I wouldn’t agree with experts who say the natural process of aging leads to muscle loss, but if you aren’t strength training there is an average loss of .5 lbs a year that begins at age 30. This means some of us are losing more than that and some less. The problem is, you don’t know which you are until it’s too late.
The only way to offset losses is strength training. Aerobic exercise does not do it.
Bone losses begin at almost the same time as muscle losses. Bone loss of 1-3% annually of for women accelerates to 3-5% during menopause and then returns to the pre menopause level losses after. In later decades however, both bone and muscle losses can accelerate again, for those adults not strength training, that is.
The combination less muscle and weak bones put you both more at risk for falls and more at risk for fractures due to falls.
Even if you are the same weight at 50 that you were at 30, if you’ve lost 5 lbs (average) of muscle each decade since 30, your body fat is higher and lean muscle is lower.
If you weighed 140 and had 20% body fat at age 30 you had 112 lbs lean and 28 lbs fat.
If you still weigh, 140 at 50 your body fat is now 27% with 102 lbs lean and 38 lbs fat.
Muscle is metabolically active tissue: it burns calories. Fat does not.
So, while you would be weaker with less muscle you also would have a steadily slowing metabolism meaning you would have to eat less and less in order to even maintain that same weight. Increased body fat increases your risk of disease.
The stronger your muscles the more protected your joints and ligaments. Even as you age and you become less resilient, you will be at much lower risk of injury from the strength itself, but there’s more. If you’re training with a mixture of power, and strength, and functional movements you will be able to react and respond better to situations we will all encounter.
The slippery tub or shower floor, the unexpected ice patch or the quick actions of a young child will be less of a risk for you.
Women, more than men are susceptible to depression in later years. Exercise of all kinds boosts mood through serotonin. Regular exercise is good mental health insurance. Depression is tied to dementia and Alzheimers. Exercise is also known to enhance brain health and memory as well as cognitive function in older adults.
Regulation of blood sugar levels is a benefit of regular exercise. An acute bout of exercise increases insulin sensitivity. Repeated regular exercise can play a big role in improving or preventing diabetes or blood sugar issues not yet diagnosed as diabetes.
Certainly, this list is not all-inclusive. There are over 80 diseases directly tied to exercise. That is a lack of exercise correlates with greater risk of disease. Adults who regularly exercise have reduced incidence of disease. As you age, muscle losses stand to have the greatest detriment on your health, leading to a cascade of other negative side affects.
The good news… with little time and little skill… muscle loss is preventable.
Need some support with your weight training start? Click here for the weight training and nutrition that supports your exercise in Flipping 50’s 28 Day Kickstart.
Click the image to use my checklist for exercise habits that give you the most results in the least amount of time.
Unlike any other health coach you’ll meet… Christie Miller had successful careers as a Financial Analyst, Corporate Attorney, Interior Designer, and LA County Sheriff before discovering her true passion: motivating and coaching people to make meaningful changes in their lives.
She’s got a new mission and a new summit. Join us both there!
Fit women do things differently. For 34 years I’ve been a fitness leader and life coach for groups, individuals, and VIP clients. I’ve had face-to-face clients from next door and virtual clients from around the world. I’ve spoke to hundreds of large corporate and small groups. The women who follow through and reach their goals think differently. Some start thinking this way. Some change their thoughts to get here.
Fit women, though aren’t, “different.” They’re you. Getting fit and reaching your personal best is both a matter of learning the science, the new science, of fitness especially at midlife, and the art of thinking that what you want is possible. Here’s to opening up and elevating the possibilities.
These same people will push your limits and your buttons. Not by accident they tend to be fit women even when we’re talking career or relationships. They believe you can do it or they wouldn’t be pushing. Coaches, trainers, and or a community who are doing what you’re doing or what you want to be doing are imperative to your support. Increase the time you spent with the right push, support, and encouragement.
“Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness.”
Information gathering is fine. Unless you create a deadline to start, however, you can stay in this space forever.
