Your New Reading List!

Kickstart your summer with a few of my best health & fitness guides.

Looking for health & fitness recommendations that are made for you, and only you?

Are you done with the one-size-fits all ages, sizes, and both genders approach?

You’re in the right place. I’ve designed several health & fitness guides to help with some of the biggest problems (more on that below) women face. Whether you’re seeking exercise advice, energy answers, want to solve menopause mysteries, or love your libido again… Flipping 50 is made for you.

These are a collection of the best blogs compiled into “guides” for a quicker-than-a-book yet comprehensive look into topics you- blogand book readers, and Flipping 50 podcastlisteners, Flipping 50 TVviewers –have expressed the most interest in.

In a hurry? 

Skip right down to the guides and get started. I’ll imagine you on a lounge chair with a big brimmed hat and a drink with a little umbrella facing the ocean while you read.

I’m 55 in the boat rowing with you. I’ve observed aging fitness professionals, aging athletes, less active folks who float in and out of exercise, and enthusiasts that either accelerate or slow aging. After 35 years of research, observations, and applications I’ve got the after 50 fitness formula for women.

Women Over 50 are Unique

The fact is your hormones, metabolism, body composition, socialization, are different.

They’re different from younger women.

They’re different from younger, older, or same age men.

Yet, just 39% of all sports medicine and exercise research features female subjects. No matter how many times I say or write this it astounds me. At the rate of women turning 75, 65, and 55 (baby boomers at this minute, Gen Xers soon) that’s absurd.

The only thing you can do about it right now is demand that fitness programs, trainers, and health coaches use THAT sliver of research for you.

You have to ask.

or demand. There’s a little too much paying for a group approach from a private personal trainer going on with personal training services for my taste today. Don’t mistake “a personal trainer” for a “good personal trainer.” There are good ones but you’ve got to know what to ask.

Why Flipping 50?

At Flipping 50 working with women in perimenopause and beyond is all we do. Every day. I’m not a doctor pretending to diagnose. I wouldn’t expect a doctor to suggest training protocols for you either. Ideally we work together. As a Medical Exercise Specialist and Hormone Balancing Fitness Expert I rely on physicians in functional medicine and on physical therapists to support my clients. A team approach eliminates you running from one to the next trying to pull that together yourself. As a health coach I support your lab interpretation so you have the right questions to ask and next steps to pursue.

Once you cross the threshold of perimenopause, you go through the biggest changes. It’s why “flipping 50” is for and about women in their late 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond.

When women ask, what about 60? I know I’ve not communicated Flipping 50’s mission clearly to you. Don’t misunderstand Flipping 50 to mean this is for a 50-year old. It’s NOT. The biggest changes occur both mentally and physically when a woman hits 50. It’s not about age though really it’s about phase. How you show up and how you see yourself matters.

Flipping 50 is about changing your expectations:

not all women gain weight with menopause and those who don’t are not just “lucky”

not all women get hot flashes and night sweats

not all women have their libido crash (it’s actually better after for some of us)

not all women get that belly fat just because of menopause (let’s check in with your eating, your wine, your sleep and your exercise before we point a finger at some mystery menopause bs)

Mastering Menopause Can Start Anytime

Yes, things change. Yes, you’ll have to change the strategy. Guess what? If you’re a woman in her 30s or 40s and you change NOW… YOU will flip 50 so much better. You’re going to get here. Ready or not. Your needs are slightly different than a women in perimenopause (and beyond) but you can prepare to sail through it more easily.

Sure all women have estrogen, progesterone fluctuations from the time they hit menses to post menopause. But in perimenopause and menopause it’s very different. If feels unpredictable. If you listen to what your body is telling you, rely on your own changes and not a pill, shot or cream (though you might decide, hey you want some support), you can change the way you feel. The daily choices you make matter.

After menopause, don’t think you’re out of the woods. The hormone fluctuations that dictate health are not the same as when you were wired for reproduction but hormones are still calling the shots. Your mood, energy, sleep, appetite, bones, muscles… you get the idea? Pretty much everything is dependent on hormones ‘til death do us part.

Just Exercise? Or Exercise for You?

Before you jump into activity because an article said it’s good read the study. Research subjects should be in perimenopause, menopause, or beyond if you’re to take an announcement like, “New study says HIIT is the best for burning fat” seriously. That’s just one example of media-hyped and overgeneralized studies that could sabotage you.

[The real news is injury rates have gone up 144% since the introduction of HIIT as a household word and regular workout “thing.” In real application, if HIIT is done longer and more frequently in a midlife woman already experiencing stress and fatigue, adrenal stress can make her storemore fat rather than lose it.]

If you’re still reading, naturally you want to dig into fact about YOU, proven practices for YOU, and I’ve got it below. Choose the topic that’s the biggest source of confusion right now and match it to the guide I’ve created.

Plus, I’d love your help. Is there another topic you want more information on? Share it in the comments below this post. I’m listening.

The Flipping 50 Health & Fitness Guides

Jump to the guide that speaks to you or consume them all!

The Ultimate Guide to Menopause Belly Fat

Has menopause caused weight gain and or belly fat?  Of all my health & fitness guides this one gets under the hood of deceptive lie you’ve been led to believe about menopause belly fat. Hint: it isn’t inevitable. I say menopause and weight gain & belly fat are headed for a divorce.

The Ultimate After 50 Smoothies Guide

Confused about whether food or smoothies are best? What kind of protein is right for you? Or how to know if your protein has toxins in it sabotaging your fat burning and in fact making you store more fat? This is the best of health & fitness guides for you.

