What’s the role of exercise in hormone balance, exactly? We know these facts. Exercise influences hormones. Hormones influence exercise. You, already know this. I’ve said it before here at Flipping 50. But you already know because there are days you don’t feel like exercising, or you feel like the mirror isn’t reflecting the consistent hard work you’ve done.
And it feels relative to hormone changes. Whether you knew you were in perimenopause or not– that period of time lasting up to 10 years for some women, you realize that other things were changing too.
Your skin seemed to be thinning, maybe showing more signs of wrinkles or more cellulite than you had before. You may deal with both breakouts and fine lines during this time. You notice more hair loss in the shower.
So is the answer hormone replacement? What if you are and you’re still not feeling 100%? It doesn’t do all the heavy lifting, or shouldn’t. And you’ve got a lot more control than we ever might have known. The foods you eat, or don’t, the sleep habits you have, or don’t, the way you handle stress or don’t, and exercise type and timing play a factor.
This episode is sponsored by The After 50 Fitness Formula for Womencourse, it’s my signature course and companion to You Still Got It, Girl! the book. In it I teach you module by module how foods have an effect on hormones, how stress influences hormones, and sleep, and of course exercise.
One thing I know better than anything after 35 years in fitness primarily working with women over 40 from the very beginning? We want to know WHYand so we can connect the dots to why it’s important to do this in the HOWwe’re being taught so we understand the reason to commit to doing it.
There’s no lack of motivation or discipline. I just don’t buy into that. There’s usually a belief about what, how, and why something works that either propels you or stands in your way. Right now during this After 50 Fitness Formula course anniversary you get not just the 8 modules Plus a bonus module demonstrating examples of exercise, you get:
THEN I’ve created 5 bonusesyou get NOW… but it they go away Labor Day weekend so get in now!
These extras opened August 20th… join nowand get started to get them all…! The daily tips 20th-Sept 15th will help you get a strong start by working on your beliefs about exercise, hormones, and menopause.
***Bonuses will be available for a limited amount of time and not a part of the course long term. So you’ll have longer to watch them when you get in right away before they disappear September 15. You can only get in if you start by LABOR DAY!
So enough on that, let’s talk specifically about exercise and hormone balance.
So, you are more in control than you may have thought. And it’s less complicated than you think. So this episode is about really unraveling the hormones we’ve got changing most, what they do or did, and don’t without help as they decrease…and how exercise can help.
First let’s look at the role of sex hormones in the body. Then we’ll look at how exercise influences hormones.
1.Grows the lining in the uterus so that the fertilized egg can implant.
2.Increases collagen production in the entire body, most notably in the blood vessels, skin, vagina and bladder.
3.Maintains cardiovascular elasticity and blood flow.
4.Prevents the body from losing bone densityby inhibiting osteoclasts.
5.Increases vaginal lubrication and sex drive.
6.Augments sexual desire.
7.Fuels fat metabolism.
8.Facilitates mental health by increasing serotonin and dopamine in the brain.
9.Stimulates the production of progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, and more estrogen receptors.
10.Modulates adrenaline levels.
12.Modulates immune functions.
13.Increases melatonin levels.
1.At its peak, stimulates apoptosis (cell death/anti-cancer).
2.Increases bone density.
4.Lowers blood pressure.
6.Acts as a natural diuretic.
7.Improves insulin sensitivity.
8.Increases GABA secretion.
9.Is a precursor to cortisol, and all the steroid hormones.
10.Modulates immune functions.
1.Plays a role in healthy heart and blood.
2.Supports a body to makeless fat, more muscle.
4.Improves verbal memory, spatial abilities and mathematical reasoning.
5.Improves libido& erectile function.
With hormone decline, physical health may deteriorate, mental wellness decreases, and chronic diseases may creep in. At least this is what you’ve been taught and the correlation that has been true until now. Until this time when more of us have been exercising for decades or are starting now.
This is important: understand that the science that’s collected data up until now is looking at the past.It is notlooking at your future.
What if you chose not to believe it?
During the recession, about 14 years ago I heard a speaker get up and talk about just how much we were hearing how bad the economy was at the time. She began with, “what if we decided not to participate?”I challenge you to think the same.
What if you decided not to participate in what you were told is coming with menopause and with aging? What if you rejected it? Instead, what if you went on believing you could enjoy an even more vibrant life now because of your life experience and wisdom and personal insight into what makes you happy?
1.Increased resting heart rate
2.Rise in blood pressure
4.Decrease in short term memory function
5.Changes in body fat distribution and composition
6.Thinning hair on head, arms, legs, and pubic area
7.Increased facial hair
8.Blood chemistry changes such as:
How did that list make you feel?
Think about it?
If it makes you feel like you’re fighting a war, it should. It’s not much of a party, right?
I encourage you to reject the idea these things WILL happen, or that if they do they are permanent.
They are merely signs and symptoms. Signs that you indeed are having changing hormones. Changing hormonesisa part of the evolution of a woman’s life whether they occur at menopause or with surgery.
You can opt to change. Change exercise. Change nutrition. Change lifestyle habits and break old patterns that will no longer work for you (hint: they weren’t working for you… you were lucky).
The science we had decades ago was the best we had. But if 39% of all sports medicine and exercise research features females right now,imagine the low percent that featured females 30 years ago.
Exercise plays a role in balancing these hormones and their reactions IF we use an exercise prescription that is HORMONE BALANCING, and not all people all the time.
Mass bootcamps with all ages and levels … is very attractive to gyms and trainers. Let’s pack them in and charge a nominal rate but with dozens in a session it’s still a huge win. The energy and excitement is contagious. Unfortunately, injury rates climbed. There is no modification when it’s one or two trainers to 2, 4, or 6 dozen attendees. When others are driven you are driven and yet, that isn’t what every hormone imbalance needs.
Classes are no different. Groups of 25 or 30 adults coming together to do either a workout dictated by the instructor’s mood or energy, or a pre-scripted program may not be what any individual needs at the moment. Once you know how hard you need to work and what kind of workout you need, group may work well for you. You know you and then you can choose the best options – and frequency for yourself.
Let’s talk about weight training.
Weight training is one of the absolute best things you can do for your hormone balance. Specifically targeting growth hormone, testosterone, cortisol, and insulin, with strength training you can introduce exercise without a sweat if that’s something you can do without.
Though estrogen isn’t necessarily effected by weight training, it’s effects are addressed as bone density losses are slowed by weight training (and only weight training).
There’s more. Additional hormones positively influenced by strength training are endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. Though aerobic activity has always been associated with endorphins, don’t overlook strength training because the benefits seem to be equal. These hormones also bump cognitive performance long term. After a year of strength training women improved on executive planning abilities (problem solving and memory). There’s also a reduction in anxiety and depression.
High volume lower-to-moderate intensity sets with short breaks works.
Low-volume, high intensity sets with longer rest intervals works better.
If you’re scared, just starting, opt for the high volume. Progress as you can (and assess on a joint by joint basis) to heavier weights for optimum hormone, bone, and muscle benefit.
STRONGER I is a moderate to heavier and STRONGER III is a lighter weight higher volume program for both beginners and for developing “cut” or definition.
Focus on an aerobic (or higher intensity which is referred to as anaerobic when you can’t sustain for periods longer than 30 seconds) with intermittent recovery periods. The total sessions should last 20-30 minutes at most. Weekly total HIIT times should be 45 minutes or less. After that time injury rates increase and benefits decrease. The body needs recovery from hard work in order to reap benefits.
