Tag Archives | personal trainer advice

Sense Memory

By Susan Howard

One of my clients, who at times struggles to maintain a healthy weight, was “off the wagon” as they say. She got a new demanding job and bought her first home so her stress level was a solid ten. During this time her workouts declined and in turn her eating went south as well. Months later coming back to her training sessions with me she had put on an extra twenty pounds on the hiatus.

Getting her back on track we looked at, in addition to strength training with me, some spinning classes she might sign up for. In the past, spinning was a strong foot hold in her weight loss habits. She enjoyed the music, competition and and energy in the room.

At her first class back, she had to leave the room halfway through the class because she thought she was going to throw up. She was used to maxing out her ride each time she went, but ..read more

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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 if using a scale is the right move for you.

The Scale: To Use or Not to Use?

By Susan Howard

Riddle:  What tells you things you don’t want to hear without speaking a word?

Answer: The scale.

Okay, I just made that one up.

Some of my clients that have had a large weight loss and in the wake of this massive success have taken to weighing themselves on a daily or at least weekly basis.  For this category of person, I say good on ya.  It keeps you honest and keeps the pounds from secretly creeping back on.  You are fighting the 50 plus pounds you lost last year.

For the rest of us, let’s decide what is the best fit.

Answer these questions:

How do you feel after getting off the scale?:

Freaked out?

Hopeless?

Inspired?

Depressed?

Motivated?

For some of you the scale can mean many things.  It could be used as a reward or a punishment.  If it sends you into a fit of over or under eating then it’s not for you.  If, on the other hand, it keeps you in check and focused on your ..read more

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Some healthy foods might not be good for everyone. Learn to eat what's good for your body.

What’s Good For Ya

By Susan Howard

Recently I was talking to a new client and she said, “I know salad is good for me, but every time I eat it, I get a huge stomach ache.”

“Well, it seems, salad isn’t good for you.”

Nothing is right for everyone.  Yes, fruits and veggies are generally good for fiber and nutrients, but if you have major stomach cramps after eating something you have to think about whether it’s a match for your system or not.

“Try warm vegetables instead of raw salad,” I suggested.

Healthy fats, lean proteins, vegan, carb free diets are all fine for some of you.  If you find yourself bloated or tired after a meal you need to question that.

Some of the mean intruders are the acid levels of citrus foods, coffee, and raw vegetables.

Other people have issues with diary or gluten.  Be mindful, take care of yourself.

You are you, honor that.  You deserve to feel good in your body.

Stay Ready.

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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 ..read more

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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!

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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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There's no use getting your dream body if you don't start to love yourself before you get there.

Hate

By Susan Howard

When we start from a place of self loathing — “I don’t look like she/he looks”/“I don’t look like I used to look”/“I don’t look like I should look”– there are a few things that happen.  We malnourish ourselves, or we overfeed ourselves, or we actually look and feel great, but secretly despise ourselves.  Ironically, I think the level of body disgust runs equally from my in-shape clients to my out-of-shape ones.

If we come from a place of love, there is a chance we will find movements our body loves to perform, food that digests well in our systems and clothes that fit our body and accentuates our figure. Seem easy? It’s nearly impossible. Even as I sit here typing I have my own level of  old school mental body noise that I am trying to abort.

I say, “Go blank off, you voices that say we are not enough!  We are enough, our bodies do incredible things everyday ..read more

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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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The secret to not gaining weight back when you go on vacation.

Vacaution

By Susan Howard

“I’m down ten pounds, but I’m heading out to New York.  I am worried that I am going to put it all back on,” said one of my clients who was stressing about her upcoming vacation and all the temptations in her path.  Hanging with old drinking buddies, the amazing N.Y. restaurants, and the “screw it” mentality all play a part.

When she says I am going to put it all back on, I trust that she is right.  I believe my clients know themselves well and are attuned to their patterns.

“Let’s create a plan,” I said.  I will offer you two drink cheats and two meal cheats in the two-week trip.  So, pick a night each week and let loose old school with your friends.  If you at least have a plan, you are much more likely to stick with it.  With no rules, every night is a party, and yes, you will regain the weight you worked ..read more

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