New Year’s Resolutions or not, a fresh start is always an opportunity to set goals, and get clear on what you want. Walk through the steps of choosing your goal, setting the actions and determine the big why behind your goal. You know, the thing that gets you out of bed early in the morning.

The link you want for playing Flipping 50’s Wellness Game! (join our community and your first email will give you the link!)

Today’s blog is all about prepping you for the New Year. The sister podcast also publishes today so be sure to go listen if you’d prefer it to reading! As you read all the way to the bottom about my Flipping 50 Wellness Game, you can access that by joining our email community here.  These steps will help you choose goals and get to the juicy motivational part of them that makes them stick! 

What Do You Want?

Without filter (avoid asking why you want it or how to get it)

Step 1: Write down all the things that pop into your head

Step 2: Keep the ones that really excite you (you close your eyes and spontaneously smile thinking about it!)

Find Your Why

Without judgment (steer away from limiting thoughts)

This might include things that it will let you do, stop you from having to do, or a way it will make you feel. Avoid the logical, because-it-sounds-good virtuous stuff. Be sure this is really what you want. If it is thinking about it makes you feel something. (state in what you want, not what you want to avoid)

Brainstorm the Actions you have control over to get there

What you need to learn

What you need to do weekly, daily

Help you need to find


Example:

Weight loss is what you want. You have however NO control over it happening. You can’t even break it down to lose 1-2 pounds a week. You have to add actions.

Exercise is an action.

To fit your schedule, exercise in the morning is an action.

To get up early, you’ll have to go to bed early.

To sleep enough you need to start a routine a couple hours before bedtime.


Think: Yes, And

Leave But… off the table. Accept all new ideas and that it can work.

List the ways your thoughts tend to derail you.


Example:

But, I want to spend time with my family and they like to stay up late.

But, it’s [watching TV or surfing the internet] the only time I get to relax all day.

But, I’m working on my business and I have to spend that time.


Don’t back yourself into the perfection corner

  1. What’s the Ideal plan of action?
  2. What’s the Second Best?
  3. What’s the if-all-else-fails?

There’s one more thing that you need to do if you’ve tried to make this change before.

Identify the reason it didn’t work in the past

This is where you talk to yourself.

Why didn’t I stick with morning exercise?

  Because I was too tired to get up

Why was I too tired?

Because I didn’t sleep very well

Why didn’t I sleep very well?

    Because I didn’t eat very well last night and then watched TV until late

Why didn’t I eat well? Why did I watch TV until late?

Because I didn’t plan anything ahead and I didn’t plan a bedtime

Why didn’t I plan ahead?

Because I can’t fit everything into a day!

Why can’t I fit it all in?

Because I am trying to do everything myself and I schedule more than is possible during a day.

How Many Goals Do You Have?

If you want to change multiple things (and inevitably you do) make sure they compliment each other. For instance, early morning exercise is supported by a bedtime routine that gets you quality sleep.

Step By Step

A few success tips:

Get Flipping 50’s Wellness Game. Join Flipping 50’s Active Aging Secrets and you can download the game template.

YOU are in charge of deciding your own actions using this game.

21 Days – in reality it takes 66 to change a habit – whether that’s adding a new or removing an old, but chunking your focus into small doable parts (like 21 or 28 days) allows you to be successful. Then you can build on that.

The best way to play full out is to surround yourself with a community of other women doing the same thing facing similar challenges. The Cafe is the premier spot to get more support in exercise (including a how-to library, Live weekly classes via private Facebook group), monthly new recipes to deliciously avoid the things that trigger weight loss resistance, and more… Learn more before the new Jan 1 rates increase!

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Then this is a must-do.

For 32 years I’ve worked with primarily women. Some who wanted to run marathons or triathlons. Many who wanted to lose weight, or feared fractures because of osteoporosis. Some had cancer, fibromyalgia, or over 100 lbs. to lose. Some simply wanted to kick fatigue to the curb and feel better about themselves and fit back into the clothes in the back of their closets.

I’m moving into 2017 working with only women who are ready to invest in themselves and make a real transformation. If you are looking for a quick fix and a $19 program you’ll do for a month this is not your program and I am not your coach.

The diet and exercise industry embarrasses me frequently. I’m taking a stand and I hope you will too. In 2017 we’ve come a long way and we’ve also gone backwards. Science is much more advanced. The problem is you’re not getting the full story and you can’t sort out the conflicting information that may be simple marketing copy crafted to trigger a weak moment of frustration and the real science.

