Angie's Corner

Turkish Get-Up

by Angie Miller

Mastering the Turkish Get-Up!

Grab a kettlebell for this Turkish Get-Up!

There are few training tools in the fitness mainstream that pique interest and create more discussion than the kettlebell. For some, an intimidating ball of iron, for others a versatile piece of equipment that with proper training can transform your body. While kettlebell swings, cleans, jerks, and snatches offer unique challenges in terms of proper skill and execution, the Turkish Get-Up (TGU) is, without a doubt, one of the more complicated lifts to master. The TGU, however, is unique in that it has multiple parts that can be practiced as stand alone exercises, then put together for safe, seamless execution.

Why a Turkish Get-Up?

The TGU is a complex, integrated exercise that improves flexibility, joint mobility, and overall body strength. It also helps strengthen and stabilize the core, while also improving balance and coordination. Along with being a great lift, the TGU can also be used as an assessment tool to spotlight areas of the body that may be tight, such as the hips, or areas that may need strengthening, such as the shoulders. Overall movement quality can also be assessed with this total body exercise.

Safety Tip:

Whether you’re using the TGU as an assessment tool or you’re in the beginning stages of learning or teaching it, it’s good to practice without load, or a very light object like a shoe. With the many moving parts and coordination required for the TGU, it can be challenging enough using just body weight without adding in the additional control needed for a loaded movement. The goal is to focus on quality of movement over load or quantity.

How to Perform the Turkish Get-Up    

(View all the moves of the Turkish Get-Up )

Set Up:

  1. Lie supine on the floor. Bend your knees, roll to your right side, and grab the handle of the kettlebell.
  1. Roll onto your back and press the kettlebell straight up overhead toward the ceiling with your right arm. Extend your left leg out to the side (about a 45-degree angle for a wide base of support), and your left arm at a similar angle, palm down on the floor. This is your start position for the get up.

Tip: Remember that if the right arm has the kettlebell, your right knee is bent. Keep your right foot planted firmly into the floor. Lock the elbow of your right arm and push your shoulder down to pack it into place.

Executing the Lift:

  1. Actively lift and roll your hip to the side as you punch and drive your right hand up, coming up onto your left forearm.

Tip: Lengthen through your spine. Fully extend your right arm, lock your elbow, and pack your shoulder down. Maintain space between your shoulder and your head and avoid collapsing or sinking into your shoulders. Keep your eye on the kettlebell.

  1. Keep punching your right hand through and come up onto the palm of your left hand. You’re almost in a seated position here.
  1. Now lift your hips off the floor into a strong semi- bridge position, pressing into your right foot and left arm. Your left leg remains locked out and fully extended.

Tip: Be careful not to hyperextend through your lower back. Engage your anterior core and keep your center strong throughout each part of the get up.

  1. Bring your left leg back, threading it under your body, and placing your left knee on the ground.

Tip: Angle the left knee back so you can turn your hips up and stack them. Keep your eye on the kettlebell overhead.

  1. Now press into your left arm and corkscrew your body into a half kneeling position, squaring your hips and shoulders to the front, keeping the kettlebell extended overhead in your right arm.

Tip: Be sure to windshield wipe the left knee (you’re no longer going to angle it) so both legs are at a 90-degree angle. To assist in getting into the half kneeling position, slightly hinge your hips and shift your weight back toward your heel so it will be easier to take your left hand off the floor.

  1. Looking straight ahead, press off the ball of your right foot and come up into a standing position.

Turkish Get Down:  

(View the moves to get down )

The start position for a get down is the ending position for the get up. To get down, simply reverse the order. Be sure to practice on both sides.

- Angie

Angie Miller, M.S., is a fitness educator, university instructor, and Licensed Professional Counselor who blends her skills and expertise to empower individuals, mentally and physically, and provide them the tools they need to succeed. A veteran group exercise instructor and personal trainer, Angie is the star of acclaimed exercise DVD’s, including the Bedroom Body™ workout. Her passion for progressive education brought her to Northern Illinois University, where she teaches in the Dept. of Kinesiology & Physical Education. Outside of the university, she presents at fitness conventions worldwide and leads industry trainings as an AFAA Certification Specialist and Kettlebell Concepts Master Instructor. Angie writes for fitness journals and digital communities, and blogs for Collage Video. Connect with Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com

 

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Feasting Without Adding Fat

by Angie Miller

Angie Miller

 Five Tips to Feast Without Adding Fat

Thanksgiving is days away, and while we appreciate the joy of family, friends, and celebration, we want to feast without adding fat. Like most prescriptions for a healthy diet and proper exercise, it’s much simpler than we think. With a little modification, we can avoid packing on the pounds while still enjoying the holiday festivities. Check out these five tips. 

