Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews

How to Overcome Barriers

by Suzanne Andrews

How to Overcome the Top 5 Barriers to Your Best Health

“Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.”

We all have areas of our lives that could use some improvement but we often put it off, make excuses, or can't make the time to address them. In the process of living our lives to build a career, raise a family, compete to acquire it all, we overlook the vital need to relax, eat sensibly and understand our limitations. Don't wait until your first heart attack, DUI accident, or other shocking event to realize your lifestyle may be destroying you from the inside.

Here’s five barriers and more importantly how to overcome them for your best health ever!

  1. Your Own Psychology  

This one of the most formidable barriers. We place limits on our ability to become healthy. Rather than trust that change can happen, we talk down or highlight the impossible aspect of the changes we want to make. Believing that we can't lose weight because both our parents and grandparents were overweight is a false comfort and a method to avoid accepting a challenge. As long as you don't even try, you won't fail. 

  1. Society

Changes in society is another barrier. Smoking used to be fashionable, now it’s a primary health hazard. Butter and cream sauces are considered gourmet but now are known to be fattening and increase cholesterol in blood. Don't allow society to sway you with its criticisms, traditions and paradoxes.

  1. Fear

This is a tough one because it comes from within and without.
What will changing be like?
Will I be different?
Will my spouse, family, and friends still love me?

Many fears are deeply rooted in childhood, an event when discipline, accidents, or unhappiness set limits on imagination and exploration. These events place limits on our life potential and individual performance without even realizing it.

  1. Rationalizations

Denial...hides the reality of your situation
Blame...can't or won't accept responsibility is the tomorrow you said you'd start. Get going.
Fear of loss...why fear sleeping better, fitting new clothes, more energy, saving money, fewer pills and doctor visits, improved health and self-esteem?

  1. Fear of Failure 

Set realistic goals...lose 1 lbs. this week and do it. Next week, 2 lbs. and do it. Then each week after go for 3lbs. and do it.

If you begin a health plan by promising yourself that "I'll look like an Olympic athlete in one month", you already know how that's going to turn out. Persistent baby steps become leaps and bounds.

Functional Fitness Wisdom for You

Time is the most used excuse to not do something.  How much time do you spend watching TV?  (Honestly). The average person watches 3.5 hours of TV a night. That's 105 hours of television in a month. So all those people would rather watch somebody else live their dreams rather than pursuing their own? Turn it off!

Knowledge...use all the extra time you just discovered to research and educate yourself on what it will take to find out how to remedy all those fears, denials, and pressures in your life. will quickly realize that a healthy diet, regular exercise, lots of water (no sugary drinks) and even just a daily vitamin will give you the energy you've always wanted.

Support System...get your family, friends and co-workers involved. In most cases, you will have overwhelming support and even be considered a role model for those around you that have always wondered what it would be like to become what you are doing.

Has anything stopped you from achieving your goals and you still overcame and plowed through? 
Let me know by leaving a comment on Collage Video’s Facebook page… I look forward to reading them!

Suzanne Andrews
founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.

Urinary Incontinence Treatments

by Suzanne Andrews

Which One is Right for You?

I was just interviewed for Prevention Magazine about my natural treatment for Urinary Incontinence and they asked why I produced 30 Day Bladder Fix.  Well, have you seen those advertisements promising women to “take charge of bladder leaks.” There’s photo’s of women dancing, laughing and smiling. The message is that you can enjoy life once again if you use their products.  And exactly what products are we talking about?

  1. Pads or adult diapers:

Now I don’t know about you, but I’d be very self-conscious walking around with pads catching leaks that make me smell like pee.  And did you know that urine rubbing against your skin causes rashes?  How do I know this?  Aside from the fact that I’m an Occupational Therapy Clinician who treats this all to-common problem, I too once suffered from it and looked into every possible solution.  Here’s the other “solutions.”