As a fitness professional who began because I wanted to share the elation and energy I found somewhere in the back of the room of exercise classes and moving from walking to jogging, I am a teacher. But I’ve had to become a marketer. In order to compete with those who are marketers selling fitness and NOT fitness professionals who want to help, it has been a must.

Here’s what I’ve learned. It’s a numbers game. The most frequent and loudest messages get the most responses. It doesn’t matter if they are RIGHT, or supported by science, it only matters if you see them, and hear them most. The art of persuasion is always at work and human nature is to believe what we see and hear most often must be true.

So, sadly, big marketers can win even if their message is not backed by a desire to truly help.

So, I’ll say it one more time. If you want a quick fix – another “diet” or a fast track 21 Day get-fit-quick exercise program, I am not your girl, this is not your site, and there is no reason to read further. If you are not willing to invest in a long term change that includes education, and you get frustrated by someone sharing with you the “why” then this is not your page. You’ll find a thousand more out there and some so much better at marketing than I am that you’ll buy them, believe them, and for a short time at least be happier with them.

If you’re still reading, then I have something to share with you.

The Flipping 50 Cafe Membership has existed for a year. I’ve added recipes, challenges, webinars, expert interviews, discount coupons, and more all year exclusive to the Cafe members. Recently I’ve added a Movement library in answer to all the questions about joints and muscle injury that you’ve asked. In 2017 I’m changing the way the Cafe serves you. If you’re currently in, or get in before Jan 1, 2017 you’ll continue to pay 2016 rates for 2017. Even as I add weekly live exercise classes, 40% discounts on shakes (a monthly limit to your order), additional live coaching events online, along with each of the existing Cafe perks. (pun intended!) Read on.


deb-boat-1Women are busy. We tend to fill our schedules and to do lists with more than we could possibly get done in a day. Agree?

 

It’s no wonder that we end up fatigued, hacking into our sleep time, and then putting weight on around the middle with hormone changes and increasing stress (and sometimes decreasing stress). We sometimes default to old patterns of dieting and exercise that just don’t work!

What’s the answer?

Even if you have the financial ability, do you have the time and energy to meet with:

and research the ever-updating data about your changing hormone needs to get the energy you want to get and keep?

I can help you with all those.

Your energy is based on a combination of what you eat, how you move, what you think, and who you spend your time with. Here’s how I help you address each of these inside the Cafe:

Nutrition: Start Your Lean High Energy Body

Your body is your tool for living and loving life. We want to make this vehicle run smoothly on all cylinders. I’ll teach you which foods turn on inflammation and cause cravings and weight gain. We’ll show you which foods turn off inflammation and keep you satisfied, with glowing skin and tons of energy because you’re putting in the best fuel. I’ll also show you how timing of food matters and supports your energy. Your habits and taste buds will change so you’ll begin to crave your new way of eating without feeling like you ever need a diet again. You can stop letting food run your life and start getting pleasure from it.

Food logs, journaling, restaurant menus, sample meal plans and recipes will help you transition to new relationship for a busy lifestyle (work, home, travel, social life) so you can release stubborn fat still enjoy the party.

Nutrition rules have changed and diets don’t work. The question for you is likely, what does? I can help you with that and we’ll focus on walking you through the steps to eliminate hidden energy drains in what you eat. Food should be a pleasurable source of energy in your life, not run your life. No matter what other roles they play, women tend to spend a lot of time preparing food, thinking about food, and letting food run them. It’s time to make peace.

Exercise

Fitness is a big part of getting the results you want. We’ll create a plan that helps you lose stubborn fat and gain tone based on how hormones in midlife change the game. We’ll create a new strategy that will be safe, sane, and simple to follow. I’ll show you how to assess your body’s movement needs and teach you how to choose exercise you love that fits your life. You’ll dump extreme exercise and constant thoughts of need for a punishing or boring workout in exchange for 20-minute routines that get great results with or without equipment. If you’re traveling you’ll see how easily fitness works to end jet lag and help you feel better not just tired.

How you move plays a big part in how you feel. Motion drives emotion. Without exercise your body simply will not function as it should. Exercise should enhance your life not run it. Who has the time to exercise for an hour a day any more? The real answer is few of us need it or should. The best exercise for you is revealed in the signs and symptoms your hormones are putting out.

When you have the exercise and the nutrition both under control you will feel great.

Stress

You’ll identify how stress is a common denominator for aging, fatigue, brain fog, and disease and how you can prevent it. You’ll learn simple flips for eating, exercise, and lifestyle that will help you lose weight again. You’ll understand why you’ve been gaining belly fat or experiencing cellulite, getting foggy and forgetful, feeling exhausted or but unable to sleep even though you’ve been eating well and exercising. We’ll help you stop settling for this as your new normal and get you feeling great again.

