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.  
Get a MOVE On

The crisp feeling of fall is in the air…a great time to start a physical activity program or to
take a look at existing efforts.  Whether you are just getting started or already have
efforts in place, here are a few great tips for getting started, playing it safe and staying
on track:      

•        Decide for yourself “why” you want your residents/patients (RPs) to be physically
active.  One great reason…to improve existing levels of health and functional fitness.
•        Make a commitment to have your RPs exercise regularly.  Schedule it into their
daily routine, and make it happen consistently.  Always start exercises with a warm-up
and end with a cool-down.  
•        Encourage RPs to do what is comfortable; “listen to your body & do what it
says…resting if you feel you need to rest”.  
•        Remember…comfort range changes from one day to the next.  Therefore, RPs will
need encouragement.  Help them to understand they may not be able to do the same
on one day that they can did on another, and that’s OK.  
•        When you have an RP(s) report feelings of fatigue and/or discomfort…encourage
them not to give up.  Let them know this is their body communicating a need for easing
up a bit in terms of the length of their exercise time and/or how hard they are working as
they get started.  
•        In terms of strength…use slow, controlled movements for best results.
•        Never exercise inflamed joints.  When an RP has joints that are stiff…warm, moist
heat before exercise is recommended in an effort to relieve the pain and stiffness.
•        Be sure to include exercises that improve and maintain range-of-motion within the
major joints like the shoulders.  Such efforts serve to improve performance of everyday
activities and often work to reduce existing joint pain and stiffness as well.  Confidence
and independence are also likely to improve!
•        Accept and embrace limitations.  Encourage RPs to focus on what they can do vs.
what they can’t.  Positive thoughts are known to produce positive results!  
•        Understand exercise safety guidelines are ever-changing.  With this in mind,
check your library of exercise VHS tapes and/or DVDs.  They should not be more than
10 years old.  The following are just 3 of the common issues to be aware of when
exercising with older adults:
a.        At least 1 foot should be on the floor at all times.
b.        Hand weights should not be lifted over the head.
c.        No excessive turning or bending for those with spinal problems (e.g.

Visit for chair exercise DVDs designed specific to the needs of older
adults who may have limitations.  FitXpress has a mission to empower those we serve
to higher levels of functional fitness.  Email with any questions or
comments you may have.  We’re always here to assist you in any way we can.