I don’t have time to work out.
This post is not going to sit well with you potentially. So read this next couple sentences carefully.
If you’re content to complain about not having time or energy to workout and you truly think that on summer break or once you retire, or that it must be easier for someone who doesn’t live where you live or work the kind of job you work, or have kids and a spouse or kids and no spouse…
Then stop reading/listening.
This will be a waste of time and it may ruffle your feathers.
It’s B.S. that you’re in your “comfort zone” and its hard to get out of your comfort zone. Because that’s what we say right? That’s what so many employees have said to me. “I’m just not comfortable with that.” And a few woman in pursuit of more energy, their best health, who aren’t willing to be uncomfortable for a while and wrap their mind around the fact discomfort is growth.
If you … were in your “comfort zone” you wouldn’t be looking for change.
Every professional woman I know – whether it’s a coaching client, a speaking colleague or a fitness professional – dreams it will get easier when she’s making more money, gets a promotion, or has her own business, or maybe has lost the weight.
Guess what? No that’s not how it works. When you get to the next level and the next, every single time it gets harder. You work harder.
Your habits have to be better more consistent.
The life that you have now is the cost of the life you want.
You don’t get to spend hours on the internet playing Candy Crush or watching Netflix late at night. Not if you want energy, great skin, a clear mind and a great mood the next day. If you want to stop aches and pains start sleeping better, the cost is the glass or two of wine you want several times or more a week.
If you want to have a change you have to change and yes, the unknown may not be what you think it will… it may be better!
No matter where you are you can look at any one else- everyone else- and see how much easier they have it.
So I’m going to give you a second chance to bail. You will not offend me.
But have you ever noticed war vets come back having lost a leg and end up doing marathons. Blind people do triathlon. People with diseases choose not to accept the diagnosis as a prognosis. Even though it hurts, it’s hard, and it gets resistance from everyone around them.
If you won’t start for eight more weeks because you’re going to retire then and that’s when you’ll start, there is a good chance that you won’t. You won’t treat it like a job then either. Like it’s not optional. Like it could save your life or at least put years in your life. Because it won’t be convenient then either.
You’ll be retired. You’ll be free and want to enjoy it.
The devil you do know is better than the devil you don’t.
It’s silly really to talk about time. Which is where inevitably this conversation almost always goes. Blogs and articles go into how long it takes. And how quickly you can really work out. The 15-minute or the 7-minute or the 4-minute workouts are all the rage. But they are no better than anything else if you don’t do them.
So it’s not time.
You have time. You’re just spending it doing something else.
Cruising the internet, supposedly catching up with “friends” not really online at the same time anyway. Watching movies. Staying up late so everything takes longer due to brain fog. You’re making bad choices.
You have time.
If you want to do something you do have time.
The real answer to how much time? In 10 minutes twice a week you can do a strength training workout. In an hour a week you can prepare 3 main courses and a couple sides so you stop eating out.
You choose not to do this. It’s an excuse.
You and I are very good at convincing ourselves our perception is reality.
If you’re going to use it, call it what it is and decide you don’t want this bad enough.
Whatever this is… more energy, healthy weight, feeling sexy and vibrant.
There is something much deeper than not having time or wanting to get out of your comfort zone and it’s not… easier for everyone else.
A vacation is not a trash your body experience for someone who loves herself. So what’s up with that? You don’t really want it.
You do hard things in certain areas but not others? That could be it. You don’t have any ability right now to do more because you’re in a lot of hard things as it is. You’re using willpower up.
That’s OK. I get that.
But don’t trash yourself. Don’t decide, I can’t workout right now and then go and eat out four times and get dessert every time. Don’t stay up late and do something so wasted like cruise the internet. How does that make your life better? If you want to call a friend, try the phone.
Don’t resign to an inability to sleep and then drink wine every night and pass it off as “light” drinking instead of addiction. Whether the alcohol or the sugar an every evening cocktail ritual is probably not your longevity’s best friend – or if you’ve got a weight loss goal or struggle with sleep, there are so many ways that this complicates your health. Inflammation, insulin, influencing your choice.
I don’t have time to workout ? In the face of things like this, turns to I don’t have energy to workout. When you stay up way too late, you’re already way too stressed, of course you don’t have energy to workout.
And no one, girlfriend is going to give you permission or should have to give you permission to delay dinner by 30 minutes if you can’t exercise in the morning.
You have time. You just don’t really want to have to use it.
Get real with yourself.
How much time do you think it takes?
Because you’ve been conditioned your whole adult life going to hour long classes or told you have to do cardio at least 20 minutes or up to 60 to get benefits. You’ve been told that the more time you do the more results you’ll get. It’s just not true.
You’ve assumed that a weight training workout is like that too. That I know because too often I’m asked “How long should I lift weights?”
And that is a question that doesn’t even make sense.
I’m sensitive to the fact that might sound condescending – it’s not meant to – because you’re not to blame. You’ve just been given the wrong impression.
Time has so little to do with effectiveness.
Take two kids who have the same math homework. One gets it done correctly in 10 minutes and the other takes 40 minutes to get it done, with fewer right answers. Is the question how long should a kid spend on his math?
