Monthly Archives: March 2012


A bit off topic today to share with others…everyone needs a good detox or cleanse once in awhile. Whether that be your wardrobe or your life. Evaluate who or what is truly important in your life and rid yourself of those things that leave you worn out or discouraged. Words for thought…Maria Robinson said “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

into mind


Traditionally, spring cleaning was meant to rid a house of its wintery layer and prepare it for spring. I don’t own a house, but I do own a closet, and the principle is the same: you can’t put your new spring clothes into a jam-packed closet full of knits, tights and other cold-weather items, right?

Along with a seasonal turnover, now is a good time to do a general big edit and purge your closet of everything that’s only wasting space. I have to confess, I love the editing process. I think my wardrobe should be a reflection of my style and my aesthetic judgment. Every item that I don’t really like or that just doesn’t look good on me, is tainting that reflection a little bit, and throwing it out feels like a detox.

Once you detoxified your closet, you might be left with a lot less clothes, but at…

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Fit Tip Tuesday {No.3}


What is the single best ABS exercise?

While there is no single best abs exercise, crunches do not work as well as people think. In fact, neither do stability ball (swiss ball) crunches or leg lifts. Strength coaches and fitness experts a like agree that those exercises do not challenge the stability of your body against gravity. John Romaniello, a strength coach and owner of says exercises that force you to brace your spine and pelvis activate more muscle fibers than any type of crunching movement, which helps build the definition you desire. 

 The most common stabilization exercise is the plank (shown below). An exercise where you hold your body in a push-up position, while lowering your body to rest on your forearms instead of your hands.


The plank can be modified or progressed to meet any fitness level!

National Employee Health and Fitness


From 1989-present, tens of thousands of employees have engaged in National Employee Health and Fitness DayNEHF is a great way to kickoff fitness and wellness programs that complement the existing. Worksite wellness centers and programs have proven to benefit the employer through increased employee productivity, lower health care costs, fewer sick days, and a decrease in worksite injuries. These programs benefit the employee by lowering stress, increasing well-being, self-image, improved stamina, and job satisfaction.

On Tuesday, March 20th, we at Nationwide Insurance celebrated our own Employee Health and Fitness Day with an 80’s theme! Our event included 80’s music,  drawings for prizes for those dressed in 80’s attire, 80’s inspired group fitness classes, a circuit set-up around the 2,500 square foot gym, and a trivia wall!

See if you know the answer to some of our 80’s trivia questions…answers will be below.

1. Who created step aerobics and in what year?

2. What 80’s fitness expert sought to build gyms for those who weren’t already in shape, wrote 9 books, and has 50 fitness videos?

3. What 80’s aerobics class mixed jazz dance choreography, aerobic muscle training, and stretching?

4. In 1982, what female fitness icon sold 17 million of her fitness home video?

5. What 80’s fitness must-have was originally worn by dancers to keep muscles warm, but became a hot accessory?

Amy F

Michael C
Program Manager

Fitness Professional
Answers to 80’s trivia…
1. Gin Miller in 1989- A competitive gymnast during college, she had many overuse injuries in consequence of high-impact aerobics. Her physical therapist had her step up and down on a milk box to fortify and rehabilitate the muscles of her knee. Rather than a milk box, she used her porch steps and included aerobic music to break the silence and reduce boredom. This simple concept gave rise to the famous way of exercise we know today as step aerobics.

2. Richard Simmons

3. Jazzercise- Although invented in the 60’s, it boomed in the 80’s and is making a comeback today!

4. Jane Fonda

5. Leg warmers

Fit Tip Tuesday {No.2}


Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”)

Although almost always considered a grain, quinoa is actually a seed from a plant related to spinach and grown almost exclusively in the South American Andes.

Quinoa has a nutty, palate-pleasing taste and cooks in roughly 10-15 minutes. Much faster than brown rice!  To intensify the flavor, try roasting quinoa in a skillet over medium heat till darkened prior to boiling and add spices such as turmeric or chili powder to the cooking water.

The nutrient composition is very good compared to other grains. Quinoa has high quantities of lysine, calcium, phosphorus, and iron.

Try this great recipe from All

Curried Quinoa

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Ready In: 40 minutes

Yields 2 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook and stir for 2 minutes; add quinoa and cook and stir until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes.
  2. Pour broth into the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add curry and chile powders; cover and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Think Pink…this Spring!


Someone I know was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Chances are that rings true to some of you. That someone may be your mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, co-worker, or neighbor. You do not know what to say to them, they need support and so do you. The first thing everyone needs to do is become educated. Educate yourself on risk factors and prevention, early detection and screening processes, treatment, and diagnosis.

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is a type of cancer where cells in the breast divide and grow without normal control. Between 50 and 75 percent of breast cancers begin in the ducts, 10 to 15 percent begin in the lobules and a few begin in other breast tissues.

Tumors in the breast tend to grow slowly. By the time a lump is large enough to feel, it may have been growing for as long as 10 years. However, some tumors are aggressive and grow much more rapidly.

It is important to understand the difference between invasive breast cancer and non-invasive breast cancer, called ductal carcinoma in situ (kar-sin-O-ma in SY-too)- Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

How to help! You may be a runner. Walker. Volunteer. Activist. Whichever route you choose get involved. Breast cancer is still killing and impacting the lives of our loved ones. This Mother’s Day I will be joining thousand’s of people in the Race for the Cure in the Twin Cities. Join me on May 13 or donate to help save lives here (personal fundraising page)!

To learn more about breast cancer:

Fit Tip Tuesday {No.1}


Buy Shoes That Fit

Shop for workout shoes late in the day. That’s when your feet are the largest. Make sure there’s a half inch of space in front of your longest toe, and that you can easily wiggle your toes. Then slip off the shoes and compare them with your bare feet. If each shoe isn’t obviously wider and longer than your foot, go half a size bigger- Men’s Health Magazine.

Additionally, if you are shopping for a sport specific shoe consider the following:
– Consult an expert in the field
– Try a different style, brand, or fit shoe on each foot and compare directly, keep the shoe you like and switch the other until you have a final matching pair

Finding the right shoe can greatly improve your race time, comfort, aches & pains. Invest in a good pair of shoes–good luck & happy shopping!