FUNdamentals in FUNctional FITness
by Nikki Carrion, MA
FitXpress LLC
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Co-Owner; FitXpress
Nikki Carrion is co-owner of Fit Xpress
Consulting Services in Waterloo, IA.  
She has over 25 years of experience
in the field of health promotion and
says her passion for her work comes
from her desire to practice preventive
health and promote positive lifestyle
changes.  Although she works with a
wide variety of ages, from college
students to older adults, she says her
focus is on empowering older adults
to higher levels of functional fitness.   

Nikki has a graduate degree in
Community Health Education with an
emphasis in Gerontology from the
University of Northern Iowa.  She also
has a number of certifications
including balance training, chronic
disease self- management, exercise
for hip & knee replacements, group
exercise instruction, personal
training, yoga and pilates.


  • MA; Community Health
    Education.  University of
    Northern IA.  Emphasis in


  • Enhance Fitness Master
    Trainer ~ University of
    Washington, WA.
  • Chronic Disease Self-
    management Master Trainer
    ~ Stanford University, CA.
  • Balance Trainer ~ Cal State
    Fullerton, CA.
  • Personal Trainer / Fitness,
    Yoga & Pilates Instruction ~
    Nat'l Exercise Trainers

Nikki Carrion’s primary
passion and mission is to
empower older adults to
higher levels of functional
fitness.  Besides the Relax &
Breathe CEU module,
FitXpress has a series of
chair exercise DVDs as well
as a training module for
activity professionals.  
FitXpress methods are safe
and effective AND
demonstrate how to put the
FUN into FUNction!
For more information go to:
check out the product page.
Empower yourself with
or call 319-404-4219.  
Move it…or Lose it

“Welcome back!”  Last month we discussed exercise and chronic conditions.  
So…what are the options for the resident/patient (RP) who wants to something…but
can’t do much?  A great option that will empower this RP is a mind and body (MB)
discipline such as Easy Tai Chi (ORI, 2005) or chair yoga.  This type of a discipline
takes the participant through a series of gentle movements intended to take the major
joints through their range-of-motion while simply getting their body moving is a slow,
gentle fashion.  These disciplines have been researched in recent years and found to
have a host of benefits including increased range-of-motion of the major joints,
improved flexibility of the major muscle groups, enhanced sleep patterns, as well as
reduced levels of anxiety and depression.  Participants of such mind and body
disciplines usually have mixed reactions, with most reporting the experience to be
relaxing and enjoyable.  

Researchers suggest that MB disciplines such as tai chi, yoga and meditation have
been found to benefit the heart by helping to maintain and/or lower blood pressure and
cholesterol levels.  One specific study done at the Johns Hopkins Medical Center
(2003) found that tai chi can lower an individual’s blood pressure almost as much as
moderate aerobic exercise can.  This affect on the body is thought to take place as the
energy between the mind and body become balanced with tai chi’s slow, methodical
movements.  Negative toxins are also released from the body as breathing is done in a
conscious and purposeful manner.             

People of all ages, regardless of their functional level, find an active lifestyle difficult to
master.  They find it even more difficult to maintain, and the percentage of sedentary
Americans is on the rise (ACSM, 2010.  The health challenges that accompany the
aging process make efforts seem impossible for most.  However, when introduced to
MB disciplines such as Easy Tai Chi, a new window is opened.  Those who are
encouraged, and who face the challenge by becoming physically active, are more-often-
than-not pleasantly surprised as to how quickly they come to realize health-related
improvements taking place.  Those improvements include increased energy, strength,
balance, mobility, lung function and reduced aches and pains often related to common
chronic conditions such as arthritis.  

The body is designed to move, and problems arise and compounded for the RP that
sits and does little.  Even those RPs with the greatest limitations need to move, and can
benefit from methodical movement of  a MB discipline such as Easy Tai Chi or Chair
Yoga.  Both are very gentle, and do not jar the body and/or joints.  Neither is difficult to
learn, and both serve to enhance overall health and wellness.  Empower your RPs
today by requesting a FREE sample DVD from FitXpress which includes a clip of the
Easy Tai Chi on DVD, permission granted by ORI for production, and clips from both of
our chair yoga titles.  Call Nikki at 1-800-481-7449 or send an email; nikki@fitxpress.
com for your FREE sample DVD.

Until next month…be well.