Angie's Corner

Posts in the exercise category

Resistance Band Workout: Total Body Circuit

by Angie Miller

Angie Miller

 

If you’re looking for a total body workout that targets every muscle group and requires limited equipment, grab a band and get started with these five exercises. This resistance band workout strengthens your legs, shoulders, back, and arms, with interesting variations that challenge your balance and work your core. Complete each exercise consecutively for the recommended number of repetitions, then repeat the circuit two more times, resting 1-2 minutes between each circuit.

 

Exercise One: Bicep Curl to Overhead Press

  • Targets: Biceps, Shoulders
  • Repetitions: 16x  
Exercise Two: Reverse Lunge to a Knee Balance
  • Targets: Glutes, Legs, Core
  • Repetitions: 8x each leg  
Exercise Three: Reverse Row 
  • Targets: Upper Back
  • Repetitions: 16x  
Exercise Four: Side Lunge with a Side Press
  • Targets: Glutes, Legs, Core, Shoulders, Arms
  • Repetitions: 8x each side  
Exercise Five: Hip Extension to Knee Balance
  • Targets: Glutes, Core
  • Repetitions: 8x each side   
Form and Execution Tips: Be sure to keep your torso long and extended, abdominals engaged, glutes tight, chest open, and shoulders down, and head in line with your spine.   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, use a band with greater resistance, or increase your range of motion throughout the exercises.   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.   Best to you in health

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 | | cardio, exercise, Healthy, practice, tips, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Is Fear Holding You Back?

by Angie Miller

There are a lot of scary things in this world, including situations and events that we can’t control, but I don’t think there’s anything scarier than letting fear hold us back from realizing our dreams. Our lives are a living testament to what we create, and too often we give more power to our fears and doubts than our dreams and desires.

According to Brian Luke Seaward, in his book, Managing Stress, there are seven basic human fears. One of them, fear of the unknown, is why many of us are paralyzed to go after our dreams and desires. It also speaks to why we get stuck, unable to extract ourselves from bad jobs, relationships, or other situations. While we might wish for things to be different, or dream about what our lives would be like if they were, our fear of the unknown can make us feel powerless to change.

Fear of the Unknown

For some, “The devil you know is better than the devil you don't.” The fear of failure, or the idea that the situation might somehow prove to be worse, can hold many of us back from taking a chance on change. Yet if we reflect back on our greatest accomplishments we know they didn’t come without risk. Our ability to step into unchartered territory opened the door to opportunity, and that’s why facing our fears is so pivotal to our growth. Whether you’re looking to go after your goals or get out of a bad situation, here’s a closer look at fear and how to conquer it.

Three Tips to Conquer Fear of the Unknown:

  1. Own Your Fears- “You have to claim it to tame it,” as I once heard Carrie Fisher say during her autobiographical stage production. In order to change our situation, whether it’s going after our goals, getting out of a bad relationship, or quitting a harmful habit, we have to be honest and have the courage to admit that things need to be different. Maybe they need to be different for our safety, or simply to answer our calling. Either way, we have to acknowledge what we want or need, and what is holding us back, before we can figure out how to move forward.
  1. Gather Information- Knowledge is power and the more we understand something the less likely it is to scare us away. Information is the fuel we need to set fire to our fear. When we research, whether it’s how to stop emotional eating or how to start our own business, we gain insight into how it’s done. We learn how others have mastered the feat and we realize that we're not alone. Change may not lead us in the direction we’re expecting, because life can be unpredictable, but it will lead us out of our current situation and that’s progress.
  1. Take the first step. The first step is always the hardest. It’s like going to the gym. The most difficult part is getting out the door. Once you’re there, working out is easy, relatively speaking. Once you take that first step toward your goal, or away from a bad situation, you just have to remember that everything worth accomplishing takes time and patience. It’s like a staircase. At the top of the staircase is where we want to be, and each step gets us closer to our goal. More importantly, it reassures us that we’re making progress and gives us the tools we need to tackle the next step.

Fear only has power when we allow it to hold us back. When we own our fears, gather information, and take the first step, we can successfully save ourselves from harmful situations and embrace the opportunity to realize our dreams.

Be Fearless~ 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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

             

            By Collage Video | | Angie Miller, cardio, exercise, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

            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

            Summer Shape Up- Ten Minute Toner

            by Angie Miller
            Angie Miller

             
            There’s no better time than Monday morning to challenge your body and brain with a time efficient, circuit style workout that will target every muscle in your body. The exercises, from my Crave Results DVD, are fun and functional. They’re designed to work multiple muscle groups, boosting your metabolism and making you stronger for everyday activity.
             


             
            Equipment: All you need for this full body toner is your body weight, one dumbbell, and a resistance band.
            EXERCISE ONE: Squat
            Targets: glutes, quads, hamstrings and core muscles

            Start position: Stand tall with your feet hip-distance apart. Secure the resistance tube under your feet and hold the handles at shoulder height.
            Movement: Bend at your knees as if sitting back into a chair. Stop when your buttocks are parallel to the floor, then slowly extend your legs and come back to standing. Be sure to keep your core engaged, torso long and knees behind your toes. Look straight ahead and keep your head in line with your spine.
            Perform: 16 repetitions

            EXERCISE TWO: Single-Arm Bent-Over Row
            Targets: back, arms and shoulders
             
            Start position: Place one end of a resistance tube under your left foot and hold the other end with your right hand. Step back with your right foot and place your left hand on your thigh for support. Create enough resistance with the tubing so there is no slack. Hinge forward slightly and stabilize your core by contracting your abs and back.
            Movement: Start with your arm extended and slowly drive your elbow up and back toward your ribs. Focus on squeezing your upper back muscles as if you were trying to move your scapula toward your spine, or "place it in your back pocket." Then lower your arm until it is fully extended and repeat. Be sure to keep your arm close to your body throughout the exercise. To avoid hyperextending, stop when your palm is flush with your body and try to avoid any hip movement.
            Perform: 16 repetitions on each side

            EXERCISE THREE: Reverse Wood-Chop
            Targets: core muscles, glutes and legs
             
            Start position: Stand tall, holding a dumbbell horizontally between your palms at chest level. Abs are engaged and torso is long.
            Movement: Begin with a squat, bending your knees as if you were sitting back into a chair; stop when your buttocks are parallel to the floor. As you squat, rotate your torso, bringing the weight outside your hips. Then extend your legs and drive the weight above your head as you come back to center. Maintain control of the movement and avoid swinging the weight. Focus on maintaining a strong, stable core, and rotating your torso rather than your hips.
            Perform: 16 repetitions on each side.

