The Ultimate Flipping 50 Guide to Lunges and Squats After 50

In this episode of Flipping 50 TV I’m sharing tips and technique strategies to help you look at your lunges and squats to find out whether you should ditch them or it’s possible to fix your lunges and squats.

Before I dive in, know that age is not the limiter. You may have pain doing them that is from prior injury, improper technique, having never been cued in a way that helped you get them right. While it’s true that you may have had decades of some activity that caused degeneration, don’t let it seep into your mind that because you’re X years old you will begin behaving a certain way… or you will.  

There are centenarians proving that doing things right for decades changes the way we age. There’s no better time to start than today.

Inevitably, if a conversation about lower body exercises is happening lunges and squats come up. They’re favorites for boosting metabolism and targeting major muscles we need to live well. Daily activities of life actually have us doing squats (sitting, standing, into and out of a car) and lunges both (walking upstairs or up an incline). It can make life more fun and far less fatiguing if you can find a way to strengthen those moves that you do in daily life.

By far, these are the two most commonly avoided exercises by adults over 50. In some cases, it may make perfect sense that you find adequate substitutes and you take care of your knees by strengthening your lower body in another way. But, you might be surprised what the right cues at the right time will do for you.

3 Ways to Fix Your Lunges

  1. Step back into rear lunges instead of doing forward stepping lunges.

Benefit: reduce knee stress

  1. Stationary lunges

Benefit: reduce knee stress and reduce the demand for balance

  1. Side lunges

Benefit: reduce stress to your feet, big toe, plantar fasciitis

5 Ways to Fix Your Squats

  1. Keep weight on your heels
  2. Shift hips to behind the center of gravity as you prepare to lower. It should feel like you’re sitting back into a chair, and your toes are against a wall that will prevent knees from going forward beyond the toes. (though: this is not a bad thing as much as you may have been taught! it’s a good fix if you’re having trouble)
  3. Reduce the depth of your squats if you need to (to stay in your pain-free range of motion)
  4. Keep your knees aligned with your toes. Imagine pressing outward with them to avoid them falling inward.
  5. Press your heels into the floor to rise up

Want More Than an Episode of Support?

STRONGER strength training programs are 12 weeks for habits that stick!

When squats just aren’t working

If it’s your lower back that bothers you when you do squats: first, if you’re using weight, use much less or nothing for now.

Ideally, stop doing squats while you focus on the problem: tight hips. Until you can perform a good hip hinge and you’ve got mobility in the hip flexors and hamstrings, and piriformis, take a rest from your squats. You may find once you improve hip mobility you’re able to do squats.

lunges and squats after 50 When lunges and squats still hurt your knees

If you know you’ve got no cartilage in your knees (you’ve been told by a physician) then squats and lunges aren’t your best friends. Find other less stressful ways of doing lower body exercise. If joint replacement is on your horizon, be cautious while you are waiting for it. The body finds a way and compensating so you avoid pain on one joint can cause structural changes elsewhere that increase risk of injury.

Key Flip of the Day:

It’s not just what exercise you do it’s how you do it and often what has to happen first so you can do it successfully that matters. 

That’s All Folks!

This is the last episode of Season III. I’d love to hear from you if you’ve been watching. Share your favorite episodes with me. I’d so appreciate you sharing with a friend so you can surround yourself with a community who are on the same Flipping 50 journey!

Thank you for watching! I’ll see you on the flip side!

If you have a question to share for consideration in a future episode go to



 Reduce inflammation naturally with bone broth!

Rich in collagen that benefits connective tissue (and skin, hair, and nails) you’ll also just simple LOVE the taste! Exclusive Flipping 50 link to try it! 

lunges and squats after 50

A prior injury, or current one you’re nursing, can make you extremely cautious about starting exercise or resuming activity. It’s an earned caution and you want to honor it while gradually increasing your activity level. This Flipping 50 TV episode takes a look at how to start exercise without getting hurt even if you’ve got a special condition.

Start Exercise Without Getting Hurt

Today’s question comes from Tina who writes she is“…having several problems from arthritis, bursitis, and sciatica.  I am weary of what approach to take. When I’ve tried to work out in the past even yoga I ended up hurting myself and having to do physical therapy for weeks to recover.

The conditions that Tina asks about are a combination of acute and chronic conditions. They require rest from activity that worsens them and active participation in stretches and exercises that can improve movement mechanics to you can avoid flares and heal. Arthritis is a chronic condition but the right movement is the way to prevent it from worsening. Bursitis and sciatica are conditions that need time to heal before resuming regular activity (or beginning it if you’ve not been exercising).

Tina asked about starting with “Juicing the Joints” from The Whole Flip dvd series, working on mobility and strength surrounding joints and she was spot on with that solution to her own question.

Juicing the joints is a set of exercises intended to strengthen muscles surrounding commonly injured joints in older adults. They are good for starting or restarting an exercise program if you’re afraid of getting hurt and good “check ups” for those of us already active.

While you’re healing a chronic condition with the right movement there’s more you can do if you’re afraid of getting hurt. A common topic here at Flipping 50 is reducing inflammation with your diet.

Most of us have some inflammation – from not always eating optimally or from an injury causing pain – but we have room for the inflammation so it isn’t limiting. If you have a chronic condition, however, you have less wiggle room for that additional space inflammation takes up.

If you have room in your diet for improvement, it’s an easy way to begin feeling better fast. Don’t worry! It’s not nearly as limiting as you might thing! Here at Flipping 50, if we ask you to remove something we give you a “flip” so you have a substitute that tastes equally good but is way better for you!

Stress Less

In addition to inflammation we need to talk stress. Tina’s self report of stress is a 7/10. Changes you can make in the kitchen along with the right exercise are going to help reduce that stress. When you know you’re on a path to feeling better and have a plan – your stress level can change in minutes.

Minute Made

Breakfast for Tina was coffee, coffee, and coffee. Lunch was a bagel. For dinner she did fairly well with protein and veggies.

But she snacks on pie and fruit, both sugar. Even natural sugar can increase inflammation so I’d love to see Tina fit in more vegetables with soups and creative ways to make them. I’m in the middle of making a simple broccoli soup. I show how fast it is to make a broccoli soup packed with micronutrients.