Disruption of the endocrine system tends to occur at varying levels for individuals. It is more common however in women who focus uniquely on endurance exercise without weight training or HIIT, and or who only add rather than removing to find a balance between activity.
Intense early and light late is the Flipping 50 guideline. Testosterone levels are naturally higher in the morning. Strength and HIIT sessions that occur early also work with natural healthy cortisol patterns.
Late day cortisol drops but your body is warm and loose. It’s the perfect time for “light late” activity like stretching and yoga or a light walk. If you need to accommodate your schedule, later in the day is fine for weight training. Optimal effects of exercise in hormone balance may not be available if you exercise of the wrong type at the wrong time.
Keep your exercise pre-dinner. Avoid any exercise within 4 hours of bedtime.
The key to benefits from Interval Training is high enough intensity. There’s got to be metabolic demand sufficient enough to cause change. That is why Flipping 50 recommends always reaching fatigue when you’re focused on body composition, metabolism, and positive hormone influence of exercise.
The role of exercise in hormone balance can’t take the lead if you’re not using the right exercise.
Fatigue during strength training is getting to a repetition that truly is the last one you can do. During intervals that is breathless. If you’re not doing either of those, you’re not influencing your metabolic-driven hormones and won’t experience the beneficial changes.
Whether you want to boost libido, regain lost muscle tone, decrease fat, increase muscle mass to boost metabolism, or regulate blood sugar levels, proper intensity, in other words, training with purpose, not just random exercise is your goal.
Testosterone slowly declines in women leading to menopause and then can drastically drop off. Bye bye libido and maybe your confidence at work. Increased testosterone can be induced by resistance training. Again, provided the stimulus is intense enough.
Growth hormone and testosterone have been examined for their role in boosting strength or muscle mass. Especially among body builders. The actual role of them is backward. Resistance training improves levels of growth hormone and testosterone, not the other way around.
Increases in growth hormone benefit collagen synthesis and fat burning. Testosterone as stated above supports better libido and energy. Both GH and testosterone support more muscle and lower fat.
Resistance training supports the fountain of youth.
If you’re looking for support and understanding the science behind what’s true and what’s just always been accepted.. I’d love to see you in the course.
Yes, you can get results in as little as 20 minutes several times a week. In fact, for a woman in perimenopause, menopause, or beyond the answer is often less exercise to balance hormones.
These are ways you benefit by finding the right exercise to hormone balances:
Here are the principles of the After 50 Fitness Formula for Women exercise to balance hormones to help you optimize hormonal and fat burning benefits (and bonus – minimize the time you spend exercising):
Go all out.
For exercise to balance hormones it must be done to the point you’re breathless or can’t do one more repetition. Intensity is a must when you want to take advantage of interval training or the benefits of strength training.
Exchanging hard and short for more and moderate exercise does not provide the right exercise to balance hormones. The moderate level of exercise for a moderate duration of time is what I refer to as No Benefits Zone. Unfortunately, a lot of women spend a majority of their exercise time there. If you’re getting tired, not more energetic, and not losing weight, in fact may be gaining it, consider dramatically shortening your exercise and lose the more is better mantra all around you.
The exception is if you’re outside hiking or biking for a couple hours and truly loving it and enjoying yourself. If you’re doing drudgery on the dreadmill at the gym in effort to burn calories and weighing before and after your workout to see progress you’re doing more harm than good.
If it’s hard make it short.
High intensity interval training should be done no more than 45 minutes total per week to optimize benefits and minimize risk. Most midlife women do best with lower risk of injury at two sessions of 20 or 25 minutes. Work up to your optimal interval volume and duration.
For more details, see above #1. You’ll enjoy better blood sugar stabilization and appetite control benefits if you keep it short and lose them if you go too long or too often.
Train all major muscles in each workout.
Work all of your major muscle groups only 2x a week with a full body routine (increase growth hormone). A 10-minute workout using all major muscles is far more hormone balancing than one muscle group a day 5-6 days a week.
Eat a blend of carbohydrate and protein about an hour or 45 minutes before a workout (example: a smoothie with berries and protein without fiber and fat). Limit fat post exercise. Eat a high protein meal 60-120 minutes after finishing your high intensity workout (intervals or weights, or a lengthy hike). Yes, the wait is important. Avoid sports drinks and bars full of either chemicals or sugars especially if you’re in the kitchen where real food is available. Food is a major part of exercise for hormone balance.
This advice flies in the face of current fasting trends. Fasting applies to young and old, men and women. There isn’t a large enough body of knowledge on women in midlife already stressed and unable to lose weight trying to exercise in a fasted state. During fasting I recommend my clients (and do myself) go lightly with exercise. Trying to do hard exercise without food is like one foot on the gas and one on the brake. You don’t go anywhere but it is hard on the engine.
Check out this graphic for specific exercise modes and their hormone balancing potential* (they’re only hormone balancing done in the right time and effort for your needs).
There is conventional/traditional exercise prescription. There is exercise to balance hormones. Then even further down the road there is exercise for adrenal fatigue. Make sure you’re asking whether something has been proven on a woman like you.
These are the basics of exercise to balance hormones. That said, not every woman who needs hormone balance needs the same exercise program. Depending on your signs (fatigue, weight gain, belly fat, brain fog, cravings, hot flashes, night sweats, etc.) your best program will start and progress uniquely.
A Flipping 50 Specialist can work up a plan based on your current exercise plan, your signs & symptoms, labs you may have had (not necessary), and your personal preferences and physical needs. If you’d like to book a session to go over your plan for either 6 month, 90-day coaching support, or a single 90-minute session contact me with your details. Plans begin at $300 for a single comprehensive session.
Fitness is so much more than what size you wear or your resting heart rate. It’s not about how fast or far you can go. It’s not a matter of what workout you’re going to do.
Your fitness after 50 has the ability to decrease your risk of disease, increase your longevity and the number of years you live healthfully (your healthspan). It’s dependent on so much more than whether you go for a walk or lift weights today. This is the big picture. Your fitness after 50 will be influenced not just by exercise but by so many more things. I’m including a comprehensive list here.
I encourage you to go through this list and see really consider how well you’re doing each. Here’s the Cliff notes list in case you’re in a hurry. You can jump down to read details about the ones that interest you most below.
Your fitness after 50 depends on muscle. Muscle is now recognized as a key factor in bone density- or prevention of osteoporosis, as well as increased metabolism, and necessary for thriving in life rather than simply preventing frailty.
Increases in muscle through overload improve body composition.
It is no longer about the amount of time spent lifting weights.
The longer your weight lifting session the longer the rest between exercises and it is not about time it is about the intensity of the load.
Bone doesn’t benefit from “more” repetitions of lighter weight – only from heavy weight you can lift few times.
Quality not quantity matters. That is, reaching fatigue, not the number of repetitions nor how long you do it matters. Like we’ve seen results from as little as 6 minutes of high intensity exercise a week (intervals) we have seen muscle-fatigue-inducing strength exercises in minutes reap better results than hour-long classes.
Strength and endurance benefits is necessary for the ability to do additional work of interval training that you will see offers big benefits. Weight lifting also increases bone density so that additional beneficial activity is safe. Any cardiovascular exercise is good for the circulatory system, but only weight training targets the skeletal system in a way specific to improving bone density.
In studies of weight training, interval training, and combined training weight training increases muscle mass and strength most.
Your fitness after 50 has less to do with cardio than you might think. Make cardio about your mitochondria and hormone balancing. Use your DNA.Studies show that men age 70 can reverse aging with mitochondria regeneration comparable to subjects in their 20s. Why is mitochondria important?