  1. Pills:

Did you know pills only work in less than 20% of women and according to Web MD, “the most commonly reported side effect of the drugs are dry mouth, dry skin, dry eyes, and upset stomach. By the way, constipation makes urinary incontinence worse.  And in older people, “complications from urinary incontinence medications are heart rhythms problems and sudden death.”  I’m amazed how many of my patients are taking 12 – 13 pills a day under the care of a physician.  “You leak, here’s a pill, is the all too common answer.” Many patients arrive in rehab due to hip and wrist fractures received from rushing to the bathroom in the middle of the night and tripping on the wet spots.

  1. Insertable Objects:

Really who invented this? There’s an exercise device that cost $249.00 and this device hurts. (I tried it). Who thinks we ladies like to go around and insert objects into our private area as a form of exercise. There’s the other insertable objects supposed to help you control the problem but it still doesn’t SOLVE the problem and how healthy can it be to insert foreign objects anyway?

  1. Surgery:

As of early 2015, an estimated 70,000 women filed lawsuits against mesh manufacturers after suffering serious injuries from the products.  During my search for treatment, a urologist told me to undergo mesh surgery and I’m so glad I didn’t because problems from mesh surgery can include:

  • Severe pelvic, genital or groin pain
  • Recurrence of prolapse or incontinence
  • Nerve damage
  • Vaginal scarring
  • Degrading of the mesh
  • Infection, including urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Neuro-muscular problems
  • Vaginal shrinkage or shortening
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Blood in the stool or urine
  1. Kegels:

You’ve probably heard about Kegels. Well kegels are not the total answer either.  And it can be hard to know if you’re doing them right.

It is because of all these products that I produced 30 Day Bladder Fix.  I wanted to give women (and men) a natural way to eliminate Urinary Incontinence without pills, surgery, inserting foreign objects or expensive pads.  If I can help you not have to go through the embarrassment that I went through, it will be worth it. And you don’t have to pay the expensive three times a week co-pay for the therapeutic pelvic floor exercises I teach all across the United States. You can sit in the comfort of your own home and do the program in privacy and you don’t even have to get on the floor!  It’s all done sitting on a chair and lying in bed. 

You know what the best thing is?  Hearing from you all about how 30 Day Bladder Fix is helping you!  I’m so happy because you’re all my sisters in wellness! Here’s some reviews.  Keep them coming and share this post on your social media. Together we can let women know how to SOLVE the problem, not mask it.

Sandra B.
Verified Buyer
the exercise dvds are the best. i recommend them to everyone. money well spent. enjoy!


Frances P.
Verified Buyer
Hip on Functional fitness.
I have been using the 30 Bladder Fix for two weeks and have improvement with bladder control when I sneeze. The sneezing was my main concern.

Happy C.
Verified Buyer
This Works!
I can't say enough about this DVD. I tried the medicine to stop bladder leaks and it didn't work. I was even thinking of surgery but I heard of all the complications including a friend that private part perforated from the surgery. I have to say I was skeptical about this but tried anyway and am so glad!!! I can finally go on long car rides without having to stop at a rest stop every hour and I can also sneeze without the floodgates opening up. Thank you so much. I hope you don't mind that I don't use my name as this was a very a very embarrassing problem to have.



Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.




Tight Schedule?

by Suzanne Andrews

How to Get a Tight Body in 30 Minutes a Day! 

Do you have a schedule so tight that it’s enough to choke a horse?

As a television producer and host of Functional Fitness, I don’t have enough heads to put on all the hats I have to wear throughout the day: so I really do get how your day can be busy. 

Yet if you were to email me, I’d respond immediately and if you phoned, the tone in my voice would convey that I’m not in a rush to get to the pile of never-ending things to do.

Why? Because you’re important and so is your health. That’s why I now end every episode of Functional Fitness with, “thanks for taking the time to be with a very important person – YOU!

I’ve learned to do things immediately or otherwise my “to do” pile gets out of hand.  So what does this have to do with working out on a tight schedule?  Everything.  You need to put YOU in the “to do” pile. No “ands,”  “ifs” or “buts” about it.

But you don’t have time right? If you can squeeze in 30 minutes today, tomorrow and the next until it becomes a habit, you’ll feel so much better! That 30 minutes of purposeful exercise takes years of your looks, adds years to your life and more importantly life to your years.

