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.

Why Slower Workouts Gets You Faster Weight Loss Results!

by Suzanne Andrews

I just got back from the gym (choreographing my next PBS series) and have a swollen tongue from biting it! Not literally, but figuratively. I look around and see so many people doing the exercises way too fast to be effective. Not only that, but with every forceful lightning speed lift, they are putting themselves at a huge risk for injury.  I overhear someone who has sore knees and cringe when I see what she is doing to her joints.  I see the guy with the bad back lifting way to much weight and swaying his torso and I want to say something to help but bite my tongue because some people don’t welcome unsolicited advice. At the gym, no one knows that I’m a clinician with 30 years of experience.  They don’t recognize me from my show as I wear no make-up and very baggy clothes.  I’ll be the first to admit, make-up, good lighting and clothing really makes a differenceJ.

Most exercisers feel that the key to an effective workout is to try to move the body as quickly as possible. The thinking is that more movement leads to more energy consumption, which leads to fat loss and strength gaining. The fact is, when it comes working out for strengthening muscles, increasing flexibility and losing weight, exercising at a slower pace will get you faster results.

As far as lifting weights, raising and lowering the weight slower is much more effective than fast weight training because when your muscles have to continually exert force in order to keep the weights in position, your muscles are forced to contract longer causing them to adapt by building more muscle which causes your body to tone up much more quickly.  (Ladies, don’t worry about getting big bulky muscles, you don’t have the testosterone needed for that). When your muscles are placed under enough strain to become fatigued, they send signals to the rest of your body to strengthen your muscles enough so they can avoid fatigue in the future. Lifting weights slower might look easier, but it is actually more challenging.  The beauty of training this way is that you don’t have to do countless sets either, so a 30 minute workout can be just as effective as an hour workout.  Just lift the heaviest weight that you can do correctly and safely. How do you know if you’re lifting the right amount of weight? The first rep will feel moderately easy, but by the last rep, you can barely lift it.  When the last rep becomes easy, just increase the weight and keep the repetitions the same. The end result?  A sleeker, toned appearance in 30 days.

The added benefit of increased muscle is a faster metabolism.  Since I have a thyroid disorder that slows my metabolism,(making it difficult-  to say the least- to lose weight), I’ve found this technique really works and has the added benefit of increasing your energy and making you look and feel younger.  Instead of feeling totally worn out after a super-fast paced work out, you’re left with enough energy to get through the day and your metabolism gets a jump start on weight loss – even if you’re weight loss resistant like most of us ladies over 50. Need some inspiration?  I do to and I get it in the form of letters.  Here’s one I would like to share with you.

Another plus of going slower is you’re more likely to stick with a program that doesn’t leave you feeling like you got hit by a truck!

By developing more skeletal muscles, you’ll have the strength needed to get through your day and perform activities with energy. You’ll gain improved lung capacity, a stronger heart rate, improved oxygen saturation and lower cholesterol. All of these factors, combined with the overall improvement in body tone, makes Functional Fitness exercisers feel younger.

Not only is lifting weights slower more effective, but it is also a lot safer. Lifting weights slower makes it less likely to perform movements incorrectly, which is one of the leading causes of injury.

As a rehab therapist it is expected that I, and my Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy colleagues use this technique; because insurance wants us to get the client off therapy as fast as possible using only evidenced based exercises. (Exercises that have been medically proven to work for specific conditions – this includes the order of the exercise, the speed of the exercise, how many sets and how many repetitions).   So it’s up to the therapist to get the person well enough for discharge fast.  Although this way of exercising is not commonplace at the gym or in exercise classes, it has been medically proven to get the fastest results.  One day longer really can be one day stronger with Functional Fitness!

Love and healthiest blessings,

Suzanne Andrews

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.

How Medical Yoga Speeds Weight Loss

by Suzanne Andrews

 

How Medical Yoga Speeds Weight Loss

I’ve been practicing yoga way before it became popular. I did my first yoga pose 30 years ago and I was hooked so it was only natural to incorporate yoga into my patient's treatment plan to help them decrease stress. What followed was surprising - my overweight patients who had tried diet after diet unsuccessfully were losing weight.