What you think about your stress matters far more than how much stress you have. Your body handles all stress the same so when we together create a stress toolkit for you we can increase your energy. When you decrease stress with the nutrition and exercise changes that you learn and add joy you’ll let go of negativity and begin to make room for something better. Weight loss will become easier and your energy will soar.

Mindset

Above all things a resilient mindset makes the most difference. You can have the tools and learn the skillset to do something but without the mindset it’s like putting your foot on the pedal without any gas in the tank. I’m going to teach you how to reprogram the message you send yourself and strengthen you so you’re not pulled down by external messages. You’re sending messages to yourself all the time every day. Together we’ll help increase your awareness of what you’ve been saying and how to flip the recording so it helps you tap into the inner strength that is already there.

You are stronger than you think.

Lifestyle Habits

Small hinges open big doors. I’ll teach you how little changes in daily habits you already have mean more energy, less fatigue, and more productivity, creativity and even job satisfaction if you’re working. You’ll create small changes one-by-one that will move your energy needle in big ways.

I’ll show you how the things you do all day can matter as much or more than exercise in either draining you of energy or in giving you more than you’ve had in years.

Hormone Balancing

Your midlife hormones change and make your exercise and nutrition type and timing different than they’ve ever been before. I’ll show you the connection between your hormones and your energy, weight, stress level and your libido so you can make choices that balance you best. We’ll create a routine so that you can pull it all together. I’ll teach you how to read and interpret your signs and symptoms to create a plan that puts you back in your best balance. I wrote the book on hormones and exercise and I’m going to give you the tools to reset your energy and work with your hormones rather than against them. If you’re testing, or supplementing, we’ll use that information so you’re not running from one expert to another trying to pull it all together by yourself.

cafe-image

What’s included in the Café in 2017:

This isn’t just exercise. It’s about more than weight loss. This is complete whole-person change. You won’t just learn a few strategies and move on to the next program or diet.

You may start raw, low on energy, frustrated, and exhausted. You’re going to finish having created the life and lifestyle you want.

The Café membership is $97/month beginning Jan 1 for as long as you want to continue. You can stop your membership at any point (but, why would you?)

RIGHT NOW YOU CAN JOIN FOR $189 for the entire year. (ends Dec 31, midnight)

Private coaching with me for 90 Days is $1197. Or join the Café for a year and really change the way you think, eat, move, and live.

If private coaching feels like the best option for you: The Café membership is complimentary with VIP Coaching ($1197) during your coaching for 3 months.

RIGHT NOW… ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP is $189.

Sunday that option is gone and month-to-month memberships are $97.

Deciding what you want is easy. Committing takes another step and Dave Smith of makeyourbodywork.com and I reveal what that is that will make your commitment. We want to hear from you! Follow up here or reach dave@makeyourbodywork.com

I am a research geek. I love to scour the fitness association journals that fall into my inbox and dig further from the often misinterpreted articles forwarded to me by clients to find the best information available for application in designing videos, workouts, and programs that I first use myself before sharing. 

I’ve included here a trio of the highlights of the studies that caught my eye in this last half of 2016. 

episode-13-imageThe Best Loads and Movement Speeds for Your Workout

This study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning provided information about the best use of speed during the lifting phase of weight training. When you lift quickly and lower with control we refer to it as using “power.” It’s important to make the distinction between using power and simply going to fast such that you’re using momentum. I caution bootcamp trainers and attendees not to rush through exercises so quickly that there’s a compromise in the quality of exercise.

Power has been proven over and over to offer a higher energy expenditure. To me and you, that is essentially like getting a two-for-one. Weight training is not traditionally known as a “calorie burner” compared to aerobic conditioning exercise. And please don’t input that calorie burning is the goal: it’s not as valuable as changing body composition by increasing lean and reducing body fat. Yet, lifting with power can do both increase lean muscle tissue that increases energy expenditure after exercise and increase the energy expended during.

There is something to consider though when you’re doing exercises. The optimal load to lift has to be reached to give you the best results. You have to consider you and your injuries, fitness level, and whether you’ve had a significant enough adaptation period to slow lifting before you add power. In addition, however, the research shows that power at about 50% of your 1-rep max equivalent for upper body exercises and at 80% of your 1-rep max for lower body is best.

That may sound Greek so let me explain. A 50% load is a weight that you can lift about 25 times. At 80% you would only be able to lift a weight 10 times.

