Menopause weight seems to creep up even on women who are already doing all the things. They’re health conscious. They’re the ones their friends look to when dessert menus come out to see if you’re going to order or not. You’re the one who has already ran when you get to Easter brunch or open presents on Christmas.
If this is you, I created this episode for you.
If you’re in this place you’ve heard other women talk about but never really got til now… you’re in the right spot.
I’m going to unpack two sides of this equation:
First, are you really doing the right thing or just the thing that you’ve always thought is the right thing?
Second, are you subconsciously letting sabotaging thoughts get in your way?
So I’m only very briefly going to touch on the problem believing that more exercise, less food, being a warrior who doesn’t sleep, and a workaholic … can cause. Because those I address in You Still Got It, Girl!and my follow up book Hot, Not Bothered.I cover those in hundreds of YouTube videos and dive deeply into the real what you need to be doing in my programs.
The fastest way to get support around myths you still believe is the 28 Day Kickstart, where I literally take you through the process of change for 4 weeks with live coaching calls, a private Facebook group, and the actual what to do so you can be in the change while you’re learning the science behind the right way not for a quick fix but for lasting results by adjusting to your hormones messages. They’re telling you what to do and you have control if you pay attention.
I will link to the Kickstart(it happens to be open while I’m recording – it’s only open a few times a year now so I can really take a group through the process with me live and provide answers to questions in the group. Plus each registrant gets a 20 minute session with me so it’s grown so much I wanted to be sure I can accommodate everyone).
The mistakes women in midlife most commonly make end up trashing their hormones. You can’t burn off fat with exercise if you eat less and tell your body to burn less. That’s like having one foot on the accelerator and one on the brake.
If stress – from any source – put the fat on – more stress from any source won’t take it off. And exercise is stress, my friend. Yes, even for you who listening right now thinking, “No, I NEED exercise to decrease my stress.” That is likely a quick fix like cocaine, and then you need another shot either later today or tomorrow. You probably could benefit more than anyone from less exercise. YES, you need it. Don’t think I’m saying don’t. But for a week you cutting way back may get you more fat loss than more exercise will.
Other things we address during the Kickstart are things you ignore or don’t think you have control over: your sleep, your digestion, your libido. If you’re thinking, what? I thought this was exercise and nutrition? It is, but you’re an integrated whole and the status of your habits in these areas tell me as a hormone balancing fitness expert what to do with your training program.
So let’s leave that one behind and suffice to say that what you used to believe would get you in better shape may be keeping you fat and out of hormone balance.
Let’s look at how you think about the things you need to be doing. So you’re exercising, you’re in need of restful sleep, and you need to eat well. No arguments there, right?
So, be honest. When I say exercise, what do you think or feel?
Words associated with exercise are often: hard, work, struggle, pain, sweaty, messy, time, hot, and uncomfortable. It may be time comes up for you.
Tap into the emotions around exercise. Here’s a tricky one: even if you love exercise but you are so busy you can’t do it like you want to, exercise can become something with negative emotions tied to it.
So, if you’re listening to this and you can pause, do it and then come back to me.
Just stop think- or better yet write down- what’s your response to “exercise?”
Do you attach impossible goals attached to exercise? Do you tell yourself you have to do it every day, have to do more than last time, want to be good at a certain exercise (even though you have virtually no experience doing it).
Anything there resonate? Again, pause. Don’t skip really thinking through for yourself what this is like. If this is important, change can’t happen if you don’t tap into the emotion of it.
So if you’re back let’s go on. I hope you really did this. This is different than some episodes, but it’s a little more interactive and a bit like a workshop I would do as part of a retreat. You can’t just “listen” to something and get it. If you’re talking to yourself while you’re listening, or you’re nodding your head… that’s a good thing. I do it all the time. I’ll be on a walk or hike listening to one of the podcasts I follow and I’ll be responding. Entertaining for commuters and my neighbors I’m sure.
What happens when you think about the word “nutrition?” What feelings come to mind and what words describe how that makes you feel?
How do you think about the fact that you’ve maybe gone through Whole30 or you are doing Paleo or you’re plant-based?
If you say you “have a sweet tooth” how does that feel for you?
When you think about the holidays and eating how does that feel?
Does the word nutrition, when it’s related to you getting results you want but aren’t getting now, stir up any emotion? Do you associate it with “diet?” But I’m not suggesting that you diet temporarily but that you acquire a lifestyle that might go through periods of changing your diet in different ways.
Compare it to chocolate cake, and to salad, and to pasta.
Try on meal planning.Does that make you feel like there’s no spontaneous have what I want when I want it?
We get comfortable eating the things we like. Even if it isn’t working we sometimes refuse to give them up.
An elimination phase of testing food sensitivities can be a trigger for you. But realize, it can be from the words we use and the feelings attached to them. It’s not necessarily the activity.
