Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews

Posts in the Wellness category

How Can You Fight Arthritis Naturally?

by Suzanne Andrews

Arthritis is often accompanied by chronic debilitating pains that can make life difficult at best, sometimes intolerable. Today we understand better the origins of this disease, and we know that with some treatment you can smile again.

 Arthritis is not an illness. Rather, it is an irreversible degeneration of joints cartilage. It is most often found in the joints of the fingers, hips, knees, and back. The severity and the evolution of arthritis can vary, and sometimes even lead to a total destruction of the joint, which will inevitably result in a replacement of the joint.

 It is, therefore, important to pay attention to any symptoms and pains as early as possible, and start a natural treatment to slow the progression.

There are two main origins of arthritis, the first one is the wearing of cartilage due to aging and it should occur only late in life. The second is an accelerated aging of articulations due to nutritional imbalances and to lifestyle. In the second, we can include pathological and physical sources of arthritis that resulted from shock or trauma. Joints can also be worn by repetitive motion in one's professional life or activities.

Pain is the first symptom of arthritis. Its intensity varies, sometimes bearable and mild, sometimes acute. Usually in the beginning the pain is present after an exertion, a long walk; for example, but it is bearable. It can go away with a little rest. As time goes on, the joint can become more and more painful, even during rest. In the later years, research has proven that inflammation is at the source of the disease.

Own Arthritis Relief Walking Workout on DVD

How can you fight arthritis?

Exercise is not the enemy of arthritis, far from it. It is essential to keep moving. You should choose programs that are not too taxing on the joints and avoid tennis jogging and skiing. A group of researchers in Cleveland Ohio have noticed that people with chronic arthritis were suffering fewer symptoms after 10 weeks of daily practice of exercise, when compared with sedentary people. The improvement was directly linked to the movement; it improved blood circulation in the joints and strengthened muscles and tendons around the joint. According to a new Cochrane Systematic Review, exercise programs designed to improve strength and stamina are perfectly safe for rheumatoid arthritis. Their research found benefits associated with dynamic exercise programs that were designed for chronic arthritis patients.

The goal of arthritis exercise is to reduce inflammation, eliminate pain and increase your ability to function. By increasing blood flow and providing important nutrients to your joints, Functional Fitness keeps the muscles around your joints strong, and supports your joints so you function at your best. Functional Fitness also lubricates your joints by encouraging your body to produce a natural lubricant called synovial fluid and that reduces joint friction.

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 You Need to Know About Balance After 40

by Suzanne Andrews

Did you know that balance is not natural? That's right -we must work on balance to keep it as we begin to lose it as early as age 40. Another thing to note is the exercises you've been doing to improve your balance might not be enough. Keep reading and I'll explain: (I'll keep it brief)

Maintaining and improving balance is an important factor in enjoying a healthy lifestyle, strengthening your body and preventing injury. Most falls occur within the home, (from my experience as an occupational therapy clinician, the bathroom is the number 1 place to fall.) These injuries include broken hips, wrist/shoulder fractures and brain injuries. 

Not only do these injuries result in long hospital stays and painful recoveries, they also cause loss of independence, decreased daily function and loss of the ability to participate in social activities. Lack of proper balance can inhibit daily activities that we often take for granted such as getting in and out of bathtubs, climbing stairs and using a car. It is important to be proactive in your health and prevent balance injuries before the happen by participating in an exercise program that strengthens “spinal stabilizers”, (back and abdominal area) your legs and specific balance exercises to increase your “proprioception”, (your brain's ability to sense where your limbs are positioned in space).  Since your proprioceptors weaken over time, it is vital to strengthen this sense, just like you strengthen your muscles. 

You won't find these balance exercises in most DVDs as these specific balance exercises are therapy based. Therapists will place you on "uneven surfaces" to strengthen your balance muscles and your proprioception. Why? Because when you are on an uneven surface, you activate all your balance muscles by challenging them. That's why in the Get Stronger Bones DVD, you will see the most advanced version demonstrating on an uneven surface.   

If you're not ready for that, it's advisable to start either seated on a chair - and yes - you can strengthen your balance muscles sitting if done to medically proven exercises. If you're beyond chair exercises, you can do the modified standing version using a chair for balance when necessary. Happy balancing and if you have any questions about your exercises make sure to message me - (link below).

 
 
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.

3 Exercises to Avoid if You Have COPD

by Suzanne Andrews

In pulmonary therapy we advise people who live with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) to perform specific exercises to strengthen their breathing capacity.  While therapeutic exercises are very effective, there are exercises to avoid if you have COPD.

