Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews

What Can Just 30 Days of Exercise Do to Your Body?

by Suzanne Andrews

There is no question today that a life of physical activity is a healthier life. In just thirty days, you can improve the functioning of almost every system in your body, from the essential microscopic cells to the heart, joints, and muscles. It would appear that it is possible to slow down and in some case reverse the aging process by regularly exercising. Even for those who have never been very active physically before, a carefully planned program can make a significant difference in restoring youthfulness to your body. For those who have experienced injury, a physical therapist can help you get your strength and mobility back in a much shorter time than if you choose to just relax and let the aging process do its miserable work on you and your body.

New research from a British study of twins indicates that aging may actually be stalled within the cellular infrastructure by choosing to incorporate an active exercise regimen into your lifestyle. According to Prof. Tim D.Specter, in an article published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, tiny telomeres, little caps on the ends of your DNA that protect it from unraveling, seem to be snipped off a bit every time your cells divide. When they become too short to function and protect the integrity of your DNA, cell division stops and aging sets in. While young people have relatively long telomeres whether they exercise or not, by middle age, inactive adults have telomeres that may be as much as 40% shorter. However, those who exercise may have only a 10% reduction in length, which means that cell division is continuing quite nicely and aging is much slower. Younger cells really are possible with a regular fitness regimen.

FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: Younger in 30 Days

Your heart also benefits from exercise. The American Journal of Public Health recently published a study that suggests that exercise, even in the short term can make a difference, especially in men. While young hearts beat about 190-200 times a minute, pumping 4-6 quarts of blood through the body, by age 80 that same amount of blood is only being pumped about 145 times a minute because of the reduced response of the heart to the brain’s repeated signals. Regular aerobic exercise can maintain your heart condition to that of a 30 year old, especially if you have practiced a lifestyle filled with exercise. (I see this in my patients that I work with - after a month their heart is rebounding much quicker and heart rate to that of a much younger person.) 

While resistance training increases your muscle strength and mass in as little as 30 days, it does it through stimulating muscle protein synthesis to prevent the typical loss of muscle that accompanies the aging process. According to Dr. Carl Freudenrich, Science Expert of How Stuff Works, regular exercise can create healthier neuromuscular junctions that increase your muscle’s youthfulness and strength. 

Even your joints can benefit from 30 days of exercise. Once again, the aging process tends to affect the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage as you get older. Painful swelling, bony overgrowths, and stiffness can accompany your joints’ attempts to keep functioning under the normal activities of life. However, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends exercise to slow down, halt, or even reverse this cylce. The worst response is to give up and do as little as possible. Experts such as physical and occupational therapists are trained to help you regain your range of motion and to slow down or stop the aging damage without hurting yourself in the process. Warming up the joint’s synovial fluid so that you have good lubrication is important at any age, but especially as you age. 

Your entire body is affected as you age, but new research indicates that you can slow down the process significantly by regular exercise. In as little as thirty days you can introduce healthy changes and start to feel and see the difference. It’s your body. Don’t just sit there and let it wear out.

 

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.

By Customer Service | | Functional Fitness, goals, health, Healthy, Suzanne Andrews, Weekly Blog | Read more

Osteoporosis Treatment Tips

by Suzanne Andrews

3 Must Read Tips for Osteoporosis Treatment

After 50, 30% of all women get osteoporosis and 40% get fractures: some of which are life threatening so it's important for you to know what you can do about it.   

  1. There is a myth that lifting weights is dangerous for people with osteoporosis. Incorrect.  Using hand weights and leg weights strengthens your bones and your muscles and that is why we use them in therapy.  It's best to start out with light weights and progress as you regain strength. How you lift the weights is also very important. I see 99% of people lifting weights wrong at the gym. Don't lift them fast. Take your time as you lift and lower for best results. It's also important to be guided by a trained expert in osteoporosis contraindications. (Contraindications means things you should not do).   
  1. We've all heard to take calcium for stronger bones, but what most don't know is that calcium needs to be taken twice a day as the body can only absorb 500 mg at once. Also need to take vitamin D as many people in this age group are deficient. 
  1. Ask your doctor to do a bone density test to see what your bone density is and a blood test to see if you're low in vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is correctable and you'll feel so much better.  

Order Suzanne Andrews' GET STRONGER BONES Workout

Wishing you the very best of health this New Year!

