50 Little Fitness Changes to Make After 50

Many of the items on this quick fitness changes list come from Hot, Not Bothered: 99 Daily Flips for Slimmer, Fitter, Faster So You Can Master Metabolism Before, During, and (long) After Menopause. The book references include hundreds of cited studies featuring subjects who are in perimenopause, menopause, and post menopause.

Why is that important? Because when a subject in a study is a young athletic male, nothing about that study’s results may pertain to you. Yet, the media fail to point that out. You may easily be seduced by programs built based on research about people who are not you, not experiencing the same hormone fluctuations. 

fitness mistakes shoulder pressStart lifting weights like life depended on it.

It does. The way you age depends on it. Twice weekly strength training for six months changes the expression of 179 genes associated with aging. The weight training must properly overload the muscle. It is the only way to avoid sarcopenia – loss of muscle that otherwise naturally occurs with age. To avoid frailty leading to falls, fractures, and dependent living, lift.

Need to get started exercising? If you’re starting or starting over, you may like this.

28 day Kickstart 2.0 for Women over 50Start journaling. Everything.

You’ll connect the dots between your fitness results and your sleep, your water intake, your digestion, your stress, your energy. You’ll be able to look back at this time last year and see how very far you’ve come. The 5 day or 30 day challenge you’re doing right now may be the start of a habit that changes your life for the better.

Start reading.

Reading empowers you. If you can’t read, listen to books, or have Alexa share books while you’re cooking. Books can inspire you, inform you, and educate you about how to start or keep going. A few of my favorite titles are here.(and just below)

Read You Still Got It, Girl!

If you’re not already integrating all seven fitness components to naturally balance hormones, this book will open up simple ways you can, even when you can’t exercise as much as you think you need to. In fact, the book may help you realize by not exercising as much as you would if you had time, you’re better off! You just need to drop the guilt trip you’re giving yourself. And, yes, this is a shameless plug. But I wrote it to help women, and it can’t do that if you don’t know about it.

Change your skin care.

It’s time to tune into your aging skin’s needs and embrace oils for your face. Yes, even if you’re still breaking out along with those crow’s feet, oil is a game-changer. Natural ingredients minus all of the toxic ingredients you’ll find too often in most beauty products is what you’ll find in new and better product lines. One of my favorites is Annmarie skincare. How is this related to fitness? If you start sweating or getting into the elements it matters what you’re putting on your skin. You’re going to glow from positive fitness changes, so let it shine, girl!

fitness changes

Start a smoothie habit.

In about two minutes you can have a high protein, high antioxidant meal full of vegetables, and fiber that will keep you full for hours. It costs you less than most meals would, about the same price as that latte you buy. More importantly the cost of not eating a high protein fiber-rich breakfast is that you’ll succumb to cravings for caffeine and sugar the rest of the day. You will accelerate the fitness changes you want to see when you become a smoothie girl. Just be selective. This is not the smoothie stand at the mall full of sugar and fruit only or protein powders in a can full of chemicals.

Need a get-started recipe guide for smoothies? Try this.

Wait an hour after rising to exercise.

Save your back. The discs in your back plump overnight as you’re sleeping horizontal such that when you wake the intervertebral pressure puts you at risk for rupture. Both movement and moment pressure can cause a rupture. That is, something like actually going for a run or lifting weights, and something like doing a plank or pushing a shovel to clear the driveway can cause a ruptured disc. After 60 minutes  about 90% of that extra pressure dissipates so you’re much safer to exercise. If that’s news to you, this might be interesting for you.

Start Cooking.

Collect at least half a dozen simple recipes you can make that you can grab ingredients for even without a list. Exercise will not make up for poor nutrition. Exercise is Medicine. Food is medicine. You wouldn’t undergo chemo while you’re smoking, right? Stop the processed fast food options that sabotage you.

fitness changesTravel alone.

Go somewhere you can explore all day without it feeling like exercise. Spend time wondering around exploring. Whether you’d love to tour a foreign city, walk miles of beach and snorkel, or browse all the best museums in New York, you’ll be on an active adventure at your own pace. Sure, you can take someone along but imagine it by yourself without a schedule or agenda. Fitness changes when you’re away. It feels less like a chore, or something you don’t have time for, and something naturally you want to do when the day is wide open and you’re just exploring. Plan an active vacation or retreat (if even for yourself) and you’ll amplify that!

Start counting grams of protein in every meal.

It’s not the total at the end of the day that matters. Your body best absorbs the essential amino acids (EAA) from about 30 grams of high quality protein at once. So shoot for at least two if not three high quality protein meals to sustain your muscle. EAA are the building blocks of muscle. If you’re not seeing tone or your skin is lacking luster these days, check in with your protein intake.

fitness changes

Make your first meal a high protein breakfast.

Even if your smoothie is post workout and not breakfast or you just can’t imagine a cold breakfast, make it high protein. Leftovers will do. Just nix the carbs and make this about protein and tons of veggies. It’s fine to start the day with a salad if you’re inclined. Fitness changes don’t happen by accident after 50 and being on purpose includes nutrition. It was always important, now it’s much more so.

Try exercise fasted.

It doesn’t work for everyone. You can try it to know when you have the most energy to put effort into your exercise. Fasted may be best for you and it may not. Don’t listen to what works for anyone else. Regardless of whether you eat before exercise or not, you do want that high quality protein breakfast. You’re helping your hormones balance you for better mood, blood sugar all day long by doing so.

Follow challenging workouts with a high protein meal 90 minutes later.

Old school said create a caloric deficit by exercising and eating less. We learned that slows your metabolism and confuses your body making it store more fat. Then school said eat within 30 minutes of your workout and have carbs and protein. Chocolate milk was the bomb. But we realized the sugar and dairy or soy in chocolate milk was spoiling results and contributing to inflammation.

For older adults there’s a small blunting effect on ability to synthesize protein (your muscles don’t benefit as much) for about an hour after a workout. Resistance training does open up the muscles for better protein synthesis though, so after that hour is a perfect time to consume a high protein meal. That makes early morning or mid morning ideal times to get a hard workout in.

fitness changesReconnect with old friends.

Talk about your health habits and what you do for fitness. The more you surround yourself with people who do what you do or want to do the easier you make it to have a healthier life. Those bonds you share with people who grew up with you are unique and they go deep.

Make new friends who are doing what you want to be doing.

It doesn’t matter if they’re next door, across the country, or only online today. You can still get connected. Sometimes you outgrow old friends. Sometimes your dear old friends just aren’t into fitness changes you want to make. All okay. It makes you more interesting to each other. I interviewed friend and 74-year old Dexter Yeats who is an Ironman athlete (she competed in several in 2019 – this is not past tense!) and asked what it’s like getting together with friends at home – who don’t train.

She still enjoys them and they her. They still have plenty in common. But she’s got a whole other set of friends of all ages who participate in endurance events too. Expand your circles.

Start a daily yoga or simple stretching practice.

Maintaining mobility in the coming decades will depend on you staying active. Regularly putting your joints through full range of motion now is insurance.

fitness changesStart hiking.

Get off the grid and the sidewalk and find a path. Surround yourself regularly with nature and you’ll reap far more than just the physical rewards. The reduction in cortisol from stints in nature is documented and called ‘forest bathing.” Leave your cell phone and get unplugged.

Get a massage.

Do it as a reward. Do it as a way to feel better moving so you want to get started. If you’re struggling to exercise because it simply doesn’t feel good, consider starting with a weekly massage. Do that for a month. The better you feel the less frequently you’ll “need” the massage and the more movement will help you stay tuned up. You can also optimize fitness changes by releasing tension in muscles that you don’t even realize you’ve got it in. 

Between massages use a foam roller or The Stick.

Self-massage, or myofascial massage, helps you stretch more effectively by smoothing out the fibrous overlay on top of your muscles. The difference between fascia and muscle can be described like this. If you’re feeling “tight” but you haven’t lost range of motion, you probably need to use a foam roller or The Stick.

If you’ve lost range of motion the muscles may need a good stretch. Yet, they may benefit more when you’ve had that fascia smoothed out. Myofascial release can also help hydrate those fibers and smooth them out which will reduce the appearance of cellulite.

fitness changesVolunteer for a race.

If you’re used to being in the race, volunteer. Give back from the other side of the bib number. If you’re not ready to do a race yet, volunteer. It may change your mind. Either way you’ll be inspired and be contributing in a very worthwhile way for those who are getting out of their comfort zone and appreciate you. If you want to see up close and personal how fitness changes people, this is it.

Eat more vegetables.

The more micronutrients you get in the less you experience cravings. Your skin, bones, and muscles all require a micronutrient-dense diet. You’ve never felt better than when you begin to consume 6-9 cups of vegetables on a daily basis. Fitness changes will begin to happen that couldn’t without the right nutrients.

Exercise outdoors.

Even if hiking isn’t your thing, try moving your weights to the deck. Ride your bicycle or swim in an outdoor pool. Most adults spend a considerable amount of time indoors breathing in stale air and surrounded by chemicals in carpet, upholstery. Any time you can get a little more fresh air, do it.

fitness changesTry stand up paddle boarding.

It’s a slow moving exercise in balance that will challenge your feet and stabilizers. It’s also tranquil and engaging. You’ve got to be in the present moment.

Exercise for a reason.

A charity, a trip, a stretch doing something you’ve never done. There are events all over for walking, running, biking, and group fitness classes. Just keep your eyes open or type into a search engine and you’ll find something. I might never have done my first marathon had it not been for Team in Training by the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. The second time I fundraised for them I coached a group. It’s a game changer for both you and those you raise funds for.

