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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Maintaining mobility in the coming decades will depend on you staying active. Regularly putting your joints through full range of motion now is insurance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lab tests can inform a coach or personal trainer how to adjust your exercise program optimally and dial in your personal best program. How should you test? Which tests matter? What should you share? I’m addressing it here and now at the beginning of a New Year (and decade) for good reason. As a middle-aged woman, this matters so much!
From heart rate to movement assessments, personal training has tried to moved into more uniquely assessing an individual. Then the task was matching the results with a training program to optimize health or fitness. But what happens when there are hormone fluctuations and changes in gut health that change a woman’s status?
That’s where lab tests come in. Here are the ones I love and use personally, and share with my clients when we’ve done the foundation work and still want to see more results or find a missing puzzle piece.
Cortisol is particularly important. You want to know what’s happening to estrogen (all types), testosterone, progesterone, DHEA, and several others too. It’s really good to check thyroid – but certain thyroid tests matter more. You want to know your thyroid antibodies. When you test can be so very important. If you’ve worked with a health coach and you’ve made the appropriate changes but its not working then test.
If for instance you have made all the changes …
(You really don’t want to skip ahead to lab tests first if you haven’t made the changes you’re responsible first. The exception to the rule? You won’t. You refuse to make the lifestyle changes recommended to you. You won’t prioritize sleep, or reduce the coffee, or increase the veggies, or try an elimination and reintroduction diet, or lift weights and eliminate endurance exercise.
If that’s you, then a test may help. Seeing the test results can help you be more compliant. I get it. Some of us have to have a hard number, and pay for it, even when we have the physical evidence what we’re doing is not working).
… and you’re still not seeing results after consistently applying changes, then testing would be what I’d recommend for you. Always give thought to what you’re going to do with the results. You’ll be back to the need to take action. A pill or cream, or deciding to try alternative therapy, still don’t work if you don’t apply the very basic exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle (sleep, stress, rest) changes that are up to you.
You can see two of my favorite panels here. One is a quickie put together for active Flipping 50 community members and one is a more extensive look at you and what’s happening right now. https://yourlabwork.com/flipping-50/
And I also like the Dutch test periodically (this is the 3rd of my favorites) for looking at hormones. I’m going to open the kimono for real soon and share the review of my own labs with a friend and doctor. Together we’re putting the program together that is key to losing those 10-lbs of perfect storm. (Stay tuned to this in early 2020)
Side note: Disclosure – this is humorous that I’m spending so much time with clients looking at labs, coaching them on the changes they make after labs, and relying on labs when clients are stuck. Because literally going into grad school after having been an exercise physiology/exercise science undergrad I said, “I don’t want to be a lab rat.”
That in reference to all of my classmates who were doing muscle biopsies and standing beside the VO2 max testing cart for hours a day during their grad work. I went the other way and though I had to do my share of testing as a graduate assistant, I studied exercise psychology because I knew we weren’t getting the habit change to stick with enough people. So, it is definitely full circle that labs now have become the way to discover root cause- or root of motivation for change- when all else fails.
Test, don’t guess.
I offer myself up as exhibit A. After a year that began (Dec 23, 2018) with mold exposure for 6 months, followed by several major stressors that then included a sudden move and loss of business and 1/3 of my household items, along with other stressors both good and bad, and Ironman triathlon (Nov 24, 2019) training, my body was pushing back hard. I’d gained 9 lbs. So even with awareness of all I needed to do personally, I was still holding weight.
And no, bless you for thinking it but it’s not muscle.
(Psst.. during long endurance training it’s more typical to lose muscle than gain it – it’s not ideal for older adults to only endurance train! You’ve got to work the weights hard to offset those losses).
Even after a month of recovery (Dec 29, 2019), minimal and easy exercise, and lots of detox methods and green smoothies, there’s been minimal change in the weight. Those habits usually work in days for me to literally see and feel change.
So it’s time to test. Because though vanity plays a part- doesn’t it always? It’s about a mysterious 9 lbs that can’t be explained. No significant change in habits changed that would have contributed. If anything common sense would tell you weight loss would have been more likely.
I like to test omega 3, magnesium, Vitamin D, and B vitamins, and ferritin levels. They’re so related to inflammation (Omega 3) and energy (Vitamin D, B vitamins, and Iron) and metabolism (magnesium). The sooner you know levels have changed the sooner you can alter (up or down) supplements you may be taking to optimize them.
I know you would be interested in calcium but calcium in your blood does not indicate what is in your bones. In fact it can give you a false sense of security when in fact your blood is “stealing” from your bones. The best determinant of whether the amount of calcium in your diet is being absorbed is a bone density scan.
If your homocysteine or A1C levels are elevated (and omega 3 levels are low) inflammation may be suggesting a change is necessary to see greater results from your exercise. The change you need may be less exercise.
Think of it like having acne. All the things you try or your teens do/did that normally might be good are going to be bad because your skin is already saying “enough!”
So, really cutting back on exercise, and adding relaxation, along with other inflammation-reducing therapies can help you regain your equilibrium so you can get positive results again from fitness.
If your CRP levels come back high in a recent blood test that can indicate some micronutrient insufficiencies and you can confirm them if you’ve recently tested.
If you have great insurance use it! If you like me like to take control, rarely see a doctor, and don’t have one who would order the type of test you want as often as you like to know you may want to order your own. I check micronutrient status frequently once or twice a year. I’ll test hormones more regularly too if I feel it’s changing or I’ve changed my status.