I can tell you that for home exercise it’s almost impossible to attain that kind of heavy load. It requires a machine weight or additional support of some kind. If you exercise at home, then, yes it’s still worth it. Do the heaviest load you safely can still using power.

In addition to energy expenditure, lifting at this kind of load for lower body especially, lends itself to weight loss and bone density benefits beyond other kinds of protocols.

next-kickstart

There Really is a Best Time for You to Exercise

If you want to reduce your chance of becoming obese, exercise in the morning. The study  of 7157 women finds that those less active in the morning hours were 26% more likely to be obese. We don’t honestly know from the results why exactly. I do have several theories however. Tied to prior bodies of research showing that those who exercise early are the most regular exercisers (59%) and to some evidence that fat oxidation is increased with exercise most (and some studies show only) if it’s done in the morning.

Non-scientifically, my working with clients over the last 32 years in groups big and small, as well as one-on-one, has proven over and over again that those clients who exercise early are more active ALL DAY long. Missing morning exercise, or planning even to exercise later in the day, often fails to produce the same kind of results.

If You Have the Time, Alternate Your Strength and Your Cardio Days

If you’re really focused on improving your body composition, that is, losing fat and increasing your lean for better strength, stamina, and tone, lift on one day and do cardio on another. Don’t mix the two.

Though your heart rate will be falsely elevated and your perception of the exercise being “a good one” because it feels harder, your strength benefits will be less than if you split the days you strength train and the days you do your cardio.

Resistance training is negatively impacted by prior aerobic endurance activity. Four different aerobic, or cardiovascular exercise, protocols all negatively affected strength performance when the strength training occurred immediately after. The cardio exercises included a 45 minute run, 20-minute run, interval running, and hill running.

If you have to schedule it all on the same days of the week to fit it in, don’t despair. Especially if you’re a beginner, including each of these components of exercise at all is the first step. Once you progress, however, and particularly if you’re not seeing results though you’re “exercising” then it’s time to change your routine in order to get a change in results.

Clearly, if you are not as strong, and unable to bring your body to true fatigue (vs. what feels like more work from a cumulative effect of exercise), you’ll miss a few of the benefits of resistance training.


I’d love to hear from you. What are your biggest questions about fitness for your second 5o?

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deb-boat-1This Christmas I haven’t sent out cards. I am not caught in the three-days-before-Christmas Day hustle. It’s been a year full of surprises, not all good. It has changed my wishes, however, for the better. I don’t have any real material wants this year.

I do have wishes for you however.

I wish you peace with your body.

I wish you freedom from thinking about food.

I wish you the belief you have strength to do anything you need to do.

I wish you someone to share your joys and sorrows with. If even for a little while. The right someone for a short time is better than the wrong one forever.

I wish you extreme self care every day all year.

I wish you the physical health and energy to live life fully doing the things that make you joyous with the people you want to share them with.

That, is fitness.

Fitness is not the shape of your back side, the size of your waistband, or the ability to go sleeveless.

It’s not perfection. It’s not for a few minutes. It’s not something you’ll work so hard for then be so fearful you’ll lose it that you can’t enjoy it.

Don’t confuse fitness with exercise and dieting.

It’s easy to get caught up in end results such that all you can think about is exercise, what you eat, what you don’t eat. When anything takes over your life it isn’t healthy, well, or fit to live with.

Find yourself and your joy and you’ll find fitness. Or, potentially, it will find you.

Happiest of Holidays.

I’ll be here Flipping 50 for you in 2017 when you’re ready for the beauty and energy that starts within.

Debra

  1. Incredible Weight Loss at 57 That’s Changing Health, Energy, and Life

On this show, my guest Tracey shared her story of ignoring the reality of her diabetes for a decade and finally “got it.”

When I interviewed her about the journey she’d taken, she was excited. He had matched her age with her recent weight loss. Since I not long ago shared her story again, she connected and told me she had made even more progress and lost even more weight since May… stay tuned for that. Tracey and I are still trying to connect for an update on how she did it.

There are two reasons I love this episode. One, it’s never too late to change your mind and your habits. Two, you can get a second chance: the body is resilient if you start doing the right things. A lifetime of your past habits don’t have to define you. You’ve got this. Originally aired: May 10 

  1. Your Thyroid Health Questions Answered

Thyroid is always a hot topic. Here’s what I’ve learned from my clients and audiences in my workshops, presentations since I’ve been speaking now for 30 years. We know it’s important and yet we don’t quite know how our habits and lifestyle impact our adrenals or our thyroid health.