Mitochondria are the powerhouses of energy in the body. The aging process – if you do nothing – will negatively affect the production of mitochondria. Small doses of high intensity exercise have proven to support mitochondria function – by as much as double in three or four months in minutes a week.
You will spend more energy all day by doing 2 training sessions a week than either one or three training sessions. That’s two sessions of strength, two sessions of intervals, and some additional exercise that’s more endurance based or simply a lot of movement daily.
Samples of Intervals:
Perform 8 seconds on and 12 seconds of recovery 20 times. This is easiest to do on a bike, but it’s a challenge with almost any kind of exercise because it’s a very short amount of time to increase your work capacity to full out. Be sure your well warmed up before you begin. That’s a little over 2 and a half minutes of high intensity exercise. It’s been proven to increase fitness (in women in midlife).
In the Wingate Test protocol you do 30 seconds of all out exercise and 2 minutes of recovery 4 times for a total of 2 minutes of work. You can run or power walk up hill or an incline, go as hard as possible on an elliptical or bike or do it in a pool.
You can reduce time needed to exercise by doing these types of interval training sessions for 20 minutes twice a week (in addition to strength training twice a week), in order to have more energy for being active all day. The result is greater overall energy expenditure and reduced obesity and overweight. That’s less exercise and more movement.
If all you had to do was sleep more to lose weight would you go to bed sooner? Long sleepers compared to short sleepers lost more weight and more of the weight lost was fat (less muscle loss that is a natural occurrence with weight loss). Perimenopausal women all in the same weight loss program with similar status were subjects. So yes, it applies to you.
The regeneration of the mind and the body that takes place at night is the glue that holds all your other positive habits together. Pad your sleep time like bookends with habits – a routine – that prepares you for better sleep every night. If you’re not sleeping at night, tell yourself it’s just that you haven’t prioritized it.
Tell yourself that you haven’t yet found the right habits. Tell yourself that it’s possible to recondition and reset your circadian clock for better sleep.
Hormones responsible for decreasing stress (cortisol and melatonin) and promoting lean muscle tissue (growth hormone and testosterone) require deep restful sleep.
Eat carbohydrates later in the day, close the kitchen after dinner, get exposure to sunlight early in the day, and exercise – even 10 minutes daily improves sleep – just not too close to bedtime.
Your fitness after 50 will be limited or supported by your sleep.
If you have a rich life full of family, work, and activities you love, you’ve got stress. There’s no way around it. So this is no empty “lower your stress” advice. Embrace it!
The only time you won’t have any, you’re close to dead. Your fitness after 50 is a dance between exercise stress and other stress in your life.
By increasing physical strength with the right exercise you enhance resilience
Increasing the joy factor (laughter, love, relationships, experiences)
Decreasing the toxic exposure (chemical exposure>food, water, air, products)
Physical stress from toxins, lack of sleep, dieting or over exercise, as well as emotional stress all contribute to your stress load. Control what you can. Small daily actions add up.
What you’re taking out and what you put in both matter. Know that some of us do handle stress better than others naturally, but it’s also possible to adapt so you can handle stress better. If you have a strong “why,” what I call a “cry why,” that makes it all worthwhile, it helps. Make sure there is purpose to your life in ways you need it. Exercise is a big part of increasing your resilience to all kinds of stressors.
Boost removal of toxins stored in your body by gradually adding more fiber. Start with this healthy chia pudding recipe. Use this base or start getting creative with your own ideas.
Pour the chia seeds into a bowl. Blend the protein powder and milk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Add the liquid ingredients to the chia seeds. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Enjoy. This high protein pudding can double as a breakfast or a post-workout snack, depending on your goals and needs. Either way, it’s a craving killer that can satisfy you for hours. Make a couple and take one with you when you travel. Pop it into an insulated bag. Don’t forget the spoon!
Socialize with people doing what you do or want to do, thinking the way you think or want to, you soon change your thinking>actions>habits and life
We know it to be true of cults and in scientific experiments.
Research tells us that resistance to change both internal and external is one of the greatest obstacles we have. When you’re surrounded by peopledoing what you’re doing or what you want to be doing you are more successful.
If you have kids you know this one well. Remember how important it was that your kid’s friends were good kids? It’s no different for you.
It’s not that you won’t have resistance to change, but when you have more people going the same direction around you that resistance has less chance of stopping you. Your fitness after 50 is a factor of who you surround yourself with. Who do you spend the most time with?
You’ve first got to identify that you have thinking that’s holding you back. That’s part of joining a community or having a coach. How else would you know?
Next, you have to want to change. In the past 25 years many women (who were only doing body weight exercise) ask about body weight exercises for bone density and changes in body composition. When I share the science there are about 50% that will respond, I’m going to stick to my body weight exercises, thank you.
Your fitness after 50 can’t be better than the expectations you have for it.
If you believe something is true, the biology of that belief, (it’s not just a thought), has the potential to change the expression of your DNA. If there is any tendency for it to happen genetically, your belief will be fertilizing it. Or you can pull a bad weed by believing and acting in a way that won’t allow a genetic predisposition to occur.
I’m sharing the example of the famous hotel maids study in our masterclass to illustrate this.
The thought that a good habit is good for you (like going for a walk every day) makes it more beneficial. If you remind yourself that by being busy at work even if you have a fairly sedentary job is good for your brain health and lifting weights over your lunch hour three days a week is keeping you fit the affirmation and belief has the potential to enhance your memory and the benefits of strength training sessions.
If we could test you for 8 weeks with your normal habits, and then test again after 8 weeks of thinking it was true, science has proven that you would experience all the benefits of weight training (strength, endurance, decreased body fat, increased muscle tissue) more significantly during the second eight weeks.
That famous hotel maids study illustrates this point perfectly, too. (Are you getting invites to join my free monthly masterclass? You can get the juicy stuff I only share via email here.)
Your fitness after 50, therefore, can improve without more time and energy, so long as you’re already employing good habits.
Almost anything you eat out of convenience (with a few exceptions popping up) is going to have more sodium, sugar, and saturated fat than you would cook at home. Further, even the salad bar is not safe with chemicals added to the greens to preserve them.
On average eating out increases caloric intake by 200 more calories per meal. If you eat out the average 5.8 times a week, that’s 1160 more calories a week – of more saturated fats, sodium, and sugar. Your fitness after 50 will be enhanced by the right nutrition and sabotaged by poor nutrition.
In addition to cooking at home, eat slow. Eating fast – the 20-30 minutes per meal Americans spend on average… often rushed, checking email, means you don’t even have the enzymes to digest food, leading to digestion and elimination issues.
Nearly every excuse you give for not exercising is a reason to exercise. You have achy joints and muscles… exercise. You are afraid of falling or getting injured… exercise. You never have enough time… exercise. You are too tired… exercise.
Ask, do I want that to be true?
I’ve been there. Married with kids, jobs, and a dog. Single parent with a house, a yard, two jobs, constant contact to hundreds of clients and students, writing a book, training for an Ironman, at every golf meet. I know about busy. Don’t talk to me about busy. You just decide.
If you were sick and needed lifesaving medicine, you wouldn’t dream of not taking it. Exercise prevents nearly every major disease. Why get it in the first place?
The terms Exercise is Medicine, and Food is Medicine have both become not just mantras and memes but scientific solutions to contemporary problems.
If you develop a daily regime of movement your fitness after 50 will improve. Your commitment to the exercise gets easier. When adults who exercise regularly don’t get their regular dose, they don’t feel as good, sleep as well, think as clearly or handle stress as well.