If you want to do your own self-directed labs you can look here at yourlabwork.com/flipping-50 for my source of labs.
You can use flipping50now for $200 off either of the Transformation Panel or Elite Athlete packages most often used by my clients.
Or choose your own options and use Flipping50 for $20 off.
1) Order your labs (see the codes above to save) My favorites again: Elite Panel, Transformation Panel, or the Dutch (specifically for sex hormones and cortisol)
2) Once the lab order arrives, test your hormones at a local lab (or with the kit for Dutch)
3) Request a session with me by sending your labs and asking for a session at firstname.lastname@example.org Have a 30-minute consultation with Debra to review a) your lab results, b) current exercise program, 3) and a simple self-assessment that provides you with:
*it’s not my scope or role to diagnose nor to treat. I provide you with questions and information so you can consider the options available to you.
Your labs are back within about a week –it’s not long at all so you can get some advice and start creating a plan for a New Year and decade!
Your lab tests results are something that change over time and when you’re fluctuating or applying a new program testing more frequently (I’ll do every 6 months for micronutrients or for hormones pre and post a new plan). Your DNA though, can also give you insight into best training methods for YOU, best ways to eat, your own challenges that you haven’t been able to figure out may suddenly have an explanation. DNA is not going to change.
Yet, you can change the expression of your DNA by changing your habits. Fitness can get easier and optimal weight can too if you’re eating for your genetics instead of the most popular diet at the time.
I for instance tested last June. However, a lot has changed for me since then (a move, a heavy training schedule, several stressors, and my weight change for no other apparent reason), so just a little over 6 months later I know I need a more accurate snapshot. I won’t always test that frequently but it’s likely I will again in 6 months after implementing a plan of attack when I get results.
The integration of your hormones, micronutrients, and your DNA can give you a powerful plan for determining your best fitness strategies. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Your fitness and nutrition we now know are as unique as your thumbprint – as your DNA.
It’s interesting that we’ve adopted heart rate training, counting our steps, minutes, miles, reps and yet you may not even know what the target should be. Someone says 10,000 steps is good. Someone says that 3-5 days of cardio for 20-60 minutes is good. But the science of those recommendations, guidelines, and position statements is based on a large pool of people who are nothing like you.
I’m more and more frequently asked after a post like this if I can do a single session to set up a program for someone. I’ve been coaching women in midlife for 36 years now, and I know that behavior change takes time. I also have a limited amount of time to spare. So working with clients long term is why you’ll find I offer 90 day coaching. If you prefer to have a one-time session and follow through on your own I have a special rate for early January 2020. It’s by invitation only because my time is limited. First come first serve!
If you order labs or DNA through the links here the complimentary consultation is 30 minutes. If you’d prefer a more comprehensive session or if you have labs or DNA testing elsewhere and would like to review with Debra for:
Request an invitation. Send specific details about whether you have recent labs already, you are ordering them via links here, and what you most need help with. We’ll send you a link for Results Review coaching if there are still spots available.
The single 45-minute session is $295. You’ll get strategies for moving forward on your own or the option to apply the consultation fee to 90-Day VIP coaching.
You may also like:
Coming Soon: DNA testing
DNA testing and genetics are the topic of conversation these days. For good reason. If you know what your genetics are you know how you can change their expression. That means you can make sure you optimize expression of good genes. You can also choose behaviors that suppress negative genes. There are so many areas like sleep, nutrition, fat storage, and exercise that influence your genes.
If you’re exercising but not getting results, it may not be the right way for:
You see we all have both fast and slow twitch muscle fibers (and some fibers that don’t know which they are) and we can have some adaptation if we train a certain way.
But… we’ll have the most success and get fit the quickest and most enjoyable way if we exercise according to our body’s preferences.
So, even if you’re in the middle of a STRONGER program or exercising to The Whole Flip and you’ve got your weeks planned out, you could potentially have an easier time of it if you tweaked a few things.
If you’re using hormone therapy and still not seeing results, or you choose not to use hormones in favor of natural ways of balancing and that’s not working, you may want to dig into your genes.
Flip your exercise program so it reflects your DNA disposition.
Becky has more fast twitch fiber so she’ll do better with weight training, intervals, and complete rest days. Before she knew that she was trying to exercise most days of the week and never really feeling recovered. She had gone a little too far keto for her body’s preference too. She required more carbohydrates (at the right type and timing) to support her recovery. She did well adding smoothies for additional protein (at the right time) for her fast twitch fibers. Once we confirmed it she also added Vitamin D to her supplement routine regularly. (D helps boost fast twitch muscle fiber).
She’s feel more “fit” and experiences less of that hit-the-wall kind of tired.
If you are more predominantly slow twitch, like me, you’ll do better with endurance training and some, but not a great deal of strength training. On your rest days you’ll do better moving somehow. We want to look for those activities that are recovery – like swimming, walking a golf course, short bike rides or yoga.
You definitely want protein in your diet, too. Well-timed smoothies support your lean muscle maintenance. You don’t have the look of “muscle” but you will have more overall definition with adequate protein.
Curious about your DNA and interested in a test & consult?
I created a special coupon for you to get your test done and get results back for a better new year!
mygenes15 for 15% off now on your DNA test and review of results with me. Just in time for the New Year. (Limited Offer: First 20 only)
Want optimal overall Health? Use the Gold option
Want Weight Management, Health & Nutrition? Platinum
Want it all including performance? Elite
Be one of the first 20 to use code: mygenes15
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.
In an upcoming post I’ll share more about lab tests that can shed some light on why your program may not be working right now.
