Angie's Corner

Posts in the fitness success category

Banana Raspberry Smoothie with Whey Protein


by Angie Miller

Angie Miller

Smoothies are like ice cream, they taste great, go down easy, and after a workout there’s nothing that cools you off more. Unlike ice cream, however, smoothies are low in calories, high in protein, and they’re a great post-exercise meal replacement.

What's the best smoothie after exercise?

How about a Banana Raspberry Smoothie with Whey Protein? Full of essential nutrients, this smoothie is sweet, pink, and powerful. Not to mention, it’s a great way to help you recover after a tough workout and it’s quick and easy to make.

When it comes to smoothies, it’s safe to say that I’m experimental. I have never been one to follow recipes, and I love to see what I can come up with by mixing some of my favorite ingredients. I’m sharing this smoothie with you because it’s not only my favorite, it passed the ultimate test when I discovered that my husband and daughters enjoyed it as much as me. Having tasted some of my not so famous creations, they were as excited as I was when I came up with a smoothie that has all the health benefits, but still satisfies our sweet tooth. Check out my recipe and let me know what you think:

Banana Raspberry Smoothie with Whey Protein

  • 1 cup of ice cubes
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ¾ cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 to 2 scoops of whey protein powder
  • Optional: ½ tsp. of honey or agave syrup

Here’s a picture of the ingredients I use:

Disclaimer: Please note that I’m not sponsored by these brands, nor am I promoting them for any purposes. I recommend that you use brands that fit your budget, needs, and taste buds.

Why drink a smoothie after a workout?

While power bars are quick and easy to grab, liquid replacement drinks, aka smoothies, come with added benefits. They pack a powerful punch after exercise, and they give your body what it needs, when it needs it the most. I cover post exercise meal replacement in my Collage Video blog, titled, “What’s the Best Way to Refuel After Exercise?”

Here are a few highlights to give you a refresher:

How soon after exercise should we be eating a post-workout meal?

There is a window of opportunity, or “metabolic window,” that lasts approximately 60 to 90 minutes immediately following exercise, especially intense training. During this time, the body is most receptive to nutrient uptake and you have the best chance of reducing muscle damage. This window also allows you to maximize the muscle and strength gains from your workout.

Should the post-exercise meal be solid foods or a liquid meal replacement?

The moment you cease exercise the window of opportunity opens and from that time on the benefits begin to decrease. Because solid food can take approximately 2 to 3 hours to digest, it is generally not a recommended option as the window is closed by the time it’s digested. Although nutrition bars can be effective before and after exercise, liquid is generally recommended because of how quickly it is absorbed and nutrients are delivered to the muscles.

How important is post-exercise nutrition?

For most recreational exercisers post-workout feedings and snacks are not critical, but they can increase the potential benefits you receive from your workout, help you to prevent injury, fight fatigue, and avoid the stress of overtraining.

For more information, here’s a link to the blog:

http://www.collagevideo.com/blogs/angies-corner/15917404-what-s-the-best-way-to-refuel-after-exercise

Cheers to summer smoothies and lots of sunshine!

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

Tight Abs in 10 Minutes

by Angie Miller

When it comes to working out on a busy schedule, it's hard enough to fit in cardio, weights and stretching, much less spend more time trying to get enviably sculpted abs. With summer coming and swimsuit season around the corner, we’re all looking to tone up, trim down, and chisel our middle. Check out these four exercises from the Core & Pelvic Floor section of my Bedroom Body™ workout DVD, and you’ll be bikini ready in no time.

 

Full Workout Available Here!

10-Minute abs workout: For each exercise, a mat or towel is the only equipment needed. 

EXERCISE ONE: Oblique Crunch

Muscles worked: obliques, transverse abdominis (a deep abdominal muscle), glutes and adductors (inner thighs).

Start position: Start out on the mat on your side with your knees bent, placed slightly in front of your body. Keep your torso long and extended. Bend your bottom arm for support and place your elbow directly below your shoulder. Separate your knees into a clamshell position, placing the inside soles of your feet together. Bend your top arm at the elbow and rest your fingertips gently behind your ear. Engage your abdominals and lower back muscles.

 

Movement: Inhale first. As you exhale, lift your hips and bring your upper knee to your elbow, performing a side crunch. Focus on laterally flexing your spine and contracting through your obliques. Keep your torso strong and stable to avoid any extraneous upper-body movement and your head upright to avoid collapsing onto your shoulder.

Repetitions:

  • Perform one set of 16 repetitions, single counts.
  • Perform one set of 8 repetitions with pulses: up and pulse for three, lower down on four.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

Note: If this move is too challenging, keep your knees together rather than separating them into a clamshell position. Once you master the clamshell move, you can make the exercise more intense by placing a small ball between your upper thighs. As you lift, squeeze and engage your inner thighs. This will also work your hip adductors.