Until you’re diagnosed, and sometimes after giving power to the supplement to make things better, we don’t make lifestyle changes or understand the significance of them.

My guests on this episode Heather and Damian Dube went through Heather’s misdiagnosis of Hashimoto’s (the autoimmune thyroid disease) and learned how to naturally heal using lifestyle.

This episode was a story of going from rock-bottom to ultimate health in a two-year period after years of medical frustration and misdiagnosis. If there were a rags-to-riches thyroid story, this is it. I love that on this show we bring in the fact that it is not just you, but the way that entire families are affected when you aren’t at your best with self-care. Originally aired: July 18 

  1. Strength Training Solution for Belly Fat and Blood Sugar

(also titled How Much, How Often, How Long to Lift Weights)

We want the skinny jeans to fit. We want to go sleeveless, and who wouldn’t like a flatter belly? Beyond that though, there side effects of resistance training that might save your life! That’s really what this episode was all about.

I talked about the science of blood sugar changes with strength training and in turn how that can help you lose weight and target stubborn belly fat better than other forms of exercise can.

If you’re waiting for the motivation to begin weight training, this episode was it!

Originally aired: July 13 

  1. The Weight Training and Fat Loss After 50 Formula

In my book, You Still Got It, Girl I outline three specific protocols for weight training that match your goals to what you should be doing to most effectively and efficiently reach those goals.

The three biggest goals that make women seek support are weight loss, bone density, and performance. I share in this episode the specific how-to for training with a weight loss goal and how it makes the difference between you lifting weights and you really getting results you want.

It is one of my favorites because it empowers women who may not love to get sweaty or feel uncomfortable jogging, or doing traditional cardio, even “bootcamp” type sessions. Weight training is really easy to start, feels like a huge sense of accomplishment once you’ve done it, and gives you much more immediate rewards. You see and feel change much faster than you ever will with cardio. Don’t let my bias influence you, though, I loved the fact that this topic was also a big winner among listeners. You voted with your downloads so I know this is a topic you loved.

Originally aired: August 17 

  1. Finding and Keeping Motivation

I was determined to use the popularity of the episodes, and not my personal bias for what important message I wanted to put out there to select the best episodes this year. But it was hard!

So this podcast was a win-win. I wanted it to be on the list, and listeners voted it on the list. So I knew that it was important to them, too.

Of course at this time of year, if you’re reading this or listening close to the start of the New Year, or start of a new season for that matter, motivation is so key to not your starting – that’s easy – but to your keeping it going.

It’s not the beginning or the end that is hard. I think new beginnings are exciting. It’s a clean slate. The end is exciting too. When you start to see progress and your goal whether it’s finish line or an old pair of jeans you haven’t worn –comfortably – for a while or the end of say three months of a class, you can always get to the end.

It’s the middle that’s tough. When you’re slugging away and not always seeing the results and there’s resistance with other things you need to be focused on too.

So this podcast, for a coach who is an exercise and sport psychologist, is definitely a favorite. These are the things I personally use to stick to it during those harder days.

Originally aired: September 30

NOTE: The original file was corrupted since airing. Listen to this re-recording!

These six blogs were selected based on a popularity contest. That’s right, these are the homecoming queen candidates of the blog class of 2016. The blog posts with the most likes, comments, and shares from you readers earned their due spot here in this list.

I’m sharing my comments below each blog and why I think this got your attention, what prompted me to write it, and what I hope you take away from it. Here they are in David Letterman style…

episode-13-image#6

10 Things Your Personal Trainer Won’t Tell You

 

Everyone loves a secret, or maybe hates one in this case, and you want to know if there are things you should be aware of about your personal trainer. I wrote this based on having taught emerging trainers for 15 years at ISU, and having trained trainers and supervised interns as we grew a thriving training program for 7 years.

#5

The 10 Weight Loss Mistakes Women Over 50 Make Most Often

After 32 years patterns emerge. Now more than ever that’s true as I work almost exclusively with women between 48 and 65. We have some old thoughts to unlearn and this list caught your eye. I suspect because there’s some frustration in what’s not working and the lack of support that is all about you, for you specifically, from someone who gets you.

#4

Six Reasons You Can’t Stick With It and What To Do About It

Who hasn’t started something and stopped it, dropped it, or slid back into old habits even when it was all going so well? Self-sabotage has been a hot topic all year in blogs, podcasts, and even on the Flipping 50 TV.