What do I mean by purposeful exercise? By doing 30 minute workouts that help you function at your best, rather than workouts that make you want to scream!  Instead of “I must get through this killer workout so I can be a size skinny,” how about changing your mindset to “I must do a functional workout to be able to go sightseeing on that trip I’ve got my eye on, or I want to get totally strong and conditioned for __________ (you fill in the blank by thinking of something you want to accomplish).

By working out with purpose and doing an exercise program that is realistic, you’ll accomplish the one most important part of getting healthy naturally: consistency.  In addition, a 30 minute workout leaves you with enough energy stores to do everything else you have to do. So take 30 minutes and make your day, your year, your life!

Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.

How I lost the Weight

by Suzanne Andrews

Prevention Magazine Full Interview with Suzanne Andrews

How much did you weigh at your heaviest?

I was 186 pounds after giving birth in my 30's and since I'm only 5 foot 2", that's an uncomfortably large size. I had a background in fitness so I thought I'd just get the weight off right after giving birth.  But there was one big problem, weighing that much was painful!

 What made you decide to make a change in your habits?

Every step I took was excruciating. At 5’2″, I was putting a tremendous strain on my knees and hips. The simple act of walking was an arduous task. Walking places a force of 3 times your body weight on the critical joints of your body and I got bursitis in my hip which was very painful.

What did you do for exercise when you just started out?

At first I thought exercise was out of the question. I could barely see my toes; being able to touch them was a fantasy. Even having a background in fitness wasn't enough. It wasn't until I began working with a Physical Therapist as a Therapeutic Exercise Specialist that I realized exercise was the one thing I needed to do to get rid of the pain! I was so impressed with the results that I got a degree in rehab and when I'm not filming my PBS series, Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews®), I'm treating patients all over the country with the latest medically proven moves for specific conditions.

 My favorite saying to them when they say they can't exercise because they are hurting is "one day longer is one day stronger with Functional Fitness!" (They've been cleared to workout by their doctor). Since weak abdominals can cause back pain, non movement causes arthritic joints to increase pain: stiff shoulders cause frozen shoulder, a weak butt and tight hamstrings can cause back ache. You show me a fit, strong body and I'll show a happy body. Show me a weak body and I’ll show you a sick body.

 Did you know there's actually a condition/diagnoses that I treat called, "Generalized Weakness." That condition causes a host of diseases.  It's not easy getting to your healthy state, but so worth it! With that being said, there wasn't anything out there for an overweight, unfit person to do.

I also have a background as an esthetician (skin care and make-up artist). While working in New York City at CBS TV, a psychology guest told me meditation could help. I was skeptical. At first I didn’t understand how a sedentary activity like meditation could help me to lose weight. It was not long before I discovered the secret—during meditation your mind is the CEO and your body the dutiful employee.  Because the first step to weight loss begins in your mind. By meditating and visualizing myself at my goal weight, I designed an exercise program that a heavy person could do. I started exercising sitting down so I wouldn't hurt my hip and gradually progressed to a more challenging standing level. Little did I know I was designing the context of my PBS series. I was the first person to design exercises with modifications that included seated and standing levels - I even have walking workouts you can do seated!

What was a typical week of workouts like?

First, I would meditate (every day) for 10 minutes and visualize myself at my goal weight in an outfit that I wanted to wear right down to the color of the outfit and what I would be able to do without all that weight literally weighing me down!   I would do 30 minutes of chair exercises and two to three times a week I would incorporate weights into my routine. I had health issues from a previous car accident (back and neck problems) and had to work-out out without causing further damage. I remember the day I started doing the workout standing up. I felt lighter and had more energy when I woke up that day and so I thought, why not see if I could do standing low impact moves? I kept going until what you see on the TV today, two to three fitness levels demonstrated by myself and an expert guest or two.

What did you change about your eating habits?

Weight loss is 50% diet, 50% exercise and 100% determination!  I needed every ounce of determination when I decided to get some pre -packaged frozen meals to get me started losing weight. When I first saw the tiny amount, I thought I was going to starve!  Yet, when I didn't die from starvation and instead just kept losing weight, I knew the food was enough to sustain me. I'm Italian, and my entire family has weight issues. We love to eat. So the biggest change about my eating habits wasn't just downsizing portions, it was downsizing the excuses and realizing that even little snacks add up. 