You can become one of those people.
When you’re not getting results from your current exercise program, there is no logic whatsoever in doing MORE of it. Increasing frequency and or duration of exercise is often the first default. Women assume that it’s their fault and they need to exercise more. But more exercise that isn’t already making you feel good… is certainly not going to make you feel great.
If you’re not seeing and feeling better from the exercise you do now, don’t increase the frequency of it expecting to see better results.
Improving your fitness after 50 isn’t about doing “more” if it’s going in the wrong direction. Check in with your exercise prescription now and be sure it is in alignment with your needs and not based on some arbitrary governmental recommendation or you 20 years ago.
If you’re exercising all the time, you may need to stop! Doing less can be smarter. Figure out some other way to pacify or calm yourself.
It is no longer a grams per kilogram body weight, or a total at the end of the day, or worse a percent of your total diet. It’s a much more user-friendly meal-based number of grams of protein.
Early and continued research by Rasmussen and Jones and now an expanding number of protein experts both from exercise science and nutrition are coming together on this.
Much of this research compared younger and older adults to each other. Older adults actually needed more, not less, due to decreased muscle protein synthesis. Your fitness after 50 is dependent on muscle. No matter what else you want to do or measure of fitness you want to improve you’ve got to have protein, the building block of muscle in order to enjoy optimal fitness.
Your stress level, prior eating history, exercise, exposure to foods that cause inflammation all influence your personal ability to breakdown food and digest it optimally.
While it’s true few individuals have Celiac disease, many functional doctors who work with women in midlife recommend omitting dairy and gluten because they find that 90% of their female patients feel better when they do.
You can test for yourself on several levels. Your body never lies. So removing and reintroduction is a step I recommend every woman do. Lab testing can confirm or reveal additional information. DNA testing can show what may be true of you and encourage greater commitment to solutions. Testing:
Use“Genes” for DNA testing 20% off (ends Dec. 20)
“28for10” for the 28-Day Kickstart January
“Flipping50” for $20 off your Micronutrient testing at yourlabwork.com/flipping-50
The After 50 Fitness Formula for Women is about optimal hormone balance. A 2 x 2 program following a foundation of hormone reset optimally improves fitness and negates the negative effects of stress that can occur from exercise.
From your DNA, and your personal preference or dread, you can determine the best way to spend your exercise time to get optimal results. Your fitness after 50 journey should be fun, uplifting, and exciting. If you haven’t found those activities or motivators keep looking!
What’s referred to as “wired and tired” can be avoided by avoiding the feast or famine adrenalin rollercoaster most of us are on during the day.
If you’re constantly in fight-or-flight mode your body can lose the ability to rest-and-relax. Those systems, your sympathetic and parasympathetic system are meant to balance and in contemporary life, unless you override the constant on call and unplug, they fail to work correctly.
Fight-or-flight will eventually begin to store fat for you to protect you. Rest-and-relax won’t work at night if you’ve not balanced that on and off switch during the day.
It works occasionally: it was meant to, but unfortunately, we’ve turned life into constant flight-or-flight.
Reaching for sugar and caffeine to wind up and wine to wind down or numb yourself all increase your weight, interfere with your sleep, and accelerate aging.
Caffeine consumption – if it’s abundant – is actually related to weight gain. It increases insulin resistance and signals your body to crave glucose-containing foods because it reduces blood sugar.
The simple advice is this. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re no longer hungry. Sleep when you’re tired. Drink before you’re thirsty. When you’re upset with someone have the difficult conversation.
If you’re not doing that, start. If you’ve ignored the urge to go to the bathroom, the need to drink more water, the need for sleep you’ll need to retrain your brain to pay attention.
One more energy placebo is adrenalin. You know you’re operating on adrenalin if you’re always waiting ‘til the last minute, or adding something to your to-do list, you’ve always got a dozen projects and your pushing to get something done. You’re always running late, or close to it. You might complain about it, but you actually don’t know how to exist with sustained stable energy.
Unlearning your old habits and replacing them with new ones can reverse aging, increase energy and you can start feeling it in days or weeks.
Have you got a story to tell about your fitness after 50 journey? I love to hear from you. Our community is inspired to hear real stories of people defying old limiting beliefs!
Ever wonder why you train and you eat right but you’re not seeing that reflection in the mirror you want? This post is about results of my DNA test and how it’s given me – even a 34-year medical fitness expert and strength & conditioning coach– insight into exercise, nutrition, and recovery habits – that have in a very short time boosted my fitness level.
Get fit faster, in less time. That’s the dream for so many of my clients. Granted you may really enjoy exercise and like training but there’s a better chance that until you turn a corner on feeling better you aren’t quite there yet
Whether you are a woman who wants to reclaim her body or you are one who wants to see what her body is capable of in this second (and make-it-better) half, this is for you!
If you find yourself dealing with a chronic injury or one after the other and stuck in a rut repeating the same kind of exercise and nutrition habits without better results, this is for you too.
Before I dive in, I want to remind you who I am. I do love exercise. I wish I had more time to not have to “bookend” workouts with appointments and obligations. I do though. That’s just the moment I’m in and I choose it, so it’s OK! That said, if you don’t have the time to exercise, maybe don’t love it, this makes me a little more like you. I don’t love a lot of things about exercise right now: the shoving it in when I’ve got too many other things to do; the fact that it seems like a chore instead of a pleasure some times. I know and have for 36 years that I never regret it and always feel better/work better/am me better after. Even then I suppose I’m tied to doing rather than being, which… is an entire other post for another day.
I’ve studied exercise physiology, kinesiology, and hormones, and I’ve listened to myself for 34 years. (exercise & sport psychologists tend to be good at that) And I had a lot of things right. But there is more.
I’ve learned from a simple swab on the inside of my cheeks that either confirmed things I was doing already, informed me of things I should be doing, and suggested things that will make my 2019 the most fit year of my life.
Are you, by the way, interested in having your fittest year too? (Hop down to the bottom of the post!)
And since September when I began applying changes? I’ve lost a few pounds and enhanced my energy level… without much effort. (Oddly, sometimes I find myself thinking, huh… usually I’m tired about now… and I’m just not!)
Can you tell which one of these I share DNA with?
>>I “rise & rest early.”
Yes, yes, I do. Always have. I smile in fact when people tell me, “I’ve been up since 5:30 this morning…” or even, “I woke at 4 today…” because I’m like… and? I’ve always liked getting a head start on the day. On the flip side, I have been known to go to bed before it’s completely dark in summer.
>>My current supplements D3, Omega 3, Probiotics, C, and multivitamin of choice are right on target. They’re related to metabolism and stress so it makes sense for women in midlife to be aware of possible deficiencies.
>>I need a little more D (it comes up in several areas of my DNA results) so my habit of taking 3000 IU daily I’m actually bumping up during winter months. Though there’s ample sunshine here, I tend not to get out nearly as much in the winter so I’ll be missing D from sunshine.
>>I am predisposed to gluten sensitivity. This has helped me feel committed not crazy. Know what I mean? You have the suspicion you feel so much better without it but no confirmation on that …and its harder to follow through. Now it’s easy. I thought this for a long time and it will inevitably creep in because I don’t have Celiac I don’t have to be so careful, but I know now to ask and be more careful.
>>Carbs of choice for me (as for all women flipping 50) are important. For me there’s higher risk of obesity due to insulin response. Supplementing with Conjugated ALA supports insulin so I can keep an eye on a few things. If for example I had belly fat not budging in spite of quality sleep and exercise for instance, I would consider supplementing.