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 question from a fan...

by Suzanne Andrews

Which exercise DVDs are best for someone with L4-L5 herniated disc specifically designed to flatten the abs? Also something for torn rotor cuff? Rachel L

Hi Rachel,
Thanks for writing. Herniated disc of the lumbar region exercise contraindications (things you shouldn't do) are when you combine rotation (twisting) and side-bending which creates shearing and torsion forces to the discs. This is a general answer and your doctor would be able to specifically tell you what you can and can't do. We have a workout called Vertical Ab Toner that's on our Total Strength and Conditioning DVD with three levels: seated, modified standing (gentle) and full standing workout so you never have to get on the floor. Our Get Stronger Bones has a back strength and stretch workout.  This workout has physical therapy moves that includes strengthening the accessory muscles needed for a healthy back. 

As far as your shoulders - so sorry to hear you are going through that. I had two rotator cuff injuries and I know how painful they are. Went from 0 to 99% function with lots of hard work. Again your doctor would be the one to advise you what you are able to do since I don't know your specifics.  The arthritis exercises in the Arthritis Relief may be good for your condition, provided your doctor gives you the OK.  You would need to be past the stage of doing the exercises in supine (lying down).

If your doctor says you are able to progress to active range of motion exercises, the arthritis walking workout has physical therapy exercises in it for the shoulder with an exercise band.  Start without the band and progress to active resistant exercises with the band according to your tolerance level. When it warms up, I highly recommend our Arthritis Water Therapy DVD/CD/booklet as that offers pain relieving healing moves for the entire body, including shoulders and back. 

Wishing you the best of health and a very happy New Year!

FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: ARTHRITIS WATER THERAPY WITH 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.

Look and Feel Ten Years Younger

by Suzanne Andrews

How This Type of Workout Makes You Look and Feel Ten Years Younger

How do you look and feel 10 years younger? The holidays can age you when you want to look younger and feel energized. It's important to integrate stress releasing breathing exercises into your workout routine as you will end your workout feeling exhilarated, not exhausted.

Heightened physical awareness occurs when your body systems is in a state of optimum health, (homeostasis)  and all the body systems, including the mind, are at their peak.  After all - the mind and body are married, and intimately united; when one suffers, the other empathizes.

Fitness begins in the mind and resonates in our spirit. How do we mind our mind? Our mind constantly chatters and converses with itself, discussing likes and dislikes, projects and incidents from the past. This is the way we are much of the time. Thinking – that tremendously useful tool has become our prime energy expenditure, consuming our attention at every turn. Simply put – we deplete ourselves by constantly thinking, worrying and wondering. Then when clear thinking is needed, we may lack the focus and reserve to a satisfying functional life.

FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: BRAIN POWER MEMORY BOOST 

 

Guided Visualization and meditation offers a way of gaining control above the over–expansion of your emotions by sitting still in a secluded place and removing all the distracting debris in the overactive mind. Here, you are to direct your constantly wandering mind into dwelling upon itself. Focused on obtaining “truth,” people doing meditation come to realize their own personal truths. This realization helps you function at your best.

Thanks for taking the time to be with a very important person - YOU. 

Suzanne Andrews, President 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.

 

Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the mos

Behind The Scenes

by Suzanne Andrews

Behind The Scenes Filming Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews: Jumping Hoops and Overcoming Unexpected Production Hurdles!

Have you ever worked so hard on a project and elated that it FINALLY got done?  We've overcome so many hurdles creating our next Functional Fitness series for PBS that I'm breathing or perhaps heaving a sigh of relief!   

What am I referring to?  Travelling across the country filming 10 episodes in spectacular outside settings was not without setbacks.  We got some amazing footage and were thrilled to see that after working out in 90 plus degree heat, climbing steep mountain sides with camera gear threatening to topple off our backs just to get to the prime filming spot; surviving frightening turbulent plane rides with rough weather; getting up at 4 AM and working till the wee hours of the night; listening to countless hours of music scores to find one that matches - it was all worth it.   

Than the unthinkable happened - our computer crashed!  All the footage gone before we had a chance to put it on another hard drive!!!  I took a deep breath and started thinking of a solution. Where are we going to find a company that can fix this?  We were in a remote location in Texas.  As a rehab clinician, I think "Ok, that's the problem, now what's the solution?"  After much searching, we found a  place that could helps us.  This place works with the FBI so I thought, "they must be good."  It took longer than expected, but after three long months, they retrieved the footage.  

Now it was back to Florida to tape a couple more episodes with special guests, Tosca Reno, New York Times best selling author of Your Best Body Now and the Eat-Clean Diet series and Teresa Anne Power, best selling author the book ABCs of Yoga for Kids.

The clouds kept appearing and disappearing while Tosca showed the chair workout (that makes you really sweat and burn fat!) and me demonstrating the standing version in Metabolism Booster Weight Loss Workout, so it took many extra hours to finish taping as we had to have continuity with the lighting.  

