Are you Mindful About Aging, Fitness, Food?

Is the way you think about your habits, your every day habits that create the level of health which you currently have, aging you or slowing the process? Mindful practice of your inner and outer conversations may have more influence on your aging process than anything else that you do.

Of course you’ll have to have the right habits. Yet, if you’re mindful of them, you’ll naturally be inclined to make positive changes. You’ll seek the right information and the right steps. Then you’ll be conscious applying them in your life.

Dr. Ellen Langer, Ph.D., is a social psychologist and the first female professor to gain tenure in the Psychology Department at Harvard University. She is the author of eleven books and more than two hundred research articles written for general and academic readers on mindfulness for over 35 years. Her best selling books include Mindfulness; The Power of Mindful LearningOn Becoming an Artist: Reinventing Yourself Through Mindful Creativity; and Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility. Her most recent book is The Art of Noticing which pairs one-liners culled from her research with her original paintings.

Dr. Langer has been described as the “mother of mindfulness” and the mother of positive psychology.

Among other honors, she is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and three Distinguished Scientist Awards, the World Congress Award, the NYU Alumni Achievement Award, and the Staats award for Unifying Psychology. Most recently she received the Liberty Science Genius Award.

The citation for the APA distinguished contributions award reads, in part, “…her pioneering work revealed the profound effects of increasing mindful behavior…and offers new hope to millions whose problems were previously seen as unalterable and inevitable. Ellen Langer has demonstrated repeatedly how our limits are of our own making.”

This episode was peppered with questions:

You started pioneering this mindfulness movement – certainly about aging – before anyone else seemed to be writing much about it. In 1979, the rest of the world wasn’t quite tuned into the shock that was going to happen when baby boomers all started turning 50 and the change it would have on business opportunity, the economy, health care, so what was it that made you do that study so early in your career? Was it personal? Was there some influence of other researchers that pivoted you in that direction?

In 1979 how old were you? And now you are?
Tell listeners about the Clockwise study

When you removed them from that environment what happened?

This is a quote from some of the press reporting on the Clockwise study:

“What she found, however, surprised even her own team of researchers. Before and after the experiment, both groups of men took a battery of cognitive and physical tests, and after just one week, there were dramatic positive changes across the board. Both groups were stronger and more flexible. Height, weight, gait, posture, hearing, vision—even their performance on intelligence tests had improved. Their joints were more flexible, their shoulders wider, their fingers not only more agile, but longer and less gnarled by arthritis. But the men who had acted as if they were actually back in 1959 showed significantly more improvement. Those who had impersonated younger men seemed to have bodies that actually were younger.” [as printed in]  

Because your body is listening you can change anything.

-Dr. Ellen Langer

Why didn’t we… the mainstream rest of the world hear more about this earlier?

The counterclockwise study results have been described in several of your books, but have never appeared in a professional journal.

Why was that?

The Impact of Mindful and Mindless Revealed

Almost 4 decades after that study… you’ve been quoted and your research cited many times in regard to placebo, the power of thinking. We’re now using and hearing the word mindset so much more often. Do you think we’re getting it? The majority of us? Or is it mindset that still limits us?

“It is not our physical state that limits us,” she explains—it is our mindset about our own limits, our perceptions, that draws the lines in the sand.”

Why is it so hard – or is it that we’re doing it wrong – to change mindset?

How can listeners put mindfulness to work for them?

But the biggest obstacle for so many is the language and thoughts that reflect their expectations. The entire premise of Flipping 50 is to first change our mindset so that our expectations send us looking for new knowledge and science that will help us live out our much higher expectations.

Exercising less, with the eye on balancing hormones naturally for more longevity and vitality, optimizing weight with more but better food not diets, and moving for joy not punishment.

“Wherever you put the mind, the body will follow”

But if the expectation is currently exercise is hard and it’s only purpose to burn off something that shouldn’t be there or change something unacceptable… or that it must take dietary deprivation and restriction … then getting healthy becomes hard.

Do you live with any care about your age?

Hotel Maids Mindful Change

The other study I love to refer to is that you did with Alia Crum with 84 hotel workers. Talk about placebo effect. The mindset we adopt when we take pills – or not – that matters.

You divided the maids into two groups and nothing changed about their physical habits at work, only the beliefabout their physical activity while at work changed. The study was 4 weeks – is that correct?

Engagement is powerful, it’s the act of noticing.

Much of what you’re saying is about the ability to accept that there is a different way to think about anything.

If I gave you some thoughts from our listeners – limiting beliefs – would you be willing to counter with something that might help them see the obstacles those mindless thoughts provide … and offer an action or thought change that would remove self-inflicted limits?

Many of the women listening are thinking:

  • I’ve always been overweight.
  • I’ve had insomnia forever.
  • I always get injured just when I get some momentum exercising.

How has your work influenced your own aging?

How old are you now? The age of or beyond your subjects back in 1981…

“All Rules Are Turned.”



Counterclockwise book

New book she’s working on: Why Not? The Power of Possibility

Does your mind control how you age?

Listener: Mindfulness and mindlessness were two big words in this episode. What are you doing mindlessly that if changed and approached mindfully could change everything?

Join our Active Aging subscriberlist to get notified when new episodes are released.

Natural Health Buzzwords 

What do they Mean? Inflammation, Stress, Microbiome, Antioxidant, Functional Digestion? Are you kidding? 

The limiter for fitness results for far too many of the women I work with in perimenopause to post menopause (that’s til the end, sister!) are these. One can be a challenge, and combined which often occurs, they caused so many of the issues that keep you from feeling good. When bloating, gas, discomfort, constipation or diarrhea (or both) keep you from exercise and your best energy it’s time to look at the causes really closely. Inflammation is often a part of the unseen problem. This post is all about it.

You hear these buzzwords all the time when you’re floating around in cyberspace. Sometimes your friends drop them in casual conversation.

What goes on in your brain when you hear these buzzwords? You might be thinking, “These words don’t make sense to me. Can someone lay it out on the table for me so it’s easy to understand?” Well, here I am, your fairy godmother… here to explain these buzzwords in an easy-to-digest way!

What is the Microbiome

According to modern science, the microbiome is an organ unto itself. It is made up of trillions of bacteria living on our mucous membranes and skin. It’s a combination of good bacteria, like probiotics, and bad bacteria, that my friend Dr. Marisol has coined “conbiotics™”. These are microscopic con-artists, occupying space in your gut but doing nothing good for you. Probiotics create B vitamins and short-chain fatty acids like butyric acid, which are super good for you. The conbiotics produce noxious chemicals and rob us of our vital reserves. We must promote the balance of the microbiome in favour of the good guys in order to be healthy.

What is Inflammation

A natural physical function that is healing, when in moderation; but if excessive, can rage like a destructive wild forest fire. Hippocrates would say, “Give me the power to create fever (a different form of inflammation), and I will cure all disease.” We want it, but not too much of it. The greatest source of inflammation is found within the gut. 

What is an Antioxidant

These are powerhouse molecules that are necessary for natural detoxification and cleansing to occur. Without them, you are weak and susceptible to chemical injury. Antioxidants are protective and life-extending. Examples include glutathione, nitric oxide, fat soluble vitamins like vitamin E, omega 6 and omega 9.

