Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews

Posts in the tips category

Are You the Best You Can Be?

by Suzanne Andrews

As I walk along the Florida beaches thinking about how lucky I am to be able to see my family all around me, I can’t help but appreciate the little things.

Being able to walk, to talk, to breathe and to laugh.

Yesterday, I treated a patient who had no legs from diabetes (2) complications. (60 % of people with diabetes lose a limb).  

Her name is Melinda and she is 56 years old - and what an incredible woman she is.

When I got near her room I could hear the familiar sound that is always associated with Melinda -laughter.

There she was - sitting on her bed surrounded by 2 church friends, who were so captivated by the amusing stories being shared by Melinda, they barely noticed me enter the room.

Melinda has this amazing ability to lift people up, put smiles on their faces and make them feel good about the world - even if she is facing tough times.

“Have you always been so uplifting?” I asked.  “No,” she responded.  “When I had two legs I was always miserable.  I never listened to the doctor when he told me to stop eating junk food.  And exercise? Forget about it! How I wish I had my legs to go for a walk now.” 

Which brings me back to the amazing attitude change from Belinda. We’re working on getting her arms and abdominal muscles strong enough so she can transfer into her power wheelchair independently.

It’s hard work and she is so cooperative with her therapy sessions. But the amazing thing is; before arriving at the rehab facility and despite all that she has to deal with, Melinda has created a life of happiness and giving for everyone she comes in contact with.

I left her after an hour of providing her with her exercise treatment, but as I went back to document her session for Medicare, I had tears in my eyes - not tears of sadness but tears of joy and thankfulness.

After all I have two legs and can walk.  I'm no longer focused on them being a size skinny, but instead, being a size healthy because that’s what we at Functional Fitness strive for.  The media has brainwashed too many women to feel like if they’re not a size tiny, their not attractive.  Hog wash, I say!  It’s is better to be a size healthy, than a size skinny! 

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What about you?  What are your health hopes and dreams?  To have enough energy to play with your grandkids?  To be able to have strong legs to go on a cruise or sightsee?  To have a strong core so you have better balance and not become one of the 11 million people who fall every year, or to have strong arms to be able to reach into cabinets without pain?

You can achieve all those things. Never give up your dreams and always strive to be the best you can possibly be!

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

Stop Craving Junk Food

by Suzanne Andrews

3 Fast Ways to Stop Craving Junk Food 

Would you like to fall in love with delicious healthy foods you never knew existed? Try eating for functional energy and see the pounds melt away!

Do you have a sweet tooth or crave chocolate? Maybe you love desserts, or maybe you prefer salty potato chips and fries.  In either case, when you overdo, you're stuffing your body with calories while depriving it of real nutrients.

The holidays are coming and while junk food is fine in moderation and on special occasions, what about those cravings that hit you at the most inconvenient times - or, worse, the cravings that just never seem to go away at all?

Improbable as it seems, they can be tamed. Here are three proven strategies for ending junk food cravings.

Tip 1: Control blood sugar spikes and crashes

Never skip meals; recent studies have shown that dieters are more likely to binge on junk food if they haven't eaten in several hours.

To really knock out cravings, combine a healthy fat with some protein and a fruit, like a tablespoon of peanut butter on apple slices. It will be more nutritious and more satisfying than the junk food your body is asking for.

FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: TOTAL STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING WITH SUZANNE ANDREWS

Tip 2: Avoid artificial sweeteners and MSG

When we eat sweet-tasting foods, our bodies produce insulin which makes us store fat. (If you have to use sweetener, try Stevia type substitutes which is what I use).

These findings were reported in the British Medical Journal in 2004, along with the result of eating foods sweetened with artificial sweeteners: deprived of the real sugar it was anticipating, the body experiences stronger sugar cravings at the next meal.

MSG (mono sodium glutamate) a flavor-enhancer found in many prepared foods has also been linked to incessant food cravings, including the infamous 'Chinese restaurant syndrome': you eat the food, then feel hungry an hour later. (It should be noted that many Chinese restaurants now offer MSG-free foods.) Other foods, such as canned soups, contain MSG.