 

  1. Avoid famine before you feast. Many make the mistake of thinking that if they starve themselves up until it’s time to eat, somehow they’re saving calories and shrinking their stomach. Generally, the opposite is true. One day of skipping breakfast and lunch won’t shrink your stomach, but it’s likely to make you feast to curb your famine. As I mentioned in my blog, “Two Tips to Tackle the Urge to Overeat,” the problem with getting too hungry is that when we do eat we often indulge rather than enjoy, meaning that we eat too quickly. According to most research, it takes about twenty minutes for our brain to get the message from our stomach that we’re full. If we eat quickly our brain never gets the message until it’s too late, and by that time we’ve eaten too much.
  1. Choose your beverage wisely. Water will make you feel fuller, and in turn help you to eat less. Alcohol on the other hand can make you lose your inhibitions, and along with that your self-control. When we drink alcohol our sense of rational decision-making is impaired at best. While we may normally be in tune with listening to the signals our body sends, alcohol can suppress those signals and cause us to eat more than we normally would. Drink water before, during, and after the meal to keep your stomach satisfied and your hunger at bay.
  1. Move away from the table. Once the meal is finished, a great distraction is to move away from temptation and into another room where the focus becomes something other than eating. Getting lost in conversation, connecting with friends and family, and sharing laughter reminds us that Thanksgiving is more than just a feast.
  1. Be selective about your sugar. When it comes time for dessert, remember that it’s okay to savor the sweets, but do so in moderation. Pick your favorite pie or other dessert, and by all means dismiss any thoughts of guilt or regret, but make an effort to stop there. If you can’t decide and there’s more than one dessert you want to try, split both of them in half and share them with someone else. Two times the fun, but half the calories.
  1. Earn your calories. Fitness has joined the fun when it comes to holiday celebrations. There are turkey trots, holiday master classes, and when all fails there are treadmills. Whether we pound the pavement or pick up a set of weights, when we start our day off with a good sweat we’re more inclined to make our calories count. In the end, it’s Calories In vs. Calories Out, and the goal is to gear up for a big meal by blasting calories before you begin.

Wishing you much joy, laughter, and love this Thanksgiving holiday.

Best in Health~

- Angie

Angie Miller, M.S., is a fitness educator, university instructor, and Licensed Professional Counselor who blends her skills and expertise to empower individuals, mentally and physically, and provide them the tools they need to succeed. A veteran group exercise instructor and personal trainer, Angie is the star of acclaimed exercise DVD’s, including the Bedroom Body™ workout. Her passion for progressive education brought her to Northern Illinois University, where she teaches in the Dept. of Kinesiology & Physical Education. Outside of the university, she presents at fitness conventions worldwide and leads industry trainings as an AFAA Certification Specialist and Kettlebell Concepts Master Instructor. Angie writes for fitness journals and digital communities, and blogs for Collage Video. Connect with Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com

 

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ARMED AND READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS


by Angie Miller

Angie Miller

Arm & Ready for the Holidays


by Angie Miller

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether it’s summer time fun or holiday festivities, we all want to bare arms that are strong and sculpted. This upper body workout gives you three exercises to strengthen and tone your biceps and triceps, along with interesting variations that challenge your balance and work your core.

 

Tip: Remember that exercise bands offer variable resistance, which means that the resistance changes throughout the range of motion. This keeps the movement dynamic and allows you to create the amount resistance you need. If you need the work to be harder, step further away from the anchored band so the pull is greater.

 

Tip: Make sure that your band doesn’t have any “rebound,” when you return to your start position. This means that you don't want there to be any slack in the band no matter where you are in the movement.

 

Equipment Needed: Resistance Band, (as well as a Sliding Glass Door or an Anchor for a Doorway).

