Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews

Posts in the Weekly Blog category

I Want to Wear Shorts, BUT I’m too Embarrassed Because of Varicose Veins.

by Suzanne Andrews

Get Beautiful Legs This Summer by Doing This!

Walking increases circulation and helps eliminate and protect from varicose veins.  Make sure to follow these tips for best results!

Start Off Slow and Increase as Tolerated

If you’re just beginning a walking workout start with a 15 minute walk and increase by 5 minutes every week.  As the walk becomes easier, add light hand weights and you’ll strengthen muscles that support your joints and increase circulation to your legs which helps to reduce varicose veins.

Wear Good Fitting Shoes

Wear good fitting shoes with solid support that allow you to walk from heel to toe.  Stiff shoes or old worn out shoes can cause you to have improper gait and that can cause head to toe joint pain.  As a general rule, replace your shoes every 6 months.

Integrate Breathing Exercises into Your Walk

Your body loves oxygen. The more oxygen you take in the healthier you get. Your heart is a muscle and pumps nourishing blood to your legs. When you put your heart to work it gets larger and stronger just like a bicep in your arm when lifting weights. Arthritis Walking Workout specially designed moves makes your heart pump more oxygen enriched blood to your legs even when you are at rest.

Elevate Your Legs

When you’re resting make sure to elevate your legs above your heart by placing a pillow under them.

Compression Stockings

Wear compression stockings to help reduce edema (swelling).

Make sure to check back next Thursday to learn the best exercises to get rid of flabby bat wing arms! 

Feel and look fabulous with Suzanne Andrews Arthritis Relief Walking Workout. Reap the benefits of weight loss, stronger shapelier legs and a firmer belly in just 30 days.  Excellent workout for middle age to seniors that can be done sitting or standing with the most beautiful scenery in a walking DVD ever!

*(This is not intended as a replacement for medical guidance. Any advice given here does not constitute a patient - practitioner relationship with Suzanne Andrews. See your doctor for medical advice). 

By Collage Video | | Functional Fitness, goals, 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.

I Want to Feel Younger, BUT I Look So Old Every Time I Look in the Mirror.

by Suzanne Andrews

30 Ways to be Ten Years Younger in 30 Days Plan

Ever see a woman who is the exact same age as you and wonder how does she look so much younger? Look and feel younger by making small but significant changes during the next thirty days. You could even eat, drink, exercise, and relax a decade away!

Day 1- Drink six to eight glasses of water each day. Hydrate skin, nourish it, and prevent wrinkles.

Day 2- Stretch and strengthen your legs. Doing calf raises and tiptoe walking every other day improves circulation and prevents spider veins.

Day 3- Incorporate upper-body exercises. Lift mini dumbbells, and stretch back muscles for better posture.

Day 4- Work your abs five days a week. Sit-ups enhance blood flow to vital organs, repairing tissue damage.

Day 5- High impact aerobics hurts your joints. Add low impact aerobic exercise to keep your heart and lungs youthful and fit.

Day 6- Choose activities that enhance brain power.  Taking a new class sharpens memory and increases attention span.

Day 7- Use diaphragmatic breathing. Inhale through your nose so debris and pollutants are filtered from the air. Make your belly rise, and then fall slowly, exhaling through pursed lips. Relaxed breathing decreases levels of stress hormones that accelerate aging.

Day 8- Eat baked, broiled, or grilled salmon two times per week. Its omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins combat disease-causing free radicals.

Day 9- Try colorful vegetables. Dr. Roy Vartabedian, author of “Nutripoints,” and the nutrition doctor for my PBS show, Functional Fitness, recommends spinach, broccoli and romaine lettuce daily with lunch and dinner. Dark green vegetables have cancer-fighting properties and vitamin C to boost your immune system. Tomatoes are also on this “fighter veggies” list.

Day 10- Have fruit with each meal. Dr Vartabedian suggests cantaloupe, guava, and papaya. These also combat the cell damage that causes premature aging.

Day 11- Add whole grains to breakfast. Wheat bran and wheat germ also contain youth-preserving antioxidants. Their carbohydrates and fiber boost energy.

Day 12- Serve legumes. Rich with those age-resisting antioxidants, peas, lentils, and many beans also deliver steady energy.

