Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews

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Women's Weight Loss Bible

by Suzanne Andrews

10 Amendments for Successful Weight Loss

Are you tired of feeling like you're literally weighed down and want successful weight loss? Get ready to lift your spirits and lighten up your body with these 10 'Amendments' to losing weight and keeping it off for good.  

Amendment # 1: Thou Shall Stop All Excuses

Three of the most common excuses for living an unhealthy lifestyle are:

          1. A) I don't have the time
          2. B) It's genetic, my family is overweight.
          3. C) I'm too tired to exercise

30 minutes a day is better than days, weeks or months spent being sick and tired. Our culture has ingrained in us to do things the easy way. We live in a country where if we could we'd probably drive ourselves to the bathroom! 

As far as your genetics - most of the chronic disease today is linked to poor eating habits, smoking, inactive living and stress. These are things that you can take charge of.

You just must commit to do it. 

Here is what a good fat burning fitness program does for you:

  1. Reduces your risk of getting heart disease
  2. Increase your level of muscle strength
  3. Improves the functioning of your immune system
  4. Helps you manage stress
  5. Helps you lose weight
  6. Improves the likelihood of surviving a heart attack.
  7. Helps relieve tension headaches
  8. Improves your body's ability to burn fat
  9. Decreases Injury risk
  10. Increases bone density
  11. Reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure
  12. Increases levels of healthy cholesterol
  13. Reduces your risk of developing non-insulin dependent diabetes 

Amendment #2: Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Childs Food

Are you a member of the clean plate club for yourself, your children and everyone else sitting at the table? Do you feel compelled to finish off juniors food because you don't want it to go to waste? You can change this by changing your thinking to, "I don't want juniors' leftovers to go to my waist." Those extra calories add up to increased inches on your waistline. 

Amendment #3: Thou Shall Not Eat Poisonous Fatty Fast Foods

Do you eat fast foods because you're in a hurry and don't have time to make something? By taking the time to prepare your meals you'll add years of time to your life and save yourself a lot of money both in the short term with immediate food bill savings and in the long term with medical bill savings. 

Amendment #4: Thou Shall Love Thyself

Love thyself is not just a cliché. By getting in shape, you are essentially saying to your partner and all those that love you, I love myself enough to take care of my health and I want to be around a long time to share my life with you. When we commit to love our body, we make wholesome choices and feel free to discover the restorative powers of good health. 

Amendment #5: Thou Shall Make Time To Exercise 5 - 6 Days a Week

Whether you feel you don't have the time to exercise, or you feel you get enough during the day - to lose the weight you first need to lose the excuses. In order to burn fat you need to do at least 30 minutes of sustained exercise and get your heart rate pumping. 

Amendment #6: Thou Shall Learn How To Manage Stress

If you eat from stress, you're not alone. A large majority of my clients eat out of stress and this causes weight gain which causes stress which causes weight gain... and a cycle is born. A stressful day can be dramatically transformed with purposeful exercise. Learn to exercise and stay mentally focused on your muscles being worked. By spending time on just yourself and letting go of responsibilities, even if just for 30 minutes, you will take years of stress away from your mind/body and spirit. 

BEGINNER'S DYNAMIC YOGA WITH SUZANNE ANDREWS

Amendment #7: Thou Shall Have Patients With Thy Weight Loss Plan

Weight is not gained overnight and it won't come off overnight either. By falling for every lose weight quick scheme you are only cheating yourself from having the healthy, shapely body you will have by following a sensible diet and exercise plan. Have patients with yourself and you'll have a far less likely chance of becoming a patient.

Amendment #8: Thou Shall Not Halt Thy Weight Loss Plan Because Thou 'was bad.'

Let's face it, we're not perfect and we all have slip-ups. During a taping of one of my exercise shows for television, I slipped on wet grass and decided to keep it in just to demonstrate that you don't have to be perfect or beat yourself up if you fall. Just get right back up again and keep going. 

Amendment # 9: Thou Shall Be Strong For Thyself

There will be times when you are around people who mean well when they say, Oh come on, just try my delicious cake, it won't hurt. True it won't hurt - them, but you yes, it will hurt your goal to arrive at your destined weight. In those moments of weakness when there's that little guy on one shoulder saying, "come on, have a bite, just one, it won't hurt, or you can exercise tomorrow," you need to be strong for yourself and keep your vision on your goal. 

FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: ARTHRITIS RELIEF WALKING WORKOUT

Amendment # 10: Thou Shall Make Conscious Choices

What is consciousness? It is you. You are consciousness. It is this very consciousness that tells you innately who you are and what choices you need to make. It is your deeper self, your greater self. Call it what you will. The important thing is that it is within you.  It is your world. You can't see it, smell it, touch it or hear it. But you can, and do, feel it. Being aware of yourself and your actions gives you the ability to make healthy choices.

 

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.

What Does a Hurricane Have To Do With Your Health?

by Suzanne Andrews

With the impending Hurricane Irma predicted to land in Florida, we are busy preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. There are long lines to purchase water and it seems like the entire town has purchased all the non-perishable goods. I’m going over my check list and making sure we have enough supplies. Not sure if we’re going to have to evacuate, but if it’s headed for us, we’re not sticking around. A category 5 is serious business.

Just like your health, preventative measures are a must. Don’t wait till your health is hit by a storm. So many patients I’ve treated could have prevented their heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer, diabetes 2 and other lifestyle diseases. That was one of the catalyst for me producing Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews on Public Television. I provided it as a public service because it is heart breaking to hear the ones who survived reply (when asked what they liked to do) say, “I like to read.” Reading is good, don’t get me wrong.  When pressed further, I ask if they did any physical activity prior to their rehab admittance and the response? “Well I walk to my mailbox and the bathroom.”

Did you know if you sit a lot your legs can become fixed in that position? (Knees bent as if you’re sitting). Your hamstring muscles shorten and it makes it impossible to walk.  

Try this test:  (Do not do this if you have osteoporosis).

See how far you can bend down and touch your toes while keeping your legs straight. Make sure to not lock your knees while keeping them straight. 

Is this hard to do? Does the back of your legs (your hamstrings) feel tight? That’s a warning signal. It means you need to add stretching into your routine daily... (Please scroll down to keep reading)

FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: TOTAL STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING 

Tip: Since tight hamstrings also cause back pain, stretching them can help your back.

I’ve seen too many people wondering why they can’t walk. That’s why reading, which I confess is an enjoyable past time of mine, should not be all a person does. It’s important to practice prevention. 

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 Quick Morning Hunger-Buster Smoothie

by Suzanne Andrews

This is an easy recipe that can be made in minutes, but it will satisfy you for hours to come. It serves up a whopping 6 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber per cup! Silken tofu adds a smooth texture and plenty of hunger-fighting protein, while the fiber from the apples and berries will keep your digestive system in top form.

The yogurt adds more protein, plus calcium.

What You'll Need:

  •    1 cup frozen mixed berries 
  •    1/2 banana 
  •    2 sweet apples, cored and sliced 
  •    1/2 cup silken tofu 
  •    1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

   Directions:

  1. Combine berries, banana, apples, yogurt and tofu in blender.
  2. Blend on high speed for two minutes or until smooth.
This smoothie can be placed in a covered container and stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.


Bonus: Build Your Own Smoothie

You can create a custom smoothie recipe that perfectly suits your taste. Here's how:
Custom green smoothies can be made by taking your favorite dark leafy green vegetables (such as spinach, kale, or arugula) and combining them with your favorite sweet-tasting fruits (such as bananas, pears, or apples).

 Add a fruit or vegetable with high water content (such as cucumber or melon) for added hydration. Blend on high speed until smooth.

Hunger-busting smoothies can be created by mixing a few of your favorite fruits with a protein source (such as yogurt or silken tofu). Experiment until you find the mix that works best for you!

Suzanne Andrews Functional Fitness Tip: You can add powder supplements to any smoothie recipe for an extra dose of protein or fiber and protein helps to stabilize blood sugar and stave off hunger.


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 Vitamin C Monster 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:

This yummy recipe is a favorite during cold and flu season. It's packed with vitamin C to help your body fight off illnesses. The antioxidants also help rid your body of free radicals that can lead to disease.

