Angie's Corner

Posts in the Motivation category

Total Body Machine Makeover

by Angie Miller

Angie Miller

 

Sunshine, warm weather, and longer days have finally arrived, and with that come fresh goals and a renewed sense of energy. It’s the perfect time of year to take on a new challenge and shape our muscles to show them off for spring. Here’s a circuit workout sure to stave off boredom and deliver results. Whether you’re new to strength training or an old pro, mixing it up with machines is a great way to keep your body challenged.

 

 

Circuit Workout: start with the Elliptical and rotate through the machines for three complete cycles:

  1. Elliptical Machine for a warm-up and cardio.
  2. Rowing machine for the large muscles of the back.
  3. Shoulder machine.
  4. Chest machine for the pectoral muscles.
  5. Biceps machine.
  6. Triceps machine.
  7. Glute machine for a strong, powerful gluteal muscles.
  8. Abdominal machine.

Before you begin, keep in mind that if machines aren’t a part of your normal routine they can be intimidating. The good news is that today’s fitness machines are better than ever. With visuals and instructions they’re easy to use. Unlike free weights, body bars, and exercise bands, they provide stability throughout the exercise. They also guide your movement patterns, helping to keep your range of motion safe and effective and reducing your risk of injury.

Station One: Elliptical Machine

Start out with elliptical training for an active, full body workout. For a safe, proper warm up, stay on the elliptical for 10 minutes. If you have more time, increase the resistance or speed and add 10 more minutes for a quick cardio blast. 

Tip: Watch your foot placement on the elliptical. For smaller women it may be best to step to the inside of the pedal for the narrowest, most comfortable stance. Use your arms to get a full body workout and to better engage your core

 

Station Two: Rowing Machine

Now that you’re warmed up and ready to go, start with the large muscles of the back and challenge them with a machine that is fun, functional, and easy to use. Rowing machines are incredibly versatile. They strengthen your back muscles as well as your arms, legs, and core.

Tip: Depending on your fitness level, your initial rowing time may vary anywhere from five to ten minutes. Increase the time or level intensity as you feel stronger and your body feels ready for an additional challenge.

 

Station Three: Shoulder Machine

Next up, it’s time to train the upper body with a cable machine that trains your shoulders and arms while engaging your core for improved strength.

Tip: For added stability and support, perform a one-arm shoulder press in a seated position. Once you have that mastered try adding a two-arm press. When you’re ready for the next level perform the exercises standing.

Tip: Perform 16 reps of a bilateral (two arm shoulder press), or 8 reps each of a single arm shoulder press. 

 

Station Four: Chest Machine

A total body circuit wouldn’t be complete without a chest workout that also targets the arms and front of the shoulders. For versatility and best results, perform both a chest press and a chest fly to target all of the surrounding muscles.

Tip: Perform 16 reps of a chest fly and 16 reps of a chest press

 

Here's Part II of Total Body Machine Makeover

- 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

 

Bedroom Body™ Total Body Circuit Workout

by Angie Miller

Angie Miller

Body confidence comes from knowing, trusting, and understanding your body and its true potential. Body confidence goes deeper than that which the eye can see, it touches your heart and gets to the core of how you carry and represent yourself to the world. It helps you to not only accept, but also embrace your body and all that it is capable of achieving. Best of all, body confidence transfers into everyday life and a little confidence goes a long way. Confidence gives you moxie and helps you go after your goals. It allows you to set standards that help you live an empowered life. The key is to keep your body moving and keep challenging any self-imposed limits!

 

Circuit Workout

This circuit workout challenges your heart and keeps your brain and body active. Each of the eight exercises is a compound, multi-joint exercise that recruits multiple muscle groups, burns calories more efficiently, and gives you a time efficient, total body workout.

Complete all eight exercises just as they’re listed, then start again and go through the circuit three times for an amazing, full body challenge.

  • Exercise #1: Kettlebell Swings
Muscles Targeted: Full Body
Repetitions: 4 Double Arm Swings; 4 Single Arm Swings each arm
  • Exercise #2: Kettlebell Cleans
Muscles Targeted: Full Body
Repetitions:  4 Cleans each arm
  • Exercise #3: Kettlebell Rows
Muscles Targeted: Back
Repetitions: 8 Rows on each arm
  • Exercise #4: Alternating Reverse Lunges
Muscles Targeted: Legs & Glutes
Repetitions: 4 Alternating Lunges, 4 Stationary Lunges each leg
  • Exercise #5: Squats
Muscles Targeted: Legs & Glutes
Repetitions: 8 Total
  • Exercise #6: Power Squats
Muscles Targeted: Legs, Glutes & Cardio
Repetitions: 8 Total
  • Exercise #7: Push Ups
Muscles Targeted: Chest & Core Stabilizers
Repetitions: 4-8 Total
  • Exercise #8: Glute Extensions (Also known as Hip Thrust & Glute Bridge)
Muscles Targeted: Glutes & Hamstrings
Repetitions: 8 Total

OWN BEDROOM BODY HERE!!!