It’s about getting to the right answer.
For strength training – and that is the fastest way to get the most fit in the least amount of time.
It’s the fastest way – in terms of weeks and months – to see a long-term change in your body.
It’s the least amount of time you can put in exercising to get the most benefits.
I’ll link to some other blog –only and podcast episodes where I’ve shared the biggest benefits of strength training.
If you’re completely crunched for time you can get a full body workout in about 10 minutes.
Twice a week – provided you have good form – use the right exercises – and you reach fatigue according to your beginner/or advanced status and you will have stimulated your muscles enough to change. That’s getting to the right answer.
If you have 30-40 minutes twice a week will you get more benefit? Yes.
You’ll be able to use additional muscles, use more movements. But you’re going to be busy. Even women who aren’t tied up with a job, a family, a commute… make themselves busy. We all perceive ourselves as having things to do. Or we volunteer, care for others, get involved with friends – and that’s all good. You’re going to need those short alternatives too. Mentally you’ve got to stop thinking of them as a waste of time or not worth it.
Just 30-40 minutes twice a week can change your life.
Your longevity, mood, brain health, muscle, bone, disease risk and the expression of genes associated with aging. Yes, you can reverse aging.
Or you can complain you don’t have time now and suffer later. At some point something may make you sick and be your cause of death. The length of that sickness is in your control. You may slip away in a deep sleep. But the problem is we never know.
The quality of your life between now and when you know the answer stands to benefit or deteriorate based on what you do every day.
I don’t know the answer to… what is more important to you?
But that is the question you have to ask when you say you don’t have time. Somewhere in the cycle of your 24 hours you have time you’re choosing to spend in another way that is getting in the way of your exercise.
I’m going to link to strength training resources in the show notes. There are dozens of options in YouTube to watch.
If you want support beyond five minutes for consistent progressive exercise the STRONGER 12 week program is open while I’m recording this podcast. It’s 12 weeks for a reason. It takes at least 66 days to make a habit – and I’ve guaranteed I’ll have you beyond that. I want you hooked! In a regular habit, feeling so good you don’t want to stop.
STRONGER II is also open (but it is a bigger time commitment and I don’t recommend it if you’re short on time or just trying to get hooked on strength training – keep it simple).
Resources about time:
Blend ingredients in high-powered blender on low for about a minute. Turn to high for another minute or until smooth.
Pour into a bowl, and top.
Shredded carrots, coconut flakes, pecans, chopped date*
*Dried fruit adds concentrated sugar so if you’re highly sensitive leave them out
Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is my favorite. My mom’s and my niece’s too. So yummy and moist! But even though I look forward to it, a couple bites of frosting are really about all I want any more. More than that gives me a sugar headache! A carrot cake smoothie bowl is such a better substitute! Really, it’s sweet enough without the sugar payback!
So, I’m looking for votes for my 55th! I’ll have time for a breakfast birthday bowl before I head out of town to a conference. Which should it be? This one or the Chocolate Nut Butter Smoothie Bowl? Vote with your comment below the post! If I highlight your comment, I’ll send YOU a special gift for making my birthday a little brighter!
Will you share your favorite way to celebrate special occasions? Do you throw caution to the wind and just go for it? Or do you opt for the three-bite-rule and enjoy so you don’t feel deprived? (My usual choice if there’s a worth-it dessert).
A fan of smoothies too? Celebrate my birthday with 20% off (one day only March 27th) using shes55 and enjoy Paleo Power and Plant Power proteins, and Fiber Boost for all your delicious muscle-loss prevention and blood sugar stabilizing goals! Shop here on the 27th!
Blend all ingredients in a high-powered smoothie (I use my Vitamix for these). Add additional milk to desired consistency.
Bowl it. Top it.
Flip: If this is breakfast or anything but a dessert or treat, add greens. Just do. No one eats too many vegetables. Especially if you choose a mild source of greens like spinach, or chard and you won’t even know they’re there. But your body will.
So, I’ll just say it. Chocolate is always appropriate. And paired with nut butter it’s one of my favorite treats. For Easter, my parents gave me a chocolate bunny and a jar of peanut butter. It was tradition. My friends and I used to indulge with chocolate bars dipped in.. you guessed it, peanut butter.
So now, a little more savvy to the food sensitivity peanut butter can cause (definitely true for me) and no longer thinking lounging around eating chocolate and nut butter is such a smart idea, I can still satisfy the taste without feeling like a lump.
I probably knew then it wasn’t the best thing to do. But it didn’t stop me! As a result of those childhood memories though I’m forever smitten on chocolate and nut butter.
Because I’d love to have your vote on my birthday smoothie bowl, I’m making a little contest out of it. Add a comment below this post or the Carrot Cake Smoothie Bowl recipe to tell me which one is you’re favorite and I should have for my birthday!
Finally, if I highlight your comment I’ll send you something (snail mail) for making my day a little more fun! So are you in? This one or the other?
Lucky enough to see this on my birthday? (March 27) Celebrate with me! One day only 20% off Protein Shakes and Fiber Boost using: shes55
Don’t miss this special broadcast answering questions about the STRONGER I and II programs.
