Angie's Corner

Posts in the Wellness category

Fit Tips For Your Week

by Angie Miller

Angie Miller

Monday Motivation:

Rise and Shine: Did you know that the most successful people are often early risers? It's the difference between staying up late and struggling to “finish” something, vs. getting up early to “start” something fresh. I'm by nature a late-night person who has had to work hard to turn this around, often reminding myself that there's nothing so important that it won't wait until morning when my body and brain have had rest. I'd rather be an early morning person who wakes up and says, “Let’s do this!” than a late-night person who says, “I can’t do this.” Discipline, leadership, and success require a good night's sleep and a fresh mind. Tonight, sleep well and start your week off right! #MondayMotivation

Tuesday Transformation:

The Best of all Three- (These are the top three questions I get asked, and my top three answers):

  1. What's the best time of day to work out? The time that's best for you.
    2. What's the best type of workout? The workout that you enjoy, that will motivate you to do again and again and again.
    3. What workout the burns the most calories? The workout that you do consistently- (as opposed to the one you do once and hate every minute of because it’s not any fun.)

Truth- it doesn’t benefit us to focus on these things. There is no best workout, best time, or best calorie burn. Anything you do will burn more calories than if you don't exercise at all. #TuesdayTransformation

Wednesday Workout:

Is Exercise Dangerous? One of my favorite sayings is, "Exercise isn't dangerous, people are." It's not the kettlebell, step, dumbbell, barbell, or any other piece of equipment that are dangerous. It’s people, and potentially poor application of a piece of equipment that when used improperly can cause injury. The key here is, "when used improperly." When bad posture and muscle imbalances meet a piece of equipment, dangerous things can (and often do) happen. Bottom line, alignment and execution are pivotal in order to get the best results and to remain injury free. Start by building a strong foundation with no equipment at all. Just your body against gravity. Focus on alignment, weight distribution, and core strength among other things, then add resistance. I love kettlebells, they have transformed my body; but before you use any piece equipment make sure your posture and alignment is top notch and seek proper instruction. #WednesdayWorkout

 

Thursday Thought:

Thought for the day: I've shared this one before, and it still rings true. Exercise for self-care, self-preservation, and self-control. You know 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 anyone else) if you don't save yourself first. That's how I look at exercise. How can we care for others if we aren't caring for ourselves? Put on your mask first- exercise, eat well, sleep, and take time out once in a while for self-care and self-preservation. Only when we’re feeling out best can we give our best to others. #ThursdayThought

Friday Fit Tip:

Mindset Matters: Do you work out because you feel guilty if you don't, or because you feel great if you do? If you want to make exercise more enjoyable take out the “shoulds” and bring on the coulds. There’s a big difference in how we feel about exercise when we say, “I should work out today because __________________ “ (you fill in the blank), vs. “If I could ____________________(run one mile today, finish the entire workout DVD I just purchased, lift weights for twenty minutes, etc.) imagine how good I could feel. Shoulds make us feel obligated and resentful about exercise. Coulds open our mind to possibility. Replace shoulds with coulds to take away the guilt and change the way you feel about exercise! #FridayFitTip

- 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

 

Mental Motivators to Maximize Your Workouts (2)

by Angie Miller

Angie Miller

Last week I wrote a blog titled, Four Mental Motivators to Maximize Your Workout. This week I want to continue in that spirit, and give you two more mental motivators to maximize your workouts.

5. Reframe Your Resistance- Negative self-talk is a form of resistance that interferes with motivation. Negative self-talk might prevent you from starting your workout, or it may prevent you from enjoying it once you begin. The only way to defeat negative self-talk is to reframe- to redirect your thoughts and turn negative statements into positive ones. Here’s a simple exercise to practice reframing:

On a piece of paper make two columns. In the left-hand column write down negative self-talk that affects you personally- things you say to yourself that bring you down. In the right hand column write a more positive, encouraging way to look at the situation. Pretend it’s your friend who said the statement on the left. How would you respond to make your friend feel better?

Here are a few examples:

Negative Self-Talk:

Positive Reframe:

There’s no point in me working out today, I never stick with my routine anyway.

I’m going to work out today because I know it will make me feel good. Then I’m going to take it one day at a time rather than putting pressure on myself.

I don’t know why I even bother to work out, I always end up quitting because it’s too hard.

The next time I work out I’m going to go at my own pace, (use lighter weights, work out for less time, or go slower), so that I enjoy the workout and have a more positive experience.

 

Everyone at the gym is fit and motivated. Why would I want to go there?

People at the gym come in all shapes and sizes, but the one thing they all have in common is that they’re there to exercise. That’s the motivation I need.

