Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews

Posts in the Healthy category

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.

Exercising These Muscles Can Eliminate Back Surgery

by Suzanne Andrews

Does your back ache? Most back pain can be treated without surgery. As a rehab clinician, I’ve seen many people who’ve had unsuccessful back surgery and often wonder why a non-surgical approach wasn’t recommended by their doctor first?  

Numerous studies suggest that physical therapy is very effective at treating back pain with far less risks. 

When you go to the physical therapist, you may be surprised that they don’t just focus on your back muscles when treating you for back pain.  

Your back pain treatment will include working your glutes, hamstrings and your abdominals utilizing therapeutic techniques because these muscles support your back and your pelvis.  It’s important that you don’t just go to a gym and work these muscles yourself as the pacing and form are crucial for best results and to decrease injury risk. 

You can see the correct form and pacing in the Get Stronger Bones DVD which has a Back Stretch and Strength and a walking workout that works all the necessary muscles safely. In addition, the Total Strength and Conditioning has a vertical ab workout you can do sitting or standing. 

Meanwhile check out this free video I made for you to work your glutes to help you get a pain free back!

Make sure to subscribe to my You Tube channel for more.

 

 

                       

                                            GET STRONGER BONES                                TOTAL STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING

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 Does a Hurricane Have To Do With Your Health?

by Suzanne Andrews

With the impending Hurricane Irma predicted to land in Florida, we are busy preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. There are long lines to purchase water and it seems like the entire town has purchased all the non-perishable goods. I’m going over my check list and making sure we have enough supplies. Not sure if we’re going to have to evacuate, but if it’s headed for us, we’re not sticking around. A category 5 is serious business.

Just like your health, preventative measures are a must. Don’t wait till your health is hit by a storm. So many patients I’ve treated could have prevented their heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer, diabetes 2 and other lifestyle diseases. That was one of the catalyst for me producing Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews on Public Television. I provided it as a public service because it is heart breaking to hear the ones who survived reply (when asked what they liked to do) say, “I like to read.” Reading is good, don’t get me wrong.  When pressed further, I ask if they did any physical activity prior to their rehab admittance and the response? “Well I walk to my mailbox and the bathroom.”

Did you know if you sit a lot your legs can become fixed in that position? (Knees bent as if you’re sitting). Your hamstring muscles shorten and it makes it impossible to walk.  

Try this test:  (Do not do this if you have osteoporosis).

See how far you can bend down and touch your toes while keeping your legs straight. Make sure to not lock your knees while keeping them straight. 

Is this hard to do? Does the back of your legs (your hamstrings) feel tight? That’s a warning signal. It means you need to add stretching into your routine daily... (Please scroll down to keep reading)

FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: TOTAL STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING 

Tip: Since tight hamstrings also cause back pain, stretching them can help your back.

I’ve seen too many people wondering why they can’t walk. That’s why reading, which I confess is an enjoyable past time of mine, should not be all a person does. It’s important to practice prevention. 

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.

What You Need to Know About Balance After 40

by Suzanne Andrews

Did you know that balance is not natural? That's right -we must work on balance to keep it as we begin to lose it as early as age 40. Another thing to note is the exercises you've been doing to improve your balance might not be enough. Keep reading and I'll explain: (I'll keep it brief)

Maintaining and improving balance is an important factor in enjoying a healthy lifestyle, strengthening your body and preventing injury. Most falls occur within the home, (from my experience as an occupational therapy clinician, the bathroom is the number 1 place to fall.) These injuries include broken hips, wrist/shoulder fractures and brain injuries. 

Not only do these injuries result in long hospital stays and painful recoveries, they also cause loss of independence, decreased daily function and loss of the ability to participate in social activities. Lack of proper balance can inhibit daily activities that we often take for granted such as getting in and out of bathtubs, climbing stairs and using a car. It is important to be proactive in your health and prevent balance injuries before the happen by participating in an exercise program that strengthens “spinal stabilizers”, (back and abdominal area) your legs and specific balance exercises to increase your “proprioception”, (your brain's ability to sense where your limbs are positioned in space).  Since your proprioceptors weaken over time, it is vital to strengthen this sense, just like you strengthen your muscles. 

You won't find these balance exercises in most DVDs as these specific balance exercises are therapy based. Therapists will place you on "uneven surfaces" to strengthen your balance muscles and your proprioception. Why? Because when you are on an uneven surface, you activate all your balance muscles by challenging them. That's why in the Get Stronger Bones DVD, you will see the most advanced version demonstrating on an uneven surface.   

If you're not ready for that, it's advisable to start either seated on a chair - and yes - you can strengthen your balance muscles sitting if done to medically proven exercises. If you're beyond chair exercises, you can do the modified standing version using a chair for balance when necessary. Happy balancing and if you have any questions about your exercises make sure to message me - (link below).