Recorded this last day of the 50% off rate, I don’t want you to miss out if it’s perfect for you and want to be sure you don’t register if it’s wrong for you right now.
Registration is open until April 15 but the rate increases tomorrow so take advantage of this now!
This is a follow up on an ongoing poll of women in our Flipping 50 community. At this point over 1000 women have completed the 3-minute survey. Want to take it before you read further? Click Here.
The news is this.
Houston, we have a problem.
The more women that take the quiz the more clear it is that you’re not getting the right information when it comes to what builds bones. There may be some exercise you can’t do based on a special condition or existing injury, but the quiz assesses your knowledge of optimal training for bone density.
The medical, health, and fitness information highway is failing you. There’s an abundance of information. A lack of information is not the problem. There is plenty of content out there today- much of it without scientific research cred. It also may be that even when science is used for evidence-based articles it isn’t always interpreted clearly.
We tend to follow the leaders and programs going in the direction we already wanted to go.
And, hey, why not? We like to be right!
This post is an update on the current correct/incorrect responses. Before you leave I’d love to hear from you in the comments. How important a priority is bone density for you? What’s your current status? (No known osteoporosis, osteopenia, or diagnosed osteoporosis).
Your best exercise program will be unique to you based on your status. You wouldn’t do the same thing a 15 year old should do to increase bone density. You wouldn’t do that same thing a 25 year old would do. You at 55 shouldn’t do the same thing you at 85 will do. But you should know exactly what you should do, how to start, and how to progress to get the best results.[The mistakes don’t appear in order of importance: they’re equally important!]
More than 71% of midlife women don’t know how to lift weights to BEST boost bone density.
They don’t know that heavy weight training is the BEST for bones. Heavy is defined as a weight you can lift 10 or fewer times. That’s not putting the weight down after 10. You have to truly reach fatigue – get to the last one you can lift well – at a weight you can lift 10 or fewer times to optimally influence bone density.
No, you don’t start with a weight that heavy. Progression is key. You begin with a lighter weight and more repetitions. Building up your tolerance and progressing over a period of at least a couple months is best.
Over 38% don’t know a combination of weight training and HIIT are best for changing body composition. A significant number incorrectly think weight training and long slow endurance will change body composition. Do you?
Much research suggests that long slow endurance activities may accelerate aging and interfere with hormone balance for women in midlife. You do have to know yourself and your limits.
Your body will give you signs what you’re doing is not working. You will have weight loss resistance. You may have increased or decreased appetite. You may not be sleeping.
Over 60% of women over 50 believe incorrectly that the best frequency for weight training is 3 times a week. It’s a conundrum that you have to wonder if there was ever research pointing to it (its hard to find). It may have simply been a Monday, Wednesday, Friday routine imposed by the group fitness programs at local gyms.
Habit too is sometimes easier to create the more frequently you do something. Millions don’t think about stumbling to the kitchen for coffee every morning for instance. Taking the multivitamin, less of a regular habit.
Newer studies show an increased amount of rest and recovery between high intensity sessions is best. Additional studies comparing a frequency of one, two, or three times a week exercise in peri-menopausal women (important) revealed the sweet spot for greatest overall energy expenditure is twice a week.
Only a third of responders knew the number of repetitions most likely to “build bulk.” Ironically, it corresponds to what nearly every woman over 50 was instructed to do in high school or her early 20s. Some coach somewhere told you three sets of 10 was the way to go.
If you’re reluctant to lift weights because of all that bulk, at this point you don’t have the hormones (or the time) to spend hours doing that. There’s an ideal protocol for your body typeto consider as well. Are you lean and unable to gain tone? You actually might love the results from this routine today.
Less than 40% of women over 50 know the right repetition range for increasing bone density. It is 10 or fewer repetitions. That is to fatigue. The weight is heavy enough you want to put it down because you can’t do another one well.
What works for muscle will not work the same way for bones. You can choose a lighter weight and do more repetitions. If you reach fatigue you will have provided enough stimulus – overload – to the muscle so that it will respond by getting stronger. That is, if it’s given adequate rest, proper calories and protein between workouts.
However, reaching muscular fatigue alone is not enough for the bones to respond positively. It’s the force application to the bone that matters. Heavier weight provides the force necessary while lighter weight does not. The term is called Minimal Effective Stress. It’s used more often to discuss activities like walking, or rebounding, as opposed to jumping or hopping. More walking does not provide more stress to bones. Your body has already adapted to the heel strike.
Weight bearing exercise like walking is better than swimming or sitting on the couch. After you’ve become a walker, walking two miles instead of one, does no more good to the bones.
For many women using the services of a trainer it’s important to request a few machine exercises in addition to functional movements to provide bone density benefits. Machine weights are very functional when they tie directly to a goal and safely accomplishing it. Many trainers will argue otherwise.
About 55% of survey respondents have a good idea of how to begin interval training. But 45% would start out with a hard interval: recovery interval ratio that leads to injury or to reduced effectiveness of intervals.
By definition interval training sessions are alternating high intensity exercise with periods of very low intensity recovery. The best analogy is of driving your car around town. All of that stopping and starting means you burn up a lot of fuel, right? You get terrible mileage in town. Exactly what you want when you exercise!