 6. Park Your Thoughts- Sometimes stress and worry can suck the motivation right out of us, and it’s those times that “parking” our thoughts can be a powerful tool. When we “park” our thoughts we give our mind a respite from our worries, if only temporarily. Parking our thoughts is a way to put them aside, or compartmentalize if you will, so that we can focus on what we need to do- which in this case is to enjoy our workout. Sometimes we need to park our thoughts at the door, right before we walk into the gym, or we need to park them at work, before we leave the office. The bottom line is that exercise will clear our mind and better prepare us to face our stress with more clarity and a healthier perspective, and that’s the power of parking. I’ve parked many negative thoughts on my way into the gym, and when I leave and come back they don’t seem nearly as overwhelming.

Stay Inspired~ 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

 

Keeping Your New Year's Goals

by Angie Miller

4 Steps To Keeping Your New Year's Fitness Goals on Track

Don’t wait until clients get off track…Educate them now on how to avoid exercise relapse.

As a new year begins, our group fitness classes are packed and our personal training schedules are filled. We have more clients than we have time, and they are motivated for change and eager to train. While setting goals with these motivated people holds tremendous potential, equally important is educating them on exercise relapse and how to identify and overcome barriers such as injury, temptation and negativity to minimize their impact.

As part of goal setting, I always discuss exercise relapse with clients, many of whom can relate to the struggle. They’ve started a routine in the past and were determined that exercise was going to be a lifelong friend, only to fall off the wagon 6 months or a year later. Learning how to avoid relapse is similar to learning to turn in to a skid in driver’s education. If we understand the resistance, we can work with it rather than against it. It is vitally important to engage in this discussion when a client is beginning an exercise program, rather than waiting for something to cause them to veer from their goals.

  1. IDENTIFY HIGH-RISK SITUATIONS

    Temptations act as resistance to exercise. If clients can identify situations that put them at risk, we can help them develop contingency plans for action.

    Reflect. Encourage clients to think about past situations where they fell off the wagon and stopped exercising. What was going on in their life? What happened? What circumstances led to their relapse?

    Write down their barriers. Have clients write down the situations or obstacles that got in their way. Common barriers include:

    • vacation
    • holidays
    • work travel

    Develop a plan. Once clients identify the situations or obstacles that got in their way, you can help them develop a plan for how they’ll deal with them in the future. Make sure that their plan involves action–a way that they will change the situation, their thoughts and behaviors in response to the situation, or all of these. 

    1. CULTIVATE A SUPPORT SYSTEM

    When clients are trying to develop a lifelong habit, it takes time and discipline. They are more likely to succeed if they have a support system. A workout buddy serves as great support, but if they don’t have a workout buddy, family members, friends or co-workers can help them stay motivated throughout their journey. Encourage them to think about who might be supportive so they can share their goals with that person.

    1. AVOID NEGATIVE MENTAL DIALOGUE

    Our mind is the boss! Negative dialogue is powerful and self-defeating because the words we use matter to our mental mindset. When clients understand the power of their words, they understand that goals need to be framed in terms of something positive they’re striving toward versus something negative they’re trying to escape. Any time a goal starts with the word stop, it’s grounded in negativity.

    Check out this goal, and see how it sounds with a negative connotation versus a more positive spin:

    • Negative: Stop eating late at night.
    • Positive: Start eating a healthy dinner that will help prevent late-night cravings.
    1. REPLACE SHOULDS WITH WANTS

    “I should work out today because otherwise I’ll gain weight,” is the type of message that makes clients feel guilty and resentful. “I want to work out today because I love how I feel afterwards,” is the type of message that makes them feel empowered. Help clients replace shoulds with wants to change the way they feel about exercise.

    Goals are impactful. In the words of best-selling author Melody Beattie, “The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” Goals give our clients direction and help them to stay motivated. Best of all, goals lead them to accomplishments they might never have thought possible. If we can help our clients set realistic goals and avoid common barriers, we can set them up for a lifetime of success.

    - 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

     

    Learning to Love Yourself~ An Ode to Valentine's Day

    by Angie Miller

     A reflection on love:

    • In Eastern philosophy, self-love is thought to be the cornerstone of inner peace. A journey toward self-discovery is believed to be essential, as introspection promotes understanding and harmony with oneself, which lends itself to harmony and peace with the world.

    Love is the foundation of human compassion toward others, but first and foremost toward oneself. It would be difficult to embrace the differences among us, and to feel empathy toward those with whom we share little in common, if we don’t embrace personal trust and honor. Peace within, promotes universal peace and acceptance.

