Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews

Posts in the exercise category

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 http://www.pbs.org/about/about-pbs/stations/.

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.

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.

Can You Walk Sitting?

by Suzanne Andrews

Can You Walk While Sitting? Now You Can!

Walking workouts continue to increase in popularity but what if you're one of the millions who have mobility issues or what if you’re just too tired after a long day’s work to walk the traditional way?

Walking, one of the best exercises for arthritis, can be challenging when you’re having knee and hip pain. Yet doctors encourage their patients to walk five days a week for improved joint function.  So what do you do when walking the traditional way is not an option?

Having treated 1000’s of patients with arthritis over the years, I answered the strong need for a walking workout with therapeutic moves to ease joint pain that you can do sitting (or standing). But designing just a seated walk wasn’t enough because walking and sitting in the same spot can get boring. So, after 6 months of negotiating, we flew to the Butchart Gardens - the most beautiful gardens in North America. Now instead of a boring studio walk, you are treated to a plethora of spectacular flowers while easing joint pain with medically proven walk moves for improving arthritis health naturally.

Photo:  Butchart Gardens

The Butchart Gardens is one of my absolute favorite gardens and I’m not the only one.  They get one million visitors a year who stroll the gardens either on foot or on wheelchair. Filming in the famous Sunken Gardens section and the spectacular rose gardens was amazing! Even more amazing is seeing and doing the workout on DVD. I have to confess, I’m a bit of a garden enthusiast. While I don’t have a green thumb, I can appreciate the beauty and stress releasing effects of a beautiful garden. 

In doing the six months of research for the Arthritis Walking Workout DVD, a doctor told me how stress release slows down aging. Looking at the thousands of spectacular flowers while you work is a definite stress releaser and can help you look younger!

 Whether you’ve been to the gardens or not, you'll love the results of the two walks.  Arthritis Walking Workout one makes you feel like you’re in the midst of the greatest rose garden ever developed. Arthritis Walking Workout two was filmed in the Sunken Garden, one of the most famous spots in Butchart Gardens. The moves of each walk are equivalent to a two mile walk and give you the option to use an exercise band which is included in your Arthritis Walking Workout DVD.

Photo:  Butchart Gardens

 

So what are you waiting for? Have a seat and let’s take a garden walk! 

Sale Price: $16.99!!! BUY NOW!

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.

Three Life Lessons

by Suzanne Andrews

What You Must Know to Get Through the Tough Times

I wrote this when my youngest son was little. It stemmed from a patient responding to my coaxing her to exercise, "what would you know, you've probably never been sick a day in your life!"  (Nothing could be furthest from the truth). 

My son is in college now, but the message is timeless and it can help you get through tough times...

The teacher who influenced me the most didn't produce a scholarly curriculum or carry out formal daily lesson plans. Even though he often wishes to, he is unable to assist me with my day to day operations. Yet, he motivates me day after day to reach beyond what I thought I was capable of and surpass it. Every new day, he continues to teach, to inspire and to influence my life in a way I never thought was humanly possible. He weighs a mere 68 lbs and proudly stands 4 feet 3 inches tall. He is my son, the child that several doctors predicted I would not be able to conceive.

Lesson One: A Ray of Light From Darkness

At the age of 10, I was placed in the terminally ill section of the children's hospital.  At the age of 20, I again overcame odds and beat a severe infection in my right ovary that affected my reproductive system. At the age of 24, my left ovary was removed and for the third time, emergency surgery saved my life. However, there would be one more emergency surgery and this one would bring great joy. My son's triumphant arrival by C-section on a memorable day in spring taught me to believe in the unexpected and to never give up hope.

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Lesson Two: Appreciate the Little Things

To this very day, I marvel at my son's accomplishments and realize how important it is to praise not only his efforts, but also other people who come across my path in life. My son has taught me that the simplest joys in life; laughing, listening and loving are the best gifts we can give and receive. As he continues to discover life's daily events with sheer fascination, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to reflect on his newly acquired knowledge and see the sparkle in his beautiful innocent eyes. Each fresh new moment I spend with him offers the most enriching learning experience I have ever had. He's taught me to believe that I can be a compassionate mother, a loving wife, an inquisitive student of life and a better person who has the ability to make wise choices.

Lesson Three: Choose Healthcare, Not Sick Care

One of those choices is keeping off those extra sixty pounds that once wore on me like a backpack full of rocks adding stress to every joint in my oversized body. Now I'm not talking about being a size 2, I'm talking about being a size healthy. My dear son made me realize that "love thyself' is not just a cliché. By getting in shape, you are essentially saying to all those that love you, "I love myself enough to take care of my health and I want to be around a long time to share my life with you." When we commit to love our body, we make wholesome choices and feel free to discover the restorative powers of good health. From the moment you realize you love yourself enough - a paradise lost is regained. Those seeds of wholeness - given to you at creation are within you. When you are discouraged, just look at your creation, your little miracle, and know the motivation to make healthcare a priority is within you!

