Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews

Posts in the Healthy category

What Big Pharmaceuticals and Urologists Don’t Want You to Know

by Suzanne Andrews

My love of helping women reach their best health runs deep and is very personal. Few people know the journey I took to arrive at what I consider, my most private battle in my adult life - overcoming urinary incontinence without drugs or surgery.  How did I do it?

As I mentioned in part 1 and part 2 of My Pelvic Floor Journey blog, you know that pee problems plagued me since I gave birth. I thought that only happened to old people! It really affected my social life.

Let’s face it, going to the bathroom constantly and being afraid to laugh, cough or sneeze, isn’t fun.

Before I became a clinician that teaches other women to stop peeing when they cough, sneeze or jump and control their overactive bladders, I tried all kinds of crazy products.

I remember one product in particular that you were supposed to insert into your ladyparts and squeeze.  “OUCH” That contraption hurt!

And the “medicine”?  A study done at the University of Minnesota found that 50% of women stop taking urinary incontinence medicine within one year because of the side effects. The most common side effects are dry mouth, constipation, dry skin, dry eyes, and upset stomach. And older people who use incontinence medications with antihistamines are more likely to experience abnormal heart rhythms and sudden death. As if that’s not enough, the medicine only stops incontinence in 2 out of 10 women and because constipation – a side effect of the medicine- increases urinary incontinence – you may be worse off after taking the medicine.

And Surgery? My urologists nonchalantly suggested I go through with the vaginal mesh procedure like she was mentioning the weather.  The thought of allowing someone to cut my vagina – No way!  Besides the side effects from the surgery can be:

  • Erosion or protrusion of the mesh from the soft tissues
  • Pain, including pain with intercourse
  • Infections in the area of the mesh
  • Urinary tract problems
  • Bleeding from the mesh site
  • Damage to nearby organs

I’ve heard recent reports that these complications “only” happen in one out of thirty women.  Only? If you’re THE unlucky one out of thirty, that’s too high in my book.

My experience with urinary incontinence forced me to revisit overcoming expensive pads, bathroom mapping and did I mention the fear of smelling like a urinal? I learned that there is so much more to a successful program than just Kegels. Today, thanks to the complete pelvic floor program in 30 Day Bladder Fix , I and thousands of my patients all around the US, are pee accident free – without drugs or surgery! The drug companies won’t be happy and the urologists who perform costly surgeries won’t appreciate this simple cost effective program to cure urinary incontinence, but that’s OK.  I’m making it my mission to help all women who suffer in embarrassing silence because like I said, my love of helping women overcome urinary incontinence is very personal.

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.

By Collage Video | | Functional Fitness, Healthy, Suzanne Andrews, Weekly Blog, Wellness | Read more

Five Food Categories to Reduce Overactive Bladder

by 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.

By Collage Video | | Healthy, Suzanne Andrews, Weekly Blog, Wellness | Read more

5 Top Foods To Ease Arthritis Knees

by Suzanne Andrews

Help! I Have Knee Pain, but Don’t Like Taking Medicines to Workout

5 Top Foods To Ease Arthritis Knees that Work The Same As Medications!

According to recent studies, arthritis suffers can relieve pain in their knees by eating five unique foods. Each item has the same pain-fighting properties as over-the-counter medications.

  1. Red Grapes

Red grapes have a strong compound that eliminates specific enzymes that cause tissue degeneration. Although unprocessed grapes can ease tension around the joints, your pain symptoms will reduce faster if you drink a glass of red wine or red grape juice instead. The pain-fighting compound absorbs quicker in a liquid form.

  1. Ginger

 Ginger is commonly used to improve digestion. However, it can also relieve severe knee pain. Studies have shown that a ginger extract reduces soreness after a workout.

  1. Soy

 Soy-based products can decrease pain symptoms by nearly 20 percent. Scientists at Oklahoma State University discovered that typical patients will need less pain medications if they eat 40 grams of soy for 90 days. Soy milk and tofu are very effective, but patience is required because the anti-inflammatory properties will not take effect until two or three weeks later.