While filming the chair yoga version of  Family Yoga for ADHD, (Attention deficit disorder) with Teresa Power, who did the standing modifier yoga poses, I also guided a child demonstrator, Bea, and glad that I rehearsed with Bea several times before taping.  She was sweet little girl and did a great job.   

Crew, talent, location - we were set.  Everything filmed and than the unthinkable happened.  I couldn't get a hold of my editor who had all the footage!  I called, left tons of messages, emailed and nothing.  I worked with him on my first two series in 2008 and 2009 and he was very reliable so I was concerned that something happened to him.   

Finally, I got a hold of his wife and she said he was sick but they would get me the footage back - unedited.  I was just so relieved and we would edit it ourselves.   

And than I didn't hear from her - what was going on?  She finally got back to me and her computer with all of our footage crashed!  It put us a year behind schedule, but we finally got all the footage back and edited the series ourselves.  All that sitting made me gain weight so it's no accident that I'm doing a series of live weight loss walking classes in Ormond Beach, Florida in Janury 2018. 

The Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews®  series has undergone and passed quality control with our home station and is now closed captioned and being sent off to our distributor! 

To save time, we are giving our distributor 5 of the ten episodes for broadcast and the other episodes we'll place as extra workouts on our upcoming DVD's.   

This is what our show is about...and I say our because Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews® is produced for you with love, sweat and tears (mostly joy)!  

Produced and hosted by rehab clinician and original creator of modified exercises, Suzanne Andrews in the continuing series Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews® helps people 40 plus who want the choice of doing exercises sitting on a chair or standing improve their quality of life by increasing mobility, bone strength, ability to perform activities of daily living with total body strength and conditioning moves making joints healthy and pain-free.  

Based on the fitness techniques of being Functionally Fit, each 30-minute episode features a fitness edition to help overcome specific health conditions naturally. In Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews, you'll feel an immediate increase in mood, flexibility, strength and heart health with medically proven exercises that show rapid results for real people. Proceeds from the DVDs produce more episodes for people over 40 and provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on the PBS TV series.  

Thanks for taking the time to be with a very important person - YOU!

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.

Neck Exercises for Pain Relief

by Suzanne Andrews

Why Neck Exercises for Stress Relief?

Stress is carried right up into your neck. Each time your boss or a customer demands something of you, your neck muscles tighten, often without you even realizing it. You might not even feel your neck is tight until you stretch your neck with the evidenced based neck exercises in this neck exercise video. 

FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: PAIN FREE BACK & NECK WITH SUZANNE ANDREWS

You don't have to suffer with neck pain. There are medically proven neck exercises I teach my patients in therapy that really work and can be done sitting at your desk.  
Next time your at your desk, try these simple neck exercises to relieve neck pain. 

 

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 Real Reason Your Muscles Are Sore After Working Out

by Suzanne Andrews
The day after guiding my 58 year old client through a workout, she expressed, "my muscles are sore, I think something's wrong with me." This is a common perception. 

 The real reason your muscles are sore after a workout: 
When muscles are required to work harder than they're used to, or in a different way, it's believed to cause microscopic tears to the muscle fibers, resulting in muscle soreness or stiffness. DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is often mistakenly believed to be caused by lactic acid build up, but lactic acid isn't involved in this process.

 Why This is a Good Thing
While muscles soreness - ok it can really hurt - at first - but here's why you shouldn't let a temporary uncomfortable situation get in your way of working out.
When your muscle fibers get microscopic tears, the fibers repair themselves stronger than they were before in order to adapt to the new challenges you put them through. End result? You get stronger and your metabolism speeds up - even at rest.

Own Total Strength and Conditioning on DVD

While short term symptoms from soreness include weakness, stiffness, and sensitivity to touch, the long term benefits that also includes helping you live a better quality of life are definitely worth it. As Doctor Paul D'Arezzo, MD, stated after reviewing our DVDs, "there is no pill on earth that can do what Healthwise Exercise programs can do!"

While I felt truly honored to get his feedback on our Functional Fitness DVDs, I also thought If there was a pill that got me stronger, slimmer, fitter and helped me live longer, I'd be first in line to take it! 

Own Get Stronger Bones on DVD

Until that time arrives, I'll be literally sweating it out to my evidenced based workouts because I refuse to "act my age." 
My personal favorites for firming, toning and weight loss are Total Strength and Conditioning, Get Stronger Bones and Arthritis Walking Workout. They have what a reviewer called "a sneaky intensity." That's because of the medically proven methods instructed in them. All low impact with high impact results.
I mean, just because I'm a grandma doesn't mean I have to sit in a rocking chair watching life pass me by in the slow lane! 

Own Arthritis Relief Walking Workout on DVD

Thanks for taking the time to be with a very important person - YOU!

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.