Flipping 50’s Ultimate Recovery Day Guide

Do you know – or need to – that your recovery from exercise is MORE important than your exercise?

Truth. But it doesn’t mean lying on the couch eating grapes (or sipping smoothies). Not that a modern woman has time to do that. Or will let herself do it if she did.

There isan art to recovery. Recovery starts even before and for sure during your workout. Between sets, some say even repetitions. Then there’s the between workouts and weeks or months of workouts. But how? What does it really look like? How do you know if you are or you’re not? It’s in this, my most recent of health & fitness guides.

The Ultimate Guide to Lunges and Squats After 50

Do squats or lunges hurt your knees?

This is the conundrum for many of my Flipping 50 students and clients. So often the very thing you’re told repeatedly to do for metabolism can hurt or leave you paying for it for days after.

In this guide, an episode of Flipping 50 TV I give you specific reasons these exercise might hurt, tips for changing your technique to see if you can be more comfortable, and alternatives that work instead if you need them. No matter which category you’re in, I’ve got you covered.

Helpful? I hope so! I’d love to hear from you! Comment below!

Do You Want More Step-by-Step?

Would you like more support? I have programs specifically for exercise, and more comprehensive ones to help you really get the whole “formula” since it takes “a village” more and less.

Browse exercise here. My top pick? STRONGER 12-week programs

Browse coaching programs here. My top pick? Start with the 28-Day Kickstart.

20 or more pounds to lose? Fat loss after 50 is unique. I pulled all the science together for you.

It takes a more comprehensive, whole-istic approach to lifestyle habits than just exercise alone can give you. And, it takes less exercise once you know which exercise is right for results.

If you love exercise, I get you. I’ll help you determine where to set your activity and recovery levels so you can do what you love, feel the way you love, and get the results you love.

If you prefer to have one-on-one coaching, you can start with 90-day or do a 6-month coaching package. More details here.

Strawberry Overnight  Oats Forever

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Stir the protein powder into the milk and yogurt until smooth. Layer the ingredients in the mason jar and stir, or combine in another bowl and transfer to the mason jar.  Refrigerate overnight or 4 hours at least.

Add the sliced almonds (and additional toppings you love) before serving. Double (or more) this recipe for a batch. (Serves 1 as is) Keeps for a few days.

Why overnight oats?

Well, first the obvious: who doesn’t like an already done breakfast? Make meals ahead and mornings are less rushed and the day is better.

Raw oats have probiotics that cooked oats don’t. So while you have the option of heating this up in the microwave if you can’t deal with cold oatmeal, the chilled may have a better effect on your gut. Try letting sit at room temp if cold isn’t appealing.

It’s insurance you do the right thing. I make a small batch when I’m training for something ahead or recovering from something I did. You need a little more carbs from resistant starch on active days (long hikes) and the day after to optimize the training effect.

That’s contrary to restrictive diet habits.  You know, that myth that creating some huge calorie deficit will help you lose weight. Look around you. It hasn’t worked well for us so far. As your hormones fluctuate during perimenopause/menopause and are lower post menopause, that strategy actually backfires.

Recovery is a must to prepare, repair and replenish muscles and support your hormones. After 50? Even more so.

If you’re doing okay doing what you’re doing, the question I’d ask you is, how much better could you be doing?

The flips:

Use gluten-free(I like Bob’s Redmill) oats

Use PLAIN coconut or cashew- yogurt to go dairy-free (mucus-free is better exercising!)

Tart plain yogurt may call for stevia but test your taste buds first. If you cut back on sugar (your taste buds turn over in 11 days) you may not need as much sweet as you once did

Don’t ruin a healthy breakfast option with a toxic protein source be sure your protein is “clean” and not collagen-only, but rich in muscle-supporting amino acids (collagen doesn’t have amino acids though it’s great for gut, skin, hair and nails)

In a pinch I use any glass container* I have on hand and a BPA plastic lid (which of course doesn’t go in the microwave).

The Overnight Oats ingredient magic

Best times to have Overnight Oats

Have breakfast with the Flipping 50 retreat attendees!

I’m currently trying to confirm each of our attendees has a refrigerator in their rooms so they can get an overnight oats in their goodie bag. It’s a great pre-hike breakfast (a little fiber, protein, fat and carb to fuel and keep satisfied). If you’re not in Boulder with us, but create a DIY retreat right where you are. Plan a hike, a SUP, a yoga session and follow it all with a massage or pedi. Have an amazingly simple nourishing dinner and sleep like a baby.

What would you love to do on a stay-cation retreat?

Why your food struggles can be a blessing in disguise

Food struggles are a reality for most people at some point in their lives. Women traditionally have spent more time in the kitchen, planning if not preparing food.

And their givers. Often pleasers squelching the way they really feel to be “acceptable.”

Can you relate? Have you had food struggles? Too little, too much, emotional eating, dieting, restricting… the list goes on.

My Guest Expert

My guest and weight loss expert Tricia Nelson lost fifty pounds by identifying and healing the underlying causes of her emotional eating. For some it’s an ongoing part of every day. Thoughts about food, what you’re going to eat, what you’re not going to eat fill much of the day.

Tricia has spent nearly thirty years researching the hidden causes of the addictive personality. Tricia is an Emotional Eating Expert and author of the #1 bestselling book, Heal Your Hunger, 7 Simple Steps to End Emotional Eating Now. She is also the host of the popular podcast, The Heal Your Hunger Show. A highly regarded speaker and coach, Tricia has been featured on NBC, CBS, KTLA, FOX and Discovery Health.

