Exercise Less and Have the Body and Energy You Want: Episode 17

You’ve got goals! In today’s episode, Julie is planning to do a marathon. She knows weight training is important to avoid muscle loss and wants help juggling the increasing miles and demand on time and energy.

Fortunately, marathon training has changed! Instead of miles and miles, even endurance training is shifting to include more intervals, more weight training, and less overall miles. It’s perfect for an older athlete to avoid injury, recover better, and show up at the starting line healthy on race day.


Muscles_in_Minutes_IconMuscles in Minutes

We start with Muscles in Minutes so Julie knows how and what to include in a consistent weight training program. Heavy weights, form, and muscular fatigue are all crucial components to an effective strength training program.

Planning is key. Once you’ve planned, you simply go into action. You’ll need to adjust based on energy, other time demands, and just life… but if you have a plan, those are just speed bumps and you’re not derailed. Notice the key runs happen 4 days a week, allowing plenty of recovery between. This schedule also takes advantage of weekends for the important long and recovery days.

A smart schedule is going to look something like this:

marathon training scheudle

Here is the list of upper body and lower body exercises I demonstrate in this episode:

upper body exercises

lower body exercises


Minute Made Meals

Food for Julie has to increase as her energy demands increase. Whether you’re running a marathon yourself, running a business, or working through a major project, more of the right food at the right time will keep you headed for a strong finish.

In addition to exercise session goals after 50, there are two things to keep in mind: 

  1. Reducing inflammation.(**See Below for update to this episode show notes) Under stress, inflammation is more likely. Through your food choices, both what you include and what you avoid you can reduce your inflammation. Remember you don’t have to feel inflammation for it to exist. Julie of course may feel it through muscle soreness or small aches and pains over her training. You may not have those signals, but even weight loss resistance is a sign of inflammation.
  2. Reducing muscle losses. When you’re not exercising enough and when you’re exercising a lot, muscle breakdown after 50 is more significant. Adequate overall calories, and adequate protein are important considerations with meals and snacks. Timing meals right so your muscles can synthesize that protein optimally, is also important.

In a busy life, full of extra training hours and goals, high quality food is a must. Post workout smoothies made with protein, “super foods” such as spinach, kale, or chard, fruit (berries), and healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil), as well as other items like cinnamon, cacao, and mac, help to reduce inflammation and rebalance blood sugar and hormones. Grab the smoothie recipe book below (the smoothie bowl book is full of some of the big “additions” that will boost your smoothie benefits).


Why Not Whey?

Since this episode aired you may notice I no longer carry Whey protein. Very few women in midlife tolerate it. I was one of the few and one who used it exclusively for exercise pre or post. But because it is dairy and an inflammatory, for many women the rapidly absorbed quality that made it attractive to body builders and athletes like me for years, sabotages women in midlife.

In general we begin to have a significant more challenging time breaking down proteins. So the faster they go in, the more gas and bloating you might experience.

Additionally, if you use whey any other time- say for breakfast smoothie as I have enjoyed for 25 years, it’s going to spike blood sugar, insulin and that tells your body to store more fat.

So use caution using whey. It’s no longer the ideal source. And there are next to none (I’ve found zero) studies exclusively on women in midlife using it successfully.


Overnight Success

Before we turn out the lights on this episode, we have to talk about sleep. Sleep is the “athlete’s steroid” and the over 50 woman’s BFF. In order to have your best days you have to have your best nights. 




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Circumference outside of both arms, at the armpit

Right Triceps
Halfway btwn shoulder & elbow, arm extended.

Find the widest point of girth at the hips

Right Thigh
Standing with weight on both legs, measure halfway between knee cap and hip flexor

Right Calf
Standing with weight on both legs, find the largest point of calf.

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Measure from the rib cage just under breasts at bra line

At the belly button/umbilicus

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