We grew up thinking everything in moderation. We’ve got higher cancer, heart and other diseases because of it not in spite of it.
Actually, when you’re struggling with weight or energy or can’t sleep, moderation in alcohol or sugary treats or gluten – even exercise isn’t the answer. The right answer is the answer.
Spinach and kale are healthy greens… as long as you don’t have drug interactions with vitamin K, and as long as you’re healthy right? You wouldn’t have them if you were sick with the flu. Well you wouldn’t exercise the same way with hormones out of balance as if they were in balance either.
Words associated with nutrition – eating less, being hungry, limiting, restricting, depriving, go to bed hungry, no fun, no flavor. Or Nutrition can be just neutral and boring for you. Diet may trigger more negative feelings. Pizza or tacos may trigger another kind of feeling.
This word we talk about all the time that very likely has feelings attached to it and we don’t even realize.
The word is Habits.
The word alone may or may not get you. But going to bed early, not staying up late, getting up early, checking your phone constantly, snacking all day… all of these are habits and if any of them is yours and someone made you change from what is currently a habit, it would feel foreign, maybe “bad.”
How do all those associated feelings motivate or convince you that you don’t want to do this?
At the airline counter if your bag is too heavy you have two choices:
The same is true if what you’re doing isn’t working. Some of my students embrace change and understand the process. The students that keep finding themselves exhausted or carrying more weight are still trying to eat less and exercise more. They tend to push through instead of find ease in doing what they want to become who they are every day.
They try adding more supplements and trying more shortcuts before they’ve got the basics. I’m a believer that it’s ridiculous to invest in “super foods” unless you’re already eating a few more vegetables every day and you’ve gotten rid of processed and fast foods.
For a short time – a month – 28 days – concentrated focus on something means that a year from now it will still be important. During that 28 days you’re working on creating new systems and breaking old patterns.
Guess what you’re not focused on? Goals. Goals are temporary. Skills are permanent.
So if you want to know how to eat and exercise and be doing it more naturally and normally a year from now you have to take about a month and focus on it. Concentrate on it.
Also really important is making an environment where doing what you want to be doing is easy not hard. If you’re a smoker and you want to quit but you live with four smokers, it’s going to be tough. It’s similar with exercise or with eating differently. There’s both a need to stop something and to start something else. With food, get rid of all the stuff you don’t want to eat. I call it a Pantry Raid in the 28-Day Kickstart.
Create the least resistance possible by getting a plan, clearing the time, getting your thoughts about it right, telling your friends and family, thinking in advance about how you’ll overcome obstacles like approaching holiday dinners or parties, tailgates, time alone when you might ordinarily eat food you don’t want to.
Let me come back to “baggage.” If you get negatively triggered by words like “workout” or exercise, or by nutrition, and food planning, for instance, rename the actions you want to take.
You may also have to look at what it is you’re telling yourself you want to do. If you say you want to lose weight, for instance. What if you focused on getting healthy and feeling good? The side affects on the side of the bottle are going to read, warning: may cause optimal weight. The point is though if there’s no negative association telling your brain to avoid avoid, avoid, you’re much more likely to create the system that gets you where you wanted to go. It’s just that your GPS is broken!
Your brain avoids negative things. Things associated with pain, disappointment, and it’s not going to bring those things to you.
This is no woo-woo episode. There’s literal science that began in the late 70s about the body’s physical ability to change based on your thoughts (and your emotions are just a result of your thoughts). So what you want to do is tap into the emotion to tell you what you’re thinking. You can logically change the thinking and when your emotions change habit change is easy, effortless, and fun.
When someone tells you you’re a “hardworker” or the most hardworking in the gym, are they hurting or helping?
Up to you.
Respond, no it’s easy. I enjoy it.
Because even if you think you value hard work. Your brain still does not want to go there.
Think about it. Hard work or vacation? Which one do you want more of? Struggle or ease? Which one do you want more of? Discipline or naturally? Which one do you want more of?
When you think of “fat-burning” or “calorie-torching” exercise what comes to mind?
How does it make you feel?
For 80% of the population the feelings associated with fat burning and calorie-torching are: hard, effort, intimidating, doubt, failure, exhaustion, punishing.
You won’t start potentially. You won’t stick, potentially. You won’t retain it.
Two things you want to do to lose menopause weight:
I hope that was helpful and I would love to hear from you. (leave a comment) First, if the 28 Day Kickstart feels like a fit the last one of the year, but also of it’s kind is happening in November and it’s open for enrollment now. This session will be available in the future for our Café members and nowhere else.
If you’d like a live connection with me via a retreat in Scottsdale or Boulder or private coaching (which by the way my private coaching clients come to retreats for significantly less than anyone else), please contact email@example.com my customer service experience wizard will give you the next steps to learn more. I’ve got one planned to kick off the year and another for summer at altitude.