Questions we cover about emotional eating in this episode:

  1. What is your journey with emotional eating and how did it lead you to start Heal Your Hunger?
  2. How does someone know if they are an emotional eater or a food addict?
  3. Why do you think it is that 98% of all diets fail?
  4. What causes emotional eating and binge eating behavior?
  5. Is there more to emotional eating than eating too much and eating for emotional reasons?
  6. What is “the Anatomy of the Emotional Eater”?
  7. Do you have any tips to differentiate between emotional and physical hunger?
  8. How does overcoming dysfunctional eating and food struggles lend itself to becoming a coach? How does it heal the coach too? 

Trying to solve an emotional problem with food and calorie control is like trying to turn a screw with a hammer.

How can listeners find out if they’ve got the qualities of an Emotional Eating coach?

Get the 3 E Checklist 

If food struggles have plagued you, it may be a blessing in disguise. You aren’t alone.

You too have the divine physician.

Thanks for leaving us a rating in iTunes!

  1. Visit the podcast on iTunes (you can subscribe and get it right to your phone)
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  3. Click ratings and reviews
  4. Leave your 5-star rating and a comment
  5. Know how very much I appreciate you doing so!

Simple Chocolate Almond Pre-Exercise Smoothie

A pre-exercise smoothie is a great way to make sure you build those muscles up and give them the opportunity to repair! A metabolism boost requires that repair and rebuild. Not all tummies

Ingredients:

½ a frozen banana, sliced before freezing

1 dried dates

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 T raw almond butter

½ T ground flax

1 serving Chocolate Paleo or Plant Power protein

1/2 -1 tsp raw cacao nibs

Instructions:

Dump all ingredients into a blender. Blend and enjoy.

Flip: want less sugar? Omit the date and use stevia to taste

Flip: want to reduce fat for a higher intensity workout? eliminate the almond butter

Flip: a touchy stomach? Leave the ground flax out to reduce fiber for higher intensity workouts that jostle the gut more

Flip: opt for a more green than ripe banana to keep the sugar content low

How soon before you workout?

It really depends on your stomach. A liquid meal is much easier to digest. Even if you need a bit longer, 30 minutes should be fine. Headed to the gym? Have it before you leave. Working out at home? Have it before you change clothes and get set up. As far as the muscle benefits there’s no hard timing rules pre-exercise.

Why You’ll Love It: well taste for one! It’s a little like a peanut butter kiss without regrets. Second, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) reports that for older adults taking in 20-25 grams of protein either before, 40 grams after, or both will help significantly improve muscle protein synthesis.

  1. Muscle protein synthesis decrease with age. However, after resistance training it is improved in older adults.
  2. 60-90 minutes after exercise is perfect timing to ingest clean protein
  3. Dairy doesn’t do most older adult bodies good. In fact about 90% of functional doctor’s patients and in my case personal training/health coaching clients over 50 feel dramatically better flipping dairy out for dairy substitutes. So avoid whey and casein containing proteins for Plant based (pea) or Paleo (hydro beef).

Why almond and not peanut butter?

Peanuts are a known allergen and commonly contain mold. Even if you don’t have an outright allergy, food sensitivities that fly under the radar can cause weight loss resistance and other issues. Substitute other nut butters or my favorite, sun butter (from sunflower seeds).  Just read your label to avoid added sugar. Nutella is not your friend.

Try it? Send a picture or a comment! Love to know how it goes when you add this or use it before if you’ve never done a pre-exercise smoothie.

I compiled this list of 8 strength training mistakes using two sources. I’ve had decades of observation and from a recent study. The study reviewed 25 prior studies pertaining to resistance training in older adults. Researchers deduced the most effective practice in resistance training programs for healthy older adults.

This list is derived from assessing both best protocols and what’s typically missing in programs – whether you’re on your own or following someone else’s. If you’re lifting weights and you wonder why you’re not seeing results, check out these 8 strength training mistakes for clues. Find your mistakes?

If you’re just getting started or restarted, here’s to doing it right from the start!

1. You expect results right away – in the wrong place.

Are you still looking at the scale to tell you if you’re stronger or have more muscle and less fat? She’s lying. Weight changes slower than percent body fat does if you’re exercising correctly and you’re supporting your own hormone balance.

On average weight loss for beginners in a well-designed strength training program can expect a loss of 4 lbs. fat and a gain of 3 lbs. lean muscle. According to the scale that’s a measly 1 lb. loss. But you could be down a dress size or full of energy and doing the stairs without knee pain.

The longest duration programs (53 weeks in the study) reaped the best results. Subjects continued to improve over time as long as they stayed involved in regular exercise. Make it a lifestyle habit.

2. You lift too light too often.

Researchers found higher intensity programs got the best results. Lifting a weight you can only lift 10 -15 times is better than lifting lighter weights for 20 or more times or never reaching fatigue.

What often occurs is nothing. So you feel as if you can exercise, in fact lift weights, go to another class, the next day and the next.

A couple things go wrong in this scenario.

(1) You never creating enough stimulus for the muscle to be “overload” so the muscle changes.

(2) You never rest between those quality overload sessions. Rest between is the time you actually get fit. A muscle adequately stimulated “overcompensates” when it’s given rest and adequate nutrition (protein and micronutrient dense foods). A muscle never adequately stimulated or rested between sessions is constantly broken down and weakens or wastes.

3. You hurry through the workout to just get it done.

The length of time you spent in each repetition matters. The amount of time a muscle is under tension influences the ability to change that muscle. For the most optimal results, 6.0 second per repetition got the best results.