 

Wishing you lots of joy and good health during the holidays~ Sincerely, Angie

 

- Angie

Angie Miller, M.S., is a fitness educator, university instructor, and Licensed Professional Counselor who blends her skills and expertise to empower individuals, mentally and physically, and provide them the tools they need to succeed. A veteran group exercise instructor and personal trainer, Angie is the star of acclaimed exercise DVD’s, including the Bedroom Body™ workout. Her passion for progressive education brought her to Northern Illinois University, where she teaches in the Dept. of Kinesiology & Physical Education. Outside of the university, she presents at fitness conventions worldwide and leads industry trainings as an AFAA Certification Specialist and Kettlebell Concepts Master Instructor. Angie writes for fitness journals and digital communities, and blogs for Collage Video. Connect with Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com

 

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How to Improve Your Relationships

by Angie Miller

Angie Miller

How to Improve Your Relationships by Asking the Right Questions

Sometimes the most interesting conversations happen in the most unsuspecting places. When I travel to speak at conferences I always find this to be the case. While it’s amazing to share my passion with like-minded professionals and to learn from some of the best, I also appreciate that there’s a different type of learning that takes place when the sessions are over. The conversation becomes more about life and less about business. This is when we share stories and connect through our experiences, and these are the stories that stay with me long after the conference is over.

One such story was told recently at Optima, a conference held in Arizona by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. After our sessions, one of my colleagues shared a story about about questions and how he used them to create a more loving connection with his wife. Naturally I was intrigued, because if you read my blogs you know how fascinated I am with questions.

My colleague learned that when he and his wife would come home from work she wanted to discuss the events of her day, while he preferred to unwind in silence. He soon realized that what she really wanted was what we all want, the validation of someone caring enough to ask about our day, and listening with empathy and understanding as we share our thoughts and feelings.

Questions can help us initiate personal change, and they can also strengthen our relationships with others. That said, not all questions are created equally, and the type of questions we ask makes all the difference. Some questions can be answered with a simple yes or no, while some lead to deeper, more meaningful conversation. When it comes to asking questions there are so many possibilities, but regardless of the person we’re communicating with we can keep the conversation flowing and gain greater insight if we keep a few tips in mind:

  1. Avoid close-ended questions. Close-ended questions are those that can be answered with a simple yes or no. They’re dead end questions that don’t lead anywhere. They feel choppy, like you’re interviewing the person vs. having a conversation with them. “Did you like the movie?” “Are you hungry?”
  1. Ask open-ended questions. Open-ended questions are leading questions that open the door to more in-depth communication. Open-ended question require a person to reflect before they answer. Their answers are more revealing and we greater insight into their thoughts and feelings. An open-ended question leads to a deeper understanding of the person we’re communicating with and helps us learn more about them.
  1. Open-ended questions often begin with: why, how, what, describe, tell me about ___________, how do you feel about ________ what do you think about _______.

There are so many questions we can ask to foster a deeper connection with those we care about. Questions open the door to better communication and more meaningful relationships, and as far as I’m concerned that’s a powerful way to build bonds that can last a lifetime.

Best to you in Health and Happy Relationships!

Sincerely,
Angie

Angie Miller, M.S., is a fitness educator, university instructor, and Licensed Professional Counselor who blends her skills and expertise to empower individuals, mentally and physically, and provide them the tools they need to succeed. A veteran group exercise instructor and personal trainer, Angie is the star of acclaimed exercise DVD’s, including the Bedroom Body™ workout. Her passion for progressive education brought her to Northern Illinois University, where she teaches in the Dept. of Kinesiology & Physical Education. Outside of the university, she presents at fitness conventions worldwide and leads industry trainings as an AFAA Certification Specialist and Kettlebell Concepts Master Instructor. Angie writes for fitness journals and digital communities, and blogs for Collage Video. Connect with Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com

 

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Save Calories and Slim Down

by Angie Miller

Four Ways to Save Calories and Slim Down

1. Did you know that chewing your food more before swallowing can help you slim down? When we chew more, we spend more time eating and less time consuming. If you're a fast eater you can consume a lot of calories in a short amount of time, which can quickly translate to unhealthy weight gain. The next time you take a bite count the number of times you chew before swallowing, then increase that number, double it if you can. By slowing down, we’re paying attention to the signals our body is sending, noticing when we feel full and ultimately eating less.


2. Did you know that lowering your salt intake can help treat or prevent high blood pressure (hypertension)? Salt is a four-letter word for a good reason and there’s a lot we can do to lower our salt intake, other than just putting down the saltshaker. Here are a few tips:

  • Choose fresh or frozen foods over canned or processed foods.
  • When eating canned or processed foods, select those that are sodium-free or low in sodium. Also, try rinsing canned foods, such a beans and vegetables, to remove some of the sodium.
  • Avoid foods that are cured, braised, or smoked, all which add sodium to your diet.
  • Get your flavor fix with pepper, herbs, and spices, or try no-salt seasoning blends.

3. Did you know that reduced fat, low fat, and fat-free are not synonymous with low calorie? A calorie is a calorie, whether it comes from fat, protein, or carbs, and all calories count. While some foods are better quality, quantity does matter. 3500 calories equals one pound, regardless of where the calories come from. Not to mention, when food manufacturers take out fat, flavor often follows. Sugar, salt and other additives are often substituted to make up for the taste.


