Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews

Posts in the fitness category

3 Affordable Age Proof Body Tips

by Suzanne Andrews


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



  1. Age Proof Your Heart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Your Lungs

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

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

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

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

  1. Joints are for Moving

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

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

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

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

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

3 Worst Exercise Mistakes

by Suzanne Andrews

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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.

Age Proof Your Brain

by Suzanne Andrews

How to Age Proof Your Brain: Part 1

Are you a victim of forgetfulness? Do you find yourself going through the same "where are my keys" routine every morning? Do you search for your vehicle when you exit the mall because you can't remember where you've parked it? Do you write things down like directions, reminders, and shopping lists -- and then can't find the information when you need it? Forgetting where we've stashed essential items can be frustrating and slow us down considerably.

 What about names? Do you forget someone's name as soon as you hear it? This can be embarrassing, especially in business. Do you leave the house without everything you need, and then remember what you've forgotten after you're halfway to your destination? Do you misplace your cell phone and then have to call yourself in order to locate it?

You're not alone! Forgetfulness is a common problem for many of us, and it doesn't always  mean you’re getting the dreaded Alzheimer’s. While studies indicate that memory, response time, and attention span tend to diminish with age, the losses are more often due to a lack of exercising the brain than to diminished brain capacity. How do I know?  While I work with many patients who are 40 plus in age,  I also get the opportunity to work with people over 90. I remember one particular man, Henry, a 99 year old man who needed generalized strengthening and conditioning therapy after a fall.

He always came to therapy with a smile on his face and a great laugh. His mind was sharp as a tack!  I found that out by asking him to demonstrate all the exercises I taught him for home therapy.  He showed me exactly how to do each and every one – perfectly.  All 15 of them in the exact order they were supposed to be done and with the correct amount of repetitions and pacing. (Because I teach evidenced based exercises, all the exercises must be done in a specific order, timing and repetitions, as research shows medically proven results).  With all the Functional Fitness DVDs, you’re not just getting an exercise class, you’re getting evidenced based medically proven moves for specific conditions!

Back to Henry, I was intrigued because his mind was so sharp and he had such a great attitude, despite the pain he was in.  I asked him, “what’s you secret?”  He replied, “I meditate every day.”  I have to agree that meditation is an excellent way to increase your Brain Power.

Get your copy for $9.99!

So there you have it!  Of course that’s only the beginning of age proofing your brain. Come back next week for part two where you’ll learn surprising evidenced based tip to age proof your brain!

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.

Are You Waking Up With Stress?

by Suzanne Andrews

Stress wakes up with you every morning. Stress follows you to work in your car, at your desk. You come home to Stress and go to bed with Stress. You hear yourself saying, "if only I could get some rest and relaxation." But how?

Amazing stress secret revealed; The World is a Busy Place. You feed the kids, walk the dog, Stress, around the block, go to work, cram in a 15 minute lunch, fight traffic going home, take Stress to soccer practice, get groceries at Stress Mart, car repairs, music lessons and then you go to sleep with Stress snuggled next to you. Stress wants to have sex and instead of feeling all warm and fuzzy, you're thinking, "I hope he's kidding". Whew, all this full and active life stuff is getting to be a little much.

There never seems to be enough time. That is, time for yourself. But now is the time to make some time because before you know it you're out of time and after that, times up!

With stress reaching epidemic proportions, emotional eating has become the fastest way to release stress and that usually means fats and sugars. With the added stressors of overwhelming work schedules and the struggling demands of daily life, Americans are carrying heavier burdens and equally excessive weight. But you need not carry the weight of the world on your back, hips, thighs or belly - with these simple stress releasing techniques, you can release stress, boost your energy and lose weight at the same time.

  1. 1. Breathing for Stress Release and Weight Loss:

When you are stressed, your body releases powerful hormones including the major stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol can cause you to crave sweets and other carbohydrate rich foods. Since stress can raise your blood sugar as much as a candy bar, your body will greatly benefit from quick and simple, breathing techniques that have been used for years to arrest stress which helps you avoid the urge to succumb to comfort foods. If you drive a car you have time to do this. Take a deep breath and inhale through your nose for two seconds and exhale for four seconds out your mouth. Repeat this exercise 3 times before going into work and see how you feel. Bet you do! Repeat this anytime you're alone throughout the day and again on the way home.

  1. Stretching:

As we age, our muscles shorten and become tighter and the range of motion in our joints decreases. This can put a damper on busy lifestyles and even hinder day-to-day, normal activities. Chores that used to be simple, such as bringing in groceries from the car or reaching for a jar off of the top shelf, now become difficult. A regular stretching program can help lengthen your muscles, increase your flexibility and make daily living activities easier.

Everyone can learn to stretch, regardless of age, size or flexibility. You need to incorporate stretching into your daily activities. There are plenty simple stretches you can do while watching TV, on the computer, or getting ready for bed. If you are doing strength training exercises, stretch in between sets. It feels good and saves time from stretching at the end of the workout!


