Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews

Posts in the weight loss category

6 Steps to Weight Loss Over 50

by Suzanne Andrews

Has the dreaded "middle age spread" added inches to your waistline? If so, you're not alone. Sedentary jobs and slowing metabolisms cause many middle-aged individuals to gain weight.
It can be discouraging to find that the foods you ate in your youth without a second thought are now making the scale creep higher and higher. But you don't have to take it sitting down! Here are some effective weight loss tips for people over the age of 50.

   1. Skip the crash diets.
When you were younger, your hormones did a lot to keep you healthy. After the age of 50, you will need to focus on good nutrition to get the same effect. Avoid starving yourself or limiting your diet too strictly.

You need vitamins and minerals now more than ever. Eat a variety of colorful vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products.

Increase your fiber intake to at least 30 grams a day for optimal digestive health. Dehydration can lead to stiff joints, aches and pains, so make sure you're drinking 64 oz of water each day as well.

   2. Protect your bones.
Calcium deficiency can lead to a loss of bone density and full-blown osteoporosis. Generally Men and Women over 50 and men require 1,500 mg of calcium daily to stave off the loss of bone density. 

IMPORANT TIP:  Vitamin D is crucial for calcium absorption. Men over 50 and postmenopausal women require 400-800 i.u. of vitamin D every day. At the age of 65, this requirement increases to 600 - 800 i.u. per day.

   3. Combine cardio exercise with strength training.
Cardio exercise will strengthen your heart and lungs and keep your joints supple. Strength training exercises counteract muscle and bone deterioration, and can prevent fractures at vulnerable sites like the wrists and hips.
Ideally, adults over 50 should engage in weight-bearing cardio exercises, such as walking or dancing, for 20 - 30 minutes, 4 - 5 times a week. They should also do strength-training exercises 3 times a week.
The appropriate amount of exercise varies according to each individual's level of wellness and fitness. I find that starting my day with a workout sets me up to stay on course the rest of the day.  While it's not' always easy to get up early, the good health results are worth it. 
If you've been diagnosed with low bone mass (osteopenia), get your doctor's approval before doing exercises that require you to bend or twist your spine. That's why in the Get Stronger Bones DVD all the exercises are osteoporosis safe and done at the correct speed for building bone density.

 

   4. Take injuries seriously.
Injuries can affect anyone at any age, but older adults need to take steps to ensure that a simple strain doesn't turn into something more serious.
Exercise is an important part of a healthy weight loss routine, so you don't want an injury to keep you on the sidelines. Exercising too is not recommended and it doesn't produce the best results as your working momentum more than muscle!
If you experience acute pain during or after a workout, take a break and assess the injury. A strained muscle might require a few days of rest, massage, gentle stretching, and an anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen.
Sore joints might need rest, anti-inflammatory medicines ad  any bone injury should be looked at by a doctor. Also, if you have a disease that decreases your body's healing abilities or weakens your immune system, play it safe and go to your doctor for advice.

   5. Get plenty of rest.
Adequate sleep is important for many reasons. It allows your body to rest and renew itself, keeps stress hormones at a minimal level, and helps your muscles and joints
recover after a workout.
While insomnia is a common complaint among older people, it's not a normal part of the aging process.
If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, adding regular exercise to your daily routine can help. Daily exposure to sunlight has also been linked to improved sleep quality.
If you think you might need a sleep aid to help you sleep, try a natural alternative like yoga instead.  Yoga is great at helping people sleep better. Sleep aids make people forgetful and groggy the next day.

   6. Set realistic goals.
Weight loss is possible for people young and old, but the sad truth is that it might not happen as fast as you'd like once you reach a certain age.
Don't expect a rapid reduction in weight. Instead, set a goal of 1 pound per week. Keep a food and exercise journal to track the number of calories you consume and
burn each day.
If you're doing everything right and still not losing weight, talk to your doctor to find out if underlying health problems or medications could be interfering with your weight loss.

You can stop dieting, start eating and start living with Suzanne Andrews Functional Fitness DVDs!

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.

Baby Boomers: & Getting Fit

by Suzanne Andrews

If you're a baby boomer and practice a regular exercise routine, you're one of the twenty percent who do what the other eighty percent don't. If you're one of the eighty percent, you're about to find out several astounding motivational reasons to get a move on.

