Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews

Posts in the Functional Fitness category

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.

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.

Get a Firm Belly

by Suzanne Andrews

Get a Firm Belly Without One Floor Ab Crunch!

Are you tired of all those ab moves that insist on doing crunches on the floor?

You can firm and tone your belly with just weights and a chair.  If going to a gym is not for you, you can get excellent results with chair exercises or standing ab crunch without the fancy gym equipment. 

I’m writing this because the one thing I don’t like about floor ab workouts is that they hurt your neck, even when done with proper form.  And if you’re just beginning, you can get severe neck pain from floor ab crunches.  But if you’re sitting on a chair or standing, you’re in what we rehab therapists call a “gravity eliminated” position which also eliminates neck pain and helps to isolate the ab muscles making them firmer and toned.    

Because I am a clinician, I feel it is only ethical to tell you that you must also follow a well-rounded weight loss diet plan in order to see your toned belly. I’ve seen far too many fitness “gurus” tout the latest 6 pack abs by just doing an ab workout.  That simply isn’t scientifically correct because even if you have a six pack: if you eat too much, you will never see the six pack because it will be covered with a layer of adipose tissue (fat).

Here’s how to do an ab crunch without getting on the floor! (As seen in our newest DVD, Suzanne Andrews Functional Fitness Total Strength and Conditioning).

Standing or Seated Crunch

Grasp hand weights as tolerated - (how heavy depends on your fitness level).  Bring elbow to opposite knee as shown.  Repeat on other side. Do one set of 15 and work your way up to 3 sets of 15.

OSTEOPORISIS (Thinning Bones) PRECAUTIONS: 

The added benefit of doing an ab crunch while seated on a chair is that you don’t have to bend your back!  (Demonstration of osteoporosis safe crunch shown in the seated level).)

  

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 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.

How to Get a Firm Belly

by Suzanne Andrews

(This is week one of my three-month FREE fat burning course!)

It seems that we place a lot of importance on taut, flat stomachs. Everywhere we look, we see commercials promising to help us "Get a firm belly", or "Get sculpted abs.”

What they don't tell us is that there is no such thing as spot reducing.  But don’t despair because excess fat comes off wherever you have an excess of it.  So if you have too much fat on your belly and you do all the right things to burn that fat, it will come off.  That being said, if you firm up your abs, once the fat comes off, you will see a great set abdominal muscles that are no longer hidden by fat.

But as a medical professional, I advocate being fit for far more important reasons than getting into a little black dress.

Research connects belly flab with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a serious disease and until I got my diabetes educator certification, I had no idea that 60 percent of diabetic (2) lose a limb! With exercise and proper diet, those odds can be greatly reduced.

Measure your waist to see if you have a dangerous level of abdominal fat. For optimal health, men should have a waist circumference below 40 inches. Women should have a waist circumference below 35 inches.

Here are some proven techniques to help you get a firm belly and reduce dangerous abdominal fat:

Consistent Movement and Eating Right

There are foods that can help you get a firm belly, too. Unused sugar turns into fat, but foods high in protein, vegetables and fiber are slenderizing. Look for a diet plan comprised mostly of vegetables, some fruit, lean protein sources, and unsaturated fats.

Exercise doesn't have to be done at a gym. You can burn calories while you participate in activities that you consider fun or fulfilling. For example, gardening burns several hundred calories per hour. Swimming is also a great fat-burner, and fun to boot. You could also take long walks down nature trails.

Cardio exercise will kick your fat-burning metabolism into overdrive. All it requires is persistence; if you can find an activity you like, and stick with it, the pounds will melt away. It's also important to vary your routine for maximum calorie burning, and to ward off boredom.

There are several exercises you can do to tighten your belly. The downfall with a lot of ab exercises is that they are usually demonstrated on the floor and this puts a lot of pressure on your spine.  That’s why I designed Vertical Ab Toner in the Total Strength and Conditioning DVD. The entire workout can be done seated on a chair or standing. It’s also important to note that if you have osteoporosis and you do workouts that don’t offer a modified level, you run the risk of fracturing your spine so it’s important that you choose your exercises carefully.