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
It never takes one try to reach a goal. The path is rarely linear. Fit women have failed. Habit change is cyclic. An average of seven attempts happens, each time bringing you a little closer to your goal, before you change a habit. Each missed attempt provides a wealth of information to plan the next step.
“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”
~ Arianna Huffington
One of the hardest questions for many women to answer is, “what do you want?” If you’re focused only on knowing that what you have you don’t want, spend time identifying your real want before you start running blindly in some random direction.
Goal setting is overrated. Fit women aren’t program-hopping magic bullet seekers. Yes, you need a plan. Plan twice, in fact, and cut once. Then go like hell to the goal. It is the actions that matter most.
Close your open loops. All the unfinished projects and tasks you have are resistance to actually moving in a direction that gets you ahead. You can’t fail if you don’t actually start. Define one singular goal you can focus on now. Enter a race. Take a class. Learn to cook healthfully. Get to it first. Don’t change the stakes as you approach the finish line. Celebrate. Then move to the next goal.
Too often we ask why me. Women who make steady progress catch themselves when they create their own ceiling. They don’t say, I can’t because I’m lazy, I’ve screwed up my metabolism, or I guess I’m just not motivated. Ask the question, “Do I want that to be true?”
If the answer is no, find an alternative statement to flip your mindset. What you tell yourself you will do everything in your subconscious power to make true.
“When the mind believes something, the body will come along for the ride.”
Everyone has a reason why a goal is important. It isn’t about weight loss, or about flat abs or toned arms. It’s about confidence, being comfortable in your own skin, or eliminating fear. If it brings you to tears, it’s motivational. No one can motivate you if you don’t know what your why is.
“Reading motivational quotes won’t make you successful. Just saying.”
All the time spent looking for the short cut is usually time that you could have you on the path, and closer to your destination. Just start.
“Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.”
We’re so good at complicating things. Move more. Exercise less. Eat better. Sleep more. Find joy to offset stress. Today that means take a walk, have more vegetables at lunch, go to bed an hour earlier, and do something that makes you laugh. Can you do that?
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
~Leonardo da Vinci
Stop comparing yourself and your path to someone else.
“Comparison is the death of joy.”
The science of fitness, nutrition, and the human body has evolved. You may have first learned something with the best science available at the time. If that science has been replaced by new and better science, you want to apply that.
“If you’re not growing you’re dying.”
You have all the tools you need right now. If you’re staying in destination addiction thinking there is newer and better around the corner, start looking inside where the answers really are.
It doesn’t always have to be your ideal. It may be second best. Some days just call for the if-all-else-fails plan. It still happens. That’s what matters. Fit women will tell you that their greatest exercise partner is consistency. It tends to be less about heavy vs. light, and run vs. lift and more about something done routinely and regularly.
“The more consistent you are, the less perfect you have to be.”
From these set the actions that you’ll do to reach them. You do need smaller steps. You first have to have something that gives you a face-splitting grin when you think about it.
Rest is under-appreciated, under-rated, and mandatory for real success in all things. Sleep is the ultimate rest. It’s been called the athlete’s steroid. It may be the 50-something woman’s bulletproof weapon against all things she wants to avoid.
All the things you’re putting off are not a guarantee. Your body did not come with a warranty.
“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”
They, quite simply, are. You have stressors and time takers because you have a meaningful life. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for them.
You don’t have time to cook? You’re too busy to exercise or sleep? That thinking implies that taking care of your body is optional. It suggests that someday you will have more time, a maid, a personal chef, and you won’t have laundry.
You’re not going to get this right every time. It may not be what you’re eating but what’s eating you. Fit women, who maintain it, are fit inside and out. Purge your critical inner voice and nurture yourself.
Losing weight takes effort. Keeping weight off requires more effort. There really isn’t an exit ramp. Start with activities that will bring you joy forever.
“It is not really work if you are having fun.”
~ Pierre Omidyar
Maybe that means a manicure or massage. Maybe it means learning more about the emotion that causes emotional eating. Maybe dressing in clothes you love. It definitely means finding the things you love about your body more often than you find the flaws. Your body is a reflection of how you feel about yourself.