What is Functional Digestion

It’s not only about digestion, but how we absorb and how we eliminate everything is very important. Digestion is the hub of the hormonal, nervous and immune systems. Did you know that there is more melatonin in your digestive tract – actually 10x more -than in your brain? 

What is Tension and Stress? 

Coal, under pressure and stress, creates diamonds. So clearly, stress can be good for us. But the same goes for inflammation; a little bit is good and too much is damaging. 

What do all of these things have in common? 

Well they are all part of the foundation of feeling great. When these are all in check, everything you take (supplements), eat (food) or do (therapies), all work better. You can build a home, only when the foundation is strong and stable. 

What is the only health tool that sets the foundation right? Castor oil packs.  This is why we have focused on these amazing health promoting packs so much. When you’ve been around the block in the natural health industry as long as I have, you get to know a thing or too. 

You know all the old sayings: 

“Mama knew better”

“Stick to the basics” 

“What’s old is new again” 

“The old stuff just works better” 

“If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” (just tweak it!)

You know in your heart this is so often the truth, and it’s no different with castor oil packs. This age old treatment has withstood the test of time because it WORKS.

If you haven’t read, watched, or listened to blogs, videos, and podcasts here on about castor oil and castor oil packs yet, check out the link below.

Read This Blog: Two Easy Tools to Beat Constipation

Here are some handy videos about castor oil packs – Check them out now! 

Here is a live video I did with Dr Marisol Queen of Thrones all about castor oil – Start at 4:30  and avoid our technical issues! 

Last but not least… this is crazy good: castor oil is good for SO MANY things. Sounds like snake oil right? Or My Big Fat Greek Wedding, when Windex cured everything. But seriously good simple things are truly best. Sleep an issue? A few hints specific to it in this one:

Want to get your own Castor Oil Bundle?

Click the image or HERE and  and follow the instruction below.

That’s it – so simple, natural, and safe. You can feel good about it. And then feel good. 

Disclaimer: If you happen to purchase anything we promote, in this or any of our communications, it’s likely (insert name of your business here) will receive some kind of affiliate compensation. Still, we only promote content and products that we truly believe in and share with our friends and family. If you ever have an issue with anything we share, please let us know. We want to make sure we are always serving you at the highest level.

Gain Strength After 50?

Can I gain muscle and gain strength after 50? Two frequent questions I’m asked. And for good reason! Muscle mass not only contributes to your metabolism but it determines your successful independent living later in life.

When I began presenting on stages internationally in the 90’s I often said sexy now is one thing but later it’s going to be who can carry their own tray in the dining room. Truth. Today’s episode is in part about some of the research making waves and about contents of the Flipping 50 Member box too good not to share.

In the Flipping 50 Member box recently we’ve added super strength bands- also known as blood flow restriction bands used in a special Kaatsu training method. As always the Flipping 50 Member Box is filled with items vetted and used by me and I also love to introduce you to the creators and people behind the company.

That’s what today is all about. In the show notes I’ll be linking to the products –F50MB subscribers have a special market place access to find at a better rate – and I’ll also link to a recent blog all about the technique complete with videos. The method is going to be an extra bonus for STRONGER I participants this last quarter of 2019.

My Guest

My guest is creator of BFR bands that went into our Flipping 50 Member box this month.

As a personal trainer, Kusha Karvandi has trained over 10,000 hours of one-on-one sessions. With over 20 nationally-recognized certifications, and a unique specialty in neuroscience, Kusha’s ability to transform his clients is unlike any other coach in the fitness industry. Although considered the eternal student, Kusha describes his coaching philosophy by the latin word “docere” which implies ‘coach as teacher.’ Kusha is the creator of the BFR Bands, designed for the research-backed form of training known as blood flow restriction training, which helps you gain muscle tone and strength without lifting heavy weight.

Questions We Answer in This Episode:

  • So, if a woman is able to lift heavy and willing to, research seems to prefer results from heavy to results from blood flow restriction bandsalthough there’s promise in the gains from BFR (compared to not using them with light loads), do you concur?
  • What if any research is there about bone density benefits?
  • That said, there’s a lot of great opportunity for strength after 50 in using BFR including less recovery time, an easy travel alternative, or during bedrest/other injury or life getting in the way of the “gym” an easy way to prevent muscle loss – do you have some customer stories to share?
  • Let’s talk about protocol for listeners that varies from the traditional 2-3 times a week strength training protocol? What’s the ideal frequency?
  • And in terms of sets and repetitions, let’s talk about that for listeners seeking strength after 50 because that too is unique…
  • Let’s talk about the elephant in the room… the bands look like some big muscle head in the deep dark of the weight room would use them. In fact, when you go shopping online it’s pretty apparent that they are intended for body builders, or figure competitors, there’s not a menopausal female in any of the ads I saw for over 2 dozen different products, are you trying to change that? Why and how?
  • So, truth there is some research on older adults, both resistance training, aerobic exercising, and even at rest or bedrest … what areas show promise for this tool with regard to age?
  • Should my listeners be using it? or should they be using it for their parents seeking strength after 50!?
  • Last, we’re super excited about the lower body bands our Flipping 50 member box subscribers are getting gifted! Do you also have upper body bands? We don’t want to skip that!

Links to the BFR bands:

(Flipping 50 Member Box subscribers: Use your special Market Place to get yours at the better rate on additional sets)

Links to resources mentioned:

Osteosarcopenia podcast 

Flipping 50 Member Box  


Should You Be Doing Blood Flow Restriction Exercise 

I’d love to hear from you on this one. Are you intrigued? Inspired to use BFR bands? Want some guidance? (Check out STRONGERwhile it’s open as we’re incorporating it into STRONGER I and STRONGER IV programming!)

What’s Happiness Got to Do with Bone Density and how you can reduce Osteoporosis risk? In this episode my guest and ambassador to the National Osteoporosis Foundation links the connection for us. So tune in for the unexpected way to reduce osteoporosis risk.

Margie Bissinger is a physical therapist and integrative health coach. She is the author of Osteoporosis: An Exercise Guide. Margie is the creator of Move Today, a statewide exercise program in NJ, Happy Me, Happy Life, and Happy Bones, Happy Life™ online programs. Margie helps people achieve optimal bone and overall health through whole foods, exercise, mind-body relaxation techniques, and happiness training. She is a member of the NJ Interagency Council on Osteoporosis and an Ambassador to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Margie has implemented happiness training in her professional career for over 30 years.

Obviously, Margie’s unique approach to reducing Osteoporosis risk through happiness is very unique. As a lecturer on osteoporosis and bone health since 1995 I’m embarrassed to say even I haven’t come across it.

Questions we answered in this episode:

  1. You are a physical therapist and health coach. How did you get into teaching happiness?
  2. What is the Happiness Set Point? Can we actually increase our happiness set point?
  3. How does increasing our happiness affect our bones, osteoporosis risk, and overall heath?
  4. In your happiness class, you talk about 7 pillars that are important for happiness – what are they?
  5. What practices have you found to be the most effective in helping people increase their happiness?

Connect with Margie:

FREE morning meditation (it’s only 7 minutes!) 

For additional resources on Osteoporosis risk look for the STRONGER I strength training program. Enrollment opens 4 times a year and you can join the notifications list if you’d like to be notified the next time I open.

Meanwhile start something! Try a safe at-home exercise program starting with the 5 Day Flip. 

