Angie's Corner

Posts in the holiday category

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

 

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

Resolve to Set Goals, not Resolutions for the Year Ahead (Part I)

by Angie Miller

Angie Miller
 

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you might wind up someplace else.”

- Hall of Fame baseball legend Yogi Berra

 
 
 

 

Last year I wrote a blog about the importance of Setting Goals vs. New Year’s Resolutions. As 2016 approaches I’d like to reinforce the power of goals in helping us to achieve our greatest potential.
Goals are impactful; they give us direction and help us stay motivated. They lead us to accomplishments we might never have thought possible, and they help us begin each day with intention.

 Resolutions on the other hand are notoriously short-lived, rarely do they last and seldom are they structured and planned. One of the greatest gifts of goal setting is that goals build our self-esteem. Each time we conquer a goal our confidence gets a boost and we are inspired by our own success.

While goal setting holds tremendous potential, it does take practice to set specific goals that are realistic and achievable. That’s why SMART goals are so popular. Ultimately, goals give us a plan and a plan is all we need to succeed. I’ve developed a Six Step Guide to Goal Setting Success to help start your new year off right.

Six Step Guide to Goal Setting Success

  1. Set SMART Goals:

Specific= Goals should be as specific as possible. Broad, general goals like, “I want to get fit” aren’t recommended.

Measurable= Goals should be measureable. You should be able to calculate your progress. (You can measure weight, inches, distance, and even load (such as 10 lb. dumbbells vs. 8 lb.).

Achievable= Goals should be attainable. You should be able to reach the goals you set.

Realistic= Achievable and realistic go hand in hand. You want to set goals that make sense, that are realistic given your level of motivation, history, time frame, and physical abilities and limitations. Ideally, your goals should be moderately difficult: Enough to challenge you, but not too difficult where you’re set up to fail, and not so easy that little effort is required.

Time Oriented= Goals should have a definitive start and end point. They should be attainable within that time frame.

Here’s an example of a SMART Goal for Running:

Specific- (Example: Increase my running mileage from 10 miles per week to 16 miles per week in six weeks.)

Measurable- (Example: Each week, add one mile.)

Action Oriented-  (Example: Run 3x per week, and add the additional mile to one my runs…For instance: Week One-run two/four mile runs, and one/three mile run. Week Two- run three/four mile runs…Keep progressing in this manner.)

Realistic- (Example: Increase the distance I can run by 10 percent each week so that I can safely work my way up to 16 miles per week in six weeks.)

Time Oriented- (Example: Try my new running program for six weeks, then reassess.)

  1. Set short and long-term goals: Long-term goals give us direction and guide our future. Short-term goals give us measureable objectives we can work on in the here and now. Short-term goals lead us step by step to our long-term goals. Imagine a staircase. At the top is your dream, or long-term goal. Each step is progressively linked; therefore every step is progress and one step closer to your ultimate goal.

  1. Record Your Goals:

Writing your goals on paper makes them more concrete. It also keeps you focused. Equally important is that you record your progress to keep you motivated and accountable. The key is to design a simple, efficient workout log that’s easy to reference.

I recommend that you follow the FITT principle when recording your workouts:

Frequency= record the date, the time you work out, and the number of minutes you worked out

Intensity= record your heart rate or rate of perceived exertion during your workout

Time= record the amount of time you worked out

Type= record the type of exercise you did

 

  1. Get Support: Enlist in the help, support, and encouragement of your significant other, friends, children, co-workers, or anyone else who might be of assistance in helping you achieve your goals. Give your goals power by giving them a voice. Share them with others so they can be the wind beneath your wings, giving you that extra push when you need it. We’re social creatures, so if you can find someone who shares your goal that’s even better. You’ll have a workout partner and someone to share in your success.

 

  1. Know Your Barriers: We all have obstacles that get in the way: I’m too tired, I don’t have enough time, my job is demanding. Write out your barriers, those things that pull you away and challenge your motivation. Then write out ways you will overcome those barriers. We all have barriers, but if we plan ahead and strategize how we’re going to deal with them that’s more than half the battle.

 

  1. Evaluate Your Goals: Since you set SMART goals you had a definitive start and end point. At the end of the given time frame that you set, evaluate. Did your goals work? If not, what got in the way? If so, where can you go from here? Small steps lead to big gains. Sitting down and evaluating your goals gives you an opportunity to celebrate your gains and strategize for future accomplishments.

Check back next week. In Part II I'm going to share a Goal Setting Contract, some common problems in goal setting, and a little note on the power of goal setting for increasing motivation and commitment to exercise.

- 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

 

Three Tips for Holiday Happiness

by Angie Miller

Angie Miller

Let today be the day you learn the grace of letting go and the power of moving on.” Steve Maraboli

I teach a course in Stress Management, and one of my favorite topics is the power of acceptance and the ability to let go of that which we cannot change. Acceptance frees us from the emotional chains that bind us to situations, events, and losses in our lives over which we have no control. Whether it’s the loss of a job, a relationship, a valuable possession, an unrealized dream, or one’s health, with acceptance comes the ability to let go of unresolved emotions that hold our heart hostage. Acceptance allows us to make peace with our situation, without resentment, hostility, or even pity; and to move forward with hope for a brighter future.