Even my paraplegic patients who were in wheelchairs lost as much as 50 pounds and another obese patient bound to a wheelchair, a 60 year old male, lost 145 pounds. The most challenging part is convincing them to do the yoga, but once they see the results, there's no stopping them. Dr. Marcella Bakur Weiner, Ph.D. states, "Simply put - we deplete ourselves by constantly thinking, worrying and wondering. Then when clear thinking is needed, we may lack the focus and reserve to a satisfying functional life. Medical yoga offers a way of gaining control above the over - expansion of your emotions and removing all the distracting debris in the overactive mind."

What is Medical Yoga?

Medical yoga's unique approach to weight loss focuses on both physical fitness and physiological fitness of the mind, body and spirit offering cutting edge weight loss techniques. With its focus on gaining control over stress eating medical yoga offers a distinctive solution to promote weight loss through scientifically researched therapeutic yoga techniques.

How Does Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

By recognizing that meditation is undoubtedly the most important step one can do to lose weight, medical yoga centers on the most important aspect of successful weight loss - our minds. Meditation increases self-awareness, so that we are in tune with what we need to do. Instead of eating mindlessly, one becomes aware of their actions, resulting in a "domino effect" empowering the mind's ability to fine tune what the body really needs instead of what it wants. By combining stress releasing meditation with modified yoga poses, the plus size person eliminates cravings for food that sabotage a weight loss plan and is able to participate in yoga poses designed especially for the larger sized person.

 

For myself, there is a personal side to offering medical yoga for the larger size population because with my 5'2" frame, I was a very uncomfortable size 18 and I wasn't able to participate in the unattainable yoga poses made for the slimmer population. By combining medically proven stress releasing techniques I changed my relationship to food and began eating to achieve fitness of the mind, body and spirit.

Release Stress and Lose Weight Now with Beginners Dynamic Yoga for Stress Release and Weight Loss which includes doctor recommended meditation for weight loss made exclusively for plus size. Used in medical centers as a weight loss aid to eliminate stress related eating and instructed by licensed occupational therapy practitioner, Suzanne Andrews.

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.

Osteoporosis Treatment Tips

by Suzanne Andrews

3 Must Read Tips for Osteoporosis Treatment

After 50, 30% of all women get osteoporosis and 40% get fractures: some of which are life threatening so it's important for you to know what you can do about it.   

  1. There is a myth that lifting weights is dangerous for people with osteoporosis. Incorrect.  Using hand weights and leg weights strengthens your bones and your muscles and that is why we use them in therapy.  It's best to start out with light weights and progress as you regain strength. How you lift the weights is also very important. I see 99% of people lifting weights wrong at the gym. Don't lift them fast. Take your time as you lift and lower for best results. It's also important to be guided by a trained expert in osteoporosis contraindications. (Contraindications means things you should not do).   
  1. We've all heard to take calcium for stronger bones, but what most don't know is that calcium needs to be taken twice a day as the body can only absorb 500 mg at once. Also need to take vitamin D as many people in this age group are deficient. 
  1. Ask your doctor to do a bone density test to see what your bone density is and a blood test to see if you're low in vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is correctable and you'll feel so much better.  

Order Suzanne Andrews' GET STRONGER BONES Workout

Wishing you the very best of health this New Year!

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.

The Real Reason Your Muscles Are Sore After Working Out

by Suzanne Andrews
The day after guiding my 58 year old client through a workout, she expressed, "my muscles are sore, I think something's wrong with me." This is a common perception. 

 The real reason your muscles are sore after a workout: 
When muscles are required to work harder than they're used to, or in a different way, it's believed to cause microscopic tears to the muscle fibers, resulting in muscle soreness or stiffness. DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is often mistakenly believed to be caused by lactic acid build up, but lactic acid isn't involved in this process.

 Why This is a Good Thing
While muscles soreness - ok it can really hurt - at first - but here's why you shouldn't let a temporary uncomfortable situation get in your way of working out.
When your muscle fibers get microscopic tears, the fibers repair themselves stronger than they were before in order to adapt to the new challenges you put them through. End result? You get stronger and your metabolism speeds up - even at rest.

