Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews

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What Food Labels Really Mean


 What food labels really mean:

by Suzanne Andrews

  1. FRUIT: If there are four numbers in the price look-up, this means that the produce was grown with pesticides.
  2. STICKER BEGINS WITH A 9: If a price look-up sticker begins with a 9, this means that the produce was grown organically.
  3. LOW FAT, LOW SUGAR, LOW CALORIE If an item is labeled "low" in a particular element, it means that you can eat several servings without exceeding the recommended daily limit. Low-fat products have fewer than 3 grams of fat per serving; low-saturated fat items have less than 1 gram per serving. Low-sodium means the food has 140 milligrams or less per serving; low-cholesterol means 20 mg. or less and fewer than 2 grams of saturated fat. Low-calorie products have fewer than 40 calories per serving.
  4. TRANS FAT: This is partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and responsible for LDL cholesterol which is the “lousy cholesterol.” LDL causes heart attacks.  If the label says no trans-fat, there still can be ½ a gram of trans-fat and if you eat a lot of that food, the trans-fat can really add up.
  5. Natural: The food manufacturer decides how to label their food natural. If the food does not contain added coloring, artificial flavors and/or artificial ingredients they can decide to call it natural.
  6. ORGANIC: This means that no growth hormones, pesticides, DNA altering was done to produce this food. If the label says, “made with organic ingredients that means that at least 70% was made with organic ingredients. If it says 100% organic, that means that at least 95% was made with organic ingredients. 

Source: Health US News

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.

A question from a fan...

by Suzanne Andrews

Which exercise DVDs are best for someone with L4-L5 herniated disc specifically designed to flatten the abs? Also something for torn rotor cuff? Rachel L

Hi Rachel,
Thanks for writing. Herniated disc of the lumbar region exercise contraindications (things you shouldn't do) are when you combine rotation (twisting) and side-bending which creates shearing and torsion forces to the discs. This is a general answer and your doctor would be able to specifically tell you what you can and can't do. We have a workout called Vertical Ab Toner that's on our Total Strength and Conditioning DVD with three levels: seated, modified standing (gentle) and full standing workout so you never have to get on the floor. Our Get Stronger Bones has a back strength and stretch workout.  This workout has physical therapy moves that includes strengthening the accessory muscles needed for a healthy back. 

As far as your shoulders - so sorry to hear you are going through that. I had two rotator cuff injuries and I know how painful they are. Went from 0 to 99% function with lots of hard work. Again your doctor would be the one to advise you what you are able to do since I don't know your specifics.  The arthritis exercises in the Arthritis Relief may be good for your condition, provided your doctor gives you the OK.  You would need to be past the stage of doing the exercises in supine (lying down).

If your doctor says you are able to progress to active range of motion exercises, the arthritis walking workout has physical therapy exercises in it for the shoulder with an exercise band.  Start without the band and progress to active resistant exercises with the band according to your tolerance level. When it warms up, I highly recommend our Arthritis Water Therapy DVD/CD/booklet as that offers pain relieving healing moves for the entire body, including shoulders and back. 

Wishing you the best of health and a very happy New Year!

FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: ARTHRITIS WATER THERAPY WITH SUZANNE ANDREWS

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 Can You Fight Arthritis Naturally?

by Suzanne Andrews

Arthritis is often accompanied by chronic debilitating pains that can make life difficult at best, sometimes intolerable. Today we understand better the origins of this disease, and we know that with some treatment you can smile again.

 Arthritis is not an illness. Rather, it is an irreversible degeneration of joints cartilage. It is most often found in the joints of the fingers, hips, knees, and back. The severity and the evolution of arthritis can vary, and sometimes even lead to a total destruction of the joint, which will inevitably result in a replacement of the joint.

 It is, therefore, important to pay attention to any symptoms and pains as early as possible, and start a natural treatment to slow the progression.

