Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews

Posts in the Weekly Blog category

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.

Tips to Keep Going

by Suzanne Andrews

I Start Working Out, but keep Stopping and Re-Starting – Any Tips to Keep Going? 

Staying or getting in shape isn’t always easy.  Whether you’re beginning or beginning again, here’s an inspiring behind the scenes story filming my last DVD, to help you keep going when the going gets tough!

Scary turbulent plane ride, brutal weather, computer crashes, my series producer, Glenn Poyer, recounts the harrowing behind the scenes events filming Arthritis Relief Walking Workout… 

When Suzanne Andrews read Amazon’s Vine Voice five star review (by Deborah Broadhurst) of Arthritis Walking Workout, tears of joy streamed down her face, as it was the realization of a dream 10 years in the making – “one that had been diverted many times,” says Suzanne, who consulted with several doctors during the six month writing and research process that goes into each and every Suzanne Andrews Functional Fitness DVDs. “There were two, maybe three times that this walking program never got made.”

As happy and motivating Suzanne Andrews seems in Arthritis Walking Workout, you’d never suspect the founder of Functional Fitness on Public Television just completed one of the most harrowing projects of her career.  Sure, Arthritis Walking Workout, based on medically proven movements to ease arthritis pain, was shot at the most beautiful gardens in North America, the Butchart Gardens, with an exquisite plethora of flowers in the background, giving the viewer the image of serenity. But getting there was just the beginning of harrowing moves you don’t see on the DVD.

Before we were about to leave, Suzanne had a major accident while preventing a patient from literally getting crushed to death. The patient was OK but the 400 pound impact tore Suzanne’s rotator cuffs, leaving her with 0 function.  She couldn’t even lift her arms, dress, or wash her hair so how was she going to film a fitness video? After emergency surgery, she did three hours of therapy a day in excruciating pain.  It took one year to go from not being able to lift her arm at all to regaining 99% function.

During recovery, Suzanne interviewed many doctors for the project.  Because all the doctors mentioned reducing stress retards arthritis symptoms, Suzanne travelled 4000 air turbulent miles to add a stress releasing atmosphere to the workouts. A trip that should have lasted seven hours turned into twenty five harrowing hours!

Arriving just hours before the hair and make-up call time of 4 AM, the crew awoke sleep deprived to an atypical bitter cold rainy day for summer weather. Graham Bell, Public Relations director at the gardens, came to the rescue by providing umbrellas to protect the specialized light weight professional cameras that took three years of savings.   Suzanne Andrews, who is susceptible to the cold due to a thryoid disorder, kept moving - even in between takes - to stay warm. After continuous takes of three (8) hour days to film the two workouts (imagine exercising for 8 hours straight!) and six months of editing,  the finished editions went to our presenting Public Television Station to receive frame by frame scrutiny from the program director and the station engineer. Suzanne anxiously awaited their constructive critique. After one particularly long day of treating rehab patients, Suzanne opened up her email and began shaking.  The episodes were rejected. People were in the background and the station would not accept the film that way. After the initial shock, a serious problem solving session ensued and after another 4 weeks of specialized editing, the people in the background vanished.

The workouts were finally ready to be sent for DVD mastering and the unthinkable happened – the external hard drive with the entire edited workouts crashed.  All that hard work - gone! What to do? Were the raw clips on another hard drive? A huge sigh of relief.  All the raw clips were on another hard drive. The editing process began once again. The end result? A high production broadcast quality DVD featuring two walk workouts in the most beautiful garden in North America.

To say we are thrilled to introduce Arthritis Relief Walking Workout is an understatement. Getting a 5 star review makes us want to do the happy dance!

Have you gone through a tough time in your life?  How did you get through it?  Leave a comment and together, we can help each other get in the best shape ever!

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 | | fitness, Functional Fitness, goals, Motivation, story, Suzanne Andrews, Weekly Blog | Read more

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.

I Want to Lose Weight ‘But’ How Do I Overcome My Genetics?

by Suzanne Andrews

I Want to Lose Weight ‘But’ How Do I Overcome My Genetics?

If you want to get into a smaller pair of jeans with the genes you’ve got, this ‘visualization technique’ shows you how!

 Are these the excuses that keep you from losing weight?

  • “Both of my parents had weight issues, so there is nothing I can do about it.
  • “It isn’t my fault, it’s just genetic.”
  • “My family has a history of low metabolism making it hard for us to lose weight, so why exercise?”

Great news! Recent research suggests that obesity is not genetic but learned behavior.  (Being 30 pounds overweight is considered obese). Genetics only play a part in how we react to the environment, not how much food we eat or how much exercise we do.

