50 Little Fitness Changes to Make After 50Many 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. you may like this. 5 day or 30 day challenge you’re doing right now may be the start of a habit that changes your life for the better.
Start reading.Reading empowers you. If you can’t read, listen to books, or have Alexa share books while you’re cooking. Books can inspire you, inform you, and educate you about how to start or keep going. A few of my favorite titles are here.(and just below)
Change your skin care.It’s time to tune into your aging skin’s needs and embrace oils for your face. Yes, even if you’re still breaking out along with those crow’s feet, oil is a game-changer. Natural ingredients minus all of the toxic ingredients you’ll find too often in most beauty products is what you’ll find in new and better product lines. One of my favorites is Annmarie skincare. How is this related to fitness? If you start sweating or getting into the elements it matters what you’re putting on your skin. You’re going to glow from positive fitness changes, so let it shine, girl!
Start a smoothie habit.In about two minutes you can have a high protein, high antioxidant meal full of vegetables, and fiber that will keep you full for hours. It costs you less than most meals would, about the same price as that latte you buy. More importantly the cost of not eating a high protein fiber-rich breakfast is that you’ll succumb to cravings for caffeine and sugar the rest of the day. You will accelerate the fitness changes you want to see when you become a smoothie girl. Just be selective. This is not the smoothie stand at the mall full of sugar and fruit only or protein powders in a can full of chemicals. Need a get-started recipe guide for smoothies? Try this.
Wait an hour after rising to exercise.Save your back. The discs in your back plump overnight as you’re sleeping horizontal such that when you wake the intervertebral pressure puts you at risk for rupture. Both movement and moment pressure can cause a rupture. That is, something like actually going for a run or lifting weights, and something like doing a plank or pushing a shovel to clear the driveway can cause a ruptured disc. After 60 minutes about 90% of that extra pressure dissipates so you’re much safer to exercise. If that’s news to you, this might be interesting for you.
Start Cooking.Collect at least half a dozen simple recipes you can make that you can grab ingredients for even without a list. Exercise will not make up for poor nutrition. Exercise is Medicine. Food is medicine. You wouldn’t undergo chemo while you’re smoking, right? Stop the processed fast food options that sabotage you.
Start counting grams of protein in every meal.It’s not the total at the end of the day that matters. Your body best absorbs the essential amino acids (EAA) from about 30 grams of high quality protein at once. So shoot for at least two if not three high quality protein meals to sustain your muscle. EAA are the building blocks of muscle. If you’re not seeing tone or your skin is lacking luster these days, check in with your protein intake.
Make your first meal a high protein breakfast.Even if your smoothie is post workout and not breakfast or you just can’t imagine a cold breakfast, make it high protein. Leftovers will do. Just nix the carbs and make this about protein and tons of veggies. It’s fine to start the day with a salad if you’re inclined. Fitness changes don’t happen by accident after 50 and being on purpose includes nutrition. It was always important, now it’s much more so.
Try exercise fasted.It doesn’t work for everyone. You can try it to know when you have the most energy to put effort into your exercise. Fasted may be best for you and it may not. Don’t listen to what works for anyone else. Regardless of whether you eat before exercise or not, you do want that high quality protein breakfast. You’re helping your hormones balance you for better mood, blood sugar all day long by doing so.
Follow challenging workouts with a high protein meal 90 minutes later.Old school said create a caloric deficit by exercising and eating less. We learned that slows your metabolism and confuses your body making it store more fat. Then school said eat within 30 minutes of your workout and have carbs and protein. Chocolate milk was the bomb. But we realized the sugar and dairy or soy in chocolate milk was spoiling results and contributing to inflammation. For older adults there’s a small blunting effect on ability to synthesize protein (your muscles don’t benefit as much) for about an hour after a workout. Resistance training does open up the muscles for better protein synthesis though, so after that hour is a perfect time to consume a high protein meal. That makes early morning or mid morning ideal times to get a hard workout in.
Make new friends who are doing what you want to be doing.It doesn’t matter if they’re next door, across the country, or only online today. You can still get connected. Sometimes you outgrow old friends. Sometimes your dear old friends just aren’t into fitness changes you want to make. All okay. It makes you more interesting to each other. I interviewed friend and 74-year old Dexter Yeats who is an Ironman athlete (she competed in several in 2019 – this is not past tense!) and asked what it’s like getting together with friends at home – who don’t train. She still enjoys them and they her. They still have plenty in common. But she’s got a whole other set of friends of all ages who participate in endurance events too. Expand your circles.
Start a daily yoga or simple stretching practice.Maintaining mobility in the coming decades will depend on you staying active. Regularly putting your joints through full range of motion now is insurance.
Get a massage.Do it as a reward. Do it as a way to feel better moving so you want to get started. If you’re struggling to exercise because it simply doesn’t feel good, consider starting with a weekly massage. Do that for a month. The better you feel the less frequently you’ll “need” the massage and the more movement will help you stay tuned up. You can also optimize fitness changes by releasing tension in muscles that you don’t even realize you’ve got it in.