That’s 2 counts to lift and 4 counts to lower, traditionally. You can play however!

4. You randomly go from exercise to exercise.

I know this one is hard to avoid sometimes! You’re at the gym and may not have a plan. You’re trying to work in with other exercisers who may or may not be parked on equipment taking selfies.

You may need to interrupt that little photo op and get what you need!

The optimal time between sets of exercise for the same muscle group is between 60 seconds and 120 seconds.

That means do a set of chest press and then a set of squats each taking a minute. Alternate them or add one more exercise (a plank for instance) and you’ll get enough rest.

Optimal time between sets varies for beginners and more experienced weight lifters. If you’re more experienced and lifting a bit heavier, prior studies have shown that 4-5 minutes before challenging the same muscle group again is optimal.

A sequence in your workout could look like this:

  1. Chest press
  2. Squats
  3. Pullover
  4. Plank
  5. If a set of exercises for each took a minute, and you include transition time between them, you create the best time between

5. You still think you need to lift weights three days a week.

That is the most common of strength training mistakes regarding frequency. But it’s not the only one.

You may think you should be lifting four or five days a week. You may be lifting just when it’s convenient and averaging once a week, sometimes, or mistaking Pilates and yoga as resistance training.

First, the optimal frequency for best results (including lean muscle gains, fat loss, overall strength and endurance) is two sessions a week. Ideally, you rest at least 72 hours between those two sessions.

That means you ditch that 1980s Monday/Wednesday/Friday weight day routine (or abandon group fitness set up the same) and you lift weights Monday and Thursday. Or if you’re a Pilates fan, put that into your Wednesday workout. You’re not exhausting your muscles enough to get to fatigue to count as weight work, but it’s a good alignment session. Other more functional and corrective exercise also work between heavy weight days.

6. You have no idea how many sets you need or don’t think it matters.

Some days you do too much some days too little. This is of course after you’ve had a period of adaptation beginning a program. Most adults should (but don’t) start with one single set.

Ultimately, however 2-3 sets per exercise is optimal. Each set should result in muscular fatigue. If you’re doing three sets, don’t fall into the trap of “saving” your energy for those latter sets. If you don’t fatigue on a set you’ve missed an opportunity to give the muscle stimulus it needs to change.

7. You don’t plan the number of repetitions you’ll do.

The right repetition range is determined by your experience level, body type, and by your goals.

Everyone beginning should focus on lighter load (weight) and more repetitions. The reason for improvement in the first 6 weeks of a strength training program are neural. That is, they’re not dependent on weight or load. They’re about the brain connecting to the muscle. You’re also then safely able to prepare a good foundation in ligaments and joints for the future.

If your body type is more muscular you’ll respond well to anything. You also may want to stay away from the “bulk building” protocol (3 sets of 10 reps).

On the other hand if you’re losing muscle mass and don’t have any weight to lose, that bulk protocol is your best friend.

For older adults collectively however, the review of 25 studies showed 7-9 repetitions per set allowed optimal strength, lean muscle improvement, and fat loss. If your joints will allow safe use of heavier loads, power, or slow lifting technique, do it.

One of the biggest of these 8 strength training mistakes women over 50 make is asking, “how much weight should I lift”? the question assumes anyone else can tell you. The question should be, how many repetitions should I do? When you’re given a repetition range, that tells you how to select a weight. You want one that causes you to fatigue within that range. You’ll have to try a few weights to get the feel for them.

8. You get those reps cranked out fast and move on to the next exercise.

I watched men (faculty and staff) on a college campus exercise for decades. They shrank over time. They went from machine to machine going as quickly as they could, often completing a circuit of 8-10 exercises in five minutes. They spent the remainder of their time doing cardio exercise. Their bodies aged with muscle wasting not unique from adults who don’t strength train.

Muscle strength doesn’t require “hypertrophy” (or size) but some amount of muscle mass maintenance is the goal! You will naturally lose muscle mass from 30 to 70 if you don’t perform resistance training. However, the wrong type of resistance training won’t help muscle maintenance.

You need to go slow enough not only during the exercise (see #3 above) but potentially between repetitions. The research suggests that a 2.5 -4.0 seconds rest between repetitions increases muscle strength and maintains lean muscle mass.

Prevention of sarcopenia (loss of muscle) with aging is crucial for avoiding frailty that results in falls and loss of independence. Sarcopenia also contributes to weight gain and obesity due to a slowing of metabolism. “Sarcobesity” is a loss of muscle combined with an increase in fat that leads to increased health risks. 

Avoid these 8 strength training mistakes for a better second half

The message is it all matters. The details matter. It is about so much more than doing a series of exercises. It is about so much more than choosing an exercise for each major muscle group.

“Training period, intensity, time under tension, and rest in between sets play an important role in improving muscle strength and morphology and should be implemented in exercise training programs targeting healthy old adults.”

A little planning goes a long ways toward making “less exercise” more effective.

Serious about results? Want support? Start with one of our most popular strength training programs:

Or get on the wait list for notification when STRONGER I, II, and III doors open again (only open 4 times a year).

Resources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26420238
Hot, Not Bothered
You Still Got It, Girl! 
You might also like:

Why Protein Recommendations After 50 Are Confusing (post-exercise protein needs)

Flipping 50’s Ultimate Recovery Day Guide

 

Get your pets to sleep … so you can!

Got aging pets that keep you awake at night? Are they keeping you from getting the sleep your hormone needs? If hormone heaven for you is evasive right now thanks to four-legged loves, this episode is for you! Pets are an important part of our lives. Yet, if they’re robbing you of sleep, it’s time to get some answers for you and for them.