 EXERCISE TWO: Seated Clamshell Crunch

Muscles worked: rectus abdominis (the six-pack), adductors (inner thighs) and lower back.

 

Start position: Start in a seated position on your mat, facing front, with your knees bent and your hands on the floor behind your hips for support. Sit up tall with your torso long and extended, and your chest open. Keep the inside soles of your feet together and separate your knees. Lift your feet a few inches off the floor.

Movement: Inhale first. As you exhale, lift your legs and bring your knees toward your chest, performing an abdominal crunch. Focus on keeping your core strong and avoid collapsing through your torso or hiking up your shoulders. Think about driving your ribs into your hips as you exhale, engaging deep into your abdominals and lower back. Keep the movement isolated to your core and perform it slow and controlled.

Repetitions:

  • Perform one set of 16 repetitions, single counts.
  • Perform one set of 8 repetitions, with pulses: up and pulse for three, lower down on four.

 EXERCISE THREE: Side Plank with Arm Extension

Muscles worked: obliques, transverse abdominis (a deep abdominal muscle), gluteus medius and adductors (inner thighs).

  

Start position: Start out on the mat on your side with your torso long and extended and your legs straight, stacked on top of one another. Bend your bottom elbow and place it directly below your shoulder, keeping your neck long and making sure there is space between your ear and your shoulder. Keep your shoulders and hips facing forward, stacked on top of one another. Your upper arm will be bent, with your elbow by your waist.

  

Movement: Engage your abdominals and lower back as you lift your hips and knees off the floor, extending your upper arm above your head. Your bottom foot should stay in contact with the floor as you lift, and your head should stay in line with your spine. Pause at the top, then lower down slow and controlled, bringing your elbow back to your waist. To avoid overloading your shoulder, keep your neck long and focus on lifting and engaging through your center.

Repetitions:

Perform 8 to 12 repetitions on each side.

Note: To make this exercise easier, bend your knees to make a shorter lever and put less stress on your shoulder. Another modification is to place your upper arm on the floor in front of you for additional support.

EXERCISE FOUR: Hip Lifts with Torso Rotation

Muscles worked: abdominals, lower back, gluteals and arms.

Start position: Start out seated on the mat with your knees bent and your feet hip-distance apart. Hands are behind your hips, placed flat on the mat for support. Your torso should be long and extended, and your head in line with your spine.

Movement: Inhale first. As you exhale, lift your hips off the floor, rotating your torso and extending your right arm to your left leg, fingertips to toes. In the upper extended position, you are supported only by your left hand and your right foot. Your balance and control comes from engaging through your center and stabilizing through your spine. Lower and switch to the other side.

Repetitions:

  • Perform one set of 16 repetitions, alternating sides.
  • Perform one set of 8 repetitions, slow and controlled; hold for a few seconds at the top, increasing the balance challenge.

Note: If this is too challenging, keep your hips on the floor and rotate your torso, extending your fingertips to your toes, still working your core, but without the additional balance challenge.

Own this Workout on DVD!

Best to You in Health

Angie MillerAngie 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

What is the #1 Killer of Women in the United States?

by Angie Miller

Angie Miller

Cardiovascular disease, also known as heart disease, is the leading cause of death in the United States. It affects nearly 84 million Americans and claims one life every 40 seconds; that’s more than 2,150 Americans every day. (heart.org). Cardiovascular disease is a term used to describe diseases of the heart and blood vessels.

 

Though often thought of as a man’s disease, heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease. (goredforwomen.org).

 

Can You Answer These Questions?

1. Heart Disease kills 1 in ______ women every year, while breast cancer kills 1 in ________ women every year.

A. 31, 3

B. 3, 31

C. 5, 15

D. 15, 5

 

2. Only __________ in ___________ American women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat.

A. 1 in 5

B. 1 in 10

C. 1 in 3

D. 1 in 15

 

A Few Facts You Should Know

  • Answers: Question #1 is B; Question #2 is A.

  • While 1 in 31 American women die from breast cancer, 1 in 3 die from heart disease.

  • Despite this statistic, only 1 in 5 women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat.

  • There are many misconceptions about women and heart disease, even among the helping professionals. Studies show that women underestimate their risk for heart disease and overestimate their risk for breast and other cancers.

What Are Some of The More Common Types of Cardiovascular Disease?

  • Coronary Artery Disease/Coronary Heart Disease
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Hypertension
  • Heart attack and stroke
  • Abnormal heart rhythms and heart failure

What Puts You at Risk for Heart Disease?