Menopause weight and inches are temporary, girlfriend. As long as you find the permanent skills to adjust to the messages you’re getting from hormones. Don’t let them take up residence too long. Don’t give up and resign.
28 Day Kickstart https://www.flippingfifty.com/28-day-kickstart
How do you get better results? You’ve been there: stuck in same old repeating patterns. You started so well. You got to the middle thinking this is it. Then, nope. Same problems, and same obstacles bubble up again. How can you prevent those obstacles that prevent your results?
Before I introduce my guest I want to let you know this episode is sponsored by Fit U. If you have 20 or more pounds to lose and you want a program designed for you, I’ll share the link to the 8-week course in the show notes and a very special rate.
Warning: if you’re after a quick fix and misery through deprivation this is not for you. If you love to suffer this is not for you. If you want programs designed based on young fit males this is not for you. You should not do this course.
Personal Success Coach and Author Heather Lee Chapman has over a decade of experience coaching individuals to be their best and live their best lives through mindset, movement & nutrition. Heather has a background that combines Movement Science as a Personal Trainer, and nutrition as a Certified Nutritional Practitioner.
Heather works with her mentor Danielle Amos from the Proctor Gallagher Institute in leading a Business Mastermind group and educating people on Bob Proctor and Sandy Gallagher’s programs Thinking into Results, Lead the Field, (originally taught by Earl Nightingale) and 6 Minutes to Success.
Mary Morrissey[I am so happy and grateful…]
741 Hertz app (could not be found)
During midlife hormonal shifts you are more susceptible to negative effects of stress since you’ve got more sources… sleep disturbances, progesterone tanks, libido drops and intimacy with your best friend could be an issue, caught between anything from kindergarteners to adult children and aging parents.. you’ve got the perfect storm.
It’s definitely an obstacle to optimal energy and fitness. I’ve got expert help here today to help offer some new insights.
We’re going to dive into how and why you can prevent the fat storage that’s oh so much easier when you’re under stress, and the brain fog and aging acceleration we all want to avoid.
Registered Herbalist (AHG) and Holistic Nutritionist, Danielle Ryan Broda has found her calling as an Instructor of Mycology at Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism, and National Educator at Four Sigmatic. Danielle brings her passion and expertise in herbal medicine, clinical practice, teaching, formulation, and her deep love for fungi, to the Everyday Magic™ of Four Sigmatic.
Stress has become so common in our modern Western world and no one knows it better than a Flipping 50 listener, let’s talk about some of the natural ways we can support ourselves.
Mushroom Coffee with Lion’s Mane and Chaga
Adaptogen Coffee with Tulsi and Ashwaghanda
10 Mushroom Blend
Adaptogen Blend + Mushroom Cacao with Reishi
Try Four Sigmatic for yourself(click here)
Use code: Flipping50
IG @foursigmatic and @danielleryanbroida
Please leave a rating in iTunes! It really helps!
Is the way you think about your habits, your every day habits that create the level of health which you currently have, aging you or slowing the process? Mindful practice of your inner and outer conversations may have more influence on your aging process than anything else that you do.
Of course you’ll have to have the right habits. Yet, if you’re mindful of them, you’ll naturally be inclined to make positive changes. You’ll seek the right information and the right steps. Then you’ll be conscious applying them in your life.
Dr. Ellen Langer, Ph.D., is a social psychologist and the first female professor to gain tenure in the Psychology Department at Harvard University. She is the author of eleven books and more than two hundred research articles written for general and academic readers on mindfulness for over 35 years. Her best selling books include Mindfulness; The Power of Mindful Learning; On Becoming an Artist: Reinventing Yourself Through Mindful Creativity; and Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility. Her most recent book is The Art of Noticing which pairs one-liners culled from her research with her original paintings.
Dr. Langer has been described as the “mother of mindfulness” and the mother of positive psychology.
Among other honors, she is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and three Distinguished Scientist Awards, the World Congress Award, the NYU Alumni Achievement Award, and the Staats award for Unifying Psychology. Most recently she received the Liberty Science Genius Award.
The citation for the APA distinguished contributions award reads, in part, “…her pioneering work revealed the profound effects of increasing mindful behavior…and offers new hope to millions whose problems were previously seen as unalterable and inevitable. Ellen Langer has demonstrated repeatedly how our limits are of our own making.”
You started pioneering this mindfulness movement – certainly about aging – before anyone else seemed to be writing much about it. In 1979, the rest of the world wasn’t quite tuned into the shock that was going to happen when baby boomers all started turning 50 and the change it would have on business opportunity, the economy, health care, so what was it that made you do that study so early in your career? Was it personal? Was there some influence of other researchers that pivoted you in that direction?
In 1979 how old were you? And now you are?
Tell listeners about the Clockwise study
When you removed them from that environment what happened?