If you don’t recover between hard intervals the workout is much less effective. The high intensity interval isn’t. The low intensity interval isn’t. It all becomes gray. For beginners the best intervals are more recovery time and less work time. If you’re work: recovery intervals are equal or you’re recovery time is shorter than your work time, definitely as a beginner you’re probably short changing your results.
A whopping 84% of midlife women don’t know how much time to rest between strength training sessions. [Maybe there’s a theme here, considering #6 – we just don’t know how to rest!]
The best way to fully recover after age 50 is to monitor yourself closely for a week or two. Track your resting heart rate (first thing in the morning), your soreness before beginning a workout, your fatigue or energy level during the day, the quality of your sleep, and your appetite.
I discussed each of those in You Still Got It, Girl! and you track them in The After 50 Fitness Formula for Women course. If any of them aren’t optimal (e.g. your resting heart rate is elevated by 5 beats from normal) and you’re exercising “more” as opposed to better, increasing your rest may be the answer to better fitness.
In your fourth or fifth decade, your need for recovery between hard sessions increases. Make no mistake – you have the ability to work just as hard as you ever did – and get comparable results to younger cohorts, so long as you rest longer. It’s not necessarily an age thing either. We’re all different in our need for recovery.
Compare one elite athlete to another and you’ll find there’s a difference in how much time they need between challenging workouts. The one that needs more recovery time could be the better athlete – as long as she’s able to recover.
For many older adults recovery time of 72 hours between tough workouts gets better fitness. You can –and should- absolutely perform lighter and moderate workouts and lots of movement between. Adding that extra day of recovery – as opposed to an extra workout – might help you reach greater fitness in the second half.
Try ditching the Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule and give a Monday, Thursday schedule a try for a few weeks.
A whopping 7 out of 10 survey respondents aren’t getting enough protein after workouts to optimize lean muscle repair. Protein synthesis declines with age. Fortunately for active older adults it’s higher than for sedentary older adults. Still, you don’t synthesize – use the protein you eat for the use of your muscle – as well as you did 10 or 20 years ago.
So if you’re eating the same amount of protein you used to, or as many older adults do, you’re cutting down on your protein, it might be time to bump your protein. If you’re not seeing or feeling results from your workouts the type and timing of your protein matter significantly as you age.
Clean, unprocessed, hormone-free protein sources are best. Consuming about 30 grams of protein at each of three meals is ideal for daily habits.
Muscle and protein haven’t been a part of the bone density discussion for the first 20 years of our increased awareness of osteoporosis prevention. Now, however its so clear that without muscle you don’t have the ability to do what you need to prevent osteoporosis, or prevent additional bone loss, and increase balance to reduce falls.
Only 1 in 4 know the ideal timing of a high protein meal or shake after a strength training session. It’s not just how much protein you need, it’s when you consume it that matters.
Following a hard strength training workout, consuming either a meal or a shake/smoothie with 30grams of protein at 60-90 minutes after is optimal.
Have you read or heard that you should have protein and carbs right away? At one point chocolate milk was all the rage. It’s past time to rethink that sugar and the dairy that is not ideal for many older adults. Further, the research on timing has been replaced, especially for older adults.
Strength training gives you a big advantage in synthesizing protein. Follow strength training you can use it better. However, you (in the second half) have a blunting effect for about 60 minutes in ability to synthesize protein. So wait till you shower, or run that errand, to have your next scheduled meal or a protein shake for the best lean muscle benefits.
Is anything a surprise here? I’d love to hear from you.
If you seek support in Bone Density knowledge, learn more about my bone health mini course here.
If you want support for strength training – and making it a lasting habit with my 12-week STRONGER programs – click here!
Enrollment opens a few times a year and if you’re lucky enough to be reading this during enrollment you can jump in! If not, you can ask to be notified when doors open (and be the first to take advantage of early bird rates offered to a limited number of students!)
The first and only strength training program for hormones balance during menopause so you can boost metabolism is open for enrollment. With questions coming from so many our our Flipping 50 community members on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and even our Flipping 50 email subscribers who get the inside scoop and chance at the first seats in the program I wanted to answer your questions – somewhat personally – in as many places as possible.
You may be one of the women that I’ve been able to respond to personally. You may be on of the women I haven’t yet had a chance to answer individually. I thank you all for your questions! My team and I are working our way through all the questions as quickly as we can.
My mission is simple. I want the right people to get registered – as early as possible so you can take advantage of the best rate and perks – and that message includes wanting to be sure if the program is not right for you that you know that right away too.
So let’s dive in… but first me poking fun at … well, me.
There are some truths we live by at Flipping 50. They are:
That’s not an all-inclusive list. It is the most relevant of our list for our exercise programs.
Flipping 50 does not believe in:
You should know that a mere 39% of all exercise and sport science research features female subjects. A fraction of that is female subjects in perimenopause, menopause, and beyond.
Yet, that is the only research that as a woman in peri-menopause or beyond can trust as being practical for your own application. A strength training program for hormones should be based on the hormone changes you’re experiencing.