Day 13- Which milk? Trade whole for low fat to eliminate 20 calories and 3g of fat per serving Drink skim and cut out 35 calories while eliminating 7.5 fat grams. Keep your figure young!

Day 14- Undress chicken. Bake or roast it, and remove the skin. Less fat on the plate means less plaque in your youthful arteries.

Day 15- Which tuna? Choose water-packed. Get all the antioxidants without the fat.

Day 16- Which bread? Reduced-calorie whole wheat beats plain white. Get antioxidants, an energy burst from fiber, and fewer calories.

Day 17- Vary your exercise. Don’t let your body get too comfortable with a routine. Change it every few months to benefit most.

Day 18- Smile! It takes years off of your face. And it extends life by reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, and improving mood.

Day 19- Meditate. Breathe gently and concentrate. Quiet your mind and rejuvenate your body.

Day 20- Go on a date. Laugh. Enjoying good company fortifies your youthful outlook.

Day 21- Watch a funny movie. Laughing massages abdominal muscles, gives lungs a mini-workout, and triggers the release pain-relieving endorphins.

Day 22- Treat yourself. Antioxidants called flavonoids in a three-ounce portion of dark chocolate preserve memory, lower blood pressure, reduce LDL cholesterol, and enhance mood.

Day 23- Drink five ounces of red wine or grape juice daily. Red grapes contain an especially potent antioxidant called Activin, which could combat many age-related diseases.

Day 24- Take a hot bath. Light candles. Play relaxing music. Revitalize your skin and replenish your energy.

Day 25- Choose a hobby. Focus your mind, and enjoy yourself. A steady supply of fun keeps you feeling young.

Day 26- Get fit! Obesity can age you as much as 20 years.

Day 27- Stimulate your brain. Hone your thinking skills doing puzzles, learning a new language, or taking a class.

Day 28- See an anti-aging doctor. Have your hormones checked. Boost libido and renew your intimate relationship by correcting imbalances.

Day 29- Choose the best time for daily exercise. Re-evaluate as needed, and follow your plan.

Day 30- Keep up the responsibilities of your youthful lifestyle. You ARE your best “health care plan.”

Take the Younger in 30 Days Challenge with Suzanne Andrews Younger in 30 Days DVD that includes 3 workouts for younger, limber joints, stronger muscles and youthful energy.  Start today for a younger you in 30 Days!

I Want To Exercise BUT I Don’t Have Money for a Gym or DVD

by Suzanne Andrews

What is Your Health Really Costing You?

We often think of medical expenses at a time when we are least capable of coping with them - when we're sick. With healthcare costs increasing as we age, the sooner we plan for our health, the sooner we'll start saving more money.  According to the National Foundation for anti-aging, "most aging is premature." Poor posture, low energy, brittle bones are not aging, but a disease.  Most of my patients with complex medical problems end up needing care as a result of an actual medical diagnoses called, “Generalized Weakness,” leading to frailness and aging at a much faster rate.

According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a woman retiring at 65 and living until 85 means she'll need $88k to $146k for insurance premiums and out of pocket expenses.  So what does this have to do with you if you’re younger than retirement age? 

Nearly 70% of what is wrong with us can be avoided by changing daily habits!

By incorporating healthy lifestyle choices, you will save hours, days and months in the doctor’s office, hospital and/or operating room. 

By 2030, 40.5% of the US population is projected to have some form of Cardio Vascular Disease. Between 2010 and 2030, total direct medical costs of Cardio Vascular Disease are projected to triple, from $273 billion to $818 billion. Real indirect costs (due to lost productivity) are estimated to increase from $172 billion in 2010 to $276 billion in 2030, an increase of 61%. 

My patients often say they can’t afford a $45.00 a month gym membership, more expensive but leaner cut of meat or a $19.99 Functional Fitness DVD.  These same people think nothing about spending $200.00 – $400.00 a month eating out.  All that money literally flushed down the toilet!    I’m not saying it’s all totally avoidable, but nearly 70% of what is wrong with us can be avoided by changing daily habits. Your daily actions are your best health care plan.  

Health is accumulative.  How you treat your body today affects your life tomorrow.  You are working long and hard for your retirement and you can't afford to lose it all to overeating and a sedentary lifestyle.  So next time you are thinking you can’t afford it, change your mindset to, “I can’t afford not to workout.”