Eat natural foods you prepare yourself. (You can make a big batch and freeze it in portions on the weekend to save on prep time during the week). Don't consume too many diet sodas. Instead, hydrate with water infused fresh (or frozen) fruit.

Tip 3: Cheat (but only a little.)

If you find yourself fixated on a craving that won't go away, give yourself permission to indulge a little. But have a glass of water first to help fill you up before you down your treat. In the long-run, it's better to have that half-cup of ice cream (but make it low calorie ice cream and eat it slowly) than to keep denying yourself and obsessing over it.

Simply adjust your plan to include more exercise that day, or take away extra calories from another meal to compensate. If weight loss is your goal, do both.  With the urges in control, you will soon have all the functional energy needed to be at your best weight ever!  

P.S Want 2 More Fast Tips to Stop Cravings? Watch the 1 minute video!

 

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

Ever Feel Like You Don't 'Fit In'?

by Suzanne Andrews

If you've ever felt like you just don't fit, you're special! Growing up, I never fit in. Everyone was smoking in high school and I never did, so I stayed away from the "smoke pit" where people socialized. I was sipping mineral water at parties while others drank themselves into oblivion.

I don't swear either, unless I'm really mad! So I guess I was not one of the "cool" kids. I skipped 3 grades in high school, loved business, the arts and the only high I got was from exercise. I was different and bullied constantly because of it. Even beat up. The point I'm trying to make is don't worry if you are different, that just means you're NOT a sheeple. You're a people - a born leader!

Let others know it's OK to be different. Share this message with your friends, family and social media!

Order Total Strength & Conditioning Workout HERE!

Suzanne Andrews, Occupational Therapy Practitioner/L

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

Using Weights Speeds Weight Loss

by Suzanne Andrews


Why Using Weights in Your At Home Workouts Speeds Weight Loss

Don’t have tіmе to go to a gym or the mоnеу for a mеmbеrѕhір? Transform your рhуѕіԛuе with weight bearing workouts. In as little as 30 days, it’s possible to lose two dress sizes if you include weights in your at home workouts. Consistency and a sensible diet are key. 

By uѕіng just a simple set of dumbbells and ankle weights, you can strengthen all major muscle groups when following the instructions in the Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews Total Strength and Conditioning DVD. Weights also strengthen уоur stabilizing muscles which help with balance when walking or climbing. In fасt, you rесruіt mоrе muѕсlе fіbеrѕ while performing exercise with weights. Dumbbells also activate nerve activity which boosts your mind and muѕсlе соnnесtіоn for improved реrfоrmance of daily living activities.

Best Lower Bоdу Exеrсіѕеѕ for a Firm Butt and Legs

Dеаd lіftѕ, Squats and Lungеѕ wіth dumbbеllѕ аrе аll extremely effective in toning and firming weakened leg and buttocks muscles. Nоt оnlу аrе thеу mоrе comfortable to use than dеаd lіftѕ with a bar, ѕԛuаtѕ аnd lunges with hand weights offer lеѕѕ ѕріnаl compression and pressure on your lower bасk. Nice feature.

You саn реrfоrm саlf rаіѕеѕ by holding dumbbells іn either hand and raise up on the balls of your feet. Sԛuаtѕ аnd lunges target the quads but also work the calves, glutes аnd hamstrings.

Best Uрреr Body Exеrсіѕеѕ for Firm Arms

 

Dumbbells аrе аlѕо very effective in buіlding muѕсlе quickly іn the uрреr bоdу. Single аrm  rows tone and build the bасk muscles, (latissimus dorsi) and rеаr deltoids. They саn also bе uѕеd to build a firm chest аnd toned shoulders. (Think sleeveless dress!) Whіlе реrfоrmіng flat, decline оr іnсlіnе bеnсh presses you create an іnсrеаѕеd range оf mоtіоn thаt  targets the mid, lower and upper chest muscles. Alѕо dumbbells can bе uѕеd tо perform flyes on thе bеnсh аѕ an іѕоlаtіоn mоvеmеnt that really hіtѕ the ресtorals. Thay аrе grеаt fоr toning shoulder muѕсlеѕ as wеll. Sеаtеd shoulder overhead presses are very еffесtіvе, аѕ аrе ѕіdе and frоnt lаtеrаl raises. You can аlѕо do trарezius work by реrfоrmіng shrugs аnd upright rows.