The number one reason you should exercise is people who do exercise don't need as many pills, machines, doctors, nurses, therapists, specialists, co-pays and prodders as people who don't exercise. If you don't like having all those hands on you at the airport, just wait until you get to the doctor's office. Eeesh!

Some biologists have said that aging has been programmed by evolution to avoid over population of the planet. By exercising you can decide to be one who sticks around longer and let somebody else de-populate for a change. From the age of 45-75 years with weekly adherence to a fitness program, a well preserved 65 year old can outperform a sedentary 25 year old.

As we get older, the tissues that comprise the heart, lungs, arteries and veins weaken. Exercising slows that deterioration by keeping higher levels of blood, oxygen and hormones flowing. Due to increased heart function, nutrients feed all your tissue cells so they can replace themselves instead of dying off and not being replaced.


A study was done for NASA in 1966 to find out the effects of prolonged space travel on humans. Five 20 year old men were assigned bed rest for 20 days. Their aerobic capacity was measured before and after the bed rest of 20 days. All experienced a dramatic loss in muscle tone and aerobic capacity. They became out of shape. After only 8 weeks of serious training all five were able to recover and even surpass their previous starting level of fitness. They got back into shape. Now if you are thinking "yeah, they were only twenty, I'm over fifty," the follow up study gives you food, or exercise, for thought.

The study was repeated 30 years later with the same five men now 50-51 years old. Baseline cardio and fitness levels were measured and were again assigned 20 days of bed rest to simulate "out of shape". Two entered a walking program, two did a jogging program and one chose bicycling. Their exercise programs were slowly increased to a level of intensity for 4 and 5 hours a week exactly like was done 30 years earlier for six months. Then it was time to re-measure their aerobic and cardiovascular fitness levels.

It is no surprise to report that all five middle aged subjects had restored their baseline fitness levels to what they were 30 years before as healthy 20 year olds. So if you think that exercise and fitness is for kids, think of yourself as a 20 year old with 45 years of experience!

Own Younger in 30 Days on DVD!

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.

A Healthier You

by Suzanne Andrews

'Hospital floor or gym floor - where would you rather be?' That's what I ask my non-compliant patients who don't want to do their exercise therapy to make themselves better. 

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, the sooner we plan for our health, the sooner we'll start planning a healthier life. That's what real health care is. The medical model we follow now is more like sick care. So what do we do as we face medical bills looming over us threatening to wipe out our savings?

According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute a man who retires at 65 can expect to live until 83. He will need to have around $65k to $109k in those years to cover insurance premiums and out of pocket expenses.

For women, the EBRI says retiring at 65 and living until 85 will mean she'll need $88k to $146k for insurance premiums and out of pocket expenses which works out to $366 to $608 a month. Both men and women will need these amounts on hand to provide a 50% chance of having enough to cover these expenses. If you're getting $1000 a month from Social Security these costs will eat up about 25% to 60% of those payments alone.

If you have managed to secure a considerable nest egg, good for you. If you haven't, it might be time get some part time work. Besides, retirement is boring. You know, all that rest and relaxation gets old pretty quick.

Here's a novel idea that can save you money on healthcare costs. According to the National Foundation for anti-aging, "most aging is premature." Poor posture, low energy, brittle bones are not aging, but a disease. Sitting around, also known as the Disuse Syndrome causes weakness, frailness and aging at a much faster rate. You can stay out of the health care merry-go-round much better with some good habits. And just how do you do that? Start an exercise program geared towards your needs, abilities or limitations. That means if you have limited mobility, seek seated exercise programs. If your knees are gone, ride a bike or do some gentle exercise programs. If you have asthma, don't take up hiking in the mountains. Start slow and take walks around the neighborhood. It's important to find something you enjoy because you're more likely to do it. The more you do it the healthier you get. If you have arthritis, do an exercise program especially for arthritis and limber up your joints and muscles.

Own Arthritis Relief Walking Workout!

