Feature Reprinted from The Palisadian-Post | By: Susan Howard, Special to the Palisadian-Post
Healthy Living | Originally published on April 10,2014
Spring is a time of new beginnings and transformation. Motivation to get ready for summer is at an all-time high as we recognize a quarter of the year has already passed since we vowed New Year’s resolutions to change our habits to healthy ones.
Now with the time crunch upon us to make fast change, what is the most effective and efficient way for our bodies to look and feel better?

Susan Howard, General Manager & Director of Lifestyle Performance Training at Studio K

Healthy eating of a strong alkaline diet and adequate hydration with water is always an important key to change. What does that mean? It means eating leafy green vegetables, lean meats and fish, and drinking ½ to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight every day.
The next step is to combine a healthy diet with functional high-intensity interval training. We call this lifestyle performance training – the fast-track formula to success – and an efficient method because the body uses many muscles and joints at the same time to perform the movements.
Core stability is the center of good health. The brain and body are engaged and help improve the body’s awareness of core stability with proper alignment and movement patterns like pushing, pulling, hinging, squatting, rotating, carrying and gait patterns (walking and running) and in doing so improves muscular endurance, overall strength, coordination, balance, posture and agility.
When the brain and body have the awareness and understand these basic functional movement patterns, the proficiency in these patterns improves and the fluidity and performance is enhanced.
Lifestyle performance training gives the workout purpose to prepare the body for everyday, real-life activities – whether it is something as common as going up the stairs or getting ready for your favorite sport.
Combine workouts with high-intensity movements – such as power, strength, sped and agility – with low-intensity movements like balance, flexibility and core stability.
Use resistance training to intensify the movements to enhance the cardio and strength aspect as well as challenge core stabilization, balance and flexibility.

Susan Howard leads a K Training session with dynamic strength movements

Work in all three planes and incorporate both unilateral and bilateral movements to challenge your balance and stabilization, strengthen your complete body, improve coordination and help to develop symmetry.
Use sports performance drills, Pilates, yoga and several other functional movements such as squats, lunges, planks, lateral movements and vertical jumps to enhance lifestyle performance.
Use a heart-rate monitoring system. The feedback from a heart-rate monitoring system assists the movements with modifications and progressions of movements to keep in the proper zone of high and low intensity. Sometimes you need to slow it down to get into the recovery zone, other times a challenge is necessary to increase the heart rate. In addition, a heart-rate monitoring system is an effective communication tool to better understand the intensity of different movements.
Safety is key. Adapt movements to work with your body. Use a heart-rate monitoring system to keep at safe levels and not exceed the ideal target zones.
High-intensity interval and resistance training in particular are important for total body toning, increase of lean muscle and simultaneous loss of subcutaneous fat (the fat under your skin that you can pinch).
The combination of both anaerobic an anaerobic exercise is ideal for increased EPOC (exercise post oxygen consumption, also known as the “after-burn”). This can raise your total calorie burn for 12-38 hours post workout.
Did you know that a person can burn two or three times as many calories while at rest after a workout? In response to exercise, fat stores are broken down and free fatty acids (FFA) are released into the blood. The more lean muscle you have, the more metabolically active your muscles will be.
Before beginning any new exercise program, be sure to get your physician’s approval to move forward in your journey to better health. Modifications are always encouraged to accommodate any limitations because safety is key for long-term results.
Susan Howard is the General Manager and Director of Lifestyle Performance Training at Studio K in Pacific Palisades. Her philosophy of lifestyle performance training is to incorporate all of the functional movements in a creative, efficient program to help individuals train for life.