Keep those letters coming as you motivate me!

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.

10 Ways to Look 10 Years Younger

by Suzanne Andrews

Here are Top 10 Exercise Moves to Make You 10 Years Younger

Prevention is always the best cure, and by adopting 10 simple anti-aging exercises into a functional fitness routine to increase your strength, flexibility and heart health, you can reverse your age by ten years. These exercises target areas of the body that frequently suffer painful and debilitating degeneration if not properly stimulated -- especially knees, hips and shoulders.

A recent study conducted at the Lausanne University in Switzerland entitled "The Exercise -- Anti-Aging Connection" firmly concludes that "Regular physical exercise is a cornerstone in the anti-aging game."  Other studies prove that your cells actually get younger with exercise and it's a lot less expensive than plastic surgery!

  1. Toe Touches - Lift your arms above your head and slowly bring them down in a graceful arc until you touch your toes. Hold for 10 seconds. This helps you to increase and maintain your range of motion so you continue to bend down without pain. Repeat this exercise to increase the range of motion in your spine and legs.
  2. Balance Exercises - Lift your arms above your head again, but this time rise up on your tip toes and stretch up as far as possible. Hold for 5 seconds. Gradually lower your arms to shoulder level while finding your center of balance. Then slowly lower your arms as you sink down on your heels. Repeat until you feel centered. This will help you maintain your inner balance and avoid accidental falls.
  3. Shoulder Stretches - Stand up straight and extend your arms behind your back. Clasp your hands behind your back. By 'unlocking' the muscles in your shoulders, you have more flexibility to reach high shelves and remove objects without causing strain.
  4. Hip Circumduction - Put your hands behind your back and stand on one foot while you raise the other a few inches and point it forward. Slowly rotate your foot in a circular motion. Stand on both feet again, then repeat the motion with the other foot. This strengthens the muscles that surround your hips to help protect against hip fractures.
  5. Squats - With your hands extended straight out, do some simple squats to strengthen your torso muscles and improve your balance so you can easily get in and out of cars.
  6. Resistance - Place your hands against a wall and lean your body at an angle while on your tip toes. Feel your calf muscles and your upper body strengthen. This resistance helps to strengthens bones against osteoporosis.
  7. Shoulder Stretch - Rotate your shoulders in a circular motion to increase lubricant in your joints and decrease joint pain.
  8. Tricep Extensions - Sit up straight in a chair, place your hands on the arm rests lift yourself up 15x to increase your upper body strength.
  9. Plyometric exercises - Stand on one leg with arms slightly behind your body. Propel your body up as high as possible, reaching up your arms and springing from your legs. Perform 3 times in rapid succession, then lower your foot and repeat on the other side. This "Michael Jordan" move creates the kind of explosive energy boost that maintains the muscle power that we lose as we age and is good for carrying suitcases.
  10. Core muscles - Now that all the outer muscles are warmed up and flexible, it is important to set the 'core muscles' that support your body's framework. Stand up very straight with your feel planted firmly on the ground. Contract your abdomen by imagining you are drawing your belly button down to the base of your spine. Once you have the bottom muscles set, imagine there is a cord coming from the center of your chest pulling your breastbone up. Naturally allow your shoulders to fall back as you look up. Breathe normally while you hold this position and tighten all of your outer muscles around your core muscles. Maintain full body tension as long as possible, then relax them all at once. Repeat numerous times, noticing how your body tightens a little more with each repetition.

Once you have completed your routine, rest for a moment and allow your heart rate to return to normal. Also drink a glass of water to help remove any toxins that your body naturally releases when exercising to further enhance the anti-aging effects of your functional fitness.

 

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 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.

Don’t Hate Me Because I’m a 10

by Suzanne Andrews

Size 10 that is!

10

Don’t you despise the prejudice against fat in the United States?

Spending my young adult years in New York City, I was surrounded by the fashion industry bombarding me with media images of women who looked like their last meal was served in a starvation camp. Working in television, I knew many young models who starved themselves regularly. I don’t blame them.  It was either conform to the expected size or don’t work.

So my question is: why idealize a size that can cause osteoporosis, heart attacks and in some cases- death?  Do you know women are actually having their ribs removed to be thinner?  That’s crazy!!

As the host of a national series on PBS TV, Functional Fitness, I feel it is my duty to help you become ALL that you can be without the numbers on the scale dictating what kind of day you’re going to have. 