 
 
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.

Alzheimers & Exercise

by Suzanne Andrews

Can exercise slow the progression of Alzheimer's or delay its onset?

Contrary to age old beliefs, aging does not have to come with loss of memory, mental decline and decreased brain functioning. Scientists now believe that decreased mental capacity comes from diminished stimulation to the brain. 

 A healthy neuron is linked to literally tens of thousands of other neurons, creating a hundred trillion connections – each with the ability to perform 200 calculations per second! But neurons don’t only connect with other neurons, they connect with muscles at a little meeting place called the neuromuscular junction and this is vital to your ability to move.

The great news is you can stimulate fresh neurons in old age because brains have what is called ‘plasticity,’ the ability of your brain to change, grow and to adapt to the challenges you feed it. Mental decline due to age usually is often a result of physical inactivity and a lack of mental stimulation. 

The word exercise means to ward off.  How appropriate: because when you exercise, your blood circulation increases: sending more oxygen and brain feeding blood sugar (glucose) to your brain. This results in a domino effect of increasing blood vessels in your brain. Your choice of exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous.  Although one that is specifically designed for the brain will give you better results. Studies have shown that people who are reasonably active have a significant advantage regarding memory over people who are sedentary. Occupational therapists (therapists who specialize in improving people’s cognitive (brain) and physical function) have also studied specific exercises to find that certain types of exercises increased both brain functioning and decreased brain attack by 57%. 

 

Specific exercises have even shown to be successful as a preventative measure to Alzheimer’s disease. Even more interesting is that couch potatoes are twice as likely to develop dementia.  In order to reap the benefits of increased brain power, mental alertness, and neuron growth, you need to exercise. 

Maintaining a fit brain and a sharp memory requires regular exercise in the same way that physical fitness does. One of the best ways to exercise your brain is to challenge it with novel experiences. Something as simple as taking a different route to work will exercise your brain, as will listening to new music or eating something for dinner you've never tasted. To challenge your brain even more, perform short tasks with your non-dominant hand. Do Brain Power exercises, where you’re crossing midline with your arms, performing box steps with your legs to use both hemispheres of your brain. 

To exercise your brain on a regular basis, make it a point to change your self care routine in small but meaningful ways every day. For example, brushing your teeth with your non dominant hand. 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.  

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.

4 Functional Fitness Tips to Increase Your Energy (Part 2)

by Suzanne Andrews

Missed Part I? Click here to read it

Functional Fitness Tip 4: Take power naps. 

I've always take a power nap when time allows as it helps me power through the rest of my very long and active day.  

Of course, your fatigue could just be a sign that you're not getting enough sleep. Most adults require 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, but most of us don't get that much. You can make up for lost sleep by taking power naps. Power naps can refresh you and improve your mental clarity and focus. To benefit, set aside 30 to 60 minutes for a restful nap during the day. Wear ear plugs or a sleep mask if lights or sounds disturb you. 

Functional Ftiness Tip 5: Reduce stress and anxiety.

Have you ever felt emotionally exhausted? In times of stress, we tend to worry more. All of that worrying takes energy, so it's no wonder that stress is linked to low energy levels. Tell a trusted confidant about your worries and fears. If you've been harboring unspoken anger or keeping secrets, now is a great time to bring your feelings into the open. Keeping your emotions bottled up only stresses you out more, leading to greater exhaustion. Share your burden with someone else to get some perspective and lighten your load. 

Functional Fitness Tip 6: Stay hydrated.

Fatigue is a symptom of dehydration, and is more common than you'd think. Many adults suffer from mild to moderate dehydration. If you're an athlete, frequent dieter, or diabetic, you could face an elevated risk of dehydration. Try to drink 64 oz of non-caloric beverages each day. Most of this fluid intake should come from plain water. Sugary sport drinks are rarely necessary, and caffeinated drinks can leave you more dehydrated. For the best results, find a portable drink container you like, and sip water from it throughout the day. If your energy level quickly rises, you'll know dehydration was keeping you tired. 

Functional Fitness Tip 7: Address underlying health concerns.

A low energy level can be an indicator of a more serious condition. Fatigue is associated with depression, diabetes, malnutrition, sluggish thyroid, and a score of seasonal ills like colds and flu. I have a slow thyroid and combat low energy with medication and regular exercise.  The medication is not enough and workouts that require hard core moves are too much.  Low impact cardio and strength does the trick.  If you suspect you may have a medical condition, ask your doctor to perform a thyroid test, blood glucose test, and routine blood work (CBC). The results will help you identify and treat the root cause of your lethargy, or rule out diseases so that you can look elsewhere for a cause. Healthiest blessings!