That research is all I use to design programs, coach women, and create content on this site. We do you, all day, every day. That’s it. Sure, research on other subjects is of interest and if there’s any way it might be relatable, I’ll share it, but never without telling you that it’s outside the research usually shared.
Q. Are the videos in STRONGER II the same as STRONGER I?
A. Great question! No. Every product I create uses unique videos created solely for an intended purpose. Rest assured all videos are unique.
Q. Are these downloadable videos?
A. No. The program grants you access to a private members-only area where you view the videos during the 12 week program. After the program you’re enrolled in your login access will end. You will have all the written content including any cheat sheets for workouts, the quick start guides for sample schedules, quick starts to cardio support (STRONGER I), and exercise nutrition or cellulite nutrition support (STRONGER I and II, respectively).
Q. So I don’t have access to the videos after for ongoing use?
A. That’s correct. There is a method to the madness. It’s about 35 years of observations and human psychology. With a limited time access, and with a clear start and stop, more people are successful at staying on track. While seemingly amazing to have “lifetime” access, results and even completion drop by more than 50%. If there’s no reason to use them, no urgency, no continued support, there’s usually no or at least much lower compliance. My goal is to get you active and consistent with the regularity that gets results.
Q. What’s the refund policy?
A. In line with my response above, once you’re in the program and have access to any of the materials you will need to go through the program, show you’ve done the homework, participated actively, and reached out for help before you request a refund. In 35 years I’ve experienced many times people quitting because it’s not convenient, not buying the membership or the personal training, and then getting stuck with a diagnosis or health scare that rocks them to the core. Never once has someone who started – at any age – ever come back and regretted it. It’s too easy to stop, it’s never convenient to get sweaty, do laundry, get up earlier, eat later. But exercise is really not optional. It’s lifesaving at least and quality of life enhancing at best. That’s an investment in you I’d like to hold you accountable to.
A. Both programs are created for the apparently healthy women going through hormone change or who’s already gone through changes. There are not specific modifications given for specific conditions. That said be cautious. Know your limits. If you know which exercises you can and can’t do or know what your personal range of motion is, you may make this work. If you’re unsure, I would first follow a program like Knee-Friendly 5 Day Flip. Movement between exercises is not slow, though exercise is performed with cueing and caution so you feel it where you should and not where you shouldn’t. You may do best working with a private trainer one-on-one, whether virtually with me (an upgrade to private coaching could support your needs).
Q. Can you explain what comes with the programs?
A. Yes! STRONGER I is 12 weeks of workouts, one new video each week that you’ll do twice. You’ll also receive the quick start to cardio, schedule samples, and exercise nutrition. STRONGER II is 12 weeks including a variety of spot specific (cellulite) warm up, cardio, strength, massage, and cool down videos. You’ll receive the in depth guid to cellulite and how to reduce the appearance through not only the exercise but nutrition, and lifestyle habits that are proven to help. You’ll get a guide to how you can mix and match videos for your time constraints and your cellulite spot-specific needs.
Q. How long are the workouts?
A. The STRONGER I workouts can be done in less than 90 minutes a week – (2) 30-40 minute workouts. STRONGER II workouts are a bit longer and you want to complete all components at the same session. Allow 60-70 minutes for workouts 2x a week. You will be including strength and cardio in each workout so you’ll have a lot done in a short amount of time.
Ready ? If one of these programs is right for you start now! Visit STRONGER I(STRONGER II and III are now inside the Flipping 50 membership site, and STRONGER IV will be too by Dec 2019! That’s the wise decision for over $800 in exercise programs alone! and so much more!)
How do you modify your fitness to reflect a menopause fitness routine that will make you better not tired? This episode is about identifying what signs and symptoms are telling you.
This episode is brought to you by STRONGER series of strength training for women. The first and ONLY existing hormone balancing strength training programs for women in perimenopause, menopause, and beyond. I have designed to include joint care, energy needs, address adrenal fatigue avoidance or treatment, bone density, metabolism boosting… all around hormones.
Enrollment is open right now as I record live. It opens up a few times a year. If you’re listening to this when the programs are closed you can be the first to be notified when they open (and there’s significant savings for early bird registration), so visit https://www.flippingfifty.com/getstronger or for cellulite specific programming https://www.flippingfifty.com/getevenstronger to be first to know when doors open again.
Let’s get something straight. There are signs and symptoms associated when you’re not feeling your best. There are signs and symptoms that what you’re doing right now isn’t working.
That is very different than accepting signs and symptoms of menopause as if they’re to be expected when you go through menopause. It’s not as if you have the flu or mono or food poisoning.
Some women are in it for a decade before they actually have gone 12 months without a period and are in menopause. The best way is to test your hormones. You’ll know best if you’ve tested hormone levels when you felt great! But so many women only check under the hood when things aren’t going well so you may not have a well-girl check. I test every six months if I’m changing my routine or annually if not. If you haven’t done that testing now still reveals some benchmark.
Because the alternative is to assume that you’re gaining weight and you never have before so it’s peri-menopause, or you’re tired all the time and it’s just peri-menopause. It’s hormones.