Between massages use a foam roller or The Stick.Self-massage, or myofascial massage, helps you stretch more effectively by smoothing out the fibrous overlay on top of your muscles. The difference between fascia and muscle can be described like this. If you’re feeling “tight” but you haven’t lost range of motion, you probably need to use a foam roller or The Stick. If you’ve lost range of motion the muscles may need a good stretch. Yet, they may benefit more when you’ve had that fascia smoothed out. Myofascial release can also help hydrate those fibers and smooth them out which will reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Eat more vegetables.The more micronutrients you get in the less you experience cravings. Your skin, bones, and muscles all require a micronutrient-dense diet. You’ve never felt better than when you begin to consume 6-9 cups of vegetables on a daily basis. Fitness changes will begin to happen that couldn’t without the right nutrients.
Exercise outdoors.Even if hiking isn’t your thing, try moving your weights to the deck. Ride your bicycle or swim in an outdoor pool. Most adults spend a considerable amount of time indoors breathing in stale air and surrounded by chemicals in carpet, upholstery. Any time you can get a little more fresh air, do it.
Exercise for a reason.A charity, a trip, a stretch doing something you’ve never done. There are events all over for walking, running, biking, and group fitness classes. Just keep your eyes open or type into a search engine and you’ll find something. I might never have done my first marathon had it not been for Team in Training by the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. The second time I fundraised for them I coached a group. It’s a game changer for both you and those you raise funds for.
Take dance lessons.Alone or with your partner. It’s as good for the posture and cardio as it is for the brain. Learning something new, reacting to a partner or calls (square-dancing) and exercising to music are all good for health and fitness.
Box regularly.Put on the wraps, the gloves, find a place with a bag or just do it with the additional weight of the gloves (about 12 oz). You can learn at any age. And if fitness changes for you such that low impact is important, you can create high intensity work with boxing without the jarring.
Some exercise is recovery and some exercise requires recovery.
Try intermittent fasting.That’s really just shortening the eating window. For most people food has become an all day event. Grazing or small meals frequently means your body never needs to burn fat. Start with 3 meals, no snacks, and a long overnight fast between dinner and breakfast. Don’t skip breakfast as some intermittent fasting programs recommend. For women in midlife specifically eating early is key to optimal hormone health. Alternatively you can do a fasting-mimicking diet that allows you to eat regular meals just less and it’s scientifically designed with specific amounts of plant protein, fat, and carbohydrates to trick your body into thinking it’s fasting.
Test your DNA.Use the results to power your exercise and your nutrition. Talk with your family members about it. Fitness changes you might not otherwise would have considered can be revealed to you from your DNA test. Though we all need strength training to hold onto muscle as we age, you (like me) may be genetically predisposed to endurance exercise. That would mean you can and should do a greater percent of your exercise at lower intensity for longer period of time. Several of my private clients have found just this to be the case.
Learn to meditate.The brain benefits are well documented. For women in midlife the calm and focus from meditation will counter the brain fog, and loss of memory, that are common complaints. If you feel like you’ve got monkey mind and just can’t focus, anyone can learn to do it. Just five minutes a day can be of benefit.
Wear clothes you love to exercise in.You don’t have to spend $90 on a pair of yoga pants, but if you can, it might be a motivator to you. There is a difference. Whatever the cost, you should love the way they make you feel. If it’s been a while and you’re still wearing something from 10 years ago, invest. There’s more support, control, and comfort cooling or warming you in fit fashions today. No more waiting until some day. recent media appearance I shared why “weight loss” is the worst New Year’s resolution! If you right how lose weight and a large percent of it is muscle, you are slowing your metabolism. After 50 that’s harder to turn around. You want to be monitoring your fat loss, not just your weight.
Get exercise shoes that fit your foot and your activity.Give yourself the extra half size or the wider toe box. You may order online for convenience but get fitted in a store by someone who knows feet and shoes both first. So many women find they’ve got Morton’s neuroma, plantar fasciitis, or Achilles tendinitis in midlife. It is related to hormone changes but careful selection of your footwear and your exercise programming can reduce your risk. Just as your fitness changes, so too do your feet! What were higher arches may no longer be. What was enough cushion may not be as you lose fat (right? why there?) in the pads of your feet.
Get more sleep.If you have any feelings that your workouts are just not getting you the results they should be, check your sleep habits. Too little sleep can sabotage several hormones that you need on track for optimal fitness, especially now. Optimal cortisol levels, testosterone, and growth hormone production depend on sleep. They in turn affect other hormones. So just as important as how many and how much weight you lift is how much sleep you get to allow the repair of those muscles.
- 1 scoop vanilla Flipping 50 Plant or Paleo Power protein
- 1 tsp matcha
- 8 oz unsweetened almond milk
- stevia to taste, optional