Kimco Culture

Weighing in on Kimco’s new fitness center in Vista, Calif.

Posted by: Nicole Clark Nicole Clark
on February 11, 2014

After I lost half of my body weight 13 years ago, fitness became a huge part of my daily routine; no different than brushing my teeth or showering. So I was excited to see that a number of associates at our Vista, Calif., office expressed an interest in participating in an exercise program to improve their health after feeling dissatisfied with their annual health fair screening results.

So, instead of letting one of our unoccupied spaces in the shopping center sit empty until it was leased, we thought, why not set up a dedicated workout space for associates’ use? Together with some other Kimco employees, we launched a new fitness center for our Vista associates.  After permission was obtained to use the vacant space, I used the knowledge that I have as a certified yoga instructor and avid exerciser to get busy setting up the fitness center by purchasing and collecting equipment, and planning the center’s class schedule.

WORKPLACE SERENITY: The Kimco Fitness Center has given me a    chance to share my love for yoga with my associates

WORKPLACE SERENITY: The Kimco Fitness Center has given me a
chance to share my love for yoga with my associates

I teach two yoga classes, and Bridgette Hill, Leasing Assistant, offers one cardio circuit class. I have encouraged associates to step away from their desks and “get up and move” for 45 minutes during their lunch breaks.

The amount of participation has been surprising — almost every class since we started last March has been consistently full (we started classes before the fitness center was formally created). And the results have been simply amazing. We’ve lost weight, toned up, gained confidence, boosted physical and mental strength, reduced stress levels, and, most important, now have an overall feeling of well-being.

After the program was launched, I was so thrilled to find out that our vision of a Kimco Fitness Center was the winning idea for our iPads for iDeas contest in October! iPads for iDeas is Kimco’s initiative for associates to suggest new ways to spark innovation, productivity, and profitability within our company. The winners are each awarded an iPad2 and their ideas are implemented.

For some associates, a lunch-time workout is all they can fit into their daily schedule, and if it weren’t for the Kimco Fitness Center, they wouldn’t be able to exercise at all on workdays.

STRIKE A PLANK: Kimco associates prepare for the plank challenge

STRIKE A PLANK: Kimco associates prepare for the plank challenge

The benefits of this initiative have gone beyond the walls of the fitness center. During the workday, the atmosphere in the office is more positive and energized than ever before. But we didn’t stop there! During December, I tested my classes with a plank challenge. We met our goal of everyone being able to hold their bodies in a plank position for five minutes, and then some — one participant held his plank for 13 minutes!

Throughout January and into February, we’re working on the yoga sun salutation challenge, where we will complete 30 (or more!) repetitions of the yoga move sun salutation.

Our associates have been telling us some inspirational stories about how the center has impacted them over the past several months. Here’s some of the feedback we’ve gotten.

“I was initially excited about the opportunity to ‘get the workout out of the way’ on my lunch break. But once we started the program and got into a rhythm, it no longer felt like something to get out of the way. Working out became an enjoyable part of the day and I found myself looking forward to pushing myself amongst my co-workers and helping to motivate others toward a healthier physique and attitude … Some have stopped requiring medical attention for injuries and ongoing pain as a result of our workouts, as well as an overall desire to live a healthier lifestyle.” – Bridgette

PACKED HOUSE: My yoga class strikes the triangle pose

PACKED HOUSE: My yoga class strikes the triangle pose

“The Kimco Fitness Center, affectionately referred to as the ‘KFC,’ has been an incredible addition to office dynamics. It is a healthy way to spend a lunch, challenge yourself, and get to know associates in other functions. Getting the blood flowing helps me boost my focus and ultimately increases productivity. Thank you for providing this vital service!” – Matt

“A commitment to regular workouts is hard … Having a place to do that during the workday is AWESOME! And the slight peer pressure to not skip that workout (that can be easy to do at home) is an added bonus.” – Paula

“The fact that I can work on my fitness and health during an already busy work week is the best. I have really enjoyed becoming part of the fitness team with people from all departments in Kimco. But what really keeps me coming back to the Kimco Fitness Center is the physical and mental strength I gain week by week. It has been life-changing for me and given me confidence to tackle just about anything.” – Nina

WORDS OF WELLNESS: This sign adorns the fitness center to remind  my associates why they’ve embarked on their fitness journeys

WORDS OF WELLNESS: This sign adorns the fitness center to remind
my associates why they’ve embarked on their fitness journeys

“Before attending yoga at the Kimco Fitness Center I had neck and shoulder stiffness and limited movement. A month into taking yoga I started to feel more flexible and just happier, because I was finally doing something to alleviate the problem. Now I feel stronger and healthier, and it is thanks to my great yoga instructor who has the patience and determination to help me become a strong yogi.” – Sama

The Kimco Fitness Center has given associates a way to make health and fitness a priority despite long commutes and busy lifestyles, as well as a time to decompress during lunch breaks and connect with other associates. We’re excited to see what more comes out of this growing program!

1 COMMENT

It’s so exciting to see how this has developed and grown! Good Job!!

Linda

March 10, 2014


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