>The best way to enhance my fitness level is … endurance activity. So in spite of interval training benefits and anaerobic (weights) training, which science tells us balance hormones optimally (by negating negative effects of cortisol while working magic), I personally want to slide that to a smaller percentage of my exercise time. Longer bikes, hikes, runs and swims will do my body a fitter faster good. For someone who did a single sprint triathlon, two Olympic-distance tris, and then moved right on to Ironman distance and never looked back? This is no surprise.
>My sleep habits are right on target! Excusing myself early from parties is smart! I have a higher sensitivity to blue light. Since I am predisposed to a shorter sleep length and deep sleep (which was one big surprise my DNA results delivered: this confirms my habits make this no problem at all: win!) The blue light glasses I got my son for Christmas should likely be on my own list. Done.
>>Even though I deal with stress like a “warrior” and endurance exercise is my jam, I am predisposed to oxidative stress and more prone to ligament and tendon injury. What’s that tell me? Fit the yoga in girl. Keep up with strength training. Warm up and cool down like a boss. Doing hills? (hello, I live in the mountains) longer warm up and occasionally a drive to a flat is not silly, it’s smart. I also want to increase antioxidants in my life. Keep taking that vitamin C and collagen.
>>A high fat diet is not my best friend. For me there is an increased association of saturated fat and obesity. Along that thread high protein and more carbs (resistant starches and plant-based nutrition) will fill my energy needs. I’ve never had a problem with a higher carbohydrate diet as long as protein was also higher. The place where this resolves the most confusion is during longer training. I do better with a higher protein and carb combination than I do one too high in fat. Though I’ve experimented with shifting my ability to use fat at higher levels of intensity, my body’s preference is carb. A hike? Fats are fine. A long run or bike ride? I’m going to need carbs.
>>I have a predisposition for choline deficiency. Interestingly this is tied to liver enzyme levels.Last year mine were off for reasons we never really detected given my lifestyle doesn’t suggest anything that would contribute. Supplementing with choline however wasn’t suggested. I did stop drinking tap water which could have heavy metals in it, and used infrared sauna regularly (gladly!) I will keep tabs on my choline and liver enzymes and have this information to use if needed.
>>I’m more subject to oxidative stress. Taking conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) can benefit me in a few ways. Reducing oxidative stress I can decrease risk of injury. CLA also supports a decrease in body fat.
>My higher homocysteine levels revealed in my recent lab tests are genetic. I have less frustration now over why I would have these levels given my healthy habits. So I’m adding probiotics, folate, and Betaine HCL to my regime consistently to see if a focused effort for three months will reduce homocysteine (an inflammation marker).
>>A twice annually micronutrients test will be helpful to determine my levels in order to adjust my micronutrients. Since I already order a full panel of tests annually and this is such a simple daily habit to enhance lifetime health, I’m in. I’ll test again at the beginning of the year, adjust if needed, and retest in the summer.
>>I want to check my B vitamins, D levels, Omega fat ratios, and magnesium levels specifically.
The goal is to take supplements I need and eliminate those you don’t. It’s not a one and done kind of thing however, your body’s needs changes with activity, stress, rest in this integrated thing called life. Your body simply can’t have a thriving metabolism or balanced hormones if you’re not getting or absorbing micronutrients.
It’s two months since getting my results and implementing changes (or simply following through better with existing habits). I’ve lost a few pounds without really trying and my fitness level has improved, not measured from testing but in energy. So much energy.
I’m not done though. Beginning January 1, 2019 will be my fittest year. I’m committing to it and to myself. I want to see what difference a year of focused training makes at 54-55 on speed, VO2, body fat, lean muscle, and cholesterol, heart rate and of course, hormone levels.
I’ll assess my fitness, health, and wellness throughout the year, including hormones, micronutrients, VO2, body composition, and health markers so I can adjust as needed. I’ll be posting about it in so many ways, beginning January 1.
Want to join me and create your fittest year ever with me as your coach? Here’s how to get started.
Or skip to the order form.
Register for I’m all in or (12) monthly installments.(contact me for no-interest 12 pay)
P.S.I hear your resistance because I’ve got it too. If you’re thinking this just sounds like a long list of supplements I have to take, it does. I think it’s fair to ask why we don’t question the increased toxic exposure we have, the increased pace of life, and decreased time to relax and yet still think we don’t need a little help from the positive side.
The elephant in the room… no one ever said to me, “I love taking supplements.” But I’ve heard hundreds of thousands of women say, “I like feeling good,” or “I want to feel good.” Testing helps you see what’s true right now about why you don’t feel as good as you could. Whether it’s a complete panel, micronutrients, food sensitivity, or it’s DNA or all of them, when you know better you do better.
Are you flipping this second half with me? I’d love to hear which tools (DNA testing, full lab panels, micronutrient testing, food sensitivity testing you’re using to stop guessing and get great results!)
Ready to Test? This Month it’s a great gift for yourself or someone else! Choose from GOLD, PLATINUM, or ELITE. Click here or the image to learn more about each. use code: genes for 20% off right now!! Includes a personalized results form and full session with me to go over recommendations. Limited time offer!
When you have a long list of desire for energy, vitality, tone, balance, strength, better memory, and little time you want the best exercises for getting the most results in the least amount of time. That’s what this post is all about. I’ve selected some big needle movers that should be a part of your workouts.
These strength exercises earn the title as best exercises based on results. They are three exercises that provide the most return on investment (ROI). You get the most results in the least amount of time. If you’re a Flipping 50 TV fan you know that’s the mission of all my recommendations. Time is the most often sited obstacle to exercise for any of us.
These exercises provide bone density (when weight selected is heavy enough for overload), and a metabolism – boost through fat loss and lean muscle increase. Collectively, those benefits add up to longevity with your health in tact. We’re not just looking for a longer lifespan, after all. We’re looking for a longer “healthspan.”
It’s typical for a fitness professional or a doctor perhaps to recommend 8-10 exercises for your 8-10 major muscle groups. Yet, if you dig deeper often those recommendations are based on decades-old text book recommendations and position statements.
Today we know that exercising one muscle group in an exercise is isolating muscle groups. That’s like a solo performance.
In life your muscles perform like an orchestra. No one instrument sounds good without the other. So it is for your muscles. You’ve got to have the whole thing functioning. So while isolating muscles going from one machine to the next machine can be a good place to start, moving on to a new way of moving more muscles at one time provides the best return on investment.
I always, always, include these best exercises for strength in my personal strength workouts and in workouts I design for adults over 50. I also do functional movements but I never do variety for variety’s sake.
You’ve noticed, if you follow Flipping 50 blogs or the podcast regularly, that I don’t do exercises that come with a poor risk: reward ratio. With dozens of exercises to choose from there’s no reason to do that.
Don’t start with heavy weight, even if you’re without joint issues and able to go heavy later. Begin with weight you can do 15-20 times at least. Follow the ABCs below over a period of weeks (even 2-3 months is optimal).
We lose fast twitch muscles twice as fast as we do our slow twitch muscle fibers. They’re important for reaction skills. When you almost slip, almost being the optimal word, your fast twitch muscles help you respond and right yourself. When the sidewalk is a little icy, you have to put on the brake quickly while driving, or you catch something about to fall off the counter… thank your fast twitch muscles.
But if you haven’t been training them on purpose you’ve lost some of them between 30 and whatever age you are now. You can reverse losses and get them back. Here are three ways. This list is by no means all-inclusive, it’s just a few you can begin with. All you need is 2-3 minutes a day of quick moves.