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Two Easy Tools to Beat Constipation Over 50

When you’re walking around feeling like you’re carrying a few too many, and life just feels really heavy… Are they extra pounds or is that just poop? You’re not sure, but let’s face it, you try to drop them but they just aren’t cooperating the way Mother Nature intended. 

Why is it like this for you? It’s as hard for you to lose weight as it is for you to go to the bathroom. Seems like since the change (menopause), all sh*t broke loose and your body simply isn’t responding the same when you do all the ‘normal’ things that used to work before. 

Let’s face it, do you even know what normal is anymore? Should you be going daily, or maybe every 3 days is fine? Ever since the hot flashes and night sweats started happening, it seems like nothing is consistent.

I invited Dr. Marisol Teijeiro (her bio is below) to write this guest post because this is a common – but not normal- issue that haunts women (of all ages) especially in menopause and after. I’m after every way possible to make your life more comfortable, fun, and limitless! 


Here you will learn what is normal after 50, plus find out about my number one tool that changed (and I’d venture to say saved) my life and the lives of thousands of my patients. It is the legendary castor oil pack. It helps you to reset the foundation of health and feeling well, helps you to poop like a champ and drop that extra weight like a ton of bricks, going back to feeling like a bombshell instead of feeling like a dud. 

How To Tell If You Are Constipated

The most telltale sign of constipation is how frequently you go. Conventional medical doctors are often quick to say that every 3 days is fine. To me, that is NOT fine, and here’s the reason. 

We follow natural rhythms in accordance to Mother Nature. We wake and sleep according to the light. We eat according to our hunger (daily). Because we eat daily, we should be pooping daily as well. In a well balanced system, what comes in – must go out.

The problem is that your body is probably not well balanced since the change and loss of menstruation, so all of your cycles are thrown off. You may not be able to regain your menstruation, but you can most definitely reset your poop cycle!

How The Colour Of Your Poop Can Tell You If You’re Constipated

Your stools can actually give you clues about what is going wrong inside, and lots of tips on how to regain that balance. There are actually 11 golden nuggets (criteria) that you can learn from your stools that tell you everything from hormone, immune or nervous system imbalances to vitamins and nutrients you may be deficient in. 

Colour is the first and fastest golden nugget that you can help you gain valuable information from your poo. It is so important because it dictates the mechanisms of action of your digestion. 

Normal stool colour is all the 50 shades of brown. I love this analogy because it’s like the sexy, racy movie, 50 Shades of Grey. None of us really like to admit that we like to look at it, but when we do, oh boy! We simply cannot take our eyes off of it. This is how I want you to feel about examining and checking out the colour of your poo. 

I tell my patients to use soil as an example. It comes in many shades of brown, and as long as it is not the colour of clay, or black, we are good!

My handy Grateful Dung™ Bracelet is an education tool about the normal colour of poo. Wear this bracelet as a reminder to peek after every time you poop, and compare the Tiger’s eye beads to the perfect colour of stools.

Stomach acid is incredibly valuable to start the digestive process off right. Without adequate amounts, you have a tendency to be more constipated because the chloride in stomach acid (hydrochloric acid), stimulates water shifting into the intestine to create laxation

As we get older and move into our golden menopausal years, we have a tendency to produce less factors important to digestion, because many are related to hormones and this causes us big-time gut problems2. Many of you may be dealing with low stomach acid, experiencing symptoms not only of constipation but also heartburn or acid reflux. 

Two of the biggest signs that your stomach acid is low are: 

  1. Constipation
  2. Green coloured stool 

Your stool should always be brown, regardless of the amount of green smoothies or spinach that you had the night before. With sufficient stomach acid, any green substances containing chlorophyll will be oxidized to brown. Just think of what happens when you leave a salad that has been in vinegar on the counter, all the leaves turn brown. 

In order for stomach acid to be produced, you actually need to have a few physiological functions working well in your body, namely reduced tension and stress in the intestine, as well as healthy antioxidant status, including zinc and the B vitamins.

Also note that stomach acid-reducing drugs, such as proton pump inhibitors, can cause the same problems. Since you don’t have stomach acid, you lack the ability to absorb nutrients and get your body going to the bathroom properly. What a tragedy!

Castor Oil Packs, Constipation And The Colour Of Your Poo 

There are also other colours that could indicate problems, but green stools are the one that tend to be directly linked with constipation. 

In practice, I realized that I needed to find a way to help my patients to go to the bathroom well in the long run, instead of just taking a laxative (that are often uncomfortable due to urgency, pressure and gas). For those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), laxatives are a nightmare. 

Plus, taking laxatives isn’t getting to the root of the problem, and likely just causes more complications. 

A better solution is the legendary castor oil pack. Why? Because it not only helps you go to the bathroom, but it actually helps with resolution of the problem. Castor oil packs help in a variety of ways. I love using the acronym FAITH to describe all of the beneficial effects. 

Castor oil packs reset the basic physiology of the body, which means they help to create the environment in your body so you can heal and thrive. They improve:

F – Function of digestion, absorption and elimination

A – Antioxidant status via topical nourishment5 as well as glutathione preservation

I – Inflammation reduction

T – Tension and stress

H – Host microbiome

This acronym, FAITH, is so appropriate, because for me and many of my patients, castor oil packs have helped them to regain faith in their bodies, that they can heal and feel good again. 

When practiced nightly, castor oil packs are very easy and can create such powerful fundamental changes, it just makes sense to make them a regular health practice.

To get your very own Queen of the Thrones™ Castor Oil Pack Bundle, click here!

How To Do A Castor Oil Pack To Help With Constipation 

If you’re already familiar with the castor oil pack method, you probably cringed when I mentioned it. You see, in the past, castor oil packs have been incredibly cumbersome to do. But no more!!

I knew I needed to innovate and make these packs easier, not only for myself but for my patients too, because otherwise I knew they wouldn’t do them and reap all the awesome benefits. I wasn’t willing to put up with a messy disaster either, so I created an easy and less-messy way to do them. 

I figured it out because after just a few treatments, I inherently knew that they were the best thing for me and my health struggles. Since then I have been using these packs with thousands of patients, both male and female, helping them to own their throne – day by day, one bowel movement at a time! No more uncomfortable constipation. 

Doing these packs is as easy as 1, 2, 3, C. O. P!

To get your easy 3-step, mess-less castor oil pack today, click here!

My other go-to for healthy digestion and toning the core is the Grateful Dung™ Daily Dining Practice. Using the same bracelet that we use to assess our healthy colour of stools, it can also be used for a quick and easy gratitude practice done before each meal. This simple practice calms your body down, and prepares you for your meal to come. 

This helps to increase stomach acid naturally and gets you ready to receive food and ultimately, nourishment! Having an attitude of gratitude before meals calms you down, when you are unable to focus on negativity, your body does a better job at digesting, especially as you’re working on healing this vital process. Daily gratitude practices have also shown to have long-lasting positive effects on happiness and interpersonal relationships.

Simply hold onto the the black obsidian dung beetle bead on the Grateful Dung™ Bracelet and before each meal, either in your head or out loud, say three things you are grateful for.



The Queen of the Thrones™ Castor Oil Pack and Grateful Dung™ Bracelet are two easy tools to help you implement small changes that can make massive differences in your health and in your life and stop constipation. Imagine if you added these into your daily practice. In no time at all you would be more vibrant, energetic, fun-loving, feeling less like a ‘dud’ and more like a bombshell than ever before. 

