Working out is a great confidence booster.

Check Me Out

By Susan Howard

Today at my local gym, I got totally checked out.  The gawker was a tall broad type of guy, blond hair pulled back into a ponytail and muscular. Let’s just say he was the kind of hot that you’d see in an ad for a sports watch or men’s cologne.

I know, I shouldn’t want to be “objectified,” and I don’t even like guys, and, hell, I have a wife, but it’s nice to know I still got it.

Maybe he was checking me out because I was lifting heavy and he was in awe of my brute strength, roar!  Maybe when you workout you emit an extra glow that says I am alive and in the zone.

I just turned 48 and got a head turn from a 20-something Greek god.

Working out works.  You look better, you feel better, and people check you out.

Now get to it.

Stay Ready.

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Wasting your food is better than overeating according to Susan Howard, personal trainer of Los Feliz, California.

Clean Your Plate

By Susan Howard

While I hate to waste food, water, clothes, money, anything really, there is one thing I will always and forever be against, the “Clean your plate” mentality.

Why?  Because it leads to an overstuffed version of you.

First, shrink down your plate size.  Get a smaller plate to put less food on and have less to “clean.”

Second, try and fill your small plate with equal portions of protein, good fats, grains, and greens.

When you are eating out, order LESS than you think you want.

Lastly, listen to your body.  When you are full, the show is over.

Waste, yes, WASTE your food.  Happily dump it down the disposal.

Then it’s done.

Or mail the second half of your sandwich to those poor kids in Africa.

Yes, they do need it. No, your overeating won’t feed the hungry children.

Write a check to the Red Cross each time you dump your plate if that helps.

No guilt.

Stay Ready.

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Tradition

By Susan Howard

I often write about habits and being a fitness professional. The pinnacle quandary to address is, “What are our habits and how can we change them to create a healthier lifestyle?”

I am going to shock you.  Ready?

Some of your habits, you will want to keep.  Yep, even the “bad” ones.

I have a tradition — when I get my car washed I go to a little bakery, grab a coffee and a cookie, and do some work.  It’s got AC, free water, and Top 40 radio pumping.  It also allows me to maximize my free time of which I have little.

I have been off sugar for the last 5 months, so going to the coffee shop was a bit of a challenge.  But it makes sense for me and I love the hang.

So having worked out for over an hour, I knew that I needed to get something besides my earl grey tea.

I paced back and forth, and landed on ..read more

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Find yourself stuck in a rut? Need some inspiration to work out? Susan Howard provides a quick workout to get you going.

Trance

By Susan Howard

We get stuck.

It happens to all of us.  The hardest thing is to get unstuck.  It seems impossible to create and stick to new habits.  What’s the point anyways?

Recently, I have taken on a few new clients and it’s always fun for me to feel the immediate change they get after working out.  “I am feeling a lot less depressed.”  “I am sleeping better.” “I have more patience with my kids.” The list goes on.

Sedentary to active are two total and complete opposing things.  The problem is, being sedentary doesn’t give you any energy to get moving.

We are stuck in a trance, a loop of dim vibrations.

Do this now:

10 minute walk in your neighborhood

10 body weight squats

10 push ups full body or from knees

25 crunches

There you started.  The barrier of entry is a lot smaller.  Now just push repeat.

Love yourself.  Do something that will make you feel amazing.

Stay Ready.

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There's only one thing you need to do to be healthy and lose weight -- be consistent in your workouts.

Rewind It Back

By Susan Howard

There is ONE thing I want you to know — only ONE.

I give you the big secret here….

To have the body of your dreams and to be fit and healthy there is ONE thing you must do…

Be consistent.

Workout every week 3 to 5 times each week.  Each and every one.  3 to 5 times.

It feels so good.

You get to stave off illness, disease, obesity, and yes, death.

Plus you gain energy and feel hot in your jeans.

So there.

Stay Ready.

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Focus on every rep that you do in the gym to maximize your workout results.

Own It

By Susan Howard

“Own it.”  This is a phrase I shout out during my sessions all the time.  What do I mean by that?

I mean that during every move, each rep, each set you feel what you are doing.  By working from the inside out, linking your breath, focusing on the muscles you are engaging, it will help you to get a stronger, more effective workout.  Using a strong exhalation can stoke your core and really fire up that last rep or the heavy lift.

Be it high reps, heavy lifting or just a maintenance routine, always have proper alignment in your knees, hips, back and shoulders.  Often times, I feel a client getting tired, lose focus, see their knees start to wobble in squats, shoulders start to shrug up in chest press, and I will say, “Come on.  Own these last few.”

Boom, the form pops back into perfection.  Quality of movement will always prevail over number of reps.  This will prevent ..read more

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The Light

By Susan Howard

Let’s face it, it’s tough to be alive.  There is a lot of shit to deal with and at times it feels as though it just keeps coming.  Some deal with these stresses by over eating, drug use (prescription and illegal), drinking, or zoning out in front of a cable TV.

In the storm, through the wins and failures, we must find the light.  The light is not a momentary flash of good feeling, it is true bright light that shines from within out.  The real light takes thought and intention, dedication to making a life change.  It is grown out of a self confidence that you are worth it, you deserve an incredible life.  You can inspire others and make the world a better more peaceful place.

I have a rule, I don’t listen to NPR news in my car before 8 am, only classical music.  I don’t want my day to start out with the worries of the ..read more

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Dude, Where is My Ranch?

By Susan Howard

My family and I just got done with a long weekend on a Dude Ranch in Tucson, AZ.  Out in the open air, riding horses along cactus-filled trails, up with the roosters, prickly pear margaritas at dawn.  (You can tell I really got into it.)

I loved this trip because it was an active vacation. The kids got to go to riding camp during the morning and we played “Marco Polo” in the pool all afternoon.  Plus, unlike the private swim classes my kids take back home where my son hesitates to jump in the deep end, here he proudly showed off his highest cannonball and fastest swim to impress the older boys from camp.

Taken out of your daily routine, you can try things, learn new activities and open up to different experiences, ones that you may love.

My wrangler, Bill was trying to get me to lope, which is a little bit slower than a full gallop, but still ..read more

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Full, Stuff, Nauseated

By Susan Howard

Some of my clients always have been and always will be lean.  They are the long skinny ectomorphs that couldn’t gain a bunch of weight if they tried.  I was talking to one such client thinking that if someone were to pay her $100,000 to gain 100 pounds, she would be unable to do so.  Try as she may, she could not put on a bunch of fat.

I wondered, other than genetic predisposition, why this was?  Why is it that some people really blow up and gain a ton of weight and some won’t.  What was she doing that other people weren’t?  What was the magic formula to living Spanx-free?

So I asked her and here’s what I got.

She said, “I never, ever overeat.”

Boom.  She dropped the bomb just like that.  Under NO circumstances, at NO time does she overeat.

She continued, “I start to get nauseous if I get too full, it’s uncomfortable, so I never do it.”

“Everyone gets ..read more

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Get trim with this protein shake recipe.

Slimtastic

By Susan Howard

It’s still summer, and back-to-school is approaching. So whether you want to look good for those end-of-summer pool parties or for back-to-school season, here’s a few things I recommend for those who want to bare all and trim down.

Consider a meal replacement shake and swapping out b-fast, lunch, or dinner with…

Your favorite protein powder (I like Spiruteen Vanilla):

Add 5 ice cubes

12 almonds

1 banana

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup milk (whichever kind you like)

Blend and drink.

This combo keeps me full and focused for several hours.  A shake can feel better than a heavy meal after which my energy levels tend to take a nose dive. #2pmcouchcrash.

Stay Ready.

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