And of course, уоu саn tone thе bісерѕ, triceps, аnd the forearm muѕсlеѕ which helps you carry just about anything with greater ease. Standing alternating bicep curls really help to bring оut the dеѕіrеd arm firmness. Ovеrhеаd triceps extensions are great for reducing that behind the arm flap. Dumbbell hammer curls work both the fоrеаrmѕ аnd biceps.

 

When beginning any workout routine start оut wіth light wеіghtѕ. Thіѕ is nееdеd tо allow аnd the additional stress оn уоur ѕtаbіlіzіng muѕсlеѕ to adjust safely. As you become stronger, slowly build up thе аmоunt of wеіght you lіft аnd over time watch your ability to do activities of daily living become easier.

As you саn ѕее, thеrе аrе many еxеrсіѕеѕ you саn реrfоrm tо buіld strength and endurance wіth dumbbеllѕ. A uѕеd set оf dumbbеllѕ аnd an exercise bеnсh wіll uѕuаllу соѕt under a hundred dollars. Alѕо, this set up doesn’t rеԛuіrе a lot of space. They can easily be рlасеd іn a corner оf a small room or the gаrаgе. Itѕ іmроrtаnt when lооkіng tо tone muscle уоu реrfоrm thе right аmоunt оf rерetitions, pacing and ѕеtѕ so you can lose weight the fаѕtеѕt. With that ѕаіd, be ѕurе tо gеt оut mу other Functional Fitness tips hеrе on mу frее Functional Fitness blog. If уоu wаnt tо work оut аt hоmе, or уоu dоn't have thе money tо аffоrd a gуm, іt'ѕ реrfесtlу fine tо uѕе dumbbеllѕ to lose weight аnd get thе rеѕultѕ at home.

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.

Have Hypoglycemia?

by Suzanne Andrews

How Much Protein Do You Need for Weight Loss?

A Functional Fitness Fan shares her weight loss story…

Dear Suzanne

“Hypoglycemia has been my nemesis, but because of it, I have learned to manage things much better, and have lost 45 pounds!! There is no medicine for hypoglycemia...just old fashioned common sense eating and exercise!!  I was not able to even keep up with your tv episodes, but now I am finding I can do them, even if it is one of the modified versions.

Blessings to you, Cindy.”      

Suzanne’s response…

“Hi Cindy, by doing the modified version you proved that you don’t have to exercise hard to lose weight, just smart. 

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is something I’m very familiar with. Not only as a medical professional; I was diagnosed with it in my early twenties.  I lost over 60 pounds with hypoglycemia and a malfunctioning thyroid. Talk about a double whammy!  Hypoglycemia makes it especially hard to lose weight because you must eat to keep you blood sugar level. Hashimoto’s slows down your metabolism. A turtle has a faster metabolism than me.

Needless to say I had to be very strategic about losing weight safely. A severely restricted diet plan could make you go into a coma. 

So what do you do to lose weight?

Exercise 5 – 6 days a week and eat protein!  Grill it, bake it or use 0 calorie cooking spray to keep it lean.

Good Protein Sources are:

Eggs, fish, yogurt, low fat cheeses and lean cuts of beef.”

High intensity workouts are not recommended for people who have hypoglycemia. A moderate pace of exercises that includes low impact cardio and strength training are VERY effective. Be consistent and you can be two dress sizes smaller next month!

Check out this weeks Functional Fitness 60 second video to find out all the benefits of protein and how much you need to consume for weight loss.

Suzanne Andrews, Occupational Therapy Practitioner/L

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

7 Benefits of Walking with Arthritis

by Suzanne Andrews

A common myth I hear from my patients with arthritis is, “I can’t exercise because I have arthritis.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Motion is lotion for arthritis. When you move, you produce a lubricant (synovial fluid) that coats your joints and decreases joint pain.  When you use resistant bands or weights, you do double duty by providing your joints with stronger muscles to support your joints and that also helps decrease pain. Pills don’t do everything and with long term use, many medications will cause health problems. Walking is literally physical medicine for your joints. 