That’s just making it OK to experience that and not find a new strategy.
Those are definitely signs and symptoms.
They’re signs and symptoms that you are due for a change, not necessarily THE change. Changes in your exercise routine, the rest you allow between workouts, your nutrition, sleep habits, your awareness of your micronutrient levels, gut health, and how you deal with stress of all kinds are being suggested to you by your body.
That’s what signs and symptoms do.
Tho menopause isn’t an illness it’s often discussed like one, in fact a chronic and fatal one that you can’t do anything about.
Oh, it’s hormones.
Oh, I wish I could sleep, I can’t.
I’ve tried everything.
Here’s the truth about that statement.
Instead of it meaning, “I’ve tried everything one thing at a time, I’ve stuck with it and tested it in isolation to consciously assess effects before moving on to the next thing,”
“I’ve randomly tried one thing after another at the same time with other things or in unique circumstance, when I remember it and read every blog, consulted Dr. Google and experts online that don’t know me or my history. I’ve tried program after program and done them mostly but didn’t believe [in the science behind it or there was none] some things I left out.”
Random acts of fitness, nutrition, or approaches to any habit change, will get random results.
Never is that more true than when you want specific answers to a specific problem. A program of any kind that works for all ages, both genders, is not likely to work for a woman in midlife. Even two women in the middle of midlife changes can’t follow a specific “diet” or exercise plan and get the same results. You need a blueprint like those quizzes in junior high Tiger Beat. If this…then that, if yes, then … so that YOU get to YOUR answer.
So even if you used to do it or this sounds familiar, “When I went through this program a couple years ago I lost XYX, but I’ve gained it back,”it didn’t actually WORK! You weren’t in.
Lifestyle change means you’re going to adopt a way of life that doesn’t include drive-through and frozen dinners. You’re actually not going to feel deprived and I-deserve-this at the end of the week. Because you know what you deserve is to feel better and throwing food or alcohol in, not sleeping well, or voting exercise out makes you feel worse.
Eating out is not the limiting factor in sticking with it. Willingness to be that person at your table who orders what she needs to feel good is. The menu is just a suggestion. Everything on that menu can be prepared void of sauces or marinades or foods you’re trying to avoid if you ask or demand it. Order two sides of veggies and a simple protein source. It’s doable. You are the customer and you are certainly in charge of what goes into your body.
Traveling is not the limiting factor in sticking with it. Willingness to get up 30 minutes earlier for an interval walk, a hotel room, or gym workout is. Willingness to eat lightly in the airport with veggies and hummus, boiled eggs, or nuts and seeds.
Why are you doing that? Are you on a diet?
They’ll ask. Those might be the questions you get. Your answer? It’s hormones. That’s the time that answer is appropriate. It’s not the catchall phrase for I’m helpless so I’m going to have 3 glasses of wine, screw it.
Circle back to the top of this post. The previous list is notsigns and symptoms of menopause you have to just live with. They’re signs and symptoms your body isn’t happy with your current choices.
The #1 thing you have to change if you want to change menopause fitness is your mindset.
If you are “trying it” you’re already forming a decision that there’s probably a chance it won’t work and you’re going to be able to cross it off the list at least.
The only way you win is by deciding you’re going to make a lifestyle change, you are in control of your journey, and you will stay on the course – not jumping from one program to the next – until you get to the bottom of it.
A program that doesn’t work might reveal you have a deeper level problem. You need to test for micronutrients, or take stronger measures to fix a gut health issue. That’s not failing. That’s a logical sequence of doing everything you can with personal habits so that need can show up. In the end whether you need additional supplements, you do or don’t do bio-identical hormones, or you need something to change your gut health your personal habits are the foundation of it working and what you’ll come back to.
You can feel good again. Can you “get back to where [I] was before when I was in such good shape”?
You’re not going back. You’re going forward. Going back to what worked 20, 10 even 5 years ago won’t work. Ever.
Yet, less, but the right exercise will. More, of the right foods will. You may need to reduce both exercise and your food intake for a short time to reset. You can have volume you just need to allow your body to detox (naturally) and your liver (calling shots on fat storage) to function better before you jump ahead.
Trying to exercise more and more while eating less and less could be the very problem with your menopause fitness. Trainers and fitness blogs are ripe with the antiquated calorie deficit formula.
It takes no consideration of hormone fluctuations and faulty processing of food. Exercise of today is often focused on science of yesterday.
If you’ve got evidence it’s not working in your menopause fitness approach, it’s not your fault. The messages are everywhere telling you to do the very thing that may cause signs and symptoms.
Need support with menopause fitness? I’m often asked, what is the best way to get started?
Subscribe to the Flipping 50 podcast
Search other blogs for topics you want more of
Read You Still Got It, Girl!
Read (it’s immediate in digital form) Hot, Not Bothered
Watch Flipping 50 TV episodes (I’ve answered questions from you!)
If you want to get right down to consistent progressive support beyond a random YouTube video, 5 minutes, or an episode…
Choose a programto go from A to B to C logically
Get started with an exercise programto act as a catalyst for other steps
Get one-on-one coachingif you have a special situation
Gone through a program? A Fast Flip is available to women IN a program currently (by invitation only: ask)
Let me know how you’re doing with your menopause fitness!