So let’s get you started on having royal poops that are 50 shades of brown, a colour you’ll be proud to brag about!

You can order a Castor Oil Pack here. 










1 Rivkin A1, Chagan L. Lubiprostone: chloride channel activator for chronic constipation. Clin Ther. 2006 Dec;28(12):2008-21.

2 Palomba S1, Di Cello A, Riccio E, Manguso F, La Sala GB. Ovarian function and gastrointestinal motor activity. Minerva Endocrinol. 2011 Dec;36(4):295-310.

3  Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.

Sorin Tunaru,a Till F. Althoff,a Rolf M. Nüsing,b Martin Diener,c and Stefan Offermannsa,d,1 Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptorsProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 5; 109(23): 9179–9184.Published online 2012 May 21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109PMID: 22615395

Holm T, Brøgger-Jensen MR, Johnson L, Kessel L.Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013.

Marwat SK1, Rehman F2, Khan EA1, Baloch MS1, Sadiq M1, Ullah I1, Javaria S1, Shaheen S1. Review – Ricinus cmmunis – Ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological activities.Pak J Pharm Sci. 2017 Sep;30(5):1815-1827.

7  Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8

Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17.

Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

10  Salles MM, Badaró MM, Arruda CN, Leite VM, Silva CH, Watanabe E, Oliveira Vde C, Paranhos Hde F. Antimicrobial activity of complete denture cleanser solutions based on sodium hypochlorite and Ricinus communis – a randomized clinical study.J Appl Oral Sci. 2015 Nov-Dec; 23(6):637-42.

11  Badaró MM, Salles MM, Leite VMF, Arruda CNF, Oliveira VC, Nascimento CD, Souza RF, Paranhos HFO, Silva-Lovato CH. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser.J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun; 25(3):324-334.

12  Andrade IM1, Andrade KM2, Pisani MX1, Silva-Lovato CH1, de Souza RF1, Paranhos Hde F1.Trial of an experimental castor oil solution for cleaning dentures. Braz Dent J. 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):43-7.

13  Emmons RA1, McCullough ME. Counting blessings versus burdens: an experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003 Feb;84(2):377-89.

14  Martin E. P. Seligman, Tracy A. Steen, Nansook Park, Christopher Peterson Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions. Positive Psychology 1 April 22, 2005


Disclaimer: If you happen to purchase anything I promote, in this or any of our communications, it’s likely Flipping 50 will receive some kind of affiliate compensation. Still, I only promote content and products that I truly believe in and share with our friends and family. If you ever have an issue with anything I share, please let us know. I want to make sure I am always serving you at the highest level.

Let me introduce America’s Holistic Beauty Doc. Does the term Holistic Plastic Surgery peek your curiosity?

What is it and why is this surgeon so unique in his approach? How can you get younger looking skin? What is the lowdown on Botox? Safe, harmful, or prowess with caution? I answer all this and so much more with my guest in this episode. My good friend and returning guest on Flipping 50 shared inside secrets from behind the scalpel today. Every girl over 50 can use a beauty doc for the ever-changing landscape she’s got!

Known as America’s Holistic Beauty Doc, Anthony Youn, M.D. F.A.C.S is a nationally-recognized, board-certified plastic surgeon. Recognized as a leader in his field, he is the author of the best-selling books “The Age Fix: A Leading Plastic Surgeon Reveals How To Really Look Ten Years Younger” and “In Stitches: A Memoir.” His public television special, The Age Fix with Dr. Anthony Youn, has been viewed by millions.

Dr. Youn also hosts the popular podcast The Holistic Plastic Surgery Show. His new book, “Playing God: The Evolution of a Modern Surgeon,” details his humorous, heartwarming, and often harrowing journey to become a leading plastic surgeon.  He is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Oakland University / William Beaumont School of Medicine.

Questions I covered with the Beauty Doc in this episode:

– What is holistic plastic surgery?

– What is a simple skin care routine that works?

– What are some of the newest non-invasive options to look younger or get rid of unwanted fat?

– What about botox? Is it safe? Are there negative side affects? There are other fillers out on the market – what’s the difference? Anything you’d say to avoid?

– Tell me about your new book, “Playing God.”

– Tell me a story from your book that reveals the real truth behind plastic surgery?

– You’ve worked in the hospitals, ICU’s and the operating room for two decades.  Can you let us in on a secret that most people may not know?
Playing God new book


The book, “Playing God: The Evolution of a Modern Surgeon”is a humorous, heartwarming, and at times harrowing account of surgery residency, fellowship, and starting a private practice. It’s available everywhere books are sold.

My beauty doc is your beauty doc:


Social media handles:



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Getting thyroid support, beyond medication, for the follow through for taking the medication, and doing the things that can be overwhelming when you’re first diagnosed isn’t easy. Who, after all, gets it?

Someone who’s been there and done that does.

Danna Bowman and Ginny Mahar are two thyroid patient advocates who teamed up to create a diet and lifestyle support platform for thyroid patients. They are the creators of the revolutionary wellness game, THYROID30, and hosts of Thyroid Refresh TV, a podcast featuring the world’s leading experts on thyroid-specific diet and lifestyle.

They are thyroid support for women who need a place all things thyroid. Exercise, nutrition, meds, daily habits… all around thyroid.

The site is really like thyroid-central. A resource for experts, information, education, motivation … all things thyroid. It’s truly a thyroid refresh.

Questions we answered in this episode:

  • What’s your “WHY”?
  • How did the two of you end up together?
  • What is so different about the thyroid support you offer?
  • How are you making it fun- describe the gamification?
  • What is someone saying or thinking before they join the program?
  • What mistakes are newly diagnosed thyroid patients making?
  • And why are those mistakes so common?

Are you looking for thyroid support?

So many of our Flipping 50 listeners mention thyroid issues and are just realizing the impact of food and small lifestyle habit changes. If you’re navigating this all on your own with a little overwhelm, there’s help. And it’s in the form of a game that makes it easier to adapt while surrounded by people going through exactly the same thing.

The Cliff Notes on Thyroid30 from my guests:

“THYROID30is a gamified, 30-day online wellness adventure designed to help thyroid patients reach their healing goals. Our web app is a revolutionary tool that empowers patients to make successful and sustainable diet and lifestyle changes. Our players come back season after season because THYROID30 makes the healing fun.”

Learn more about the program:

Sign up now for the upcoming Fall Wellness AdventureGame play starts September 22, 2019. Seeing this later? You can check out the next one and get some other juicy help like the Grocery Guide.

Resources mentioned on this episode:

Thyroid Thrivers’ Grocery Guide

When it comes to a thyroid-friendly diet, there sure are a lot of things you’re not supposed to eat. That’s no fun! Thyroid Fresh likes to focus on the positives, like all the wonderful and healthy foods you can eat– foods that nourish and help you feel your best.

Get Social with Thyroid Refresh at:

Please leave a rating in iTunes! It really helps!

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  3. Click ratings and reviews
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20 Reasons Strength Training Should Be Mandatory

Strength training is the fountain of youth. You may love your yoga, Zumba, running or _______, and that’s awesome! Stronger muscles will keep you doing it for longer. Here are just 20 (not all all-inclusive, but a good reason to re-examine how you spend your exercise time.