There are two main origins of arthritis, the first one is the wearing of cartilage due to aging and it should occur only late in life. The second is an accelerated aging of articulations due to nutritional imbalances and to lifestyle. In the second, we can include pathological and physical sources of arthritis that resulted from shock or trauma. Joints can also be worn by repetitive motion in one's professional life or activities.

Pain is the first symptom of arthritis. Its intensity varies, sometimes bearable and mild, sometimes acute. Usually in the beginning the pain is present after an exertion, a long walk; for example, but it is bearable. It can go away with a little rest. As time goes on, the joint can become more and more painful, even during rest. In the later years, research has proven that inflammation is at the source of the disease.

Own Arthritis Relief Walking Workout on DVD

How can you fight arthritis?

Exercise is not the enemy of arthritis, far from it. It is essential to keep moving. You should choose programs that are not too taxing on the joints and avoid tennis jogging and skiing. A group of researchers in Cleveland Ohio have noticed that people with chronic arthritis were suffering fewer symptoms after 10 weeks of daily practice of exercise, when compared with sedentary people. The improvement was directly linked to the movement; it improved blood circulation in the joints and strengthened muscles and tendons around the joint. According to a new Cochrane Systematic Review, exercise programs designed to improve strength and stamina are perfectly safe for rheumatoid arthritis. Their research found benefits associated with dynamic exercise programs that were designed for chronic arthritis patients.

The goal of arthritis exercise is to reduce inflammation, eliminate pain and increase your ability to function. By increasing blood flow and providing important nutrients to your joints, Functional Fitness keeps the muscles around your joints strong, and supports your joints so you function at your best. Functional Fitness also lubricates your joints by encouraging your body to produce a natural lubricant called synovial fluid and that reduces joint friction.

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.

Baby Boomers: & Getting Fit

by Suzanne Andrews

If you're a baby boomer and practice a regular exercise routine, you're one of the twenty percent who do what the other eighty percent don't. If you're one of the eighty percent, you're about to find out several astounding motivational reasons to get a move on.

The number one reason you should exercise is people who do exercise don't need as many pills, machines, doctors, nurses, therapists, specialists, co-pays and prodders as people who don't exercise. If you don't like having all those hands on you at the airport, just wait until you get to the doctor's office. Eeesh!

Some biologists have said that aging has been programmed by evolution to avoid over population of the planet. By exercising you can decide to be one who sticks around longer and let somebody else de-populate for a change. From the age of 45-75 years with weekly adherence to a fitness program, a well preserved 65 year old can outperform a sedentary 25 year old.

As we get older, the tissues that comprise the heart, lungs, arteries and veins weaken. Exercising slows that deterioration by keeping higher levels of blood, oxygen and hormones flowing. Due to increased heart function, nutrients feed all your tissue cells so they can replace themselves instead of dying off and not being replaced.


A study was done for NASA in 1966 to find out the effects of prolonged space travel on humans. Five 20 year old men were assigned bed rest for 20 days. Their aerobic capacity was measured before and after the bed rest of 20 days. All experienced a dramatic loss in muscle tone and aerobic capacity. They became out of shape. After only 8 weeks of serious training all five were able to recover and even surpass their previous starting level of fitness. They got back into shape. Now if you are thinking "yeah, they were only twenty, I'm over fifty," the follow up study gives you food, or exercise, for thought.

The study was repeated 30 years later with the same five men now 50-51 years old. Baseline cardio and fitness levels were measured and were again assigned 20 days of bed rest to simulate "out of shape". Two entered a walking program, two did a jogging program and one chose bicycling. Their exercise programs were slowly increased to a level of intensity for 4 and 5 hours a week exactly like was done 30 years earlier for six months. Then it was time to re-measure their aerobic and cardiovascular fitness levels.

It is no surprise to report that all five middle aged subjects had restored their baseline fitness levels to what they were 30 years before as healthy 20 year olds. So if you think that exercise and fitness is for kids, think of yourself as a 20 year old with 45 years of experience!

Own Younger in 30 Days on DVD!

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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