Own Total Strength and Conditioning on DVD

While short term symptoms from soreness include weakness, stiffness, and sensitivity to touch, the long term benefits that also includes helping you live a better quality of life are definitely worth it. As Doctor Paul D'Arezzo, MD, stated after reviewing our DVDs, "there is no pill on earth that can do what Healthwise Exercise programs can do!"

While I felt truly honored to get his feedback on our Functional Fitness DVDs, I also thought If there was a pill that got me stronger, slimmer, fitter and helped me live longer, I'd be first in line to take it! 

Own Get Stronger Bones on DVD

Until that time arrives, I'll be literally sweating it out to my evidenced based workouts because I refuse to "act my age." 
My personal favorites for firming, toning and weight loss are Total Strength and Conditioning, Get Stronger Bones and Arthritis Walking Workout. They have what a reviewer called "a sneaky intensity." That's because of the medically proven methods instructed in them. All low impact with high impact results.
I mean, just because I'm a grandma doesn't mean I have to sit in a rocking chair watching life pass me by in the slow lane! 

Own Arthritis Relief Walking Workout on DVD

Thanks for taking the time to be with a very important person - 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.

Leg Exercises

by Suzanne Andrews

3 Easy Leg Exercises (Including Leg Stretch) You Can Do Without Any Equipment for Firm Leg Muscles

Do you have two legs…check.

Do you have a bathroom…check.

Do you have a kitchen…check.

Without screaming, crying, equipment, pain and frustration using simple leg exercises techniques and a feel good leg stretch, you going to improve your leg muscles to the point of as good or better than they were 10 years ago with these simple leg exercises. 

The first obstacle to overcome is time. We all insist we don’t have any. With these simple leg exercises, you don't need any extra time - just incorporate them into your activities of daily living.  

LEG STRETCH (Bathroom) 

  1. Next time you’re about to take a shower and waiting for the hot water to come up… do a leg stretch. Just like the runners do prior to an event. Hold on to the vanity counter, bring your heel to your buttock, grasp your ankle and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Now you're shower should be ready.  
  1. While brushing your teeth, place a heel on the ledge of the tub and lean forward just enough to feel a little pinch in the hamstring. Repeat on the other side. This leg muscle stretch also helps alleviate back pain.  

By practicing good hygiene every day, you incorporate a little leg stretch routine into it and wa -la, you’re stretching every day, improving blood flow and flexibility which will just plain make you feel more awake and alert.

LEG STRENGTH EXERCISE (Kitchen) 

  1. Next time your'e waiting for food to heat up in the microwave, place both hands on the counter edge for support. Squat down as far as you can, making sure to not let your toes go past your knees and placing the weight on the balls of your feet, raise and lower as many time as you can. This will activate your calf and thigh muscles.  

Waiting for the coffee maker or oven? Again with both hands in the counter edge for safety, squat again staying flat footed and press up using the heel. Do as many as you are comfortable with. This will activate the hamstring and buttock muscles.  Hidden benefit to you?  Besides lifting your butt and firming your legs, you can decrease back pain too.   

All of these leg exercises WILL strengthen leg muscles regardless of your age. Your leg muscles don’t know how old you are. They just react to whatever forces are placed upon them and get stronger and more flexible in the process. By incorporating these leg exercises into your routine, you've added joy to your life because a healthy body is a happy body.

Thanks for taking the time to be with a very important person - YOU! 

CLICK HERE TO ORDER TOTAL STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING ON DVD

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.

Women's Weight Loss Bible

by Suzanne Andrews

10 Amendments for Successful Weight Loss

Are you tired of feeling like you're literally weighed down and want successful weight loss? Get ready to lift your spirits and lighten up your body with these 10 'Amendments' to losing weight and keeping it off for good.  

Amendment # 1: Thou Shall Stop All Excuses

Three of the most common excuses for living an unhealthy lifestyle are:

          1. A) I don't have the time
          2. B) It's genetic, my family is overweight.
          3. C) I'm too tired to exercise

30 minutes a day is better than days, weeks or months spent being sick and tired. Our culture has ingrained in us to do things the easy way. We live in a country where if we could we'd probably drive ourselves to the bathroom! 