Yoga Chi For Energy With Suzanne Andrews

It does not have to involve a huge time commitment, but stretching can end up giving you huge results! Here are just a few of the benefits you can expect from a regular stretching program:

*Reduced tension in muscles
*Increased range of motion in the joints
*Better muscular coordination
*Better blood circulation
*More energy as a result of the increased circulation

  1. Yoga:

Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia demonstrated how just one session of yoga can lower blood levels of the stress hormone - cortisol. "Participants cortisol levels were measured before and after they practiced yoga, then again before and after they sat quietly while reading or writing. After the yoga sessions, cortisol levels dropped. There was no drop after the resting sessions." Less cortisol means less cravings for sweets.

The thing that most people don't realize about yoga is that when you go into a simple yoga pose and hold it, you're using almost every muscle in your body. Just doing each pose for a few minutes helps your body to stay trim and your mind to stay fit. You wind up using your own body weight instead of hand weights and for the most part accomplishing the same thing, losing weight and gaining strength and stamina. Ever seen a pudgy yoga teacher? Me neither.

All these things lead to a stronger heart, stronger muscles, better blood circulation, more stamina and better sleep. Not to mention a better outlook when Stress rolls over and says, "oh honey?"

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 | | fitness, Functional Fitness, Suzanne Andrews, Weekly Blog, Wellness, Yoga | Read more

Why Fitness Has Nothing to do with Exercise!

by Suzanne Andrews


Most people think you have to exercise a lot to stay in shape, but the real truth is fitness has very little to do with exercise. Motivation has everything to do with exercise yet we often lose our motivation right when we need it the most. Here's what you can do to stay motivated to lose weight.

Set goals and be realistic. You didn't get out of shape and heavy overnight so don't expect to look like an athlete overnight either. Take your time and set short term goals first. Set up a strategy for what you are going to eat from now on. Notice I didn't say "diet." Diets are for losing weight right before the high school reunion. You need to change your life style to become fit and healthy, so figure out all the healthy foods you like, the serving size you are going to stick yourself to and maintain it from now on. Well, okay, forever does sound final. I mean who can go without chocolate or birthday cake forever? It's okay to give in to little indulgences once in a while. Notice the key word is 'little' and 'once in a while.' One thing you don't want to do just once in a while is keep track of your progress. You need to be vigilant and this means more than just weighing yourself once a week. Journal how much further you were able to walk, run or bike today compared to last month. How much has your blood pressure been reduced? Getting functionally fit is just like a road map, you need to stop and get your bearings to make sure you're still heading in the right direction.

Don't expect perfection out of yourself. If you compare yourself to celebrities or people who have exercised for years, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Don't do it. Celebrities have the luxury of a schedule that allows them to exercise for months before a movie is made. Not to mention that they have maids, personal assistants, hair stylists, cooks, and personal trainers. That's why they look like they do on film. Their motivation for staying beautiful and in great shape is that they have to bring home a paycheck.

Speaking about a paycheck, being functionally fit is like putting money in the bank because you have less medical bills when you invest in your health.  Need more motivation? Compare yourself to you, or the way you used to be. As long as you keep at it, one day at a time, you will get results. The human body responds to whatever you throw at it. If you ingest donuts and ice cream regularly, your body reflects it. If you throw healthy foods and regular exercise at it, it will look like it. Period.

Motivation can come from inside or outside. Get support from family and friends. Join a team sport organization or email me ( and I'll help motivate you! You can find my email at the end of this. 

Speaking of time, we are so busy it's tough to find the time to exercise. Stop and think about how much you watch TV. Think about the shows you watch and whether or not they are getting you towards your goal in life.  If you watch only 2 hours of TV every day that's 14 hours a week or 56 hours a month. The average American watches 151 hours a month. That's insane. Multiplied by 12 months equals 75.5 days of sitting, doing nothing, learning nothing, goals and dreams being ignored. Talk about lost productivity. Don't ever tell me you don't have time.  We all make time for what's important and I can't think of anything more important than your health.  

Vary your workouts so that they don't become monotonous. What kind of workout? Think about what do you like to do that takes physical activity and do it often? Do you prefer working out in the privacy of your own home? Try fitness DVDs. How about the great outdoors? Join a walking group. Do what exercises you enjoy the most and mix in other activities often enough so that it stays interesting yet still achieves your goals.

If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, then staying motivated won't be such a chore. But if you are starting to work out for the first time in your life all I can say is, please, don't ever give up. You are headed for a happier place in body, mind and spirit that once you achieve it, you'll probably wind up writing articles just like this one to your friends, family or co-workers telling them how you took the difficult road and worked your way past the worn out shoes and perspiration to get to where you are now, feeling alive, strong, durable and invincible. I know because I lost over 60 pounds and am never going back to the plus size rack with plus size health problems.

So what are you waiting for? Get a move on.  Thanks for taking the time to be with a very important person - YOU!

Healthiest blessings,
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.

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.

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.

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