  1. Walking Strengthens Your Legs

Stronger legs help you do more than just look great in a dress. Stronger legs help ease knee pain because your quadriceps muscles (in the front of your legs) acts as a shock absorber for your knees. Stronger shock absorption equals less pain.

  1. Walking Saves You Money on Medical Bills

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the average person with arthritis spends $2600.00 a year on medical bills related to arthritis. Walking helps to save you money with less trips to the doctor.

  1. Walking Helps Eliminate Arthritis Pain in Hips, Knees and Back

If you get up in the morning and you feel stiff until you move, you know that movement helps to ease joint pain. Starting your day with a walk is a great way to ease pain because it helps you lose weight. Losing just 5 lbs of fat is equal to 20 pounds of pressure on your joints.

  1. Walking Gives You a Non-Surgical Butt Lift!

Walking contracts the glute and hamstring muscles which helps to lift and firm your buttocks.This is important if you have arthritis because stronger glute muscles (your butt) helps to decrease back pain.

  1. Walking Gives You More Energy

It may seem counter-intuitive to walk if you’re tired, but walking gives you more energy. Joint pain is very tiring to the body and when you start to eliminate the pain with your daily walks, you’ll have more energy.

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  1. Walking Improves Your Libido

Let’s face it, it’s hard to feel sexy when your hips are creaking and your knees are aching. Walking releases those feel good hormones that work better (and safer) than pain pills. With the pain gone from your daily walks, you’ll feel sexier.

  1. Walking Keeps You Active

Walking keeps you doing all the things you want to do: whether it’s spending time with your grandchildren, children or going on a sightseeing trip. So get going and walk the talk! You’ll love feeling better with just a few short weeks of walking.

 

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.

New Year's Motivation

by Suzanne Andrews

How many of us say we're going to wait till Monday or New Years, or after a certain time to start eating healthy and getting fit? Instead of waiting for that perfect date, start now because now is the perfect time for your best health! 

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

10 Ways to Look 10 Years Younger

by Suzanne Andrews

Here are Top 10 Exercise Moves to Make You 10 Years Younger

Prevention is always the best cure, and by adopting 10 simple anti-aging exercises into a functional fitness routine to increase your strength, flexibility and heart health, you can reverse your age by ten years. These exercises target areas of the body that frequently suffer painful and debilitating degeneration if not properly stimulated -- especially knees, hips and shoulders.

A recent study conducted at the Lausanne University in Switzerland entitled "The Exercise -- Anti-Aging Connection" firmly concludes that "Regular physical exercise is a cornerstone in the anti-aging game."  Other studies prove that your cells actually get younger with exercise and it's a lot less expensive than plastic surgery!