Best 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 | | Abs, Angie Miller, exercise, fitness, Healthy, Motivation, practice, tips, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

How to Live a Stress Free Life

by Angie Miller

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, Healthy, Motivation, practice, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Eight Fun Facts About Diet & Exercise

by Angie Miller

Angie Miller

 

Did you know?

Eight Fun Facts About Diet & Exercise




 
  1. Did you know that 3,500 calories equals approximately 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat? That means you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. If you cut 500 calories from your typical diet each day you'd lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories).
  2. Did you know that only doing crunches will not get rid of belly fat? Unfortunately we can’t spot reduce. The best way to target abdominal fat is to reduce your overall body fat, which means plenty of cardio, combined with strength training. Stick to it, because oftentimes the first place you gain weight is the last place you lose it. 
  3. Did you know that eating after 8 doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll gain weight? The fact is: what you eat, how much you eat, and how much physical activity you do determines whether you gain or lose weight. Morning noon or night, when you eat too much your body stores excess calories as fat.
  4. Did you know that exercise could help reduce anxiety? Exercise provides distraction, reduces muscle tension, improves resilience, builds brain resources, and sets you free from disabling thoughts and emotions. Exercise frees your mind and helps you take action. 
  5. Did you know that effective goal setting is still one of the most proven methods for losing weight and breaking exercise plateaus? Exercise alleviates the ambiguity of “doing your best” or “trying your hardest.” Specific, challenging goals lead to better performance and more commitment. 
  6. Did you know that boosting your calorie IQ is one of the most effective ways to control your weight? Tracking your food and drink consumption, using pen and paper or one of the many online tools, is one of the most successful, proven methods for keeping weight off. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll learn and how easy it is.  Before long you’ll be a calorie connoisseur. 
  7. Did you know that if you’re trying to lose weight, the three most helpful sections of the food label are right at the top: Serving size, servings per container, and calories per serving? Read the label and be careful. If there are two servings and you eat both, unfortunately you double the calories, double the fat, and double the trouble.
  8. Did you know that we are all motivated to exercise and stay healthy for different reasons? It’s also important to recognize that our motivations may change over time. Being clear about your motivations and embracing the types of exercise that you enjoy and make you feel successful are key factors toward adherence.

    - 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, fitness success, Healthy, Motivation, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

    Four Ways to Hate Exercise (If you don’t already)

    by Angie Miller

    Angie Miller

    We don’t lack exercise programming in our society. There are more exercise programs, workout DVD’s, gyms, equipment, ideas, tips, and information than ever before. What we do lack is motivation to start and maintain an exercise program, and that’s something that can’t be packaged or sold. The thing about motivation is that it varies from person to person, depending on interests, lifestyles, upbringing, and beliefs. What motivates me might not motivate you, and vice versa. I’ve always believed that there is a missing link between what we know on an intellectual level about exercise, (we know it’s good for us and that it will help us stay healthy), and how motivated we are mentally and emotionally to make exercise a part of our lives. Rather than list 10 Tips for Motivation, I did that in a previous blog, I thought I would do the opposite. I’ve listed four surefire ways to hate exercise, hoping to shed irony on some of the decisions we might make that inhibit rather than increase our motivation.