How much do you weigh now?

Now I'm a healthy 125 lbs. It was never my goal to be an unhealthy stick.  I'm a woman. I have hips and a bust. Years ago in my 20's, I was swayed by the unrealistic images you see in the media. Well, now I am the media and have the opportunity to educate women that instead of striving for an unrealistic size 2, strive for a size healthy! I remember speaking with some beauty/fashion CEO's about the unrealistic portrayal of the ideal stick thin image in my younger years in New York City. They replied "women don't relate to real women, they want a model thin women to look up to."  If you read the letters I get from my viewers, you'd know they were dead wrong! I am real.  I am a women and proud to be a healthy role model for real women who want to be real healthy.

How long did it take to reach your goal?

I lost 2 - 3 lbs a week.

Are you comfortable using your full name in this article for

Yes.  Suzanne Andrews. Founder, Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews, PBS TV and president of

How old are you?

If you put in Suzanne Andrews in the Google search engine, you'd see people actually google Suzanne Andrews age.  I'm proud to reveal I'm 53 years young and owe my age to Functional Fitness!

Where do you live?

I live in Florida, but spend a lot of time travelling throughout the US teaching my evidenced based exercises to help others take back their life and be healthwise –exercise! It’s always a thrill to see how Functional Fitness helps them.

Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.

Get Functional with Suzanne Andrews

by Suzanne Andrews

Get Functional with Suzanne Andrews Third PBS Fitness Series on PBS TV

PBS added the newest addition of Functional Fitness to its programming.  From Healthwise Exercise, LLC, the producers of the first and second series, Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews® is a show you’ll want to start watching this week on your local Public Television Station.

The 10 newest episodes added to the already airing 25 episodes offers people over 40 a unique at-home workout program that can be done seated on a chair or standing.

While the workouts can be done in a small space at home, each episode offers an expansive scenic view of locations across North America. From the famous Sunken Gardens filmed at Butchart Gardens in British Columbia, Canada, to the Ladew Gardens in Marlyland, the scenery offers a motivating background of stunning beauty to “put the fun in Functional Fitness®.”

Rather than only emphasizing weight loss or striving for an unrealistic image, Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews® offers fitness editions for specific health conditions. While many instructors show you what to do, Suzanne Andrews, a licensed Occupational Therapy Practitioner, also educates you on what moves you should not do for specific health conditions.

Already a best seller before it even aired on PBS, Suzanne Andrews Get Stronger Bones DVD carefully instructs the same osteoporosis safe moves Suzanne guides her clients through in rehab without the high priced rehab co-payments. Equally popular is Suzanne Andrews 30 Day Bladder Fix DVD, which demonstrates the only medically proven pelvic exercises that are done seated on a chair and lying in bed to stop urinary leaks. While each episode airs for 30 minutes, the DVD collection offers additional unseen exercises that can’t fit into the tight time constraints of television.  

Originally airing on 159 stations nationwide to over 49 million on the PBS network of stations in 2009, viewers embark on a transformative journey in order to reach their full potential.  It’s not about being a size skinny, but about being a size healthy. It’s about getting and remaining functional and independent well into ones mature years,” states the executive producer, Suzanne Andrews.

Get the series by emailing your local Public Broadcasting Station now and requesting, Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews®. To find your local PBS station, go to

Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.

Fitness with Gratitude

by Suzanne Andrews

Looking at my desk, I can’t help but smile. The cards of thanks and emails from fans who are helped by Functional Fitness brings the greatest feeling of gratitude. 

“Just a thumbs up on the new format. I like it! The natural background is relaxing and the types of exercises using weights more often is challenging, therefore making me feel as though I am getting a better work out. 

I have been exercising with you for MANY years and find it a healthy way to start the day. Thanks and continue the good work. By the way, I am  73 and can still do the exercises that you, Suzanne does, and not the seated versions and that is in part because I have done the 6:30 A.M  exercises on PBS  since I retired.” Carol.

