Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews

Posts in the goals category

Keep those letters coming!

by Suzanne Andrews

I'm filming my 4th series for PBS TV this week and just wanted to share why I do it. With 12 hour days and doing the exercises over and over, filming can be exhausting. But I get a letter and - instant energy! Here's a letter that motivates me. Keep those letters coming!

"I saw your show yesterday for the first time on PBS in Daytona Beach, Florida. WOW!  You are like an vision of hope and EXCITEMENT for me! Thank you! I used to be trim and thin and something happened called stress and life! (giggle) and I hit 52 very lethargic, very over weight, out of shape and yet I have goals of riding mountain bikes and have such a worry about being able to "lift my leg up and over!"...so obviously I need to get into shape to ease my mind and ease my body. I tried Jazzercise and killed my knees and felt VERY OLD with the newer music - I loved it when I was 30 and 40 years old but something happened to the music since! (another giggle)...so thank you. You brought LIFE back into me, I feel wonderful today.  What great results!  You EVEN got me and my husband off the couch on a SUNDAY AFTERNOON!  I was so proud of myself. Can't wait for my Yoga Chi for Energy DVD to arrive.  You are like Sunshine in our lives!!!  Thank you!  Mrs. TJ G, Palm Coast, Florida."

Suzanne Andrews Response:

Thank you much TJ!  You are exactly the kind of person who I developed Functional Fitness for.  I was once overweight and can relate. Plus I'm not in my 30's or 40's so I REALLY relate. People actually google, "Suzanne Andrews age."  Functional Fitness keeps you ageless!  Now I just strive to be a healthy weight and leave the unattainable size teeny to the younger crowd. Be proud of your curves! Glad you like the music. We spend hours combing through music to find beats that motivate.  

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.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

by Suzanne Andrews

Why Slow and Steady Wins the Race: The Secret to Getting Fit Faster

In my travels, I often run into women who think that to be really fit, they have to jump up and down, and do the moves real fast. While this train of thought is common, it is also a guaranteed way to injure yourself and not get the results you seek.  You ever see the same person at the gym who never looks any fitter?  Watch how they work-out, I’ll bet they lift the weights really fast. In order to achieve extraordinary health, you've got to get outside of what everyone else is doing and find successful methods that work without making you feel like you have do insane extreme workouts.

One of my favorite examples is from a Functional Fitness fan who wrote me. “A few months ago while flipping through the TV stations, I came across “Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews.” I had just finished eight weeks of an exercise program to try to help me walk without hip pain and all that hard work didn’t help at all.  My doctor told me I needed a hip replacement. But I wasn’t ready to try surgery and so I pulled up a chair and did your workout.  At first I thought, this is too easy, it’s not going to do anything! But I trudged along and by the time I was able to do the standing level my hip pain was gone, I am more flexible and best of all I no longer need a hip replacement.”  Elizabeth from Maine.

For the uninitiated, working out at a slower pace looks easy but since you are contracting your muscles longer, you get FASTER results. As a rehabilitation clinician, I (and my colleagues) spend much of our day instructing our patients to slow down. Not only will you build strength quicker, you’ll burn more calories–even after you’ve stopped working out. If you’re a mid-life or older person like myself, it sure beats the “beat yourself up workouts” where you feel like you’re going to die!  Which, by the way, is the fastest way to not wanting to workout anymore.

Which brings me back to Elizabeth. If she hadn't taken the time to try a different method and really give it the time it deserves, she never would have experienced the amazing results she got.  No it wasn’t instant, but it was worth the results.

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.

Ever wonder how I get my inspiration?

by Suzanne Andrews

Ever wonder how I get my inspiration? From my wonderful fans! This letter is what inspired me to write last week's blog and it really touched me so I'm sharing it with you.  (She said it was OK to share). 

Do you have something to share?  Email me (contact info below) and don't worry, I won't divulge your email address.

Love and 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.

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

Don’t Hate Me Because I’m a 10

by Suzanne Andrews

Size 10 that is!

10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overcoming Death Defying Odds

by Suzanne Andrews

Overcoming Death Defying Odds: A True Story


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baked Apple A La Mode Weight Loss Recipe

by Suzanne Andrews

The hardest part of being on a diet isn't watching what you eat, it's watching what everyone else eats! Our family events often focus on food and being Italian, that means a plethora of delicious treats.  

Since I have a thyroid disorder that makes staying at my optimal weight very difficult, I came up with recipes that taste totally fattening and also help improve your health.  I sneak these recipes into my families diet so they don't know it's actually good for them!  Even my college age son doesn't know :)  Just make sure to work out as that is 1/2 the weight loss battle. If you've read that weight loss is all about what you eat - that's simply not the whole story, you must exercise to lose weight and if you have a thyroid condition there's no and, if's or but's about it.

The walking workout in my new Get Stronger Bones DVD will burn off this delicious dessert and speed up your metabolism so you burn fat - even in your sleep. Thanks for taking the time to be with a very important person - YOU!  

Baked Apple A La Mode Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 chopped apple per crust
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon sugar
  • Pre-made pie crusts 
  • ¼ cup Low-fat vanilla yogurt


Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees
  2. Assemble apples in pie crusts (one apple per crust)
  3. Bake the Apple A La Modes in the oven for 20 minutes
  4. Cool off before adding a dollop (or two!) per pie crust
  5. Serve and enjoy!

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

4 FABULOUS WALK MOVES for STRONGER BONES!

by Suzanne Andrews

Do you know that Osteoporosis is known as the silent disease because women don't know they have it until they get a bone density test which is usually done after they fracture a bone!  As important as it is to work out when you have osteoporosis, it's equally important to know what movements are safe for thinning bones. 

