Native New Yorker Angelique Miles was a successful music publishing executive for many years, working for Warner Chappell Music. After getting laid off in 2005, she ventured off on her own for five years, managing songwriters and producers.
Throughout her time on the music scene, though, she dabbled in fitness, wanting to tone and strengthen her thin body, even taking Lotte Berk classes (the mother of all barre) in the 90s. But, she says it wasn’t until she was around 40 and out of the music biz that she started to take her health more seriously.
As Miles noticed her body changing, she started working out more, using barre classes, Crossfit and other options to amp up her fitness level. Doing things she thought she’d never be able to do (like running!) inspired her, and she started posting her successes on her Instagram page, with the crux of her posts surrounding fitness after 50.
Soon, her following grew, and people even started stopping her on the street to thank her for the encouragement. While it was unintentional at first, since 2014, the page has become her focus, and since then Miles has garnered plenty of fans. Now, the page has taken on the mission of helping women enjoy effective fitness, especially past 50. Read on to learn more!
SBS: What was your idea behind starting your Instagram page?
Angelique Miles: I wanted the page to be for women of a certain age to live their best life, not just through fitness but also through their general lifestyle. I don’t live the lifestyle my mother had when she was 52. I’m social, I travel, I go out and I’m active in my community. But since I believe fitness is the fountain of youth, much of the page is dedicated to that.
SBS: What do you wish you’d known at 35?
AM: I wish I had known my body and fitness needs would change. As your body changes, your workout changes as well. I was very thin up to about 40, and I weigh a lot more now. My mother did always tell me that would happen, but you never believe it at the time. At 40, I just had to work out a bit more. At 45 I had to watch my diet more. And the closer I got to 50, the less I could eat and the more I needed to work out. That’s just me, and everyone’s different. Whatever it is, though, just stick with it.
SBS: Since you started your journey with your Instagram page, what has changed in your life?
AM: My fitness level has improved so much: I can run now. I don’t love running, so I don’t do it a ton, but being able to prove to myself that I can run a half marathon—which I did—is important.
In general, I’m focused more on fitness now…because it’s necessary. It’s about feeling a certain way, not just looking a certain way. It’s not just about vanity. It’s about health. So many women my age are on medications or have passed away, so it’s about survival as well as feeling good and looking good. Since working more and more, my confidence has improved so much, too.
SBS: What’s your fitness routine?
AM: The most important part of my fitness routine is weight training because, as you get older, you lose muscle mass. So I focus on weight training three to four times a week, and I also mix in barre classes, spin classes and cardio on my own. I’m always trying new things, but the constant is weight training.
SBS: How has your approach to nutrition changed?
AM: As I get older, there are things that my body doesn’t take too well. I don’t drink milk, and I’ve cut back on dairy and sugar in general. It’s hard to give up cheese!
I also have an autoimmune condition, so I stay away from grains and stick to sweet potatoes, cassava and plantains, which means my diet is more based around protein and fats. I’ll treat myself to a glass of Champagne or dessert (French fries are my weakness), and I aim for being 80 percent on point.
SBS: What are some fitness trends you like and what don’t you like?
AM: I love boutique fitness because that environment gives you a different experience from a regular gym in terms of more targeted workouts and amenities.
I don’t like gimmicky stuff like waist trainers. They usually only offer short-term results.
SBS: What do you look for in a fitness teacher?
AM: I’m very particular about the kind of shape they’re in. And that doesn’t mean they have to be the thinnest person. I’m looking for healthy…someone who clearly practices what they preach.
I also like teachers who have control of the class, versus teachers who let people come in late or do whatever. I like strict teachers…who play good music!
SBS: What are you top tips for those over 50 who want to work out in a healthy, safe, effective way?
AM: I think fitness is the foundation of youth, so try to work out when you can. I work out during the week, and I take weekends off for the most part. Even if you’re not a morning person, try to fit it in first thing to make sure you get it done.
Also, I’m not trying to look 30. I just want to be in the best possible shape I can be at my age. So remember: It’s not about looking like your former self or someone else. It’s about feeling and looking your best…now.
Angelique’s NYC Faves:
Healthy Restaurant: Hu kitchen
Nightlife Spot: Red Rooster
Yoga Studio: Bikram Yoga Harlem
Fitness Studios: Exhale and Ultimate Training Center
Athletic wear: Alo, Ultracor and Alala
Athletic shoes: Nike
Fun activity: Walking in Central Park
Calming: Going to the beach at Long Beach or Cedar Beach
The Zaniest Part of Being Angelique: I’m really a loner. I’m that person that likes to go to the movies alone or dine alone. It always shocks people because I know so many people!
Angelique’s Sticky Be Mantra: Be Bold. You have to be bold to do things that may be uncomfortable but that are, in the long run, best for you. I worked in music so long, and I never thought I’d be doing what I do now. I had to be bold to make that switch.