This is a quote from some of the press reporting on the Clockwise study:
“What she found, however, surprised even her own team of researchers. Before and after the experiment, both groups of men took a battery of cognitive and physical tests, and after just one week, there were dramatic positive changes across the board. Both groups were stronger and more flexible. Height, weight, gait, posture, hearing, vision—even their performance on intelligence tests had improved. Their joints were more flexible, their shoulders wider, their fingers not only more agile, but longer and less gnarled by arthritis. But the men who had acted as if they were actually back in 1959 showed significantly more improvement. Those who had impersonated younger men seemed to have bodies that actually were younger.” [as printed in Harvardmagazine.com]
Because your body is listening you can change anything.
-Dr. Ellen Langer
Why didn’t we… the mainstream rest of the world hear more about this earlier?
The counterclockwise study results have been described in several of your books, but have never appeared in a professional journal.
Why was that?
Almost 4 decades after that study… you’ve been quoted and your research cited many times in regard to placebo, the power of thinking. We’re now using and hearing the word mindset so much more often. Do you think we’re getting it? The majority of us? Or is it mindset that still limits us?
“It is not our physical state that limits us,” she explains—it is our mindset about our own limits, our perceptions, that draws the lines in the sand.”
Why is it so hard – or is it that we’re doing it wrong – to change mindset?
How can listeners put mindfulness to work for them?
But the biggest obstacle for so many is the language and thoughts that reflect their expectations. The entire premise of Flipping 50 is to first change our mindset so that our expectations send us looking for new knowledge and science that will help us live out our much higher expectations.
Exercising less, with the eye on balancing hormones naturally for more longevity and vitality, optimizing weight with more but better food not diets, and moving for joy not punishment.
“Wherever you put the mind, the body will follow”
But if the expectation is currently exercise is hard and it’s only purpose to burn off something that shouldn’t be there or change something unacceptable… or that it must take dietary deprivation and restriction … then getting healthy becomes hard.
Do you live with any care about your age?
The other study I love to refer to is that you did with Alia Crum with 84 hotel workers. Talk about placebo effect. The mindset we adopt when we take pills – or not – that matters.
You divided the maids into two groups and nothing changed about their physical habits at work, only the beliefabout their physical activity while at work changed. The study was 4 weeks – is that correct?
Engagement is powerful, it’s the act of noticing.
Much of what you’re saying is about the ability to accept that there is a different way to think about anything.
If I gave you some thoughts from our listeners – limiting beliefs – would you be willing to counter with something that might help them see the obstacles those mindless thoughts provide … and offer an action or thought change that would remove self-inflicted limits?
Many of the women listening are thinking:
How has your work influenced your own aging?
How old are you now? The age of or beyond your subjects back in 1981…
“All Rules Are Turned.”
New book she’s working on: Why Not? The Power of Possibility
Listener: Mindfulness and mindlessness were two big words in this episode. What are you doing mindlessly that if changed and approached mindfully could change everything?
Join our Active Aging subscriberlist to get notified when new episodes are released.
Can I gain muscle and gain strength after 50? Two frequent questions I’m asked. And for good reason! Muscle mass not only contributes to your metabolism but it determines your successful independent living later in life.
When I began presenting on stages internationally in the 90’s I often said sexy now is one thing but later it’s going to be who can carry their own tray in the dining room. Truth. Today’s episode is in part about some of the research making waves and about contents of the Flipping 50 Member box too good not to share.
In the Flipping 50 Member box recently we’ve added super strength bands- also known as blood flow restriction bands used in a special Kaatsu training method. As always the Flipping 50 Member Box is filled with items vetted and used by me and I also love to introduce you to the creators and people behind the company.
That’s what today is all about. In the show notes I’ll be linking to the products –F50MB subscribers have a special market place access to find at a better rate – and I’ll also link to a recent blog all about the technique complete with videos. The method is going to be an extra bonus for STRONGER I participants this last quarter of 2019.
My guest is creator of BFR bands that went into our Flipping 50 Member box this month.
As a personal trainer, Kusha Karvandi has trained over 10,000 hours of one-on-one sessions. With over 20 nationally-recognized certifications, and a unique specialty in neuroscience, Kusha’s ability to transform his clients is unlike any other coach in the fitness industry. Although considered the eternal student, Kusha describes his coaching philosophy by the latin word “docere” which implies ‘coach as teacher.’ Kusha is the creator of the BFR Bands, designed for the research-backed form of training known as blood flow restriction training, which helps you gain muscle tone and strength without lifting heavy weight.
(Flipping 50 Member Box subscribers: Use your special Market Place to get yours at the better rate on additional sets)
I’d love to hear from you on this one. Are you intrigued? Inspired to use BFR bands? Want some guidance? (Check out STRONGERwhile it’s open as we’re incorporating it into STRONGER I and STRONGER IV programming!)
