Is Bodyweight Exercise Enough? Exercise Over 50

Are you doing bodyweight exercise because no one has dumbbells? Or you prefer them? Do you wonder if they’re enough? So did the Flipping 50 Insider who wrote today’s question.

At 73 years old is it too late to take bioidentical hormones and what do you think about bodyweight exercise?

Bio-Identical Hormones at Your Age?

At 73 years old I don’t think it’s too late. Many of the functional doctors I speak with will use them their whole lives. Because we’re the first generation of women who might be doing that and who might have the advantage of bioidenticals as opposed to synthetics it might be a wait and see.

I encourage you to listen to a podcast with my friend Dr. Lindsey Berkson who is or was at the time of the recording also 73. Her interview, the second we’ve done together is especially interesting and carries weight for a few reasons. 1) she’s been researching in the area of functional medicine as long as anyone has 2) she has had multiple cancers 3) she is a woman in her 70s taking bioidenticals and swears they’ve saved her life. She’s really re-writing history of the risk of bioidenticals for breast cancer patients.


For any of you listening who have hesitation about risk and or age and benefit it’s a good conversation-starter for you and she offered a great resource for listeners in that episode.

For me personally, I’m 56, this is the second time I’ve been on them and there’s more permanency to this ride. My feeling is that I’ll be working with my physician, my lifestyle, and results, using testing and tweaking for a very long time to feel 100% me. I think you make the decision to continue or stop all the time. Whether that’s when you refill, when you do a new blood test to check your status, or it’s when you decide to put in on or night – my choice is cream through the skin.

Bodyweight Exercise

As for Bodyweight exercise, I have a love hate relationship. First, I think we should all be able to move and lift our bodies. There’s nothing more powerful than being able to do a pullup. Yes, I said pullup and with body weight exercise that may have been thinking pushups, squats, lunges.

If your goal is to overcome bone and muscle loss you need to reach muscular fatigue with enough stimulus against bone to do so.

The force of the weight plus the pull of the muscle on bone if you’ve had adequate stimulus is bone-density enhancing.

There is however a continuum.

There is also a pandemic. So, I don’t want to leave that out. Right now this could be relative for a couple years, depending on a vaccine or other possible solutions. 

I would personally look carefully at using a gym if even for a limited 2x a week visit to use three machines. If I were a gym, I would create an isolated access space for adults over 50 to do this.

Adequate Stimulus

Squats and lunges done with body weight alone, are not enough stimulus for bone density. It’s a step from doing nothing. There’s a place for it. But once you can, doing more will not provide that stimulus. The M.E.S., Minimum Effective Stress is no longer there.

Walking 4 miles a day is not better for bones than walking 2 miles for instance. In fact, if you’re walking or running more you may be at risk for muscle losses if you are not strength training and consuming adequate protein and overall healthful diet.

Most importantly for counteracting the effects of gravity on posture, we need pulling exercises. You need then to do pull ups then if you’re focusing on bodyweight alone. I provide pulling exercises (compared to pushing) at a ratio of 2:1 for my clients and students – whether we’re in a gym or we’re using dumbbells at home. We need to activate muscles that act to help us remain more upright and avoid rounded posture that can happen with age.

Correct Daily Postures

The contemporary lives we live rounding over computers, and cell phones, without for many of us [currently] offsetting that with pulling exercise with enough stimulus could have a lasting negative effect. You don’t want that to happen. We can’t wait until this is over. Plus… you want to look thinner and younger? Improve your posture, girlfriend!

Home Solutions

Whether you tie a tire or a weighted bucket onto a rope and draw it toward you,

You have a rowing machine at home,

You’re able to find or access dumbbells or are lucky enough to have a station, pulling exercises using adequate resistance with minimum risk are the best exercises.

So, bodyweight exercise – bottom line is:

  • we should be doing them in daily activities of life – gardening or yoga for instance, but we need more stimulus after 50 for bone density. Once you hit a threshold of having done yoga, or walking or lunges with body weight, you don’t gain more benefit by continuing to do that same stimulus.
  • You want to choose exercises that compliment your daily activities and posture and for your priorities, then go looking for the best way to do that

Please leave a rating in iTunes! It really helps! 

  1. Visit Flipping 50 on iTunes
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Do you have a question? Leave it below the show link at or better yet, share it with me in the new Flipping 50 Insider’s group on Facebook, I love hearing from you! If this episode was helpful please leave a rating in iTunes and then share it with a friend! Surround yourself with a supportive community of women on the same journey. 

Mentioned in this episode:

Podcast Re: Bioidenticals with Dr Berkson

Flipping 50 Insider’s Community on Facebook

Show notes: flipping

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