Take dance lessons.

Alone or with your partner. It’s as good for the posture and cardio as it is for the brain. Learning something new, reacting to a partner or calls (square-dancing) and exercising to music are all good for health and fitness.

Box regularly.

Put on the wraps, the gloves, find a place with a bag or just do it with the additional weight of the gloves (about 12 oz). You can learn at any age. And if fitness changes for you such that low impact is important, you can create high intensity work with boxing without the jarring.

fitness changesSwim.

For a low impact, muscle and joint-loving exercise, it’s hard to beat swimming. And if not swimming, because potentially your shoulders don’t allow it, water exercise is a wonderful way to get full range of motion when otherwise you can’t. If you’re one who loves a lot of exercise, doing this type of recovery movement can keep you from sabotaging yourself.

Some exercise is recovery and some exercise requires recovery.

Try intermittent fasting.

That’s really just shortening the eating window. For most people food has become an all day event. Grazing or small meals frequently means your body never needs to burn fat. Start with 3 meals, no snacks, and a long overnight fast between dinner and breakfast. Don’t skip breakfast as some intermittent fasting programs recommend. For women in midlife specifically eating early is key to optimal hormone health.

Alternatively you can do a fasting-mimicking diet that allows you to eat regular meals just less and it’s scientifically designed with specific amounts of plant protein, fat, and carbohydrates to trick your body into thinking it’s fasting.

Test your DNA.

Use the results to power your exercise and your nutrition. Talk with your family members about it. Fitness changes you might not otherwise would have considered can be revealed to you from your DNA test. Though we all need strength training to hold onto muscle as we age, you (like me) may be genetically predisposed to endurance exercise. That would mean you can and should do a greater percent of your exercise at lower intensity for longer period of time. Several of my private clients have found just this to be the case.

Learn to meditate.

The brain benefits are well documented. For women in midlife the calm and focus from meditation will counter the brain fog, and loss of memory, that are common complaints. If you feel like you’ve got monkey mind and just can’t focus, anyone can learn to do it. Just five minutes a day can be of benefit.

Wear clothes you love to exercise in.

You don’t have to spend $90 on a pair of yoga pants, but if you can, it might be a motivator to you. There is a difference. Whatever the cost, you should love the way they make you feel. If it’s been a while and you’re still wearing something from 10 years ago, invest. There’s more support, control, and comfort cooling or warming you in fit fashions today. No more waiting until some day.

fitness changesGet a scale that measures body composition.

At a recent media appearance I shared why “weight loss” is the worst New Year’s resolution! If you right how lose weight and a large percent of it is muscle, you are slowing your metabolism. After 50 that’s harder to turn around. You want to be monitoring your fat loss, not just your weight.

Get exercise shoes that fit your foot and your activity.

Give yourself the extra half size or the wider toe box. You may order online for convenience but get fitted in a store by someone who knows feet and shoes both first. So many women find they’ve got Morton’s neuroma, plantar fasciitis, or Achilles tendinitis in midlife. It is related to hormone changes but careful selection of your footwear and your exercise programming can reduce your risk.

Just as your fitness changes, so too do your feet! What were higher arches may no longer be. What was enough cushion may not be as you lose fat (right? why there?) in the pads of your feet.

Get more sleep.

If you have any feelings that your workouts are just not getting you the results they should be, check your sleep habits. Too little sleep can sabotage several hormones that you need on track for optimal fitness, especially now. Optimal cortisol levels, testosterone, and growth hormone production depend on sleep. They in turn affect other hormones. So just as important as how many and how much weight you lift is how much sleep you get to allow the repair of those muscles.

Drink less caffeine.

If it all too easily spirals into not just a cup or two but a pot in the morning and an afternoon coffee shop habit, there’s a good chance you’re cortisol levels are off. If those coffees are a substitute for nourishing food or water, it’s time to get control. Decide what goes and stays. Right before a workout might be a perfect time to have that coffee.

A little caffeine before a workout is an ergogenic boost. That is, it can make you work a little harder without feeling you are, and can boost fat metabolism. You can get that kick from coffee or from matcha, powdered green tea leaves. Matcha in fact has been shown to increase fat burning after interval training by 29%. To get the boost you want matcha in your blood stream when you exercise so have a cup about an hour before or add it to a “simple shake.” (below)  You don’t want a high fiber or fat shake before a workout. Save that for after.

Simple shake:

Blend. The protein before a workout boosts muscle building benefits of the workout even before you begin. The matcha boosts the fat burning benefits. Win win!

But if you do drink coffee, you might love this. 

Enjoy wine.

Surprised? Just don’t over do it. Daily is overdoing it. Wine, after all is sugar. Enjoy a glass with dinner instead of before dinner when the sugar is much more quickly metabolized on an empty stomach. That can increase the likelihood what you eat after is stored as fat. Just watch out for the habit of starting with coffee and ending with wine.

Ideally, you have energy to start your day and can relax at the end of the day without the outside support. In other words coffee and wine shouldn’t be a crutch. But, there is some proof that moderate drinkers are less likely to get osteoporosis than non-drinkers.

Spend more time with women who support what you love.

The collaborative nature of women is amplified in later life. Women are most likely to seek each other and provide support. We “get” each other. And we’re less judgmental about exactly what you do and more supportive of you finding the right thing for you. Fitness changes are harder to navigate alone and a group can make it easier to stay accountable.

Use a weighted vest.

Wear it walking the dog. Wear it doing squats or lungs at home. Wear it cooking dinner. Loading the spine is good for bone density. It will happen as you’re doing rowing exercise and chest press lifting weights, too. Be careful putting on a weighted vest if you have shoulder issues, that can be tricky.

fitness changesTry Blood Flow Restriction Bands.

What you do for optimal fitness changes. What you can do changes too. If you can’t lift heavy, or you’re nervous about it, this is exciting news right now. It’s not new, so if new makes you nervous, relax. It just took an incredibly long time to get this research originated in Japan out here to those of us who stand to benefit the most. Link here to a longer blog about this. If you want and need to lift lighter, even if you can’t exercise right now, blood flow restriction bands can be a useful tool.

Try to master a yoga pose you currently can’t do.

Is there a standing balance pose or an inversion you can’t do? Make it your goal. The focus and concentration on one small goal from a consistent focus will give you a sense of accomplishment. Energy management and enhanced mental focus from a yoga practice support every area of your life.

Train Right.

Get a thorough assessment of your diet, your current exercise program, your goals, and daily habits. If you’re still exercising the way you did a decade ago or if what you’re doing isn’t working, it’s time for a review. Sit down whether virtually or face-to-face with someone who is an expert in working with women like you. You should come away with confidence you’ve got fitness changes for a better plan, or know what tests would be helpful for you to have, and what nutritional changes you want to consider, along with the lifestyle habits that will help you feel best now and later.

Move Fast.

Fast twitch muscle fibers are lost twice as fast as you age. Of all the fitness changes you make, this one should be at the forefront in every workout. It takes minutes to activate fast twitch fibers but it needs to be done consistently. They’re responsible for your metabolism and your reaction skills. It just takes a few minutes a day to work on them either through quick agility moves or strength training. Here’s more about how.

fitness changesConsider Vitamin D

Is your energy level low? It’s best to test, rather than guess with supplements. Low Vitamin D levels could be contributing to your of lack energy. You also need Vitamin D to support lean muscle mass, which is already harder to keep or gain when you’re older. Testing micronutrients can tell you where you stand with a number of nutrients that will have an influence on your fitness, health, and metabolism. Use code flipping50 for a discount on your

Helpful? Share it with a friend. Bookmark it to come back to later. You don’t have to do them all at once! Just begin. One thing! What is your first one thing?

In full disclosure, if you make a purchase from any of the affiliate links included on this post I will make a small commission from the sale of certain items but the price is the same to you. I only share with you items I use and love myself. 

12 Reasons Why You Should Try a Women’s Retreat

Wonder if you should try a women’s retreat? What’s all the hype? They’re everywhere from girlfriends, to work, to fitness and health. And that’s what I’m talking about in this post. Thinking about it seriously? Don’t delay. Check out the details here and then contact me about any spots left.

#1 A retreat is a catalyst for change.

Out of your usual environment and away from your daily habits you have a chance to get clear on a personal concern, weight, performance, or a healthy living reboot.

#2 Win the weight.

Learn what’s different about weight management after 50.

A personalized food plan, exercise, and lifestyle habits that meets your needs now – and a way to assess as hormones change it. It’s not calories in calories out, you’ll be able to take a personal look at your relationship with food and rules and realities.

#3 Identify food facts that have changed.

The physical details about the type and the timing of food you eat and how you move matters.

Knowing what to eat when, as well as what to avoid is the start of feeling good more often. You’ll review the way food messages your body.

#4 Get ahead of the times.

Mindfulness and mindset are going to be buzzwords in 2020.

We’ve got a head start on it at Flipping 50. You will learn how to tap into your emotions, thoughts, and look at what that has to do with your physical health status.

The power of psychology and placebo contributed the body you have today. So while you need the list of groceries and pantry raid items to toss, it’s how you think about every aspect of doing that determines how they’ll affect you.

#5 Create a plan for your year.

Keep moving all year with a GPS ready to navigate new changes in your schedule, your goals, or your hormones. You’ll learn how to assess your current status and create a plan that supports balance of hormones.