            EXERCISE FOUR: Core Chiseler
            Targets: chest, arms, shoulders, abdominals, back and obliques
             
            Start position: Using a mat or a towel, begin in prone (plank) position, on your knees or your toes, with your hands placed directly below your shoulders or slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
            Movement: Keeping a strong center, bend your elbows and lower your body, bringing your chest as close to the mat as possible, then push back up to plank by slowly extending your elbows and straightening your arms. Focus on keeping your center tight so that your bottom doesn't drop, causing your lower back to sway. Be sure to keep your head in line with your spine and avoid "head-butting" the mat.
            Next, turn your body and open up into a side plank position, making sure your support hand is directly below your shoulder. Avoid dumping weight into your shoulders and consider placing your bottom knee on the floor at a 90-degree angle for additional support. Throughout the movement, brace your core by engaging your abdominals and lower back and holding your center tight.
            Come back to plank position, then turn your body and open up into a side plank position facing the opposite direction.
            Perform: 4 total repetitions. Rest and repeat.
            If you enjoyed this circuit, and you’re interested in more functional exercises that include balance challenges, check out Crave Results. Balance is one of our body's natural resources that we depend on for stability, and our core is our center of gravity. The stronger and more stable our center of gravity, the more efficient and controlled all of our movements will be.


            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, goals, stress, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

            Preventing Exercise Relapse

            by Angie Miller

            Angie Miller

            How to Prevent Exercise Relapse (Part II)

            Click here to read part I

            Last week I wrote a blog about exercise relapse, what causes it and how to distinguish a lapse from a relapse. Now it’s time to talk about prevention. Two of the most critical considerations when starting an exercise program are learning how to identifying situations that put us at risk for relapse, and learning how to avoid relapse.

             

             How to Identify Situations that Put You At Risk:

            1. Reflect: Think about past situations where you fell off the wagon and stopped exercising. What was going on in your life? What happened? What circumstances led to your relapse?
            1. Write down the situations and obstacles that got in your way. Some common barriers often include:
            • Vacation
            • Holidays
            • Work Travel
            • Lack of a consistent routine- variable work schedule or inconsistent schedule in general, therefore exercise time isn’t consistent
            • Lack of planning- when exercise isn’t scheduled the way we other responsibilities, it often falls to the bottom of the list
            • New relationship or relationship difficulties
            • Job Stress, job loss, or even a new job
            • Time Management- “no time” to exercise is often perception (more on this in next week’s blog)
            • Lack of Motivation- usually stems from not being in a routine. Routines give us a sense of purpose and we stick to them because they become habit.
            1. Develop a Plan. Once you identify the situations or obstacles that get in your way, it’s time to develop a plan for how you’ll deal with them in the future. Make sure that your plan involves action- a way that you will change the situation, your thoughts and behaviors in response to the situation, or both. Let’s use job travel as an example.
            2. Situation: In the past I got out of my exercise routine when I traveled frequently for work.
            3. Plan: In the future I will pack an exercise band in my suitcase, download my favorite exercise DVD (before I go), and get up 30 minutes early to workout in my hotel room.

            Now that you’ve identified your triggers and developed a plan, it’s time to talk about prevention. Here are six steps to help you prevent relapse.

            Six Steps for Prevention:

            1. Realize that you’re not alone: The first step in prevention is recognizing that nearly everyone who attempts to maintain a consistent exercise program relapses. The key is to recognize what causes you to relapse and have a contingency plan for action.
            1. Develop a support system: When you’re trying to develop a lifelong habit it takes time and discipline and you’re more likely to succeed if you have support. A workout buddy serves as great support, but if you don’t have a workout buddy try to get family members, friends, or co-workers on board to help you stay motivated and support you throughout your journey.

             

            1. Avoid common obstacles. A simple thing like putting your fitness clothes in the car so you don’t stop home after work and get sidetracked can make a huge difference. Another simple solution is to place your tennis shoes next to your bed so they’re the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning- instant motivation.
            1. Avoid negative dialogue. Our mind is the BOSS! Negative messages are powerful and self-defeating. Messages such as, “I’m going to be traveling a lot for work so why bother,” set us up for failure; while positive messages such as, “I’m going to workout today so I’ll stay motivated when I travel,” set us up for success.
            1. Replace “shoulds” with “wants”: “I should workout today because otherwise I’ll gain weight,” is the type of message that makes us feel guilty and resentful. “I want to workout today because I love how I feel afterwards,” is the type of message that makes us feel empowered. Replace “should’s with “wants” to change the way you feel about exercise.
            1. Maintain perspective: Remember that a temporary lapse is just that- temporary. It’s only catastrophic if your mind makes it so and that only undermines confidence and willpower. Maintain perspective by remembering that it’s not uncommon to relapse, but if you take positive steps toward prevention you’re far more likely to experience success.

            Best to You in Health & Happiness~

            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, cardio, exercise, goals, Healthy, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more
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