Whatever you do, remember that you’re not learning your limits. You’re learning how to remove them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
Saturday’s group dinner will be a Southwestern treat of Flipping 50-approved choices.
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.
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!]
Here they are in a Letterman-style countdown to the #1 top podcast of 2019.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.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!
Is weight loss possible after 50? Do you wonder that? If you’re just trying to lose those last few pounds that came on during stress or hormone change, what does that take? How is it different than if you have 50, 100, or even 20 pounds to lose?
[Originally published in August 2017, this popular post has been updated – just in time for a special Fit-U program launch.]
Or rather, how should it be different? “It” being the process that you go through.
On this post I look at parts of the process that deserve attention. If you’re reading this you know very well by now what permanent weight removal is not. Take Carla*, one of my clients. When we met she was walking two to four hours a day, and eating as little as 800 calories per day. Her weight at the time was well over 200 pounds. If weight loss were a math equation, Carla, should be skinny. Here’s why.
Her estimated calculate Basal Metabolic Rate was a little more than 1700 kcals.
[By the way when I searched Google for the phrase “how many calories to lose a pound” it’s clear we still think weight loss is math and someone is still writing this B.S.: 17 million pieces of content were found. Confused? No wonder.]
Even walking slowly, at her start weight Carla would burn over 300 kcals per hour. She was burning 600-1200 daily.
Exercise calories are added to your resting (basal) metabolism for total energy daily expenditure. The total kcals to maintain her current weight were, depending on her activity that day, were 2300 – 2900.
Consuming 800 kcals per day she would easily be at a deficit. Repeating that day after day using an average exercise of 3 hours walking, she needed of 2600 to maintain her weight and taking in 800.
If this pure math solution was right, she was creating an average deficit of 1800 kcals a day. If it takes 3500 kcals to lose or gain a pound it should have been easy for her to lose a little more than 3lbs a week.
Yet, that’s not what happened. She didn’t lose. She reached a plateau pretty quickly. She got injured. She had insomnia. She gained. She got nervous when injured and unable to exercise. She feared eating more food or even the amount she was eating when she was exercising.
In spite of evidence (weight loss plateau, frequency of injury, even weight gain) suggesting that so much exercise and so few calories were actually slowing her metabolism, she held on to old emotional ties to the theory that exercising more and eating less will achieve weight loss.
I won’t leave you hanging! Carla did eventually lose. A sluggish metabolism from years of slow down and unintentional sabotage takes time to bounce back. But she did. She’s lost close to 75 pounds at this point and she’s well past 50.
It’s hard to let go.
Some of us are emotional eaters. Some of us are emotional food avoiders. Both emotional eaters and avoiders have a dysfunctional relationship with food. Many of us have an addiction to struggle. Hard work, discipline, and control feel better than relaxation, acceptance, and trusting your body’s signals. That kind of dysfunction extends to exercise, too. It’s easy to get into a cycle of taking out big loans, payback, and withdrawal. This is more noticeable in women who seek weight loss after 50. In that bank analogy sequence two out of three actions are taking away energy and only one is paying back. That’s where we get it wrong with exercise and nutrition. We’re never filling our cup. Our tendency is to mentally believe we’re being “good,” we “have” to suffer through some form of exercise and deprivation, in other words: mindset matters.
If you think you’re being good… you probably think you get rewarded for that behavior at some point instead of believing the behavior itself IS the reward (e.g. enjoying good-for-you food because it’s delicious, and liking the way you feel when you’re doing exercise that’s right for you).
If doing things you love brings a second set of rewards, even better. In regards to eating good food and exercise you can expect rewards like better sleep, less fatigue, more energy, optimal weight, and body confidence. Not so different than people who are able to take a passion and make it a profession. The successful ones are not without a hard work ethic, but they love waking up every morning to work and even the tasks they don’t love they can tie to the passion for the outcome.
#joyinmotion is non-existent in the majority of diet & exercise to weight loss plans out there
(Have you noticed? Torch calories! Burn fat! Even free consults promise to tell you “how many calories you need to eat and burn to lose weight” lead you to a dead end: this is not your health GPS.) This is true whether you have 5 or 50 pounds to lose, but the longer you’ve carried additional weight and the more you’ve limited calories the more TLC your metabolism-controlling hormones need in order to reboot.
Eating, avoiding eating, and exercise are too often punishment. While it might seem compulsive eating is a reward, if you’ve been down this road before, it’s more like punishment because you know what’s coming next in the cycle. You’ll feel bad and the underlying purpose was to create those bad feelings. That’s bizarre, right? But true. It’s almost as if, the bad feelings are more comfortable. They’re at least more familiar. You can busy yourself with more exercise, fewer calories and get “back on track.” That feels like a game you can win. But then it backfires again and you’re right back where you started. Or worse.
You’re not right back where you started from because…losing weight you lose fat AND muscle. Regaining weight is 100% fat.
Exercise as a punishment is like paying the interest on some huge loan. The cycle usually goes like this: you’ve overeaten something you wish you hadn’t, and you’re going to compensate for it with excess exercise. You might also use exercise as a coping mechanism for emotions you don’t like feeling. Frustrated, angry, sad or feeling inadequate, your exercise gives you a fix of mojo, at least temporarily. If this is you, you like exercise. Or you did, until you began abusing it.
The payback is the overcompensation that happens after being particularly “good,” which in my experience with is restricting calories or foods they love, and you got it, dieting. You’re “on something.” It may be legal but it’s not good. The off ramp on that diet highway has a lot of roadblocks on it. You end up eating because you deserve it, you can’t resist any more (there’s science behind that: your body is doing everything it can to tell you to eat more).