  1. Coffee

 Most over-the-counter medications that treat headaches and cold symptoms have caffeine. According to doctors, caffeine has properties that enhance the effectiveness of painkillers. This is why patients who consume caffeine moderately reduce joint pain by nearly 50 percent following an intense workout.

 Caffeine can also increase your pain threshold. However, if you drink too much coffee, minor health problems may occur. To achieve the best results, drink one cup before each workout session.

  1. Fish

 Fish has omega-three fatty acids, which can manage inflammation that is caused by rheumatoid arthritis. At the University of Pittsburgh, 60 test subjects experienced less muscle tension after they consumed fish oil for 90 days. Many of the patients did not take any pain medications throughout the trial.

According to doctors, arthritis suffers should eat about two meals that contain a fatty fish every week. Typical options include trout, snapper, tuna, sardines, and mackerel. If you do not like fish, consider taking a supplement that has DHA and EPA. Consult a doctor before consuming any omega-three supplements because the EPA and DHA can increase the effects of certain medications.

The other 50% of relieving pain is to do evidenced based exercises demonstrated in therapy because they are medically proven to ease arthritis pain.

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.

By Collage Video | | Functional Fitness, Healthy, Suzanne Andrews, tips, Weekly Blog, Wellness | Read more

Help I Want to Stop Shrinking in Height But Don’t Know How!

by Suzanne Andrews

On a good day, I’m 5 foot 2 inches tall. I sometimes treat sweet little old ladies who claim that they are 5 foot 2.  What I don’t have the heart to tell them is that they were 5 foot 2 and now they’re 4 foot 8.  I took a medical certification course to see if there is anything us ladies over 40 can do about vertical shrinking and here’s what I learned….

It's been said the two things you can count on in life are death and taxes. It turns out there's a third thing that is nearly universal as we age: shrinking. That's right, most people begin losing height after the age of 40.

Shrinking with age has two major causes. The first is directly related to a combination of gravity and the discs in the back. The second is a disease known as osteoporosis. In both cases, poor posture can lead to an even shorter appearance by presenting a look of being slouched over.

Gravity and Discs

The discs in the back are composed of flexible, fibrous tissue that acts as a lubricant and a shock absorber for the spine. Each of the discs is positioned between two vertebrae, giving the spine the flexibility it needs for bending, twisting and turning.

As we age, the discs lose some of their flexibility and gelatinous nature. They also dry out, shrink and become hard over time. The lack of disc volume results in a natural loss of height in the same way pulling bricks out of a wall would reduce its overall height.

Keeping your bones strong as you age is the smartest and best thing to do for a good quality of life. Since a bone density test is the only way you’ll know if you have osteoporosis (thinning bones) or osteopenia (pre-osteoporosis) it’s important to talk with your doctor to see if you need one.

Other people who should undergo a bone density test include anyone who needed to use corticosteroid drugs for longer than three months, anyone with a family history of osteoporosis, people with chronic arthritis or kidney disease and those who have had any type of hormone treatment in the past. It's also a good idea to have a bone density test if you are a woman who has gone through menopause at an early age, or anyone who has noticed that they've lost at least an inch of height in a short time or who smokes or drinks heavily.

Osteoporosis happens as people age and bones become weaker and more brittle. There are steps to prevent osteoporosis fractures and to strengthen bones in anyone who has already been diagnosed in the early stages of osteoporosis. When a person with osteoporosis falls, bones not only break more easily, breaks can be more severe and fatal hip fractures can occur.

Most people are aware that getting extra calcium in the diet as we age is a good preventive measure. What most people aren't aware of, however, is that weight training also helps to strengthen bones and to keep the onset of osteoporosis at bay. Walking and other weight-bearing exercise is always recommended for overall good health. In addition, training by using and lifting weights a specific way also helps to increase strength and to strengthen bones and build more bone mass.

Because rehab therapists go through years of education and continue that education with medical certification courses using evidenced based techniques that demonstrate not only how much weight should be used, how many repetitions a person should do to see the most benefit, but also the correct speed at which the weight should be lifted for the most bone gain with the least injury risk.  So get going and put a deposit in your bone bank today!

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.