4. Did you know that making simple modifications could help you maintain your weight even when you eat out? If you can’t imagine salad without dressing, or dinner without dessert, that’s okay provided you modify your approach. Try these tips:

        • Ask for salad dressing on the side. Dip your fork in the dressing and follow with a bite of salad. Avoid condiments such as bacon bits, croutons, and shredded cheese.
        • Avoid fried, battered, and breaded foods, and instead ask for roasted, grilled, baked, or broiled. Also avoid heavy sauces, and instead substitute with flavorful spices.
        • For sandwiches, avoid croissants and biscuits and try whole-grain or whole wheat bread. Again, avoid condiments such as mayonnaise, and substitute with hummus or mustard.
        • For dessert, consider that sharing is caring. If you divide the dessert, you divide the calories.

            Calories count, but counting calories is no fun. Simple solutions can help us manage our weight and enjoy a healthy eating experience!

            Best to you in Fitness and Health!

            Sincerely,

            - Angie

            Angie MillerAngie Miller, M.S., is a fitness educator, university instructor, and Licensed Professional Counselor who blends her skills and expertise to empower individuals, mentally and physically, and provide them the tools they need to succeed. A veteran group exercise instructor and personal trainer, Angie is the star of acclaimed exercise DVD’s, including the Bedroom Body™ workout. Her passion for progressive education brought her to Northern Illinois University, where she teaches in the Dept. of Kinesiology & Physical Education. Outside of the university, she presents at fitness conventions worldwide and leads industry trainings as an AFAA Certification Specialist and Kettlebell Concepts Master Instructor. Angie writes for fitness journals and digital communities, and blogs for Collage Video. Connect with Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com

             

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            Tackle the Urge to Overeat

            by Angie Miller

            Angie Miller

             

             

            Two Tips to Tackle the Urge to Overeat

             

             

            1.  Listen to Your Body’s Signals: Did you grow up the way I did, where you were instructed to finish your dinner before you left the table? Somewhere along the way we may have been so busy listening to instructions that we forgot how to listen to our body and the signals it sends telling us when we’re hungry or full. Our body knows what it needs. It's up to us to get our signals straight and it may be that we need a little retraining.

            Try This: The next time you sit down to dinner give yourself the portion size you normally would. Before you begin eating, cut that portion in half and eat only  half. If you’re out to dinner you can do the same thing. Just cut in half whatever portion they give you. After you finish that half, stop eating for about 10-15 minutes and focus on something else- conversation with those around you, a good book if you’re alone, something that will distract you and give your brain time to get the proper signals from your stomach. Once the 10-15 minutes has passed, reevaluate if you’re still hungry. If you are, cut the rest of your meal in half again and follow that same pattern. If you end up eating your entire meal chances are you really were hungry and that's okay. The difference is that you're not eating an entire meal because it’s ingrained in you to do so, or mindlessly eating because it’s in front of you. On the other hand, if 10-15 minutes passes and you discover that you’re full, you can store the other half of your meal for another time. If you’re out to dinner you can have them put it in a to go box and ask that they keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to leave. It’s best to do that sooner rather than later so you’re not tempted to pick at it or keep eating as you get lost in conversation. The goal is to eat mindfully, with conscious thought and awareness. In doing so we slow down, savor our food and the pleasure of eating, and to listen to our body’s signals to avoid overeating.

            1. Don’t Get Too Hungry: Remember the last time you were “starving?” Maybe you had a long day at work and you were too busy to eat. Maybe you were saving up for a big meal (bad idea). It could be any number of reasons, but my guess is that when you were finally able to eat again you just wanted something quick and easy. Unfortunately, that usually translates to something high in fat, full of sugar, and low in nutritional value. We plan what we’re going to wear to work or a special event, we plan our vacations, parties, and dates, but when it comes to food we sometimes forget that our diet, one of the most significant contributors to our health and well-being, also requires planning. Eating well requires time, commitment, and effort. Not only to plan our meals, but healthy snacks as well.