  1. Toe Touches - Lift your arms above your head and slowly bring them down in a graceful arc until you touch your toes. Hold for 10 seconds. This helps you to increase and maintain your range of motion so you continue to bend down without pain. Repeat this exercise to increase the range of motion in your spine and legs.
  2. Balance Exercises - Lift your arms above your head again, but this time rise up on your tip toes and stretch up as far as possible. Hold for 5 seconds. Gradually lower your arms to shoulder level while finding your center of balance. Then slowly lower your arms as you sink down on your heels. Repeat until you feel centered. This will help you maintain your inner balance and avoid accidental falls.
  3. Shoulder Stretches - Stand up straight and extend your arms behind your back. Clasp your hands behind your back. By 'unlocking' the muscles in your shoulders, you have more flexibility to reach high shelves and remove objects without causing strain.
  4. Hip Circumduction - Put your hands behind your back and stand on one foot while you raise the other a few inches and point it forward. Slowly rotate your foot in a circular motion. Stand on both feet again, then repeat the motion with the other foot. This strengthens the muscles that surround your hips to help protect against hip fractures.
  5. Squats - With your hands extended straight out, do some simple squats to strengthen your torso muscles and improve your balance so you can easily get in and out of cars.
  6. Resistance - Place your hands against a wall and lean your body at an angle while on your tip toes. Feel your calf muscles and your upper body strengthen. This resistance helps to strengthens bones against osteoporosis.
  7. Shoulder Stretch - Rotate your shoulders in a circular motion to increase lubricant in your joints and decrease joint pain.
  8. Tricep Extensions - Sit up straight in a chair, place your hands on the arm rests lift yourself up 15x to increase your upper body strength.
  9. Plyometric exercises - Stand on one leg with arms slightly behind your body. Propel your body up as high as possible, reaching up your arms and springing from your legs. Perform 3 times in rapid succession, then lower your foot and repeat on the other side. This "Michael Jordan" move creates the kind of explosive energy boost that maintains the muscle power that we lose as we age and is good for carrying suitcases.
  10. Core muscles - Now that all the outer muscles are warmed up and flexible, it is important to set the 'core muscles' that support your body's framework. Stand up very straight with your feel planted firmly on the ground. Contract your abdomen by imagining you are drawing your belly button down to the base of your spine. Once you have the bottom muscles set, imagine there is a cord coming from the center of your chest pulling your breastbone up. Naturally allow your shoulders to fall back as you look up. Breathe normally while you hold this position and tighten all of your outer muscles around your core muscles. Maintain full body tension as long as possible, then relax them all at once. Repeat numerous times, noticing how your body tightens a little more with each repetition.

Once you have completed your routine, rest for a moment and allow your heart rate to return to normal. Also drink a glass of water to help remove any toxins that your body naturally releases when exercising to further enhance the anti-aging effects of your functional fitness.

 

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

How to Stop Diabetes Now!

by Suzanne Andrews

Do you ever feel like you're the main character of a country and western song? Your rent is overdue, you hate your job, the truck broke down and now your doctor says you've got diabetes. Yee-Haw! No wonder we are stressed to the max.

Just to clarify- bear with me here - your body communicates with itself using chemical messengers called hormones. Several organs in the brain and body produce hormones that flow to other organs through the blood where these messages are received and the corresponding organ responds by producing another hormone that fixes a problem detected by sensors in your nervous system that alerted the brain in the first place.

Insulin is a hormone. It chemically dissolves sugar molecules in the blood so that they can be converted into the energy that powers the heart, organs and muscles.
Diabetes comes in two types. Type one is usually hereditary. The autoimmune system in your body goes haywire and attacks the cells in your pancreas that produce a hormone called insulin. Without the sugars being broken down you won't have much energy.

Type two diabetes is caused by the pancreas not producing enough insulin hormone even though the brain keeps signaling it to. If you have a faulty pancreas you are at a higher risk of type two diabetes and need to take steps now to not aggravate the situation. It is unfortunate to have either type one or type 2 diabetes, but if you have type 2, you are at an advantage because you can actually stop diabetes from attacking your body by implementing your own plan of attack. But first I'll explain why it is so vital that you pledge to take charge of your health from this day forward.  And because this is a serious disease that I treat in rehab therapy on a daily basis, I'm not going to beat around the bush because lives are at stake!  If I can help you know the facts, maybe I can help you.

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blood vessel disease and heart disease giving you two to four times higher a chance of dying from heart disease. Another shocking fact is that people with diabetes have a sixty percent higher chance of having one or both limbs amputated!

Thirty minutes of exercise a day is vital for your health and survival. Exercising with diabetes literally gives your body physical medicine as working out with diabetes actually helps to stabilize your blood sugar. Your body also has receptors in them and if you are overweight, the receptors that help normalize your blood sugars don't work properly. So weight loss and increased activity is a must. 

Own Your Copy of Stop Diabetes Now!

The Benefit of Physical Medicine?  