[In episode 9,  I shared a list to see how you can improve your inflammation. You can grab that list and download it now.]

Dairy, sugar, gluten, wheat, and eggs all contribute to inflammation. For those with an autoimmune disease, nightshade vegetables are worth removing to see if you feel better. Those include tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.

Coffee can protect you against inflammation to a point, but if you’re already inflamed or hormonally imbalanced, or both it elevates cortisol and insulin and this increases inflammation. So a cup, you can get away with. Three cups is like asking for pain – or belly fat.

Elevated cortisol is not going to help your inflammation. Sweetening with sugar or artificial sugar, or adding dairy to that coffee increases inflammation.

Flip one of those cups out for bone broth…or better yet a smoothie… and then tuck a bone broth in your purse for lunch or a snack. Pack your smoothie full of greens, berries, cinnamon, and matcha. (Get my favorite recipes right here). Antioxidant-rich foods plus protein will give you longer lasting stamina and energy than coffee does.

Add a piece of salmon, half a sweet potato, or some berries to a bowl of this soup for perfect lunch. Here’s the recipe for the soup-er simple (couldn’t resist) recipe I make all year!  The recipe is from Flipping 50’s 28-Day Kickstart Recipes Book.

Creamy No-Cream Broccoli Soup



Melt avocado oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onion, carrots, and celery about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.

Add the broccoli and water and bring the soup to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the goat cheese and 1 tsp sea salt.

Remove from heat. Use an immersion blender to blend soup in the pot or transfer in batches to a large blender. Season with sea salt and pepper.  

Broccoli is rich in sulforaphane, which helps detoxify, and can help fight osteoarthritis that commonly occurs with age.

When it comes to dinner,be sure your meat is grass-fed not conventional grain-fed.

Then, make double and carry your leftovers to work the next day. Cook once and eat at least twice! Consider adding some resistant starches to dinner. They’ll help you sleep and sleep can be a problemif you’ve got inflammation.

Supplements that help reduce inflammation:

Foods that naturally help reduce inflammation:

Once you’re reducing inflammation from the inside out you can more comfortably focus on exercise.

how to start exercise without getting hurtMuscles in Minutes

Tina is using “Juicing the Joints” from The Whole Flip DVD series to get started getting stronger and more mobile without causing additional inflammation. Focus on mobility, then stability to start exercise without getting hurt.

Next, begin walking – one of the best exercises you can do. Start with what feels easy – 10 minutes a day, for instance – and add 2 minutes to that a week until you’re walking 20 minutes. The key to start exercise without getting hurt is to do less than you think you can. Finish while you still feel good. Don’t push your limits too far but do explore.

Next, walk 20 minutes twice a week and on a third day of the week increase your walk by 2 minutes a week until your walking 30 minutes one day of the week.

Walking is one of the most balanced exercises you can do and if you can, add water walking. The added resistance of water with less stress on joints will also help you increase strength and stamina without triggering joint issues. It may be a good way for you to start exercise without getting hurt if you have access to a pool.

Warning: there is no one-size fits al. So monitor yourself. If anything hurts leave it out.

FLIP: WAIT one hour after waking before exercise, including core exercise and you will reduce your risk of injury to the disks in your spine. That simple act of patience will help you start exercise without getting hurt.

Inevitably, a women wants to know how to start exercise without getting hurt that targets those areas that are most problematic. How to safely do core is question for all of us! Here’s easy series that fuses core, stretches and strengthens the body very gently and provides a way for you to begin moving right away.

*Keep in mind not all exercise is appropriate for every body. Check with your physician before beginning any exercise program.

Finally, it’s natural to be afraid of getting hurt if you’ve had a history of injury. Yet, your body was meant to moving. The positive effects of exercise for your muscles, bones, and brain as well as your mood far outweigh the negatives of staying inactive. Start. Progress slowly. Get someone to work with you until you learn to pace yourself. You can start exercise without getting hurt if you begin at the right place and progress slowly. Pain begins in your brain: here’s more about pain. 

The Key Flip of the Day:

Reduce inflammation with nutrition – which can help improve how you feel almost immediately and reduce inflammation from exercise by building up strength gradually.

Don’t miss the next – and final –  episode of Flipping 50 TV Season III next week! (and the juicy special program offer just for our subscribers).

If YOU have an autoimmune issue, dairy (including whey) is not the wisest choice. Go with Plant Power or Paleo Power proteins void of common allergens to reduce inflammation. Hint: you’re not seeing progress? Your protein level could be too low and your fat and carbohydrate levels are too high. Let protein and veggies take center stage.

Clean protein is the key. Shop for made-for-you clean protein that makes it easy to get it in especially at breakfast.

Need more support? STRONGER I and STRONGER II programs are 12 weeks. If you are apparently healthy, just want to take care of your joints and get a quality workout in (in about 30 minutes twice a week) OR you have more time and want to focus on cellulite reduction, check out these two programs made for women in perimenopause and beyond based on science, proven here at Flipping 50. See testimonials. 

Sit ups and Crunches Don’t Work

Oh, I know this may get some highly emotional reactions if you think they’re working for you. What you don’t know is that they’re doing damage you may not feel… yet. This episode is all about the science of core exercise for effective ab work, back pain prevention, and weight control. The truth is crunches and sit ups don’t work … favorably compared to dozens of other options that do have benefits without risk.

Today’s question comes from Karla who writes,

“I just turned 50 this month, In 2013 I fractured my L4 and L5. Since then I’ve had trouble finding exercise to help with my abs because I can’t do sit ups and crunches, what do you recommend? I work in an office at a desk 8 hours a day. “

She added, I’m am afraid to try anything. And I’m continuing to gain weight.”

Karla’s question hits one of my favorite topics. I want to address core and limiting beliefs about what works and what doesn’t. 

