Tag Archives | Glendale personal trainer

A closer look at what some people claim is a healthy diet and how to improve it.

Are You Healthy?

By Susan Howard

So… are you?  “Of course, I am healthy,” you retort.  I had wheat toast with almond butter for breakfast, a salad for lunch, Cliff bar for a snack, and a bean and cheese burrito for dinner.  To you, I say, “Yes, those are all fairly healthy choices especially if you are working out 4 to 5 days a week.”

I hate thinking of food as the gate keeper and myself as a prisoner in my own dietary life.  If, however, you are not getting the results you desire, you must look more carefully at the choices you make.

Back to that eating day, let’s look and assess…

Although the day’s calories contain a salad, the intake is a bit light on vegetables and has no fruit at all.  On top of that, there are hidden calorie bombs.  Almond butter, although good for you, can be over-served jacking up your calorie and fat count.  A thin layer of something creamy and delicious ..read more

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Find out which fats are okay for your diet.

FAT is FAT is FAT

By Susan Howard

Okay guys so what’s the story with fat?  Well, you should have some in your diet. Are all fats equal? Yes and no. Some fats are better for you than others.

Recommended fats are those from olive oil, avocado, fish and nuts.

So, the question is, what about all the other fats?  Can we have butter, or coconut oil, or trans fats?

The word on trans fats is still a no-go.  Most packaged foods have removed trans fats so you don’t have to worry as much about that, but be mindful of fried foods like french fries or doughnuts as they may have trans fats in them.  Continuing on with butter and coconut oil… Both have come back into favor over the last decade.  Yes, these fats are okay to consume, but don’t go crazy.  It’s still recommended that about 10 to 20 percent of your diet comes from fat.  So, good or bad, it’s still fat.

Which brings me to my ..read more

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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.

Repeat.

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.

Word.

Stay Ready.

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Susan Howard shares some tips on how to get a morning routine started during the week.

Wacked Out Weekend Warrior

By Susan Howard

There are those that jump up every morning at 6:05 AM and go for their morning workout, hit the shower at 6:50 and then head off to work with a nonfat latte in one hand and an egg white sandwich on gluten free toast in the other.

Then there is the rest of us.

If you are not this kind of type A personality, have no fear — even the erratic can become consistent.

When you just workout one or two times over the weekend is you tend to try and cram a whole week into one day and you really go for it.  In being aggressive, you risk injury or at the minimum, extreme muscle soreness.  In addition, your results are negligible because you don’t keep stoking your metabolic fire throughout the week, so the impact putters out.

Is it better to do something during the week, than nothing?  Yes.  It’s always better to be moving than static.

Here’s 3 ways to ..read more

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Work out with total abandonment -- be strange.

Reservoir

By Susan Howard

I was walking with a client around the reservoir, an Eastside dirt track meant to get her heart rate up. As we walked, we checked out the ducks and people watched.  With our dogs in tow, we walked and chatted.  No, we weren’t the fastest ones around the loop; we were there just to enjoy the morning and burn a few calories.

There were some hard core folks practicing their interval routines, and some serious competitors clocking their fastest miles, which is all good and normal…until…

We saw a women run/sashay/bootie boogie/ around the trail, complete with large arm gestures and random hip twitches.

“Maybe she is a dancer?” My client wondered if she was practicing a routine.  She could have been.  What it reminded me of was the pure joy of movement, the celebration of one’s body for it’s own sake.

This purity of fun, a spunk and strangeness, was not lost on me.

So for you out there that was cruising ..read more

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The fitness industry has changed. Personal Trainer Susan Howard discusses how her thoughts on exercise and wellness has changed over the years.

Things I No Longer Believe

By Susan Howard

My industry is constantly changing, so if I stay set in my ways, I will likely be missing some cool new innovations coming down the pipeline. Past trends recommended barefoot running and now it has swapped to hyper-cushioned gym shoes. Yoga was a unique new age meditative stretch class, now there is a power yoga on every corner. People used to do Jane Fonda videos, now they listen to a podcast, use an app or follow along with their favorite YouTube chick. You get it.

So what do I think now that I didn’t ten years ago? Here’s my top 5:

1. You have to workout for at least one hour to make it count.

Today, I know that you can crush a workout in under 30 minutes with HITT routines, heavy lifting, and intense runs.

2. You must do a ton of cardio to burn your fat.

Cardio is great, but strength training is better. Hit the weights!

3. Don’t eat high ..read more

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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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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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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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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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