Letters like that help me to ignore the occasional hater mail I get. What’s ‘hater mail?’  It’s mail from someone who has a hating heart. Like the lady who wrote, “You are too fat and need to lose weight.” I didn’t realize that being 117 pounds is too fat, especially after losing 60 pounds and keeping it off all these years. I have to admit it’s not easy to keep the weight off and as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize that it’s better to be a size healthy than a size skinny. 

Since the camera adds 10 pounds, I used to lose 10 pounds before shooting my series. But I can’t do that anymore because I’m not dying to be thin!

The lady didn’t know I have Hashimotos disease – a condition that slows my metabolism down so much a turtle would win the metabolism race with me. She didn’t know I have hypoglycemia and if I starve myself to get real skinny, I could go into a coma. I feel a great sense of gratitude that I’ve survived death so many times, I have had more lives than a cat. She just figured that since I’m on TV, I must have an easy life and how dare I not fit into her idea of what a fitness person should look like! 

I remember growing up and all I saw in the media was super tall, skinny blonds.  Nothing against them of course, but the world is made up of ALL KINDS of beautiful women.- short, large, average size, red heads, brunettes, grey haired and tall blondes. And beauty is more than skin deep. 

It’s easy to judge people when you haven’t walked in their shoes. That’s why I believe it’s not my job to judge – just to help all women over 40 that are short, tall, large, or small, reach your best health ever! Functional Fitness has brought me a quality of life I would never have imagined. It takes effort of course, but well worth the results.

All without drugs or surgery and so it is with a loving heart, I encourage you to live a life filled with your best health ever.

Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.

3 Affordable Age Proof Body Tips

by Suzanne Andrews


As the clock ticks on, so does your body's biological clock. Although no one knows what our expiration date is, with these tips you can increase your odds of stopping the three time bombs in your body and allow your time line to be long and strong!



  1. Age Proof Your Heart

As I was educating a 55 year old patient who was 100 pounds overweight and diagnosed with generalized weakness and obesity what she needs to do to have a healthy heart she proudly exclaimed  “I’m a go-getter,” and before I could even get out a full sentence she matter of fact stated many excellent heart health points.  Yet when push came to shove and it was time to actually do what she knew – well that was a different story all together.  

This is why 4109 of us have a heart attack every day. Yep, 1.5 million people have heart attacks every year in the US. Half a million die. But how can that be? Have you seen all the people running, swimming, biking or walking? Twelve hours a day there are countless infomercials selling all the latest gadgets for staying super fit. We should be a nation of supermen/women wearing a huge "S" on our red shirts.

But, alas we are not: for those twelve hours a day we are being sold gadgets that make everything easier including 800 numbers to call for easy help, and websites claiming, “lose 30 pounds in 30 days – fast delivery!.”

We are given the message that losing weight is easy. At this rate somebody will come up with a way where you don't even have to go to the door to pick up what was delivered! Sheesh!

Avoidance tactics are; a sensible diet with low amounts of fats and cholesterol. This may not be easy but it's a lot easier than undergoing surgery, so think about that next time you reach for your 2nd helping.

A daily exercise program that burns the fats and cholesterol will lower your blood pressure. Some people are even able to get off their blood pressure medications when they exercise and lose weight. (You should be under a doctor's care and ask your doctor's advice before going off any medication).

Keeping your stress under control (exercise helps). Exercise actually lowers your stress hormones and is as effective as medication for mild depression. The benefit? Exercise doesn't hurt your liver.

And getting a good night's sleep (exercise helps).

Money saved from having a healthy heart?  According to the National Bureau for Economic Research, “the average cost for the first 90 days following a heart attack is $38,501. Medicare spends over $14,000 per patient on hospital bills in the year after a heart attack, plus additional amounts for physicians and outpatient care. Moreover, these amounts are rising at a rate of 4 percent annually. “ That means if your co-pay is 20 percent – your total is 10,500.20!