    Learning to love unconditionally and to fully embrace our unique qualities, from our greatest strengths to our most unbecoming weaknesses, is a more daunting task than we sometimes realize. Just as important, and even more challenging is being able to look in the mirror and love the image staring back at us. While there are endless ways to build and secure self-love, I believe that two of the most important are to Maintain Perspective and to Make Peace.

    Securing Self-Love

    1. Maintain Perspective~ Have you ever looked at a picture of yourself from five or ten years ago and yearned to look like that again? What’s more disappointing is to reflect that it was lost on you then, that your mind was shrouded in self-doubt and judgment. Looking back, whether it was your beautiful body shape, or your radiant, wrinkle free smile, it's difficult to imagine that you didn’t see it then, especially now that some of it has faded with age. With that in mind, why waste another day, another moment of self-doubt, judgment, or scrutiny? Isn’t now the time to celebrate your body, your face, your curves, your greatest assets, and yes even your wonderful flaws?

    We know that time doesn’t stop. We were just reminded of that when we looked at an old photograph. Any more time spent wishing, takes away from time spent living and enjoying life to the fullest. I’ve said before that if we could have a 40-year old mindset with a 20-year old body we’d have killer self-esteem. Don't wait for time to pass to give you perspective on how good you look and how healthy you are. Embrace your body, your mind, and your spirit as it is, the youngest it will ever be.

    2. Make Peace~ Now that you have embraced perspective, it’s time to authentically make peace with your body. I think it helps to start with a reflection so that we might remember what our body has done for us over the years. Reflecting: How our feet have kept us moving even when we were tempted to sit down and surrender. How our legs kept us standing even when the obstacles we faced made us feel too weary. How our hips, thighs, and abdominals have blessed us with our unique shape. Though they may be the bane of our existence, in another person’s eyes they signify the beauty and grace that makes us women. How our arms have embraced our children and the people we love. How they’ve lifted everything from the heavy load of life’s burdens to the powerful kettlebell we swing at the gym. How our hands have written love notes, held on to those who need our support, and given us the power to do daily tasks and achieve professional accomplishments.

    How our neck and face may show our age, but thanks to good health and proper care we’ve made it to an age where those fine lines are a badge of honor and a sign of wisdom. How our lips have kissed our children and our lovers, how they’ve formed words we regret and those we’re proud of, but all of which have taught us lessons. How our ears have listened to our children breathe as we watch them sleep peacefully, how they have listened to words from others that wound us, lift us up, educate us, and fill us with information that helps us grow. In the end, we are a culmination of our experiences and our body is an amazing structure that allows us to embrace life and exist on this earth. Far be it for us to do anything less than be appreciative that we are unique, first and foremost, and though we are flawed and fragile, we are blessed nonetheless.

    Maintaining Perspective and Making Peace lends itself to personal acceptance, and that’s where it all begins. Personal acceptance translates to self-love, to honoring oneself, and to recognizing that love begins on the inside. The more foster it and allow it to grow, the more we have to share with others.

    “The hardest battle you are ever going to have to fight is the battle to be just you.” 
    ― Leo Buscaglia

    - 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

     

    I Dare You

    by Angie Miller

    Remember growing up when someone would dare you to do something and you couldn’t resist the challenge? The idea of taking a risk was so filled with adventure that fear, if it existed, was something you were willing to face just to prove you were up the dare.

    The idea of taking a risk is like fuel, it gives us the courage we need to play by our own rules and go out on a limb. Risks don’t have to be big in order to be impactful. They can be small changes, or even decisions we make in our day-to-day lives that are out of the norm. When we take a risk we set the wheels in motion that inspire change, and we never know what might come of a little adventure.  

    I have three dares for you on this Monday morning. The first two are light and fun. They encourage you to put your inhibitions aside and embrace more joy in your life. The third requires that you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone, a scary place initially, but where true potential lies.

    I Dare You To…

    1. I dare you… To do something spontaneous that wasn’t in your plan for the day. Consider the possibility of waking up to your mental white board of must do’s, the one that’s filled with notes, lists, and errands. What would happen if you cleared some space and called a friend to meet for lunch, or headed out on an expedition? What about getting a pedicure or finally sitting down to cherish a book that’s been sitting unopened on your nightstand? What’s the worst that might happen if you replace shoulds with wants, just for the day, and take the opportunity to do something unexpected? Remember my blog: “Today is the youngest you’ll ever be.” This day will never happen again and this is the only moment we can count on, so why not live in the moment?
    1. I dare you… To be alone in your thoughts, to meditate, reflect, and journal about them. Self-reflection is a critical cornerstone to a healthy mind. Thoughtful engagement with your personal worries, hopes, and dreams is the key to being healthy from the inside out. Journaling provides the opportunity to purge your thoughts and it offers great insight. You become our own personal sounding board, and it’s cathartic to give your voice a place to be heard. Not to mention, it makes your worries more manageable and less powerful.
    1. I dare you… To get uncomfortable and to do something that challenges you on a personal or professional level. Remember that age is not a limitation; it’s inspiration. There’s no better time than the present to get started on a goal and embrace the opportunities that lie ahead. Age is a driver, it’s reminder that if not now, then when? I filmed my first fitness DVD after the age of forty, I started teaching college right before I turned fifty, and just this year I am starting to practice as a therapist. My goal has always been to promote the link between physical health and emotional wellbeing, and to bring the fitness and mental health communities together. We’re never too old to do what we want to do, and often the wisdom and experience that come with age bring us greater success.