Then there’s the, “I exercised today so I can have this” and the opposite, “I haven’t exercised so I can’t eat.” Certain types of exercise actually make you more prone to over eating afterwards. You can sabotage yourself in fact with some of the recommended activities for weight loss. Longer extended walks are recommended. They’re lower impact, anyone can walk, and yet, if you get that information and you’re gung ho whether it’s January 2 or not, you’re likely to take that downtown with the if-a-little-is-good-more-must-be-better and you’ll over do it.
Certain types of exercise actually make you more prone to over eating afterwards.
The withdrawal is getting a great (long, or exceptionally hard, or both) workout in or dieting all week so that you can do the payback. You might have the special event and the dress to fit into. You might be planning it. You might not. You’re just trying to get ahead and “work hard” to get results until eventually the payback comes. That’s what clever programs call “cheat” days and what I call binge days. It happens if you’re starting something that you can’t possibly ever sustain. If it feels temporary, it will be, and it usually doesn’t end well.
My girlfriends and I used to joke that we each had to have (or in this case we were talking about someone’s daughter) a “bad boy” relationship. It was that one that everyone else knew wasn’t good for you, wasn’t going to last and yet you couldn’t resist. Yep. A bit like a diet or exercise plan that you start thinking that you can make it through this eight weeks and be magically transformed, skinny, and then you can do it normally. It never works that way.
Diets or crazy kamikaze bootcamps full of burpees, squats, and lunges that send you home unable to sit down and bring you back the next day more sore than you should be starting a new exercise session don’t instill #joyofmotion in most of us. Granted there are possibly the less than 1% of you reading this who are saying, yes, I truly LOVE to do punishing workouts, but the majority of us who follow human nature seek pleasure and run (or walk or bike) from pain.
The reality is that whatever you do to get to a goal – weight loss- fitness, you have to do MORE of to sustain. Why? Because a 250 lb body requires more calories to move, and sustain than does a 150 lb body.
You will slow your metabolism by becoming a smaller person. The good news: By changing the way your body burns fuel and adjusting it to becoming a higher fat burner, and increasing lean muscle tissue you can overcome and offset this seemingly BIG obstacle.
The truth about weight loss that isn’t done correctly is your metabolism will slow. If you regain weight (reminiscent of Biggest Loser participants) your metabolism could STILL BE LOW, if you’ve not released toxins that are stored in fat, or not paid attention to lean muscle creation. Those who are slaves to cardio and ignore weight training will be most likely to experience this.
Why can some people lose 50 or 100 pounds and keep it off? They’ve adapted eating and exercise habits that change the way they eat and exercise permanently. They’ve looked far beyond calories and looked at hormones and quality of food vs. quantity of food.
Hormones, not calories, control your weight.
You have an abundance of hormones. So at first glance, it’s a challenge less simple than addition and subtraction required to do calories in calories out. It’s like me and trigonometry. I had the multiplication tables down, damn it. Who moved the cheese?
But it’s also easier to balance out hormones. [The hardest part is reconciling your brain with the idea that less exercise is more, and more good food is more.]
It’s not punishing exercise. It’s exercise you like and less of it but with more purpose.
It’s not dieting or deprivation. It’s flipping foods you love that negatively impact your hormones into foods you love made with food that loves you back.
You don’t need bootcamp 6 days a week at high intensity. You don’t have to say no forever to dessert or to snacks. That would be unrealistic.
Remember this one thing about your body: It wants to be at ideal weight.
Now, your ideal weight might not look like the cover model on a magazine. (Even the model on the cover doesn’t look like the model on the cover). Your body wants the path of least resistance as much as your mind does. So if you feed it and move it optimally, it will respond by releasing fat it no longer wants to carry around.
If you have tried or are trying to burpee and starve your way to get there, or you “have to have” some crazy concoction of foods made or delivered to you to make your goal a reality, chances are this is not sustainable. If you want weight loss and yet your relationship with foods that feel comforting (momentarily) is so great you can’t or you refuse to break that cycle, now may not be the time.
What? That’s not where you thought this was going? I wish I could give you a program that works even when you aren’t ready to change. But, I simply can’t.
No one can want it worse than you.
This place you’re in could be your upper limit. You’re possibly afraid of changing so much that you won’t. Something about your struggle is working for you. You may associate yourself with the struggle. You spend time, energy, maybe money investing in new programs, or finding new experts to ask about what to do. You get a lot of answers. But you don’t DO any of them.
Then nothing I say can help.
If you are ready to make changes, to see changes, there are things to consider. If you have more than 20 pounds to lose, the changes you need to make with mindset become more important.
Women over 50 have a unique set of circumstances:
You need to address the whole person you are. You’re going to be either positively or negatively influenced by each of these:
So if you’ve skipped or ignored any one of those needs during a “diet” or a “bootcamp” or delivery of food to your door, there have been potentially more obstacles than solutions. It’s not your fault.
You can’t diet the way a 20-year-old does. You can’t fast the way a 30-year-old does. You can’t exercise the way you did even at 40. Make no mistake, you can look and feel as good (and often better – we’ve been beating ourselves up for a long time) as you did at 20, 30 or 40, as long as you don’t attempt to get there the way you did at 20, 30 or 40. For two reasons:
This is an integrated relationship and successful integration determines your success. At midlife and beyond the impact of hormones is amplified. [You’re not off the hook at 60 or just because you’ve gone through the other side.] You can’t outwork hormones and you can’t out-diet them; you can outsmart them.