#3

10 Ways to Stay Motivated to Exercise Holidays or Not

In this blog I revealed all of my personal tricks for sticking to it even when other things are begging for time and attention. We all have resistance to the very thing that is going to get us to our goals. After writing it, I realized just how much I rely on these tricks almost every day!

#2

Why Protein Powder Became a Staple After 50 Years of Refusing

It’s no secret there is controversy about protein powders. You’ve probably got a strong opinion. I do and I did not long ago have a very different one. This was a total reveal about how I changed and the mistakes I made for quite a while that I hope I help you avoid.

#1

5 Step Exercise Plan and Workout Guide for Energy Boosting and Fat Burning

This has been the number one most popular blog post of the year! Crazy since as simple as I thought it was at the time, it evolved from a spur of the moment video I did earlier in the year. Because of its popularity I’m doing a five part live series about how to plan your New Year’s workouts next week. Watch for the announcement on the Facebook.com/flipping50tv page.

I’d love to hear from you if there’s a blog here that really struck a cord with you. Likewise, if there is something missing that you’d like to hear more about and a search for a topic doesn’t reveal anything that you’re looking for, please ask! I’m listening.

My mission with Flipping 50 is to provide you with up-to-date information that caters to YOU, a woman who is approaching the second 50 or who is in it and determined to love it and live it fully. You’ve got gifts and wisdom, and you’ve potentially raised a family and now want to sit back (or lean in!) and enjoy your work. If that resonates with you, let’s flipping do this!


The best selling program of the year has been the Flipping 50 28-Day Kickstart and I’ve spent this past month polishing it up and improving it with more pre-program preparation and more in session live workouts with me to boost your results.

Give yourself the best possible gift by starting off this New Year eating more, exercising less, and boosting your energy.

4

Hurry while you can still get the bonuses that make this program even easier!

Pre-program prep materials start coming your way Jan 2

The program starts officially Jan 9

and Live video workouts start this week!  

Read more about the program, bonuses, and join the Private Facebook group now.

Tuesday’s blog was all about exercise and osteoporosis and today we need to dive into the flip side of bone density, nutrition. You need to have the right building blocks for bone density. And as important, avoid foods and nutrients that compete with your bone-boosters.

You already know that calcium is queen of bone density. Women need about 1200 mg after 50. If you’re deficient, or your diet has been deficient for a long while, you may need to take more.

Without enough calcium in the diet, the body leaches it from your bones. Testing can falsely show you’re sufficient in calcium. What? Yes. The blood could be sucking the calcium out of your bones.

Be a critical thinker about your diet. Do you drink plenty of high calcium foods? Do you reduce the habits that rob you of calcium? Too much caffeine and or alcohol (and certainly both) can reduce your calcium absorption.

xray

Certain nutrients can compete with calcium too. Iron, for instance is a big competitor. Read more on that below, but essentially, scheduling your supplements throughout the day is best to be sure you absorb the majority of them.

Certain lifestyle diet habits you may choose are associated with lower calcium levels. If you’re a vegan or go gluten-free for instance, I’m not challenging that, but you want to bump your awareness of calcium intake.

I think we’re all aware dairy products are notoriously highest in calcium. Who doesn’t love an excuse to eat cheese? For those of use for whom cheese doesn’t agreed with, or who opt not to do dairy, however there are PLENTY of other ways to get calcium.

See the table below. The yogurt from coconut milk is equal to dairy milk. Read labels on particular brands before you buy to be sure. You also want to check for low sugar! Skip the sweetened by fruit or other flavor options. Sugar will interfere with micronutrient absorption.

 

Yogurt, plain 415 mg
Sardines 325 mg
Almond Milk* 300 mg
Salmon, 4 oz 300 mg
Cheddar Cheese, 1 oz 307 mg
Pink Salmon, canned 181 mg
Kale, 1 cup raw 100 mg
Broccoli, 1 c 89 mg
Sesame Seeds 88 mg

All items based on a serving size and purely for comparison sake. *enriched

More Than Math

In addition to adding your dietary intake of nutrients, supplements or exposure to the sun (Vit D) you have to consider that not everything you ingest is absorbed. Certain calcium-containing foods, for instance, also contain substances that interfere with absorption. Having your smoothie with greens and almond milk for instance will decrease the total amount of calcium your body can absorb.

Phytates and oxalates (found in nuts, beans, and spinach and kale, respectively) deplete calcium. If you eat a varied diet, interactions are probably minimal but if you have your calcium regularly at the same time you have your greens, beans, or you eat soy products, regularly for instance your intake of calcium may be a false sense of security. Vegans and vegetarians should pay most attention.