When?

The Flipping 50 2020 women’s retreat all happens Thursday evening until Sunday afternoon January 30th – February 2, 2020 in warm sunny Scottsdale, AZ.

Arrive in time to meet the group at 5pm. Wear your cowboy boots if you’ve got them. For 25% off for a limited number of last-minute registrations I’m holding two spots! You can use TREATME25

#6 A just challenging enough hike.

Friday’s hike will be worth the short trip to get there.

You’ll want your Camelback and an extra water bottle too. Temps are nice and cool early and just nicely warm as the sun rises. You’ll be tested by endurance but it’s doable by anyone who’s been either following the plan (or regularly doing a combination of regular cardio and weight training).

#7 Self-assess, self-adjust.

You’ll learn what your self-assessments suggest about your exercise, nutrition, and daily habits.

Then you’ll be getting weight training session foundations so you can lift all year with the right body mechanics – and have a set of things to focus on for best improvements.

#8 Learn.

Learn how to identify your body type, muscle type, hormone status, and integrate these with your goals your schedule and what you really want.

Put that together with clear values or passions so that you truly want to follow through on actions that get them.

#9 Amazing food and selections all Flipping 50-approved.

Friday evening’s dinner together will be wonderful food and you’ll have time to stroll around after if you choose to in a delightful people-watching retail area of Scottsdale.

#10 Beautiful hikes.

Saturday morning’s shorter hike will have a bit more climb and then you’ll spend time in a fusion of Pilates and Yoga, (pack your yoga mat or bring a towel) opening up the hips, shoulders, and chest while you align and strengthen your core.

Then you’ll learn how to self-assess and continue to adjust your strategies

#11 Enjoy Tex Mex food.

Saturday’s group dinner will be a Southwestern treat of Flipping 50-approved choices.

#12 Say good morning to sunrise.

Sunday you’ll be hiking again with a last look at the beautiful Arizona sunrise and end in time for wrap up questions before you need to check out (ask for a late one).

Plus, Private time with Debra is available (either Thursday afternoon or Sunday afternoon)– with advance notice if you want to focus on your personal strength training needs or dive into a review of your labs or something else you need to create a plan for your best 2020.

Blood flow restriction training is not new to Flipping 50. This may be the third podcast in just a few short months. Yet, today’s guest barely needs an intro, he’s referred to as a household word by many of my clients and friends. And for good reason.

Dr. Mercola, is founder of Mercola.com that has been most visited natural health web site for the last 15 years even despite Google censoring him and removing him from the search engines in June of 2019.

Questions we answer in this episode:

  • Is it blood flow restriction training safe?
  • What contraindications are there for blood flow restriction training?
  • Let’s talk safety compared to resistance training without use of BFR… and let’s throw in compared to not resistance training after 50?
  • Is there carry over to the chest, back, glutes? Or are the arms and legs- bicep/triceps/hamstrings/quadriceps the only muscles that benefit?
  • What are your thoughts about Passive use?
  • What are the biggest benefits of BFR?
  • The added plus for fast twitch muscle fiber
  • muscle hypertrophy
  • How is BFR related to metabolism and to reaction skills
  • And specifically Bone density is a reason for weight bearing and weight training – with weight training having greater benefits especially after an age when for any individual high impact exercise either becomes uncomfortable, or unsafe, or both. There seems to be less research
  • The specific scientific studies use protocols like these, what’s your though on using bands with your usual set of exercises – say a common super set alternating two exercises for 3 or 4 sets wearing the BFR?
  • What are your thoughts on sticking to protocols?

Examples of protocols that are published:

  1. 3 sets: 30 repetitions, 25 repetitions, and 20 repetitions with 15 seconds rest between each set
  2. 4 sets: 30 repetitions, followed by 3 sets of 15 repetitions with 30 seconds rest between sets

Mentioned on the show:

  • 15 minutes on arms
  • 20 minutes on legs
  • Rest a minute – releasing the bands – then do a next exercise

Flipping 50 listeners: Visit BFR.mercola.com for free bonus

Then register! For the STRONGER program that is introducing it as an option if you’d rather do lighter than heavier (or need to)

Hurry! The window closes soon! January 5th is the last day!

You might also like:

Should You Be Doing Blood Flow Restriction Training?

BFR Bands to Gain Strength After 50, 60, and 70?

Top 10 Most Popular Podcasts of 2019

It’s an annual tradition to do a top 10 most popular podcast episodes list. So here’s the 2019 edition just in time for you to launch your 2020. These are based on the number of downloads.

At the end of this post, leave a comment about what you’d love to hear more of in 2020. I’d love to hear from you about what topics are most important to you in 2020.

What would you love to learn more about? Is there something that still confuses you? What interests and excites you? How can I help you? What’s challenging to you right now?

Link to all of the most popular podcasts of 2019 and subscribe in iTunes by clicking here or link to the show notes with any of the titles below.

[I would truly appreciate your rating and comment in iTunes. It really helps our show grow and share the importance of positive and proven science in this second half!]

The Top 10 Most Popular Podcast Episodes

Here they are in a Letterman-style countdown to the #1 top podcast of 2019.

#10 How to Change the Way You Age |Bolder is Better  

So no secrets this episode with Growing Bolder founder Marc Middleton is one of my favorites of the year. I love everything the folks at GB stand for and if you’re not already, highly recommend you follow them too! 

#9 5 Mindset Shifts for Better Fitness in Menopause  

There’s going to be much more evidence in 2020 that your mindset is pliable. Whatever you believe right now has gotten you here. It led to the habits you have. And we know it influences your physical body. So dive into this short podcast about 5 different mindsets to see if you default to one that might be holding you back. 

#8 When Menopause Weight and Inches Won’t Budge  

Explore possible reasons you try to exercise and eat right but it’s not working. There’s no judgment or blame. It’s not you and something you’re doing wrong. But it might be that you’ve been led to believe the wrong thing at some point in your life and you don’t know it. This episode is about hope and help.

Are you registered for a 2020 program that is going to flip your metabolism, confidence, and optimal aging into this next decade better!? STRONGER I is open as I post… but it’s closing and only opens a few times a year. Click here. 

#7 5 Simple Steps that Balance Your Hormones You’ll Love

Next up is an interview with Dr. Brooke Kalanick about her new book was the focus of this episode. She is definitely talking the Flipping 50 language. Much of the episode (and the book) reviews so many of the topics we cover all year at Flipping 50. Yet, there’s a couple nuggets of content that may give you insight to a challenge you’ve been struggling with you don’t hear a lot about. 

#6 When You Want To Want Sex But Don’t

Maybe it was you, maybe your partner, but this interview with my friend Susan Bratton is a hot one! Libido is one of the regular topics here at Flipping 50 and we dive right into it, no apologies. If you have children in the car, you might want to wait to listen later.

#5 Exercise for Cellulite Reduction Solutions | Science & Proven Results

Actually, this is one of those topics we’ll come back to as science discovers more. I share 5 contributing factors to cellulite. I add at least six things that support you in reducing the appearance of cellulite. This continues to be a topic since as estrogen drops your skin changes. You’re not doomed though!

#4 10 Upper Arm Toning Exercises You Can Do At Home

Ah, the bingo wings win again. If that’s a spot you’d love to target I address it here in a podcast of all places, and provided a cheat sheet in this episode’s show notes and a video that explains how to get started. You can do these all at home!

#3 Protein Intake and Strength Training After 50 | 10 Studies

So this episode explores 10 more recent studies about the combination of strength training and protein in your life. From metabolism to decreasing risk of frailty that lead to falls and early death it’s all in here. If you’re curious about why I opted to carry a clean protein product after saying I never would for 30 years? It’s in here. I love science and demand it and so do you.

If you’ve been following trends and fads and you’re frustrated with results, it’s time to let science point you in the right direction. For that reason, the studies I pull and share are all about you, featuring women just like you.

#2 Metabolism Reset with Dr. Alan Christianson 

So it’s definitely that time of year! This episode hit at just the right time last year too and metabolism is always going to be a factor in this second half. In an interview episode one of our favorite (yours and mine both) interviewees is back! We talk new book, but most importantly new metabolism thinking for you!

#1 Core Challenge for Strong, Safe, and Centered Fitness

The number one most popular podcast of 2019 was all about core. Why isn’t your core working? How can you turn it around? What exercises are best? What core exercises are worst? I answer it all in this episode. Get a free cheat sheet in this episode too (and save it on your device so you can click the live links to video demonstrations!)

So there you have it! Our listener votes for most popular Flipping 50 podcasts of 2020.

I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment!

Time is running out. Last minute gifts are the topic of the day! Please tell me I’m not the only one doing some last minute shopping this weekend? Or responding to “what do you want for Christmas?” from others?

My personal list is really short this year. There isn’t really a list of things anyone but me can give me and knowing that is a gift in itself. I don’t want a sweater or a sweatshirt or more tights or jackets. I don’t want a massage or a facial. Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots of things like those that I’d enjoy. But without what really makes you happy down deep those things are really quite inadequate.

I have had some amazing gifts in my life.

One of the best gifts I’ve ever been given as an adult was a card after I’d completed one of my early Ironman. It was a gift promising the registration and travel and all the visors and t-shirts I wanted for any Ironman I wanted to do in the future.

Another gift I’ve received, two actually from my big sister as a child may not have been Christmas gifts but they were the kind of gifts that inspire dreams and imagination. I kept both for decades. One was a drafting table and the other was a subscription to Print Magazine. As a budding graphic designer I was in heaven. I used those tattered subscriptions for inspiration for years.