As far as your genetics - most of the chronic disease today is linked to poor eating habits, smoking, inactive living and stress. These are things that you can take charge of.

You just must commit to do it. 

Here is what a good fat burning fitness program does for you:

  1. Reduces your risk of getting heart disease
  2. Increase your level of muscle strength
  3. Improves the functioning of your immune system
  4. Helps you manage stress
  5. Helps you lose weight
  6. Improves the likelihood of surviving a heart attack.
  7. Helps relieve tension headaches
  8. Improves your body's ability to burn fat
  9. Decreases Injury risk
  10. Increases bone density
  11. Reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure
  12. Increases levels of healthy cholesterol
  13. Reduces your risk of developing non-insulin dependent diabetes 

Amendment #2: Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Childs Food

Are you a member of the clean plate club for yourself, your children and everyone else sitting at the table? Do you feel compelled to finish off juniors food because you don't want it to go to waste? You can change this by changing your thinking to, "I don't want juniors' leftovers to go to my waist." Those extra calories add up to increased inches on your waistline. 

Amendment #3: Thou Shall Not Eat Poisonous Fatty Fast Foods

Do you eat fast foods because you're in a hurry and don't have time to make something? By taking the time to prepare your meals you'll add years of time to your life and save yourself a lot of money both in the short term with immediate food bill savings and in the long term with medical bill savings. 

Amendment #4: Thou Shall Love Thyself

Love thyself is not just a cliché. By getting in shape, you are essentially saying to your partner and 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. 

Amendment #5: Thou Shall Make Time To Exercise 5 - 6 Days a Week

Whether you feel you don't have the time to exercise, or you feel you get enough during the day - to lose the weight you first need to lose the excuses. In order to burn fat you need to do at least 30 minutes of sustained exercise and get your heart rate pumping. 

Amendment #6: Thou Shall Learn How To Manage Stress

If you eat from stress, you're not alone. A large majority of my clients eat out of stress and this causes weight gain which causes stress which causes weight gain... and a cycle is born. A stressful day can be dramatically transformed with purposeful exercise. Learn to exercise and stay mentally focused on your muscles being worked. By spending time on just yourself and letting go of responsibilities, even if just for 30 minutes, you will take years of stress away from your mind/body and spirit. 

BEGINNER'S DYNAMIC YOGA WITH SUZANNE ANDREWS

Amendment #7: Thou Shall Have Patients With Thy Weight Loss Plan

Weight is not gained overnight and it won't come off overnight either. By falling for every lose weight quick scheme you are only cheating yourself from having the healthy, shapely body you will have by following a sensible diet and exercise plan. Have patients with yourself and you'll have a far less likely chance of becoming a patient.

Amendment #8: Thou Shall Not Halt Thy Weight Loss Plan Because Thou 'was bad.'

Let's face it, we're not perfect and we all have slip-ups. During a taping of one of my exercise shows for television, I slipped on wet grass and decided to keep it in just to demonstrate that you don't have to be perfect or beat yourself up if you fall. Just get right back up again and keep going. 

Amendment # 9: Thou Shall Be Strong For Thyself

There will be times when you are around people who mean well when they say, Oh come on, just try my delicious cake, it won't hurt. True it won't hurt - them, but you yes, it will hurt your goal to arrive at your destined weight. In those moments of weakness when there's that little guy on one shoulder saying, "come on, have a bite, just one, it won't hurt, or you can exercise tomorrow," you need to be strong for yourself and keep your vision on your goal. 

FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: ARTHRITIS RELIEF WALKING WORKOUT

Amendment # 10: Thou Shall Make Conscious Choices

What is consciousness? It is you. You are consciousness. It is this very consciousness that tells you innately who you are and what choices you need to make. It is your deeper self, your greater self. Call it what you will. The important thing is that it is within you.  It is your world. You can't see it, smell it, touch it or hear it. But you can, and do, feel it. Being aware of yourself and your actions gives you the ability to make healthy choices.

 

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.

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