Dr. Ruth Says: All Dogs go to Hormone Heaven

It’s not like you can kick them out so you can get the good night’s sleep a girl’s hormones need. Aging, sick, and anxious pets we love can be a problem. (You know Truman. So cute photobombing me in videos, right? Well at 2am trying to make the 5thor 6thattempt to put his 11-year old butt on the bed – not so cute.)

And yet you want the best for your dog. Not long ago Truman basically – you guessed it.. went on an elimination diet- yep, he might as well have gone through the 28-Day Kickstart. Well, good news today for all of us pet lovers the doctor made a house call.

So many of my private clients and students have pets that keep them from otherwise being great sleepers. SO this is selfishly for me… about you… as well as your pets.

Dr. Ruth Roberts is Your Pet’s Ally

Dr. Ruth has supported hundreds of dogs and cats to heal and overcome health hurdles like chronic kidney disease, GI Illness, allergies, cancer and much more. Her natural approach to healing creates a gentle yet effective path for your pet to take on their journey to wellbeing. Working hand-in-hand with your family vet, Dr. Ruth will coach you to get the answers, diagnostics and results your pet needs.

You’ll no longer need to worry whether your pet is getting the best treatment, because Your Pet’s Ally will explore every available option, and mentor you in choosing the perfect solution for your furry friend.

The customized treatment plan that Dr. Ruth will create for your pet will include only therapies that will support them in healing faster and dramatically improve their quality of life, without harsh medications or unnecessary and pricey treatments.

Dr. Ruth is your pet’s ally and is also an ally to you, the pet parent. Her experience and insider’s knowledge of the veterinary industry will save you money on your pet’s healthcare, avoiding unnecessary suffering, treatments and tests, enabling you to focus on providing the care they truly need and reduce stress all around.

My clients, students, and our Flipping 50 community members have pets. I have the Tru-Monster. And if we’ve got them we love them. BUT we’ve also got hormones. And we need to get to hormone heaven from the hormone hell bad night’s sleep cost us.

 Questions I asked Dr. Ruth in this episode:

  • What reasons are there for dogs/cats not sleeping well?
  • How can we help pets sleep better so that we can?

Elimination diet, keto, freeze dried protein in a purchased one + real veggies

Melatonin 1.5 mg – 3 mg (small to large size pets)

Fatty acids

Probiotic

  • Are there things to avoid that might be recommended by others? Unhealthy options or those with negative side affects?
  • Is there an age or stage in a pet’s life when it becomes more likely they’ll have nighttime sleep issues?
  • Is there a way to prepare pets for better sleep habits? (similar to adults!)

Get Social with Dr Ruth: 

DrRuthRoberts.com

@Crockpetdiet on Facebook

@DrRuthRoberts twitter

Dr.RuthRoberts on instagram

PLUS!! Free mini-econsult to help support your pets most challenging health issue 

Was this episode helpful? Please leave a rating in iTunes!

  1. Visit Flipping 50
  2. Click “listen in iTunes”
  3. Click Ratings and Reviews
  4. Make your 5-star review (no matter what you think we want the real review!)
  5. Know how much I appreciate this!

You might also like:

Sleep Yourself Skinny

Flipping 50 TV Episode 8

7 Expert SLEEP TIPS for Good Nights and Great Days

In this episode I rounded up 7 expert friends and asked them to share their best sleep tips. Many of them gave not only advice they give clients or patients, but what they personally do to be the high-functioning movers and shakers in functional health & wellness that they are.

Sleep is the #1 most important hormone balancing habit you can have. There are several vary important things we must do. It’s no contest though that among my private clients, students, and hey my own friends and colleagues – we all do so much better at every habit when we sleep well.

Get the cheat sheet I created just for this episode so you can take notes easily!

Before you begin listening I highly recommend you go download the cheat sheet.Just enter your best email and you’ll gain access to our member’s area where you can get it to help you track notes and remember what everyone said. If you hear it, read it, and write it you’ll remember it so much better!

Here’s my all-star line up of experts:

Amy Beth Hopkins of Heath and Bliss for Life is a self-proclaimed Soul Junkie and Physical Therapist.

You can reach Amy Beth here:

https://healthandblissforlife.com/sleep-tip/

https://www.instagram.com/healthandblissamybeth/

https://www.facebook.com/HealthandBlissForLife/

Dr. Doni Wilson is a naturopathic doctor and best selling author who’s behind The Stress Remedy Program. She specializes in helping people be healthy even when they’re stressed. You can connect with her at drdoni.com, fb.com/drdoniwilson, and instagram.com/drdoniwilson

Dr. Tom Moorcroft is a Lyme disease and Brain Detox expert. You can find him at originsofhealth.com and follow at fb.com/originsofhealth. He shared several things you may not have tried or heard – including from our expert sleep tips round up!

Dr. Heidi Hanna is a NY times best selling author of several books and the executive director for the American Institute of Stress.  You can find out more about Heidi and her Recharge programs at www.heidihanna.com.  The Reflection Meditation I mentioned can be accessed in my free Recharge Toolkit at www.rechargetoolkit.com.

Follow Heidi on social:

Twitter: @heidihanna

FB: www.facebook.com/heidihannaphd

Shelley Gawith is a qualified Functional Nutritionist with a successful practice downtown in Wellington, New Zealand. She mainly works with corporate clients and their staff to help them transform their health so that they too can live their lives to their full potential.

www.shelleygawith.com

Connect with Shelley on social:

FB Shelley Gawith Functional Nutriton

Instagram @ShelleyGawith FN

My wild friend:

Teri Cochrane is an internationally known integrative practitioner. She gets to the root of the root of any of your health concerns and develops a personalized plan with sustainable positive results.