    1. Make it a goal to exercise every day of the week, especially if you’ve never exercised before. I hear this a lot after the first of the year, aka New Year’s Resolutions. Individuals email me, or see me at the gym, and tell me that their goal is to exercise everyday until they lose x amount of weight. Exercising everyday, especially if you’re not in the habit, is the kiss of death. There are few things I want to do every single day, even when I enjoy them. Exercise is not one of them, and I love to exercise. I know that my body needs rest and recovery, and I know that my mind needs a mental break. Three days a week is a great place to start. Four is good after you’ve accomplished three for at least six weeks, (six months would be even better). Five is something you strive for when exercise is truly something that is here to stay, an integral part of your life. Six is starting to push it, and seven; that’s overkill.
    1. Don’t have a plan for when you’re going to exercise, what you’re going to do, who with, or where. Just wing it. Sort of like we wing our jobs, where we’re going to work, when we’re going to work, or what we’re going to do at work. Or how we wing appointments, just showing up when we’re in the mood for an annual physical check up, or head over to the dentist because our teeth could use a good cleaning and we have some extra time in our day. That’s silly, right? We have to schedule exercise the way we schedule everything in our lives or it just won’t happen, at least not consistently. Bottom line, schedules, including a specific plan for what, where, when, and how, lead to success.
    1. Order a super intense program off of the late night TV infomercials, the one that shows the individuals with perfect bodies and sculpted abs to boot. If we’re having an issue in our personal or professional life, we don’t look for the quickest fix, we look for the fix that will help us or our loved ones get back on track and resolve whatever issue is at hand. Exercise is not a short-term solution to an immediate problem… I need to lose five pounds for my reunion then I’m done. Exercise is a long-term commitment like raising kids, marriage, our career, and everything else in our life that is worth the investment for health, happiness, and personal fulfillment. We don’t need the most intense program; we need the program that makes us feel inspired to do it again and again. Quick results are not the goal. Lasting results are the goal. Intense workouts can lead to injury and burnout. Enjoyment leads to a long-term commitment and weight loss that is slow, safe and steady, promising to stay with us as long as we stay with the exercise program.
    1. Check out You Tube or another social media channel scanning for some awesome new moves and advice that may or may not follow. This might be one of my biggest pet peeves, and it’s certainly one of my greatest concerns. It’s the Wild West out there on the Internet and anyone can claim they’re anything. Fitness “experts” and “coaches” (life coaches, health coaches, fitness coaches) abound, but is anyone checking their credentials? Are we digging deep to see if they’ve earned certifications or licensures authenticating their ability to dispense advice about the human body? We wouldn’t get medical advice off of a social media channel unless we knew that the source was authentic, that they were actual physicians. We wouldn’t get psychological or mental health advice off of a social media channel unless we knew they were educated, licensed professionals. That said, it seems incomprehensible that we might consider getting fitness ideas, tips, information, workouts, and nutrition advice off of a social media channel without checking the source, investigating their credentials, and making an educated decision as to whether or not that source aligns with our goals.

    May you be motivated to exercise, and supported in your endeavors.

    Best to you in health and wellness~

    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

    Celebrate Your Age!

    by Angie Miller

    Angie Miller

    Growing Older is a Privilege Not Everyone Gets to Experience... Isn't it time we celebrated our age? 

    Last year I celebrated a landmark birthday. I turned fifty. That's right, the big 5-0, the one where you're given black balloons and you're supposed to start counting down your days. Fast forward another year, and as of December 1st I am now officially "in my fifties." In the health and wellness profession, where shape and size matter and wrinkles are not welcome, staying "relevant" and convincing a society of fitness seekers that age is an opportunity (not a set back) can be a challenge. Yet here I am, in my fifties, feeling better and more confident than ever before. The truth is, if the calendar didn't remind me that I was fifty I wouldn't believe it myself. While my face might show signs of aging, and admittedly that sometimes feels like a betrayal to a body that feels stronger than ever, I know that those signs merely demonstrate that I have seen my way through tragedy and loss, smiled my way through moments of joy, and created a story I am proud of, (minus a few chapters here and there). 

    All that said, even as I'm writing this I don’t know if I'm ready to be so bold about my age, (I kind of prefer to hide it actually), after all, society puts a lot of pressure on women to stay vibrant and young and age comes with a lot of stereotypes. But I've decided that I can't cower when I have the opportunity to be courageous, and in actuality, fifty did me a favor. It encouraged me to look ahead and seek answers to some pivotal questions. I proposed these questions in my blog last year with the intention of motivating me (and you) to discover what we need to let go of and what we have yet to accomplish. If our years are limited, and no matter what our age they always have potential to be, then isn't it worth it to go on a fact finding mission that results in a life led to our greatest potential? For me, turning fifty inspired a moment of clarity that the years ahead are (more than likely) not numerically equivalent to the years that have already passed. While some may find that depressing, I find it empowering. It’s all about perspective, and age can be a great motivator. Sometimes we need that wake up call. The courage to ask questions that have potential to impact our lives in ways we never imagined. There are so many questions we could ask, but here are a few I came up with:
    What do we really want?
    What have we always wanted to do, and who is stopping us from doing that other than ourselves?
    How do we get out of our own way?
    And finally…What are we waiting for?
    While I am still in the process of discovering the answers to these questions, I couldn't be more excited for what lies ahead. Questions pave the way to possibility for all of us who are brave enough to ask. I am personally inspired to see what 50 (something) holds for me, and how I can use time (and age) to my advantage. I hope that you’re inspired too, and that age will forever propel you forward rather than hold you back. Most of all, I hope that we as women can band together to break the barrier and own what is rightfully ours, the privilege of getting older without shame, and to stand united in showing the world that age is something to be proud of, not to hide. In order to become a stronger, healthier, more empowered version of ourselves, we need to embrace the years  that have gotten us to this point. Whether you use my questions or create your own, I encourage you to go on a fact finding mission and enjoy all the discoveries along the way.