You see, I was in a horse-backriding accident in early June the summer before I was to begin grad school. In grad school my assistantship would have me teaching exercise clinic classes four days a week. I was planning to supplement that with some additional fitness instruction for friends opening a business. Suddenly, I was using a handicap sticker and barely shuffling to my summer classes. During those months of rehab I studied everything core and back care, and I have ever since. It was a learning experience I wouldn’t have chosen to have and I was very lucky then and in these last three decades – to have the empathy, wisdom, and understanding of injury and how to help so many avoid it.

crunches and sit-upsKarla may not feel lucky but inability to do crunches and sit ups is a blessing. All too often someone mistakenly things these are the holy grail of core exercise.

If fact, performing these two exercises are closely correlated to lower back injury. They aren’t the only risky core exercises (hyperextensions at the gym, rotary torso machines, forward flexion machines are big ones too) but because they are the most commonly done, the most frequently done, they do the most damage.

Whether you feel it or not it’s happening. For those us who have a thicker spine – risk is greater but it exists for all of us. The more you do forward flexion the more you’re accelerating your lower back vulnerability. It’s like this: you only have so many forward flexions in you. You’re accelerating your injury risk every time you do more. 

A Flipping 50 podcast interview with Dr. Stuart McGill will help you understand the core and what happens. Dr. McGill is a world-renowned back and core exercise expert. LISTEN NOW!

Muscles in Minutes

In today’s episode I’m sharingsome exercises that allow you to keep your back safe AND still tone, tighten, and flatten that belly. Sit-ups and crunches don’t work for anyone optimally. They carry a greater amount of risk than they offer reward. These are excellent exercises for anyone.*

*It is important that you know not every exercise is appropriate for every person. If you have a special condition ideally you’ve worked with an allied health practitioner on what your limits and guidelines are before attempting mainstream exercise. Always check with your physician.

When you have these strong foundation-building exercises down, you can always progress. But going too quickly to more difficult exercises sets you up for injury. 

crunches and sit ups don't workKarla mentioned gaining weight. Core exercises in general – not just crunches and sit ups –  are not going to help you lose weight, nor lose inches necessarily.

But something you may not suspect will help you lose weight. Here it is…

Overnight Success

Karla mentioned that the quality of the 6 hours of sleep she’s getting is a 5 on a 0-10 scale. Both her quality and quantity of sleep have room for improvement. No one but you – by testing – knows exactly how much sleep you need – but quality of that sleep we want as high as possible.

If you’re waking up naturally – feeling rested – the right hormones are in place to help you be at your optimal weight and reduce cravings that sabotage you! 

Next on this episode I headed into the kitchen for Minute Made ways to find ways to help Karla eat MORE and eat to sleep better!

Minute Made Meals

Knowing sit-ups and crunches don’t work toward reducing weight we head to the kitchen to explore that adage: abs are made in the kitchen. If you have anything in common with Karla there are three things you want to focus on here.

  1. Reduce inflammation by choosing the right foods. When you have a chronic condition or injury, think of food as medicine to help reduce inflammation. Do that both by eliminating foods that cause it (sugar, processed foods)

and increasing foods that reduce it (healthy fats like those in avocados, olive oil, flax oil or ground meal, chia seeds)

  1. Start with breakfast.

Smoothies are an easy way to begin. Get protein, fiber, healthy fat in first thing and studies show you’re more likely to choose healthfully at the next meal. That’s how important breakfast is to the rest of your day. Keep the sugar down and increase the greens and fiber.  Multiple studies show that weight loss is easier due to reduced cravings with a breakfast of 30-35 grams of high quality protein.

Here’s my Flipping 50 smoothie formula:

FLIP: you want to drink it all at once. So make it small enough (by adding less liquid and extras) if need be that you get the full serving of protein at that breakfast meal.

**Make this in your own kitchen and avoid smoothies out at a stand that feature fruit only or processed mixes full of sugars and chemicals that make your body store fat! My favorite 10 second smoothie chef secret is NutriBullet. Get yours with a Flipping 50 link and save $20 and up to $15 in shipping.

  1. Plan lunch ahead: no more fast food.

As a part of your routine make more dinner than you need and put those leftovers into a convenient-to-reheat glass container for lunch the next day.

Protein, healthy fat, and add a bit of healthy carbs like leftover spiralized sweet potato or berries for dessert.

Use glass containers… you can reheat safely in. Minimize your exposure to toxins in plastics as another way to reduce inflammation. Carry them to work in an insulated bag.

Lifestyle Activity Matters

Karla mentions something that’s true for many of us. She works 8 hours or more a day at a desk. Small things matter- little movement breaks. Let everyone believe you have a small bladder – even if you don’t – just so you can get up a few times in the morning and afternoon.

Mowing and working around the house are core exercise and movement that count too. Focus on what you’re doing. You’re potentially a more active person than you know.  How you think about what you’re doing matters. Studies show that if you think everything you do contributes to you being an active person the health benchmarks improve (weight, fat, blood pressure) where as women who do the same activity who tell themselves they are inactive and think, “this job is going to kill me” don’t have the same results. Your body is listening to what you’re thinking.

For Karla, it would be easy to think that she’s vulnerable or weak because of a past injury. What if instead she looked at how she’s gotten through the acute problem, recovered, and now is more aware of proper exercise so she could think of herself as stronger and more informed now to be better than ever? It changes everything when you reframe your thoughts.

The Key Flip of the Day:

It ALL counts… what you put in your mouth and the activity you CAN do all matter, and the way you think about it can have a big impact on the effectiveness of small habits too.

crunches and sit-ups
**Affiliate disclaimer: if you save using a Flipping 50 link I share I receive a small commission for the sale. I only share products I use and love and NutriBullet is definitely on the list of tools I use to make healthy living easier!

Do Spot Toning Exercises Work on that Pesky Back Fat?

Does the idea of spot toning exercises for back fat appeal to you? You’re not alone! It’s a popular question and a picky irritant for many of our Flipping 50 community! There are hormones involved for sure. We’re going to address this question of spot toning exercises for back fat (often due to testosterone levels) in this episode of Flipping 50 TV. 

Today’s question comes from Michelle who’s 49 and she writes her biggest challenge is,

“Back fat and love handles and overall fat around my middle.”