Connect with Teri

Find Teri on Social Media:

Instagram: @tericochranebeyondnutrition

Facebook: @tericochranebeyondnutrition

Twitter: @TeriCochrane

JJ Virgin is a 4x NY Times bestselling author of the Virign Diet and Sugar Impact Diet.

JJ is a nutrition and fitness expert and a human you want to know. JJ shares her personal routine – and the reasons behind it.

Connect with JJ:

jj.virgin IG

jjvirginofficial FB

jjvirgin.com

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During mental health month I want to touch on the mental health benefits of exercise. Women experience depression – and anxiety – 50% more than men at least up until the age of 65. Hormones play a part, so it’s only fair to fight fire with fire. This post is all about the mental health benefits that occur when you use exercise to positively influence hormones.

[And… if you want to jump down below after the post I share my own and Flipping 50 community members personal shares.]

Women and the Mental Health Benefits from Exercise

What’s gets you out of bed to exercise or motivates you to finally Google up an exercise video or call a health coach is most likely to be weight, energy, arms, or a mother-of-the-bride dress.

What’s gets you hooked so that you won’t give it up is most likely to be the mental health benefits.

The mental health benefits of exercise are numerous. For women in midlife that’s good news.

When hormone levels fluctuate during peri-menopause and menopause brain fog, memory loss, lack of creativity and productivity can plague even the highest functioning woman.

Anyone in today’s fast paced connected 24/7 lifestyle can experience those symptoms. It’s not just a midlife woman thing. But you are more susceptible if you’ve got a lot of external stressors and you’ve got hormone fluctuations happening.

Hormones that Help

Most people first relate exercise with endorphins. It’s true exercise creates endorphins. But that’s the tip of the iceberg. It’s temporary. You’ll need it again. And that’s okay since you need to repeat exercise for physical results. But for long-term mental health benefits other hormones are actually more important.

Serotonin has significant effects on mood and is key in decreasing effects of depression. The anti-depressant effects of exercise are also thanks to brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). In fact “SSRIs” are the most often prescribed meds for depression. Their role is to help balance serotonin levels.

Just what mental health benefits can you expect or thank your exercise for?

Decrease Depression & Anxiety

Studies have proven exerciser therapy to be more favorable than medication and cognitive therapy in treatment of depression and anxiety.

Some therapists have employed walking sessions with clients for decades. Women in particular experience a bump in serotonin from exercise, sunshine, and venting with friends.

Girls let girls talk about problems. They don’t have the need to solve them. Talking, or venting, does wonders for developing what women need most, a collaborative and supportive environment.

Exercise recommendations: aerobic, strength training, yoga

Enhance Memory

In You Still Got It, Girl!(available on Amazon) I shared how walking 40 minutes a day three times a week significantly increased hippocampus size. For you and I, that’s memory central. There’s no intensity imposed, you walk your self-selected pace 40 minutes three times a week. That’s it. Not only did the hippocampus of study subjects not shrink – typical atrophy that occurs with aging – it GREW!

Interested in reversing aging? Start with regular exercise. Low to moderate intensity will do if you’re getting start.

Exercise recommendations: walking, biking

Decrease Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s

If you just read about the ability of exercise to improve memory, it’s easy to understand the effects of exercise on reduction of both dementia and Alzheimer’s.

So, while there may be genetics working against you (me too says my DNA results), armed with that knowledge, exercise becomes medicineor at best, a vitamin.

Exercise recommendations: dancing, boxing, aerobic classes with choreography

Decrease Brain Fog

Countless studies have proven mental health benefits of increased focus and concentration in regular exercisers. Compared to sedentary individuals, active workers get more done in less time with fewer errors. Looking for the elusive 4-hour workweek? Start exercising!

Specifically, exercise during a workday results in greater problem solving skills, better relationships with co-workers, and greater job satisfaction at the end of the day.

Workouts can be “sweatless” and still provide these mental health benefits. Yoga and stretching were equally as beneficial as vigorous exercise.

Exercise recommendations: walking, running, biking, swimming

Improve Sleep

A National Foundation of Sleep survey found self-reports of sleep improved by 33% with 10 minutes of walking every day. There isn’t any intensity imposed. Just walk. In fact, you can likely insert your favorite activity for 10 minutes and reap similar sleep benefits.

Exercise recommendations: walking, biking, elliptical, aerobic classes

Increase Self-Esteem

Most people who exercise gain confidence and enjoy a healthy sense of self-esteem compared to non-exercisers. The reason for this occurs isn’t necessarily known.

It could be due to the sense of accomplishment. The satisfaction of setting a goal and following through could contribute. It may be a greater appreciation for the physical body provides a mental boost.

It’s probably due in part to all of those.

Exercise recommendations: weight training, walking, biking, swimming 

Decrease Stress

The underlying reason each of these occurs has to do with lowering your allostatic load. That is, your overall stress. Let’s face it, going for a power walk doesn’t make the project deadline go away, eliminate your need to give a speech, or magically change your financial situation.

But it does increase endorphins (short term fix) and serotonin (the real hormone good stuff) so that you offset the negative effect of cortisol.