To learn more about how to get fit after 50 if you have 20 or more pounds to lose, click here. Fit-U is designed for you. Fit-U starts now. Early access materials are ready now. There’s never a convenience time to do anything worthwhile. Do you want support? If you do, and you want it to be me, let’s do this.
If you want to learn more about the difference between:
Watch this special master class. I’ve rounded up all the research about weight loss – that is FAT loss – after 50 (because the last thing you want to do is lose muscle. Temporarily that will make you feel a false sense of success, but when the muscle goes so too does your metabolism. That my friend, is the vicious cycle that’s caught up with you. And yet, yes you can change it. Start watching. Then jump in right now.
What do they Mean? Inflammation, Stress, Microbiome, Antioxidant, Functional Digestion? Are you kidding?
The limiter for fitness results for far too many of the women I work with in perimenopause to post menopause (that’s til the end, sister!) are these. One can be a challenge, and combined which often occurs, they caused so many of the issues that keep you from feeling good. When bloating, gas, discomfort, constipation or diarrhea (or both) keep you from exercise and your best energy it’s time to look at the causes really closely. Inflammation is often a part of the unseen problem. This post is all about it.
You hear these buzzwords all the time when you’re floating around in cyberspace. Sometimes your friends drop them in casual conversation.
What goes on in your brain when you hear these buzzwords? You might be thinking, “These words don’t make sense to me. Can someone lay it out on the table for me so it’s easy to understand?” Well, here I am, your fairy godmother… here to explain these buzzwords in an easy-to-digest way!
According to modern science, the microbiome is an organ unto itself. It is made up of trillions of bacteria living on our mucous membranes and skin. It’s a combination of good bacteria, like probiotics, and bad bacteria, that my friend Dr. Marisol has coined “conbiotics™”. These are microscopic con-artists, occupying space in your gut but doing nothing good for you. Probiotics create B vitamins and short-chain fatty acids like butyric acid, which are super good for you. The conbiotics produce noxious chemicals and rob us of our vital reserves. We must promote the balance of the microbiome in favour of the good guys in order to be healthy.
A natural physical function that is healing, when in moderation; but if excessive, can rage like a destructive wild forest fire. Hippocrates would say, “Give me the power to create fever (a different form of inflammation), and I will cure all disease.” We want it, but not too much of it. The greatest source of inflammation is found within the gut.
These are powerhouse molecules that are necessary for natural detoxification and cleansing to occur. Without them, you are weak and susceptible to chemical injury. Antioxidants are protective and life-extending. Examples include glutathione, nitric oxide, fat soluble vitamins like vitamin E, omega 6 and omega 9.
It’s not only about digestion, but how we absorb and how we eliminate everything is very important. Digestion is the hub of the hormonal, nervous and immune systems. Did you know that there is more melatonin in your digestive tract – actually 10x more -than in your brain?
Coal, under pressure and stress, creates diamonds. So clearly, stress can be good for us. But the same goes for inflammation; a little bit is good and too much is damaging.
Well they are all part of the foundation of feeling great. When these are all in check, everything you take (supplements), eat (food) or do (therapies), all work better. You can build a home, only when the foundation is strong and stable.
What is the only health tool that sets the foundation right? Castor oil packs. This is why we have focused on these amazing health promoting packs so much. When you’ve been around the block in the natural health industry as long as I have, you get to know a thing or too.
You know all the old sayings:
“Mama knew better”
“Stick to the basics”
“What’s old is new again”
“The old stuff just works better”
“If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” (just tweak it!)
You know in your heart this is so often the truth, and it’s no different with castor oil packs. This age old treatment has withstood the test of time because it WORKS.
If you haven’t read, watched, or listened to blogs, videos, and podcasts here on FlippingFifty.com about castor oil and castor oil packs yet, check out the link below.
Here are some handy videos about castor oil packs – Check them out now!
Here is a live video I did with Dr Marisol Queen of Thrones all about castor oil – Start at 4:30 and avoid our technical issues!
Last but not least… this is crazy good: castor oil is good for SO MANY things. Sounds like snake oil right? Or My Big Fat Greek Wedding, when Windex cured everything. But seriously good simple things are truly best. Sleep an issue? A few hints specific to it in this one:
Want to get your own Castor Oil Bundle?
Click the image or HERE and and follow the instruction below.
That’s it – so simple, natural, and safe. You can feel good about it. And then feel good.
Disclaimer: If you happen to purchase anything we promote, in this or any of our communications, it’s likely (insert name of your business here) will receive some kind of affiliate compensation. Still, we only promote content and products that we truly believe in and share with our friends and family. If you ever have an issue with anything we share, please let us know. We want to make sure we are always serving you at the highest level.
When you’re walking around feeling like you’re carrying a few too many, and life just feels really heavy… Are they extra pounds or is that just poop? You’re not sure, but let’s face it, you try to drop them but they just aren’t cooperating the way Mother Nature intended.
Why is it like this for you? It’s as hard for you to lose weight as it is for you to go to the bathroom. Seems like since the change (menopause), all sh*t broke loose and your body simply isn’t responding the same when you do all the ‘normal’ things that used to work before.
Let’s face it, do you even know what normal is anymore? Should you be going daily, or maybe every 3 days is fine? Ever since the hot flashes and night sweats started happening, it seems like nothing is consistent.
I invited Dr. Marisol Teijeiro (her bio is below) to write this guest post because this is a common – but not normal- issue that haunts women (of all ages) especially in menopause and after. I’m after every way possible to make your life more comfortable, fun, and limitless!