Order HERE!

Next Week: How Relaxing This Way Burns Fat!

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, Functional Fitness, Suzanne Andrews, tips, Weekly Blog, Wellness | Read more

Alive Magazine interviewed Suzanne Andrews...

by Suzanne Andrews

Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews Top Trending Workout for Healthy Aging!
Alive Magazine interviewed Suzanne Andrews, the producer of Functional Fitness on PBS. Due to it's strong and growing popularity with adults who want to remain active into their later years Functional Fitness is one of the fastest growing ways to stay healthy and Suzanne knows because she's the founder of this style of working out. 
Question:  "In just a couple sentences, could you explain exactly what functional fitness is to you?"
 
Suzanne Andrews Answer: Functional Fitness is more than a trend to me.  I've personally benefited from it several times... After sustaining back and neck injuries from a major car accident and severe bilateral shoulder injuries from a work accident, I regained full function through Functional Fitness.  As a rehab clinician,  I've had the pleasure of helping many patients with arthritis, osteoporosis, copd and women's health issues, regain a better quality of life through Functional Fitness healthy aging techniques.
 
What an honor to be rated the top trend for healthy aging!  Thanks for taking the time to be with a very important person - YOU!
Remember to be Healthwise-Exercise:)

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.

Suzanne Andrews Miracle

by Suzanne Andrews

Has Suzanne Andrews ever had any life challenges?  Everything I read about her is about how good she's doing.

I grew up with 5 siblings and my mother was a single parent who worked as a waitress to feed us.  We were lucky to get one toy at Christmas, but I learned the value of what is really important and it's not stuff.   

It's amazing how one decision can alter your life forever.  My mother worked nights and she left her waitress job two hours early to check on me because I told her I wasn't feeling well.  The doctors told my mom, "if you had gotten home 2 hours later, she would not be alive."   A ruptured appendix and peritonitis sucking the life out of me, the odds of making it out of surgery alive were slim.   I awoke with tubes in my nose and a tube in my abdominal area and given last rites. I had a fever of 106.  Just 10 years old, I was put in the terminally ill wing of the children's section in the hospital with my dear mother who never left my side.  It's a miracle I survived.  

 I lived to empower others with their health and did this by producing Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews series and providing it to PBS.   I remember the kind nurses and physical therapists that helped me. Now I'm paying that kindness forward by helping others take charge of their health naturally through Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews on PBS TV and in the DVDs.  Make your own miracle happen by making your health happen.  Start today, one miracle day at a time!

About Suzanne Andrews from Suzanne Andrews on Vimeo.

 

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.

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.

Look and Feel Ten Years Younger

by Suzanne Andrews

How This Type of Workout Makes You Look and Feel Ten Years Younger

How do you look and feel 10 years younger? The holidays can age you when you want to look younger and feel energized. It's important to integrate stress releasing breathing exercises into your workout routine as you will end your workout feeling exhilarated, not exhausted.

Heightened physical awareness occurs when your body systems is in a state of optimum health, (homeostasis)  and all the body systems, including the mind, are at their peak.  After all - the mind and body are married, and intimately united; when one suffers, the other empathizes.

Fitness begins in the mind and resonates in our spirit. How do we mind our mind? Our mind constantly chatters and converses with itself, discussing likes and dislikes, projects and incidents from the past. This is the way we are much of the time. Thinking – that tremendously useful tool has become our prime energy expenditure, consuming our attention at every turn. 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.

FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: BRAIN POWER MEMORY BOOST 

 

Guided Visualization and meditation offers a way of gaining control above the over–expansion of your emotions by sitting still in a secluded place and removing all the distracting debris in the overactive mind. Here, you are to direct your constantly wandering mind into dwelling upon itself. Focused on obtaining “truth,” people doing meditation come to realize their own personal truths. This realization helps you function at your best.

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

Suzanne Andrews, President 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.

 

Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the mos

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