Acceptance isn’t something that happens overnight. Depending on the situation or loss, it may take days, weeks, or even years to realize. But acceptance can be nurtured and we can learn to make peace with our past. Here a few tips:

1. Practice the Art of Courage. First, realize that acceptance isn’t about giving up or surrendering. Acceptance is about recognizing that sometimes it takes more strength to let go of a situation, person, or past event than it does to hold on. Acceptance is about courage, our ability to move forward through the uncertainty of change, and our strength to adapt to what lies ahead.

2. Practice the Art of Forgiveness. Acceptance and forgiveness go hand in hand. Sometimes we have to let go of mistakes and realize that we did the best we could with what we knew at the time. Sometimes we need to let go of transgressions that others commit against us and refuse to take refuge in our pain. Forgiveness is critical to learn from our past. It frees us from emotional debts that hold us back, and it empowers us to move forward.

3. Practice the Art of Perspective. Acceptance is a choice. We can choose to accept or choose to resist, but either way change will take place. When we accept, we choose to embrace the change with a new attitude. This attitude gives us perspective. No matter what the loss or hardship we experience in life, chances are we come away with more insight, compassion, and confidence in our ability to rebound. As psychiatrist Victor Frankl once said, “If there’s meaning in life, there must be meaning in suffering.”


Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. Unknown.

Here’s to Letting Go~

- Angie

Angie Miller is the star and creator of the Bedroom Body™ Workout and other top selling exercise DVD’s. Passionate about fitness and education, Angie teaches at Northern Illinois University and is a Certification Specialist for the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). She is a freelance writer, group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and proud mom. Learn more about Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com

By Collage Video | | Angie Miller, fitness, Healthy, holiday, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 2 comments | Read more

How to Be Healthy During the Holidays

by Angie Miller

Angie Miller

Yes, those two words can be used in the same sentence, even when temptation surrounds us and routines are lost in the flourish of holiday madness. Even when kids are home from school, family is visiting from out of town, and our house feels like an endless hub of activity. I realize that during the holidays time feels like a precious, limited commodity; but I still contend that when it’s most tempting to skip our workout and other healthy habits is when we need it the most. During the holidays we are inundated with sweets, treats, cocktails, and an abundance of situations where our self-control is put to the test. That’s why this week I decided to share four S words to help you stay healthy during the holidays.

 

Four S Words to Help You Stay Healthy During the Holidays

  1. Self-Care- Exercise for self-care, self-preservation, and self-control (you know, the kind you need when your routine is off and everything from kids, visitors, traffic, and long lines test your patience). Even when it’s not the holidays, finding time to exercise can be a challenge (if we don’t schedule it), and some people hesitate to exercise because they say that it takes time away from family when they're already working. My response is this: When you're flying on an airplane and they're going through emergency landing procedures they tell you to put on your mask first, before your child's, right? Because they know that you can't save your child (or any of your loved ones) if you don't save yourself first. That's how I look at exercise. It's part of self-care. How can we care for others if we aren't caring for ourselves? My suggestion is that you put your mask on first. Exercise, eat well, and when you're feeling your best you'll give your best to others. This is especially important during the holidays when our loved ones count on us to provide them with extra love, support, and holiday hugs.
  1. Sleep- While this one is an eternal challenge for me, I do read the research and I know the importance of good sleep hygiene for brain health, disease prevention, and even good decision-making. Sleep is a like a cognitive clearinghouse (I just made that up). It sweeps our brain and gives us a fresh outlook, even more important during the holidays (refer to my line about traffic, kids, visitors and long lines if you’re still not convinced).
  1. Schedule- While our routine may be off, aka our regular schedule; we can still create a new schedule, a working schedule that accommodates the extra demands we face during the holidays. It may be that our schedule looks and feels different day to day, but that’s okay. Sometimes our body needs new challenges to wake it up and make it pay attention. If you have to replace your kickbox workout at 6 am for a yoga routine at 6 pm, because your visitors prefer to do yoga, why not? (I did remember to suggest that you include your visitors and/or your children in your workout so you don’t have to feel guilty, right?) The key to success is that on Sunday you write out your week, you decide where you need to be and when, and you schedule your workouts the way you schedule everything else. Stick to your schedule and you’ll be good to go. Working out might feel a little different at a different time of day, and you might have to substitute your regular classes or DVD’s for a different workout, but you have everything to gain by being flexible and open to new challenges.
  1. Save- Time, energy, and sanity by delegating- I like to get my tree up early, and I do mean early. Especially this year because I will be traveling for two weeks in December, therefore I won’t be able to enjoy my labor of love. In other words, all the hard work and time I spend decorating. That said, this year I also had a large speaking engagement and preparing for it was demanding a lot of my time. Between that and my regular work I was feeling overwhelmed. It just so happens that my husband had some time of, and I dared to make the suggestion that he decorate the tree this year. Guess what? He did decorate the tree, and the house, and though I might have been tempted to rearrange a few things here and there, and “spruce up” some areas that he might have missed, I didn’t. The tree looks great, the house looks great, and I didn’t have to lift a finger. I accepted, I embraced, I relinquished control, and I delegated. I suggest that if you haven’t already you give it shot; whether it’s giving a loved on shopping list, having them decorate, or whatever you need a helping hand with, go for it. You deserve to delegate and you’ll be amazed at how good it feels.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Best in Health and Many Hugs~

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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