so happy and inviting! Having the race to look forward to kept me on task for the month of November, as I knew I needed to stay in shape to complete the race and feel good the rest of the day. I enjoyed the race so much that I have signed up for a race every year since, and now I am getting my family involved!

3. Cook in Batchesbatch cooking

Make batches of healthy meals and snacks at the beginning of the week so you aren't tempted by holiday treats at all times. I make this a habit even when it’s not the holiday season. It could be as simple as roasting extra veggies, cooking extra chicken or fish to throw on salads, or making sure all of your produce is clean and cut so you can grab and go at any time. Holiday treats are part of the season, so enjoy them, but don’t shape your entire holiday diet around them.

4. Combine Workout with Workbatch cooking

I know how it feels to have a big exam coming up that consumes every thought in my head, or extra work that needs to be completed away from the office. Having things like this on my mind have made me feel guilty about taking the time out of my schedule to get some physical activity in. Luckily, I have found a way to squeeze in some extra work while getting my exercise in. Read your notes while riding a stationary bike, running on the treadmill, or using the elliptical. It may not be your preferred mode of activity, but it is still movement. Combining the two things on your to-do list will hopefully give you a little break in your schedule so you can spend your spare time celebrating rather than at the gym.

5. Pack Your Bagworkout bag

Preparing for the next day the night before helps me stay focused and not miss any appointments I may have coming up, and that includes my workout appointment with myself! I pack my entire bag the night before so I can get up early to work out before my day starts or hit the gym right after work—if you are lucky, squeeze it in during lunch! No matter what, your bag will be packed and ready to go, leaving you with no excuses.

6. Find a Workout Buddy

Having a partner in crime for any activity makes it more enjoyable, and the same is true with working out! Another option is to attend a group class. Meeting the others in the group will help hold you accountable for showing up each day. They will help motivate you during the workout, too!

If you need some extra motivation, NIFS offers Group Training classes throughout the week to keep you on track during the holidays!

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: exercise fitness nutrition staying active motivation healthy eating

No-Equipment-Needed Workouts for Holiday Travel

With the holiday season upon us, we can almost guarantee that at some point we will be expected to travel. Sometimes we only have short trips that make for a nice recharging, but other trips can last much longer. Couple that with limitations on equipment and less-than-desirable food options and we have an instant cause for concern. Because that workout your trainer prescribes relies heavily on bands, ropes, foam rollers and weights, you may think you are without a workout plan. But don't give up on your workout just yet, here are some ideas on what you can do with little to no equipment.

Do Stretching Exercises

To maintain flexibility, stretching through dynamic movement patterns is ideal and can be done in a small area. Inch Worms, Knee Ups, and Jumping Jacks are all good examples of dynamic movement patterns.

Perform Simple Exercises That Use Multiple Muscle Groups

To simplify your workout, you can focus on a few great exercises that work multiple muscle plankgroups. These exercises can range from beginner to advanced, with the functionally basic movement of sit and stand at a chair to the more challenging Burpees (add a pushup and squat jump for even more workload). The Plank exercise is also one of the best exercises for building endurance in the abs, back, core, glutes and hip flexor. To make the Plank easier add an incline or lower knees to the floor. For a greater challenge increase the period of time you hold the plank or add movement such as leg lifts or arm extensions.

Cardio Exercises at the Hotel

suitcase carrystairsThere are other “tools” you can use while on the go that you may not realize. For a cardio option, most hotels have a staircase. Use it! Avoid the elevator and take the stairs instead. For a challenge, run the stairs for ten minutes (and because most people use the elevator, it should be mostly empty for your use). Suitably known as a suitcase carry, your suitcase can be used for a one-sided farmer's carry walk that pinpoints your oblique (like a side plank), and a bathroom towel can be used to create an isometric static hold for countless upper-body exercises.

Whether or not you are on the go for the holidays, be sure to exercise the next time you travel; it’s easier than you think. See a health fitness specialist or personal trainer to help design a workout plan that is right for you.

Be sure to sign up for upcoming NIFS exclusive programs geared toward your goals (such as Maintain Not Gain, Slim It to Win It, or Summer Showdown).

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This blog was written by Thomas Livengood, Health Fitness Specialist at NIFS. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers click here.
Topics: exercise cardio staying active healthy habits Thomas' Corner holidays muscles Summer Showdown

NIFS 25th Anniversary: Charter Member Ronald Cooper

RonaldCooper 15
Charter member Ronald Cooper talks about a few of his favorite things
at NIFS! Watch his video!
Topics: exercise fitness nutrition staying active fitness center motivation anniverary

NIFS 25th Anniversary: Charter Member Rick Hurst

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Charter member Rick Hurst talks about his favorite activities at NIFS and what has kept him coming back for 25 years. Click here to watch his video.


Topics: NIFS exercise fitness cardio staying active fitness center workouts anniversary