Susan Dawson-Cook

Hi, I’m Susan Dawson-Cook, M.S. I know fitness and how the right balance of training, mindful exercise and good nutrition can transform your life!  I’ve been a fitness professional for 30 years. I’m an AFAA certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor and have a RYT 200 Yoga Alliance certification in Ashtanga yoga.  I was a contributing writer to American Fitness magazine for many years (which was awarded a 2014 Maggie award for it’s May/June 2013 issue). I have published articles in dozens of magazines and online publications over the years including Swimmer, Desert Leaf, Arizona Daily Star, Romance Writers Report, and Migraine Again.   I currently teach yoga in the San Carlos, Mexico community where I spend much of the year teaching, writing, and swimming with the dolphins. I also compete in U.S. Masters swimming and hold many 45-49 and 50-54 women state records in breaststroke and have made the national top 10 list in numerous events in recent years.

In March, 2011, I launched my first DVD, Personal Best Stretch: Move Better Than Ever. In 2017, I published a book about my journey to top fitness, Fitter Than Ever at 40 and Beyond. I’m fitter at 55 than I have been most of my life and so are many of my clients, teammates, and fellow competitors. You can do it, too. My articles will help you get inspired, set goals, stay motivated, eliminate bad habits (and establish better ones), learn new training techniques, and how to eat healthy and improve your fitness. You may even decide to try a 5K  run or a triathlon one day. Or decide a yoga retreat is just what you need to renew! I hope you enjoy the adventure!

Below are three WebMD articles, written by Sarah Ludwig Rausch and published in 2020, where I was interviewed for advice on setting and meeting goals, training at home, adhering to exercise, starting a fitness plan for weight loss. I hope you enjoy them.

Tips to Help You Set and Meet Goals 

Steps to Starting a Workout Program at Home

Starting a Fitness Plan When You Have a Lot of Weight to Lose

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8 Responses to “About”

  1. Jana Brown says:

    Hi Susan! I met you today when I read your article “Fitness Teaching Vacation…” in the March/April eddition of American Fitness Mag. I’m so super inspired and motivated by your accomplishments. I’m a 28yr old mother of two. I’ve lost a combined 70lbs & my quest for weightloss has turned into a passion & lifestyle over the past 4 years since I had my last child. I now desire to make it a career & you are now my role-model! I have so many dreams now & you gave me even more! My desire has always been to motivate mothers to get into the best shape of their lives after child-birth. So far, it seems to be working :-). Anyway, I just want to know how inspired I am by you & that I hope to follow in your many footsteps! I’d appreciate it more than I could express if you could offer any advice or point me in the right direction twards becoming a personal trainer, group x instructor, & a resort instructor. You are the BOMB!! FIT WOMEN ROCK!! In admiration, Jana Brown

  2. Susan Dawson-Cook says:

    Hi Jana,
    Congratulations on your weight loss accomplishments. Doesn’t it feel great to be healthy? Athletic and movement have always been an important part of my life. Without it, I feel like only half of me. With it, I feel more inspired, more optimistic, more focused and just happy to be alive. Even though I spent years training for another career, in the end, I realized that helping others live a healthy, fit lifestyle was what I really wanted to do.

    My suggestion to you? Take lots of classes so you can find out which ones you are most passionate about, take your certification courses and go for it! I think you will be really glad you did. And you have such an inspirational story about your own journey to fitness to share with your participants.
    Best wishes, Susan

  3. kim says:

    Hi Susan,
    I just read your article in “American Fitness” magazine about vacationing coaches. It sounds too good to be true but I went ahead and registered. I am a group fitness instructor in OR and I’m wondering if you might have some suggestions on what vacation spot I should request. Also, is it pretty difficult to find an open spot somewhere? Thank you for ANY input you can provide…

  4. Susan Dawson-Cook says:

    Hi Kim,
    Since I have only done this once, you might want to go to trip advisor to just read general reviews on different resorts. You could also ask for references from Vacationing Coaches and there are also many personal experience stories on the Fit Bodies web site, where people describe their teaching experiences. I had no trouble finding an open time to go. Availability probably depends on when you are going and where. If you want to go during a holiday, you might want to book way in advance. Good luck and keep me posted on how your trip develops 🙂

  5. Lisa says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thank you for mentioning Fit Bodies Inc. in the “American Fitness” magazine article you wrote about fitness teaching vacations. I have been a staff member for Suzelle and the Fit Bodies Inc. team for about three years. We currently have about 50 resorts we send at least one fitness pro to each resort, every week! It’s amazing, we love our fitness pros, thank you so much for supporting our program and helping to spread fitness to resort guests worldwide.
    All the best, Lisa.

  6. Susan Dawson-Cook says:

    Hi Lisa,
    Your welcome! I had so much fun on my last fitness teaching vacation, I’m hoping to take another one soon.

  7. Richard Lawrence says:

    I saw your flyer at HOA 1 workout board and wondered if it is possible to see a sample of your new stretching tape before purchasing one. We are in SaddleBrooke for the next 2 months and could make any accomodations to get an idea as to if it would fit our needs(my wife and I)?
    Richard Lawerence
    8182820 phone

  8. Susan Dawson-Cook says:

    Hi Richard,
    They are supposed to make me a short you tube clip I can post online. If you buy it and it doesn’t work, you can return it, but I have implemented many of these stretches with clients at SaddleBrooke, so I can’t imagine you’ll have any trouble. Basically, there is about 15 minutes of standing “dynamic” stretches to warm-up the body for exercise. Then there is about a 24 minute section of static stretches, all of which have modifcations shown. A few are standing, some are kneeling (standing in modification) and some laying down on the mat (the sequence is shown standing as well). From your menu, you can choose to do just one of the sequences if you don’t want to do the whole thing. I hope this helps!

    Best regards,

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