If you have osteoporosis, one of the things to remember is to make sure you don't round your back. Some of my patients that I have on my caseload fractured their back bending down in the shower.  Yes, if you have thinning bones, fractures are not always caused from a fall.  Fractures can be caused from the wrong move. You're better off investing in a $10.00 reacher so you can pick up items without rounding your back.  In the mean time, bone building exercises are vital for bone strength.

Since walking for bone strength is easy and fun, it's a good option for bone health. Sometimes those Spring showers can stop the best of intentions of going for a walk outdoors so if you don't have much space in your home, here's four fabulous walk moves for you to get stronger bones in a small space.  Enjoy!

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.

Tips To Stay Young

by Suzanne Andrews

 Four Fascinating Functional Fitness Facts You Need to Know to Stay Young
  1. After age 50, you lose 1 -2% of muscle strength per year.  After 60, you lose 3% a year, which comes out to about 4.5 pounds of muscle strength a year. 
  1. Your legs get weaker three years before your arms start becoming weak and that's why you'll notice it's becoming difficult to walk like you used to. 
  1. Your bicep muscles in your arms help you lift stuff and your triceps help you push up to a stand. 
  1. Not all the muscles that are important to move your arms are located in your arms: your latissimus dorsi (located in your back) pulls your shoulders back and your arms to your sides.)  
While strong legs are important, strong arms are also vital for a fully functional life.  With strong arms you can lift your baby/grand-baby out of a car seat with ease, carry in groceries, get items of the top shelf and get in and out of the tub without injuring yourself. 
You don't have to let nature take it course. With Functional Fitness, one day longer is one day stronger! Fight Back with this Functional Fitness move...  
  • Arm and Leg Strengthen and Stretch 
Place one leg forward as shown.  Place back leg on an angle as shown.  Bend your knees and make sure not to allow your knee to go past your toes. Raise your arms to shoulder level.  Hold this position for 5 seconds.  Release the position, stand up straight for 2 seconds and repeat 12x.  
Holding the position for 5 seconds recruits your muscle power and increases your strength quicker.  When you do exercises quickly, you work momentum instead of muscle. 
  • Functional Fitness Challenge 

Too Easy?  Hold a dumbbell.  Start with 1 lb and workout your way up in increments of 1 lb per week as tolerated until you've reached 5 lbs. Bonus! This move will also increase your bone strength and is osteoporosis safe.  54 million people over the age of 50 have thinning bones (Osteoporosis)!  

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.

By Collage Video | | exercise, fitness, goals, Healthy, Motivation, practice, Suzanne Andrews, tips, Wellness | Read more

What Does Your Body Say About Your Health?

by Suzanne Andrews

Did you know your reflection is an echo of what your body is trying to tell you?  Find out what your body is saying to you now!

Belly Fat = increased risk of heart attack, diabetes and back pain.

So what do you do when you want to eat health sabotaging foods? Redirect yourself with a healthy distraction. Take 3 deep breaths, go for a walk, call a friend for moral support. The craving will pass and you'll feel so much better! 

Wide Hip Bones = normal part of aging.

Don't fret, it's not your imagination, your bones really do widen as you age. I gained 2 inches of width! What you should be concerned with is if you have excess fat over your hips as that can cause hip, back and knee pain. According to the Arthritis Foundation, every pound of excess fat exerts four pounds of pressure on your knees which is another great reason to get the weight off if you're having knee pain.  You may even save yourself the cost, time and pain of knee replacement surgery! Not sure what exercises to do that are safe for arthritis and help you lose weight?  Check out Arthritis Walking Workout.

Arm Fat = risk of shoulder injuries.

Shoulder injuries are one of the most painful types of injuries. How do I know? I injured myself working working with a patient that required over 400 pounds of muscle power to save her from getting crushed. I had accident two when I saved a patient from a fall. I needed surgery on my shoulders. As bad as it was, the doctor said it could have been much worse. My arms were strong before the accident and I went from 0% function to  a full recovery with consistent therapy, determination and a mindset to work through the pain during therapy and just trudge through to regain full use of my shoulders. You need a well rounded arm workout to remain functional and strong -not to mention if you want to wear those sleeveless dresses!

Thanks for spending time with a very important person...YOU!

Love and healthiest blessings,
Suzanne Andrews
www.healthwiseexercise.com

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.

What Body Part Does Weight Loss Begin With?

by Suzanne Andrews

 

When I tell people I lost 60 pounds, people often ask, "how did you do it?" Frankly, I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. I just decided that I'd had enough joint pain, fatigue and excuses that stopped me from being healthy.

But it took me a while to arrive at that destination. My wake up call came when I saw myself on video taken from my sons birthday party. Until that time, I justified all the usual excuses: too tired, not enough time, exercise programs were just too expensive, etc.

But once I committed to exercising just 30 minutes a day, the fatigue was replaced by tons of energy. I decided to stop watching the morning news and work-out instead. By beginning with changing my mindset, I made time for my health and felt so much better not hearing about the bad events first thing in the morning.

As far as expense, I was spending more money on one meal out than I was on an exercise program. I learned that by adjusting your thinking, you can lose weight and feel great! I also learned to work smart and not hard. No insane high impact moves that could hurt your joints. That was the beginning of Functional Fitness. I had no idea that it was going to be a national fitness series on PBS, but I knew there must be other people like me who preferred low impact moves with a choice of fitness levels, an instructor that didn't scream and exercises that were proven safe for various health conditions.

It's amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it!

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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