1) Prevent Muscle Losses

Muscle mass peaks at age 25. The loss of muscle for adults who aren’t resistance training is between 8 and 10% every decade. At that rate, living longer will result in sarcopenia (significant muscle and strength losses) in latter decades. Muscle mass can however be developed at any age even in the 9thand 10thdecade of life. Prevention of falls and illness due to frailty is available with resistance training.

2) Prevent Bone Losses

Bone mass peaks close to age 30. At that time there’s minimal opportunity to enhance bone density. Loss of bone without resistance training occur at a rate of anywhere from .5 to 3-to-5%/year depending on a woman’s phase of life.

Nearly all older women living beyond 80 will experience osteoporosis making them susceptible to fracture related to falls. Small-framed women or those with a high number of risk factors will have osteoporosis earlier in life.

Resistance training is the only exercise with results preventing natural bone losses or reversing losses even in menopausal or post menopausal women.

3) Increase Strength, Endurance, and Stamina

Your DNA influences the way you age, but not nearly as much as the lifestyle habits you have. Six months of strength training slows down or reverses aging and the expression of 179 genes associated with aging.

4) Support Natural Hormone Balance

In a recent Flipping 50 Master Class I shared the influence of exercise on optimal hormone balance. Listen to this Flipping 50 podcast to get a summary.

5) Boost Growth Hormone

Human Growth Hormone (GH) influences metabolism, body composition and aerobic exercise capacity throughout life. GH production declines naturally with age. Resistance training and intense interval training can boost GH significantly.

6) Boost Testosterone

Testosterone is supportive of libido and of self-confidence. As sex hormone levels decline for women in perimenopause testosterone levels often dip. Intense resistance and interval training are the best ways to naturally boost testosterone levels while endurance exercise reduces testosterone.

7) Increase Metabolism

Loss of muscle mass and a correlating increase in body fat reduces metabolism. Strength training correctly will result in both fat losses and metabolically active lean muscle increases that positively effect metabolism both at rest and after exercise as you age.

“You are probably too old NOT to strength train.”

8) Boost Libido

Forty to sixty percent of women in perimenopause suffer from low libido. An informal survey at reveals an even greater percent of women in perimenopause, menopause, and post menopause report low libido. Libido can wane from multiple reasons including lack of body confidence, dropping testosterone levels, and low energy. Exercise, specifically strength training counters each of those factors.

9) Improve Sleep

It takes 10 minutes of exercise to positively improve self-ratings of sleep by 33%. That’s with no imposition of intensity or measurement of parameters. And long term regular strength training brings about improvements in sleep.

10) Improve Body Composition

Resistance training positively influences body composition by both increasing lean muscle tissue and supporting fat burning. Resistance training burns fat during acute bouts of exercise but has a greater impact on the post-exercise energy and thus fat-burning than aerobic activity does.

11) Blood Sugar Stabilization Prevents or Reverses Insulin Resistance

Compared with aerobic exercise, positive influence on blood sugar and insulin resistance occur more predictably with strength training.

12) Decreased Risk of Falls

Falls are associated with loss of muscle, frailty, and weakness. Muscle strength from resistance training prevents those falls from occurring (and reduces damaging fractures if they do occur).

13) Better Reaction skills

Age-related muscle losses are fiber specific. Fast Twitch (FT) muscle fibers are lost twice as fast as you age. FT fibers are responsible for both metabolism and reaction skills. Your ability to right yourself if you trip to avoid falls, or react quickly to changing terrain or body positions is related to the amount of FT fiber you have.

14) Decrease Anxiety

The prevalence of anxiety in older adult women is growing. Resistance training is directly correlated with reducing the severity of anxiety and used in the treatment of anxiety.

15) Reduced Depression

The incidence of depression is significantly higher in older women than men. Resistance training has proven to be instrumental in improving mild to moderate depression. Studies show the positive impact of exercise is comparable or better than medications or cognitive therapies, and compared to medications exercise offers no negative side affects.

16) Improved Cognitive Function

Brain function including memory, executive function, problem solving, and brain plasticity all benefit from resistance training. Benefits are experienced after acute (after a single bout of exercise) and long term exercise.

17) Increased Energy

Energy is generated in the mitochondria, once believed to naturally decline with age and accepted as a fact of life. In the last 8-10 years research has shown that mitochondrial function can be improved and declines reversed so older adults have the same relative mitochondria function as young adults after regular strength training.

18) Enhanced Muscle Protein Synthesis

The ability to use dietary protein for the benefit of muscle tissue repair and growth declines with age. Resistance training has proven to overcome that effect of aging and following acute bouts of resistance training and long term resistance training muscle protein synthesis is improved significantly. That has a positive effect on maintaining lean (metabolically active) muscle tissue and strength.

19) Decrease Stress

The damaging effects of stress are related to over 80 diseases. By increasing resilience to stress the physiological and psychological responses to stress both are lower. Blood pressure, anxiousness, adrenal responses, and ability to focus or remember improve in fit individuals compared to sedentary.

20) Improve Posture

The effects of a life “out front” causes rounded shoulders, rounded upper back, and forward head hang, all worsened by cell phone use and “tech neck” today. Correct selection and performance of strength training exercises can help correct these postures and the ensuing depressive states that accompany them.

…and one final “bonus” based on the summation of all the above (though this is by no means an all-inclusive buffet of strength training benefits)

21) Truly LIVE longer

“Stronger longer” is a Flipping 50-ism. The goal of longevity is nothing without an increasing long healthspan.Muscular strength is the foundation for all things physical, mental, and emotional related to aging.

If you received a prescription medication from a doctor, it will inevitably have negative side effects, as every medication does.

If you however, perform strength training, whether at a gym alone, with a personal trainer, or at home alone, there are virtually no negative and dozens (partial list above) of positive benefits.

Want support? Starting, learning proper technique, and combining hormone balancing with joint care and your health history requires strength training programming fit for midlife woman. I’ve got you covered. Check out STRONGER I. 

Are You at Risk for Osteosarcopenia? How to Know

What a mouthful, osteosarcopenia. This condition that refers to bone and muscle losses is relatively new. There is a lack of consensus among researchers on what to call it (sarco-osteopenia, sarco-osteoporosis, osteosarcopenia). No matter what they name it, for you and I this is a topic we need to unpack.

Before we dive into this week’s episode … a shout out to listener mlg114 who left this comment in iTunes:

“You and Figs might have saved my marriage. My husband and I have been in the “me exercise you not” pattern for a few years! We’ve been hurting each other unintentionally on this very subject! Result has been severe resentment though we’re about to celebrate 25 years married! You have spread your mission of kindness to us successfully! Thank you with all my heart for this valuable, intelligent podcast!”

So thank you to mlg114 this made my day and I shared it with Figs, too.I’d love it if you’d leave a rating in iTunes too. I have been reading these regularly and want to start sharing them with you. I’ll link to iTunes in today’s show notes at and to the episode about how to encourage healthy habits without nagging.

So let’s get into it. I’ve got a lot to cover here. You’ll notice this episode is potentially longer than most. It’s a big topic. There’s a lot of controversy at first glance and that’s resulting in a lot of confusion. I want to clear it all up for you.

Osteosarcopenia is the new term given to the combination of osteopenia/osteoporosis and sarcopenia.

I’ve got to cover some vocabulary first.