  1. Your Lungs

If you smoke cigarettes you might just as well roller-skate behind a city bus every day and get it over with in a hurry. Talk about a time bomb. You are literally lighting the fuse every time you fire one up. I know this may not be politically correct to say that, but I'd rather tell it like it is than see you gasping for air hooked up to tubes waiting to die choking on every breath. If this sounds a little harsh, it's not as harsh as dealing with smoke related diseases.

When you inhale smoke, it smothers and kills the microscopic tissues that make up the tiny air sacs in your lungs. When you sleep, some get repaired, others don't. Years of smoking kills these little sacs faster than they can heal and repair themselves. That's why people who quit can recover and lead longer healthier lives. Also people who exercise have better oxygen saturation. Why? Because stronger muscles require less oxygen.  Need another reason to stop smoking? Smoking gives you wrinkles.

Since I've never known anyone who enjoys gasping for air after climbing stairs, or having weak muscles, low bone density, burned clothes and furniture or smelling like an ashtray wherever you go, I can't imagine that this would be anyone's legacy in life. When you do quit, you'll smell how offensive the smoke is and you'll also have a better sense of smell for all the wonderful things in life - fresh flowers or ocean air.

The human body is made to absorb air because the trillions of tiny cells that make up the human body need and use air as much as you need to breathe to stay alive. If you poison the air they breathe, they die. As they die, you become weaker and sick. It's that simple. Every time you put out a cigarette, you've quit. Make this one the last one and then go outside for a breath of fresh air.  While air is still free, smoking is not. A pack of day habit costs smokers $12,775 a year in health related illnesses and that’s not including the cost of the cigarettes!

  1. Joints are for Moving

Here's a surprising statistic, every 8 and a half seconds, someone in the US turns 50. That's right! That translates to 76 million people today and that number is growing. Of that 76 million, 46 million, that's more than half, will suffer from painful joints. It may be you, it may be a friend, or it may be someone you love.

For many years doctors thought that exercising with arthritis would damage your joints. Fortunately, doctors are now aware that therapeutic exercise is vital to reducing and eliminating joint pain.

Therapeutic exercise has been medically proven to relieve and correct joint pain and that's why insurance companies pay for expert treatment to stabilize weakened muscles and improve range of motion. By incorporating regular, targeted therapeutic exercise you can relieve joint pain and ease muscle tension. So what type of therapeutic exercise? Exercises that include flexibility and muscle strengthening provided by a licensed Physical or Occupational Therapy are best. Just as a nurse has specialized training in pharmacology, therapists have years of intense training in therapeutic exercise, physiology and kinesiology, which is the study of human movement.

These are simple rules to live by and a far cry from spending your hard earned money on medical bills. Tick, tick, tick, tick. You are the detonator or the bomb squad to the rescue. You have the power to choose. Choose Functional Fitness and I’ll be with you every step of the way! 

Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.

3 Worst Exercise Mistakes

by Suzanne Andrews

That saying, "bite your tongue" means to not say anything. That can be very difficult for many of us at times. If that were a literal statement, I would come back from the gym with a swollen tongue! (LOL),

Why? Not any everyone appreciates advice and some people get downright mad so I keep my mouth shut. It doesn't matter that I'm giving free medically proven advice medical insurance pays physical/occupational therapy agencies a hefty fee for.

I see so many people doing exercises that can either hurt them or not help them. If you're doing your workout and wondering why you're not getting the results you need, today's tips can help you reach your desired goal.


When strength training you must move through the movement slowly. This means a slow controlled movement when lifting and lowering weights. You will get fitter FASTER! Medical insurance wants us rehab therapists to get our patients off caseload quickly and in most cases in 30 Days. And our patients come in very weak. So we have to get them strong quickly and safely. Science proves that lifting slower is more effective. (I'll spare you the science details, but if you want to know email me!)


I just had a DVD reviewed and while it got 4 out of 5 stars, I know if it was reviewed by a Physical or Occupational Therapist it would have gotten 5 stars. The reviewer was not aware that using hand and leg weights with arthritis helps to [decrease pain] in the joints or that weights improve bone health. I don't blame her as she does not have the training that physical or occupational therapy professionals have.

This brings me to mistake number 3. Of course if you have arthritis and you're having a flare up, common sense, which I know you have, tells you to lay low.