What’s Happiness Got to Do with Bone Density and how you can reduce Osteoporosis risk? In this episode my guest and ambassador to the National Osteoporosis Foundation links the connection for us. So tune in for the unexpected way to reduce osteoporosis risk.
Margie Bissinger is a physical therapist and integrative health coach. She is the author of Osteoporosis: An Exercise Guide. Margie is the creator of Move Today, a statewide exercise program in NJ, Happy Me, Happy Life, and Happy Bones, Happy Life™ online programs. Margie helps people achieve optimal bone and overall health through whole foods, exercise, mind-body relaxation techniques, and happiness training. She is a member of the NJ Interagency Council on Osteoporosis and an Ambassador to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Margie has implemented happiness training in her professional career for over 30 years.
Obviously, Margie’s unique approach to reducing Osteoporosis risk through happiness is very unique. As a lecturer on osteoporosis and bone health since 1995 I’m embarrassed to say even I haven’t come across it.
For additional resources on Osteoporosis risk look for the STRONGER I strength training program. Enrollment opens 4 times a year and you can join the notifications list if you’d like to be notified the next time I open.
Meanwhile start something! Try a safe at-home exercise program starting with the 5 Day Flip.
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Let me introduce America’s Holistic Beauty Doc. Does the term Holistic Plastic Surgery peek your curiosity?
What is it and why is this surgeon so unique in his approach? How can you get younger looking skin? What is the lowdown on Botox? Safe, harmful, or prowess with caution? I answer all this and so much more with my guest in this episode. My good friend and returning guest on Flipping 50 shared inside secrets from behind the scalpel today. Every girl over 50 can use a beauty doc for the ever-changing landscape she’s got!
Known as America’s Holistic Beauty Doc, Anthony Youn, M.D. F.A.C.S is a nationally-recognized, board-certified plastic surgeon. Recognized as a leader in his field, he is the author of the best-selling books “The Age Fix: A Leading Plastic Surgeon Reveals How To Really Look Ten Years Younger” and “In Stitches: A Memoir.” His public television special, The Age Fix with Dr. Anthony Youn, has been viewed by millions.
Dr. Youn also hosts the popular podcast The Holistic Plastic Surgery Show. His new book, “Playing God: The Evolution of a Modern Surgeon,” details his humorous, heartwarming, and often harrowing journey to become a leading plastic surgeon. He is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Oakland University / William Beaumont School of Medicine.
– What is holistic plastic surgery?
– What is a simple skin care routine that works?
– What are some of the newest non-invasive options to look younger or get rid of unwanted fat?
– What about botox? Is it safe? Are there negative side affects? There are other fillers out on the market – what’s the difference? Anything you’d say to avoid?
– Tell me about your new book, “Playing God.”
– Tell me a story from your book that reveals the real truth behind plastic surgery?
The book, “Playing God: The Evolution of a Modern Surgeon”is a humorous, heartwarming, and at times harrowing account of surgery residency, fellowship, and starting a private practice. It’s available everywhere books are sold.
Love Your Age with STRONGER[Open for registration]
Getting thyroid support, beyond medication, for the follow through for taking the medication, and doing the things that can be overwhelming when you’re first diagnosed isn’t easy. Who, after all, gets it?
Someone who’s been there and done that does.
Danna Bowman and Ginny Mahar are two thyroid patient advocates who teamed up to create a diet and lifestyle support platform for thyroid patients. They are the creators of the revolutionary wellness game, THYROID30, and hosts of Thyroid Refresh TV, a podcast featuring the world’s leading experts on thyroid-specific diet and lifestyle.
They are thyroid support for women who need a place all things thyroid. Exercise, nutrition, meds, daily habits… all around thyroid.
The site is really like thyroid-central. A resource for experts, information, education, motivation … all things thyroid. It’s truly a thyroid refresh.
So many of our Flipping 50 listeners mention thyroid issues and are just realizing the impact of food and small lifestyle habit changes. If you’re navigating this all on your own with a little overwhelm, there’s help. And it’s in the form of a game that makes it easier to adapt while surrounded by people going through exactly the same thing.
“THYROID30is a gamified, 30-day online wellness adventure designed to help thyroid patients reach their healing goals. Our web app is a revolutionary tool that empowers patients to make successful and sustainable diet and lifestyle changes. Our players come back season after season because THYROID30 makes the healing fun.”
Sign up now for the upcoming Fall Wellness Adventure– Game play starts September 22, 2019. Seeing this later? You can check out the next one and get some other juicy help like the Grocery Guide.
When it comes to a thyroid-friendly diet, there sure are a lot of things you’re not supposed to eat. That’s no fun! Thyroid Fresh likes to focus on the positives, like all the wonderful and healthy foods you can eat– foods that nourish and help you feel your best.
What a mouthful, osteosarcopenia. This condition that refers to bone and muscle losses is relatively new. There is a lack of consensus among researchers on what to call it (sarco-osteopenia, sarco-osteoporosis, osteosarcopenia). No matter what they name it, for you and I this is a topic we need to unpack.
