Looking for a personal trainer?

  • Struggle to exercise regularly even though you love the benefits?

  • Don’t know where to begin?

  • Do you need guidance in reaching a goal(s)?

  • Have you been instructed by your Doctor to begin an exercise program and don’t know how to start?

  • Are you looking to overhaul your lifestyle and become healthier physically, mentally and emotionally?

With my coaching, guidance, instruction, and motivation you can be empowered to create the change you desire. Training sessions are offered in-home, mine or yours.

Nicole Miller

Phone: 719.660.9277

Email: nmiller69@comcast.net

Location: 7212 Duryea Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80923

View my profile on IDEA Fitness Connect:
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How much water should I drink?

As a fitness instructor and personal trainer, I encourage my class participants and clients to remain hydrated throughout the day and during exercise. But, exactly how much water should we drink on a daily basis? Because there are many different thoughts on the amount of water one should drink daily, it’s best to understand the nutrient, the general recommendations for adequate intake, and the effects of dehydration. This attachment, with information collected by Dorene D. Robinson, RD CDN of BeyondDiets.com, summarizes the above topics and can be a great resource.

Know that your water needs change when exercising, because water provides cooling for the body. Your fitness level, the altitude, the outdoor temperature and your acclimatization to the environment are factors that contribute to your hydration needs. Dehydration will cause you to fatigue faster, make you think you are working harder than you really are, and increase your lactic acid levels much quicker. Here are a few guidelines to follow when exercising:

Pre-exercise hydration Work to drink a generous amount of water 24 hours prior to exercise. Two to three hours prior to exercise, drink approximately 2-3 cups. Ten to twenty minutes prior to exercise, drink approximately 1 cup.

During Exercise Maintain your hydration and electrolyte levels by drinking approximately 1 cup of water every 10 to 20 minutes. If exercising beyond 60 minutes (endurance sports) consider an electrolyte replacement.

Post Exercise Hydration Rehydrate as soon as possible. Drink 2-3 cups for every pound lost. Sports drinks are good choices. Avoid large amounts in a short time.

If you feel you may not be drinking enough water in general, I’d suggest creating a baseline for water intake. Use this Water & Fluid Intake worksheet or try an app. Review your findings, make adjustments and re-evaluate every 30 days. A daily journal is helpful when reflecting on energy levels, mood, elimination habits, and metal alertness.

Your Food Choices – Awareness, Quality & Planning

Do you struggle to make healthy food choices on a regular basis?  We know the benefits of healthy eating, but we may not know how to implement change. To make better food choices on a regular basis–more often than not–I recommend the following:

1) Be AWARE of what you eat. What do you consume on a regular basis? Be mindful of the food you put in to your body. I suggest logging or journaling your food intake for 4 days. This will make you aware of what you are eating and how much. I encourage you to do the same with your children. You may be surprised! Download this food record form and fill it out completely. It will be a challenge, but a worthwhile one. Once you complete your log for 4 days, reflect on what you discover. Is there room for improvement? Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables? How’s your water intake? Are your serving sizes appropriate?

2) Look for QUALITY foods. If you have 200 calories worth of chips or carrots, which food has a higher nutritional value? The quality of your food matters. This video shows a variety of foods and drinks that are 200 calories.

Understand that you need quality foods; ones that enhance your health. Read food labels and educate yourself on what to look for. Personally, I love the app Fooducate. While at your supermarket, use it to scan the barcodes of your food items . The app will grade the health value of your food on an A to D scale. Better yet, it is free!

3. PLAN ahead. No one is successful without a little planning or preparation. Those that are the most successful at maintaining their weight (or loosing it) have a weekly plan, not only for exercise, but for meals too. Weekly, plan your meals and prep for them. If you struggle to come up with meal ideas, use on online service such as Six O’Clock Scramble or Emeals. If eating out is a must, plan for it in advance by seeking out food establishments with healthier food options. You can look up menu items online and some even offer nutritional information. Keeping healthy snacks in your car is a great way to prevent yourself from getting too hungry. We know that when we get too hungry, healthy choices lose their appeal!

The only way to make healthier food choices on a regular basis is to create a change in the way you do things. I hope these recommendations stimulate that change!

Have you been successful at making healthier food choices? Share what has worked for you.