            Try This: Keep healthy snacks in your handbag, vehicle, desk at work, and anywhere else that’s accessible, so you can avoid getting too hungry. Healthy snacks might include almonds, carrots, a piece of fruit, or a nutrition bar. You can make these yourself, or buy healthy snack size servings. The problem with getting too hungry is that when we do eat, we often indulge rather than enjoy. In other words, we eat too quickly. According to most research, it takes about twenty minutes for our brain to get the message from our stomach that we’re full. If we eat quickly our brain never gets that message until it’s too late. We eat until we feel full, and that generally means we’ve eaten too much. The goal is to eat smaller, healthier snacks in between meals, so we can avoid feeling so hungry that we sacrifice quality for whatever is quick. That way we make sure that our calories contribute to our overall healthy and well being.

            Cheers to a Happy Monday and Healthy Eating!

            Sincerely,

             - Angie

            Angie Miller, M.S., is a fitness educator, university instructor, and Licensed Professional Counselor who blends her skills and expertise to empower individuals, mentally and physically, and provide them the tools they need to succeed. A veteran group exercise instructor and personal trainer, Angie is the star of acclaimed exercise DVD’s, including the Bedroom Body™ workout. Her passion for progressive education brought her to Northern Illinois University, where she teaches in the Dept. of Kinesiology & Physical Education. Outside of the university, she presents at fitness conventions worldwide and leads industry trainings as an AFAA Certification Specialist and Kettlebell Concepts Master Instructor. Angie writes for fitness journals and digital communities, and blogs for Collage Video. Connect with Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com

             

            By Collage Video | | Angie Miller, goals, Healthy, practice, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 1 comment | Read more

            Facts You Should Know About Alzheimer’s Disease

            by Angie Miller

            Why I Walked to End Alzheimer’s Disease- Facts You Should Know

            What do you call it when you walk for a cause, volunteer for something you believe in, and share your love for fitness and health? I call it a cathartic experience, and that’s what I had these past two weekends.

            Last year I was given the opportunity to lead the warm up for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in my community. This year it led to two more warm ups, and the chance to be a part of two Walk to End Alzheimer’s events. I’ve lost both of my parents to dementia related diseases, (Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia). Needless to say, sharing fitness and health with hundreds who have joined forces to fight Alzheimer’s was an amazing way to pay tribute to my mom and my dad. It was also my chance to raise awareness about the power of exercise to keep our brain healthy.

            Exercise and brain health is a passionate subject for me. Not only because it’s personal, but because it’s a testament to the fact that exercise does far more than get our body fit. I’ve spent decades leading exercise classes and teaching everyone from college students to fitness pros about exercise, and I love reading current research supporting that exercise can help us maintain a healthy brain. How? Exercise helps lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, prevent diabetes, reduce stress and anxiety, and keep our emotions healthy and balanced, all of which can indirectly contribute to impaired cognitive functioning. In her article, “Exercise: It does so much more than burn calories,” Elizabeth Pegg Frates, MD, states that, “Exercise can also help enhance our cognitive skills — it’s true that what is good for the heart is good for the brain. Research demonstrates that regular exercise can actually increase the size of the hippocampus, an area of the brain involved with memory.” Best of all, “150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity per week can significantly decrease the risk of dying prematurely.” That should inspire all of us to get active, right? Not for big guns and tight buns, but because we want to live well, with a healthy body and an active, healthy brain.

             

             

             The fact is, Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia are likely to affect all of us on some level, and we can all do more to keep our brain healthy. Here are some facts I learned on my walk. Thanks to the Alzheimer’s Association, these signs are posted all throughout the walk, increasing awareness and education on how devastating this disease is to our loved ones, to caregivers, and even to our economy at large. I hope they inspire all of us to care for our bodies, and in turn to care for our brain.

             

             

            Me with my team who helped me lead one of the warm ups. They’re a group of fitness friends who attend my Pilates and Young at Heart classes.

             

            Me with my team of Young at Heart fitness friends who helped me lead one of the warm ups.

            Best in heart and brain health.

            Sincerely,

            - Angie

            Angie MillerAngie Miller, M.S., is a fitness educator, university instructor, and Licensed Professional Counselor who blends her skills and expertise to empower individuals, mentally and physically, and provide them the tools they need to succeed. A veteran group exercise instructor and personal trainer, Angie is the star of acclaimed exercise DVD’s, including the Bedroom Body™ workout. Her passion for progressive education brought her to Northern Illinois University, where she teaches in the Dept. of Kinesiology & Physical Education. Outside of the university, she presents at fitness conventions worldwide and leads industry trainings as an AFAA Certification Specialist and Kettlebell Concepts Master Instructor. Angie writes for fitness journals and digital communities, and blogs for Collage Video. Connect with Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com

             

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            Three Fitness Mistakes

            by Angie Miller

            Angie Miller

            Three Fitness Mistakes that Sabotage Our Best Efforts

            The kids are back to school, the weather’s getting cooler, and we’re falling back into a fitness routine. Exercise is an investment of our time, and like any investment we want to get great results. Who doesn’t want to look and feel like they’re a walking testament to their hard work and efforts? Before you get started, check out these three fitness mistakes that even the best intentioned exercisers have been known to make. Knowledge is power, and the more you know the safer and more effective your approach, thus the better your results.