Before we dive into this week’s episode … a shout out to listener mlg114 who left this comment in iTunes:
“You and Figs might have saved my marriage. My husband and I have been in the “me exercise you not” pattern for a few years! We’ve been hurting each other unintentionally on this very subject! Result has been severe resentment though we’re about to celebrate 25 years married! You have spread your mission of kindness to us successfully! Thank you with all my heart for this valuable, intelligent podcast!”
So thank you to mlg114 this made my day and I shared it with Figs, too.I’d love it if you’d leave a rating in iTunes too. I have been reading these regularly and want to start sharing them with you. I’ll link to iTunes in today’s show notes at flippingfifty.com/osteosarcopenia and to the episode about how to encourage healthy habits without nagging.
So let’s get into it. I’ve got a lot to cover here. You’ll notice this episode is potentially longer than most. It’s a big topic. There’s a lot of controversy at first glance and that’s resulting in a lot of confusion. I want to clear it all up for you.
Osteosarcopenia is the new term given to the combination of osteopenia/osteoporosis and sarcopenia.
I’ve got to cover some vocabulary first.
Osteoporosis is the low bone mineral density (BMD) that is statistically 2.5 standard deviations from the ideal of a young woman. Meaning, it’s significantly lower than ideal bone density.
Osteopenia is the space between that ideal bone mineral density and 2.5 standard deviations from ideal. You’re not good any longer, you’re not quite bad enough to diagnose as having osteoporosis. But it’s not going in the right direction.
Sarcopenia is pronounced muscle and strength loss. It can be in spite of normal weight or obesity – that when coupled is termed “sarcobesity.” It’s characterized by low grip strength, a poor chair stand test (say you can’t do more than 5 rises from a chair in 15 seconds), low muscle measured by a DXA scan, and low performance of a battery of tests like an up and go test and a timed 400 meter walk,to name a couple.
The combination of both low bone density and low muscle mass is what I’m referring to today as osteosarcopenia.
Non-pharmacological strategies to help prevent, reverse, or treat (by way of exercise and lifestyle habits) to improve both conditions independently and the combined condition osteosarcopenia are the topic for this episode.
Spoiler alert. This episode is aptly sponsored by STRONGER I, my 12-week strength training program designed for women in perimenopause, menopause, and beyond. It’s based 100% on research featuring women in that group. Such a small percent of programs are made for women, based on research featuring women, that most everything you’ve learned about exercise may be a lie. If it wasn’t about who you were or are at the time you did it, then it wasn’t considering the unique hormones, metabolism, body composition or unique socialization that you as a woman have.
I don’t think for a minute any 60-year-old overweight man would have begun an exercise program based on what worked for 22-year-old female collegiate athletes. Do you? And yet, the equivalent is essentially what’s been going on for decades in fitness for women.
STRONGER I opens four times a year. As I record this my team just let me know it’s open! That means there’s a juicy early bird rate right now. You can learn more about it at flippingfifty.com/getstronger [I’ll share that link in the show notes] If you’re listening to this later – which I know happens – and you’re curious you can get on a notification list to learn when it does open again and have first chance to save a spot if you decide you want it.
Let me start with osteoporosis. For women in post menopause concern about bone density usually heightens. For good reason, once we lose the protective factor that estrogen offers, we lose bone faster – in fact it really accelerates right after menopause.
Currently losses of .6%, 1.1% and 2.1% per year for the 60-69, 70-79 and over 80 age groups is the level of average bone loss.
In the first 4-5 years post menopause loss is accelerated to 1.5% per year for spine and 1.1-1.4% for hip.
I want to stop the red flags and alarms going off in your head right now. I want to remind you: that these statistics are looking at a lot of women who Do Not exercise. They may smoke, drink more than a glass of wine a day, eat poorly and never lift weights. This is like “normal range” in labs. It’s COMMON, it may not be you. And no matter what, bone losses are preventable, and to some extent reversible, or there are ways to prevent falls and fractures so bone losses are not devastating.
So if your thoughts are spiraling downward, stop.
Truthfully, stopping muscle loss is easier or at least has less specific “rules.” To provide adequate stimulus to muscle for lean muscle maintenance or increases, you must reach fatigue. That can be done with heavy load and few repetitions or with a lighter load and more repetitions.
Fatigue, or temporary fatigue, is simply getting to the last repetition that you can do with good form or complete. Within minutes, or actually seconds, you recover and are able to do more if you had to. But without that actual muscle fatigue stimulus of overload for women in perimenopause and beyondcountless studies are coming back saying the positive influences on muscle, strength, fat burning, and metabolism is minimal.