1. Smoking- Smoking starves your heart and body of oxygen. Smoking is responsible for 443,000 premature deaths each year, with about one-third of those deaths linked to heart disease.

2. Genetics- Heart disease may be hereditary, but it is preventable through healthy lifestyle choices.

3. High Blood Pressure- High blood pressure is often referred to as the silent killer because often there are no symptoms. High blood pressure increases your risk for heart attack and stroke, but it can be controlled through proper diet, weight management, and physical activity.

4. Lack of Exercise- Physical activity makes the heart and lungs stronger and helps prevent plaque buildup in the arteries.

5. High Cholesterol- Cholesterol too is often hereditary, but can be controlled through proper diet and exercise.

6. Age- The prevalence of cardiovascular disease rises with age.

 

What Can You Do?

  • Choose a healthy diet.
  • Exercise.
  • Manage your weight. Stop smoking.
  • Keep alcohol use moderate.
  • Manage stress.
  • Get blood pressure and cholesterol checks regularly.

 A few other fun facts:

"Your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood each day."

"Your heart beats about 4,000 times each hour, 100,000 times each day, and 35 million times in a year. That’s more than 2.5 billion heartbeats in the average lifetime."

"If all the blood vessels in the body were lined up end to end, they would stretch about 60,000 miles!" 

(http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@fdr/documents/downloadable/ucm_467933.pdf)

Resources:

http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@fdr/documents/downloadable/ucm_467933.pdf

http://www.heart.org

http://goredforwomen.org

Have a heart healthy day!

 - 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, fitness success, tips, Weekly Blog, wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Stack your Deck for Success

by Angie Miller

Angie Miller

One of the best lessons I’ve learned over the years in working as an educator, counselor, and fitness professional, is that adversity is sure to come our way and stress affects us all. But one thing that has potential to set us apart is our ability to rise to the occasion.

How effectively do you manage stress? Do you see the problem coming and watch it approach, like an oncoming train, but wait until it hits you to react? Or do you turn problems into goals and attack the issues at hand? Maybe you’re like most people, and your response depends on the situation and whether or not you have any control over the outcome.

Despite the fact that life can throw us curveballs, or maybe because it can, it’s important to adopt critical techniques that can help you take stress in stride. One of my personal favorites is a technique that can help you achieve balance in your life and maintain perspective in times of crises. Best of all, it will help you avoid a serious setback if one area of your life falls short of your expectations. It’s about self-preservation, and it’s simple. All it requires is that you diversify your interests, aka; don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

I call it stacking your deck. Imagine that your life is a deck of cards and every card represents something special and unique about you. This could include your talents, education, career, experiences, and even personality traits. If you pursue a variety of interests, your deck is dynamic and it evolves as you explore different areas of your life. This instills confidence, and opens your world to endless possibilities. When we focus on diversifying our interests, it continues to propel us forward and encourages us to pursue healthy challenges. More importantly, we don’t allow our identity to be so wrapped up into one aspect of our lives that we are devastated when something goes wrong.

My challenge to you is to take a moment and reflect on you and your life. I encourage you to get out a piece of paper and do a little soul searching. Start by numbering one through fifty-two. Every card/number represents your best qualities, strengths, achievements, and accomplishments. It might include awards, hobbies, special talents, or even physical characteristics. These are things that define you and speak to who you are. They are all the qualities that make you proud.

If you’re struggling to come up with fifty-two cards, ask someone you trust to help you. If you’re still struggling, ask yourself, “What additions could I make to my life that would challenge me and give me greater purpose?” It’s never too late to pursue a former interest you put on the back burner, or go after that degree you’ve always wanted. As a matter of fact, the fitness industry is the perfect feeding ground for a person inspired to diversify their interests and embrace new challenges. The industry has gained increasing credibility and attention in recent years, as exercise continues to prove itself as one of the best preventions against disease. If you’re willing to expand your knowledge, the world of health and wellness promises endless growth and opportunity.

When your list is complete, I recommend that you look it over and appreciate the qualities that make you unique, as well as all that you have accomplished. Acknowledge where there is potential for growth and use that as impetus for change. Setbacks are bound to happen, but when we diversify our interests we create options that open the door to possibilities. We have a healthier perspective in times of crisis, and we rebound more quickly. Stacking your deck encourages you to expand your knowledge, seek challenges, and pursue opportunities. In the end, it helps you live a balanced, rewarding life.

How to Stack your Deck in the Fitness Industry~ Seven Savvy Suggestions

  1. Explore the world of one-on-one training: If you’re a group exercise instructor, consider getting your certification as a personal trainer. Even if one-on-one training doesn’t speak to you now, the additional knowledge and education will enhance your skills and give you added credibility. When you decide to start training, you have a ready-made clientele who trust and believe in your expertise.