Theraband workout

I was fortunate to be a part of 365fitt‘s Healthy Active Living trip to Captiva Island, Florida at the beginning of this month. While there, I taught a few group fitness classes, one of which utilized the theraband. Therabands are often used in chiropractic offices and rehab centers, but can also be used as a strength training tool at home . They are lightweight and compact which makes them easy to pack when traveling. If you don’t have a theraband you can purchase one by following my affiliate link to the Perform Better banner. It will direct you to their site for ordering. You can also search for local suppliers on the Theraband website or use fitness tubing instead. Look for each exercise sequence to post daily. Combine all five for a total body workout!

Exercise sequence #1:

Exercise sequence #2:

Exercise sequence #3:

Exercise sequence #4

Final sequence #5

Strength Machines At Your Fitness Center: Navigating Your Way Through a Workout

I’ve seen it for years; people wandering aimlessly around their fitness center’s weight room (a.k.a. conditioning area, strength area) clueless as to where to begin. I’ve come to the conclusion that despite their good intentions, they just don’t know what they are suppose to do or how to do it. I can understand why. With so many machines, the fitness center’s atmosphere can be intimidating! Wouldn’t you like to have the confidence to walk in to any fitness center and put together a workout?  I’ve devised a simple plan for seeking out the equipment you need for quick, efficient, total body workout.

To clarify, this plan is for the average Joe or Jane who wants a simple strength training (a.k.a. resistance training) workout that incorporates their fitness center’s machine-based strength equipment. This plan meets the guidelines (view here) set by fitness industry.

Warm up using cardiovascular equipment. Locate your center’s cardiovascular equipment. Examples include ellipticals, treadmills, stair climbers, steppers, rowers, recumbent bikes, and upright bikes. Choose one of these machines and use it (ask for assistance if necessary) for 10-15 minutes. Start slowly and increase the speed and/or resistance until your body begins to perspire. This warm up should get your blood flowing, help lubricate your joints and provide kinesthetic awareness. Most people tend to skip this part of a workout, but know that it can possibly prevent injury.

Find the machine-based strength equipment. Once you have completed your warm up, our focus will be the machine-based strength training equipment. Don’t be overwhelmed by all the choices. You’ll soon learn that you don’t need to use every piece of equipment in your fitness center to complete your workout. Again, this is a machine-based workout. No need to concern yourself with the barbells or dumbbells.

Locate one machine that works the quadricep muscles and perform 12 repetitions of the exercise. See photos below for examples. The pictures on the machines will help. Taking the time to read through the instructions will ensure that you execute the movement properly. Yes, you might look weird reading the instructions, but not as weird as you will look if you are performing the exercise incorrectly! Keep in mind there may be additional adjustments–like seat height or leg pads–to be made on each machine. Ask for help from a staff member, if necessary.


Muscle group = Quadriceps

At this point, you should be ready to use the machine. Select the lightest weight and execute the movement a few times. Now, determine the amount of weight that you can execute for 12 repetitions. Select it and begin. You should be able reach muscle fatigue (the point where you cannot complete another rep) by the last repetition.  If not, know that you’ll have to increase your weight for the next set. Your tempo should be slow and controlled, not fast and jerky. After completeing 12 repetitions, this is considered 1 set.

Muscle group = Hamstrings

Muscle group = Hamstrings

Locate one machine that works the hamstring muscles and perform 12 repetitions of the exercise. Read the instructions, select the lightest weight and execute the movement one or two times. Determine the appropriate weight to reach muscle fatigue in 12 repetitions and perform your set. Keep the tempo slow and controlled. Continue to…

Locate one machine that works the chest (pectoral) muscles and perform 12 repetitions of the exercise. 

Chest Press Pectoral - trainwithnicole.net

Muscle group = Pectoral

Locate one machine that works the upper back muscles and perform 12 repetitions of the exercise.

Locate one machine that works the biceps and perform 12 repetitions of the exercise.

Locate one machine that works the triceps and perform 12 repetitions of the exercise.

Locate one machine that works the abdominal region and perform 12 repetitions of the exercise.

Locate one machine that works the low back region and perform 12 repetitions of the exercise.

Repeat this entire sequence one to two more times.

Once complete, spend 10-15 minutes stretching the muscles you worked.

I provided you with a simple plan for a total body workout using machine-based strength equipment. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when strength training.