Right away, you have to know we’ve been trying to do spot toning exercises for decades unsuccessfully. The answer isn’t in micro-movements for one small area. You can’t get the look you want without improving the root cause fat is there. That has to do with choosing hormone-balancing exercise (not too much and not too little), and overall all major muscle group focus to boost your metabolism.

Next, there’s no ignoring your daily habits (hello, sleep! and stress reduction) and the way you support exercise with nutrition. There are things you can do for natural hormone balance all day every day, and things you could be doing that unknowingly contribute to hormone imbalance. Target testosterone that’s responsible for this particular back fat issue by reducing your overall stress levels (add joy!), reducing alcohol and sugar, and doing not more exercise (that kills testosterone) but the right kind and intensity.

Minute Made Meals

Your “first two” hours of the day are so important to the rest of your day and to your metabolism. Protein at breakfast – you’re shooting for 30 grams of protein – studies show up to 35 in fact, can help your choices later in the day. So if you’re overwhelmed focus on getting your first two hours right and so much else falls into place.

A smoothie is the fastest flip at breakfast. Overnight oats is another. If you’re doing eggs make them with veggies – pair them with half a smoothie for more greens and to reach that protein goal deliciously.

Here’s a list of other ways to increase protein at breakfast if you’re not yet a smoothie girl.

Muscles in Minutes

Plan your weekly movement. If you’re randomly doing “more” exercise to get rid of fat you dislike, flip your thinking. Focus on a plan of action so you’re not doing too much and focus on creating what you do want. It’s a flip your mind has to make before your body will change.

Michelle has recently been using The Whole Flip but isn’t sure how or where to start. So I help her… and you… plan the week!

Using The Whole Flip (and the bonus planning guide that comes with sample workout plans) Michelle’s schedule looks something like this:

Michelle said she used to clean houses – a great kind of Non-Exercise-Activity-Time NEAT movement that may have meant she didn’t require a lot of additional exercise. Once you stop activities- even work that you may think is more sedentary – it still takes energy… it can easily add up to extra weight.

Boxing is a great workout for so many reasons. Not only is it easy on joints it engages some of the muscles in the shoulder and back as well as the chest  – so it’s great for the cardio segment of workouts – and targets core, arms and that under bra fat. The reason fat is there now and wasn’t is due to changes in hormones, like testosterone when it comes to back fat at the bra or lower back upper hip area.

I’m going to just give you a little sample of The Whole Flip here during a warm up and demonstrate moves that increase circulation to those tough spots.

spot toning exercisesThen we’re going to go right into a special back fat attack workout. Spot toning exercises are not a girl’s best friend unless they’re preceded by metabolism boosting exercise. Keep this in mind: you can’t spot reduce or spot fat loss. But we can spot tone. If you exercise to tone the muscle there is some increased circulation to the area and subcutaneous fat- lying on the top – will be reduced when you add shape to the muscle. Focus first on exercise that boosts your metabolism by targeting major muscles then target those tough spots and fat it will become less visible.

Here are a few of my favorite exercises in a routine for a strong and sexy back.

Warm up:

Weight Sequence:

Repeat it – 2-3 times (total)

Twice a week you want a full body workout including legs [try the Knee-Friendly Flip if your joints don’t allow squats or lunges] plus this series with an emphasis on your back. The weight day* on Wednesday can be more functional and could again include back-specific exercise. (Functional weight training requires less recovery and is a perfect mid-week workout if you need and want to do more. More, however, is not better. Effective exercise in less volume is often the best answer).

The Key Flip of the Day:

Elevate overall metabolism instead of only using spot toning exercises for the best Flipping 50 transformation.

spot toning exercises

Th WHOLE FLIP 4-part DVD set

Have you caught all the episodes of Flipping 50 TV? Here’s your FLIPPING 50 TV GUIDE to find the topics you care about most fast! (seasons I and II included, season III is in progress and will be added soon!)

This post is all about metabolism boosting after significant weight loss. If you’re trying to lose weight, these tips could help you too. Fifty-five year-old Geri lost 100 pounds recently.

Today’s question comes from 55-year old Geri who lost 100 pounds and she’s struggling with weight creeping back on.“I am wondering if there is a drastic change in my already-slow metabolism and how I can try to combat it.”

Congrats to Geri for deciding she did not want to be fat going into midlife (her words!) She changed her diet and has had amazing results. Lately though she’s feeling very fatigued and experiencing lightheadedness. 

Before Metabolism Boosting 

Get your blood pressure checked if you experience lightheadedness for unknown reasons. Check with your physician about your numbers. Monitor it before and after exercise for a week. Then in this episode we dive into the importance of managing exercise, food, and stress for Geri.

metabolism boosting

If you’re not able to reduce your level of stress by journaling, getting some alone time, being in nature, hanging out with a pet… then try a week without exercise and with extreme self care. Take walks in nature, long baths, a massage, and go screen-free. This is not the LESS exercise I write about in You Still Got It, Girl, but it is a temporary much less exercise to give you a reset and restore period you may need before exercise will again support your goals.

High stress levels combined with high intensity exercise can result in a lot of fatigue. That’s a signal to stop and slow down. Deal with the source of stress. Sure, sometimes we can negate the effects of stress with our exercise but when your bucket is full, it’s full, and you’ve got to find a temporary new solution.

Geri is sleeping well right now and that’s a good sign. Still, pushing through to try and target a slow metabolism with exercise while you’re high in stress with fatigue trying to get your attention will most likely backfire.

Reset for a week. Identify the source of your stress and work on how to balance it with joy, while reducing the source, or reframing it. 

Muscles in Minutes

I suggest twice a week High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) cardio, twice a week weights, and one to two longer walks together with all-day activity for optimal metabolism boosting. Specific weight training details are below.


Make sure you’re reaching fatigue to influence metabolism. How? You can go heavy or go light and change (slow or add power) thetempo to get there. Rest three-to-five minutes between stimulating the same muscles again. An easy way to do this and still not spend all day in the gym is to sequence thoughtfully. Metabolism boosting weight training has to have these distinct qualities. Match your exercise to your goals, body type, status, and yes age, to overcome any obstacles one or more of them present.