In her newest DVD, Arthritis Relief Walking Workout, licensed Occupational Therapy Clinician, Suzanne Andrews, guides you to make the change and live the richness of life as it was intended:  one of balance, joy, pleasure and the new exquisite awareness of who you truly are – a fully functioning adult with a life of abundant energy, functional strength and restored balance ahead of you.  

Start today, save the $105.00 weekly co-pay with a Functional Fitness DVD and Suzanne Andrews will be with you every step of the way!

I Want to Work Out "BUT" I Have Osteoporosis

All of us are at risk for osteoporosis and there are simple things you can do to help prevent this debilitating disease. Studies prove that resistance exercises can reduce the risk of fractures by almost three times. Since people who have osteoporosis are more susceptible to fractures, prevention is your best plan of action. Weight bearing exercises help stimulate osteoblasts. (They are the cells responsible for bone matter formation). If you have osteoporosis strengthening your bones is vital to reduce your risk of fractures. But how do you know which exercises are safe and what movements can actually break a bone?
What I want you to remember when working out is no BLT. And I don't mean the sandwich. 
Three Things You Should Never Do With Osteoporosis
No...
1. Bending
2. Lifting
3. Twisting your spine.  
This means no sit ups, side bends or spinal twists.  
Your bones undergo a great deal of changes throughout your life. To keep them functioning at their best, schedule a certain time every day to take care of you with weighted exercises and a calcium rich diet that will help you hold up the rest of your world.
Healthiest Blessings,
Suzanne Andrews

I want to exercise BUT I feel like I’m too old

by Suzanne Andrews

Reverse Age with Exercise- the How, What and Why!

When I was born, coke was a soft drink, and weed was something you removed from your flower beds.

I was born before color television, automatic dishwashers – and lucky for me –the birth control pill.  My, how time flies! Yes I’ve dedicated my life to fitness, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel like Frankenstein’s bride when I get up in the morning.

We all have an angel on one side saying, “get up, get going, do the right thing."  On the other side is that little voice that says, “skip your workout, eat the donut, you can start your diet tomorrow.” How do I know?  My two sides argue every day.  I just have to make sure the angel wins most of the time.

We Baby Boomers don’t want to get old, but we do want to grow old by staying healthy and remaining functional.  And we should; the first of the baby boomers are now turning 65 and today's 50 year old will live on average to be 81.  So every day the 5,000 women and 5,000 men who turn 50 are beginning to realize what George Burns stated so eloquently, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.”

Many exercisers feel that the key to an effective workout is to try to move the body as quickly as possible. The thinking is that more movement leads to more energy consumption, which leads to fat loss and strength gaining. However, when it comes to looking and more importantly feeling younger, slower is often better.

The reason why slow weight lifting is much more effective than fast weight training is that the muscles are put in a state of contraction for longer. The muscles have to continually exert force in order to keep the weights in position. The more that muscles are placed in a position where they must bear weight, the more that the muscles are forced to adapt to this situation, causing your muscles and body to tone up much more quickly.

The muscles must be placed under enough strain so that they become fatigued. When this happens, they send signals to the rest of your body to strengthen the supporting muscles so they can avoid fatigue in the future. Lifting weights slower might seem easier, but it is actually more challenging and will tire most people out more quickly.

Those who develop more of their skeletal muscles will have the strength needed to get through the day and perform activities with greater ease. They will also have an improved lung capacity, a better heart rate, improved oxygen saturation and lower cholesterol. All of these factors, combined with the overall improvement in body tone, will make you feel younger!

I Want to Exercise, BUT How Can I With Arthritis Pain?

by Suzanne Andrews

We all know exercise is good for us. It allows us to feel younger, sleep better, and control our weight. Unfortunately joint pain as we age can leave you asking “I want to exercise, but how can I with arthritis pain?”

Why Functional Exercise Fights Joint Pain 

Joint pain can make everyday activities difficult. This may tempt you to sit still, but the throbbing, aches, and hurting can actually be reduced by movement. Lack of movement weakens supportive muscle and tissue surrounding your joints. As these weaken, stress is created on the joint. This stress causes more pain.
In addition, movement and exercise triggers a response by the synovial membranes to produce more synovial fluid. This oil-like substance keeps joints healthy through lubrication. Synovial fluid keeps the cartilage, the cushion between joints, from drying out so that they aren’t as achy. I tell my patients to imagine a raisin – all dried up and no moisture.  That’s what cartilage looks like in people who don’t exercise.  Now imagine a juicy plum, that’s your cartilage when you move. Age is not the only deciding factor to having younger joints – movement is.  As a rehab therapist, I’ve seen 40 year olds walk older than 90 year olds – all due to lack of movement. As a grandmother to a 16, 11 and 1 year old, I know exercise keeps you moving.   