   What You'll Need:

  • 1 package fresh strawberries, leaves removed 
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced 
  • 1 orange, peeled 
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries 
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced 
  • 1 cup cantaloupe, cubed 
  • 2 ice cubes, crushed
   Directions:
  1. Peel all fruits and slice as directed. Crush the ice cubes.
  2. Place all ingredients in blender and blend on high power for two minutes, or until completely smooth and frothy.
  3. Add a little honey for more sweetness, if desired. Serve or drink immediately.

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.

Evening snacking stopping you from losing weight?

by Suzanne Andrews

4 Steps to STOP Evening Snacking

    You may have heard the old wives tale about eating after 8pm: Don't do it, they say, because the food you eat will be stored as fat. While that's not true, night time eating is a real problem for millions of people who just can't seem to stop bingeing before bedtime.

 I’ve often asked myself why do I start the day with such resolve and by evening it’s gone?

    People who suffer from Night-Eating Syndrome (NES) feel especially compelled to eat a lot of high-carb, high-fat foods at night. They might even eat more food after dinner than during dinner. Many eat very sparingly throughout the day, but eat a lot at night.

    Some sufferers find themselves unable to sleep because they cannot stop thinking about food. Afterward, they may feel guilty and disgusted, fearful that another binge will soon occur.

   NES was studied in 2009 by a team at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. Their findings, published in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, linked this newly designated eating disorder to stress, low levels of melatonin, and elevated levels of cortisol throughout the night.

    Sufferers were also more likely to have other eating disorders, sleep disorders, and mood disorders such as depression.

    If you suspect that you might be suffering from Night-Eating Disorder, speak to your doctor about available treatments. In the meantime, here are four effective steps you can take to get your night time binge eating under control.

    Step 1: Eat a late dinner.

    Sometimes real hunger exacerbates the symptoms of NES. Make sure you never go more than three hours without a small meal or snack. This might require you to move your dinner to a later time, especially if you tend to stay up late at night.

    If you eat dinner at 6pm but don't go to bed until midnight, you've gone six hours without eating anything. This long stretch without food can make you more susceptible to bingeing.

   Step 2: Get rid of temptation.

    People who binge at night almost exclusively crave foods that are high in sugar and fat. These "comfort foods" cause the brain to release serotonin, a chemical which improves the mood and makes it easier to fall asleep. This is especially tempting for those who struggle with insomnia resulting from obsessive thoughts of food or stress.

    To reduce temptation, get rid of all the foods you commonly binge on: cookies, baked goods, ice cream, or any other foods you feel compelled to eat at night. Don't keep these foods in your house. You're far more likely to binge on readily accessible foods than to drive to the store and purchase them.

    Step 3: Exercise at night.

    Some people avoid exercising at night because it makes them feel too energetic before bed. But if you time it right, you can reap the appetite-suppressing effect of exercise and still get a good night's sleep.

    When we exercise, our bodies produce endorphins which give us a general sense of contentment and well-being. Try ending your workout one hour before bedtime, and follow it up with a warm, relaxing shower. This could leave you feeling too content to succumb to a nighttime binge.

    Step 4: Trick your body into feeling full.

    There are other ways to trick your body into forgetting about food. Sometimes a warm drink will leave your stomach full and satisfied. Try drinking low-fat, caffeine-free hot chocolate before bed. Hot herbal teas are another good choice. If you must snack, choose high-fiber foods such as raw fruits or vegetables.

    Other night time eaters brush their teeth when they feel a binge coming on.

    Try brushing your teeth with a strong, minty toothpaste. Then follow it up with some equally strong mouthwash. Your teeth will feel so clean that you won't want to dirty them again. Plus, the Sodium Laureth Sulfate in toothpaste makes food taste less appealing by suppressing the taste buds that detect sweetness.

    If you've ever tried to drink orange juice after brushing your teeth, you're familiar with this effect.

    Note that some over-the-counter sleep aids, such as diphenhydramine, have been linked to increased hunger and cravings. If your nighttime eating is interfering with your sleep, let your doctor know. They may be able to prescribe medications that don't have this side effect.

 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.