One example:

If each of those exercises takes one minute, you’ve allowed adequate rest to each muscle group before stimulating again.

Minute Made Meals

Introduce some carbohydrates back into your diet. If your diet is almost void of carbs completely, and it’s not working, adding some back in may help reduce fatigue and enhance serotonin production. Metabolism boosting happens when you’re eating more (of the right foods) so you’re messaging your body it can burn more. Carbs essentially make us feel good. The right ones at the right time can provide you with a little more energy.

Especially if you’ve tried to pick up the exercise to offset the lack of results you’re getting, you may need them. You’re body is now more fit, more athletic and operating without adequate nutrients may be stressing your body and causing it to slow.

Suggestions to consider:

Are you taking a “smart” multivitamin?  Cravings for sugar are often a sign of micronutrient deficiency.

The right type of carbohydrate – not the type that spike blood sugar but the type that has plenty of fiber and lifts your energy gently and keeps it elevated. Your exercise helps with blood sugar control – but so does the right food at the right time.

Low blood sugar and low blood pressure can both cause lightheadedness. Together they’re a bad combination. As a reminder, check your blood pressure regularly and before and after exercise. Be aware of your blood sugar levels. A combination of low blood sugar and low blood pressure can be dangerous.

The Key Flip of the Day:

A woman over 50 can lose 100 pounds, and she can lose 5 or 10, and she can keep it off as long as she keeps listening to her body and responding appropriately.

metabolism boosting after 50 Thanks for watching! Don’t miss the juicy details and specials when each new episode is released that I only share with subscribers! 

Encourage younger looking skin with fitness

This Flipping 50 TV episode shares a unique question from a fitness professional seeking younger looking skin. If you too are exercising, eating right, and yet your hormones might be deeming your current routine ineffective this is your episode!

Today’s question comes from Jeanine who writes, My skin is getting crepey. I am in the [fitness] business and have recently done a nutrition certification program. I would like to help my clients as well as myself.”

Jeanine adds that she’s also got cellulite on her thighs.

First, I love that a fitness pro asked this question. We all need help sometimes so let’s take a look at all the factors that influence healthy skin and can help turn back the clock on signs of aging.

Lose skin can happen to anyone at any weight. It doesn’t always matter if you’ve lost significant weight, or like Jeanine, you’re 57 and at a healthy weight and healthy body composition doing everything you can. There are some things you can do to help improve your skin.

My friend and America’s holistic plastic surgeon Dr. Tony Youn is our expert, and I’m going to share some of his advice for younger looking skin here as well as link to my favorite products.

Let’s talk about how to work on skin both from the inside out and the outside in.

Muscles in Minutes

Circulation and sweat from physical activity helps skin stay younger looking.

Jeanine is getting a LOT of activity – she doesn’t need any more activity.

She runs twice a week on beach and does High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) five times a week (which may be a little high increasing the breakdown without providing enough time for repair and increased lean tissue). She weight trains three times a week.

Jeanine wisely mixes it up with low repetitions of heavy weight and higher repetitions of light weights.

Be sure not to over do it with exercise so that you can balance lean muscle increase or maintenance with fat burning goals. Jeanine has an active job demonstrating 2-4 hours a day for her clients. Taking that into account, I would reduce the frequency of HIIT by taking a day of rest, and swap out HIIT for beach walking and or a recovery yoga session. Everything seems high intensity. It’s important to remember that ALL of a good thing is not as good.

Take a month and try alternate weeks of what you’re doing now with a week with 2 days rest, and greater emphasis on weights with less cardio.

If you’re struggling with lack of skin tone and lose skin you may need to take a day off, I’m going to do a yoga series with you in Muscles in Minutes.

Cutting back on exercise can be not only counter-intuitive but downright hard! If you love exercise and like that “fix” try substituting something that won’t be so hard on muscle breakdown and will allow you to move while you repair.

Yoga sequence 

Minute Made Meals

Jeanine eats so well! She’s getting veggies in at each of her three meals yet lacks protein.  A range of 20-30 grams per meal breakfast lunch and dinner is recommended to spare muscle loss and gets increasingly important after 50. Meeting your protein needs can help maintain younger looking skin.

You want both protein high in essential amino acids for muscle and high in collagen for skin and joints. Breakdown of muscle and collagen can be partially responsible for losing muscle and a decline in your skin tone.

What to do if your breakfast lacks protein

The recommendation is 20-30 grams of protein and many experts agree 30 grams as we age is more optimal.  A whole egg contains 6 grams of protein. So it’s important to find options that will help you reach your protein needs. Leftovers, if you’d rather have lunch or dinner for breakfast are an option. Have a smoothie or add part of one to a serving of oatmeal if you prefer, because even if you bumped your egg intake up or added beans and quinoa to it, you don’t want to do eggs every day since they’re a likely food sensitivity.

younger looking skin from higher protein mealsOvernight Apple Pie Oatmeal 

Cover and place in refrigerator overnight. Heat in the morning. Top with a dash of cinnamon.

Want more info on skin? In Flipping 50 TV episode 18 I consulted with Dr. Tony Youn for his younger looking skin tips!

younger looking skin from exerciseOther younger looking skin tips:

Here’s a special link for 16% off for the bone broth I love that’s totally different. Think you’ve tried them all? I did too. It’s a delicious way to not just boost skin collagen but to snack if you need it while you’re trying to boost your hormone balance. It’s one of the first things I recommend during a Flipping 50 program for exercise recovery and hydration or getting through that afternoon need for something.

Stress Less

Toxins in skin care products – or products just missing collagen-production stimulating ingredients could be keeping you from younger looking skin. Use skin care products that are just as clean as your protein should be! Dry brushing regularly before a shower can also help slough off skin and rejuvenate.

Jeanine indicated her stress level is a “9” so working on that can help. Stress causes accelerated aging inside and out- including your skin – whether its around the eyes and mouth or elsewhere.

Most women use 14 or more products by 9am. Double check all of the personal products you’re using: make-up, lotion, shampoo, and soap to make sure you’re not putting toxins on your skin daily that are accelerating aging.

The Key Flip of the Day:

Even experts can’t have all the answers and we too are vulnerable to health and hormone changes. Knowing when to ask for help is a strength.