             

            Three Mistakes to Avoid:

            1. Doing Too Much Too Soon- When I meet a new person at the gym, or overhear someone telling me that they’ve started to work out for the first time, the kiss of death is when they tell me, “I'm going to exercise every day until I get this weight off/feel better/can fit back into my clothes.” Personally, I’ve been exercising consistently for over 20 years and I still don’t exercise every day. Not only would I get burnt out, I wouldn’t get the results I’m looking for and more than likely I’d suffer a setback and get injured. More isn’t always more, and quality should always precede quantity. When you first start an exercise routine your body is on high alert and it’s ready and responsive. You’ll get a return on your investment up to a point. If you push yourself and do too much too soon, that’s overload on your body and your mind and it’s too much of a strain on your schedule.

            Try This: Start small and work your way up from there. Two to three days a week is ideal. Thirty minute to one hour sessions and you’re good to go. Once you have that down pat for about six weeks, set a new goal. Add more time to your routine, or another day of the week, and before long exercise won’t be something you “have to do,” it will be a “habit” you can’t live without.

            1. Being Sucked into The Extreme Workout Mentality- Extreme workouts, the kind that promise great results in less time, where the workout is so “intense” that they claim you only need to do it for thirty minutes, are not for the novice exerciser (nor are they for me). Thirty minutes of sheer torture is going to feel like thirty hours, but one hour of something you enjoy will feel like it’s time well spent. Not only do we dread workouts that are beyond intense, they too lead to injury and burn out. After all, how motivating is it when you’re sore all the time and you dread your workouts?

            Try This: Find a routine that will challenge your body and test your limits, but one that will make you feel successful. We don’t need extreme programs to get results. We need programs that make us feel like “we got this,” that encourage us to keep going. As long as we’re going, we’re getting closer and closer to where we ultimately want to be.

            1. Not Asking for Help- When we’re sick we go the doctor. When we need a haircut we head the hairdresser. When we have a toothache, need our taxes done, or want a massage, we always go to the experts. That said, why not seek the advice of a fitness expert, someone who knows their trade, who is educated, certified, credentialed, and experienced, when we want to care for our body and make it stronger and healthier? Whether it's quality fitness DVD’s, a certified trainer or instructor, there is plenty of good help out there. If you’re really serious about getting great results, and you want to get them safely and effectively, invest in good help. You only have one body, and of all the things to skimp on, it isn’t your health. If you do want to plan your own routine, be careful where you get your information. I’ve said this before, and I can’t emphasize it enough, “It’s the Wild West out there on the Internet and it seems that knowledge and credibility are determined by the number of followers and likes on social media sites rather than certifications, education, licensures, and degrees. While some social media savvy individuals may have a lot of exposure and visibility, that doesn’t always translate to knowledge, experience, and proper education. When you get your workout information from blogs, websites, and You Tube, check out that person’s credentials. If you can’t find them, take that as your first sign and run for the hills. Enough said.” Check out my blog, for more fitness, diet and workout mistakes you might be making:

            Try This: If you are going to plan your own routine, check out how to do it in a way that’s supported by science. Check out my blog on How to Build an Exercise Program to Achieve My Goals: http://www.collagevideo.com/blogs/angies-corner/14852673-how-to-build-an-exercise-program-to-achieve-my-goals

            Also, if you need some guidance on resistance training, check out my blog, Mix it up with Machines. Machines are safe and effective, and they give you the results you’re looking for without all the guesswork: http://www.collagevideo.com/blogs/angies-corner/16755708-mix-it-up-with-machines

            Best to You in Health and Fitness~

            Sincerely,

            Angie Miller, M.S., is a fitness educator, university instructor, and Licensed Professional Counselor who blends her skills and expertise to empower individuals, mentally and physically, and provide them the tools they need to succeed. A veteran group exercise instructor and personal trainer, Angie is the star of acclaimed exercise DVD’s, including the Bedroom Body™ workout. Her passion for progressive education brought her to Northern Illinois University, where she teaches in the Dept. of Kinesiology & Physical Education. Outside of the university, she presents at fitness conventions worldwide and leads industry trainings as an AFAA Certification Specialist and Kettlebell Concepts Master Instructor. Angie writes for fitness journals and digital communities, and blogs for Collage Video. Connect with Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com