If you dance, you know this is a foxtrot. Nothing against the waltz but the slow controlled flow of waltz is not helpful for your fast twitch muscles. Stand beside a ladder (tape one on the floor, use one in the gym, or imagine one) and step two feet into the ladder then out on the other side using the quick-quick-slow rhythm.
Imagine stepping into the squares of a ladder on the floor. The trick though is to practice leading with your non-dominant side. Does it feel awkward? You need it more.
Imagine facing a ladder on the floor from the side. The length of the ladder is spread out to your right. Step in to a square with your right, then left foot. Step back with your right then left foot. Then do the same in the next square to the right, and continue all the way down the ladder. Do the same on your left foot.
Feeling unstable? You don’t want to risk a fall trying to prevent one! So do any of these drills in the water where you’ll still activate fast twitch muscles without any risk of falling.
You go to yoga to improve balance. You don’t worry about falling in yoga. Why not? Because it’s quiet, calm, with no distractions so you can just focus on balance. That’s really not helpful. You’ll fall when there are tons of distraction from moving people or objects, noise, obstacles on the ground or people bumping into you. So create it once you’re really ready to improve your balance in real life. Three ways to take any standing yoga pose further:
Flip: Falls rarely occur when it’s quiet and you have no distractions. Be on an uneven surface, not always in shoes or flooring designed to make it easy.
If you’ve got a history of falling in your recent past or your balance isn’t optimal, you want to keep yourself safe. It could be you with an inner ear or vestibular challenge, an injury, or it could be a parent.
I observed my mom this week attempting to do two things at once while we were out and about. Why wouldn’t she? It’s what we do, right? We multitask. Yet, when it’s less the norm than the exception and you’re defaulting to something you used to do but don’t so regularly any more, these situations present an increased risk. For example:
Include the strength exercises in your fitness routine twice a week. (contrary to popular belief, more is not better) Include the fast twitch fiber exercises every time you exercise as “finishers” in the last few minutes. Also include balance nearly every day for a few minutes either at the end of a workout or just random times when you’re waiting in line at the store or the bank, when you’re doing your bicep curls or triceps press at the gym.
Are you on Instagram? Follow me for IGTV videos coming with exercises and the WHY they’ll help you and how to do them.
Prefer YouTube? You’ll find lots of videos there, too.
If you like your videos organized into programs for you, check out this blog about the Flipping 50 exercise video options.
If the holidays are bringing extra decorating, entertaining, shopping, hosting, traveling and fun into your life they may be putting the squeeze on your time to exercise. Time is a limiting factor for any of us any time of year.
This post is about how to change the way you think about that. STAT!
You’re probably forgetting something.
Or you have never experienced something so you couldn’t know this.
When people say they don’t have time what they imagine is that they don’t have time to add something to their day if they’re going to feel the same way as they do now when they start to exercise.
They don’t remember or don’t know that if you feel energized 100% of the time you WILL absolutely have time for exercise, and so many more things you potentially want to do but haven’t been doing.
Exercise and healthy eating (including preparation) don’t COST you time. They give you MORE TIME!
It’s proven with research that people who exercise are more productive, more creative, able to problem solve better, and make fewer errors. That’s all TIME SAVING!
In fact, people who exercise during their workday (yoga for lunch, anyone?) report greater JOB SATISFACTION at the end of the day. Why? It’s probably easier to get work done, feel accomplished, and handle stressors easier.
Not having time to exerciseis a story you tell yourself. It may be a reality right now because you feel so drained.
If you don’t have the energy to begin exercising, or you’ve got a limiting condition, then start with nutrition. The more you learn about HOW to eat (not less, actually many women are eating too little or just poorly) for you right now, the less inflammation you’re going to have, the better you sleep, and the more you’re going to feel like moving more.
Thinking you don’t have time to exerciseis also about mistakenly thinking it takes an hour to get a good workout. It doesn’t.
In fact, if you’re drained, shorter more frequent exercise is better.
It’s not even a matter of building up to an hour. You don’t need to unless you’ve got some endurance goal. A short workout most of the time is more conducive to hormone balance than a long one.
Those days of getting an hour workout in every day and doing 3-hour long monster classes on the weekends? Gone. Not better for results. So let them go! Most older adults who try to pursue those types of endurance activities suffer repeated injuries, slow healing, and chronic fatigue or adrenal exhaustion at some point. (younger ones too!)
Ten or twenty minutes several times a week will help you feel better fast. Sleep improves by 33% with 10 minutes of daily exercise. An hour ho-hum workout can fail you where a 10-minute workout that helps you reach muscular fatigue can change your body (and your life).
The research is clear we need to exercise, and in general move more, all day. Quite a lot to live longer stronger. We sometimes get an incomplete message from experts we trust though.
It’s not about chasing a size or a number on a scale or a BMI. I’m not a fan of doctors who recommend “losing weight” without backing that up with a measure of body composition. If you don’t know your body fat: find out. Track THAT.
Yes, for sure, your waist circumference is a health risk or advantage. But the way to change it permanently is to focus on body fat (body composition). By increasing your lean muscle and decreasing your fat at the same time, your weight will change more slowly. Yet you’ll be far healthier and you will then be more successful in the optimal weight game long term.
Even then, stop chasing numbers and start chasing joy for life and energy to spend doing things you love with people you love. THAT’s motivating.
You don’t do anyone good if you’re drained, constantly tired, and if you’re a woman you’re probably always going to care a bit about how you look. If you’re tired and then also starve yourself of nutrient-dense food while you periodically binge on extreme exercise too, you’re going to wind up worse off, not better.
Here’s a question for you. Do you sneak in sweets daily? You find an excuse to go to the store to pick up something and then buy the peanut butter cups – or malted milk balls – like one of my clients? Are you “good” all day barely eating anything and then end up ordering a pizza late at night exhausted after constant meetings?
Those both steal time and energy from you. They drop you right on your you-know-what. Yet, you don’t think anything of the TIME they take right?
Try it my way for a month. Put exercise into your day. Commit. Decide that whether you’re motivated or not you’re going to do it. You will most likely start making better food choices. In fact, if your exercise comes just before a meal it could really change things. Study subjects made significantly higher nutrient-dense and moderate calorie food choices when they did just 6 minutes of power walking before lunch.
If you’re trying to make time to exercise in an already full day, this is for you! It’s realistic and sane. It’s not about freeing up hours or dumping something else important to you – though that might be something you want to consider.
This post is just about finding a small block of time every day. Whether you use it for weight training (the ONE thing that will make everything else more likely to happen!), cardio, or yoga/Pilates… is up to you.
Not brown bag it, but have a little prep sesh on the weekend (while you’re doing #3?) and assemble 8-10 baggies full of your favorite smoothie ingredients.
Yes, you can freeze avocado, and your greens. Get it all in there except for the liquid. You’ll be set for the week. You can even pop my Better Than Pumpkin Pie Smoothie into a baggy and freeze it!
Here’s what I discovered making a smoothie in my own small kitchen. Back and forth from the refrigerator and freezer to the counter to get all the ingredients out, then add each to the blender, and then put them away took a lot more than the 10 seconds to blend it!
So this time-saver will give you back time and make a zero-excuses for skipping a high protein breakfast that will help your high-energy day.
This tip is for the organizer-bunny in you. I moved from a home I lived in for 20 years without thinking about how to organize my closets and dressers. One day I realized it was costing me a lot of time.
I’d just absentmindedly put things back into the same dresser drawers and split what had been in my walk-in closet between two closets in my bedroom. In the rush of unpacking I just got things put away and called good enough good enough.