Osteoporosis is the low bone mineral density (BMD) that is statistically 2.5 standard deviations from the ideal of a young woman. Meaning, it’s significantly lower than ideal bone density.

Osteopenia is the space between that ideal bone mineral density and 2.5 standard deviations from ideal. You’re not good any longer, you’re not quite bad enough to diagnose as having osteoporosis. But it’s not going in the right direction.

Sarcopenia is pronounced muscle and strength loss. It can be in spite of normal weight or obesity – that when coupled is termed “sarcobesity.” It’s characterized by low grip strength, a poor chair stand test (say you can’t do more than 5 rises from a chair in 15 seconds), low muscle measured by a DXA scan, and low performance of a battery of tests like an up and go test and a timed 400 meter walk,to name a couple.

The combination of both low bone density and low muscle mass is what I’m referring to today as osteosarcopenia.

This Episode

Non-pharmacological strategies to help prevent, reverse, or treat (by way of exercise and lifestyle habits) to improve both conditions independently and the combined condition osteosarcopenia are the topic for this episode.

Spoiler alert. This episode is aptly sponsored by STRONGER I, my 12-week strength training program designed for women in perimenopause, menopause, and beyond. It’s based 100% on research featuring women in that group. Such a small percent of programs are made for women, based on research featuring women, that most everything you’ve learned about exercise may be a lie. If it wasn’t about who you were or are at the time you did it, then it wasn’t considering the unique hormones, metabolism, body composition or unique socialization that you as a woman have.

I don’t think for a minute any 60-year-old overweight man would have begun an exercise program based on what worked for 22-year-old female collegiate athletes. Do you? And yet, the equivalent is essentially what’s been going on for decades in fitness for women.

STRONGER I opens four times a year. As I record this my team just let me know it’s open! That means there’s a juicy early bird rate right now. You can learn more about it at [I’ll share that link in the show notes] If you’re listening to this later – which I know happens – and you’re curious you can get on a notification list to learn when it does open again and have first chance to save a spot if you decide you want it. 

Stopping Bone Losses

Let me start with osteoporosis. For women in post menopause concern about bone density usually heightens. For good reason, once we lose the protective factor that estrogen offers, we lose bone faster – in fact it really accelerates right after menopause.

Currently losses of .6%, 1.1% and 2.1% per year for the 60-69, 70-79 and over 80 age groups is the level of average bone loss.

In the first 4-5 years post menopause loss is accelerated to 1.5% per year for spine and 1.1-1.4% for hip.

I want to stop the red flags and alarms going off in your head right now. I want to remind you: that these statistics are looking at a lot of women who Do Not exercise. They may smoke, drink more than a glass of wine a day, eat poorly and never lift weights. This is like “normal range” in labs. It’s COMMON, it may not be you. And no matter what, bone losses are preventable, and to some extent reversible, or there are ways to prevent falls and fractures so bone losses are not devastating.

So if your thoughts are spiraling downward, stop.

Stopping Muscle Losses

Truthfully, stopping muscle loss is easier or at least has less specific “rules.” To provide adequate stimulus to muscle for lean muscle maintenance or increases, you must reach fatigue. That can be done with heavy load and few repetitions or with a lighter load and more repetitions.

Fatigue, or temporary fatigue, is simply getting to the last repetition that you can do with good form or complete. Within minutes, or actually seconds, you recover and are able to do more if you had to. But without that actual muscle fatigue stimulus of overload for women in perimenopause and beyondcountless studies are coming back saying the positive influences on muscle, strength, fat burning, and metabolism is minimal.

I Exercise, Is that Enough?

At this point I hope you understand there’s some criteria you have to meet for either bone and or muscle benefit. The effect of exercise on bone loss is controversial. At best, however, every professional not quoting research and testing effects of bone density tends to have anopinion, based on general research collectively done for populations, young and old, men and women. If you are in our Flipping 50 tribe, what I’m about to share is specifically filtered for YOU.

All too often a woman may be told to “exercise” or to “walk” by her physician. She may be told to lift weights but that it doesn’t have to be heavy. I provide research here to explain why that information is or is not on target depending on who you are, what your activity history is.

There is a continuum of exercise with minimal and with optimal benefits. There’s a continuum of sedentary and deconditioned women on one end and athletic women on the other end. Consideration of both continuums has to be examined to arrive at the best option for you.

Exercise for Osteosarcopenia

For osteopenia and osteoporosis aerobic and low impact exercise fails to benefit Bone Mineral Density(BMD) in most studies. In a few studies walking limits progressive bone loss. Note that is limits losses, not stopsbone losses or increases bone density.

Typical aerobic activity like elliptical trainers, bicycles, rowing machines have little to no positive influence on bone density. There’s a complete lack of heel strike or what’s referred to as Minimal Effective Stress (M.E.S.).  Though there may be some resistance benefit at higher settings as opposed to use of speed for intensity.

Swimming potentially has a negative effect. It completely removes the effect of gravity.

With co-existing factors many women have in addition to osteoporosis or sarcopenia, like arthritis, prior joint issues, or lack of cartilage, many older adults naturally (and should) choose water exercise. Choice of swimming for cardio exercise increases the need for resistance training. Surf and turf is a must.

M.E.S. is not even met in repetitive low impact exercise like walking or jogging beyond a certain point of adaptation. Once you’re ambulatory and moving around your body has gained all the benefits it’s going to from that position and stress. More steps do not equate to more stress that the bone will positively respond to.

Jumping rope or other plyometric exercise is most associated with building bone density though it may not be wise in many cases where there is already a low BMD.

Strength is the clear winner for bother bone density and for muscle maintenance.

If You’re Out of Shape vs. Fit

For untrained individuals aerobic activity that is weight bearing in nature, like walking or Zumba, may increase BMD while in already trained individuals who have already attained a baseline of osteogenic activity (bone reformation to avoid getting too technical) these activities neither stimulate more bone density or prevent further losses.

In other words, once you’ve achieved a minimal level of bone density from an activity, you don’t get more bone benefit from the same level of stimulation. More steps, more miles, more minutes don’t equate to more benefit.

Summarizing A Few Exercise Considerations:


The load above gravity is less effective in osteoporosis prevention.


In some cases subjects whose primary mode of exercise is swimming show a 10% greater occurrence of low bone mineral density than those who do land based exercise. Other studies show some minimal support for bone mineral density from swimming and water exercise. This goes back to… are you a beginner who’s been doing very little? Or already active?


This activity misses the heel strike though there is some muscular force that can increase BMD in those with LBM mass upon initial use. This aerobic activity may be safe for those with high risk of fracture, provided they have good balance (required not necessarily gained from the activity). Can you do more? Can you walk? Can you dance or box with more ground mechanical forces?

Rebounding may make sense. For someone who can’t do higher impact exercise, but higher impact will provide greater benefits for those who are able.

Do you remember Lance Armstrong? It’s rare for a young male, let alone an elite athlete to be diagnosed with osteoporosis. At one point one of the fittest men on earth, from hundreds of hours cycling in an unloaded environment (even with the resistance of uphill climbs) was diagnosed with low bone mineral density. This was before the interference of chemotherapy.

There’s got to be a mechanical stress that is more than usual your stimulation. Once achieved more of the same mechanical stress does not improve bone. A long distance runner for instance, cannot outrun the need for strength training. In fact, because most endurance athletes tend to be lean or smaller in frame, they are likely candidates for low bone density. They’re even more at risk if they have a diet low in absorbable calcium, protein, and otherwise high in nutrient density and also don’t lift weights.