So that’s the bar I’m holding this post to and hope it inspires something amazing for you. None of these gifts were something to be consumed and finished. They were the beginning of something. That’s what I hope you’ll find below.

1 The Flipping 50 Retreat

If you’d love to attend this desert retreat full of hiking and habit change, now is the time. Special 25% off right now with code “holiday”. Your dates are January 30th – Feb 2. (Arrive the afternoon on the 30th and leave no sooner than late afternoon the 2nd). As soon as you’re in I’ll share the training schedule and local lodging options with you (it is a busy time in the sunshine of Scottsdale so you’ll want to book soon).

This is a 3 day event, and it’s intended to change the way you feel about habits, and look at adjusting your mindset, your skills, and influencing your entire year beyond these days. Experiences away from your routine are the perfect setting to change your life. Pivotal moments occur when you’re out of your every day environment.

2 DNA Testing

Would you love to know how your genetics predispose you to get fit faster with more or less endurance or strength training? Would it change the way you ate if you knew you’re genetically predisposed to be at optimal weight with a higher carbohydrate or fat diet?

Would you be more likely to take those vitamins if you knew that they supported your optimal aging and avoiding specific diseases your genes otherwise predispose you for?

Do you want to have an easier time with weight loss and exercise? Genetic testing, that provides an extensive list of truths about you, and what you can do to either express certain genes or suppress them, can make fitness so much easier than randomly following a program or exercise videos.

Even if you’re following a specific program like Stronger or doing The Whole Flip, you’ll have the most success and get fit the quickest and most enjoyable way if we exercise according to your body’s unique preferences.

If you’re interested in what your genetics tell you about your optimal exercise, motivation, and nutrition for results so we can customize your fitness program further, message me about a combination DNA and review of results session. We can look at DNA specific to weight loss, nutrition, performance, or endurance. Here are the three options below. Use mygenes15 for 15% off your test, results, and review session.

3 Hormone and Micronutrient Testing 

Dig deep into what’s really going on in your body and get a review of results based on “optimal” levels instead of a comparison to “normal” levels which include a the average of a lot of unhealthy people. You order labs yourself, called self-directed labs, and then share them with me. We meet for a coaching session and review your lab along with your current exercise and lifestyle habits and how you’re feeling. From that you get habits you may want to consider to improve your levels – or you’re retesting and understanding the impact of your fitness and health habits on your results.

Choose your lab here. There are two packages available or you may choose ala carte. If you do choose a package use code: Flipping50now to take $200 off the Elite panel (already a bundle of savings!) or the more all-inclusive Transformation panel. 

If you haven’t peeked under the hood and you’ve got a few mysteries about your status that don’t add up for you, lab testing together with your own signs and symptoms will give you a better strategy for success.

4 STRONGER I

Now’s the time to set 2020 into action! You can register for Stronger I now for 25% off regular rate. This 12-week program is designed for you (hormone balancing fitness based on women in perimenopause, menopause, and post menopause). You’re not broken! You do have very different needs than a 25-year old athletic male, however. And yet most research is based on that demographic – or at least a demographic other than you.

No coupon needed, discount is taken at checkout… but time is running out. You’ll be able to register later but there’s no early discount after December 24.

See details here about this popular strength program where you’ll work at home, interact with your peers, and have access to me in your private Facebook group.

Women's Health Coaching After 50: 90 Day5 Private Coaching

Checking in regularly with someone who has your back, is going to ask you challenge questions, and help you determine next steps that makes sense, accelerates your progress. You may get there eventually on your own. But most of us tend to take detours. We read 3 (or 6) articles on line and then can’t decide which one really applies to us.

We get overwhelmed with choices and don’t do anything. Or we do lots of things all at once and then have no idea what worked and didn’t.

If you want and need help making your program custom – because you’re not able to do it for yourself. You’re not alone:

“You can’t see the picture when you’re in the frame.”

Or if you have a special condition or circumstances that are making it a challenge to take forward action without setbacks, then private coaching is the best and fastest way to know you’re moving in the right direction. You still do the work. But the follow through and specific plan with a reason why, help you do it, and determine realistic goals every week (and day) that add up to success.

You’ve got two options. First, VIP coaching is one-on-one and includes weekly exercise plans (daily workouts), nutrition to support your exercise, daily habits, recommendations for additional considerations like testing or questions for your practitioner, and access to Debra for quick questions that no one else has. Your VIP packages are 3 or 6 months with weekly calls. You have two convenient ways to pay. Full pay option provides you with full access to the Flipping 50 membership during coaching.

Second, if you’re already enrolled or have recently completed a Flipping 50 program, you’re eligible for a “Fast Flip” coaching package. The accountability of weekly calls and access to ask Debra anything are still a part. You get a strategy to focus on for the next week during your weekly check in calls with her so you can continue the momentum of your program or deepen the customization of one you’re in. Send us a message at debra@flippingfifty.com to request a Fast Flip invitation.

Looking for something else? Stocking Stuffers? Grab my Holiday Gift Guide! It’s a few of my favorite things, and then some!

My Fittest Year… Really?

My fittest year declaration for 2019 became much more my fittest year under crazy circumstances. It was a year ago almost exactly, Thanksgiving week in fact, that I decided to really see what my body could do. I started testing so I could benchmark in mid December.

The wheels fell off the bus.

I fell off the wagon and got run over by it.

Borrowing words from some beloved clients, these words fit when I think about the year I had hoped (but perhaps not visioned clearly enough, as you’ll understand later in this post).

This year was to have been my “fittest year.” So I proclaimed last December when I began testing my fitness level and registered for the Ironman Cozumel November 24, 2019.

I had let focus on my personal fitness slip and “exercising” had long since failed to motivate me. I wanted an event, an experience on my calendar again. Cozumel’s swim is 80 degrees with vision up to 100ft and feels like snorkeling. I’d done it twice before and it was an easy decision.

When Someone Has Other Plans

I hadn’t planned on a septic tank back up Dec 23, the Sunday before Christmas in the mountains. I hadn’t planned on it taking nearly 3 full months to mitigate the mold in my entire lower level or the disruption to my business. The start to my businesses suffered a great deal due to water, insurance, assessors, and the work crew traffic. I hadn’t planned on 8 media appearances in two months. And I hadn’t planned on 3 illnesses in 8 weeks that pointed me to the need to test whether or not the mold was truly mitigated or not.

It in fact was not. My immune system was compromised due to a mold known as “stachy”. I began taking glutathione and binders to support detox. In addition to using my sauna and spending as much time outdoors as possible, I was in contact with the landlord. She wasn’t willing to do anything else. I suddenly was moving.

I hadn’t counted on moving, or losing 1/3 of my belongings. I certainly hadn’t counted on moving out of Colorado to Scottsdale. But a fluke suggestion, a time constraint, and an even more fluke view of the interior of a home landed me here. By half way through 2019, my fittest year was nothing but an intention.

Moving Reduced Exposure

You’d think that moving out of that environment would make a difference. You’d be right. I’ve not been sick another day. However, I’ve had lingering issues with my endurance and stamina. I don’t have any for running. I have found that even 30 minutes of running – slowly – much more slowly than a year ago, is about all I want to do. Let me share that a marathon in an Ironman triathlon is likely to take 5 ½ hours on a very good day for me. This current status is not good news.

[More on the lingering effects of mold soon in a podcast with my friend and mold expert, Dr. Ann Shippy.]

Walking a marathon I would project 7 hours. However, it’s helpful that you’ve trained for that. I’ve had other disruptions this fall too. Some recently. And they’ve severely clipped my training plans. My fittest year without training is how I’ve come to think about this now.

Just the past couple months several challenges have come up. Some so severe they’ve made me question my online business Flipping 50, in fact. As much as I believe in it there seem to have been signs, many signs, suggesting a change of direction in my life may be in order. As I thought finally some resolution was coming I got another jolt. Even in my fittest year, I had to run a business.

I Can’t Make This Sh** Up

Just when some very important documents should have been delivered, the recipient emailed to tell me he hadn’t received them.

I was caught between consultations to enroll new coaching clients with 10 minutes to check on just why the FedEx overnighted package I’d paid $44 to send hadn’t arrived. Tracking numbers shed no light. It seemed to have disappeared.

Suddenly my FedEx customer advocate (who knew I needed one of those?) notified me he had found the package. In fact, it never left the store where I’d dropped it off. What???

Time-sensitive documents, made more time sensitive because I was boarding a plane for international travel very, very early the next day, didn’t arrive because they didn’t get sent?

Uh-huh.

Moments after this news I had to get the dog to boarding. My route was detoured. That took 30 minutes more than it should. I arrived home in time to do a group coaching program.

Except, the door from the garage to house was locked. The key, you guessed it, was inside. I never lock the door. But somehow, in the rush to get Truman out, juggling his dog food and leash and my purse, slightly distracted by the earlier events of the day, and the weeks preceding it, I must have locked it.

There was a key lockbox. However, I hadn’t punched those numbers in since I first arrived at this rental home 5 months ago. The text message from my realtor was long-since deleted from my phone. My landlord was gracious and helpful but couldn’t recall the number she’s set nor find the text either.

By some miracle, I stepped away and then returned to the box and pressed the numbers in. Wa-la. I’m in. The brain is a miraculous thing.