  • Work to achieve muscle balance. For example, if you work one side of the legs (the back side – hamstrings) you need to work the opposite side (the front side – quadriceps). This holds true for all muscle groups.
  • Typically there are a many machines that focus on the same muscle group. You only need to choose one! During your next visit, pick a different machine for variety.
  • This strength training format requires you to move from machine to machine with the idea that one muscle group can be working while another muscle groups rests. Moving from machine to machine, in a circuit, allows you to complete your workout in a shorter amount of time. Instead of sitting on a piece of equipment and resting between sets (also know as ‘hogging the equipment’) you will keep moving through the entire sequence of exercises.
  • If someone is on the machine that you want to use, get over it. Either find another machine that works the same muscle group and use it or return to it later when it is available.
  • Don’t worry about the order of the exercises. Instead, focus on completing two to three sets for all the major muscle groups.
  • Strive to complete a total body strength workout two times a week, ideally with a day of rest in between.
  • As a courtesy to those in the fitness center remember to wipe down/sanitize the machines after use.

Navigating through a fitness center’s weight room can be intimidating, but doesn’t need to be. Seek out one strength-based machine for each muscle group. After completing one set of 12 repetitions, move to another machine. Continue until two to three circuits have been completed. Complete a total body workout at least twice a week with a day of rest in between. I hope this plan allows you to navigate your fitness center’s machines more confidently.

65 and older? It’s never too late to start a physical activity program!

Are you over the age of 65? Sedentary? Low level of activity? Are you ready to start a structured physical activity program? Here are a few steps to safely begin a program and incorporate fitness into your life.

  1. Educate yourself on the weekly amount of structured activity needed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention individuals 65 and older that are in good health and have no limiting health conditions should strive for 150 minutes of aerobic (also known as cardio) activity per week as well as two total-body strength workouts. Aerobic activity needs to be performed at a moderate intensity. For example, on a scale from 1 to 5 – one being the feeling of lounging around the house and five being out of breath – you need to be working at a level 3, possibly a 4. A total body (legs, back, chest, abs, arms) workout should be performed at least two times a week. These basics requirements are for those active older adults that want to maintain their health, weight and fitness level. If you are want to achieve greater goals (improved health, weight loss, train for an event) then up to 300 minutes a week of aerobic activity and possibly an additional day of strength training is required. Fortunately, your aerobic activity doesn’t have to be in 60 minutes increments. Ten minutes here and fifteen minutes there can make your aerobic activity cumulative. Strive to meet the basic recommendations for structured activity as described above. This is your first step in starting a physical activity program.
  2. Find an activity, or two, that you enjoy. Does your gym, health club, fitness or community center offer group fitness classes? What about local churches or social clubs? SilverSneakers® programming is offered nationwide and can be found at most of these establishments. Look into class schedules to determine what works best for you. What about participating in a sport such as swimming or golfing? This may be the time to start a private lesson or join a league. Perhaps meeting a friend for a walk, jog or hike is more appealing. Ask your children or grandchildren about gaming systems such as the Wii, XBox or Playstation. These devices, as well as good old fashioned exercise DVDs, will allow you to workout in the comfort of your own home and for much less than a gym membership .  If all else fails, seek out a reputable and certified personal trainer for guidance. By opening your mind to what is available and identifying an activity (or two) that you enjoy, you’re more likely to exercise regularly.
  3. On a weekly basis, schedule and complete your activities. Just as you would schedule an appointment with your doctor or dentist, schedule your activities. Write it on your calendar or in your daily planner. Use an app if you are tech saavy. Be specific. For example, “2PM on Sunday. I will walk 3 miles outside.” or “Monday at 11:30AM I will attend the group strength training class at the community center with my friend, Bob.” Scheduling and completing your activities will ensure your long term success.
  4. Make adaptions based on your limitations. With any new activity, the body will need time to adapt. Learn to make adaptations for orthopedic or medical conditions (this is where a personal trainer can be helpful). Take things slowly to prevent injuries. Modify the exercise to fit your abilities. If you have been sedentary, 150 minutes of weekly aerobic training might be unrealistic. Instead, start with 15-20 minutes, three times a week. After one or two weeks, progress the duration or frequency of the activity. Continue in this manner until your body can handle the increased activity level. Making adaptations will ensure that your body responds properly to the increased activity level and help prevent injuries.

Even if you are sedentary and 65 years or older, it is never too late to start a physical activity program. The body has a unique ability to respond to exercise regardless of its age. Delaying or preventing disease, improving mood, managing stress, and pain management are all benefits of regular exercise. Use these steps to incorporate fitness into your life and you will soon be able to achieve the physical results and health benefits you’ve always wanted.