Here you will learn what is normal after 50, plus find out about my number one tool that changed (and I’d venture to say saved) my life and the lives of thousands of my patients. It is the legendary castor oil pack. It helps you to reset the foundation of health and feeling well, helps you to poop like a champ and drop that extra weight like a ton of bricks, going back to feeling like a bombshell instead of feeling like a dud.
The most telltale sign of constipation is how frequently you go. Conventional medical doctors are often quick to say that every 3 days is fine. To me, that is NOT fine, and here’s the reason.
We follow natural rhythms in accordance to Mother Nature. We wake and sleep according to the light. We eat according to our hunger (daily). Because we eat daily, we should be pooping daily as well. In a well balanced system, what comes in – must go out.
The problem is that your body is probably not well balanced since the change and loss of menstruation, so all of your cycles are thrown off. You may not be able to regain your menstruation, but you can most definitely reset your poop cycle!
Your stools can actually give you clues about what is going wrong inside, and lots of tips on how to regain that balance. There are actually 11 golden nuggets (criteria) that you can learn from your stools that tell you everything from hormone, immune or nervous system imbalances to vitamins and nutrients you may be deficient in.
Colour is the first and fastest golden nugget that you can help you gain valuable information from your poo. It is so important because it dictates the mechanisms of action of your digestion.
Normal stool colour is all the 50 shades of brown. I love this analogy because it’s like the sexy, racy movie, 50 Shades of Grey. None of us really like to admit that we like to look at it, but when we do, oh boy! We simply cannot take our eyes off of it. This is how I want you to feel about examining and checking out the colour of your poo.
I tell my patients to use soil as an example. It comes in many shades of brown, and as long as it is not the colour of clay, or black, we are good!
My handy Grateful Dung™ Bracelet is an education tool about the normal colour of poo. Wear this bracelet as a reminder to peek after every time you poop, and compare the Tiger’s eye beads to the perfect colour of stools.
Stomach acid is incredibly valuable to start the digestive process off right. Without adequate amounts, you have a tendency to be more constipated because the chloride in stomach acid (hydrochloric acid), stimulates water shifting into the intestine to create laxation.
As we get older and move into our golden menopausal years, we have a tendency to produce less factors important to digestion, because many are related to hormones and this causes us big-time gut problems2. Many of you may be dealing with low stomach acid, experiencing symptoms not only of constipation but also heartburn or acid reflux.
Two of the biggest signs that your stomach acid is low are:
Your stool should always be brown, regardless of the amount of green smoothies or spinach that you had the night before. With sufficient stomach acid, any green substances containing chlorophyll will be oxidized to brown. Just think of what happens when you leave a salad that has been in vinegar on the counter, all the leaves turn brown.
In order for stomach acid to be produced, you actually need to have a few physiological functions working well in your body, namely reduced tension and stress in the intestine, as well as healthy antioxidant status, including zinc and the B vitamins.
Also note that stomach acid-reducing drugs, such as proton pump inhibitors, can cause the same problems. Since you don’t have stomach acid, you lack the ability to absorb nutrients and get your body going to the bathroom properly. What a tragedy!
There are also other colours that could indicate problems, but green stools are the one that tend to be directly linked with constipation.
In practice, I realized that I needed to find a way to help my patients to go to the bathroom well in the long run, instead of just taking a laxative (that are often uncomfortable due to urgency, pressure and gas). For those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), laxatives are a nightmare.
Plus, taking laxatives isn’t getting to the root of the problem, and likely just causes more complications.
A better solution is the legendary castor oil pack. Why? Because it not only helps you go to the bathroom, but it actually helps with resolution of the problem. Castor oil packs help in a variety of ways. I love using the acronym FAITH to describe all of the beneficial effects.
Castor oil packs reset the basic physiology of the body, which means they help to create the environment in your body so you can heal and thrive. They improve:
F – Function of digestion, absorption and elimination
A – Antioxidant status via topical nourishment5 as well as glutathione preservation
I – Inflammation reduction
T – Tension and stress
H – Host microbiome
This acronym, FAITH, is so appropriate, because for me and many of my patients, castor oil packs have helped them to regain faith in their bodies, that they can heal and feel good again.
When practiced nightly, castor oil packs are very easy and can create such powerful fundamental changes, it just makes sense to make them a regular health practice.
To get your very own Queen of the Thrones™ Castor Oil Pack Bundle, click here!
If you’re already familiar with the castor oil pack method, you probably cringed when I mentioned it. You see, in the past, castor oil packs have been incredibly cumbersome to do. But no more!!
I knew I needed to innovate and make these packs easier, not only for myself but for my patients too, because otherwise I knew they wouldn’t do them and reap all the awesome benefits. I wasn’t willing to put up with a messy disaster either, so I created an easy and less-messy way to do them.
I figured it out because after just a few treatments, I inherently knew that they were the best thing for me and my health struggles. Since then I have been using these packs with thousands of patients, both male and female, helping them to own their throne – day by day, one bowel movement at a time! No more uncomfortable constipation.
Doing these packs is as easy as 1, 2, 3, C. O. P!
To get your easy 3-step, mess-less castor oil pack today, click here!
My other go-to for healthy digestion and toning the core is the Grateful Dung™ Daily Dining Practice. Using the same bracelet that we use to assess our healthy colour of stools, it can also be used for a quick and easy gratitude practice done before each meal. This simple practice calms your body down, and prepares you for your meal to come.