Is Bread Sabotaging Your Weight Loss? Why Bread Is So Addictive

by Suzanne Andrews

 

Bread is a notorious diet-buster. The flavor, texture and high carbohydrate content makes it difficult to stop eating bread once you've started. In fact, many people undergo a chemical process while eating bread that triggers them to eat more and more.

    It's no wonder many diets advise us to stay away from bread, especially bread made from refined white flour.

 

 Are You A Bread Addict? Take The Quiz to Find Out
    * Do you get strong cravings for bread products
      (including pastries, cakes,crackers and cookies)?
    * Do you experience a compulsion to eat bread products instead of 
       other foods?
    * Do you find it difficult to stop eating bread products when full?
    * Do you experience a feeling of calmness and well-being after eating 
       bread products?

     If you answered yes to those questions, you might have a bread addiction.

 The good news is that you're not alone; it's been estimated that up to 75% of all overweight people have an addiction to bread and other carbs.

    Now that you've figured out whether or not you're addicted to bread, let's move on to the next question…

Why Is Bread So Addictive?

    After all, isn't it made from grains? Doesn't bread contain healthy fiber and carbohydrates? How can a natural food cause addiction-level cravings in so many people?

    Different people react to bread in different ways. Some individuals can happily eat a dinner roll or a slice of toast and go about their day without any repercussions.

    Others find themselves obsessing over bread, sneaking carb-laden snacks to quell their cravings, and then eating more bread with their next meal.

    For the latter group, bread is as addictive as a drug. When these people eat bread, their bodies release too much insulin, also known as the “hunger hormone.” Insulin stimulates the appetite, making it easy to overeat.

    Over time, the person can develop insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when a person's body stops using insulin properly. This malfunction causes glucose, which normally fuels the internal organs, to stay trapped in the bloodstream. Type 2 diabetes can result.

    High blood glucose levels also trigger hunger, which makes the person crave high-carb foods. Eating these foods causes more insulin to be released and ignored by the body, and then blood glucose levels spike higher. It's an unhealthy cycle.

    Add to this the psychological effect of eating bread, a popular "comfort food", and it's easy to see why bread is so addictive. Comfort foods are strongly associated with feelings of well-being. That's why so many people eat high-carb foods, like bread, when they are feeling lonely, stressed out, sad or bored.

    Needless to say, the bread is only a temporary fix and does not address the person's real underlying issues. People who self-medicate in this way are prone to overeating without finding true long term satisfaction from the food.

    It's important to note that whole-grain bread doesn't seem to have the same addictive properties as ultra-refined white bread. The human body digests white bread very quickly. It does not differentiate between a slice of white bread and a slice of cake.

    Both are broken down into sugar, causing blood glucose levels to spike. After this rapid digestion, blood glucose quickly plummets, resulting in hunger and additional carb cravings.

How To Break A Bread Addiction

    Breaking a bread addiction can be challenging, but the health benefits are worth it. If you’ve had a hard time trying to lose weight, seriously consider breaking your bread habit. Start small by giving yourself a two-week break from bread. You might find that your cravings disappear altogether after a week or so.

    When you do eat bread, eat a small amount of multigrain or rye bread instead of white. Also, make sure to indulge in your favorite treats occasionally (small portion and 1x a week) to keep yourself from feeling deprived. Then get back on your diet plan immediately to avoid cravings that might keep you off track. From personal experience I know that breaking a bread habit is not easy, but it can be done.  Just keep your eye on the prize – your health and/or your weight loss goal. 

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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From Our Blog

  • THIS WEEK’S “ASK GILAD” BLOG

    Question: I have gotten to the point in my fitness program where I am happy with the results I am getting in most parts of my body.  But I still have a problem area.  I can't seem to get the... read more

  • Green Salad with Brown Butter Walnut Vinaigrette

    This recipe was found on the Food Network, courtesy of Amy Thielen. Easy to Make     Only 15 Minutes Prep Time     Yields 8 Servings Ingredients: 1 cup walnut halves or pieces *Walnuts contain a lot of fat, and therefore,... read more

  • 3 Tips To Get Rid of Stubborn Back Fat

    By Jari Love & Collage Video   Ever hear the slang term Muffin Top? Or Spare Tire? These terms refer to fat above the waistline, a common weight distribution problem that torments both men and women. To make matters worse,... read more