Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews

Posts in the cardio category

How to Stop Diabetes Now!

by Suzanne Andrews

Do you ever feel like you're the main character of a country and western song? Your rent is overdue, you hate your job, the truck broke down and now your doctor says you've got diabetes. Yee-Haw! No wonder we are stressed to the max.

Just to clarify- bear with me here - your body communicates with itself using chemical messengers called hormones. Several organs in the brain and body produce hormones that flow to other organs through the blood where these messages are received and the corresponding organ responds by producing another hormone that fixes a problem detected by sensors in your nervous system that alerted the brain in the first place.

Insulin is a hormone. It chemically dissolves sugar molecules in the blood so that they can be converted into the energy that powers the heart, organs and muscles.
Diabetes comes in two types. Type one is usually hereditary. The autoimmune system in your body goes haywire and attacks the cells in your pancreas that produce a hormone called insulin. Without the sugars being broken down you won't have much energy.

Type two diabetes is caused by the pancreas not producing enough insulin hormone even though the brain keeps signaling it to. If you have a faulty pancreas you are at a higher risk of type two diabetes and need to take steps now to not aggravate the situation. It is unfortunate to have either type one or type 2 diabetes, but if you have type 2, you are at an advantage because you can actually stop diabetes from attacking your body by implementing your own plan of attack. But first I'll explain why it is so vital that you pledge to take charge of your health from this day forward.  And because this is a serious disease that I treat in rehab therapy on a daily basis, I'm not going to beat around the bush because lives are at stake!  If I can help you know the facts, maybe I can help you.

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blood vessel disease and heart disease giving you two to four times higher a chance of dying from heart disease. Another shocking fact is that people with diabetes have a sixty percent higher chance of having one or both limbs amputated!

Thirty minutes of exercise a day is vital for your health and survival. Exercising with diabetes literally gives your body physical medicine as working out with diabetes actually helps to stabilize your blood sugar. Your body also has receptors in them and if you are overweight, the receptors that help normalize your blood sugars don't work properly. So weight loss and increased activity is a must. 

Own Your Copy of Stop Diabetes Now!

The Benefit of Physical Medicine?  

Side effects include more energy, stable blood sugar, improved circulation, longer lifespan and you get to keep your legs. In the case of diabetes, it really is use it or lose it. As an occupational therapy practitioner, I often find the biggest challenge is motivating my patients with diabetes to exercise. Sadly some don't take the advice and eventually I am called upon to teach them how to use a sliding board transfer from their wheelchair to their bed because they no longer have legs. Use your arms, use your legs, and get your circulation going!  I know this may not sound pretty, but it is heart breaking to see people who could have saved their legs if only they used them while they still had them.

Diabetes is a silent killer and slowly attacks your body without you even realizing it. When diabetes advances even further, you can lose your eyesight. The choice is so simple. Eat right and exercise. Make sure to choose exercises that don't involve isometric movement - these are exercises where you tense up a muscle and don't move your joint. Whether you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, a fitness and nutrition plan is crucial.

If you have pre-diabetes you can make the right choice now to to not be one of the 800,000 new cases diagnosed in the US each year. That's 91 people every hour. The more you exercise with diabetes, the less dependent your muscles are on insulin, so even if your pancreas isn't producing much, that's OK, it doesn't need to. Working out when you have diabetes keeps your blood sugar and body in balance. Since exercise controls diabetes from attacking your body, exercise is a must when you have diabetes. I've never had a patient tell me they enjoy their blindness or amputation. But after you work out, you feel good!  And you deserve to feel good. Just make sure that your blood sugar isn't under 100 when you workout. 

So keep your mind on the bright side of things and don't become the subject of a sad country and western tune. You can live a full and active life after all. Yee haw! 

Healthiest blessings,   

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.

Ease Arthritis Pain

by Suzanne Andrews

 5 Ways Water Aerobics Eases Arthritis Pain

Water aerobics are one of the best ways to ease arthritis pain with benefits lasting long after you’ve completed your water aerobics session. If exercising on land is difficult for you due to joint pain, water aerobics are the perfect way to gain muscle strength without having to worry about excess pressure on hurting joints. Listed below are five ways that water aerobics ease arthritis pain.

  1. Water Provides a Cushion

    Simply being in water for Water Aerobics provides a cushion for fragile bones and joints affected by arthritis. Most water aerobics are done when you are immersed in water to your waist and at that level of water your body will be bearing only 50% of its weight. The buoyancy of water allows movement with less pain than traditional out-of-the-water exercise for joints and muscles stiffened from arthritis.