Exercise recommendations: walking, running, swimming, aerobic fitness classes, strength training, yoga

Optimize Mental Health Benefits Outside

The mental health benefits of outdoor exercise surpass that done indoors. In fact, exercise in green environments (think Central Park vs. NY city streets) was best for promoting mental health benefits. While physical benefits may happen in a wide variety of environments, “forest bathing” is best for above the shoulders.

Comments from Flipping 50 Community members:

Lisa:

I have never been treated with medication for depression except briefly 30 years ago and the second time in early 90s was a physician’s off-label use to try to prevent frequent migraines (didn’t work). Five years ago, in my early-50s I began exercising more regularly than ever in my life in an effort to lose weight. I also changed my nutrition. It helped my moods tremendously. I have dealt with depression and sometimes anxiety since childhood. Working out (or hiking — doing about anything outdoors) definitely helps me deal with stress, and the stress of feeling depression trying to come on. Exercising makes me feel better about myself. It is something I can control.

Mary:

I started exercising to lose pounds and gain strength. I noticed right away that I felt better mentally as well as physically. Now, if I am not consistent on doing something active I can really feel it. I’ve had depression in the past and now I know that exercise is crucial for me!

M.L.:

I feel much better about myself when I exercise. I feel less anxious, more confident and patient. My doctor has prescribed exercise as an integral part of my treatment. Just like with my medicine, if I miss a “dose” of my exercise, I come to the edge of a slippery slope. It’s not optional if I am to maintain mental health.

Wanda:

I cannot stop exercise. If I do, I would be back on antidepressants. Some of us need the boost to our minds. Not optional for me.

What mental health benefits have you experienced from exercise? Comment below!

CCClick the book image for free support to help you dump stress from all sources. 
Resources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5430071/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5771022/
https://www.aafp.org/afp/2019/0515/p620.html
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28445707
https://globalwellnessinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Effects-of-yoga-and-depression-and-anxiety-in-women-2009.pdf

When You Want To Want Sex, But You Don’t

Get ready for a shame-free straight talk about a hot topic in midlife. One either talked about or the elephant in the room. When you want to want sex you want my guest today.

She’s not bashful or shy about her approach. So if you’re squeamish talking about it, hearing about it, or you’ve got kids in the room, grab your headset, girlfriend.

Susan Bratton is a champion and advocate for all who desire passionate relationships. Considered the “Dear Abby of Sex,” Susan’s fresh approach and original ideas have helped millions of people of all ages and across the gender spectrum transform sex into passion.

Married to her husband Tim since 1993, Susan is an author, award-winning speaker, and serial entrepreneur who teaches passionate lovemaking techniques to her fans around the world. Susan has been featured in The New York Times and on CNBC and the TODAY show as well as appearing on ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox, and on NBC as the “Marriage Magician.”

Susan’s straight-talking, fearless approach is rooted in her personal experience of watching her sex life wither while she and her husband pursued dynamic careers. When their relationship hit a crisis point, the couple made a fierce commitment to do whatever it took to keep their family together and revive the passion in their marriage.

Today, she and her husband have the kind of dream relationship most people long-since stopped believing is even possible—until they discover Susan’s teachings.

Dear Abby of Sex

Susan is CEO and co-founder (with her husband) of Personal Life Media. Through her company, Susan has authored 20 books including Relationship Magic, The Passion Patch and 30 Romance Tricks That Work Like Magic, as well as her International #1 Amazon best-seller, Sexual Soulmates: The 6 Essentials for Connected Sex.

She has also created and published numerous online courses including her wildly popular Revive Her Drive and Steamy Sex Ed® DVD Collection, as well as programs such as: Seduction Trilogy, Expand Her Orgasm Tonight, The Multi-Orgasmic Lover for Men, Female Liquid Orgasm, and Keep Her Coming.

Millions of couples and singles have been touched by her TV appearances, and Better Lover YouTube channel. Through her Insider’s Club newsletter at Personal Life Media.com, Susan gives away, free of charge, countless MP3 audios, videos, articles, and ebooks.

Susan believes that shame-free, frequent sexual pleasure is every man and woman’s birthright:

“After 25 years of marriage, I know from experience that deep, passionate intimacy with my partner is priceless: a priority that tops my list of must-haves alongside good health and the love of family and friends. I have made it my mission to aid anyone who wants the kind of lovemaking that improves with age.”

Libido is a hot topic in the Flipping 50 community. Want sex? Hear are the questions we cover (about under the covers).

Questions we cover in this episode:

1) Why don’t we have raging horniness like guys?

2) What can we do to have more interest in sex?

3) What can we do to have more sexual satisfaction?

4) What are the most common roadblocks to sex?

5) What can be done about pain, dryness, and fatigue?

Don’t miss what Susan said about her compounded bio-identical hormones and what she uses.

Susan’s recommendation for great skin:

Kathy’s Family Healing Lotion

Free Gift The Sexual Soulmate Pact:

Sexualsoulmatepact.com

How well do you know your yoni?

Was this episode helpful? Please leave a rating in iTunes!

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You might also like: 

Flipping 50 TV episode 3: Get Your Libido Back

Libido Boosting Valentine’s Day Hormone 411

10 Ways to Boost Your Libido Naturally

How to Reduce Injury Risks While You Get Fit

Women in menopause are looking for answers. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has a reputation for being an amazing way to burn fat in less time than steady state or continuous exercise. There’s no arguing with studies proving it. There’s probably no time when HIIT is more seductive to a woman when during hormone change all the rules seemingly change overnight.