Here’s My Reality

So here I am, as I type this to you, on a plane headed to Cozumel. That after all was to be the cumulation of my fittest year training. In 3 days I’ll start an Ironman. It was already something I was committed to, it wasn’t as if I could cancel. Sometimes though, a no-cancellation policy is best.

Though I’ve had long bike rides and swims, I’ve not done all the workouts. Certainly that’s true lately as I was interrupted by two conferences and a TEDx talk interfering with weekend training in the past 8 weeks. Nor have I done most of the runs as they were assigned.

Due to a lack of endurance, I’ve walk/run and thus, that’s my plan for race day. To start the marathon walking, running alternately for 26.2 miles.

If you’re the type of person who prays, Sunday might be a good day. (If you’re reading this after, please continue, I’ll come back and refresh this with the outcome.)

What I want you to know is what I’m employing to get me through. There is of course, what’s called muscle memory. But that alone is not what I’m relying on just in case my muscles have dementia.

I’m initiating the placebo effect.

I’m harnessing the vision ….

See It To Believe It

…of starting and swimming effortlessly and with a smile as I can see clearly and swimmers are beside me, in front of, and behind me comfortably. Seeing and swimming in pristine, warm saltwater sets us at ease. We swim with the tide and it’s less effort than in a pool. In fact, my time is better than it’s ever been and yet I feel relaxed not tired at completion of the swim.

I move out of the water, taking my time to go through transition or T1, changing into the tri kit I’ll wear the rest of the day. On my bike, my Bill bike, for the first time using it in a race, I’m calm. Take peace along for the ride. It was a message that came to me from him the morning of his funeral just days after his passing. For the first time I know this message was meant for me to relay to Bri for a reason. I just mentally named the bike, Peace.

Each of the three laps around the island gets warmer. Winds on this day are gentler though and seem to have a small tailwind effect on the far side of the island. I love the sunshine, the blue water, and the joy of motion. What’s not to love about choosing to do this? About having the body that loves it? I’m the only person who can pedal this bike but I’m not alone.

More Than Words

Dismounting the bike to through transition I’m glad to let it go to volunteers. As I begin the run, the day is warm. The tri- kit is sweaty and it’s the beginning of what for some is a single feat they would never attempt. But it’s just one foot in front of the other. It’s this where the human race really shows up. I’ve paced myself and know of course I’ve been out playing all day and I feel so very grateful to be here.

I have a flashlight tonight, something I’ve not had in the past. The third lap I know will be darker. And it will be magical because that’s where people come together as they’re falling apart. They support each other, they have endured the training and this long day and they want to finish even when their body is telling them otherwise.

I feel good, clear-headed about what I’m doing and why. I’m declaring the stress of the past year doable, not tragedies. I’m thankful for friends and family who’ve supported hard changes, who are there every day. They’ve given me the strength to make both the journey in life and the journey that began early on this day.

Through Blisters and Muscle Fatigue You Feel Love

There is nothing without love. I love this. I love my family. I love my work. The success in anything is really in starting. Finishing, yes, is the reward. And sometimes you take that prize too. But the work and the discipline to get to the start is the real gift.

I’ll start.

I’ll see that vision.

Then, I’ll pair it with emotion.

The source of some of my emotions you read. There’s more to tapping into emotions.

Tapping Into Emotion

Can you think of a time when you were filled with pride?

You did something (you, not pride for someone else) that filled you with pride and pleasure for having done it?

Can you think of a time you were filled with confidence?

You were absolutely certain you were meant to be exactly where you were doing exactly what you were doing?

And can you think of a time you experienced pure joy? It was a silly, happy, funny story that makes you smile when you tell it to this day. It makes you laugh to the point of tears when you think about it.

Tapping into emotions like these along with a vision so clear you can see it, feel it, taste it, hear it and smell it… can change you. Can change your DNA. Perhaps it can even create muscle memory that wasn’t there. Because if you can create a vison, a story, so strong that your brain will not know if it’s reality or not and it will then create the body to match it.

Make no mistake, in that last paragraph I’m not asking if it is possible you can create a vision that strong. I’m asking if you will. Like you would have to train for a marathon, you have to have a plan and rehearse it. You have to repeat the vision frequently and consistently.

What’s Coming Next in My Fittest Year Story

I’ll share more about vision in a podcast with 74-year old Dexter Yeats who is here to compete with me Sunday too. [We recorded it last night and it is just soooo good I may release it on Thanksgiving). There may be a secret to why she is competing in multiple Ironman triathlons every year since she’s retired. I call that rewired. The moral of that podcast is about seeing past the goal. Past the finish line, the retirement, the weight loss and painting that vision.

And, of course, I’ll share what happens to complete my fittest year!

Make it your fittest year! The Cafe is open for enrollment during Thanksgiving week! Starting Saturday November 23 you can join and SAVE!

This post about fitness lies about menopause in an article I found purely by accident one morning. I didn’t intend for this to be a post I was working on this month. Yet, as I publish this, and you read it, our thoughts turn to getting or staying moving optimally, during busy times or heading into a new season or year. And we are vulnerable. We want information, we want it fast, and that may mean you don’t scrutinize it the way that I do.

Lies about menopause, period (pun intended), run ramped in my opinion. You’re told to expect hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, belly fat, and cellulite. You’re told your vagina will dry up and you won’t be interested in sex.

You’ve heard that what you expect you tend to get?

So, stop it right now. (said in love and respect)

These things are common. They are not NORMAL. Could your metabolism slow down? Yes, especially if you’re doing all the wrong things, unknowingly. So let’s dispel all the lies about menopause that fitness related to start. Because trying to lose that belly fat and weight with more exercise more often will definitely kill your libido and make true those lies about menopause.

Those negative side effects of menopause? They don’t happen naturally, they happen naturally because of the habits you have. So let’s change them.

If you read anything online – even from what appears to be reputable sites – you’re vulnerable.

You are so very vulnerable to lies about menopause.

Because:

But…

True science, does not make it good advice, for YOU. Unless the subjects in the research quoted and the data collected to create the position statements about exercise recommendations have been scrubbed to be sure that it is based on YOU (a woman in perimenopause, menopause, or post-menopause), you are reading TRUE science, pertaining to someone, just not you.

True science, does not make it good advice, for YOU.

And any author, advisory board, and publication can slap a title on a blog or article that includes the words menopause or “in menopause” and suddenly, Virginia-there-is-a-Santa Claus-effect is born and you don’t even realize it.

I read an article, completely by accident this morning, searching for something else. I call that the rabbit-hole effect. I’m sure you’ve experienced it. The article had so many false statements about losing weight with exercise during menopause that I was compelled to create a response (and did directly to the site as well as creating this post).

I want to point out here the reason this is such a problem.

There’s no intentional harm here. There’s no knowledge of the fitness lies being shared. I believe the authors, the site host, the board, have not intentionally provided false information or led you astray. They have, however, not got experience enough to know whether 1) general exercise guidelines pertain to specific people within the population or 2) if the sources from 5 years ago (when published in a book means it was research at least two years older than that) is still the current thinking or we’ve had enough additional research and practice to know more.

It’s easy to ask the wrong questions.

So dive in here and read these. My hope is you’ll have more awareness about what at first pass appears to be good advice and is just, in fact, a collection of broad information not necessarily intended for any individual. Namely, you.

8 Fitness Lies About Menopause (in ONE article)

#1 How much exercise you need

The Surgeon General’s recommendations of 2 hours and 30 minutes weekly (or 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week) may not be enough said the author. You may need 4 hours a week to offset the effects of menopause. The older you are the more exercise you need to lose weight was the message.

I call B.S. In fact, better exercise, not blindly more exercise, is better. We all can stand to get more movement, but more exercise is not going to solve the real problem, in fact it will cause one for women in midlife often short on time, sleep, and prone to injuries. If you’re reading this and suffering at this moment from a muscle tear, a joint issue, plantar fasciitis, or any condition, you know who you are.

Truth: It varies according to your signs and symptoms. What’s happening for you?

#2 Cardio is your first line of defense against weight

One small passage or two in this section gave me hope. There was discussion of the need for high intensity exercise to boost fat burning.

The hope was short-lived. The paragraphs that followed outlined the exact opposite of a midlife woman’s hormone reality. 

I call B.S. on this one and it makes me furious. If you still believe that cardio is the way to burn fat, you are oh, so vulnerable when you read things like this which reinforce your thinking. It couldn’t be further from the truth. Strength training contributes to a greater fat burning immediately after exercise and long term as you actually change your body composition instead of burning calories (and not enough to matter) while you increase cortisol if done too much that makes you store more fat instead of burn it.

Do you need cardio? Yes. Very little doses of higher intensity and more of very low intensity. Ditch that middle of the road, middle intensity that actually adds inches to your middle.

 Truth: Amidst all the lies about menopause this one is big. More cardio can accelerate aging and have the exact opposite intended effect. Seek enough. But not too much.

#3 Tabata training is an entry-level way to do intervals

If this hadn’t been outright sad it would be hilarious. Tabata research was done on elite male cyclists who did interval intensities of 110% of their VO2 max. That is, they wanted to lose their cookies over a wastebasket after they were done. The motivated ones, at least.

How can we possibly think that what works for young, elite male athletes will work for middle-aged women in menopause?

It is hardly a beginner’s protocol. On this particular point, I find it a little irresponsible for a 16-year fitness professional columnist to make the statement that Tabata is better for a beginner to try.