  1. Water Decreases Swelling and Soothes Stiff Joints

    Nothing feels as good as something warm on stiff joints and water not only provides that soothing relief but it can also relax sore muscles, decrease joint swelling and provide comfort when exercising is difficult and painful. Pools heated from the summer sun are an enjoyable way to ease arthritis pain as you can experience immediate relief in the water. Performing water exercise in a pool that is between approximately 82 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for pain relief. Heated pools can do for your whole body what other forms of heat can only do for specific areas to which it is applied. Warm water provides the ideal environment to do exercises that a person with arthritis might not normally do.

  2. Water Is Less Stressful

    Water Aerobics provides an environment for exercise that decreases the stress on painful joints compromised by arthritis. Some people have referred to water aerobics as "floating traction" as it stretches, loosens and flexes joints in ways that would be impossible if they were not in water. During water aerobics, painful joints are relieved and their range of motion and flexibility are increased. All these difficulties make living with arthritis painful but with water aerobics they can be dealt with in an environment that accommodates each individual's fitness and health.

  3. Water Builds Up

    Water Aerobic exercise works all the muscles at the same time and increases the cardiovascular endurance without the impact on your body of traditional aerobic exercises on land. Being immersed to your waist, upper torso or neck increases the return of blood flow to the heart from the extremities. Increased blood circulation to the joints and muscles facilitates recovery and strength-building, all of which can lead to a less painful life with arthritis.

  4. Water Workouts Burns Calories

    Swimming, water aerobics, and water walking all contribute to weight loss. Losing weight can help reduce the impact of daily living on painful joints due to arthritis and lead to less pain. Water aerobics reduces swelling due to increased circulation from the low-impact movements that exercising in water allows, leaving the painful areas free of stiffness and swelling, which in turn relieves the friction that causes pain in joints.

If you have arthritis, what are you waiting for?  Make a dash to splash in a pool and start relieving your arthritis pain!

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.

I Want to Lose Weight ‘But’ How Do I Overcome My Genetics?

by Suzanne Andrews

I Want to Lose Weight ‘But’ How Do I Overcome My Genetics?

If you want to get into a smaller pair of jeans with the genes you’ve got, this ‘visualization technique’ shows you how!

 Are these the excuses that keep you from losing weight?

  • “Both of my parents had weight issues, so there is nothing I can do about it.
  • “It isn’t my fault, it’s just genetic.”
  • “My family has a history of low metabolism making it hard for us to lose weight, so why exercise?”

Great news! Recent research suggests that obesity is not genetic but learned behavior.  (Being 30 pounds overweight is considered obese). Genetics only play a part in how we react to the environment, not how much food we eat or how much exercise we do.

Each of us chooses whether or not to have just one more cookie or to say yes when asked, “Would you like to supersize that?” We choose whether or not to drive to the corner bakery for a donut or whether we walk to the park. That, of course, is not to say you should blame yourself or beat yourself up over the extra weight. Every single person makes mistakes and has weaknesses.  I’ll be the first to admit my weaknesses are ice cream and chocolate! 

When my husband comes home with ice cream, I melt. It is more difficult to start a fitness routine when your family’s behavioral inclinations have affected you. Daughters of obese mothers are ten times more likely to be obese, and sons of obese fathers are six times more likely. It is not easy to break the behavioral pattern, but you can move beyond that. Who knows, maybe once you start exercising and are fit, others in your family will come to believe that they can do it too. Set a good example for your family and prove to them that none of you are stuck being overweight. How? Consider any famous athlete, like the golfer, Tiger Woods whose ability to visualize exactly what he must do each time he swings his club is paramount to being the greatest golfer of our time.

  

Visualization Weight Loss Technique

  • Close your eyes and visualize yourself at your goal weight while inhaling deep breaths in through your nose and exhaling out your mouth.
  • Visualize what outfit are you wearing? Continue visualizing as you focus on slow, relaxing breathing exercises.  (If you have a thyroid disorder, the breathing exercises help to boost your metabolism).
  • Now visualize an event you are attending as the slim you. How do you feel?

 Do each step for one minute every day.

 It may be that your particular genetics do in fact make you more susceptible to conditions that cause weight gain to be more likely. Hashimoto’s Disease is one example. (See last week’s blog to learn more).  If you believe you suffer from a genuine medical condition that is associated with weight problems, then get a physician’s advice. Once you are treating the condition, start exercising consistently. With the combination of treatment and exercise, you will be feeling like your younger self in no time and change the course of your life.