Walking and Running Examples

If you walk 3 miles three times a week and then become a runner you may experience a slight bump in bone density. You leave the ground with running and there’s a greater force to the bones. After that initial change, your bone density won’t further increase.

Running 3 miles 3 days a week then increasing to 3 miles 6 days a week would not make you less likely to lose bone mass. In fact, if you did become leaner, you may accelerate your likelihood of low bone mass. Regular endurance exercise (without strength training) can over time accelerate muscle breakdown called catabolism. The combined loss of muscle and bone loss make a runner just as likely for osteosarcopenia as anyone.

Don’t Throw Out Your Cardio Completely

However controversial, there is some proof that aerobic activity can begin a process of stimulating some enzyme activity within the bone that then makes resistance training more effective. For that to happen the exercise can occur concurrently on same days or on alternate days.

Resistance Exercise for Osteopsarcopenia

The research on aerobic exercise is a little controversial at least before you look at the populations studied. There is no controversy about resistance training’s effects on bone mineral density. There is some confusion however about what qualifies as adequate bone mineral density and I’ll get to that next. Almost all studies point to resistance training – provided it is done with adequate intensity– as providing a protective factor for bone.

What qualifies as resistance training?

There’s a continuum here too.

Yoga trainings for registered instructors list bone density as a benefit. I came unglued the day my instructor told the class that in my own 200-hour Yoga Instructor Training. There is evidence yoga helps, again on a continuum.

For someone who has been previously sedentary and deconditioned, there will be bone density benefits from yoga. From couch to mat, I can’t argue that. But we’ve got to keep very clear on the fact that this doesn’t eliminate the need for a progressive resistance training plan. For someone who has been lifting weights regularly or even doing higher impact aerobic activity, there will not be “more” bone benefits from yoga, even “power” yoga.

Resistance exercise for sedentary, weak, or most frail individuals might include water exercise (with adequate intensity), bicycling (again- in high gear simulating uphill climbs) though the benefits will be site specific. That is, if you’re pedaling a bike you’re going to gain the most bone density and muscle benefits in the upper leg and hip. With swimming your gains will be in the arms, upper back, and shoulders, somewhat dependent on your stroke.

Starting and Progressing

You can experience initial bone density benefits from yoga, bands and tubing, pilates reformers, and work your way into free weights and, ultimately, if you have known low bone density, use machine weights. Machine weights make lifting as heavily as you can, safe. I’m a firm believer that every retirement center, assisted living community should provide at the least a leg press, a chest press, and a seat row machine to help load the hip, spine and wrist.

The recommendations for resistance training for bone density specifically include:

Not every resistance protocol that supports muscle – (which can prevent sarcopenia) – will help bones and prevent or treat osteoporosis. For muscle-specific benefits you need to reach fatigue and it can be done with lighter weights for more repetitions. That, similar to reasons more running doesn’t result in more bone density, will not be enough stimulus for the bone.

Nutrition for Osteosarcopenia

Low protein is directly correlated with both bone loss and muscle atrophy.

High protein is associated with less muscle loss at a given age and better lower limb performance.

Protein supplementation over 3-24 months corrected sarcopenia. The intervention provided 6-30 gram servings/day combined with resistance training.

Where older adults need to lose weight, resistance training plus protein intake prevent muscle loss related to calorie restriction.

Bone density is also associated with higher protein intake. Further, hip fractures decreased by 16% in subjects who had high protein intake compared to those with low protein intake.

Lifestyle Choices

Decreasing alcohol intake and managing daily supplements like Calcium(when dietary calcium intake or absorption is less than optimal), Vitamin D, and magnesium may also support bone health. Overall nutrition adequacy is more important than it’s ever been considered before.

In an upcoming podcast I’ll discuss the role of stress and happiness, as they’re associated with bone density.

It’s simple. Strength training is key to aging well, independently, and to metabolism.

Strength training targets bone density and lean muscleboth in a way that aerobic activity does not. That’s not to discount aerobic exercise. It’s important, though in much smaller doses than you’ve ever believed before.

The Bottomline on Osteosarcopenia

“Those with osteosarcopenia have worse prognosis than adults with either osteopenia or sarcopenia alone. Therapeutic strategies that have a dual effect on bone and muscle are critical in the management of osteosarcopenia.”Those therapeutic strategies include:

I leave you with this last comment. If you’re not strength training now, start. If you influence and love young women encourage them to get into strength training early in life to prevent bone losses that begin at age 30 otherwise.

If you influence pre-teens or teens encourage participation in sports with higher impact like basketball, soccer, gymnastics, and martial arts. Swimming and biking are wonderful activities but have little influence on bone mineral deposits. Balance them with other activities.


If you want support with the right kind of exercise, the progression and the tips for safe and effective exercise, I’d love to see you in STRONGER I. Click here right now while registration is open. If you’re listening later, click to check whether I’m about to launch a new 12-week series or to get notified when I do.


You Still Got It, Girl! The After 50 Fitness Formula for Women

Hot, Not Bothered:99 Daily Flips for Slimmer, Trimmer, Fitter Faster So that You Can Master Metabolism Before, During, and (Long) After Menopause

Please leave a rating in iTunes! It really helps! 

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  3. Click ratings and reviews
  4. Leave your 5 star rating (seriously I’d love it, but your authentic comments are what I need to grow and give you more of what you want and less of what you can leave!)
  5. Know how much I appreciate you doing this!

What do you think of when I say blood flow restriction exercise?

Without checking Google, most of our Flipping 50 tribe would think this sounded like something terrible. It sounds like something that happens in a lab and not on purpose in a workout session. If you think it sounds like there’s risk involved and it might be bad for blood pressure or increase heart stress, you’re not alone.

But if you Googled (odd how that is now a verb to anyone else?) it you’d find that there’s emerging science around Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) training. And some of it has promise for older adults, and you. In fact, it’s quite exciting.

What Is It?

Originally developed in 1966 by Yoshiaki Sato in Japan where it was known as “kaatsu training,” meaning “training with added pressure.” It’s performed all over the world. So why haven’t you heard of it before? A quick look on Amazon for BFR bands shows images of (big) body builders, 98% of which are male. It doesn’t look like something you or I would naturally gravitate toward. It certainly hasn’t made it to Prevention or Reader’s Digest… yet.

But it might. Very soon.

Essentially, BFR training involves preventing blood flow to working muscles (or those at rest I’ll discuss later). That tricks the body into thinking it’s doing hard work to increase Human Growth Hormone (or GH), which burns fat and builds muscle.

If you don’t like hard work, won’t or can’t do hard work… blood flow restriction exercise may be your next best friend.

It Helps Muscle, Does It Help Bones?

Though some studies have suggested yes, for you and I, no, or very minimally. Only with instances of growth hormone deficiency in young male adults, or with unexplainable osteoporosis in male subjects was there any positive effect on bone density. There’s no evidence of bone support for women with age-related bone density declines. So, heavy weights when possible are still the answer.

Yet, there is some correlation with reduced fracture risk from increased GH. That may be due to increased muscle strength lending to better strength, reaction skills, and balance.

Are There Risk factors?

