Archive | Susan Howard Fitness

Going on a cruise or vacation can disrupt your healthy lifestyle. Here's why it's good to workout during vacation.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

By Susan Howard

Hey fellow travelers,

I just got off a cruise and onto dry land and my head is still rocking.  The trip began with multiple days of navigating the Disney World theme parks Epcot, Animal Kingdom, the whole lot. There were days I did not work out, as we were with the kids and rising early to hit breakfast and the parks. At the end of those 12-hour days, my sad feet didn’t want to do it. Excuses I know.

Since my wife got invited on a media pass, we were invited to all these sponsored dinners and parties. I realized, like a little fish out of water, it was hard to say no again and again to delicious temptation and free booze. Even though I know better, I got tripped up.

By day five, I felt like a bloated beach ball. Maybe it was the beer, sugar, lack of exercise or all of the above, but a depression washed over me. Yes more

Continue Reading 0
Here are some small ways to fight obesity.

Strange Shapes

By Susan Howard

On my recent vacation, I got a close look at a portion of our country, middle America. Here in Los Angeles, it’s all about the pretty people, the hyper-fit, the plastic, and the perfect.  Yes, L.A. has it’s own issues, but you don’t really see the obese population like you might in other parts of the U.S.

It’s incredible to me the different shapes people become when they over eat and under move.  It’s like their tummies are attached to their thighs, while their legs and calves are super fit to hold up the entire ship.  When I see regular-sized heads with narrow shoulders encased by this crazy fat frame, it’s really shocking.

I may sound mean here, but I am not poking fun, I am actually alarmed at the mismatch.  We are f@#!ing up!  I constantly worry that I am not doing enough as a trainer.  Yes, I encourage my clients, but that’s such a small fraction; it’s feels more

Continue Reading 0
Eating well starts with knowing what your body needs.

Want : Need

By Susan Howard

The more I workout, the more I get deeply in touch with what my body needs.  If I wait too long between meals, my body gets seriously mad at me.  If I don’t have much protein one day, I need to get an omelet or a burrito the next day to compensate.

I have noticed when I am not working out the floodgates of “want” start to open up and cravings creep in.  Chips, scones, cookies, whatever I feel like starts to call my name.

No, we don’t have to be A+ food students all the time, but the more we can eat what we need rather than what we happen to want, the better.

Is this the most boring blog ever?


But it feels good to be a well-oiled machine, functioning at peak performance, and you can only get that with the perfect fuel.


Stay Ready.

Continue Reading 0
Don't worry about others when you work out -- fitness and healthy living is a personal experience.

One Size Fits None

By Susan Howard

Out on a 3 mile jog, my wife can run quickly past me kicking dust up from her heels as I plod behind.  I, on the other hand can get on a bike and speed past her little chicken legs, especially while hill climbing.  We are not the same in so many ways.

She has more slow twitch muscle fibers that suit her endurance runs, while I have more fast twitch muscle fibers that burst me up an incline at quick speeds.

Everyone is different.  Some people like red wine, some white (sorry Aziz).

The optimum workout for one person is not the best for another.  The optimum diet is not the best for another.  I think I was born a vegetarian and have to this day not really enjoyed eating meat products. In LA, the carb-free thing is really popular, but I hate it.  My body craves healthy carbs, it’s what I look for.  Certain seeds, nuts and products I more

Continue Reading 0
Consider how you feel when you eat and if tense situations affect your digestion.

Skip the Stress

By Susan Howard

Everyone that knows me knows that I have digestion issues.  Ever since I was a kid, I had trouble eating foods that agreed with me. I am likely lactose-intolerant.  I can’t eat too much fat, dislike most proteins, and am constantly at war with food.  Often, I choose simple things, like white rice and veggies or peanut butter toast. I am boring. Beyond this genetic abdominal curse of gurgles and cramps, I have started examining my moods when I eat.

When I sit down to eat, how do I feel? Am I in a rush? Am I annoyed? Is the energy around the dinner stressful? If the answer to any of these questions if yes, I skip the meal. Later on, if I am hungry, I grab some toast or a quick snack.

I am not saying you should starve yourself, but am merely presenting the idea that you will not comfortably digest and process your food if you eat more

Continue Reading 0
Journaling your food intake and exercise regime can help you lose weight.