I Want to Lose Weight But How Do I Stop Pigging Out on the Weekends?

by Suzanne Andrews

I Want to Lose Weight But How Do I Stop Pigging Out on the Weekends?

Are You What You Eat?

Yesterday I received a phone call from a 95 year old lady who watches my show, Functional Fitness, on Public Television. Considering my audience is from 40 – 70, this was remarkable.  Even more remarkable - she does the standing version, not the seated version. She sounded healthy and vibrant.  She mentioned her secret to a long life was the pride she felt about her kids and no surprise here, she eats right and exercises regularly.


Have you noticed that after a weekend of wolfing down sinfully delicious foods you don’t feel at your most attractive? Maybe even felt “clogged” up? Wise old men (and women) have stated from ancient times that the stomach is the key to good health, i.e., you are what you eat.

You might be surprised at how much better you will feel by just changing your diet. Eating balanced, nutritious meals with moderate fat and caloric intake can help change your whole attitude and give you the energy to make further progress on creating a new you.

Of course, again, it is not all that easy. If it was, then we would all be eating perfectly and not having any fat or other related problems. We all know how tempting unhealthy food can be. For whatever reason, the forces that be decided to make the unhealthiest foods also the most difficult to resist. A chocolate cake, from the standpoint of the health-conscious, is obviously the creation of the devil. Heck, they even have a version called Devil’s Chocolate Cake. (So delicious!)

Remember it’s not about willpower, it’s about want power.

Once you break the habit of overindulging in unhealthy foods, you often wonder how you were able to eat so much of that stuff in the first place. I’m not suggesting to never indulge.  Just do it less, instead of every weekend, plan on every other weekend or even once a month.  Many people say they lose tolerance for excessive sweets or fatty foods once they’ve established good eating habits over a period of time.

Just think of the end result when you are having difficulty dieting or exercising. Do you want to still look and more importantly feel like you got hit by a truck every morning? Or do you want to rediscover the person that you once were: someone you actually recognize when you look in the mirror? By concentrating on the end results, you can work through the inconvenience to get to the results to feel and look years younger!

*If you have chronic symptoms of upset stomach, excessive thirst or feeling like you’re full after eating very little, see a gastroenterologist as soon as possible.

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.

Help! I Want to Wear Short Sleeves ‘BUT’ I’m too Embarrassed

by Suzanne Andrews

Banish Bat Wings with These Top

Bat Wing Banishers!

If you find the underside of your arms getting flabby, here’s your younger arm muscles in 30 days plan.


As seen in Suzanne Andrews Younger in 30 Days DVD

  1. Lean forward, hinging at the hips, making sure to keep your back flat, not rounded. Place your hand on a bench or a chair.  Can’t lean forward because you have osteoporosis or back problems? Do the modified version by leaning forward just a bit. Slowly lift the weight up and down 12x.

 

  Stabilize your elbow at your waist and slowly raise the weight back and down.  Do 12 times. Another great reason to keep your triceps strong…

Functionally speaking, your tricep muscles are the primary upper extremity (arm) muscles you use when pushing up from a chair and getting in and out of a car.  By getting them strong and staying functional, you make these daily tasks easier!

Because Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews® also focuses on injury prevention, this blog wouldn’t be complete without telling you another very important tip. If you focus solely on your triceps and don’t counter-balance by strengthening your bicep muscles, you have a greater risk of injury because the stronger muscles are forced to do all the work and that causes a strain. Here’s your functional fitness move to counter balance the triceps.

Elbow Flexion/Extension

 

Keep your elbows at your waist. Raise and lower your weight 12X.  (TIP: You’ll know you’re lifting the right amount of weight when the last repetition is a struggle). Studies suggest that you don’t need to do countless repetitions to get results.  Just lift the heaviest weight you can tolerate.

We asked Suzanne Andrews What’s Unique about Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews ® DVDs?