Each of us chooses whether or not to have just one more cookie or to say yes when asked, “Would you like to supersize that?” We choose whether or not to drive to the corner bakery for a donut or whether we walk to the park. That, of course, is not to say you should blame yourself or beat yourself up over the extra weight. Every single person makes mistakes and has weaknesses.  I’ll be the first to admit my weaknesses are ice cream and chocolate! 

When my husband comes home with ice cream, I melt. It is more difficult to start a fitness routine when your family’s behavioral inclinations have affected you. Daughters of obese mothers are ten times more likely to be obese, and sons of obese fathers are six times more likely. It is not easy to break the behavioral pattern, but you can move beyond that. Who knows, maybe once you start exercising and are fit, others in your family will come to believe that they can do it too. Set a good example for your family and prove to them that none of you are stuck being overweight. How? Consider any famous athlete, like the golfer, Tiger Woods whose ability to visualize exactly what he must do each time he swings his club is paramount to being the greatest golfer of our time.

  

Visualization Weight Loss Technique

  • Close your eyes and visualize yourself at your goal weight while inhaling deep breaths in through your nose and exhaling out your mouth.
  • Visualize what outfit are you wearing? Continue visualizing as you focus on slow, relaxing breathing exercises.  (If you have a thyroid disorder, the breathing exercises help to boost your metabolism).
  • Now visualize an event you are attending as the slim you. How do you feel?

 Do each step for one minute every day.

 It may be that your particular genetics do in fact make you more susceptible to conditions that cause weight gain to be more likely. Hashimoto’s Disease is one example. (See last week’s blog to learn more).  If you believe you suffer from a genuine medical condition that is associated with weight problems, then get a physician’s advice. Once you are treating the condition, start exercising consistently. With the combination of treatment and exercise, you will be feeling like your younger self in no time and change the course of your life.

Take the next step now with Beginners Dynamic Yoga: Release Stress and Lose Weight where you’ll learn the same guided visualization techniques Suzanne Andrews used to motivate her to shed 60 pounds of stubborn fat!

 

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

Overcome Weight Loss Resistance!

by Suzanne Andrews

Have you tried to get the weight off and it just won't budge? I can relate.  I was sixty pounds overweight and still have to watch it or the pounds pack on.  Recently, my weight had been creeping up and I just couldn’t understand why. I’ve been doing what I always do; Functional Fitness combined with sensible eating. After six months of really trying, I decided enough was enough, it was time to visit the doctor and so I went to the endocrinologist. Thank goodness I went and wish I’d gone sooner. Could you have the disease that causes weight loss resistance? Physician’s Assistant, Kimberly Shapiro reveals some surprising reasons you’re struggling to lose weight and when to see your doctor.

  

  If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t give up!  Here’s another important reason to lose weight.

 Fat tissue creates chronic inflammation in your cells. The more excessive adipose tissue (fat) you carry, the higher the level of inflammation and the lower your immune system will be. Fat makes you older.  Aging is not a disease. Aging is damage to your body cells. When you take in more than you burn off, you’re feeding age damaging fat cells to your body. Stress ages your body as well.  That’s why the first thing you should do is find a way to release stress.  For me yoga was the first step.  At sixty pounds overweight, I needed a yoga that didn’t involve contorting into a pretzel and that’s how Beginners Dynamic Yoga for Stress Release and Weight Loss was developed.  It’s the first step to getting the weight off.  Tune in next week for the second step and you’ll be looking and feeling younger!  Do you have a special event you want to look and feel younger for? Let me know.  I’ll help you get there! 

 Healthiest blessings,

 Suzanne Andrews

 Suzanne Andrews is a licensed Occupational Therapy Clinician with 30 years exercise expertise. Airing to over 49 million on Public Television, Suzanne Andrews, a licensed Occupational Therapy Clinician, (they specialize in function) creates evidenced based fitness programs for specific health conditions. Originally created in 2008 with it’s first run on WDSC TV, Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews broadcasts on 113 Public Television stations.

By Collage Video | | exercise, fitness, Functional Fitness, Suzanne Andrews, tips, Weekly Blog | Read more

Help! I Want to Exercise, “But” I Lose Motivation!

by Suzanne Andrews

How to Get and Stay Motivated!

Left to right: Suzanne Andrews, Glenn Poyer, Alina Z.

 

 If you let a "but" get in the way of losing your "butt," you won't get far towards meeting your weight and fitness goals.  My clients often confide, "Every time I start an exercise program, I lose motivation after a couple weeks."  It's not that these individuals don't know how to exercise - they do. "If only I could keep motivated," these people say, "I could really get my body into the shape I deserve." Such a common problem needs a common solution, and "get over it and get to the gym" doesn't really cut it in this sort of situation.