  2. Appreciate the benefits of large group leadership: If you’re a personal trainer, consider getting your certification as a group exercise instructor. The camaraderie and sense of community that is created in a group exercise setting is the perfect place to build the trust and loyalty of potential clients. Not to mention, you’ll learn important techniques that instructors utilize to create safe, motivating environments for large groups of people. These techniques can be applied to small group training, which is a great way to increase your revenue and reach more clients in less time.

  3. Market your Skills: If you haven’t already, start a website that advertises your talents and expertise. Set up a blog on your site where you post tips and advice, and allows you to connect with your clients. Social Media is the perfect place to promote your site and share your professional activities.

  4. Pursue Continuing Education: Nothing can replace the knowledge and inspiration we gain when we pursue new certifications and training. The fitness industry is growing leaps and bounds, and the best way to compete is to continually improve and build on your own strengths. Recognize what you are passionate about, and consider ways to expand your reach. Explore certifications and trainings that compliment your goals, but also challenge you to tap into new markets and work with different clientele.

  5. Tackle new Teaching Opportunities: If you’re currently only teaching one group exercise format, such as indoor cycling, consider learning a new format. Not only will this enhance your teaching skills, it will add to your marketability, help prevent burnout, and reduce personal injury. Tackling a new format is a great way to challenge your skills, and can do wonders for your confidence as you grow stronger as a leader.

  6. Academic Options: Industry certifications and trainings are great, but don’t forget that there are other options to learn and expand your expertise. Taking a course at the local university or community college is a great way to immerse yourself in content that is industry related, but has applications outside of the industry as well. Courses in Nutrition, Business, and Coaching have endless potential to build your brand and give you added credibility, and they could be the start to a new degree, or an area of interest that adds to your skill set.

  7. Seek New Settings: If you’ve only taught or trained in one setting, remember that there are a lot of places for you to share your passion and talents. There are group exercise, personal training, and leadership opportunities in spas, universities, corporate fitness centers, gyms, private clubs, and even some physician clinics to name a few. There are guest instructor and training opportunities on cruise ships and at resorts. And there’s always space to rent where you can bring in your own clientele and share what you do best.

 - 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, fitness success, Weekly Blog, wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Test Your Knowledge, Part II: The Real Truth About Resistance Training


by Angie Miller

Angie Miller

Multi-joint exercises:

A. Train multiple joints and muscle groups at the same time

B. Are known as compound exercises

C. Both A and B

Multiple-joint exercises, also known as compound exercises, train multiple muscle groups and joints at the same time. The advantage of these exercises is that they are time efficient and they lead to great results. By performing 8-10 multi-joint exercises you can train most every muscle group, spend less time at the gym, and achieve positive changes in body composition. They are also functional, since movements that you perform in everyday life such as sitting and kneeling involve multiple muscles and joints. (C)

An example/s of a multi-joint exercise would be:

A. Squat

B. Chest Press

C. Lunge

D. All of the Above

All of these exercises are multi-joint exercises, along with an overhead press, leg press, and many more. (D)

3. Loss of muscle mass and strength with aging is called:

A. Muscle Wasting

B. Sarcopenia

C. Muscle Atrophy

Around age 30, men and women begin to lose muscle mass. Those who are inactive can lose as much as 3-5% per decade, but even those who are active will still lose some natural muscle mass. The best defense against Sarcopenia, age related muscle loss, is to perform resistance training exercises that increase muscle strength and endurance. Resistance training will significantly slow natural muscle loss. (B)

Which is an advantage of using machine weights over free weights?

A. Safe and less intimidating for beginners

B. Incorporates balance and movement patterns that resemble real life sport and activity

C. Allow your body to move past its natural range of motion

If resistance training is new to you, machines are a great place to start. They’re safe and less intimidating for beginners and they’re quick and easy to use. They also provide stability and support, and they guide you through proper range of motion. (A) See my blog titled, “MIX IT UP WITH MACHINES,” posted on January 19, 2015, for more information on this topic.

5. The acronym FITT stands for:

A. Fitness, Intensity, Training, Toning

B. Fast, Isolated, Timed, Training

C. Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type

The acronym FITT stands for Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type. These factors help you determine how often (frequency), how hard (intensity), how long (time/duration), and what kind (type) of exercises you’ll perform to meet your goals. One factor affects the other; therefore an increase in intensity will generally require a decrease in duration. FITT principles and ACSM guidelines help you design safe, effective fitness programs to achieve the results you’re looking for. (C) See my Blog titled, “HOW DO I BUILD AN EXERCISE PROGRAM TO HELP ME ACCOMPLISH MY GOALS?” posted on July 21, 2014, for more information on designing a personalized fitness program.

 

- 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

 

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