This helps to increase stomach acid naturally and gets you ready to receive food and ultimately, nourishment! Having an attitude of gratitude before meals calms you down, when you are unable to focus on negativity, your body does a better job at digesting, especially as you’re working on healing this vital process. Daily gratitude practices have also shown to have long-lasting positive effects on happiness and interpersonal relationships.
The Queen of the Thrones™ Castor Oil Pack and Grateful Dung™ Bracelet are two easy tools to help you implement small changes that can make massive differences in your health and in your life and stop constipation. Imagine if you added these into your daily practice. In no time at all you would be more vibrant, energetic, fun-loving, feeling less like a ‘dud’ and more like a bombshell than ever before.
So let’s get you started on having royal poops that are 50 shades of brown, a colour you’ll be proud to brag about!
You can order a Castor Oil Pack here.
3 Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.
4 Sorin Tunaru,a Till F. Althoff,a Rolf M. Nüsing,b Martin Diener,c and Stefan Offermannsa,d,1 Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptorsProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 5; 109(23): 9179–9184.Published online 2012 May 21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109PMID: 22615395
5 Holm T, Brøgger-Jensen MR, Johnson L, Kessel L.Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013.
6 Marwat SK1, Rehman F2, Khan EA1, Baloch MS1, Sadiq M1, Ullah I1, Javaria S1, Shaheen S1. Review – Ricinus cmmunis – Ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological activities.Pak J Pharm Sci. 2017 Sep;30(5):1815-1827.
7 Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8
8 Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17.
9 Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.
10 Salles MM, Badaró MM, Arruda CN, Leite VM, Silva CH, Watanabe E, Oliveira Vde C, Paranhos Hde F. Antimicrobial activity of complete denture cleanser solutions based on sodium hypochlorite and Ricinus communis – a randomized clinical study.J Appl Oral Sci. 2015 Nov-Dec; 23(6):637-42.
11 Badaró MM, Salles MM, Leite VMF, Arruda CNF, Oliveira VC, Nascimento CD, Souza RF, Paranhos HFO, Silva-Lovato CH. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser.J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun; 25(3):324-334.
12 Andrade IM1, Andrade KM2, Pisani MX1, Silva-Lovato CH1, de Souza RF1, Paranhos Hde F1.Trial of an experimental castor oil solution for cleaning dentures. Braz Dent J. 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):43-7.
14 Martin E. P. Seligman, Tracy A. Steen, Nansook Park, Christopher Peterson Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions. Positive Psychology 1 https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/images/application_uploads/Seligman-PosPsychProgress.pdf April 22, 2005
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What do you think of when I say blood flow restriction exercise?
Without checking Google, most of our Flipping 50 tribe would think this sounded like something terrible. It sounds like something that happens in a lab and not on purpose in a workout session. If you think it sounds like there’s risk involved and it might be bad for blood pressure or increase heart stress, you’re not alone.
But if you Googled (odd how that is now a verb to anyone else?) it you’d find that there’s emerging science around Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) training. And some of it has promise for older adults, and you. In fact, it’s quite exciting.
Originally developed in 1966 by Yoshiaki Sato in Japan where it was known as “kaatsu training,” meaning “training with added pressure.” It’s performed all over the world. So why haven’t you heard of it before? A quick look on Amazon for BFR bands shows images of (big) body builders, 98% of which are male. It doesn’t look like something you or I would naturally gravitate toward. It certainly hasn’t made it to Prevention or Reader’s Digest… yet.
But it might. Very soon.
Essentially, BFR training involves preventing blood flow to working muscles (or those at rest I’ll discuss later). That tricks the body into thinking it’s doing hard work to increase Human Growth Hormone (or GH), which burns fat and builds muscle.
If you don’t like hard work, won’t or can’t do hard work… blood flow restriction exercise may be your next best friend.
Though some studies have suggested yes, for you and I, no, or very minimally. Only with instances of growth hormone deficiency in young male adults, or with unexplainable osteoporosis in male subjects was there any positive effect on bone density. There’s no evidence of bone support for women with age-related bone density declines. So, heavy weights when possible are still the answer.
Yet, there is some correlation with reduced fracture risk from increased GH. That may be due to increased muscle strength lending to better strength, reaction skills, and balance.
A review of literature for a position statement with older adults with frailty, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), and prior existing Venus Thrombeoembolism, conclude there is no additional risk, “though further studies are encouraged,” Always your selection of appropriateness should be made on an individual basis together with your physician and a medical exercise specialist. Blood pressure response can be higher if cuffs are not removed during the recovery interval periods.
In one research study, adults in a large review of literature were between 57 and early 70s. BFR was effective in developing muscle in low load (walking) compared to walking without BFR.
Positive results are reported in both muscular strength and muscle mass from use of BFR exercise.
It’s important to note that most research confirms the BFR results are similar but still lower than that from High Load (HL) strength training. That is, if you can safely, and are motivated to lift heavy weights, it will still provide the most benefit. If however, travel, special conditions, or you’re unwilling BFR opens up alternatives.
Optimal strength response was found in subjects (without physical limitations) from Heavy Load strength training combined with low load walking with (BFR) restriction.
For older athletes BFR may enhance performance by allowing combination of low load training with restriction and heavy load more typically used (requiring less of heavy load yet more overall training without damage and risk of injury).
Personally, during training for Ironman, I’m usually an advocate of heavy weight training for avoiding lean muscle losses and bone density benefits. [Yes, more exercise can be a risk just as too little exercise can.] However, as training volume increases for an endurance event balancing sport-specific activity with less strength is better for reduced overall physical stress.