  1. Lifting Heavy Weights or Pushing

While it’s important to strengthen your muscles when you have COPD because weak muscles need more oxygen than strong muscles, you should never lift super heavy weights.  Also be mindful of holding your breath when you lift heavy objects.  That is called the Valsalva Maneuver and can elevate your heart rate and blood pressure to dangerous levels. Instead, exhale through your mouth when you lift light weights as tolerated. 

FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: COPD & ASTHMA WITH SUZANNE ANDREWS
  1. Isometric Exercises

Isometric exercises are when you push against immovable objects. 

  1. Outdoor Exercises in Extreme Heat or Cold

Extreme temperatures can interfere with your ability to breathe because it affects your circulation.  COPD exercise increases your circulation and that’s another reason why pulmonary exercise helps strengthen your breathing muscles. 

If you have COPD, exercise might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s very important to add pulmonary exercises to your daily activities to slow down the progression of COPD and improve your quality of life. To motivate my patients, I monitor their heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen during their exercises. Keep a pulse oximeter handy so you can see how your oxygen level increases as you get fitter. 

 

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.

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.

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.

Color Yourself Slim!

by Suzanne Andrews

Do you eat when you get stressed? You're not the only one. I talk to many clients every day who reach for comfort foods and sweets when they're under a stressful situation. I've also been known to reach for a chocolate bar. If you're trying to lose weight, stress eating can really throw a curve ball in your weight loss plan. I started thinking, "What if you could do something that you enjoy and resulted in something beautiful every time you got stressed?"

Since I draw, love to come up with motivational sayings, and I'm a rehab therapy practitioner,  I thought I'd put all those experiences together and create a coloring book to help people lose weight with an alternative to eating when you get stressed. 

Today I'm sharing a page as my gift to you.

Enjoy and post it here when you're finished coloring it!

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.

Arthritis Relief Tips

By Suzanne Andrews

Arthritis Relief Exercise 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.

 

 

 

 

Do I have to Stop Drinking Alcohol to Lose Weight?

by Suzanne Andrews


5 Things You Must Know About Alcohol for Weight Loss.
Would you like to permanently say goodbye to your over-sized clothes? We've all heard the cautionary tales about alcohol, weight loss, and how the two don't mix.
There are some very sound reasons to avoid alcohol when you're trying to lose weight. There are also plenty of healthier options for dieters who like a little drink now and then.
Here is a list of the reasons why alcohol can slow your weight loss and affect your weight.
  1. Alcohol is High in Nutrient Empty Calories.
       Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram.  Protein and carbohydrates contain only 4 calories per gram, and fat contains 9 calories per gram.
       The difference is that proteins, carbohydrates, and fats pack nutrition into their calories. Calories from alcohol do not provide nutrition, and will not satisfy your hunger. This makes it easy to keep drinking – and racking up a high calorie count.
    1. Alcohol Delays the Fat-Burning Process.
       According to Dr. Robert Atkins, the human body burns alcohol before any other fuel source. That means your body will burn off all the alcohol you've consumed before turning to its store of carbohydrates and fat. This can delay your weight-loss efforts, especially if you drink frequently.
       If you can't bring yourself to abstain from alcohol, try sipping wine instead of beer or cocktails. Dr. Atkins considered the most diet-friendly drinks to be wine, hard liquor, or either of the above mixed with seltzer, tonic water, or diet soda. While losing 60 lbs I opted for a white wine spritzer once a week.  The trick is to drink it very slowly and not on an empty stomach.  Have a salad with water first and drink sips of water in between your drink. 
    1. Excessive Alcohol Consumption is Linked to Higher BMIs.
       There is a direct correlation between the amount of alcoholic drinks a person consumes during a day, and that person's Body Mass Index (BMI).    According to a study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), study participants with the lowest BMIs drank three to seven times a week, but had only one drink during those days.
       Participants with the highest BMIs drank alcohol less frequently, but consumed several drinks at a time.    As with any food, alcohol isn't disastrous in small quantities. The real danger lies in overindulgence.
    1. Alcohol Ads Are Misleading.
       The latest alcohol marketing campaigns refer to certain alcoholic beverages as "low-carb" or "zero-carb". These campaigns are obviously targeting dieters, who have long avoided alcohol in their desire to lose weight. 
       While it is technically true that straight liquors are distilled and therefore contain no carbs, they still contain plenty of calories and no nutritional value.     Beer and wine do contain carbohydrates, which can lead to cravings and bloating. Mixed drinks are the worst of the lot, as they contain all sorts of added sugar and calories. 
    1. Alcohol Lowers Inhibitions.