At this point I hope you understand there’s some criteria you have to meet for either bone and or muscle benefit. The effect of exercise on bone loss is controversial. At best, however, every professional not quoting research and testing effects of bone density tends to have anopinion, based on general research collectively done for populations, young and old, men and women. If you are in our Flipping 50 tribe, what I’m about to share is specifically filtered for YOU.
All too often a woman may be told to “exercise” or to “walk” by her physician. She may be told to lift weights but that it doesn’t have to be heavy. I provide research here to explain why that information is or is not on target depending on who you are, what your activity history is.
There is a continuum of exercise with minimal and with optimal benefits. There’s a continuum of sedentary and deconditioned women on one end and athletic women on the other end. Consideration of both continuums has to be examined to arrive at the best option for you.
For osteopenia and osteoporosis aerobic and low impact exercise fails to benefit Bone Mineral Density(BMD) in most studies. In a few studies walking limits progressive bone loss. Note that is limits losses, not stopsbone losses or increases bone density.
Typical aerobic activity like elliptical trainers, bicycles, rowing machines have little to no positive influence on bone density. There’s a complete lack of heel strike or what’s referred to as Minimal Effective Stress (M.E.S.). Though there may be some resistance benefit at higher settings as opposed to use of speed for intensity.
Swimming potentially has a negative effect. It completely removes the effect of gravity.
With co-existing factors many women have in addition to osteoporosis or sarcopenia, like arthritis, prior joint issues, or lack of cartilage, many older adults naturally (and should) choose water exercise. Choice of swimming for cardio exercise increases the need for resistance training. Surf and turf is a must.
M.E.S. is not even met in repetitive low impact exercise like walking or jogging beyond a certain point of adaptation. Once you’re ambulatory and moving around your body has gained all the benefits it’s going to from that position and stress. More steps do not equate to more stress that the bone will positively respond to.
Jumping rope or other plyometric exercise is most associated with building bone density though it may not be wise in many cases where there is already a low BMD.
Strength is the clear winner for bother bone density and for muscle maintenance.
For untrained individuals aerobic activity that is weight bearing in nature, like walking or Zumba, may increase BMD while in already trained individuals who have already attained a baseline of osteogenic activity (bone reformation to avoid getting too technical) these activities neither stimulate more bone density or prevent further losses.
In other words, once you’ve achieved a minimal level of bone density from an activity, you don’t get more bone benefit from the same level of stimulation. More steps, more miles, more minutes don’t equate to more benefit.
The load above gravity is less effective in osteoporosis prevention.
In some cases subjects whose primary mode of exercise is swimming show a 10% greater occurrence of low bone mineral density than those who do land based exercise. Other studies show some minimal support for bone mineral density from swimming and water exercise. This goes back to… are you a beginner who’s been doing very little? Or already active?
This activity misses the heel strike though there is some muscular force that can increase BMD in those with LBM mass upon initial use. This aerobic activity may be safe for those with high risk of fracture, provided they have good balance (required not necessarily gained from the activity). Can you do more? Can you walk? Can you dance or box with more ground mechanical forces?
Rebounding may make sense. For someone who can’t do higher impact exercise, but higher impact will provide greater benefits for those who are able.
Do you remember Lance Armstrong? It’s rare for a young male, let alone an elite athlete to be diagnosed with osteoporosis. At one point one of the fittest men on earth, from hundreds of hours cycling in an unloaded environment (even with the resistance of uphill climbs) was diagnosed with low bone mineral density. This was before the interference of chemotherapy.
There’s got to be a mechanical stress that is more than usual your stimulation. Once achieved more of the same mechanical stress does not improve bone. A long distance runner for instance, cannot outrun the need for strength training. In fact, because most endurance athletes tend to be lean or smaller in frame, they are likely candidates for low bone density. They’re even more at risk if they have a diet low in absorbable calcium, protein, and otherwise high in nutrient density and also don’t lift weights.
If you walk 3 miles three times a week and then become a runner you may experience a slight bump in bone density. You leave the ground with running and there’s a greater force to the bones. After that initial change, your bone density won’t further increase.
Running 3 miles 3 days a week then increasing to 3 miles 6 days a week would not make you less likely to lose bone mass. In fact, if you did become leaner, you may accelerate your likelihood of low bone mass. Regular endurance exercise (without strength training) can over time accelerate muscle breakdown called catabolism. The combined loss of muscle and bone loss make a runner just as likely for osteosarcopenia as anyone.
However controversial, there is some proof that aerobic activity can begin a process of stimulating some enzyme activity within the bone that then makes resistance training more effective. For that to happen the exercise can occur concurrently on same days or on alternate days.
Resistance Exercise for Osteopsarcopenia
The research on aerobic exercise is a little controversial at least before you look at the populations studied. There is no controversy about resistance training’s effects on bone mineral density. There is some confusion however about what qualifies as adequate bone mineral density and I’ll get to that next. Almost all studies point to resistance training – provided it is done with adequate intensity– as providing a protective factor for bone.
