Foam rollers allow you to massage your muscles, tendons, and ligaments which creates a better overall healthy body.

Rollin’ Rollin’

By Susan Howard

What is that tubular blue foam thing hanging out in the corner of most gyms?  If you don’t know and haven’t used one, wait no longer — it’s a foam roller.  Hop aboard the train and let’s get rolling.

Myofascial release, is a fancy way of saying that everything on your body that is not bone needs to be worked through and massaged.  All the muscles, including the connective tissues tendons and ligaments are targeted when working with foam rollers.

This deep tissue work not only helps you to recover quicker, but has proven to increase performance.  So get in on this and be a part of the revolution!!!

After your next workout or before, if you are sore from the last one, take five minutes to foam roll.  There are multiple videos showing you a ton of ways to do so.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Lay sunny side up with your body perpendicular to the roller with it ..read more

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Play Nice

By Susan Howard

We like to feel good and so often times we reward ourselves with food or drink.

“I work hard, I deserve a few rounds of cocktails at happy hour.”

“I have a twelve-hour work day, I am eating  an afternoon cookie.”

“It’s Friday, I am need of a double espresso Frappuccino.”  (The last one was one I use.)

You’ve earned it, give yourself a treat, BUT I challenge you to NOT to make it food or drink related.  Try these ideas instead:

Take an undisturbed, kid-free bathtub with candles and classical music. Walk your dog listening to your favorite podcast or an album you love. Retail therapy, stroll a nearby mall and shop. Go see a live band, book reading, or theater performance. Hit a day spa. (All my gay guy friends seem to be amazing at taking care of their skin and cuticles alike! Take note.)

Do one nice thing for yourself everyday.

It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but does take a bit of planning.

You are worth ..read more

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Step Into It

By Susan Howard

We are who we have been.

We are who we are.

We are who we are becoming.

How can we become a new version of ourselves, when the old version is so strongly imprinted in our mental and physical DNA?  After a big weight loss or physical transformation, the old demons that want to overeat, sleep in, and make habitually unhealthy choices are still calling out.

There is another part to change and that is stepping into the shoes of the new person that you’ve become and allowing yourself a true metamorphosis.  This can only happen if the changes are based in choices that truly feed you in a multitude of ways —  energetically, spiritually, satisfactorily, and fun.

When the old you tries to sabotage the new you, (come back to the five and dime) you must proclaim louder and stronger who the new you is and what you are all about.

Make a list.

“Top ten things I love about my healthier self.”

Keep it ..read more

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If you're a food addict, you do have options to move past it.

Addict

By Susan Howard

Talking to one of my big weight loss clients, she lamented about all the advice she had been given by various diets and food bloggers alike, “Eat intuitively,” your body knows what it needs.  “Listen to your body, the pounds will naturally shed.”

“How can I do this,” she protested, “when I am a total food addict?”

What a great point.  If you act out with food, using it for emotional support, stress relief, or are just plain hooked, you will not lose weight. How then can you get to the bottom of your oversized bottom? (LOL)

It is worth it take a moment to question why you are there in the first place.  If food addiction seems to ring a bell for you, there are programs – OA, therapy and abstinence all seem to help.

When I say abstinence, obviously you can’t completely quit, like in AA, but my aforementioned client cuts carbs and sugar pretty strictly.  She’s is having a ..read more

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Susan Howard provides some tips to tricking your body to lose weight.

Going, Going, Gone

By Susan Howard

Set weight, it’s a real thing.  There is a number with which your body prefers to be, and try as you may, it feels impossible to get off that number.  Our bodies calibrate and especially after a big weight loss, we biologically like to stick at what feels most right.  So based on, height, size, and current metabolic rate, your body adjusts.

“That’s not the weight I want to settle on,” you complain, “I want to be 5 to 10 plus pounds less.”

This is a tough one because you are already looking good, but greedy. The better we look, the better we want to look.  What to do?  How can we trick our bodies into responding a new way?  By doing something different.

If your focus has been cardio, switch to strength.  If you’ve been doing endurance, switch to interval sprints, or heck, pick up a jump rope.  If you have been training for power, few reps and heavy lifting, ..read more

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For those with knee problems, here are some great ways to lose weight, workout, and get your heart rate up.