So I’m wearing BFR bands walking the dog before a run and then cutting the volume of training runs significantly. I’m able to optimize hormones this way instead of impose constant fatigue so common in endurance athletes.
For older adults who are unable (or unwillingly, untrusting) to do heavy load training BFR provides a viable way to increase strength and maintain lean tissue, specifically Fast Twitch (FT) muscle fiber. Adults can lose Fast Twitch fibers twice as fast as they age. FT fibers are responsible for metabolism and reaction skills – so you can catch yourself and prevent falls.
It depends. Don’t you love that? (sarcasm) Yet, truly it depends on you now and why you’re implementing it. Do you need this to allow you to do something while you’re recovering from an injury? Do you need a good substitute for your regular exercise while traveling? Are you looking for a way to supplement a very active life and fitness program to boost progress without burning out or injury? Use your answer to determine how you start:
You’ll see in the video I discuss the 7/10 on a “tightness” scale. You’re doing this at your perception of tightness. You may need to experiment a little. I find it easiest to go to the point I couldn’t stand it and then back off slightly to get to my “7.” If you’re in our Flipping 50 tribe you’re used to rating your effort level on a 0-10 scale for various exercise so this is familiar.
Proper use of the bands creates greater metabolic stress that brings about greater release of growth hormone and IGF-1 – key for gains of lean muscle and prevention of muscle loss.
By inducing greater muscle fatigue with lower loads there may be more Type II fiber recruitment for the relative load. (You’ve heard me talk nation-wide about Fast Twitch Muscle loss prevention.)
Enhanced muscle protein synthesis that occurs with resistance training is another huge win. Research shows clearly that resistance training offsets reduced muscle protein synthesis (ability to use protein you consume to benefit muscle) that can otherwise occur with age.
Enhanced Human Growth Hormone (GH) is an important advantage of lifting heavy weights and intense interval training as you age. Nearly comparable results are reported with BFR bands. Heavy lifting seems to still have the positive edge. This is one of your biggest hormone benefits of resistance training. Feel like you can’t get the muscle tone you once had? Decreases in GH are a part of that.
You can overcome reduced production of GH with age by resistance training at proper intensities. If until now you haven’t chosen or haven’t been able to do resistance training, you have a lighter load option.
Each of these aforementioned benefits point to reducing the signs of aging. What has been “accepted” as normal no longer has to happen. You’re in control. You can prevent and reverse aging.
When high intensity interval training may not be appropriate (due to fatigue or cortisol levels, current injuries, or lack of access while traveling, Restricted Blood Flow exercise (low load) may be a good option to prevent muscle and strength losses.
For an idea of activities and intensity that work with BFR exercise:
Choosing the Load
Loads for resistance training in most studies feature loads of 20-30% of 1-rep max. Now, I’d never suggest you do a 1-rep maximum test. I’ve discussed that many places in books and posts. It is however the language of intensity in resistance training. If you can lift a weight only once and reach fatigue you’ve found the ultimate of “heavy.”
To give you an idea of 20-30% you’ll need an estimated one-rep max. If you can lift something 10 times to fatigue it’s about 80% of your 1-rep max. (This by the way is the best protocol for bone density). With a little math you can determine your 1 rep max is about 12.5 lbs. So 20-30% is 2.5-3.75 lbs. I’d suggest starting with a 3-lb dumbbell.
As you perform the exercises you can experiment with what truly causes fatigue in the muscle. The biggest take-away? You’re going to use far lighter weights (or resistance) than you would without the bands.
These types of exercises performed are performed at about 40% VOx2 max which is about the equivalent of daily activities of living. So in theory you could wear bands while going up and down your stairs to do laundry or clean for 20 minutes. Some aerobic protocols use intermittent exercise. For example, intervals of pedaling for 3 minutes with bands used alternated with 2 minutes of removing or undoing the bands.
Larger cuff size requires less pressure but movement is restricted. Choose based on your frame and size. Typically, recommendations are 1-1 ½ inches for upper body (bicep) and 2 inches lower body.
Aerobic Blood Flow Restriction Exercise Intro
For those more sedentary doing 1-2 times a day, approximately 3 weeks is suggested time to experience benefits. For those already exercising that incorporate BFR training into their program 3-6 weeks is the suggested time frame. (Think about weight loss, the more weight you have to lose the faster you’ll see progress. So it is with BFR, the more fit you are, the less impactful BFR training may be for you, though that slight increase in fitness can be significant when it happens.)
Studies suggest that even in instances where exercise is extremely limited or not possible, use of the BFR bands can prevent muscle and strength loss. Wearing the BFR bands intermittently 1-2 times a day even while sedentary is beneficial compared to not using BFR.
BFR show promise during times you might be recovering from surgery or plantar fasciitis. Whenever you’ve got weight bearing restrictions for a period of time and are unable to apply pressure to a limb, or you’re on crutches. For someone undergoing treatment with low energy levels deeming a regular exercise plan implausible, this opens up possibilities to prevent a downward spiral that can easily occur. The BFR bands may provide a means for sparing what can be devastating muscle losses, often the beginning of weakness if not frailty, making falls more likely.
Interested in more information? The best next step is to get STRONGER! When I open the doors for enrollment a few times a year you’ll be the first to know. Click here.
I’m including some BFR training in this 12-week resistance training program. Whether you’re more athletic and want to keep your hormones balanced (not stressed) or you have limits about how much you can lift, or find it hard to reach intensity levels you need…. This is for you!