This one is going to surprise you. Many people think that MDs know everything about exercise. While very knowledgeable about diseases, medications and diagnoses, MD's get very little exercise training. Physical and Occupational Therapy practitioners get 3 - 6 years of training, depending on the degree. On top of that they have ongoing training requirements and teach exercise all day to people with all kinds of medical complications.

Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.

Women Over 40: Listen Up

by Suzanne Andrews


Six Unexpected Reasons Why You Should Strengthen Your Abs!

We all know that flat abs are attractive, but there are even more important (and surprising) reasons you need to blast belly fat and strengthen your core



  1. To play sports and other awesome activities. With a strong core, you can be flexible and ready to take on activities such as putting the grandkids in and out of the car, (and to keep up with them!) Tennis anyone? You need a strong core so you don’t hurt yourself when you swing the racket. The same goes for golf. What about activities that involve balance? A strong core gives you better balance.
  1. To tackle housework. If you don’t have a magic genie to do the housework then you have to have a strong core to be able to make home repairs, to carry stuff, mop, vacuum and to make the many household chores and activities easier.
  1. To ward off a heart attack. A weak core is usually accompanied by belly fat. You need a strong core because belly fat puts you at high risk of having a heart attack. In a study of over 5,000 participants, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute found that the risk of heart failure was 34 percent higher for overweight individuals and 104 percent higher for people classified as "obese."

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  1. To have good posture. You’re not getting any younger and poor posture will only make you look older and tired. Improve your posture by strengthening your abs and you will literally slash off years from your looks.
  1. To develop a healthy back. Back pains are often caused by weak abs. Since most back pain can be successfully treated with therapeutic exercises, when back pain strikes, rehab therapists, including myself, recommend a string of core-strengthening exercises. A study by researchers at Duke University suggests that not exercising is an especially effective way to put on belly fat. The study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, found that just eight months of inactivity increased visceral fat -- the potentially dangerous layer of belly fat -- by about 9 percent. On the bright side, people who exercised vigorously for eight months actually reduced their visceral fat by about 8 percent. You can get an amazingly strong core with chair exercises or standing exercises instead of engaging in floor crunches that can hurt your neck
  1. To enjoy good sex. When you get older it makes it tougher to enjoy sex and a strong core is your powerhouse and will help you enjoy better sex!

Start training now and live your life the way it was intended – a functional life filled with energy and abundant health.

Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.

How To Age Proof Your Brain – Part 2

by Suzanne Andrews

Read Part I to Age Proof Your Brain!

"How was breakfast today?" I reluctantly asked my patient, a 69 year old women who complains about everything. You can't please this women. She is 100 pounds overweight and despite educating her that she needs to move more and eat less, the only response I get is a sharp look of daggers in her eyes. She finds every excuse not to participate. If getting stronger was as easy as taking a pill, we'd all be super-fit in body and mind. It's no surprise her brain strength is declining as well.

On the other end of the spectrum, I'm working with a wonderful 93 year old patient whose goal is to go back home.  She remembers everything we did the day before and always has a smile on her face ready to tackle her therapy with gusto.

To develop a better memory, start working the abilities you've got, but don't use. You can strengthen your memory by changing your thinking and your habits. Changing habits and thinking differently improves brain circulation and encourages the use of both sides of the brain. This helps to improve not only memory, but other brain functions as well.


The problem is that we become so comfortable with the familiar that we stay in the same routines. This does nothing to help the brain stay fit. To exercise your brain on a regular basis, make it a point to change your routine in small but meaningful ways every day. This will bring different areas of the brain into play, improve cranial blood flow, and strengthen neural connections between different areas of the brain. The regular practice of brain fitness exercises can even help to stave off dementia and Alzheimer's disease. 

Think about your daily routine and change it up a bit.  Take a different route, learn a different recipe or walk a different route.  If you're right handed, use your left hand more to do daily tasks like brushing your teeth, combing your hair, etc.  As far as your thinking, if you're a normally down person, try smiling more and see how many people smile back! You'll not only improve your brain power, you'll improve your social life.

Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.

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