There’s a continuum here too.
Yoga trainings for registered instructors list bone density as a benefit. I came unglued the day my instructor told the class that in my own 200-hour Yoga Instructor Training. There is evidence yoga helps, again on a continuum.
For someone who has been previously sedentary and deconditioned, there will be bone density benefits from yoga. From couch to mat, I can’t argue that. But we’ve got to keep very clear on the fact that this doesn’t eliminate the need for a progressive resistance training plan. For someone who has been lifting weights regularly or even doing higher impact aerobic activity, there will not be “more” bone benefits from yoga, even “power” yoga.
Resistance exercise for sedentary, weak, or most frail individuals might include water exercise (with adequate intensity), bicycling (again- in high gear simulating uphill climbs) though the benefits will be site specific. That is, if you’re pedaling a bike you’re going to gain the most bone density and muscle benefits in the upper leg and hip. With swimming your gains will be in the arms, upper back, and shoulders, somewhat dependent on your stroke.
You can experience initial bone density benefits from yoga, bands and tubing, pilates reformers, and work your way into free weights and, ultimately, if you have known low bone density, use machine weights. Machine weights make lifting as heavily as you can, safe. I’m a firm believer that every retirement center, assisted living community should provide at the least a leg press, a chest press, and a seat row machine to help load the hip, spine and wrist.
The recommendations for resistance training for bone density specifically include:
Not every resistance protocol that supports muscle – (which can prevent sarcopenia) – will help bones and prevent or treat osteoporosis. For muscle-specific benefits you need to reach fatigue and it can be done with lighter weights for more repetitions. That, similar to reasons more running doesn’t result in more bone density, will not be enough stimulus for the bone.
Low protein is directly correlated with both bone loss and muscle atrophy.
High protein is associated with less muscle loss at a given age and better lower limb performance.
Protein supplementation over 3-24 months corrected sarcopenia. The intervention provided 6-30 gram servings/day combined with resistance training.
Where older adults need to lose weight, resistance training plus protein intake prevent muscle loss related to calorie restriction.
Bone density is also associated with higher protein intake. Further, hip fractures decreased by 16% in subjects who had high protein intake compared to those with low protein intake.
Decreasing alcohol intake and managing daily supplements like Calcium(when dietary calcium intake or absorption is less than optimal), Vitamin D, and magnesium may also support bone health. Overall nutrition adequacy is more important than it’s ever been considered before.
In an upcoming podcast I’ll discuss the role of stress and happiness, as they’re associated with bone density.
It’s simple. Strength training is key to aging well, independently, and to metabolism.
Strength training targets bone density and lean muscleboth in a way that aerobic activity does not. That’s not to discount aerobic exercise. It’s important, though in much smaller doses than you’ve ever believed before.
“Those with osteosarcopenia have worse prognosis than adults with either osteopenia or sarcopenia alone. Therapeutic strategies that have a dual effect on bone and muscle are critical in the management of osteosarcopenia.”Those therapeutic strategies include:
I leave you with this last comment. If you’re not strength training now, start. If you influence and love young women encourage them to get into strength training early in life to prevent bone losses that begin at age 30 otherwise.
If you influence pre-teens or teens encourage participation in sports with higher impact like basketball, soccer, gymnastics, and martial arts. Swimming and biking are wonderful activities but have little influence on bone mineral deposits. Balance them with other activities.
If you want support with the right kind of exercise, the progression and the tips for safe and effective exercise, I’d love to see you in STRONGER I. Click here right now while registration is open. If you’re listening later, click to check whether I’m about to launch a new 12-week series or to get notified when I do.
Hot, Not Bothered:99 Daily Flips for Slimmer, Trimmer, Fitter Faster So that You Can Master Metabolism Before, During, and (Long) After Menopause
Really, I can choose one from all the infrared sauna benefits I’ve gained in the 15 months I’ve enjoyed my solo sauna. But I got one for sure I hadn’t even counted on.
For me, infrared sauna was a health investment, but it was mostly for relaxing and recovery. I loved the idea of natural detox and increased metabolism. But it wasn’t until I was exposed to months of mold in the house I rented that I realized how fortunate I was to already have it right there in my home.
I invited my friend Alicia Botryruis from Sunlighten to share some news during Sunlighten’s anniversary. I saw her recently at a conference and they’ve got a new toy! It makes it easy to enjoy infrared sauna benefits on a budget of any size! So I wanted you to hear about it!
Alicia has been a health and wellness advocate for over 25 years. She is passionate about sharing the full-spectrum of a vibrant lifestyle, which empowers people to live a healthier, happier and more colorful life. Alicia believes wellness is equal parts nurture, perseverance and listening to your intuition.
Her success is attributed to her belief in servant leadership, copious amounts of artisanal dark chocolate and very high heels.
I have personally noticed these infrared sauna benefits (in addition to mold detox!):
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