Women have a habit of comparing themselves to others in every aspect of life. Someone else has a more beautiful kid, a better job, a nicer house, and of course, a better body. Yes. They always will. So, get on with living your life and loving what you’ve got. If you’re always focused on what someone else has you’ll never be happy.
At 101 Julia Hawkins, recently began competitive running. She reflected not on her 30s or 40s, but on her 60’s and 70’s in terms of the energy she remembers having. No matter how old you are or how late you think it is, time is going to pass anyway, you’ll wish you’d started sooner. So do.
“I don’t have the energy I did when I was 60 or 70.”
If you’ve had a knee replacement, you’re headed for one, or you’re trying to avoid* one, this is your episode. The guest question today is from Von who had both hips and both knees replaced. With limitations it can be hard to know what to do safely to either avoid pain or avoid damage to the new joints.
*If you’re experiencing significant joint pain and trying to avoid* surgery, be cautious. When you’re trying to continue exercise or moving about your life you are most likely compromising elsewhere in your body. If you have a knee joint issue, for instance, what may happen is lower back issues or hip or ankle issues as a result of your compromising. Even shoulder issues are not uncommon because the body will do whatever it needs to so it can have balance. Chronic pain in your body is a message. Consider your options and make the best decision both for now and later.
Exercise Solutions for reducing stress on joints
A stationary bike or a Nu-Step can be good non-weight bearing options. Be aware that a good bike fit can make all the difference and an upright or a recumbent bike may work better for you. We’re each built different and every injury is different.
If you’ve begun with little base of exercise and do 10 or 15 minutes you want to progress. Slowly increase your time by 2 minutes a week…. Until you’re at 30 -35 minutes 3x a week. That’s a good foundation of aerobic activity.
Then focus on options that make exercise fun and give you some variety. A pool is always a good option if it’s available. Water walking, jogging (suspended with a belt), or actually swimming will allow you to safely use resistance of the water to further develop your aerobic fitness and do some safe resistance training as well. We focused on these do-anywhere exercises on the show! Watch episode 23 to see (and do) the exercises!
In order to lose weight with limited exercise (or for full on exercise, for that matter!) you have to have the best nutrition choices available. If you’re making some of the common mistakes I go over in the show getting results will be hard! Clean out the pantry…NOW!
With the right foods available you make it easy to do the right thing and you’ll feel so much better. Move the chips, popcorn, and sugary items out. It’s not that you won’t ever have a treat, but when you start putting better fuel in you will get off that addiction and need for foods that make you store fat and deplete your energy.
P.S. Your achy or painful anything…is an indication of inflammation. The right foods help decrease inflammation. The result? You’ll feel more like moving! These are the “flips” Von needed. How do your daily habits stack up?
Flip: High carb breakfast for a high protein one…
Flip: sugary sports drinks for water with lemon, add a little stevia for a simple lemonade
Flip: popcorn, chips, and nuts, and cookies for veggies and hummus or fruit and almond butter
TIP: The fat, fiber, and protein will kill your cravings for sugar.
The Key Flip of the Day
When you have limitations – time, or physical conditions – look for the solutions you CAN do. There is always an option.
I was reminded recently that some of my readers are just starting exercise. You’re enjoying the nutrition tips, and lifestyle flips, but haven’t yet made the commitment to regular exercise. So this is for you. Read this short post on the basics. Start with one step. You do want weight training but it doesn’t all have to come at once. If you want some guided support for 4 weeks in April, the 28-day kick start is filling now. Class begins with early info for bonuses next week.
A solid foundation is necessary for anything. For fitness, building the base begins with consistent steady exercise. This kind of aerobic conditioning base is reflected by the recommended 10K steps a day and guidelines to get 30 minutes of activity five days a week.
These are each an excellent first step before or excellent supplement to a 3 times a week 30 minutes at steady state. Once you’re able to do that consistently for several weeks, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
Of course, there are all kinds of ways to evaluate whether you’re at this level. With the advent of interval training however many skip this initial base building. Understand that skipping a solid fitness 1`foundation, just like a house, leaves you with problems later.