Helpful resources: 

Do you eat enough protein?  (special link in this podcast for limited time offer!)

Toning After Weight Loss (or If you don’t have weight to lose!)

28 Day Kickstart

younger looking skinTry another one of my secrets to younger looking skin. Some of the things I do to boost circulation put me in the sun, wind, heat or cold, or chlorine. Just like my body needs recovery, I like to give my skin the right treatment! Annmarie Skin Care products

Right now (ends July 13) you can get a 7-day supply of both their bestselling Aloe Herb Cleanser and Anti-Aging Serum for only $7 (with free U.S. shipping, too!). The normal price of these two products is $35, but for 500 of our readers only, you can get this awesome $7 deal. Click here for details.

Both the special Flipping 50 offers are available for a limited time. I only share products I love, use regularly and share with my family, and just want to be up front that if you purchase using a link to something I share I will likely earn a small commission from it.

Try this App for How to know if your products are “clean”

This Flipping 50 TV episode is all about how to optimize strength training exercise both for time and results. If you have a limiter like a back issue or a knee joint problem to consider, in addition to hormones, this episode is for you!

Today’s question comes from Debby who is 61. She wrote, “I would like help creating superset exercises for my daily exercise. I really want muscle definition, I’ve heard after 60, that can’t be done. I don’t accept that.”

To that I say, Amen!  Stop listening to voices that suggest you’re limited by your age!

Let’s talk about the facts, as opposed to the old age and expectation fallacies.

Facts about Muscle Definition

[If you’re doing all of the above consistently and not seeing results, your hormones may still be partially to blame. Check with a Flipping 50 specialist about testing your hormone levels.]

Let’s workout! I’ve created superset exercises for Debby (and you!) This is one of my favorite ways to strength train for several reasons:

  1. It’s efficient: it takes less time and you’re never going to stand around and wait
  2. It’s effective (studies suggest it burns 33% more energy than other weight training protocols: that said, it’s not the only way to get results, you’ve got to mix it up)
  3. You can keep track of your exercises easier (randomly moving exercise to exercise you forget where you are and you’re more likely to leave something out!)

Muscles in Minutes

Debby’s doing strength training 4-5 days a week. If you’re doing that you’re either not recovering between workouts or you’re doing a split routine- that is arms one day, legs the next.

FLIP: for metabolism – women over 50 want to do full body workouts with an emphasis on reaching fatigue in each major muscle group. That is not the same as getting tired during exercise. In fact, you should feel good after exercise. Exhaustion is a sign what you’re doing is not a good match.

A split routine is not as helpful in boosting your metabolism unless you have hours to spend in the gym daily. You want to do two (or three if you can easily fit three in a week) high quality strength trainings.

Eat More, Exercise Less (as long as it’s with purpose)

Use the following as your guide to the right number of repetitions for you:

Adjusting Superset Exercises to Fit Your Needs

To workout safely, sanely, and wisely when you have a finicky back and knee joint concerns, you want to make some exercise modifications. That doesn’t mean you can’t get amazing results.

I’m flipping squats and lunges out for bridging, hamstring curls, and wall sits.

My newest exercise series 5-day knee-friendly series will help you at home too. [Get access to the first video right away to make sure it’s a good fit for you!]

superset exercises

Start with a slightly higher number of reps (which means lighter weight) but vary the routine so you’re using power (speed on the lift portion) one week, going slow the next, and using heavier weights and fewer reps another. One of the biggest mistakes we make is settling into the same routine and doing it over and over again. The human body has an amazing potential to adapt so we’ve got to continue changing it up.

There are a lot of ways to superset. I’d suggest doing one routine for a week and then another the following week. It’s all about change – planned change – so that you can change. In the video and below I demonstrate superset exercises that work opposing muscle groups.

Superset Exercises for the Upper Body:

Super Set A

Super Set B

Options for these Superset Exercises:

You have dozens of ways to challenge your body now and progress.

If you too have back issues that can crop up unexpectedly, sit to perform your bent over rows.

Regardless of which upper body sequence you choose, next include [on the same day] a lower body exercise.

Lower Body Super Set:

The key is to remember is that at the end of every set you should reach fatigue.

What’s on the end of your fork or spoon matters, too. Be sure your eating habits compliment your exercise training. After 50 that’s more important than ever so you may maintain, and gain, lean muscle tissue that is behind definition and, ultimately, metabolism.

Minute Made Meals

It’s important to dial in your nutrition. Never fear, it can be delicious and satisfying. Your days of deprivation are gone. More of my clients experienced a lack of progress or a plateau before they began working with me from eating too little, rather than too much.

Debby is doing so well eating protein at each meal. Now it’s time to get specific. Research shows protein levels at breakfast (at least 20-30 grams, and preferably 30) increase lean muscle maintenance. 

There’s another sneaky reason why you may not be seeing results even if your workouts are right on target. Sometimes inflammation caused by foods that don’t necessarily “bother” you can mask those pretty muscles. In Debby’s case that may be true.

A few flips for Debby:

superset exercisesThe Key Flip of the Day:

Reaching muscular fatigue in each major muscle group during full body workouts boosts metabolism which will enhance tone and definition.

Other episodes and resources you might like: 

Prevent Back Pain 

Muscle Loss Prevention

Lift More, Lose More

The Whole Flip 4-dvd series

The 28 Day Kickstart

Got frustrating belly weight that you can’t lose? In this episode of Flipping 50 TV I address why exercise alone isn’t enough. It IS a big part of the puzzle, but this is an integrated process! Your daily habits and thoughts all matter.

Today’s question comes from 58-year old Mary whose biggest struggle is belly fat. She writes, “I hate it and can’t get rid of it. I am on bio-identical hormones and just can’t get rid of the tire. [I] Don’t want to go through surgery. Please don’t tell me to start running. Can’t do it.”

Relax! I’m not going to tell Mary – or you – to start running… given your dislike that would contribute even more to the cortisol level that’s putting belly fat on. Let’s take a look at what’s going wrong and how to change it.