             

            By Collage Video | | Angie Miller, exercise, fitness, Healthy, practice, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

            Should you BOSU?

            by Angie Miller

            Angie Miller

            Check out this BOSU Blast Total Body Workout

            When you train with a BOSU, that blue dome that looks like half of a stability ball mounted onto a round base, you provide your body and mind with a unique, challenging training experience that is not only fun, it pays off in dividends. When you stand on top of the blue dome, every muscle in your body is called to attention and you’re instantly aware of your posture and alignment- good or bad. In turn, your body is forced to respond, making smart, intuitive adjustments by straightening, strengthening, and coordinating your movements so that you can maintain your center of gravity, aka not fall off. Why is this so amazing? Because the instability that the BOSU creates forces your body to create stability, and that means that no matter what exercise you’re doing, you’re working on stabilizing and strengthening your center of gravity, which is your core musculature. BOSU is smart training. You’re literally fighting for balance, and for once fighting is a good thing because it means your body is on high alert.

            To give you a glimpse into some exercises you can do on a BOSU, here’s a short video that I recorded right in my kitchen to show you that not only is BOSU amazing, it doesn’t take up much space. Anywhere you can set the BOSU down and have enough space for your body to extend horizontally and vertically from head to toe, you’re good to go.

             

            These six exercises include: knee to chest with rotation, knees to floor with downward dog, push-ups, rear leg lifts, squats, and lunges. All of them require strength, balance, coordination, and core strength and stability. I recommend that you watch the video to see how I perform the exercises, then try a set of 8 repetitions per exercise. Once you feel good about your posture and alignment, you can add four repetitions and do 12 of each exercise, then 16. After that, add more sets. Try to work your way up to 2-3 sets of 16 repetitions per exercise.

            Two Minute Total Body BOSU Blast Exercises:

            1. Knee to Chest with Rotation- (Muscles Worked: This is a core exercise, but your entire body is assisting and working hard to keep your stable.)

            Exercise Tips: Keep your chest open, head in line with your spine, and shoulder blades retracted. Engage your abdominals and brace through your center. Keep your glutes tight and try to avoid rounding through the shoulders.

            Exercise Tip: Exhale as you bring your knee to your chest, inhale as you extend the leg back. Exhale as you rotate your knee to your opposite elbow. Inhale as you extend your leg back.

            1. Knee Tap to Downward Dog- (Muscles Worked: This too is a core exercise, and the Downward Dog adds more back muscle recruitment. Again, your entire body, as with all BOSU exercises is assisting to keep you stable).

            Exercise Tips: I included this exercise to show you a safe, effective alternative to traditional crunches as a way to work the abdominal muscles. By adding the downward dog, not only do you get the opportunity to recruit your back muscles, you alternate between working the front of your body and the back of your body. This is important to keep your body strong and stable on both sides. The knee tap to the floor works your abdominal muscles without all the other compensations that are made in traditional core exercises, such as pulling on the head. After four to eight taps, extend into downward dog, readjust, and go back to four more taps.

            1. Push-ups- (Muscles Worked: Core, chest, and arms).

            Exercise Tips: You may want to modify by coming onto your knees for the push-ups. Remember that less is more in terms of exercises where compensations that could cause injury are common. Come down as far as you can to the BOSU, inhaling on your way down, and exhale on your way up.

            Exercise Tips: Be sure to keep your center strong, glutes tight, head in line with your spine, and torso long and extended. Avoid head butting during a push-up. Keep your chest open.

            1. Rear Leg Lifts- (Muscles Worked: Glutes and hamstrings).

            Exercise Tips: Using all the cues given above, be sure to also keep your hips level. Avoid tilting your hips or moving them in any way throughout the exercise. Stabilize the hips and the center of the body.

            1. Squats- (Muscles Worked: legs and glutes).

            Exercise Tips: Stay long through your torso. Come down as far as you can without hinging at your hips (leaning forward), or allowing your lower back to sway. Keep your center strong and remember that again, less is more. Less range of motion means less likelihood for injury and unsafe movement. Inhale on the way down. Exhale on the way up.

            1. Lunges- (Muscles Worked: legs and glutes). Same cues as above for squats. Be sure to avoid going down further than 90 degrees. Weight equally between the heel on the BOSU and the front of the foot on the floor. This is a tough one!

            Enjoy your BOSU workout and have a fit, healthy week!

