Tag Archives | fitness tips

Hot Hot Hot

By Susan Howard

Temperatures have risen to 116 degrees here in LA, even the desert succulents are drooping in our front yard.  It’s challenging for me, the fitness guru, to want to get in the gym and work up a sweat seeing as all I have to do is dip my head outside and I am dripping.  What to do when all you want to do is squeezing into a ball in your refrigerator or watch a double feature in the blasting AC?

Here are a few ideas to stay on track when it’s boiling out.

First off, if you have a POOL or access to a public one by all means get in that thing!!!  You could buy some of those webbed gloves to get some extra strength training in, but honestly swimming laps is great too.

Next you could find an iceskating ring and join in on one of their public sessions.  If you’ve been reading my blogs you’ll know I have ..read more

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Pre-Game Plan For Staying Fit

By Susan Howard

Happy Summer ya all. 

With summer brings BBQ’s and pool parties and as I write this it’s the morning of 4th of July.  In the past I have written about portion control and just take one plate, no seconds and stuff like that.  This time I am going to talk about your pre game plan.

Say you are going to an event that afternoon or evening, here are somethings you can do to help yourself in the storm of hot dogs, potato chips and cupcakes.

First thing that morning, you should workout, Duh.  Get in some cardiovascular activity like a hike, bike ride or a run.  If you can do one of those for 30 minutes and then add 10 or so of strength training you should be good.  When in doubt go on you tube and check out one of the abundant videos, or go old school with push ups and crunches.

Second, eat protein.  We ..read more

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Fight laziness by moving more!

Lazy Daze

By Susan Howard

In Indian sanskrit, there are certain steps to Nirvana.  Practicing the asanas, meditating, becoming selfless, overcoming the ego, and so it goes.  There is also a list of things that prevent you from reaching Nirvana.  One of those is, yes, you guessed it, laziness.

Before I get into this, it doesn’t mean you should push yourself around full steam ahead leaving this moment in the dust.  No, some of you reading this likely need to slow down and be a bit more chill.  But then there are the others of you that are, for lack of a better word, lazy.  You don’t want to be.  You are fuzzy in your mind, tired and perhaps a bit depressed.  Lazy is never just lazy, it signifies a hopelessness and a dimness that can’t be moved past.

How, I ask, can you reach your potential?

Well, you must move.  No surprise there.  Action begets more action.  Be in motion. Now I am here, now ..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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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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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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Best Investment of My Life

By Susan Howard

Every once in a while I get a really kind compliment that makes me smile and gets me thinking.

One of my most successful weight loss clients told me she was talking to another doctor in the hospital she works and she said training with me was the single best investment in her health that she has ever made.

Wow.  That was nice.  Why is this I wondered?  She cited the workouts, of course, and the accountability and the friendship too.

This may turn into an accidental love letter but here it goes.

I have been training for a long time and honestly some of my clients have been with me for over 10 years and a genuine relationship with a lot of them has occured.  Not only do I care about their workouts and diet, I care about them.

In this day and age of phones and screen time, we really are closed off to each other, and in turn, closed off ..read more

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Make a commitment to workout every week!

I Get So Emotional, Baby

By Susan Howard

“My mother-in-law is coming into town.”

“I have a super stressed work week.”

“My kid vomited on my running shoes.”

Whatever excuse you come up with not to workout, needs to be tossed aside.

“But, Susan,” you plea, “I really do have a super packed work week and my dog did chew up my iPhone with my run keeper app.”

Over my last decade of training clients, I’ve trained people with various degrees of busy-ness. And with every one of them, I stress that they shouldn’t think about whether they want to or have time to workout. Just start moving for 20 to 60 minutes, 3 to 5 times a week and don’t stop committing to that.  My clients with the highest degree of consistency always get the best results.

“You can spend one hour working out or 24 hours dead.”

Having returned from a four-day fitness conference this is one of the messages that still rings in my head.  It’s true — the bounty of ..read more

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Why you should keep working out even if you have pain in your body.

Watch Me Nay Nay

By Susan Howard

Unless you are in the NFL, don’t play through the pain.  Unlike what you may have heard from other sources, pain in your body is a little message telling you that something is off or being overused while something else may be weak and non functioning.

Switch up your workout if you feel pain. If you are running try spinning or swimming; if you are doing a lot of heavy lifting, try Pilates, and if you are doing a bunch of yoga, pick up some weights. Our bodies get tired of the same input day in and day out and we can get repetitive stress disorder which can wear down the ligaments and attachments and overdevelop the muscles in a certain plane of motion.

If you are in a lot of pain, get with a personal trainer to help you out.  Don’t be sidelined by your pain.  The instinct to think, “I messed up my knee so I can’t go ..read more

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