Like my kitchen problem I was going from one closet to a dresser to another closet to collect tops, bottoms, and shoes.
Now instead I use one dresser for only workout wear. Tops in top drawers, pants and shorts in the next, and socks on the bottom. You can take it a step further and do the “outfits” if you want but I like to mix and match so like my method more. Instead of taking 3-5 minutes to assess what’s currently clean, I grab an outfit in a minute or less.
I did the same with my business clothes. Anything that I need to pull together for a speaking presentation is right there… underwear, dresses, blazers, pants, shoes – ready to wear or to pack.
I got rid of a lot of things I never wear just taking up space when I did this. Bonus!
Time savings every time I get dressed: 5 minutes
This is no surprise! You already know planning ahead is what saves you because when you walk in the door needing it most after a busy, albeit stressful, day you don’t feel like cooking evening if you have the time.
Seriously, popping a couple dinners in the crockpot, stovetop and oven at the same time on a Sunday afternoon saves you way more then five minutes every day all week.
When you put them away, freeze or refrigerate in servings sizes according to lunch for you or meals for more people.
I like to choose 2-3 mains, 2-3 sides (soups, roasted veggies) or 2-3 one-pot meals every week. So simple and the prep sesh really takes minutes. I “cheat” with already-chopped onions, carrots, celery starters for soups when I’m tight on time. That cost is well worth it if I’m comparing it to leaving health to chance.
Are you on our Flipping 50 insider subscriber list? From time to time, especially this time of year, I share some of our favorite cookbooks – like the One-Pot meals that I use all the time! Psst… if you’ve got an awesome recipe that’s a Flipping 50-lifestyle fit (leaves out high food sensitivity items or that you’d like us to adapt) send it! I’d love to include your recipe in a new Flipping 50 community cookbook!
Face it, if you can change your shoes and be in your “gym” you’re a lot more likely to exercise than if it requires a commute to the gym. The equipment you want may be occupied, the pool may be too cold or lanes full, or traffic congested so by the time you get there you have less time than you want. Even if you love the gym (I do), a home exercise plan is a must for a busy woman! (I end up exercising at home 9/10 times in order to make it happen).
For a gym on a budget, get three set of dumbbells and an exercise ball. Then get a plan.
Work with a coach who will design a program based on your goals, your needs, your current status and your schedule or get a group programif you have no limiters and you are apparently healthy.
This flip potentially buys you more than 5 minutes if you’ve been commuting. But even if you were already exercising at home, you’ll save time (potentially in your procrastination) when you get a plan. Nearly 90% of women who find Flipping 50 tell me that they are exercising but randomly. They tell me they’ve been lifting weights for 10 years, but that it’s been three weeks since they did it.
Random exercise gets random results at best. If your goals are weight loss, weight gain (add lean muscle), increase strength, bone density, or a combination of goals, you want to match your program to your goals. Using a generic YouTube video you randomly stumble across that wasn’t created for YOU, is like expecting to find a dress you want to wear to your daughter’s wedding at Target. It’s exercise, even exercise for women in midlife, but it’s not a part of a whole progression created as a step from something that came before it and leading to a next step.
That’s it. A small 5-minute shift in your bedtime and wake time is all you need to complete your 25-minute savings. You get the same amount of sleep. If you need more? It will help you reap more rewards (fat loss and more lean muscle) from your exercise for sure! Start with exercise and you may improve the quality of your sleep enough to help you!
You can do a full body workout and hit those arms and abs all in 25 minutes. You can box your intervals in your living room if you don’t have a treadmill or can’t get outside. You don’t need to find hours, it’s about how you spend quality time exercising and having a plan.
Use each one of these and you’ll create more time and less chaos so you can find time to exercise… and do it in a hormone-balancing way: minutes not hours!
Its not just how good you look in those jeans. It’s injury prevention. So go ahead and indulge in those exercises that might look a little fluffy at first glance. Squats and lunges alone won’t get to these muscles and if you’re limited by knees that don’t allow squats and lunges, you can still target your gluteus medius with these seven exercises.
Flip: Strengthening the “glutes” can support your knees. If you’ve lost cartilage it won’t bring it back but strong gluteals and hips keep the knees in optimal alignment and increase stability.
Start:Try these seven exercises each with one set of 10-12 repetitions to start. You can do them daily if you’re feeling like these muscles are truly weak.
Progress:Progress to 2 sets, then to three and you can increase to 15 repetitions. Once you feel you’ve got a better butt- you’re stronger, going up stairs easier, then you can rotate the exercises and pick a few to do a several days of the week to maintain. Doing these before any other lower body exercises you do may help you wake-up some sleepy muscles.
Standing Wall Press
Stand 12-14 inches from a wall if you’re using a small ball. Stay tall. Can be done with or without a ball. Position the ball midway between knee and hip.
Position long tubing under the arch of your feet, cross the tubing in front of you. as you hold the handles.* (see flippingfifty.com/resources)
Band Multi Direction Tap
Front side and back
Place band* above knees (see flippingfifty.com/resources)
Side Step + Monster walks with Band*
Place band above knees, shins or ankles, or around feet (see flippingfifty.com/resources)
Side lying clams position I
Perform with heels, hips, back and head against a wall. Hold briefly at the top of the lift.
Side lying clams position II
Assume the same position as clams I
Side lying hip abduction
Position yourself against a wall. Keep the heel sliding up the wall for optimal position, toe forward not up. Keep the lift only in range you feel the gluteus medius contract (too high shifts the work away from this muscle).
Strengthening the glute medius can help prevent injuries or conditions that occur when you become out of balance due to using your dominant side more. You never notice it until it’s become a problem. A balanced butt is a better butt.
You get the best of both worlds from a better butt: feeling better in those jeans andless risk that injuries will slow you down.
Don’t dismiss these exercises! Even if you can do squats and lunges, occasionally going specific and focused with these can boost your booty results. Try doing these seven exercises as a functional warm up before you do a full workout that includes those big lower body exercises.
Alternately, do these better butt along with a little core in between your bigger workouts.
Two exercises not on this list could also be incorporated. Ball bridges and hamstring curls are easy-on-the-knees exercises you can add to your better butt collection.
The bottom line (pun intended) is a strong bum is important for better movement and supports knee alignment and lower back safety. So spend some time using these exercises!
Do a free challenge with us and post your progress weekly at the Flipping50TV Facebook page when we do Flipping 50 Fridays. You could even win a Nutribullet! Follow these rules:
Here’s how to enter and stay eligible:
>>Join our Flipping 50 community of subscribers and get access to the challenge before October 1, 2018. I’m sharing the challenge with our subscribers this week in emails so watch your inbox! This is where I’ll keep you updated on the contest and remind you to post to win (and get a better butt)!
*For my favorite band and tubing source see flippingfifty.com/resources and choose Versa Loops (bands) and Versa Tube or Premium Versa Tube (cushioned handles). I use LIGHT in each for a combination of optimal range of motion and resistance. You may want extra light if you’re just beginning or a more challenging resistance if you’re really strong (but don’t sacrifice range of motion).
If you’re battling belly fat and or fatigue, it’s even more frustrating if you’re feeling like you’re doing everything right! Some of the best intentions can put you two steps back, however. So here’s a reminder for how to deal with the two more common complaints from students and clients. Consider this your quick guide to the best and worst exercise for belly fat and fatigue.
Let’s start with the things you want to eliminate or reduce.