            - Angie

            Angie Miller, M.S., is a fitness educator, university instructor, and Licensed Professional Counselor who blends her skills and expertise to empower individuals, mentally and physically, and provide them the tools they need to succeed. A veteran group exercise instructor and personal trainer, Angie is the star of acclaimed exercise DVD’s, including the Bedroom Body™ workout. Her passion for progressive education brought her to Northern Illinois University, where she teaches in the Dept. of Kinesiology & Physical Education. Outside of the university, she presents at fitness conventions worldwide and leads industry trainings as an AFAA Certification Specialist and Kettlebell Concepts Master Instructor. Angie writes for fitness journals and digital communities, and blogs for Collage Video. Connect with Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com

             

            By Collage Video | | Angie Miller, exercise, fitness success, Motivation, Weekly Blog | 0 comments | Read more

            Are you selfish?

            by Angie Miller

            Angie Miller

            If not, here’s why you should be...

            Did you know that learning to be selfish is a selfless act? While we may have been taught or conditioned to believe otherwise, learning to be selfish, as in self-care driven, is an act of love to ourselves, and in turn to those we care most about.

            We don’t always want to admit it, but there’s only so much of you and me to go around. If we keep giving without replenishing, we’re left with nothing but an empty bucket, tired, exhausted, and frustrated, wondering how good intentions could lead to negative outcomes. When we learn to practice self-care, we listen and attend to our mind, body, and emotions.

            Maybe it’s age, experience, or the lessons I’ve learned from not creating healthy boundaries, but I’m finally starting to understand the importance of self-care. For women especially, it can be tempting to put our personal needs aside, but ultimately we can’t give away what we don’t have. By practicing self-care, it turns out the payoff is exactly what we want. It gives us the extra reserves needed to be available and give to others. Not just in body, but in spirit. With a generous heart and not a tinge of resentment. For those of us who love deeply and care unconditionally, isn’t that our goal? 

            Here are three tips for self-care, two that require nothing more than a shift in thinking that can have an incredible impact on our everyday life.

            Three Simple Steps to Self-Care:

            1. Learn to say no. No is a powerful word, and it’s a tough one to learn. After all, yes shows that we’re cooperative and caring, and responsive to the needs of others, right? Yet in reality, when we say yes to others we’re saying no to ourselves, and maybe even to those we love and care about. Consider this: If I say yes to that opportunity at work, I say no to having any free time to do what I love, or to spending more time with family and friends. A yes to someone else is a no to us, and after a while that can take its toll. There’s no doubt that no is a more direct word and it may be difficult for others to accept, but usually those are people who will readily drain our energy and absorb more than their fair share of our time. Saying no, is saying yes to self-respect. That’s a win-win for everyone.
            1. Establish boundaries. Boundaries are like a line in the sand and they send a powerful message. With boundaries we know what we’ll give, and what we’ll accept, and we don’t cross the line. If we do it comes at a great cost. It undermines our value, and it creates frustration and self-doubt when we forget to be true to what we know is in our best interests. Safe, healthy boundaries serve as personal protection. Our mission is clear and others know where we stand, therefore we can be trusted to be consistent vs. unpredictable. Bottom line, boundaries are critical to self-care. When we don’t have limits, life can take its toll.
            1. Create a Personal Space. Diana Chapman, a renowned speaker and author, suggests that each of us has gifts, talents, dreams, and desires that are unique and special. In order to “be a good servant” to our gifts, she suggests that we create a space to nurture them and allow them to flourish. I created such a space in my own home, a small room that no one uses, where I set up candles, fluffy pillows, and soft lighting to make it warm and inviting. It’s clean, clutter free, and personal. The key is to find a space where we can check in with ourselves and check out from the world; where we feel safe and protected, and we have the energy needed to nourish our gifts.

            Best to you in self-care and safe boundaries.

            ~Angie

            Angie Miller, M.S., is a fitness educator, university instructor, and Licensed Professional Counselor who blends her skills and expertise to empower individuals, mentally and physically, and provide them the tools they need to succeed. A veteran group exercise instructor and personal trainer, Angie is the star of acclaimed exercise DVD’s, including the Bedroom Body™ workout. Her passion for progressive education brought her to Northern Illinois University, where she teaches in the Dept. of Kinesiology & Physical Education. Outside of the university, she presents at fitness conventions worldwide and leads industry trainings as an AFAA Certification Specialist and Kettlebell Concepts Master Instructor. Angie writes for fitness journals and digital communities, and blogs for Collage Video. Connect with Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com

             

            By Collage Video | | Angie Miller, exercise, Healthy, practice, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more
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