As a rehabilitation clinician, I am required to teach evidenced based (medically proven) exercises that get the fastest results in the shortest time for specific health conditions. Simply put, insurance pays only when a client makes progress with their rehab and it’s up to me, the therapist, to be aware of any contraindications (unsafe) for that specific condition and exactly what exercises to prescribe for a variety of health conditions.  It’s like to going to your general practitioner and she/he knows what pills to prescribe for a variety of conditions. You don’t have to be in rehab to benefit from the safe, medically proven exercises that cost $400.00 a month in co-pays or for those that are not insured, $280.00 an hour.

All the exercises in Suzanne Andrews Functional Fitness DVDs demonstrate evidenced based editions for specific health conditions including arthritis, osteoporosis, copd, and since I was once very overweight, all the workouts are compatible for people 50 lbs or more overweight:  giving you the opportunity to take charge of your health in the comfort of your own home.

By Collage Video | | Healthy, Motivation, Suzanne Andrews, Weekly Blog, Wellness | Read more

I Heard Water Can Help Me Lose Weight, “BUT”

by Suzanne Andrews

How Much Weight Can I Really Lose and How Much Should I Drink to Lose Weight?

Photo courtesy of Healthwise Exercise LLC

Yes, water can help you lose weight! Here’s some surprising ways to sneak it in your day without even realizing it.   

Four Foods That Contain Water:

One cup of milk or orange juice contains 88% water. 

One half of a cup of broccoli has 92% of water.

There is 85% of water content in yogurt!

How Water Burns More Calories

One of the functions of the liver is to convert stored fat to energy.  Another function of your liver is to aid the kidneys. Without enough water, your kidneys can’t metabolize fat as quickly. 

How Much Do I Need to Lose Weight?

Water is a life sustaining necessity and your blood is 90% water.   A person can only live 3 days without water.  Drink water throughout the day and start with a glass first thing in the morning.  Your body will adjust and your waist line will thank you for it. By drinking the recommended 6-8 cups a day, you burn 100 extra calories a day leading to 10 pounds weight loss in a year just by drinking water.

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Water?

Water intake affects your body’s electrolytes balance – your body salt - so more is definitely not better.  Drinking too much water will off-set your electrolytes and can cause a heart attack. But most of us don’t have to worry about drinking too much water.  The majority of the population doesn’t get enough.

Stick to the recommended amount of 6 - 8 cups a day to keep your electrolytes functioning safely.  Water cushions your joints, maintains your body tone and aids in sustaining energy releasing oxygen to your cells.

*(This is not intended as a replacement for medical guidance. If your doctor has you on water restrictions, you need to listen to her/his advice).

Walk off the weight with Suzanne Andrews new DVD, Arthritis Walking Workout

 

You don’t need to have arthritis or be a senior to lose weight from this fantastic new two and four mile walk DVD. Since this is the first walking workout that can be done sitting or standing by a medical professional, Arthritis Walking Workout is perfect for the plus sized set who wants a workout that’s safe for your joints.  You choose the pace that’s right for you as you trim down and tone up walking in the most beautiful garden in North America! See a preview now.

The Best Weight Loss Food to Stop Hunger

by Suzanne Andrews

 

Does your stomach call out to you with hunger pangs late at night making yesterday’s leftovers look like a five star meal for two eagerly awaiting to be devoured - alone? Does the whisper from your pantry turn into a loud-mouthed echo in your head repeatedly crying out for you to “just go take a little peak and see what’s in there” because you’re just so darned hungry? Stop a second before you have seconds and eat this to quiet the ‘but’ that can’t be ignored: ‘But’ I’m so hungry, I just have to eat!

Since the television adds ten pounds, I always look for ways to get rid of those ‘extra’ pounds before we begin taping my PBS TV series, Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews ®. Since being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, (a thyroid disorder that slows the metabolism) getting the weight off has become quite a challenge. The hardest part is at night when I’ve eaten all of the allotted daily calories and I’m still hungry. Therefore, I always make sure to keep plenty of this filling, delicious and nutritious fruit in my fridge to stop hunger pangs.

Watermelon: Weight Loss Superfood!

  1. One Cup = 46 Calories
  2. Excellent source of Vitamin C and Potassium

  3. Helps boost your immune system

  4. Helps protects your body from harmful free radicals

  5. Helps protect from heart disease

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