Intention Action

By Susan Howard

Through research, Kaiser Medical Group has found that people that practice food journaling are 30-percent more likely to lose weight than those that don’t. Why? Often there is a huge gap between what we wish we were doing and what we actually do. In our minds, we are perfect eaters, consistent exercisers, and meditate once a day, twice on Sunday.

Who we are in our heads does not necessarily translate to who we are in life.

The power of the pen (or the notes section of your smart phone) makes you accountable to what you say you are going to do because it’s written down.  There it is, staring at you in the face.

So write down what you want your week to look like, and most often, that’s what you will do. Here is a workout week example:

Monday Eddie’s Yoga class 7 p.m. OMMMMM Tuesday Lunchtime strength training: plyometric legs and heavy arms, 5 sets. Get Tough! Wednesday Hike with Stacey, 6 a.m. Thursday more
Continue Reading 0
Feeling great is achieved by working out.


By Susan Howard

Just like Tony the Tiger used to say after eating his bowl of Frosted Flakes, we want to feel “GRRRRREAT!!!”

(Side note: Frosted Flakes are actually horrible for you, and probably one of the worst things you could eat in the morning as they have a TON of sugar and no nutritional value, but that’s besides the point.)

We don’t want to feel good, we want to feel great.

After a tough workout yesterday, I was walking out of my gym, thinking, “I feel great.”  You could choose not to workout, but then you don’t get to feel great.  Yes, you can have a good day skipping a workout but without that heart-pumping, muscle-engaging sweat, you don’t get the rewards of feeling great.

On your quest for feeling great, you may turn to drugs or alcohol, but that is a fleeting “great” feeling that will eventually drop flat into a state of not feeling great or even God-awful.

This may sound simple, but if more

Continue Reading 0
A personal trainer shares some real truths about drinking water and how it can improve your life.

H20 2.0

By Susan Howard

As a fairly healthy eater, I stop short at water. Why? I don’t know. It’s annoying all that drinking and peeing and water bottles and filtered or not — and I don’t know. However, I am on a mission to change all this.

When I drink water, my brain feels better.  (Your brain is actually floating in water)

Also, it’s supposed to be great for your skin and organs.

Also, it’s supposed to help your digestion and stave off hunger.

Also, my wife is doing it, and she constantly calls me a camel.

So, jump aboard the water ship.

The rule is 8 glasses a day, though I am personally starting with 4 glasses and will bump it up as I go.

If your pee is dark, you are messing up.

Bottoms up!

Stay Ready!

Continue Reading 0
A quick 20 minute workout plan to mix things up from a Los Angeles personal trainer.

Clock It

By Susan Howard

Wake up

Go to the gym.


I am always going on and on about consistency with workouts, but sometimes it feels a little like Groundhog Day — like what am I doing here again?  I am so bored and unmotivated.

Here’s a fun one for you to try to shake out the gym blues and challenge your body.

Bring a watch or set your phone to 60 second intervals.

Then pick 10 of your favorite moves:

Jump squats Bicep curls Push ups Military press Lunges Bicycle crunches Handstand Chin ups Incline press Rows

Now do as many as you can of each item for 1 minute only.  Once you are done you never go back to that move.  Take 60 seconds to rest in-between moves.  The whole thing will be done in twenty minutes and you’ll still have time to pick up a latte and scramble some eggs for your kids’ breakfast.


Stay Ready.

Continue Reading 0
Working out can produce results a lot more quickly than you think. Here's how.

Get a Massage

By Susan Howard

I recently started with a new client that had been fairly sedentary, with the exception of a few random hikes.  We were a mere 5 sessions in when she went to the massage therapist that she had been seeing for years.

“You exercise now?” asked the large Russian women.

“Yes…how did you know?” my client replied.

“From no exercise to exercise the body, totally different.”

Personally, I was surprised that such a change could occur after a super short time, but there it was.  An expert on bodies and musculature, unprompted, could tell the difference.

So hell, it’s not that hard to redefine your self (pun intended) and it happens fast.  When we are on the journey, it’s impossible to tell where we land because we see ourselves everyday.

“Yep, still me.”

Like when Auntie Steph comes to visit my little kids and is shocked they look so much bigger than they were last time, but they look the same to me.

That’s where the leap more

Continue Reading 0