You needn't strive to be an athlete. If you are just getting started, exercise will make you healthier. You'll have stronger muscles to lift things, denser bones to absorb shock from falls and a stronger heart to pump more blood and oxygen to all the organs in your body which makes them all work better. Pills, sometimes necessary, are not always an easy fix and can cause many undesirable side effects and mask the symptoms. Exercise can get to the root of the problem and eliminate the cause. There are countless examples of people who were taking a dozen pills a day that went down to 2, 3 or none a day because of regular exercise.

The healthier you are, the less likely it is you will have to employ the skills and costs of doctors, nurses, physical or occupational therapists and pharmacists for whatever ails you. They worked long and hard to acquire those skills and they can't afford to work cheap. You worked long and hard for your money and you can't afford to lose it all to Twinkies and watching TV. Planning for your health now is better than being a patient in a sick care plan.

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.

The Ultimate Green Smoothie

by Suzanne Andrews

Smoothies have been all the rage for quite some time, but are they really beneficial to dieters? 

Smoothies help dieters maintain hydration, provide more fiber and vitamins than most foods, and provide plenty of natural fructose, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  All of this comes in an easily-digestible form that delivers the nutrients quickly and efficiently.

Here is a delicious smoothie recipes that will help you start your morning with a burst of energy and keep feeling good all day long:

Green smoothies are packed with rejuvenating chlorophyll and antioxidants that kick the immune system into high gear.
This one delivers several servings of dark green veggies along with sweet-tasting fruits to please the palate. It also contains just enough healthy fat to help your body absorb and use the smoothie's many vitamins.

   What You'll Need:

  •   4 leaves of kale, de-stemmed 
  •   4 leaves of chard, de-stemmed 
  •   1/2  bunch of parsley 
  •   1 large aloe vera leaf 
  •   3 pears 
  •   1 ripe banana, peeled 
  •   1 avocado, peeled 
  •   3 cups of water

   Directions:

  1. Remove stems from kale and chard leaves.
  2. Peel banana and avocado. Remove seed from avocado
  3. Place ingredients in blender. Add 2 1/2 cups water.
  4. Blend for approximately two minutes, or until completely smooth.
  5. Drink and enjoy!

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

4 Water Exercise Tips for Weight Loss and Arthritis Relief

by Suzanne Andrews

 

Summer is almost here and we can begin to think about how we look in a bathing suit and how to treat your nagging arthritis symptoms at the same time!

The buoyancy of water supports a portion of your body weight putting less stress on your joints though still allowing for improvement of flexibility.

 

Here are some great water exercise tips to get you started:

  1. Water shoes provide safe traction on the pool floor. 
  1. Keep the water level at about waist to chest deep. 
  1. Move your Styrofoam weights, balls or noodles slowly through the water as this will provide less resistance than faster movements which can become too hard to do. 
  1. Webbed water gloves and flippers make great resistance tools for water exercise. 

You’ll likely never work up a sweat when in the pool but still have plenty of drinking water handy to minimize dehydration. 

Own Arthritis Water Therapy on DVD!

Water jogging, forward and side lunges and push ups on the pool steps are all great ways to treat arthritis symptoms at any level. 

To treat arthritis its important to do everything you can to stretch, use weighted resistance either in or out of the pool and be consistent. The body will conform to whatever forces you place upon it. That will translate into stronger muscles, flexible joints and reduced pain in all the places you’ve convinced yourself, “I’ll just have to live with.” It doesn’t have to be that way. So don’t be a big drip, get started today! 

Preview Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews’s Arthritis Water Therapy DVD/CD set on CollageVideo.com.

Suzanne Andrews, Occupational Therapy Practitioner

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.

Functional Fitness Tips & Motivations Now Posted!

Check out this week's Functional Fitness Motivational Moment!
Learn more Age Reversing & Weight Loss Tips every Thursday
here by Suzanne Andrews.

7 Weight Loss Mistakes that Stop You from Losing Weight

by Suzanne Andrews


 As any dieter knows, there is a lot of information floating around about diet and exercise - not all of it
good. The worst part is that some of the 'tips' you read can actually sabotage your weight loss and make you fatter!
 Let's separate fact from fiction and look at seven of the most common mistakes dieters make.

 

 

   Mistake #1: Cutting too much fat.

   Many dieters believe that the less fat they eat, the better. What they don't realize is that fats are important because they make us feel satiated. Fat is also digested rather slowly, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Eat too little of it, and you could find yourself snacking more frequently but feeling less satisfied.