Depending on your hormone status, it could be amazing for you. However, the not so amazing thing about HIIT is that it’s often begun by perimenopausal, menopausal, or post menopausal women who:

Any of those can suggest cortisol and blood sugar issues. When women in menopause have existing health problems due to hormone status perform HIIT, what works for someone else probably won’t for you. You may not recover well. I’ve written and spoken vehemently about the increased need for attention to recovery after 50. That’s for anyone – not just someone with an issue.

What Happens When You Don’t Recover?

You increase inflammation and cortisol imbalance (high when it should be low, low when it should be high). That leads to a depleted immune system and exhaustion, which can lead to adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue is common among women in menopause. It starts when women seeing a trainer regularly begin to cancel frequently. Have you experienced this? You frequently get sick or have such low energy you feel like you’re getting sick. (see more on adrenal fatigue in resources below)

It’s important before women in menopause jump headfirst headstrong into a fat burning bootcamp, or grab that P90x or Beach Body workout featuring HIIT guaranteed to burn more fat in a workout than you ever could with your walking program, you have a foundation. Progression is a principal of fitness that is frequently ignored among fans and followers of HIIT workouts, from new studios and fitness franchises, to mom and pop bootcamp in the parks.

Why Breakdown Occurs Faster Than Recovery

The nature of exercise is that it is a breakdown experience. Microtears in muscles, stress to joints and ligaments, all are a part of regular exercise. The rebuilding and repair phase between high quality exercise sessions is when fitness occurs.

It can’t, however occur with the support of:

For that reason women in menopause are a bit more vulnerable to injury. They’re often not getting enough sleep, and not sure how to get more sleep, or may be “dieting,” skipping meals, missing nutrients. Intermittent fasting can be right for some and totally wrong for others but if you’re skipping meals, missing micronutrients your body needs when you do eat, something is going to break.

Need support losing 20 or more pounds after 50? Now is the right time. 50% off Enrollment is open for Fit-U.

Where Women in Menopause Should Start

Start with an aerobic and strength training base. It’s putting the basement in before you build the penthouse. Makes sense, right? But in our desire for results yesterday’s yesterday we abandon logic and speed ahead to college calculus before we can add.

Even with a good base (30 years of exercise I’d say qualifies), I progressively increased intensity to include small bits of HIIT and I still only do it 1-2 times a week. If I’ve been away from interval training for a while I’ll shorten workouts. I may do three 10 or 15 minute interval sessions until I’ve built back to longer (capped at 20-25 minute) sessions.

Elite athletes I’m surrounded by in this endurance athlete mecca of Boulder, Colorado do the same. Why would anyone with a casual relationship with exercise expect she should or could do more and get good results?

Sprinkled between those HIIT sessions are other low-to-moderate intensity workouts that support fitness and most importantly, recovery. Use activities like boxing, biking, rowing, swimming or water exercise that are easier on joints and can still give you a HIIT fix.

Women in Menopause who LOVE exercise:

Long workouts, not just high intensity ones, sabotage if your cortisol levels are already skewed. Small amounts of long, slow, lower intensity exercise (and short lower intensity for that matter) support hormone balance. Gardening, walking the golf course are two examples. However, after 75 minutes of moderate to high intensity work for many women in menopause cortisol levels begin to have a negative effect. (regardless of what your head thinks about it!)

If you’re an exercise lover or a goal-getter, beware, it’s you and I that need to really be attentive to whether it’s really working or it’s just our minds playing tricks thinking what we used to do, used to think works, is working.

Avoiding Excess Stress from Exercise

So, thinking “more is better” will truly backfire on you. It doesn’t matter whether you’re thinking more times a week you do it, or the more minutes you do it, both will cause deteriorating benefits and increasing detriment.

Exercise, though a much-needed and health-promoting habit, causes oxidative stress if overdone. Too much HIIT and too much endurance exercise both will accelerate aging and shorten telomere length.

Build a foundation of fitness. Low-to-moderate level exercise that you enjoy should be that base. When you feel good and you’re sleeping well you can to increase. If you’ve had hormones inflammatory markers (C-Reactive Protein) tested use the intel. Introduce more intensity when your numbers are stabile and inflammation is going down.

Monitor how well you recover from exercise. If you’re exhausted, or you have a bigger or loss of appetite, or you’re exceptionally sore you’re not recovering well. If your resting heart rate is elevated more than 5 beats that’s also a sign you’re not recovered.

Progress with a Plan

As your body tolerates a build-up in your aerobic fitness levels, then add some high-intensity exercise (about twice weekly) for about 20-30 minutes. Sequence your exercises in work-rest intervals. The less fit you are, then make the rest interval a little longer. For instance, 1 minute of hard effort ‘work’ followed by 2 or 3 minutes of rest. As you increase fitness, then increase the ‘work’ phase and decrease the ‘rest’ phase.

To prevent the loss of muscle tissue with age (Sarcopenia), perform two days of strength training. But avoid alternating cardio and strength moves which can decrease the benefits of both.

H.I.I.T. can be a best friend in perimenopause and beyond if you monitor how you feel and adapt a plan for your needs. The truth is that at this moment women in menopause are more susceptible to injury from HIIT. It’s only, however, due to the way HIIT is approached.

References for this post come from over 150 sources listed in:

Hot, Not Bothered

You Still Got It, Girl!

You might also like: 

Adrenal fatigue to Adrenal Reset with Dr. Alan Christianson

How to Exercise During Adrenal Fatigue Recovery After 50

[Both above are podcasts: You can also listen from iTunes]

Are You Doing HIIT Wrong? 

The Ultimate Guide to Your Recovery Day 

Is HIIT Really the Best?

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