    Best in all Birthdays to Come~

    - 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, Motivation, tips, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 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

     

    Want to Change Your Life? Challenge Your Thoughts (Part 2)

    by Angie Miller

    Angie Miller

     

    Part II of a II Part Series
    Last week we learned that stress is perception, that Toxic Thoughts pollute our thinking and create mental sabotage, and that our mind is our greatest asset or our worst liability. This week, we’re going to talk about Reframing: Reconstructing our thoughts and changing the way we view situations… changing our mental mindset.
      
     


    A Recap of Reframing
    Reframing is like rearranging the furniture in our home, or painting our walls a different color. It’s the same furniture in the same room, but somehow it looks completely different when we change the layout. Reframing is similar to putting our favorite photo in a different frame. It’s the same photo, but we see it differently because the frame changes the way we look at the picture. Reframing is a technique aimed at changing the way we perceive situations and altering our mindset from a negative to a more positive approach. Reframing allows us to rid ourselves of Toxic Thoughts, those thoughts that cloud our judgment and get in the way of positive solutions. Below is a recap of the Toxic Thoughts I discussed last week.

    Reframe Your Reality

    Below I list the four steps that help us “Reframe our Reality.” Remember that our mind is the most powerful tool we have. We can’t avoid stress or challenges, because we can’t control what comes our way, but we can take charge of our attitude about the challenges we face and more positively direct the outcome.

    Four Steps:

    1. Awareness- Identify and write down your three greatest challenges, why they are causing you stress, and why they are bringing negativity into your life. Identify the Toxic Thoughts that might cloud your thinking when you face these stressors.
    1. Reappraise the Situation- Write down two to three possible solutions for each stressor or challenge. If there is no “solution,” in that you can’t change what has already happened, write down two to three things you can learn from the situation, how it can help you grow, and what you might do differently in the future. This is an empowering exercise that reminds us that we're in charge of our attitude and the way we approach our problems. It allows us to step back, generate a more objective point of view, and focus on solutions rather than the problem itself.
    1. Implement Your Solution- Adopt and implement your solutions. Meet your challenges head on. It could be that your solution isn’t a solution, so much as a different mindset, or a different outlook. Again, maybe you can’t change what happened, or what might happen, such as a job loss, but your greatest stressor might be nothing more than your own negative thoughts. It could be that the toxicity your mind creates alters your perception and clouds what is good in your life. Repeat your solutions, and adopt your new outlook each and every time you meet those challenges.
    1. Evaluate Your Solutions and Your Outlook- Do your solutions make you feel more in control? Does your new outlook bring you more peace? If not, start back at step 2.

    Reframing is all about changing your perspective, taking your current situation and appreciating that for every negative, challenging event that happens to us, there is something to be learned or gained. We have a choice in how we meet our challenges and find resolution, even if it’s just resolving our own thoughts and finding peace in recognizing what we can and cannot control.

    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 | | Angie Miller, fitness, goals, Motivation, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

    Want to Change Your Life? Challenge Your Thoughts (Part 1)

    by Angie Miller

    Angie Miller

     

    “Everything can be taken away from man but one thing—the last human freedom, to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”

    Viktor Frankl
    Nazi Concentration Camp Survivor
     


     One of the greatest ironies that I’ve personally experienced in my life, but one that proved to be life changing and transformative is that I was hired to teach a university course in Stress Management when the stress in my life was at an all time peak. Teaching any topic gives us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the content, and to know and understand it’s true purpose and live by its principles.  Teaching Stress Management gave me that opportunity and more. I didn’t just learn to better manage my stress, I learned that my mind is the most powerful tool I have, and that it guides and directs the outcome of any event or situation that I face. I learned that the goal isn’t to avoid stress, because we can’t control much of what comes our way, but rather to take charge of our attitude about the challenges we face. I learned how to teach others the tools to turn adversity into an opportunity, and to grow and learn from our experiences. In doing so I learned how to embrace those tools myself.
    Teaching Stress management proved to be cathartic in more ways than one. It got me through the challenges of caring for my mom when she was sick, managing a move across the country for my husband’s job, and helping my teenage daughter through a rough patch. To this day it is still my favorite course to teach.
    Over the next two weeks I’m going to share one of the most beneficial techniques that I teach in Stress Management, called Reframing, which teaches us how to change our perception of situations, and also how to rid ourselves of Toxic Thoughts, which can cloud our thinking.