Broken Down, Fired Up

By Susan Howard

One of my newer clients came to me with a knee issue that appears to be, try as we may, unrelenting. Looking for a body transformation and some serious weight loss, she is faced with a conundrum. We can’t do too much knee bending cardio as even the bike is bugging her, but we need to get her heart rate and metabolic rate up somehow.

The answer: Weight bearing moves in rapid succession.

Here are a few ideas for those of you with knee issues.

Strength train with no rest in between moves. Pick two or three moves and go quickly between them. Be sure the weights you use are hard enough to make you sore the next day. Work your legs in the Adduction/Abduction planes of motion, if possible. You can also try doing straight leg lifts in front, to the side, and behind. To get your heart rate up, grab a pair of light weights and do a variety of punches, ..read more
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Stretching, warming up, and cooling down are essential to getting a good and safe workout as an adult.

Warm Up, Stupid

By Susan Howard

When I was in my twenties, I remember age-old advice given to me: before working out, always warm up for at least 5 minutes and always cool down and stretch for 5 minutes after working out.  This and “wash behind your ears” were solid truths I chose to ignore.

What a waste of time, I thought. Why not just workout hard, jump on the treadmill, run 3 miles and be done with it?  I don’t have all this time to be bringing my body temperature up and slowly building to a run. Yawn.

That was then.  If you are 20 and reading this, you are probably okay.

But, when you get into your 30’s and 40’s a warm up is really essential, especially if you have been working out consistently.  As an adult, your connective tissues get tight from over use and repetitive contraction.

You must warm up, or you are likely to suffer a pull, strain or even a tear.

On this ..read more

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Susan Howard encourages people to just unroll their mat, start stretch, get to moving -- a good workout will follow.

Ask Not What Your Workout Can Do For You

By Susan Howard

“I am out of the habit,” one of my client laments.

“I know every workout right now is going to be painful, even yoga.”

If you are feeling unmotivated or even scared to get started up again, fear no more. Here is your plan: force yourself to go to a class or to the gym and decide that you can chill on a mat do some stretches and just relax. With low expectations, you can match your low motivation and at least start.

The gap between doing and not doing is like the Grand Canyon, unsurpassable. Once you unroll that mat, inevitably, you will get a decent workout.

Never ask if you feel like it. Nobody cares how you feel, your body needs to move, period.

Stay Ready.

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Personal Trainer Susan Howard shares advice on why we binge eat and assures readers that it's okay.

The Morning After, Stories of Binge Eating

By Susan Howard

“I had a horrible night last night,” my client begins. “I binged.” And so it goes, the tale of the morning after and for my big weight loss clients, this habit is especially a scary one that feels shameful and out of control.  “I am scared,” they continue, “that I am going to put all the weight back on.”

Of course you are.  Even the science thinks so.

Once you lose a large sum of weight, the fat cells remain, but have just shrunk down in size.  You cannot lose the cells. Stinks right?  That’s why it’s best never to get overweight in the first place.  Those little fat cells are hanging out asking to be filled up. “Hey, what’s the story, why am I so small now?  When am I getting filled up again?”

Here are a few causes for binge eating, beyond emotionally charged stress eating and plain old habit:

Taking in too little calories. Anything under 1,500 for an ..read more
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Getting back into shape doesn't have to be hard. Here are some great tips to get started again if it's been awhile since you worked out!

Back in the Chain Game

By Susan Howard

While it’s always better just to stay in the game, getting back into it is something most of us have to grapple with at some point.  Be it injury, vacations, or plain laziness, the possibilities are endless why someone might skip their workout.  Since we are a sum of our habits, skipping one workout could then mean skipping for months.

I run, therefore, I am.

Here are some tips my clients and I have found to be winners in jumping back into the iron.

Warm up your muscles with a 5 minute walk before you start. This will awaken the connective tissues and prepare your body for the routine.  In this case, dust off the cobwebs. Do 2 sets only of all moves at 75% of your normal weight. Within a week of not lifting weights muscle starts to break down.  Don’t go back to what you lifted a month ago, you have to build back to that. If you have a treadmill ..read more
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