During this phase:
Walk three times a week (or your equivalent of elliptical, bike, etc.) for 30 minutes
Introduce more frequency, duration, intensity and interval training. That doesn’t mean your steady state exercise will disappear completely, however.
It’s easy to be caught up in the desire to have results faster and buy into the fat burning potential of high intensity interval training. While, intervals can be appropriate for almost everyone, even elite athletes use a large percent of their training time in steady state base building. The amount of your total training time spent doing interval training, that is, of high enough intensity to truly increase fat burning, is relatively small in comparison to the base training time.
Compare interval training to taking supplements. Supplements don’t replace a diet rich in nutrients, they enhance your diet with vitamins and minerals you’re potentially low in. Likewise, you can’t interval train only without a regular active life and lower level of aerobic activity most days of the week.
During this phase:
Dr. Devaki Lindsey Berkson connects the dots of science, informing the public about emerging health issues and then recommending safe, natural answers. She pioneered the concept the unappreciated role of hormones and intimacy with the gut. She shares with Flipping 50 the good and bad estrogen, talks soy or not to soy, and her brand new book Sexy Brain.
Learn more about Dr. Berkson, her new book, and your sexy brain:
Reach here at firstname.lastname@example.org
Resource we mentioned:
Natural Answers for Women’s Health (available on Dr Berkson’s website)
It’s March madness as I write this. How appropriate that you pull your dream team of hormones together to boost metabolism and get yourself on the path to knowing when which ones, how to nurture them, so you don’t have to sit on the bench.
Insulin’s job is to reduce glucose levels and promote storage of glucose, fat, and amino acids. This is not your friend.
You know what they say, keep your friends close and enemies closer. Glucose uptake during exercise increases by seven to 20 times over resting levels. Additionally, muscle sensitivity to insulin is increased even after a workout. Regular exercise can help you win insulin over.
Glucogon has the opposite effect of insulin. (aka, meet your new BFF). It stimulates almost immediate release of glucose from the liver. Low blood glucose levels stimulate it’s release. In part, this is why intermittent fasting helps some individuals increase metabolism (it may or may not be right for you).
Cortisol stimulates Free Fatty Acid (FFA) metabolism from your fat stores (aka bat wings, belly fat) Sounds good, right? The catch is this slow-acting hormone is backstabbing.
Just when you think you’ve got it figured out and you’ll just get that FFA stimulation going for a long time and lose that fat fast, the fact is elevated cortisol for prolonged periods is lined to:
It’s all relative. Marathon runners have been studied most for obvious reasons. But what if your marathon is a mile walk or a walk around the block? If you over do it and double your distance, for instance, doing too much too soon it will backfire.
The very thing you think is the solution to weight loss causes a decrease in metabolism from the loss of muscle due to breakdown and tissue wasting.
Growth Hormone (GH or HGH) is someone you should meet. She is a major player in protein synthesis. You can’t stop aging or the decline of GH that comes with it.
Short term Physical Activity (PA) stimulates GH. Are you recently getting started? You’ll get a bigger increase after workouts. Sleep boosts GH too. Solid sleep that allows you the deep sleep cycles will help you with GH most.
Testosterone may be a hormone you didn’t know you needed. Though it’s not a point guard, you do want to be boss at times, right? Lift weights with intensity for the best boost in testosterone. You need it to maintain muscle and go boardroom to bedroom with confidence. True, there are fewer studies on women and testosterone increases due to exercise. If you’re able to use this hormone to your advantage the bonus is more strength that will lead to the ability to do more.
Don’t miss these blogs about hormones if you want to learn more:
The best ways to get the steps to reduce insulin, boost glucagon, growth hormone and testosterone is the 28-Day Kickstart. You’ll unlearn old, sabotaging habits, and learn the right (and easy to live with) habits. Save your spot.