Side effects include more energy, stable blood sugar, improved circulation, longer lifespan and you get to keep your legs. In the case of diabetes, it really is use it or lose it. As an occupational therapy practitioner, I often find the biggest challenge is motivating my patients with diabetes to exercise. Sadly some don't take the advice and eventually I am called upon to teach them how to use a sliding board transfer from their wheelchair to their bed because they no longer have legs. Use your arms, use your legs, and get your circulation going!  I know this may not sound pretty, but it is heart breaking to see people who could have saved their legs if only they used them while they still had them.

Diabetes is a silent killer and slowly attacks your body without you even realizing it. When diabetes advances even further, you can lose your eyesight. The choice is so simple. Eat right and exercise. Make sure to choose exercises that don't involve isometric movement - these are exercises where you tense up a muscle and don't move your joint. Whether you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, a fitness and nutrition plan is crucial.

If you have pre-diabetes you can make the right choice now to to not be one of the 800,000 new cases diagnosed in the US each year. That's 91 people every hour. The more you exercise with diabetes, the less dependent your muscles are on insulin, so even if your pancreas isn't producing much, that's OK, it doesn't need to. Working out when you have diabetes keeps your blood sugar and body in balance. Since exercise controls diabetes from attacking your body, exercise is a must when you have diabetes. I've never had a patient tell me they enjoy their blindness or amputation. But after you work out, you feel good!  And you deserve to feel good. Just make sure that your blood sugar isn't under 100 when you workout. 

So keep your mind on the bright side of things and don't become the subject of a sad country and western tune. You can live a full and active life after all. Yee haw! 

Healthiest blessings,   

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

Ease Arthritis Pain

by Suzanne Andrews

 5 Ways Water Aerobics Eases Arthritis Pain

Water aerobics are one of the best ways to ease arthritis pain with benefits lasting long after you’ve completed your water aerobics session. If exercising on land is difficult for you due to joint pain, water aerobics are the perfect way to gain muscle strength without having to worry about excess pressure on hurting joints. Listed below are five ways that water aerobics ease arthritis pain.

  1. Water Provides a Cushion

    Simply being in water for Water Aerobics provides a cushion for fragile bones and joints affected by arthritis. Most water aerobics are done when you are immersed in water to your waist and at that level of water your body will be bearing only 50% of its weight. The buoyancy of water allows movement with less pain than traditional out-of-the-water exercise for joints and muscles stiffened from arthritis.

  1. Water Decreases Swelling and Soothes Stiff Joints

    Nothing feels as good as something warm on stiff joints and water not only provides that soothing relief but it can also relax sore muscles, decrease joint swelling and provide comfort when exercising is difficult and painful. Pools heated from the summer sun are an enjoyable way to ease arthritis pain as you can experience immediate relief in the water. Performing water exercise in a pool that is between approximately 82 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for pain relief. Heated pools can do for your whole body what other forms of heat can only do for specific areas to which it is applied. Warm water provides the ideal environment to do exercises that a person with arthritis might not normally do.

  2. Water Is Less Stressful

    Water Aerobics provides an environment for exercise that decreases the stress on painful joints compromised by arthritis. Some people have referred to water aerobics as "floating traction" as it stretches, loosens and flexes joints in ways that would be impossible if they were not in water. During water aerobics, painful joints are relieved and their range of motion and flexibility are increased. All these difficulties make living with arthritis painful but with water aerobics they can be dealt with in an environment that accommodates each individual's fitness and health.

  3. Water Builds Up

    Water Aerobic exercise works all the muscles at the same time and increases the cardiovascular endurance without the impact on your body of traditional aerobic exercises on land. Being immersed to your waist, upper torso or neck increases the return of blood flow to the heart from the extremities. Increased blood circulation to the joints and muscles facilitates recovery and strength-building, all of which can lead to a less painful life with arthritis.

  4. Water Workouts Burns Calories

    Swimming, water aerobics, and water walking all contribute to weight loss. Losing weight can help reduce the impact of daily living on painful joints due to arthritis and lead to less pain. Water aerobics reduces swelling due to increased circulation from the low-impact movements that exercising in water allows, leaving the painful areas free of stiffness and swelling, which in turn relieves the friction that causes pain in joints.

If you have arthritis, what are you waiting for?  Make a dash to splash in a pool and start relieving your arthritis pain!

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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