Common sense in fitness teaches progression. To start using intense intervals, responsible progression would pair the interval duration with a rest interval equal or greater than the work interval. With Tabata intervals you work 20 seconds and recover for 10.

The second point to be made here is that repeating intervals of this type for 8 cycles (4 minute total duration) means that by the latter several intervals whatever exercise you’re doing you’re potential for poor form is likely. That is certainly true if as in many exercise classes, the 4-minute duration of intervals are repeated multiple times during a workout.

The instruction is often “do as many as you can.” Good luck if the instructor or trainer also tells you to do a burpee, where at 5 different points form could suffer and put undue stress on joints. Moving in a frenzy is not a good way to either elevate heart rate or create a higher metabolism.

Moving in a frenzy is not a good way to either elevate heart rate or create a higher metabolism.

Truth: Tabata intervals were originated from research on young elite male cyclists. Does that relate to you? ‘Nuff said. Do use recent studies on post menopausal women (and a different, more common sense protocol). Safe (not stupid) moves for intervals keep the risk: reward ratio optimal.

#4 Use a heart rate monitor and calculate your target zone

A math equation to determine your target heart rate zone will fail over 50% of the people over 40. It will under (in the majority of cases) or over estimate where your heart rate should be for optimal results.

Unless, you have me or another trainer give you instructions to self-test or test you in person, you can’t accurately “calculate” heart rate zones. Your body never lies. The how-you-feel measure is often a much better determinant of whether you’re working at the level for the purpose you have. You no longer want to be in what you learned once as “target heart rate” zone. The target is higher than that if you’re doing intervals and lower than that if you’re doing recovery. Every training session should have a purpose and the purpose determines the zone (I provide 5 for private clients) you should be in.

Interested? Reach out to me about how to test. You will need a treadmill or a stationary bike at a gym. You can do the test and interpretation alone or with a follow up 90-day plan. A six-month private coaching option is available right now with $2000 of bonuses if you hurry. There are only 5 spots available. Offer ends when spots are filled or Nov 27. Click image below to find out if it’s right for you.

Truth: You can exercise effectively without a heart rate monitor. After 25 years of testing and of training with a monitor, I don’t use one. I use my own talk and breathlessness scale. It never lies, though heart rate often does. I like to say, if you feel like you’re having a heart attack you probably better listen to that. If you feel like you could work much harder, listen to that too. Lies about menopause and exercise may suggest to you you have to be in “the zone” but more importantly, you have to know what your zones are.

#5 Add another day if it’s not working

More exercise tips the cortisol hormone into higher gear. If you’re not losing weight with a moderate level of exercise during menopause more exercise can make matters worse, not better. In fact, more exercise can make a woman in fair shape gain weight.

Take me for example. Following my current triathlon training schedule I’ve gained eight pounds. Why? When hormones set up a perfect storm for you anyway, like dropping estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone, you’re more susceptible to the negative effects of cortisol. More exercise is a source of stress.

A smarter alternative is to plan the time you do exercise better. Move more in your life, but don’t add more days of exercise. Recovery is the most often overlooked feature of exercise for men and women both over 40.

Truth: If a little of something is not working more of it is not going to get better results.

#6 Add intensity.

This is sometimes true, not always. In the article there was no explanation for when it is a good idea and when it is not. If you’re already “tired all the time” or exhausted but not sleeping, two common complaints of women, adding intensity may not be the best option for you.

You’ve got to do what I call “restore before more.” It’s part, in fact the first and most important part of the After 50 Fitness Formula for Women.

Truth: Yes adding intensity – to part of existing exercise time – may be a solution. It depends on your status.

#7 Add more time if it’s not working

Making each exercise session longer is not a good recommendation. It in fact will have the opposite intended effect. Cortisol tends to creep up after about 75 minutes duration. There’s a sweet spot where enough exercise is best and more is too much.

If you combine #5, #6, and #7 as many women would do – at once – in the middle of desperation because nothing they do is working? You have a recipe for adding fat, fatigue, and making matters worse). Of all fitness lies, the combination of more time, more intensity and more duration – all at the same time should intuitively seem wrong. Yet, it’s essentially what millions do in January. Every year. Statistically this is not working out well for us.

Truth: Who has more time? and P.S. lack of time probably saves you from yourself. More exercise often means more cortisol, more exhaustion, more need for recovery time.

A Sliver of Hope 

A section of the article dedicated to strength training restored my faith in the author (a trainer).  It focuses on reaching fatigue, targeting the whole body – especially large muscles of the body, and doing compound (multi joint exercises) instead of isolating body parts with exercises. This section nearly made my heart sing compared to the other fitness lies about menopause elsewhere in the article.

But then the author went on to discuss “Met-Con” workouts and suggested mixing strength in with cardio. And…. I’m out. Read on for why.

#8 Rapid movements done in short burst are the best way to burn fat.

Including but not limited to burpees (where at least 5 things can go wrong) and squats with overhead presses (40% of my clients over 40 have or develop a shoulder issue- often due to this type of movement), push-ups and jump squats.

Even the author recognized that keeping frequency of this type of workout to a minimum is best for reducing injury. If you’re lucky enough not to get injured the first time, that at least, is good advice.

These types of exercises are fondly (insert sarcasm) referred to at Met-Con workouts. They promise (because of the sexy-mysterious name) to burn more fat better, faster, and leap over small buildings.

Truth: If feeling like you’re “exhausted” gives you the impression that you had a great workout, you’re evaluating on a broken scale.

See a better safer way to do intervals here.

What Makes More Sense in Menopause

The best use of Met-Con (short for Metabolic Conditioning) exercise is intervals that are cardiovascular in nature, not muscular strength and endurance in nature. Why? Because you want muscular FATIGUE, not overall TIRED.

You can move fast doing any movement and get tired. But if you do strength movements (as lunges, squats, push-ups) rapidly, you fail to reach fatigue and therefore fail to create lean muscle that boosts metabolism. You may succeed at getting an injury. Speed increases injury rates that surpass that of increased resistance.

Any Exercise Can Make You Tired. Some Exercise Can Make You Better.

What’s Your Role in Lies About Menopause?

There you have it. This post was pure coincidence and unintended. That’s scary. Because I spend less time searching for articles on line than you do these days. I spend my time researching journals and primary research. So in 10 minutes of searching to stumble across such mythological (not in a unicorns and rainbows way) article dedicated to exercise in menopause, is alarming.

What role do you play? Are you following, spreading, starting to uncover clues about what’s happening. I leave you with this, question everything about your exercise. Is it making you feel better or worse? Are you healthy or injured? Are you energetic or tired? Do you have more stable moods or are you up and down? Are you sleeping better or worse? And don’t buy into those lies about menopause suggesting that it’s just part of it and you have to deal with it. You don’t!

A note about resources and references: It is not necessarily best practice to quote one’s own work. I acknowledge that here. In these works combined I cite over 200 research articles that pertain to women in perimenopause, menopause, and post menopause that are directly related. I hope you too will see the justification of listing these books.

Resources: 

Hot, Not Bothered: 99 Daily Flips to Slimmer, Fitter, Stronger, Faster So You Can Master Metabolism Before, During, and After Menopause. 

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

I get asked quite a bit, sometimes on podcasts, what my day is like and what workouts after 50 work for me. So here it is. One woman’s response, was “this is for someone who lives a life of leisure.” As I wrote in You Still Got It, Girl!, If you’re crazy-making I’m not going to get in there with you.

I did this (maybe altered) even in my 40s while a single parent, shuffling to early morning basketball practices, day-long golf tournaments, while juggling two jobs, and writing a book.

Don’t play the victim card with me. If it’s working for you and you want to stay there, that’s your call. I’ll be here when you’re ready.

I say that with no judgment, you may truly be doing all you feel you can handle right now. I just want to let you know, I believe there’s something positive you can do now. The hardest thing is to ask for help. I get that. But I’m here if you need it.

Workouts After 50 – What I’m Doing Now (and when)

4:00/5:00am awake /water/2 mugs matcha latte while working (I consume 12 ounces of H20 first thing and 8 oz between matchas)

7:30am High intensity intervals 20-30 mins (treadmill, elliptical, boxing or bike)

or High Intensity weight circuit with 3-5 minutes of Core or Pilates at the end of any session

8-12 ounces of H2O

9:00am High Protein Smoothie with all the things

(vanilla Plant Power, greens, maca, turmeric, Fiber Boost, protein, minimum fruit, avocado, chia)

8 oz H2O every hour

12:30pm Lunch – sometimes a second smoothie if I’m working, or a Flipping 50 soup (there’s a seafood chowder I love)

1:00pm short walk

8 oz H2O every hour

4:00pm weight training/Pilates/or yoga

8 oz H2O before dinner

5:00/6:00pm dinner (usually a one pot meal with a protein and tons of veggies)

8 ounces H2O

8:00/9:00pm ready for bed

Every day varies but this is very typical. I don’t snack in the afternoon typically but when I was in CO I would get cold (!) and have a cup of bone broth or less frequently a matcha latte or cup of a Mushroom Blend (use code Flipping50 to try it!) in the afternoon.

Here’s the basics:

Workouts After 50 you won’t see me doing:

What I always keep the same:

These are not “rules.” This is just the formula I follow. It’s life. It emerged out of tweaking based on science the last 15 years and testing not only myself but first dozens, then hundreds, and most recently thousands of clients that find this works for them too. When you’re changing, you don’t have to (or want to) change it all at once. We go for the one biggest influencer that will help the other changes fall into place so much more easily.

Yes! It Is the exercise.