    Those three words, I dare you, can make even the most mild mannered among us stand tall and rise to the challenge. Dares inspire action and action inspires change. Change is full of unexpected opportunity, so go ahead, I Dare You…

    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

     

    Ten Tips to Get You Motivated to Exercise

    by Angie Miller

    Angie Miller

     

    How do we master motivation? Whether you dread exercise and wish you were more motivated, or love to get your sweat on but sometimes need a little budge, we all could use some motivation to get us out of bed in the morning and into a pair of tennis shoes. Here are Ten Tips for Motivation.

     

     

    Ten Tips for MOTIVATION:

    1. Make it something you enjoy! Motivation comes naturally when we enjoy doing something. The key is to find something you enjoy even if it means thinking outside of the box. Exercise is any form of structured movement and that could be as simple as walking through your neighborhood after work. It could also be activity that is broken into smaller increments for those who are time pressed: 10 minutes of your favorite cardio DVD to get you energized before work, 10 minutes of a strength training DVD in the afternoon, and 10 minutes of yoga before you go to bed. Anything that gets your body moving will boost your metabolism.

     

    1. Options are not an option! Variety is key when it comes to exercise. If you do the same thing day after day eventually you suffer burn out and you stop seeing results. Worse yet, you go through the motions and that’s anything but exciting. Change up your workouts to keep your body guessing and your mind active.

    1. Timing is key! There’s no right time to work out, just the time that’s right for you. That said, you have to find the time that fits into your schedule. Once you do, write out your game plan for the week, or month if possible, and stick to it. If you try to squeeze exercise into your day chances are it won’t happen; but if it’s on the schedule it’s a plan, and the plan becomes part of your routine.

    1. It has to be convenient. Location, location, location! It’s not just important in real estate. It’s important to keep us motivated to exercise because consistency is key. If the gym is too far away chances are you won’t want to sacrifice time, energy, and cost of travel. Set up your living room or bedroom for your workouts, or find a gym nearby so you can stay motivated, be consistent, and build good habits.
    1. Value is vital. If exercise is going to become an integral part of your life, it has to hold personal value. In other words, you have to believe it’s worth it and that you’re worth the time it takes. There are few situations where I will allow something to disrupt my exercise routine because exercise is my lifeline. I’ve lost too many people in my life to preventable disease and I know all too well that exercise is my most powerful defense. That beats burly biceps any day.

    1. Ask a friend to join you. We’re social creatures, and we enjoy things that we can do and share with others. Friends are also great at keeping us accountable and giving us that extra push. Whether you share a workout in your basement, or at the gym, it’s not only an activity to get you both healthy; it’s an excuse to spend time together.

    1. Tackle your goals. Before you begin, start by setting one or two SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Oriented. Example: I want to perform 30 minutes of light resistance training three days per week at a moderate intensity. The more specific the goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. No goal is too small, but big, overwhelming goals can be discouraging.

    1. Invest in good workout wear. A new pair of supportive shoes and a cute outfit or two is not only motivating; it’s worth it. If we’re comfortable and we feel good about what we’re wearing, we’re more likely to look forward to exercise.

    1. Own your barriers. Know what gets in your way… work, time, fatigue, etc. 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. Never let someone make you feel guilty. I’ve been told countless times, “I wish I had time to workout.” This is generally a statement by someone who doesn’t value exercise; therefore they don’t make the time. We all have the same number of hours in a day and if we value something we make time for it, bottom line. You don’t need to feel guilty for taking care of yourself so you can better care for others. Kudos to you for striving to be your best.

     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

     

    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

    Turkish Get-Up

    by Angie Miller

    Mastering the Turkish Get-Up!

    Grab a kettlebell for this Turkish Get-Up!

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

    Why a Turkish Get-Up?

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

    Safety Tip:

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

    How to Perform the Turkish Get-Up    

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

    Set Up:

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

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

    Executing the Lift:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Turkish Get Down:  

    (View the moves to get down )

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

    - Angie

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

     

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

    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
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