Tag Archives | workout tips

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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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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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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Double Your Results With Eccentric

By Susan Howard

Recently I returned from a fitness conference where I took several courses and workouts from some of the top minds in fitness, the P90X guy (Tony Horton) to the Gatorade research folks, to the industry leaders in kinesology and body testing.

One presenter that had a big impact on me was this quirky guy from the University of New Mexico (of course) talking about eccentric movement.

What is eccentric movement and why do I care about it?

Eccentric is the opposite of concentric, so in a bicep curl the concentric is the “up” movement when you contract the muscle and the eccentric is when you elongate it towards the pull of gravity.

I signed up for the class to learn more because, contrary to conventional wisdom, the contraction part of a move is not nearly as important as the eccentric part and I wanted to know more.

Here’s what I got.  You will garner 40 percent better results by focusing on the eccentric ..read more

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