Do you sit at a desk or computer all day? Do you have chronic tension in your upper back and neck? Upper back and neck pain are one of the major complaints of women of all ages. It’s where women tend to hold their tension. In this episode of Flipping 50 TV, I tackle upper back and neck pain from sitting at a desk or doing repetitive work.
Today’s Muscles in Minutes segment is no sweat. Really. Get more comfortable and then more movement will be a natural. It’s a three-step process.
To reduce or prevent upper back and neck pain and strain, follow these three steps. Hint: even if you don’t have pain, these can feel good and give you a second wind for an afternoon at the desk!
Step 1: Release
Step 2: Restore
Step 3: Re-strengthen
Little known fact: Walking, jogging, or equipment-based cardio can make matters worse if you hold yourself tightly. You may not know you’re doing it.
Walk this Way: Be aware of your form. Watch the tips for swinging your arms and moving your upper body when you walk.
Check in with your posture every 5 minutes or every few blocks of your walk. Use the end of a song or a certain corner as a cue.
Upper back and neck pain is the topic of this episode! So how does that relate to eating? It’s all related. Eating too little slows your metabolism. Everything you eat sends a message to your body. Everything you don’t eat also does. You’re either telling it to speed up or slow down. If you eat less your body will burn less.
If you’ve fallen into the trap of just grabbing a coffee, then not having much for lunch, and getting by with a salad or skipping dinner at night, your body is stressed and needs to recover from what feels like a diet even if that isn’t your intention.
Beyond Coffee: Start with a real breakfast
Build a smoothie in minutes (or seconds with the NutriBullet Pro: take $20 off special for our Flipping 50 TV community)… if smoothie isn’t your jam, put these contents into your morning on a plate instead.
Lunch with Variety
Whether you’re used to soup, or a salad, vary the protein (make sure it’s in there!), the veggies and add potatoes or gluten-free rice, beans, or quinoa cooked with some heathy fat or topped with an avocado.
It’s fine to keep it light and start with soup powered by veggies. Or build a simple bowl of veggies, rice and protein. Spice it up for endless variety.
Without enough of the right fuel you increase your stress and decrease your energy level.
Upper back and neck pain is a sign of stress. Ironically, whether you’re underweight or overweight, or simply overtired, reducing physical stress is often the first step toward feeling better. That means, not increasing exercise but decreasing it until you fix what’s really broken. If you’re underweight and overstressed, start by getting more sleep and releasing the tension. When you feel better, you’ll want to move more!
The Key Flip of the Day
Stress accumulates from all areas of your life. Instead of putting a band-aid on one area, go right for the root cause of your stress.
For the rest of the Flipping 50 conversation get the insider news I only share in emails. Remember, flipping 50 is not 5-0, it’s the entire second half… whether you’re on your way and want to make it a great ride when you get there or you’ve turned the corner.
Most games are won in the second half.
The rest of the world may be full of green beer and green bread, and enjoying it. You can have the color, the taste, and love the way you feel tomorrow! A few of my favorites. Happy St. Patrick’s day! If you’re reading this on St. Patrick’s Day weekend you can stock up on the protein shakes that make these a metabolism-boosting treat. Shop this weekend for 20% off your protein shake order!
1 serving vanilla protein shake
6 leaves romaine
¼ bunch cilantro
1½ c pineapple
Sweet and Tart at the same time. Let’s face it though, drinking this without protein in it has some good for you things but also has about 19 grams of sugar. So add vanilla protein shake mix and the mild taste of vanilla still allows the green to come out.
Heat the milk but not to boiling. Place the matcha powder in the bottom of your lucky Irish mug and pour in ¼ cup of the milk. Whisk together and then add the remained of the milk. Add a little stevia to sweeten if you prefer.
*remember that this is a great pre- interval training drink if you’re interested in burning 29% more fat after.
1 apple, diced
2 kiwi, peeled and diced
Juice from 1 lime
1 handful spinach
1 stalk celery
Few drops stevia to taste
1 serving vanilla protein shake
Full of natural inflammation fighters and antioxidants with a taste you’ll love. Let your body naturally do it’s job with a tall glass of green goodness.