The truth is that motivation is not something anyone can give to you. Even the most motivating coach cannot make a team play well if the team won’t co-operate. You have to unlock the ability to motivate yourself and that begins with your attitude. If you are filling up your mind thinking about your lack of motivation, you sure aren’t going to get any better. Stop using motivation as an excuse and start telling yourself it doesn’t matter. The health of your body shouldn’t be punished because you are not motivated.   Exercise anyway. You don’t have to be motivated to do some sit-ups or go for a walk. You just have to be willing to do it. Motivation is not about willpower, it’s about want power. What do you want? Weight Loss? More Energy? Better Health. Once you start exercising, you will feel better and then you’ll feel motivated.

The word "Motivation" comes from the Latin verb "Moveo," to move. When trying to get in shape, this takes on a double meaning: you must move yourself internally in order to moves yourself externally, putting yourself into a position to be able to lose weight and get your life on track. The trick is knowing all the benefits and reasons to get up and get moving, then making yourself find a way to feel like doing what you already know is possible.

Motivation comes from within you.  It  can't be imposed from someone standing outside you barking to run faster and harder (well, except in the case of a personal trainer, where it's easy to find motivation from the simple and direct orders of the person you're paying to make sure you work out). Even with the best trainer, you may find that there are days when you just don't want to get out of bed and go to the gym. How can you solve this problem and motivate yourself to take your exercise and fitness seriously?

The first step is to stop using motivation as an excuse, and start telling yourself that whether you "feel" like working out or not doesn't matter. So what if you're not "inspired" to exercise, not motivated to get your heart pumping? Do you think every famous actor or athlete is motivated to get up every day and do their job? (Hint: Are you motivated to go to yours, every day?) The answer is no, they're not. But it doesn't matter. Your health is like a job. Do it poorly and you’ll be terminated. Do it well and you’ll be rewarded.  

The reward is a body that's in great shape, feels healthy and saves you money on medical expenses. Being a healthcare clinician affords me a unique perspective into the health choices people make.   60% of deaths comes from lifestyle diseases!

It doesn't matter if you're motivated to exercise. Nine times out of ten by the time you start working out, the natural endorphins your brain releases will do the job of making you feel motivated, healthy, and excited about the workout you've undertaken. You'll be surprised at how quickly you start to feel the natural endorphins released by exercise. But just like a professional in any field, you can't wait around to be inspired to produce exercise. You're not working toward a paycheck in this situation, you're working toward the most important resource you have in life - your body.

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 | | cardio, exercise, fitness, practice, Suzanne Andrews, tips, Weekly Blog | Read more

I love working out in the water “But” isn’t that for little old ladies?

by Suzanne Andrews

Just how old is a little old lady, anyway? When I was 15, I would have thought that the age I am now is a little old lady!  I’ve met people at 30 who were older than their years and people at 80 who were younger than their years. Age is a state of mind and you can be as young as you want if you take care of yourself.  However, as we get older, it’s important to modify your workout to prevent injuries.  Whatever your age, you can get an amazing workout in the water and burn 500 calories in an hour with the correct water jogging technique. Even if you have arthritis, the water’s buoyancy allows you to get into the fat burning zone with the simple techniques demonstrated in this weeks vlog. 

Order your copy of Suzanne Andrews' Arthritis Water Therapy Workout here

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 | | exercise, fitness, Suzanne Andrews, tips, Weekly Blog | Read more

I Want To Work Out BUT My Joints Hurt Too Much

by Suzanne Andrews

3 Things You Must Avoid with Arthritis

If you feel you just have to live with arthritis pain or you feel your only alternative to alleviating painful joint stiffness is expensive arthritis medicine, watch the video to hear Dr. Margaret Chang, explain three things you must never do if you have arthritis and a medically proven natural treatment option that is right under your feet! 

Purchase your copy of Suzanne Andrews' Arthritis Water Therapy here

Suzanne Andrews is a licensed Occupational Therapy Clinician with 30 years exercise expertise. Airing to over 49 million on Public Television, Suzanne Andrews, a licensed Occupational Therapy Clinician, (they specialize in function) creates evidenced based fitness programs for specific health conditions. Originally created in 2008 with it’s first run on WDSC TV, Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews broadcasts on 113 Public Television stations.

How Fit Are Your Abs?

by Suzanne Andrews

I Want Stronger Abs, But Don't Know Where to Start?

How Fit Are Your Abs? Take the Women's 60 Second Ab Test! (For Women 36 years+). If you've been told not to do sit ups because you have osteoporosis, check out the modified version of the sit up test!


You can get Younger Muscles , Younger Joints and a Healthier Heart in 30 Days with Suzanne Andrews Functional Fitness Younger in 30 Days DVD! Start today for a younger you tomorrow!

Healthiest blessings,

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

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