    Stress is Perception
    Stressors come in all shapes and sizes, but we know that it’s not the event or circumstance that’s stressful, it’s our perception of the situation. What is stressful to me may not be to you, and vice versa. Stress is all about perception, and Toxic Thoughts are negative thoughts that alter our perception.
    Below I list 10 Toxic Thoughts that all of us have probably been guilty of, that cloud our thinking and prevent us from seeing situations clearly.

    10 Toxic Thoughts:

    1. Pessimism- seeing the worst in every situation
    2. Blaming- shifting responsibility onto someone else
    3. Perfectionism- imposing above-human standards on others or ourselves
    4. Polarized Thinking- viewing things in extremes, as good or bad, with no middle ground
    5. Magnifying- blowing problems out of proportion
    6. Over-generalizations- one single negative circumstance manifests into a life sentence. “This always happens to me.” “I’ll never be happy.”
    7. Disqualifying the positive- negative thoughts and beliefs override positive ones. We tune out positive words and situations and focus only on the negative ones
    8. Mental filter- a solitary negative detail becomes the focus, obscuring the bigger picture
    9. Should statements- feeling that one “should” or “must,” which results in one feeling guilt or resentment toward others
    10. Personalizing- taking people and situations personally, blaming ourselves for events that we had little or nothing to do with

    Our Mind~ Our Greatest Asset or Our Worst Liability
    Toxic Thoughts are what I call Mental Sabotage. We face challenges everyday, but the challenges we face often don’t hold a candle to the mindset that we adopt in response. We can allow Toxic Thoughts to cloud our judgment and prevent us from seeking positive solutions, or we can reframe. Reframing is a technique aimed at changing the way we look at situations and altering our perspective from a negative to a more positive approach. Reframing allows us to rid ourselves of Toxic Thoughts.

    Your Challenge
    Next week I’m going to share the steps that teach us how to reframe. In the meantime, try to make it a point this week to recognize the thoughts that pollute your mind and create mental sabotage. Write down the ones you’re most guilty of, and in what situations you’re most inclined to fall back on that way of thinking. You’ll be armed and ready next week we adopt strategies to abolish those thoughts and conquer our challenges.
    - 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, goals, Motivation, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

    Four Fitness Myths Busted

    by Angie Miller

    Angie Miller

    When it comes to exercise and proper nutrition there are a lot of myths and misconceptions. After all, living a healthy lifestyle requires a lot of time and dedication and we all want to know if there’s a better way. But in reality there are no short cuts, and if it seems too good to be true it probably is. Below are four common myths, and some facts to set the story straight.

    Myth #1: If you stop lifting weights your muscles will turn to fat.

    Fact: Fat and muscle are two different types of tissue and cannot convert to one another.  When not in use, muscles atrophy, or decrease in size, but they don’t turn to fat. If you stop exercising and lifting weights, but you continue to consume the same amount of calories, you will likely see an increase in body fat and a loss of muscle mass. 

    Myth #2: Exercising first thing in the morning on an empty stomach will help you burn more calories from fat.

    Fact: It’s true that when you wake up in the morning your body hasn’t had fuel for a number of hours. This puts it in fasting mode and increases the use of fat for energy because glycogen (energy) stores are depleted. However, it also slows metabolism. Working out requires energy, and if your energy stores are depleted you won’t have the fuel needed to push yourself harder for longer periods of time. For best results, fuel your body before you work out to boost your metabolism and burn calories more efficiently.

     

    Myth #3: If you want to lose weight you need to be in your “Fat Burning Zone.”

    Fact: You burn the most calories from fat when your body is at total rest. In other words, when you’re sleeping.  On the flip side, you also burn the least amount of calories overall. If your goal is to lose weight then you need to burn more calories than you consume. The more calories you burn, the more weight you lose. Where the calories come from is secondary.

    Myth #4: If you want to chisel a sexy middle you need to do crunches and sit-ups.

    Fact: You don’t get to choose where you lose fat. Training a muscle group in isolation will strengthen the muscles underneath the fat, but not burn fat from that area. Cardio/aerobic exercise burns calories and reduces overall body fat, strength training amps your metabolism, and eating a lean, healthy diet keeps you trim and strong.  If you want to chisel a sexy middle your best bet is to combine cardio and strength work with exercises that stabilize and strengthen your entire core.

    While there may not be any shortcuts, the good news is that knowledge is power. The more we understand about exercise and nutrition the better decisions we make, and good decisions lead to positive results.

    - 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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