        When we drink alcohol, our inhibitions go down. This can cause us to make decisions we would never consider while sober. When a dieter's inhibitions are lowered, they may find it difficult to say no to overeating or eating rich foods that are high in calories. 
       Intoxicated dieters might be susceptible to friends' urges to try "just one bite", or their insistence that "just one time won't hurt". Mindless snacking is also common while drunk.
       While the occasional planned splurge can actually help you stay on track to lose weight, alcohol can lead to an unplanned splurge followed by guilt and discouragement.
       It's up to you. The bottom line is that any diet boils down to how many calories you consume versus how many you burn.
       In small quantities, alcohol can be an occasional part of your weight loss plan. Just tread carefully, save the harder drinks for special occasions, and factor the extra calories into your daily total.
    Do you have weight loss questions?  Contact me at http://healthwiseexercise.com

    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.

    Six Best Steps to Cleanse and Detox Your Body

    by Suzanne Andrews

    It seems like you can't turn around these days without hearing about a new colon cleanser or detox diet.
    These products and systems claim to remove built-up toxins from the body, promoting better overall health. Some involve fasting, while others involve strict liquid diets.
    After numerous studies, there is still no scientific evidence that such approaches are beneficial. According to Dr. Michael Picco, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic, detox diets and cleansers can actually have harmful side effects.
    Despite the claims of companies who sell such products, the human body is actually very efficient at filtering toxins. You have a liver and it works very well.

    However, there are several simple, natural steps you can take to ease your body's burden. Here are some proven ways to rejuvenate your body inside and out. 

    Exfoliate to Renew Your Skin
    You may not know this, but I'm also a licensed esthetician, and that's why I know that exfoliation is a quick and easy way to remove dead skin, improve circulation, promote the growth of new skin cells, and give your complexion a natural glow.
    It can be done with an exfoliating skin cleanser, a natural skin scrub made from brown sugar and olive oil, or even a gentle soap and a damp washrag every other day.
    Give yourself an overall glow by exfoliating your whole body. Purchase (or make) an exfoliating body wash, or purchase a long-handled body brush and scrub it over your body in circular motions before you bathe.
    Both techniques will help clear your pores and get rid of dead skin cells.

    Learn to Breathe
    Do you ever catch yourself holding your breath? Do you tend to breathe in short, shallow bursts? If so, you can decrease your body's stress level by practicing slow, rhythmic breathing.
    This technique, called 'conscious breathing', helps you provide more oxygen to your body. This, in turn, helps your body carry out its tasks more efficiently.
    Pick a quiet time, such as before you rise from bed in the morning. Take a slow, deep breath inhaling through your nose. You should see your stomach rise first, followed by your chest as you breathe in, then slowly exhale.
    Repeat this for up to 10 times depending on your tolerance level. Over time, you will learn to breathe more correctly throughout the day.

    Practice Daily Stretching
    Stretching and yoga are beneficial to the mind and body. Not only do they relieve stress and keep the muscles limber, they promote blood flow and circulation.
    The experts at WebMD recommend stretching all major muscle groups at least 2-3 times weekly. Stretch until you feel a gentle tug, never to the point of pain.
    You can go online to find a good stretching routine or, if you have health concerns, ask your doctor to recommend one that's right for you.

    Sweat Every Day
    Much as we try to avoid it, sweating is actually great for your body. The best way to work up a cleansing sweat is through aerobic exercise.
    As you sweat, your body releases stored fluid. Replace this fluid by drinking plenty of water.
    After a week or so of daily sweating and hydration, you will begin to notice improvement in your skin tone, stress level, and sleep quality.

    Reduce Consumption of Pain Medication
    Our livers were designed to filter toxins from our blood, but there's no need to make them work overtime. Be kind to your body by reducing the amount of over-the-counter painkillers you consume.
    Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that acetaminophen (Tylenol) can cause liver damage even when used as directed.
    The liver function of the test subjects was three times higher than normal after just four days of routine acetaminophen use.

    Use Fiber and Water to Promote Digestive Health
    Fiber and water are the healthiest colon cleansers available. They are also some of the most effective. Fiber is a difficult substance to break down. It makes your digestive system work hard, keeping it in good shape.
    Water is essential for our bodily functions. Good hydration means better skin, better joints, and better filtration of toxins.
    For optimal results, try to consume at least 30 grams of fiber daily, and at least six to eight glasses of water. When it comes to cleansing and detoxing your body, there's really nothing better than water. You'll know you're on the right track when the urine becomes nearly clear.

     Questions or comments? Visit me at: Healthwise Exercise.com


    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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