   Plus, many fat-free foods contain a surprising amount of sugar to improve their flavor, and sugar can lead to even stronger cravings and weight gain.

   Instead of cutting all fat from your diet, try consuming moderate portions of heart-healthy fats like avocados, nuts, olive oil, reduced-fat dairy products, and salmon. These will fill you up without harming your health.

   Mistake #2: Cutting too many carbs.

   Like fats, carbs have a place in a healthy diet. If you dramatically cut your carb intake, you might notice a quick initial weight loss. This is water weight.    When your muscles store carbohydrates, they also store water. When you burn through these carbohydrate stores, you also secrete the extra water. The pounds you lose in this fashion will be quickly regained when you start eating carbohydrates again.

   Carbs are an important energy source. They also promote a sense of well-being. The secret is to eat a reasonable amount of complex carbohydrates like those found in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and beans.

   Avoid simple sugars like soda and candy. They are a source of empty calories and will only increase your cravings for more sweets.

   Mistake #3: Cutting too many calories.

   All weight loss boils down to one simple rule: you must burn more calories than you consume. You shouldn't overdo it, though. If you eat too little, your body will rebel by slowing down its metabolism and losing lean muscle mass.

   You can avoid this by eating a minimum of 1,200 calories each day. A weekly caloric deficit of 3,500 calories will result in the loss of one pound. If you don't eat enough, you risk setting yourself up for a hunger-induced binge.

Mistake #4: Avoiding dairy products.

   Dairy products have a bad reputation among dieters who consider them to be too high in fat and lactose. While it's true that too much whole milk and rich cheese can contribute to weight gain, there is ample evidence that low-fat dairy products are an excellent choice for dieters.

   Dairy products contain a hormone called calcitriol. This hormone tells your body to burn more fat and to convert less sugar to fat. Plus, the protein in dairy products helps you feel fuller longer. Try to consume three servings of low-fat dairy each day.

   Mistake #5: Following the latest fad.

   Nobody likes to fail at their diet, but some of the popular diet plans you read about in the headlines are simply unrealistic and unhealthy. I tried them ALL.  They are set up to fail.

   Who can live on a diet of lemonade and maple syrup? Who can be happy eating nothing but cabbage soup? Nobody, that's who. Stay away from diets that promote fast weight loss through radical means.

   The very best diet is a well-balanced eating plan that you can comfortably stick with for the rest of your life. If a diet is too drastic or unnatural, it's not a viable lifestyle choice. And if a diet says you will not have to exercise, that is simply not true.  Especially if you are over 40.  The metabolism slows down during the middle age to senior years and you must exercise to get your metabolism in the fat burning mode.

   Mistake #6: Using stimulants.

   Caffeine and ephedra are often touted as natural weight loss aids and hunger reducers. While these stimulants can make you feel less hungry, they can also cause high blood pressure, heart palpitations, and stress.

   When your body is stressed, it produces too much of the hormone cortisol, which causes your body to go into survival mode. While in this mode, your body sends out signals for you to eat more food, which it then stores as extra fat.

   Nobody needs stimulants to help them lose weight. Reduce your hunger by reducing the stress in your life and eating small, frequent, nutritious meals. That being said, I’m not saying to stop drinking coffee if you feel you must.  I admit, I have one cup every morning.  Everything in moderation, unless your doctor says otherwise. 

   Mistake #7: Avoiding strength-training exercises.

   Some dieters, particularly women, avoid strength-training because they don't want to "bulk up" and gain weight. This is unfortunate, because muscles speed up your metabolism. Strength training actually promotes fat loss and, like all exercise, helps your body release feel-good endorphins.

   Don't let the scale be your only measure of dieting success. Get a tape measure and keep track of the inches you lose when you add strength-training to your workouts.

Own Total Strength & Conditioning Workout

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 Often Should You Exercise to Lose Weight?

by Suzanne Andrews

 How would you like to transform your body and lose weight without living at the gym?

 When paired with a healthy diet, exercise is a crucial part of a successful weight loss regimen.

In fact, though diet is important, some experts believe that exercise is even more important when it comes to losing weight and warding off disease. The two main reasons being, when you exercise, the perspiration you produce cleanses toxins from your body. Second, your muscles continue to consume fat molecules (calories, fuel) well after you’ve stopped exercising.