For me, it’s a catalyst. Exercise set everything else in motion for me. It makes me want to fuel better for a better workout. It makes me want to fuel better after (proven that even 6 minutes of power walking within a half of hour of lunch made subjects voluntarily choose healthier for themselves at a buffet – think of that on Thanksgiving Day!)

It’s not only exercise.

There was a question asked on a weekly webinar I host for a national organization this week. Let me give you a little background.

The webinar was about obesity: cause and effect. When the (excellent) presenter was nearly through he showed a slide about the top two external solutions being 1) exercise and 2) nutrition.

An attendee asked, “Is it true that exercise doesn’t really contribute much when it comes to weight loss?”

The presenter’s answer was that though that’s true that the calories burned don’t contribute a great deal to caloric deficit, exercise is still key. (In alignment with Flipping 50’s After 50 Fitness Formula for Women course and book) It’s about the hormone balance that proper exercise does for you that ultimately influences weight.

I won’t go into a deep lesson on hormones in this post intended to share my routine. Yet, I do want to call your attention to the fact, the reason what I do works (and is Flipping 50 program-proven!) is that it supports hormone balance. That in turn ensures that I can sleep, I can burn fat optimally, I can get hungry at appropriate times, and feel full and sated without cravings. I can concentrate. I can reap rewards of lean muscle from workouts.

How I Plan For Myself and Coach Clients

I don’t exercise thinking, “how many calories does this burn.” I do think, “what type of workout do I need on this day at this specific time to optimize hormone balance?” Most of the time that thinking comes in a weekly or monthly plan. I already know what my workout plan is for 3 weeks from today. I may have to adjust it based on life that week, but I don’t guess. I do the same for clients.

This week for instance is day-by-day changes for two of my private clients based on little “niggles” occurring for them. So we’re not doing workouts we would if they were 100% but we’re still focused on hormone balancing workouts that support their muscular needs right now.

The Question I Had

Back to the webinar, my question was, “You listed these in order of 1 and 2 making exercise first, while we’re hearing more often that nutrition makes a bigger difference. Are these in fact, in order based on importance according to research?”

The presenter addressed it but not with a definitive answer. I think because there is not one. But where obesity is concerned, insulin resistance is what we call a co-morbidity. That is, a second condition or disease. Insulin resistance occurs at some point as weight creeps up. That is a pre-diabetic or diabetic threat. And often with insulin resistance weight gain will occur if it isn’t already.

Exercise plays a key role – as long as it’s the right exercise at the right time – in improving insulin sensitivity. Nutrition also plays a key factor in blood sugar and insulin.

But… again. Exercise is a catalyst. And more important, not exercising is a catalyst for poor choices. Can you relate?

The presenter’s answer was that there is no question it is both. He didn’t however put one before the other. We do eat multiple times a day and exercise less than that. So we better get food right. There is the need however to moveoften. Don’t sit or stand in place for long periods of time.

Become someone who can’t sit still.

Moving More

Exercise less, and eat more, is the subtitle of You Still Got It, Girl! for a reason. It’s the opposite of the mantra you’ve heard too often your whole life. Women exercising themselves into more stress and cortisol, then starving themselves with a lack of nutrients create a slow metabolism by confusing their bodies.

Yes, in our sedentary contemporary society you need to exercise – and adequate intensity is important with middle and older age – but moving more throughout your day every day is more important.

If your exercise leaves you on the couch for “couch compensation” your exercise has actually hurt your health and fitness. You’re seeking the muscular strength and endurance to do what you love to do with the people you love to do it, when you want to do it.

What I’m Doing for Lean Changes!

I posted something last week on Facebook about what happens to the body with less (but the correct) kind of exercise.

And still…. A woman commented that the image (with good muscle definition and a fit and lean body) was no doubt due to my triathlon training.

I fell out of my chair laughing.

Here’s the truth. Since the advent of my triathlon training this year, and perhaps not unrelated to mold exposure for 6 months the first half of the year, I’ve gained 8 lbs.

Of not-muscle.

Bad News, Right?

Yep. I tell you the good stuff, so I’ll tell you the bad stuff. I don’t feel great. I’m getting close to the event (if you’ve been here you may know it was intended to be my “fittest year” and I’m headed to an Ironman in a week. I’m now tapering (less training in preparation for race day freshness). So I’ve already begun to see a difference in my weight or feel one more often (no scale at home).

But I was and am just “exhibit A” of what MORE volume and MORE intensity do to a woman in perimenopause/menopause. They create more stress, more cortisol, more fat storage and inflammation.

But the woman’s comment is what spurs me to do what I do. Unfortunately, too many women STILL BELIEVE that it’s about harder and more exercise and that they can never look like that because they aren’t athletic. That is the #1 MYTH and your biggest obstacle.

You do have to stop… processed foods, poor carbohydrate choices, a lack of protein, and sugar (there are no healthy forms). But you, my dear, if you don’t love exercise, may have a better chance or at least it’s equal to anyone who loves exercise.

Because like me, overexercisers are more likely to weigh more due to inflammation, and cortisol increasing fat storage and halting fat burning during midlife, specifically. Look at triathletes in their 50’s 60’s and 70s and you don’t see “skinny,” you see often the same slice of weight and body shape you would anywhere. It depends on how they train and how their body handles it. Some refer to their legs as “tree trunks” or they midsections as “budha bellies”

More is Worse Not Better

I am at a WORSE shape and weight right now because of more exercise. Is this training year different? Yes. Every year of training is going to be different. You can’t expect the same results from the same training with ever changing hormones.

Now, did I go to extremes? From your vantage point, probably so! You don’t have to tip the exercise that far though. Two or three exercise classes may be too much for you. Three days of strength training may be too much for you. Just an hour of exercise instead of minutes of optimal exercise may be putting you into cortisol trouble.

I’ll indulge in myself a bit in a blog next week to share the details of this year that contribute to my “fittest year” turning into “fittest year possible” with mold, and sudden moves, large financial loss of belongings, need to detox and change plans.

Stay tuned for that. For now, look at your day. Do you have a schedule? Your body likes a routine. Do you make it so it works for you? Yes, I know work, family, pets happen but they don’t control it all. You do. If you want to change you take control.

I have two suggestions:

If you have more than 20-lbs to lose, watch this webinar, first. Fit-U is on sale but I want to know you’re right for it before you do it.

If you want to have a reason to exercise for 2 ½ months AND have 4 days of movement, motivation, and mindset shifts, come to the next retreat! Message me at debra@flippingfifty.com for the current discount code – if there’s one still available we can help you get in for less! Mention the blog

12 Signs You’re Healthier Even If You’re Not Losing Weight


It happens. The scale doesn’t change as fast as anyone wants it to. So how do you reinforce your good behavior and keep those spirits up when it seems not to be working out the way you wanted it to? Focus on what’s working. Focus on the signs you’re on your way. Focus.. on your focus. Not the outcome.

Sleeping through the night

How it helps even if you’re not losing weight:

You’ve got those hormones specifically cortisol, testosterone, and growth hormone that are either optimized or scrambled based on sleep. They each have a domino effect on other hormones and on your ability to keep and create more lean muscle and prevent and burn fat. Constant waking pulls you out of those cycles of sleep you go through at night and prevents the good stuff from happening.

Waking rested

How it helps even if you’re not losing weight: you

You’ve got evidence that you’re getting into those phases of deeper sleep where hormone production and memory enhancement happens. Imagine your brain taking files sitting on your desk and locking them into file cabinets where the information stays safe and secure. Essentially that happens at night, if you sleep. The more decisions you make during the day the more you depend on this transfer to think clearly tomorrow. That in addition to the hormones discussed previously are optimized when you wake rested not groggy or hungover.

Clothes fit better

How it helps even if you’re not losing weight:

If you aren’t seeing the scale move but you’re losing inches you’ve got one of two and maybe both things going on. First, you’re likely losing fat and increasing your percent of lean muscle. Second, you may be losing inflammation and with that goes bloating or puffiness and water retention. Keep going!

The same speed, distance, or weight feels easier

How it helps even if you’re not losing weight:

This is exactly what you want to happen. The memes that tell you, “your workout will someday be your warm up” are oh, so true. What you start out unable to do or finding “hard” one day won’t be if you are exercising correctly. Some times it’s not even that. Sometimes it is dependent on your recovering correctly. When you start resting better, eating better, and observing how you feel more you’re on your way.

Your resting heart rate is lower

How it helps even if you’re not losing weight:

First thing in the morning before you get out of bed check your heart rate. It’s at it’s all time low at that point. When you see that dropping, you’ve got a good indication that what you’re doing is working. That heart muscle is finding it’s job easier and it’s pumping more blood (and oxygen) out with each beat instead of having to beat so many times. 

Your cravings disappear

How it helps even if you’re not losing weight:

Cravings usually are an indication of micronutrient deficiency. They can also be an indication you’re ‘hungry’ for something in your life, but it’s not necessarily food. Focus on the former for this article. When you bump up your micronutrient-dense food intake and supplement where necessary, you reduce cravings. When you combine protein and fiber at meals in adequate quantities you reduce cravings. When you time the right type of exercise optimally, you reduce cravings.

Changing those will have a long term impact on your body at every level and it will show up even if in it’s own time. 

You are satisfied for hours after meals

How it helps even if you’re not losing weight:

Similar to cravings disappearing feeling like you could really eat again within an hour of a meal is very much related to blood sugar issues. Those improve with both attention to micronutrient dense foods and the right macronutrients mentioned above and to the right dose of exercise at the right time. A stable blood sugar level keeps you from needing more food all the time.