First things first: cellulite reduction and this conversation is not about perfection! It IS about confidence though. Not feeling your best can rock your confidence and who needs that!?
Cottage cheese. Dimples. Whatever you call it, no one wants to see it. Do cellulite reduction solutions actually work? Do they have to hurt? Are results temporary or permanent?
Back in 2016 I shared a 4-step cellulite reduction solutions process and it worked.
There’s new research on cellulite and it’s 5-steps. It works better. I’m putting final touches on a brand new program to target cellulite. I’ll share more and a special invite to be a part of the beta group (for 50% off) later.
Cellulite: what it is – beyond the dimples and cottage cheese – and what causes it.
Sleep enough. Know your personal need.
Eat for fat and cellulite reduction and for skin rejuvenation. That’s not low fat necessarily but quality fat.
Lift weights to fatigue.
Cardio interval in the right frequency and intensity.
Sequence your exercise correctly. There are 5 steps that make all the difference.
Get the right intensity at the right dose. It’s not now nor has it ever been more of what’s not working!
If you’d like consistent improvement vs. random improvising check out the brand new STRONGER II: Smooth & Strong. You’re invited to be a part of this 12-week case study as we launch in beta.
If you’re interested in help long term and not just for a few minutes, now’s the time. I’m launching STRONGER II: Smooth & Strong a 12-week program and I’m looking for women for our beta program willing to commit and share before and after results and program feedback.
Weight change 5 pounds, inches 41/2”
Sleep improved, but I’ve been traveling, sleeping in different beds in different time zones.
My stress has decreased, mood improved. Definitely more energy. Cravings decreased, especially sugar cravings.
The most beneficial part of the program was how good I felt.
I failed miserably at the exercise part. I’m including that now. I’ll [finally]be at a single location for 3 weeks.
One real win: I’m deleting all “ diets” that show up in my inbox. This is the long term fitness program that I will be using.
This post was originally published last fall. In light of the overwhelming response and media appearances I’ve done since, I’m sharing it again with a few updates. This is clearly a topic you’re interested in! There’s however a wide continuum of 50+ women who want to get started and don’t know what to do, who are doing and don’t know if they’re doing the right thing, or who are doing the “right thing” and not seeing results. Refresh or dive in for the first time to strength training for 50+ women.
Strength training is beneficial at any age. Strength training for 50+ women should be mandatory. Health concerns that result in medical costs, loss of independence, and early decline could be avoided or reduced with weight training.
The list of issues that plagues many adults over 50, including women going through menopause, is almost exactly opposite the list of weight training benefits well documented in research. Sleep issues, weigh gain, joint pain, depression, anxiety, blood pressure, cholesterol, bone density, loss of stamina, strength and endurance, low back pain, and digestive issues are common complaints among older adults.
The answer for avoiding or improving any of those issues requires a low investment of time, money, and energy compared to the cost of living with any of them.
“More and more research is finding that it is, in fact, the only type of exercise that can substantially slow, and even reverse, the declines in muscle mass, bone density, and strength that were once considered unavoidable parts of aging.”
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has fitness guidelines specific to weight training for adults over 50. The guidelines state lifting weights 2 or 3 times a week for 8-10 major muscle groups with a weight heavy enough to fatigue muscles in 10 to 15 repetitions.
Reductions in bone density, and even improvements once thought not possible, occur with weight training though not with cardiovascular training. I’ve stated many times that you can’t outrun, out-Zumba, osteoporosis. Avid runners – both enthusiasts and elite athletes are prone to fractures if they are not lifting weights.
You also can’t hope that Barre, Pilates, or Yoga will increase your bone health as effectively as weight training. There will be small gains for anyone coming off the couch, or new to the exercises but all three (and the infinite variations of fusion that exist) lack both the weight bearing and weight load necessary for optimal bone density. The bottom line is if bone density is a concern and it should be given lifespan is extending and losses begin at about age 30, your return from 20 minutes of weight training twice a week is significantly greater than other exercise.
Weight training works on bones in two ways. The increased muscle pull on bones and the increased stress to the bone from the load on the skeleton during lifting both support increased bone density.
For a small investment of 40 to 60 minutes of your week the returns are significant. Impressive improvements in sleep, appetite, blood sugar control, arthritis, injury reduction, fewer falls and improved immunity are a few of the benefits.
Metabolism often decreases with age, due in part to a loss of muscle, which in turn contributes to less activity and it begins to spiral downward from there. Weight training is one of the best ways to stimulate metabolism long term by preventing muscle loss and increasing lean tissue. See below for more on improving metabolism by reducing fat and increasing lean tissue.
You can look at strength training two ways. It will indeed prevent some of the once-assumed “normal” degenerative issues associated with aging. That approach of avoidance however is not a tremendous motivator for most of us. The bigger win is related to enjoying benefits as opposed to not suffering from disease or decline. You can enjoy more energy, vitality, more intimacy (yes, sex is a benefit), more productivity, creativity and better problem solving.
You’re not just reducing your medical bills and insurance rates (fitness habits often result in lower premiums), you’re enhancing your enjoyment of life!