Behind the Scenes

by Suzanne Andrews

Behind the Scenes Filming 30 Day Bladder Fix Urinary Incontinence Episode for PBS TV

There's a lot that goes into shooting an episode besides lights, camera, action. Here's a look inside of what it took to film 30 Day Bladder Fix for Urinary Incontinence complete with a blooper. Check it out. We love to hear your comments!

   

FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: 30 DAY BLADDER FIX WITH 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.

By Collage Video | | Functional Fitness, Suzanne Andrews | Read more

Osteoporosis Exercise Myth Busted

by Suzanne Andrews

Scouring the internet the other day, I was amazed to find an incredulous osteoporosis exercise claim. 

Some misinformation I came across is "ankle weights are dangerous for people with osteoporosis." 

Not correct.  Not only is the person who wrote that misinformed, they are doing people with osteoporosis a disservice.  Without going into all the medical jargon: here's the skinny on ankle weights with osteoporosis.  

Evidenced based exercises that my physical therapy and occupational therapy colleagues (and yours truly) teach patients in therapy sessions utilize ankle weights. Using weights with osteoporosis is not a contraindication. Quite the opposite. 

Your bones react to stress you place on them and that reaction is increased strength and cellular density.  Simply put - weights are a good stress and ankle weights help make your bones stronger.   

You have to be the judge as to how much weight you place on your ankles.  If you're just beginning, you can start without any weight and increase to 1 lb as you get stronger.  Gradually increase the weight according to your tolerance level.  

If you have osteoporosis, it's  also vital you strengthen your balance to prevent yourself from a fall and fracture.   Here's an exercise to give you stronger balance that is taught in physical therapy.  

STRONGER BALANCE (from Get Stronger Bones DVD)

Find a straight line.  
March slowly lifting your knee and making sure to place one foot directly in front of the other on the line.  
Land so your front heel is touching your back toes.
Reverse going backwards.  Do 1 set of 12.
It's harder than it looks!   

ADVANCED

In therapy, we will grade up a patients exercise program when they are increasing their skills.  One of the ways we do this is to have them perform the exercise on an uneven surface such as the grass.  Being a little off balance when you do this actually kicks your balance muscles and balance (proprioception neurons) into high gear and gives you stronger balance!   

If you're unsure of your balance on an uneven surface, make sure to have someone standing right by you for safety.

 

FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: GET STRONGER BONES WITH 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.

Leg Exercises

by Suzanne Andrews

3 Easy Leg Exercises (Including Leg Stretch) You Can Do Without Any Equipment for Firm Leg Muscles

Do you have two legs…check.

Do you have a bathroom…check.

Do you have a kitchen…check.

Without screaming, crying, equipment, pain and frustration using simple leg exercises techniques and a feel good leg stretch, you going to improve your leg muscles to the point of as good or better than they were 10 years ago with these simple leg exercises. 

The first obstacle to overcome is time. We all insist we don’t have any. With these simple leg exercises, you don't need any extra time - just incorporate them into your activities of daily living.  

LEG STRETCH (Bathroom) 

  1. Next time you’re about to take a shower and waiting for the hot water to come up… do a leg stretch. Just like the runners do prior to an event. Hold on to the vanity counter, bring your heel to your buttock, grasp your ankle and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Now you're shower should be ready.  
  1. While brushing your teeth, place a heel on the ledge of the tub and lean forward just enough to feel a little pinch in the hamstring. Repeat on the other side. This leg muscle stretch also helps alleviate back pain.  

By practicing good hygiene every day, you incorporate a little leg stretch routine into it and wa -la, you’re stretching every day, improving blood flow and flexibility which will just plain make you feel more awake and alert.

LEG STRENGTH EXERCISE (Kitchen) 

  1. Next time your'e waiting for food to heat up in the microwave, place both hands on the counter edge for support. Squat down as far as you can, making sure to not let your toes go past your knees and placing the weight on the balls of your feet, raise and lower as many time as you can. This will activate your calf and thigh muscles.  

Waiting for the coffee maker or oven? Again with both hands in the counter edge for safety, squat again staying flat footed and press up using the heel. Do as many as you are comfortable with. This will activate the hamstring and buttock muscles.  Hidden benefit to you?  Besides lifting your butt and firming your legs, you can decrease back pain too.   

All of these leg exercises WILL strengthen leg muscles regardless of your age. Your leg muscles don’t know how old you are. They just react to whatever forces are placed upon them and get stronger and more flexible in the process. By incorporating these leg exercises into your routine, you've added joy to your life because a healthy body is a happy body.

Thanks for taking the time to be with a very important person - YOU! 

CLICK HERE TO ORDER TOTAL STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING ON DVD

Healthiest blessings, 

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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