Take the next step now with Beginners Dynamic Yoga: Release Stress and Lose Weight where you’ll learn the same guided visualization techniques Suzanne Andrews used to motivate her to shed 60 pounds of stubborn fat!

 

Suzanne Andrews is a licensed Occupational Therapy Clinician with 30 years exercise expertise. Airing to over 49 million on Public Television, Suzanne Andrews, a licensed Occupational Therapy Clinician, (they specialize in function) creates evidenced based fitness programs for specific health conditions. Originally created in 2008 with it’s first run on WDSC TV, Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews broadcasts on 113 Public Television stations.

By Collage Video | | cardio, exercise, fitness, Functional Fitness, Suzanne Andrews, tips, Weekly Blog | Read more

Help! I Want to Exercise, “But” I Lose Motivation!

by Suzanne Andrews

How to Get and Stay Motivated!

Left to right: Suzanne Andrews, Glenn Poyer, Alina Z.

 

 If you let a "but" get in the way of losing your "butt," you won't get far towards meeting your weight and fitness goals.  My clients often confide, "Every time I start an exercise program, I lose motivation after a couple weeks."  It's not that these individuals don't know how to exercise - they do. "If only I could keep motivated," these people say, "I could really get my body into the shape I deserve." Such a common problem needs a common solution, and "get over it and get to the gym" doesn't really cut it in this sort of situation.

The truth is that motivation is not something anyone can give to you. Even the most motivating coach cannot make a team play well if the team won’t co-operate. You have to unlock the ability to motivate yourself and that begins with your attitude. If you are filling up your mind thinking about your lack of motivation, you sure aren’t going to get any better. Stop using motivation as an excuse and start telling yourself it doesn’t matter. The health of your body shouldn’t be punished because you are not motivated.   Exercise anyway. You don’t have to be motivated to do some sit-ups or go for a walk. You just have to be willing to do it. Motivation is not about willpower, it’s about want power. What do you want? Weight Loss? More Energy? Better Health. Once you start exercising, you will feel better and then you’ll feel motivated.

The word "Motivation" comes from the Latin verb "Moveo," to move. When trying to get in shape, this takes on a double meaning: you must move yourself internally in order to moves yourself externally, putting yourself into a position to be able to lose weight and get your life on track. The trick is knowing all the benefits and reasons to get up and get moving, then making yourself find a way to feel like doing what you already know is possible.

Motivation comes from within you.  It  can't be imposed from someone standing outside you barking to run faster and harder (well, except in the case of a personal trainer, where it's easy to find motivation from the simple and direct orders of the person you're paying to make sure you work out). Even with the best trainer, you may find that there are days when you just don't want to get out of bed and go to the gym. How can you solve this problem and motivate yourself to take your exercise and fitness seriously?

The first step is to stop using motivation as an excuse, and start telling yourself that whether you "feel" like working out or not doesn't matter. So what if you're not "inspired" to exercise, not motivated to get your heart pumping? Do you think every famous actor or athlete is motivated to get up every day and do their job? (Hint: Are you motivated to go to yours, every day?) The answer is no, they're not. But it doesn't matter. Your health is like a job. Do it poorly and you’ll be terminated. Do it well and you’ll be rewarded.  

The reward is a body that's in great shape, feels healthy and saves you money on medical expenses. Being a healthcare clinician affords me a unique perspective into the health choices people make.   60% of deaths comes from lifestyle diseases!

It doesn't matter if you're motivated to exercise. Nine times out of ten by the time you start working out, the natural endorphins your brain releases will do the job of making you feel motivated, healthy, and excited about the workout you've undertaken. You'll be surprised at how quickly you start to feel the natural endorphins released by exercise. But just like a professional in any field, you can't wait around to be inspired to produce exercise. You're not working toward a paycheck in this situation, you're working toward the most important resource you have in life - your body.

Suzanne Andrews is a licensed Occupational Therapy Clinician with 30 years exercise expertise. Airing to over 49 million on Public Television, Suzanne Andrews, a licensed Occupational Therapy Clinician, (they specialize in function) creates evidenced based fitness programs for specific health conditions. Originally created in 2008 with it’s first run on WDSC TV, Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews broadcasts on 113 Public Television stations.

By Collage Video | | cardio, exercise, fitness, practice, Suzanne Andrews, tips, Weekly Blog | Read more

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