How Walking and Strengthening Exercise Decreases Joint Pain

Even though painful and stiff joints make the thought of walking or enjoying moderate exercise seem impossible, these activities ease joint pain. Your first thought may be that exercise will only aggravate the joints that are already painful. In reality, a lack of walking and strengthening exercise will lead to more pain and stiffness. Functional Exercise makes you feel younger by allowing you to postpone or even eliminate surgical relief. As the strength builds and pain lessons, you’ll find you can once again do many activities you had removed from your life due to pain. You’ll end up looking and feeling much younger!

Check Out Suzanne Andrews Arthritis Workouts Available at Collage Video!

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

The Importance Of Breathing Exercises

by Suzanne Andrews

Q: I love your show and watch it regularly on my PBS channel, But Why Do You Include Breathing Exercises in all of Your Functional Fitness Workouts? 

Jenny P. Orlando, Florida

A: As seen in Suzanne Andrews Functional Fitness Arthritis Relief Walking Workout

If you're like many people, you've probably never given much thought to breathing.

It's just one of the body's natural functions, right? How could paying attention to your breathing possibly help you look younger, lose weight and ease joint pain?

The most powerful muscle for breathing, your diaphragm, is responsible for 75% of the volume of each breath you take.  In just one red blood cell, there are one billion oxygen molecules being transported throughout your entire body.

Diaphragmatic breathing increases your body's supply of oxygen, eliminating the brain's stress response... and by curbing stress, it sets the stage for effective weight loss, retards arthritis, and helps reduce wrinkles.

During an interview for Functional Fitness, Margaret Chang, MD revealed, “Stress causes cellular aging, stress prematurely ages the body, and ages the DNA in the cells of the body, so stress can retard the process of aging. Since osteoarthritis is a disease of aging, by retarding stress relief, you retard osteoarthritis as well.”

Now, lest you think that you have to spend your whole day in a sort of meditative trance, diaphragmatic breathing can be practiced anytime, anywhere.

1. Inhale through your nose for 2 counts like you’re smelling flowers.

2. Exhale through your mouth for 4 counts like you’re blowing out  your birthday candles. 

    Repeat three times whenever you feel stressed. Do you want to know how to look and feel younger – ask!

    Healthiest Blessings,

    Suzanne Andrews

    I Want to Lose Weight, BUT my Significant Other Sabotages My Weight Loss!

    by Suzanne Andrews

     

    Break the Relationship, Break the Weight!

    Pictures may say 1,000 words, but numbers speak volumes. Every sixty seconds a person dies from an obesity related cause. Studies show prolonged stress can actually cause you to gain weight and age much faster. I will never forget a life changing moment listening to my anatomy and physiology professor reveal the harmful effects of stress. In that instant, I knew my (now ex) husband was killing me. I lost 170 pounds in one day - by leaving him!

    You probably didn't know how much a stressful relationship can cause you to gain and retain weight. However, the science shows this is exactly what happens when you are under stress from a toxic relationship. For example, did you know that a stressful situation can raise your sugar levels as much as eating a candy bar? This means your blood sugar can rise massively each time you hear a belittling comment from your significant other.

    The stress in a toxic relationship also makes you crave comfort foods. This is a double blow to your weight loss goals. You will need to fight food cravings every time you have a negative experience with your partner. Additionally, a stressful home life with a partner often leads to insomnia. This lack of sleep will make food cravings difficult to avoid. It will also inhibit your body's ability to burn calories effectively.

    All of these factors cause additional problems over time. Most alarmingly, the stress from an unhealthy relationship can lead to heart disease. It can also contribute to breast, colon, and prostate cancer. Yikes!

    The answer is clear. You can lose weight by making a single choice in a single day. Break up with the heavy stress in your life today for a lighter life tomorrow.

    Have you had a stressful relationship that sabotaged your weight loss?  Leave your questions and comments. Looking forward to hearing from you!

    Healthiest blessings,

    Suzanne Andrews

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

    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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