Stop comparing yourself to those photo-shopped images of anorexic waifs. You are so much more than your size.  For example, I’m a wife, a mother, grandmother, an occupational therapist, and producer. What are you? You’re a unique individual and yes -  you are BEAUTIFUL!   

Starving yourself is insane. I should know, I’m an expert at it.  I struggled with my weight for years.  Turns out I have Hashimoto’s disease which really slows down metabolism. 

I used to be a size 18 and dieted down to a size 4.  That’s impossible to keep and I’m just not going to do that to myself anymore.  Yet because I’m 5 foot 2, being a size 10 is larger than what the media considers attractive.  Well I don’t need to be a size 0.  I want to be a size healthy!  

How about you? Do you want to be a size healthy?  No starvation diets, no crazy insane high impact exercise moves that leave you feeling like you got hit by a truck.  If the answer is yes, Functional Fitness is for YOU! 

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.

By Collage Video | | exercise, fitness, goals, Motivation, Suzanne Andrews, tips, Weekly Blog, Wellness | Read more

Overcoming Death Defying Odds

by Suzanne Andrews

Overcoming Death Defying Odds: A True Story


This is a fairly personal blog. But I hope it inspires you to keep going, to never give up on your dreams.
You might know me from my DVDs like 30 Day Bladder Fix or from my PBS TV series, Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews®.
But today I'd like to share something that you might not know about me...

Twenty years ago, I left a safe great paying job to start this crazy dream of producing a fitness show. I wanted to inspire people and help them improve their lives. I didn't really know how, but as I always say 'A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.' Even if that first step has some pretty big bumps that included:

  • A car accident that injured my neck and back (that’s where the Back and Neck DVD came from).
  • Surgery complications that resulted in eerily similar circumstances like the late Joan Rivers surgery gone wrong- a lady I had worked with while at CBS studios in New York City. (died on the operating table)!
  • A work accident while treating a patient that made my left shoulder totally useless – I couldn’t lift it one inch! (the patient lost control of her power wheelchair and the force from holding back her chair so she wouldn’t get crushed tore up my shoulder). It took me a year to regain function of my left shoulder and just one week later, my right shoulder tore while working with another patient. Another year that included surgery and lots of therapy. The most painful recovery you could ever go through.  Worse than child birth.

At that time, no one knew me. TV studios turned down three of my proposals, hordes of potential sponsors didn’t return phone calls. Many were kind. Some were cold. None believed. Imagine the frustration of everyone telling you NO. For some reason, I just didn't let their opinions dictate my potential.

My first DVD, Beginners Dynamic Yoga was a DVD about releasing stress and accomplishing your goal and I knew I would accomplish my goal to help women over 40 regain their health with programs that were not like anything you see anywhere else. While Beginners Dynamic Yoga was the first yoga video that you didn’t have to be a contortionist or require you to get on the floor, I still wanted to add another dimension to my workouts.

At that time, there weren’t other programs that offered two to three fitness levels for specific health conditions.  And degreed medical professionals showing exercises in both sitting and standing was simply unheard of! Other fitness programs didn’t have doctors giving health tips and again I was the first.  Being the first is not all it’s cracked up to be because you have to convince the powers that be that there is a strong need for your idea. People who sit in offices and despise exercise.

Yet I knew there was a need for a corrective exercise program that helped people overcome health challenges like overactive bladder, arthritis and osteoporosis in the comfort of their home and so I persevered.

Finally an executive saw the wisdom in my proposal.  But it didn’t come easy: I volunteered numerous hours working 7 days a week and risked my finances to achieve my dream. The show became a success with PBS, and broadcast on 159 stations.
The reality is it's okay that those professionals doubted me. My past didn't reveal anything about me becoming a #1 Best Selling DVD producer with 30 Day Bladder Fix DVD, COPD DVD and the award winning Arthritis DVD. (I've designed from conception to completion 35 shows with 10 more not yet released).

Nothing about my circumstances back then would indicate my series would reach an area of 49 million on Public Television. No one imagined my DVDs would be on Collage Video, my favorite fitness DVD site.

I simply BELIEVED that if my intention was to serve and I demanded the best of myself every day then things would turn out well.

Luckily, they did. And so I say this to you my friend... Never let rejection, ridicule or doubt from others slow you down. Wake up each day and follow your heart and dream. When you're starting out - they'll reject you. When you're successful, they'll reject you. So what's going to keep you going? When you find the answer to that question – don’t let go of your dream.  BELIEVE in YOURSELF. I believe in you!

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.

By Collage Video | | exercise, fitness, goals, Motivation, Suzanne Andrews, tips, Weekly Blog, Wellness | Read more

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