Once you’re over 75 minutes you start to tip the cortisol in the wrong direction. Hours a week of exercise that result in no progress or simply more and more fatigue are a glaring sign that you’re increasing stress on your body. When your body is under stress a few things are going to happen. You’ll be tired more, rarely have “real” energy though you might be lucky enough to have a little exercise high, chances are that will start to dissipate and you’ll stop having a boost of energy after.
If you’re doing too long for you:
Doing any exercise so frequently that there’s no recovery days can sabotage your belly fat. You’re likely already struggling with what you’re feeling and the message to “move more.” You’ve been told that America is lazy and inactive. Unfortunately, the message probably wasn’t meant for YOU. You’re potentially always on the go, and always trying to make a workout of whatever you’re doing.
Rest and recovery are missing from your workout routine. If it feels compulsive, it probably is. If you’ve ever said, I have to exercise,and you find it hard to relax or unwind otherwise, it’s time to find some balance. It can be hard at first, but it’s better to struggle with it than to totally crash and burn.
There’s another reason you want to watch negative effects of exercise. There’s a sweet spot for exercise and aging. Too little or too much can both accelerate aging.
That is, to your tolerance. You’ve got to know your limits, your past and current injuries, and then do what you can. But lifting heavy weights for a short time is an easy way to boost testosterone and create lean muscle without sending cortisol the wrong way.
I’m not talking about hours of mirror-hogging body builder type workouts. This is as little as 10 minutes or 20 minutes well executed twice a week. More is not better. Quality is best.
2. Short Interval Training sessions
Do them for no longer than 20-30 minutes twice a week – including warm up and cool down! These little HIITS of exercise optimize your cortisol. So make your mantra “HIIT it and quit it.” The workout mavens will have you believing that doing intervals every day is good. Watch for signs you can’t get your heart rate elevated during workouts, or you’re starting to feel those cravings again, you’re more hungry more often. That’s a sign you’re taking a good thing and turning it bad by doing too much.
To change things around eliminate the worst exercises for belly fat and fatigue and focus on the good ones.
Then take it a step further with tons of fresh veggies, adequate protein, good fats, and the right carbs at the right time. So many women in their midlife are cutting carbs, and hating life, moody, and always tired because of it. You need them, especially in peri-menopause and menopause. You’ll likely shed weigh because you start eating them! No one moves optimally with out optimal nutrition.
Support the best exercise and nutrition choices with the best rest, ultimately that’s sleep. Prioritize it. That’s first. If you think it’s not related to you’re belly fat, your wrong! Long sleepers lose weight easier and find it easier to be at optimal weight in the first place.
If you’re really suffering from fatigue it may be time to step even further back and take a rest week. See how that goes and resume based on information above if you feel better. If you don’t, take another light week. You may be happily surprised to find doing less, much less, for a short time can help you get your energy, and your waistline, back.
Click to learn more about STRONGER and the next enrollment opening.
If you want or need to build bone density, this post is for you! I’m sharing results from a recent Flipping 50 community quiz. Miss it? Take the Quiz now! It takes about 3 minutes.
That’s the most common question and motivator!
I don’t care how old you are (my mom is 92, vanity may still trump bone density) if we’re talking about the REAL reason we all get up and exercise we want immediate gratification! If we’re not invested in looking good, we’re up for a mood or energy boost.
Fitness is a win-win. If you do what’s best for your function, the form will follow. In this case of bone density, if you do what helps prevent osteoporosis, you will also benefit from lower body fat, a better backside and toned arms.
But… if you choose options that promise to tone and tighten your bum and define your arms you may not in fact be targeting bone density.
It IS still possible to build bone density after 50. Newer supplements are showing far better results (and none of the bone-eating negative side effects of early supplements that came out in the late 90s and early 2000s). It used to be that we were only trying to slow the loss of bone. Now there’s hope and proof that increases in bone density are happening with the right exercise protocol, supplementation, and lifestyle.
You’ve been told weight-bearing exercise is best. So you have been walking and walking, getting those 10,000 steps in.
Unfortunately, this is a start but the benefits halt after you’ve become a regular walker. Getting 10, 000 steps is not better for bone density than getting 5000. It’s the same stress repeatedly and not enough to increase benefits. It doesn’t meet what’s called a Minimal Effective Stress (MES).
This false sense of security and miscommunication about weight-bearing exercise and bone density is likely responsible for the incorrect response to the quiz question about the “best exercise to build bone density.”
49% or responders selected body weight training
Only 25% said heavy weight training
The rest were someone spilt between walking, swimming, and running.
In fact, the correct answer is heavy weight training. Using a weight you can lift 10 or fewer times has the most positive influence on bone mineral density. When you combine this type of strength training with supplementation and lifestyle habits you have the best bone supporting exercise program.
Whether you’re already lifting weights, need to start, or you hesitate because of a condition (severe osteoporosis, arthritis, or fibromyalgia for instance) don’t click away just yet. It’s not just weight training but HOW you do weight training.
Unless you’re applying adequate force to the bones they will not respond by increasing bone mineral density. So lifting heavy weights (defined above) is best.
When you have a special conditions, the directive becomes, lift as heavily as you safely can without injury or pain following exercise.
When you’re just beginning, you start with lighter weights and more repetitions, and progress over weeks (and actually months) to heavier weights to allow your joints and ligaments to adapt.
When you’re lifting weights but potentially going through the motions, or allowing an instructor to choose which exercises you do and how many you do, you want to heighten your own awareness and define your exercise priorities.
Your goal needs to match your protocol. If you go to the store to get food to prep for the coming week but you come home missing the ingredients necessary for the recipes you were going to make, it’s not going to accomplish your goal. The same is true when you’re exercising.
Simply exercising is definitely better than the couch. Weight lifting is better than not. But lifting specifically in the way that builds bone density around your “osteo zones” of the hip, spine, and wrist is best.
We begin to lose bone density (unless we’re lifting weights specifically focused on preventing loss) after bone density peaks at 30. We lose about 8-10% of total bone density every decade. We’re living longer.
So the question at some point for each of us is going to be,“How do my bones look in that x-ray?”
It’s scary to be on the receiving end of an osteoporosis diagnosis. It can instill fear about the activities you love. It can make you wonder about picking up grandchildren, skiing, biking, or golf.
You have the ability to change the way you exercise and change the way you age by doing so. It’s not a matter of choosing exercise you love or prefer if you truly want to have the greatest influence on bone density. Yoga practitioners are using studies (and they do exist) to say yoga increases bone density.
But it’s on a continuum and it’s to the left of center. It’s better than not doing yoga. And if it’s the only weight-resistance activity you’re doing you’ll see some benefit. But if you want the gold standard for benefits of bone density you need to choose weight training.
Body weight training will not provide the amount of resistance and load that you require to build bone density. Body weight training means pull ups, push ups, squats, and lunges with nothing more than your body weight will not help you beyond a certain point. Unfortunately, with many body weight exercises you are limited to strengthening muscles already tight (chest and front of shoulders), and unable to achieve strength for postural support from pulling exercises (can you do a pull up?), and may be a bit compromised doing hip-specific exercises (lunges and or squats).
Free weights are a step up from body weight. Provided you’re using good form going heavy many women are much STRONGER than they realize and can safely strength train at home with minimal equipment.
If you’re compromised or concerned about safety going heavy, machine weights should be a definite consideration.
I am a 200-hour Registered Yoga Instructor, a Pilates Reformer and Mat instructor, as well as a Medical Exercise Specialist and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist. I have a passion for all things movement and creating unique solutions for the unique individual I’m working with. I love yoga and I love hiking and running and swimming. They, however do not build bone density for me any more than they do for you. This post is not personal opinion getting in the way of science and results.