Absorption of calcium decreases with age. It’s at about 60% of total dietary intake for young children and decreases by 15-20% into adulthood, continuing to decrease with age. Older adults who eat a wide variety of foods, keep coffee and alcohol to a moderate level and have low risk factors will have improved chances of getting calcium needs met.

Exercise helps. Eating a diet providing adequate Vitamin C, D, E, K, and magnesium also help.

Avoid iron supplementation at the same time you have other supplements since it’s a micronutrient competitor. Plan your iron supplement at midday or in the afternoon, for instance.

Boost Calcium Absorption

Splitting a dose of calcium supplement in two 500 mg boosts absorption compared to a single dose of 1000mg. Calcium comes in various forms, which is often confusing. Different forms are absorbed at different percentages, some as low as 21%. Read carefully the label and ask a pharmacist if you’re uncertain. One form, Calcium Citrate can be taken with or without food and is helpful if you have some digestive irritability.

*Vit D 600 IU daily dose up to age 70 and 800 beyond

Can be manufactured by the body with exposure to the sun

egg yolks, salmon, sardines, oysters, shiitake mushrooms

Certain lifestyle habits deplete Vit D including: conjugated estrogen (Premphase, Premarin, Prempro) Corticosteroids, oral contraceptives, caffeine, gluten-free diet, lack of sunlight, low fat diets, phytates, stress, and vegan/vegetarian diets.

Keep in mind the indicated dosage levels are ideal if you’ve had a history of sufficient intake. Higher doses of micronutrients may be warranted if you’re deficient.

Are you concerned about your bones?

One of the best ways to enhance your knowledge power about nutrients that can either rob you of health or give you more is the 28 Day Kickstart. We’re starting in January and supporting you now! Learn more.

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Calton, Jayson, PhD., and Mira. The Micronutrient Miracle. Rodale Books. New York, NY. 2015

Moyer VA. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation to prevent fractures in adults: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med 2013;158:691-6.

National Institutes of Health https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/bone/bone_health/nutrition/

Thulkar J, Singh S, Sharma S, Thulkar T. Preventable risk factors for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Mid-Life Health. 2016;7(3):108-113. doi:10.4103/0976-7800.191013.

When you’re setting New Year’s resolutions or considering gingerly easing yourself off the couch, its not typically bone density that motivates you. In 32 years as a fitness professional and in addition to the sessions I’ve personally conducted,  supervised 200,000 personal training sessions over a six year period of time, exactly twice have I had a call from someone whose sole reason for contacting me was to improve bone density. Prior to each of those phone calls, both women had had a conversation with their doctor.

“Deb, I have osteoporosis.”

Their major risk factors?

They both had small frames and low weight. Though both had a long history of regular physical activity, neither had a history of weight training. In other cases, among women of various weights and frames, upon discovery of osteopenia or osteoporosis when supplementation and exercise were recommended, again, weight training had never been a part of the exercise routine.

If you’re looking for cliff note version of this blog, it is this: begin lifting weights.

If you’re currently lifting, don’t stop.

Beyond that, make sure your exercise routine matches your goal. Pink 2-pound dumbbells and your own body weight are not enough to increase bone density.

You may prefer it. You may find it more convenient. However, light weight done many times does not have the same effect on bones as does heavy weight done with fewer repetitions. You may need access to machine weights and/or to heavier options than you can safely perform at home.

Yes, you may start at home. You may start with light weights, and in fact, I recommend it. Get instruction on good technique. Posture is a main concern and primary focus for preventing and treating osteoporosis and the risk of fracture. I’ll dive into the rest of the facts. It’s often confusing, and information can be conflicting. As a Medical Exercise Specialist having lectured since 1996 about osteoporosis prevention and protocols I share here the most common misconceptions among women, trainers, and even doctors.


xray

You may not have time right now. You may prefer other forms of exercise more. The fact is, however, no exercise mode will help you reduce bone losses more (if you’re over 50) as resistance training will. No exercise left out of your routine will increase your risk for osteoporosis and fractures more than weight training.

Based on several factors, among them bone density, weight training should move to your A list of priorities if you’re 50 or older.

Since your bone mass peaked somewhere between 30 and 35, you’ve been losing 1-3% of your bone mass annually if you keep up with the average. During menopause which lasts 3-5 years for some women, bone losses accelerate to 3-5% of total bone mass a year. Eventually, losses return to an average of about 1% for most women but can be higher depending on several lifestyle factors for the rest of your life.