So how much should a person exercise each day? Health benefits can be achieved with 20 to 30 minutes of low-impact cardio exercise, five times a week.

It’s a simple concept, you must consistently exercise every day because you eat every day. If you eat and don’t exercise, fat builds up and…you know the rest.

Just think, Michael Phelps the Olympic swimmer, would consume 12,000 calories a day during training. That’s 6 times more than our recommended daily intake which is about 1800 to 2000 calories. But look how thin he is. He torched nearly all fat content in his body from swimming literally miles a day. Exercising.

 But while some people exercise to lose weight, others simply want to improve their health and keep their joints flexible. Others want to get in peak condition for sports.

 In short, the amount of daily exercise you need depends on what your goals are.

 Exercising for weight loss

If you're exercising to lose weight, you might have to work up your daily activity to 45 minutes or even an hour.

 An example of a good weight loss routine would be 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio, like speed-walking integrated with strength training as shown here in Suzanne Andrews Arthritis Walking Workout DVD.

Full workout available HERE!

When you do strength-training, be sure to work different muscle groups each day so that each group has time to recover before you push it again. Example, groups from the waist-up one day, groups from the waist-down the next.

 Use lighter weights and more reps to develop lean, toned muscles and maintain a slender look. Use higher weights and fewer reps to build bulkier muscles for a thicker look. Ladies, no need to worry about getting bulging muscles, you don’t have the amount of testosterone in your body to develop the large muscles you see in body building competitions.

    Exercising for health.

Experts agree that just thirty minutes of low or medium impact aerobics five times a week is all that's needed to reduce the risk of certain diseases and promote longevity.

This can easily be obtained by going for walks after dinner, or riding a bicycle instead of driving your car for some of your daily errands.

If you're new to exercise, it's okay to start slow. Studies have shown that your body will benefit even if you have to break up the thirty minutes into smaller chunks throughout the day. Be sure to allow yourself time to achieve results. You didn’t fall into weakness and excess weight overnight so it won’t be overnight to get back to where you want to be.

The key is to get your heart rate up to a level that will strengthen your cardiovascular system. Again start slow and work your way up. It’s called exercise, not torture.

 A good rate of maximum heart rate is 70% for beginners, 80% for moderate and 85% for advanced. As a general rule, you can determine your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.

For example, a 40-year-old would have a maximum heart rate of 180. They would get the most benefit from maintaining a heart rate of 90 – 126 BPM while exercising. Walking is great, but it needs to be a brisk pace to induce increased heart rate and deeper breathing. A stroll through the mall is not going to  qualify.

Exception: If you’re on blood pressure medications, you need to check with your doctor what your target heart rate should be.

    Exercising for extreme fitness

    Some people train for two or more hours each day. These are typically experienced athletes who are already in good condition, but who want to shape their bodies into peak performance machines.

   This level of training is usually done for a few months and takes real dedication leading up to an athletic event. After the event, the athlete returns to a more normal workout routine.

   Before you start an extreme fitness regimen, speak with your doctor to make sure there are no underlying health concerns that could be made worse by such a routine. You’ve likely heard the stories of guys who went full blast their first day out after little or no exercise for months or years. Ambulance rides are not cool.

   Also, extreme fitness regimens are typically a combination of cardio and strength-building exercises.

   When you're starting out, get guidance from a trainer or someone else who has experience with the program to make sure you maintain proper form and minimize the risk of injury.

    Exercising for older adults

   It's important to stay active at any age. Older adults benefit greatly from regular exercise. Your muscles don’t know how old you are. They simply react to whatever forces are placed on them by getting stronger and more durable. Period.

   The US Department of Health & Human Services advises older adults to get 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate to vigorous exercise each week.

   If health conditions make this difficult, the person should get as much exercise as possible.

   Muscle-building exercises are helpful for older adults, as are exercises which improve flexibility and balance.  A regular stretching routine is fantastic for increasing flexibility and injury protection.

 

FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: ARTHRITIS RELIEF WALKING WORKOUT 

Suzanne Andrews Arthritis Walking Workout DVD transforms your body without living at the gym.

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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