Cortisol + Insulin = Belly Fat

Belly fat isn’t just inconvenient and frustrating. It’s a bigger health risk, particularly if stress is a major contributor. That visceral fat in the belly puts you at greater risk for heart disease. While it’s muffin top it’s the time to deal with it!

Things that can elevate cortisol:

Insulin is released to offset blood sugar levels from eating. That’s supposed to happen but when there’s too much of it going on and you’re already in a perfect storm during midlife with all of your hormone changes amplifying mistakes you unintentionally make, then fat storage increases and fat burning comes to a halt.

First, you want to understand how to avoid too much blood sugar and insulin sabotage.

When you eat too much, or too much sugar, blood sugar levels will rise. Did you know the same is true when you eat too little? You can have elevated blood sugar if you’re a chronic dieter going low carb.

There are plenty of signs that you’ve got elevated cortisol. You’re short with people (or yourself) and moody. You’re indecisive, you can’t focus, and small things set you off. They really aren’t the “thing” but you’ve got too much else on your plate and nothing recharging your batteries. You don’t sleep much, and potentially don’t sleep well when you do go to bed. You operate more on coffee than food. You can go and go and rise to the occasion, but then you just drop. You’re probably known as a warrior, someone who gets it done at all costs. The problem is, the costs are yours.

You’re probably smart, hardworking, savvy in your career and someone that others look at wondering how you do it all.

That begins to take a toll at some point. Midlife, menopause, and beyond are usually that point.

Here’s what’s going on with Mary:

All of the intuitive things like eating less, exercising more, paying too little attention to sleep, being extremely busy that you might think could keep you thin forever, will be the exact habits that lead to burnout and a breakdown in your metabolism and hormone balance.

Let’s start with Minute Made Meals

Start by getting in three regular meals – full of whole food featuring protein, healthy fat, and limited but good carbs. Commit to eating regularly to reduce stress.

Make it easy even if your days are crazy.

=>Start with a smoothie. Most of the women in Flipping 50 programs say it’s a relief to not have to plan or think about breakfast. Just drop a bag of greens, berries, avocado, protein and chia seeds into a blender with water or almond milk. Blend and walk out the door. Travel a lot? You’d be surprised how easy it is to pop a Nutribulletinto your carry-onand know you’ve got breakfast covered. Uber to a grocery store before you get to your hotel. It may seem hard at first but after you’ve done it, it’s just a part of your travel day.

If you start your day with antioxidant-rich whole foods you’re choice the rest of the day will be so much easier.

Muscles in Minutes

Mary walks 4-5 miles every day. Walking is a great activity, no argument there. Yet this is a lot of the same activity and not ideal answer for stress.

After 75 minutes even low-level activity or 45-60 minutes of moderate-to-high intensity activity – can elevate cortisol. Surprise, right? More is not better.

Sometimes tracking your daily steps and walking can lead us to believe we’re getting exercise … and we’re moving…but a 4 miles walk in nature is not the same as cumulated steps while at work – as far as effect on stress levels. And cortisol (from stress) seems to be the greatest challenge for Mary.

It’s best for your body to distress with some shorter and higher intensity exercise. If walking is your ideal, two days a week find a hill and charge up for 1:00 and recover back down. Repeat that 5 times the first week, 6 the next and build up to doing 8 times. Then vary your intervals doing 30 seconds hard and 1:00 recovery one day and 2 minutes hard and 4 recovery the other.

Sprinkle a couple long walks into your week, and then introduce weight training. Your arm work is not going to help your metabolism and that belly fat, but a good overall full body exercise program will.

Belly fat does respond well to exercise… as long as it’s the right kind of exercise.

If you can’t walk outdoors either because it’s too hot, too cold I’ve got an answer to that!

Boxing moves

Weight training- 10 minutes twice a week to make it easy to commit!

Overnight Success

There’s slim chance of getting slim without a good night’s sleep. Sleep and routine go hand in hand. So high stress, no regular meals, bedtime and wake times that vary all add up to belly fat.

For Mary, I’d start by planning an evening routine to help control your tomorrows. Here’s a list of sleep-habits that can help reduce stress, therefore cortisol, therefore frustrating belly weight.

If you’re a woman over 50, you should love your bed. Sleep Number has been a game changer for me. I’ve got a dual temp layer too that means I’m always comfortable. If I’m hot… I turn the temp down… If I’m cold I can turn it up…. without affecting my partner.

Some medications can also negatively affect your frustrating belly weight. Check with your doctor. But with many of these changes you should feel better overall and reduce stress levels so you can shed the belly fat.

The Key Flip of the Day:  

Belly Fat is most often related to stress-driven cortisol- from dieting, over-exercise or incorrect exercise, irregular meals or sleep. All fixed with simple flips.

Thanks for watching! Leave a comment. I love to hear from you!

Do you ever wonder what the best fitness investments are ? Which ones are worth it and which you can save on? One of our Flipping 50 community members did and this episode addresses where to spend and where you can save on a variety of your health and fitness needs. 

Today’s question comes from Linda.

Her question is, “where do I spend the big money? What’s the most important not to compromise in and where is it less important?”

She wants the highest quality supplements but can’t afford her entire wish list of items.

Linda also asked about energy. She’s finding it hard to get up regardless of how she slept, or her exercise. Since she moved to altitude this has become a real problem.

I’m going to answer both Linda’s questions:

1.) what are the best fitness investments on a budget – for supplements, food prep, and home workouts

2.) what are some potential causes of her fatigue (and how does that relate to Linda’s best investments since fixing that is a priority)


Let’s start with fixing fatigue…

If you drag yourself out of bed: go to bed earlier – sleep need is greater at altitude so if you’re not waking up naturally that’s a sign your body is craving more sleep.

Are you getting all the micronutrients you need?  B vitamins, vitamin D, and Zinc to name a few are important if you’re experiencing fatigue. Start with this list and see if you’re covering all of your bases. You want to avoid deficiencies in these areas. If you’re not sure, you might consider micronutrient testing to find out.

Find small ways you can tweak your cooking and meals that can increase energy through hormone balance. There are some delicious recipes inside my friend Magdalena’s newest book. They’re both beautiful and delicious.