You poop regularly (potentially more than you were)

How it helps even if you’re not losing weight:

Women in midlife are often more constipated than they admit- to anyone, including themselves! So if that’s you and you feel bloated or like you’ve got belly fat but you also feel like you never go completely, then improving this is a sign you’re getting things moving. You eliminate toxins from your body with pee, poop, and sweat. You want to be doing each regularly.

If gas and bloating were an issue, they’re gone

How it helps even if you’re not losing weight:

Those bodily reactions were most likely due to foods that don’t agree with you. Your “healthy” food list changes when your stress, activity level, and hormones do. So it’s natural for you not to be able to eat what you did a decade ago and feel or respond the same. When you’re signs something is wrong disappear there’s a better chance you’re absorbing all the vitamins and minerals you need to optimize health and fitness.

Aches and pains that were usual are less frequent or gone

How it helps even if you’re not losing weight:

Inflammation in your body is an obstacle to your optimal fitness. You’ve got to feel good and movement needs to be comfortable in order to have optimal fitness. You may have arthritis. Many of us will experience osteoarthritis as we age. Yet, you can manage much of the inflammation associated with it with food, rest, and appropriate exercise. Your thoughts are also potentially your most powerful tool not against tolerating pain but in preventing pain.

Heartburn doesn’t bother you anymore

How it helps even if you’re not losing weight:

Students in my 28-Day Kickstart are usually surprised by this one. No one actually starts an exercise program, even one focused on nutrition for exercise, with a priority of ending heartburn. But when it happens, it’s such a good sign. What you’re eating, how your body responds, and what your body can do with food has changed significantly. You’re on your way to more optimal digestion. You can’t skip past that and get to fitness and health.

You recover faster (from exercise, stress, or travel)

How it helps even if you’re not losing weight:

The sooner you can do another high intensity exercise session the more fit you are becoming. That is not 100% the truth. At least it’s not the whole story. That is relative to you. We each have different recovery needs. An elite Olympic athlete may need more recovery than a teammate. That athlete at 35 may need more recovery than she did at 20. But overall resilience will improve. If you travel frequently, you may notice jet lag doesn’t get you like it once did. If you used to start your next exercises session still sore from the last (by the way- that’s a sign to delay the workout) and now you’re feeling fresh and ready, you’re increasing your fitness.

Keep going! Any of these is a sign that damn scale does not speak the whole truth. Get a body composition scale. Get on the scale no more than once a week at the same time daily/weekly. More on that on an upcoming blog post.

Need support? Fit-U is for women in perimenopause and beyond who have 20 or more pounds to lose. It’s different after hormonal changes. It’s different if you need exercise joints love and fat hates. I’ve got you. All the science-proven research into exercise videos and the coaching tips to get positive self talk going. You matter so much. Do this for you. Do this for them. Watch this first:

Want to dive right in? Click here. 

Want to make exercise habits stick?

Most of the time when you want to create a habit- an energy-flipping, health happening, metabolism-boosting, feel-good habit … you focus on starting things.

I’m hear to tell you that much of the time the reason you’re not successful is that you don’t stop doing something else.

You’ve got to make room for something new, after all.

If you want to start exercising in the morning, or like me you want to start exercising earlier in the morning, you have to stop doing whatever is there now.

Maybe for you it’s sleep. For me it’s work. I love to work first thing and I get way more done from 4-8am than I ever do 8-4pm.

But, as luck would have it, earlier in the morning is also the best hormone balancing time for intense exercise.

Then there’s the window of energy that exists for a while that isn’t quite the same when you (or at least I) leave exercise til later. I get a second wind of productivity after a workout. (It’s proven actually that your creativity and problem solving skills go up after a midday workout).

Still, pulling away from work is hard. I like to achieve things, get things done. I’m not great at leaving things undone to take a break. There I said it. But that’s life right? The “list” is never really done, you just have to get more efficient at spending x time on something for a period of time and either declaring it done or moving on to a next meeting.

I have to “stop.” Literally I need a hard stop daily. At 7am (and I just had a large gulp, because as I type it’s 11 minutes til and I don’t want to pause if I’m not done!) I need to just say, that’s it. Take an hour. Go for the run, do the interval, shower and meet me back here with a smoothie.

STOP Words

Another thing to stop doing is using words that discourage you. They’re used all the time. I’d bet you said any one of these once yesterday and maybe certain ones of them more. You may not have said them all but just read through them and pay attention to your feelings or first impression when you do.

Most of them come with baggage. There’s unspoken guilt or shame or negativity around them. Work and workout, and fat during and calorie torching all sound hard! Your brain (even if you think, I love to work hard), doesn’t like hard work. It associates anything hard with pain. Pain of doing, pain of not doing, struggle… all come with baggage. And remember you pay extra for baggage.

Shift Your Focus to Make Exercise Habits Stick

Don’t let yourself have a “perfect” goal. It’s easy to get so obsessed with doing it all, and doing it all well. It’s so unrealistic. Focus on enjoying it, completing it not perfecting it, on doing it in a way you want to repeat it.

You don’t have to get it perfect the first time.

In fact, I tell women in my programs, I don’t want you to get it all right now. I just want you to get through the first workout the first time. Then you can improve the next time when you’re more familiar with it.

Make your goal to want to do it again next time. If you make it so hard so you can get results that you’re miserable, you don’t enjoy it, it’s not immediately gratifying, you reduce the chance you’re going to adopt this as something that is an automatic thing you do. You make the odds that this will be simply something that is a part of your identify very slim. (and that’s not the part of you that you probably wanted slim)

Quick Look: Tips to Make Exercise Habits Stick

Look at your relationship with the word “Habits.”

Is that word positive or negative? If it’s not much fun, ditch it! Most of the time in your history there’s talk of habits about smoking, drinking, exercise and it’s like a test or assessment. None of us love a test. Not really. You may have been a 4.2 student but still you probably didn’t love taking tests.

So never mind habits. Let’s ditch habits.

What?

Really. Let’s make whatever you want to describe the person you are, automatic.

You automate everything in your house now right? You click a button, use an app and order groceries, or change the channel, record a show, turn off the lights, lock the doors.

In business you do the same. You pay your bills, send emails, respond to customers, and answer with a voice mail. I type in TY and automatically the text to someone goes out “Thank you! You Still Got It, Girl!

Sorry, not sorry if you’ve gotten that and thought I went to the labor-intensive trouble to type all that in. The sentiment was the same!

You do it because those things are important and you need to do them but since you do them repeatedly it’s better to automate than waste time deciding.

Decision Fatigue is Real

In fact reducing decision fatigue is a large part of why you may love a diet, or an exercise plan. And OKAY let’s agree “love a diet” is an oxymoron – you get what I mean. We’re tempted to take the just-tell-me-what-I-need-to-do-and-I’ll-do-it-route.

Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it. My students and clients love smoothies. So do I and so do our bodies. There’s no “what’s for breakfast, what do I want, what sounds good, what do I have time for?” It’s just 2 minutes to blend and clean up and enjoy.

That’s one automated habit. Know who tends to be more weight and body composition optimized? Those who do high protein shakes for their first meal.

If you’re intermittent fasting by skipping a traditional breakfast time and eating within a shorter window, a high protein smoothie is an ideal way to break the fast because it is easier to digest.

Studies show on a lower calorie, or lower “fuel” diet – fewer carbs or fewer fats – a high protein shake as a meal once and twice a day leads to greater success.

Greater success than one shake, and greater success than three shakes.

The problem with a heavily marketed “two shakes a day and a reasonable meal” packaged meal shake is the other ingredients in it that you did not want. It was also void of vegetables, fiber, and this is not what you want. You want to put as many micronutrient-rich foods in your system as you can when it is time to eat.

Protein has a satiety factor that together with fiber kills cravings and keeps you full for hours.

Protein is harder to burn for fuel than carbohydrates so your body may be more likely to burn stored fat.

Mistakes women who want to lose weight make:

What is it about dairy if you’re not lactose intolerant?

It causes inflammation. If you’re not losing weight, you’re fluffy, puffy, bloated that’s a sign of inflammation. Your body won’t optimize for energy or weight with inflammation. You don’t lose weight and get healthy. You get healthy and then lose weight (or gain lean muscle for those of you who don’t need weight loss). 

Starts and Stops Make Exercise Habits Stick

This post threw in the kitchen sink. Here’s why. YOU are integrated. If you don’t feel good, you don’t have a positive relationship with the words you use and the way you talk to yourself, it’s hard for anyone to make exercise habits stick. If you failed in the past – the problem is how you look at that, NOT that you stopped! You collected data.

Your best next step is to decide what you need most. Look at these options and then just concentrate on one for this week:

You Already Know How to Make Habits Stick

Think of all the things you have already done in your life and made stick. Did you go to college? Then you studied, went to class, stuck it out through some hard classes.

Did you have kids? Then you did all those nights of feedings, and sick kids, and teaching all the things. Do you have a job? Then you do things every day that require follow through and someone counts on you.

You stick to things in so many areas of your life. Why would exercise be any different? You’ve got this!

READY for more help right away? Click here for my 28 Day Kickstart. I do these live courses 4 times a year so while it’s open for enrollment you can jump right in and get live coaching with me. (If you’re seeing this at a time we’re not open, it’s OKAY! You can get on the list to be first notified when the doors open again!)

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