A review of literature for a position statement with older adults with frailty, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), and prior existing Venus Thrombeoembolism, conclude there is no additional risk, “though further studies are encouraged,” Always your selection of appropriateness should be made on an individual basis together with your physician and a medical exercise specialist. Blood pressure response can be higher if cuffs are not removed during the recovery interval periods. 

Blood Flow Restriction Exercise Research

In one research study, adults in a large review of literature were between 57 and early 70s. BFR was effective in developing muscle in low load (walking) compared to walking without BFR.

Positive results are reported in both muscular strength and muscle mass from use of BFR exercise.

It’s important to note that most research confirms the BFR results are similar but still lower than that from High Load (HL) strength training. That is, if you can safely, and are motivated to lift heavy weights, it will still provide the most benefit. If however, travel, special conditions, or you’re unwilling BFR opens up alternatives. 

More Study Results

Optimal strength response was found in subjects (without physical limitations) from Heavy Load strength training combined with low load walking with (BFR) restriction.

For older athletes BFR may enhance performance by allowing combination of low load training with restriction and heavy load more typically used (requiring less of heavy load yet more overall training without damage and risk of injury).

Personally, during training for Ironman, I’m usually an advocate of heavy weight training for avoiding lean muscle losses and bone density benefits. [Yes, more exercise can be a risk just as too little exercise can.] However, as training volume increases for an endurance event balancing sport-specific activity with less strength is better for reduced overall physical stress.

So I’m wearing BFR bands walking the dog before a run and then cutting the volume of training runs significantly. I’m able to optimize hormones this way instead of impose constant fatigue so common in endurance athletes.

For older adults who are unable (or unwillingly, untrusting) to do heavy load training BFR provides a viable way to increase strength and maintain lean tissue, specifically Fast Twitch (FT) muscle fiber. Adults can lose Fast Twitch fibers twice as fast as they age. FT fibers are responsible for metabolism and reaction skills – so you can catch yourself and prevent falls.

How Often Should Blood Flow Restriction Training Be Done?

It depends. Don’t you love that? (sarcasm) Yet, truly it depends on you now and why you’re implementing it. Do you need this to allow you to do something while you’re recovering from an injury? Do you need a good substitute for your regular exercise while traveling? Are you looking for a way to supplement a very active life and fitness program to boost progress without burning out or injury? Use your answer to determine how you start:

How Tight Do Blood Flow Restriction Exercise Bands Need to Be?

You’ll see in the video I discuss the 7/10 on a “tightness” scale. You’re doing this at your perception of tightness. You may need to experiment a little. I find it easiest to go to the point I couldn’t stand it and then back off slightly to get to my “7.” If you’re in our Flipping 50 tribe you’re used to rating your effort level on a 0-10 scale for various exercise so this is familiar.

Why Does It Work for Adults Over 50?

Proper use of the bands creates greater metabolic stress that brings about greater release of growth hormone and IGF-1 – key for gains of lean muscle and prevention of muscle loss.

By inducing greater muscle fatigue with lower loads there may be more Type II fiber recruitment for the relative load. (You’ve heard me talk nation-wide about Fast Twitch Muscle loss prevention.)

Enhanced muscle protein synthesis that occurs with resistance training is another huge win. Research shows clearly that resistance training offsets reduced muscle protein synthesis (ability to use protein you consume to benefit muscle) that can otherwise occur with age.

Enhanced Human Growth Hormone (GH) is an important advantage of lifting heavy weights and intense interval training as you age. Nearly comparable results are reported with BFR bands. Heavy lifting seems to still have the positive edge. This is one of your biggest hormone benefits of resistance training. Feel like you can’t get the muscle tone you once had? Decreases in GH are a part of that.

You can overcome reduced production of GH with age by resistance training at proper intensities. If until now you haven’t chosen or haven’t been able to do resistance training, you have a lighter load option.

Each of these aforementioned benefits point to reducing the signs of aging. What has been “accepted” as normal no longer has to happen. You’re in control. You can prevent and reverse aging. 

When high intensity interval training may not be appropriate (due to fatigue or cortisol levels, current injuries, or lack of access while traveling, Restricted Blood Flow exercise (low load) may be a good option to prevent muscle and strength losses.

For an idea of activities and intensity that work with BFR exercise:

Resistance Training:

Choosing the Load

Loads for resistance training in most studies feature loads of 20-30% of 1-rep max. Now, I’d never suggest you do a 1-rep maximum test. I’ve discussed that many places in books and posts. It is however the language of intensity in resistance training. If you can lift a weight only once and reach fatigue you’ve found the ultimate of “heavy.”

To give you an idea of 20-30% you’ll need an estimated one-rep max. If you can lift something 10 times to fatigue it’s about 80% of your 1-rep max. (This by the way is the best protocol for bone density).  With a little math you can determine your 1 rep max is about 12.5 lbs. So 20-30% is 2.5-3.75 lbs. I’d suggest starting with a 3-lb dumbbell.

As you perform the exercises you can experiment with what truly causes fatigue in the muscle. The biggest take-away? You’re going to use far lighter weights (or resistance) than you would without the bands.

Aerobic Training:

These types of exercises performed are performed at about 40% VOx2 max which is about the equivalent of daily activities of living. So in theory you could wear bands while going up and down your stairs to do laundry or clean for 20 minutes. Some aerobic protocols use intermittent exercise. For example, intervals of pedaling for 3 minutes with bands used alternated with 2 minutes of removing or undoing the bands.

What Size are the Blood Flow Restriction Exercise Bands?

Larger cuff size requires less pressure but movement is restricted. Choose based on your frame and size. Typically, recommendations are 1-1 ½ inches for upper body (bicep) and 2 inches lower body.

These are the bands I am using. *




Aerobic Blood Flow Restriction Exercise Intro


The Exercise Protocol At-a-Glance



How Soon Can You Expect Results From Blood Flow Restriction Exercise?

For those more sedentary doing 1-2 times a day, approximately 3 weeks is suggested time to experience benefits. For those already exercising that incorporate BFR training into their program 3-6 weeks is the suggested time frame. (Think about weight loss, the more weight you have to lose the faster you’ll see progress. So it is with BFR, the more fit you are, the less impactful BFR training may be for you, though that slight increase in fitness can be significant when it happens.)

Bed Rest Implications

Studies suggest that even in instances where exercise is extremely limited or not possible, use of the BFR bands can prevent muscle and strength loss. Wearing the BFR bands intermittently 1-2 times a day even while sedentary is beneficial compared to not using BFR.

BFR show promise during times you might be recovering from surgery or plantar fasciitis. Whenever you’ve got weight bearing restrictions for a period of time and are unable to apply pressure to a limb, or you’re on crutches. For someone undergoing treatment with low energy levels deeming a regular exercise plan implausible, this opens up possibilities to prevent a downward spiral that can easily occur. The BFR bands may provide a means for sparing what can be devastating muscle losses, often the beginning of weakness if not frailty, making falls more likely.

Would You Like Support?

Interested in more information? The best next step is to get STRONGER! When I open the doors for enrollment a few times a year you’ll be the first to know. Click here.

I’m including some BFR training in this 12-week resistance training program. Whether you’re more athletic and want to keep your hormones balanced (not stressed) or you have limits about how much you can lift, or find it hard to reach intensity levels you need…. This is for you!

*Links to the Flipping 50 Amazon store will result in a small commission for me if you choose to purchase from that link.

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