Best Fitness Investments: the Inside Job

It’s not uncommon to see younger women seek exercise without paying attention to the importance of nutrition, rest, and overall health. Thankfully we get older and wiser! You’ve got to have the best energy in the tank to start with in order for exercise to do what you want it to do. This has always been an integrated game. That’s amplified in midlife and beyond. If you’re in it for the long game, it starts inside.

My top recommendations:

A high quality protein supplement is a part of success for 99% of the women I work with, but it must be free of: toxins and sugars and protein sources that could interfere with the goals you have for taking it! Avoid soy, casein, eggs, and test dairy before you use whey to see how you do. If you do include whey, have it pre or post exercise but use other options at other times of day. Read more about protein options I offer that are clean and free of those hidden ingredients that sabotage you. What may feel like a savings, might end up being “cheap” and cost you results and energy. Is it time to upgrade what you put in your body?

High quality multivitamin– An intelligent multi is taken in more than one setting a day for improved absorption and based on the most common deficiencies today. I prefer a delayed release multi taken morning and night.

Buy high quality omega 3with D–It should be third party tested, and not rancid (you can test with a pin prick – do it outdoors).

Buy high quality oils-that aren’t rancid (many are). My favorite avocado oil comes from Ava Jane’s Kitchen.  Many of the olive oils available on the shelves are not the quality we think and since they’re not the ideal at high temps anyway, avocado oil is a staple in my kitchen.

Big FLIP: Invest in the things you do every day.

The things we do all the time matter most. From the vitamin you take, to the water you drink and bathe in, to the oil you cook and use in dressings, these daily things matter to your health and therefore your energy. Ironically, we often splurge instead on vacations, or activities we do on vacations. We have it backwards!

Daily best fitness investments include: protein, multivitamin, additional supplements like omega 3 with D, magnesium* and cooking oils. One more thing you do daily and for almost a third of your life is sleep. If you don’t love going to bed, sleep well, or wake refreshed it’s a big investment worth it. It could change your days.

(Magnesium was not mentioned above but it’s a common micronutrient deficiency and it’s key for Flipping 50 program participants when used appropriate to increase sleep and decrease constipation so you want to move your body more!)

best fitness investmentsSmall Best Fitness Investments: Big Returns

Build a gym at home on a budget

One of the biggest aha moments comes when you look around and realize you’ve got a closet of DVD’s, access to thousands of random YouTube videos, piles of Shape Magazines and you’re not in great shape.

It’s not the tools: it’s what you do with them.

The Best Fitness Investments: What Matters Most

Invest in learning what your body needs now: your exercise needs, and instruction that’s targeted at you’re right now. That investment includes your time, your energy, and assessing your hormone status (easily assessed from a signs and symptoms by a Flipping 50 specialist), and your physical goals and status. One of the best fitness investments you’ll make is in programming that treats you as unique.

3 coaching options to get you started:

  1. 5 Day Flip – 5 short videos 5 days in a row for a simple week’s worth of energy boosting exercising. Let me prove it to you, you do have time. It takes so little to feel so good.
  2. Knee-Friendly 5 Day Flip  – if your joints need a little TLC, this is it. No squats, lunges, high impact exercise… but the exercise still has high impact on your results! Smart, safe, sane exercise.
  3. The Rolls Royce of support is private coaching. You. Me. Your hormone-balancing exercise, exercise nutrition, lifestyle, custom made for you on your time, addressing all the details of your schedule and overcoming obstacles instead of putting a band-aid on them. Contact Debra directly to apply. Limited availability.

psst. coming soon for subscribers … virtual Flipping 50 retreat.

best fitness investmentsThe Key Flip of the Day:

Investing in yourself and your health will save you time, energy, and money in the long run!


Have You Wondered About a 30 Day Fitness Challenge?

In this episode of Flipping 50 TV I share the good, the bad, and the unfit truth about 30 day fitness challenges.

Marcia writes she’s had this question for a long time, “What is the efficacy of all those 30 day challenges, for example 30 days of planks, or 30 days of squats, or 30 days of push ups?

She adds, “I know we need 48-72 hours of rest and recovery before hitting the same muscle groups so how can a 30-day challenge be effective?”

Whether it’s body weight squats or push ups if you reach fatigue… which is required for positive change to happen, the muscles breakdown, and they need repair in order to increase fitness. 

“Exercise merely provides the opportunity for fitness.”

30-Day Fitness Challenges can be intelligent

Switch the focus on a habit that improves health for 30 days. It doesn’t have to include overtraining a muscle group or repeating a movement.

Every month in Flipping 50’s Café I add a new challenge. [This month it’s a bye-bye cellulite challenge]. Individuals in our Virtual Gym, with me as your Virtual Personal trainer may be going through their own journey for arthritis or joint pain reduction – weight loss – training for an event or bone density…

Our challenges allow the unique protocol so there are work-days, recovery days, and  balance body approach. It’s not an isolated focus on one muscle group.

Other 30 Day Challenges that are OK

When you are doing corrective exercises however – some daily focus can be good.  Side clams, hip bridges… and deep core muscle activation… such that you’re not reaching true fatigue – or temporary failure – but you’re waking up lazy muscles – that require consistent and frequent stimulation – then daily is good.

Liken it to getting better at reading or meditating. It takes regularly doing that activity to get better at doing it. To activate a lazy muscle more isn’t better, but consistency is a must.

Marcia is such a critical thinker! This was a great question. The answer can save you from injury, overuse, and wasting time and energy on something that won’t get you results.

I’m going to leave you with this favorite set of stretches I’ve done daily for a year and then pretty regularly thereafter. If you have hip or back or potentially knee issues, you’re going to love this one.

30 day challenges

Exercises that take you to fatigue or push your limits in the same muscle group daily for 30 days are not in your best interest.

But others… can be oh, so good… for throwing focus on areas that need a little “catch up.” It gamifies it. That’s smart strategy.

30 day challenges

The Key Flip of the Day: It’s how, not just what you do what you do that matters.

What’s Next?

Have you done a challenge? Would you like to do a 30 day fitness challenge that’s easy on knees? Check this out. 

30 day challenges


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