If you’re doing math, and you plan to live to 100, the problem becomes obvious. It all hinges on how much bone density you had in the bank in the first place. Up to the point you peaked at bone density your bone remodeled faster than it broke down. At midlife the breakdown occurs at a faster rate. So, it’s time to look at how exercise can help decrease your risk of osteoporosis, the diagnosis of a bone density statistically below ideal. Osteopenia is simply that no-woman’s land between ideal and 2.5 standard deviations below the ideal. It’s still not good.

Risk Factors for Osteoporosis include:

Uncontrollable risk factors:

Controllable risk factors:

This list is not all-inclusive.

The best time to build bone density is in childhood and adolescence. Higher impact activities will impose stress on the bones, and in return the bone responds by getting stronger. Jumping and gymnastics lend themselves to greater bone density that do swimming and bicycling. This is true both for children and adults. Of course, the risk of certain high impact activities for adults has to be measured against the benefit.

There are different levels of recommended activity based on your current status. Ironically, what builds bone density and prevents osteoporosis, may be a risk factor for fracture once you have osteoporosis.

Continuum of Exercise for Bone Density

In this continuum to visually provide you a better picture, imagine a big gap between running and plyometric exercise. The difference is that great. “Adequate load” indicated next to weight training means that if you’ve never lifted weights before light weights will reap some rewards as you increase progressively in the first six months. Beyond six months, however, you may not experience more benefit unless you increase your load or add speed (power) to the movement. Ten or fewer repetitions correlates with 80% of a 1-repetition maximum, or the equivalent, and has been associated with the most bone benefits.

Keeping Your Eye On The Bone

Increases in bone density are relatively small for post-menopausal women but the losses attenuated make risk of fracture significantly lower. That is, you are not going to experience much increase in bone density after you’ve reached the peak at age 35. You can, however, slow the eminent losses. I mentioned above average losses of 1-3% a year, accelerated to 3-5% during menopause, resuming 1-3% loss a year after menopause. If you’re lifting weights and gain a single percent offsetting loss the net change of 4% at best would be significant.

Levels of Exercise for Osteoporosis

No diagnosis: current exercise guidelines are appropriate – 2x a week weight training, cardiovascular moderate exercise 30 minutes most days or vigorous exercise total of 75 mins a week, with vigorous providing more benefit

Diagnosis: moderate preferred over vigorous, individual assessment for movement

For All:

Daily: back extension strengtheners, balance, and endurance (holds of pressing shoulders to the ground – head supported by a pillow only if it doesn’t touch the surface

Spine-sparing techniques: hip hinge, rise from the floor, core strength, avoid rotation of rapid or repetitive forward flexion with load

Mature woman exercising

When You Have Osteoporosis

Individuals vary on what they can do based on their history of activity and experience as well as severity of bone loss. One of the clients I mentioned in the opening paragraphs loved downhill skiing and was about to retire in Colorado spending a great deal of time doing it. Fear suddenly hit her. With her doctor’s blessing however, she continued. The risk of potentially not living life to it’s fullest also had to be considered.

Experts in general all agree that movement is better than not moving and that there shouldn’t be a “generic” weight or activity restriction placed on all people diagnosed with osteoporosis. You may receive a “don’t lift more than 10 pound” limit recommendation. Be sure to ask for details about why and share your personal activity history to be sure that’s a fit for you.

History of Spinal Fractures?

If you have experienced one or more fractures, you want even more specific advice. Get an individual assessment of balance, mobility, past activities, and how your daily activities of life should be done to modify movement so you can reduce risk of further fracture.

Seek:

  1. a Medical Exercise Specialist or Clinical Exercise Specialist (look for ACE or ACSM certifications)
  2. with experience working with osteoporosis diagnosis (you don’t want someone cutting their teeth on your case)

I’d love to hear from you. Post your questions and comments.

Is osteoporosis a concern for you? Have you had a bone scan?

Next Blog: Watch Thursday for the second part of this blog about the nutrition side of the story.

Resources: 

Guadalupe-Grau A1, Fuentes T, Guerra B, Calbet JA. Exercise and bone mass in adults. Sports Med. 2009;39(6):439-68. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200939060-00002.

Giangregorio LM, McGill S, Wark JD, et al. Too Fit To Fracture: outcomes of a Delphi consensus process on physical activity and exercise recommendations for adults with osteoporosis with or without vertebral fractures. Osteoporosis international : a journal established as result of cooperation between the European Foundation for Osteoporosis and the National Osteoporosis Foundation of the USA. 2015;26(3):891-910. doi:10.1007/s00198-014-2881-4.

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