Would you like to lose weight and boost your energy doing low impact workouts that leave you exhilarated and not exhausted? Try Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews Total Body Strength and Conditioning.

 

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 Functional Fitness Tips to Beat Fatigue with these Energy Boosting Tips (Part 1)

by Suzanne Andrews

Fatigue can set in at any time of the day. Maybe you get drowsy after lunch, or maybe you suffer from low energy levels throughout the day. Whatever the cause of your tiredness, you can beat fatigue with these great energy-boosting tips! 

 Functional Fitness Tip 1: Move more, not less. 

Struggling to stay awake at work? You can get energized by stepping outside and taking a casual walk at lunchtime. Dozing off at home? Put on some music and dance around, or do some chores you've been putting off. Movement might seem impossible when you're feeling lethargic, but it will get your blood circulating and that increased energy to all your body cells. It doesn't take long for movement to perk you up, giving you the energy you need to face the rest of your day. 

Functional Fitness Tip 2: Eat small, frequent meals. 

In the past, conventional wisdom told us eating three square meals a day was the key to health. Now we know that eating smaller, more frequent meals is the best way to keep our bodies fueled. Start your day with a nutritious breakfast, and never go longer than 2 to 3 hours without eating something, even if it's just a handful of almonds or a low-fat mozzarella stick. The constant fuel will keep you energized. 

 
FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: TOTAL STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING WITH SUZANNE ANDREWS

Functional Fitness Tip 3: Add magnesium to your diet.

Magnesium helps your body carry out hundreds of tasks, including one very important one: changing glucose into usable energy. If your magnesium level is low, your energy level might be, too. Increase your magnesium by eating almonds, cashews, fish, and whole grain bran cereal. You can also take a magnesium supplement in liquid or pill form. 

Continue reading part II

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 Exercises to Avoid if You Have COPD

by Suzanne Andrews

In pulmonary therapy we advise people who live with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) to perform specific exercises to strengthen their breathing capacity.  While therapeutic exercises are very effective, there are exercises to avoid if you have COPD.

  1. Lifting Heavy Weights or Pushing

While it’s important to strengthen your muscles when you have COPD because weak muscles need more oxygen than strong muscles, you should never lift super heavy weights.  Also be mindful of holding your breath when you lift heavy objects.  That is called the Valsalva Maneuver and can elevate your heart rate and blood pressure to dangerous levels. Instead, exhale through your mouth when you lift light weights as tolerated. 

FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: COPD & ASTHMA WITH SUZANNE ANDREWS
  1. Isometric Exercises

Isometric exercises are when you push against immovable objects. 

  1. Outdoor Exercises in Extreme Heat or Cold

Extreme temperatures can interfere with your ability to breathe because it affects your circulation.  COPD exercise increases your circulation and that’s another reason why pulmonary exercise helps strengthen your breathing muscles. 

If you have COPD, exercise might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s very important to add pulmonary exercises to your daily activities to slow down the progression of COPD and improve your quality of life. To motivate my patients, I monitor their heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen during their exercises. Keep a pulse oximeter handy so you can see how your oxygen level increases as you get fitter. 

 

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.

Fast Food Lovers Guide to Weight Loss

by Suzanne Andrews

If you've seen the movie Supersize Me, where Morgan Spurlock follows a 30 day diet of eating only McDonald's food, you watched as he gained 24 and 1/2 pounds, a dangerous cholesterol level of 230 and fat accumulation in his liver. While it was fascinating to watch, it only offered a one sided view.   

Obviously, if you just eat junk food every day, no matter what fast food establishment you choose, you will gain weight. Along with eating fatty fast foods, Spurlock didn't exercise which contributed to his weight gain.  

That being said, no amount of exercise in the world can protect your body from a constant diet of saturated fats. To remain functionally fit we need to practice good diet and get out there and move. No buts about it! So what do you do when you find yourself at McDonalds? Here's a healthy choice menu to make it easier for you to decide. I wonder what would have happened if Spurlock ate the healthy options and exercised 6 days a week. Now that would be interesting to see...

McDonalds Fast Food Healthy Choices Menu
 
Premium Grilled   8 oz
Chicken Classic   (226 g) 420 calories
Sandwich              10 Grams of Fat

Snack Wrap ®      4.3 oz  (With no dressing)
 (Grilled)               270 Calories
                             10 grams of Fat

Premium                  12.3 oz
Southwest Salad      320 Calories
with Grilled               9 Grams of Fat
Chicken

Premium Caesar      11 oz
Salad with Grilled    220 Calories
Chicken                   6 Grams of Fat

Snack Size Fruit   1 Package
& Walnut Salad    210 Calories
                             8 grams of fat

Newman's Own®  1.5 oz
Low Fat Balsamic  40 Calories
Vinaigrette             3 grams of 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.

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