One of our STRONGER participants said it best.
“I do feel stronger. More important than that though: I got myself back. I feel more like me than I have in years.”
That was after just eight weeks of strength training twice a week.
But, what if you ARE strength training and it’s not helping some of those pesky problems like belly fat that’s come on since menopause or cellulite that is suddenly a fact of life?
Cellulite doesn’t discriminate, so don’t be offended. Upper arms, belly, hips and thighs… it’s all fair game, fit or fat. And HEY, if cellulite is truly a problem you want help with, STRONGER II: Smooth & Strong is something you want to know about. When doors are open you’ll be the first to know if it’s right for you (and at the early bird rate).
STRONGER I is for basic strength training only. STRONGER II includes cardio options, Warm ups, and Cool down stretches and…. secret sauce I can’t share with you here! to target cellulite. If you want to compare the two- I’ll do just that for you as soon as the doors are open.
If you’re new to strength training, or you change your program I’m most excited for you! You’ll experience the most results. A study by Wayne Westcott showed study participants doing a traditional weight training program (similar to ACSM recommendations) loss 4 lbs. of fat and gained 3 lbs. of muscle in four weeks. Similar results continued for each of the first three months of strength training.
The end result of 12 weeks of strength training for subjects on average was 12 lbs of fat loss and 9 lbs of muscle gain. That may be just 4 lbs reflected on the scale, yet your body composition improvements will mean a higher metabolism and significant change in inches.
Further, unlike cardiovascular exercise that has limited influence on body shape, weight training can significantly improve body proportion. Nothing will change your shape like strength training, before or after 50.
In addition, the benefits last longer than say micro-movements of barre or other conditioning classes. That’s not to say they have no value, but they are not going to have a major influence on your metabolism (or bone density, mood, cholesterol or blood pressure) compared to strength training. If time is of the essence, strength training after 50 provides the greatest return.
The more you move, the better. The sweet spot for strength training frequency that improves overall activity level all day is twice a week. Those who do more, tend to compensate with couch time and those who train less than twice weekly on weights tend not to experience the benefit of increased energy and desire to be more active.
They never started.
It’s the single biggest reason. Baby boomer women weren’t necessarily socialized to value weight training as young adults. Strength training for 50+ women will be much more the norm in one or two decades when those flipping 50 have been frequenting the weight room more consistently for decades. [One of the best things you can do to influence the health and longevity of a young woman is to encourage her to get into the weight room now!]
Getting acclimated to a gym or weight room as an older adult can be more intimidating if you don’t already have some sense of what you’re doing.
Fewer than 15% of adults over 60 achieve a habit of weight training twice a week.
Most adults over 60 state reasons like injury (not necessarily caused by the weight training) or illness, or travel were stated as the biggest reasons for dropping out. But a significant number of responses indicate that a lack of support during programs played a part in ceasing to either start or continue strength training after 50.
The anecdote? Start today. Think about what would make it more comfortable for you. Private studio or at-home exercise? One-on-one trainer or a group program? Online coach or commute to a fitness center? With a friend or solo focused on your needs? Until you’re comfortable and intimidation is a non-factor, make sure you’ve got support.
There’s a drop out rate for strength training after 50 of up to 45% percent depending on circumstances (training alone, in a group).
Based on much of the research on retention and on behavior change I’ve studied over three decades, the keys to regular strength training after 50 are not surprising and you may have guessed.
1) Get support from an expert you trust
Find a program, a video, or a trainer with experience working with someone like you. In my hypothesis and experience, none of us is truly lazy, but we are reluctant if we don’t have confidence what we do is getting us closer to our goals. Find a source you trust with a track record of success.
2) Confirm you’re following a program designed based on research about you.[39% of ALL sports medicine and exercise research features females: a fraction of that is based on women in peri-menopause and beyond]. Because you’ve got unique multiple needs: hormones, metabolism, bone density, body composition … you need a program designed based on research featuring subjects like YOU. Ask: “Is this designed as strength training for 50+ women?”
3) Make sure the program addresses your priorities.
You probably have more than one goal. If you’re seeking hormone balance, care for joints, increased strength and bone density, go shopping not for a program labeled “strength training for 50+ women” (or something similar which could be a marketing ploy placed on anything). Instead, ask for details about the design of the program and the science behind it.
This Webinar REPLAY is available on demand for a limited time this month. It’s been one of THE most popular and requested replays in 6 years and over 250 webinars.
I’d love to hear from you. Are you participating in a strength training for 50+ women program? How long have you been strength training? Share your age: it’s relevant! You could inspire someone!
The STRONGER doors are almost open!
STRONGER I program …. Get the BONUS cheat sheets for EVERY WORKOUT (use alone when traveling or at the gym and have them forever!)
Get the BONUS yoga videos we’ve added to support you getting both STRONGER and FLEXIBLE
Plus all the program perks of being with a group of like-minded women staying accountable together for 12 weeks!
STRONGER II is ALL ABOUT Cellulite, with a special protocol, and 5-STEP program. The time you invest in workouts has to be slightly greater. But the results? Worth it.