Fitness myths have been abundant since fitness was a “thing.” For women in midlife dealing with hormone changes, some possible joint issues or conditions, and old thoughts and beliefs, they can really be the obstacle between feeling lousy and feeling amazing!

I bust 5 of the most common fitness myths – that are of concern for women flipping 50 in this episode.

  1. “I’ve always been told weight training should be done three days a week”

Twice a week is wise and three times a week for adults over 50 can be both over and under kill.

  • Over kill in that you are not allowing the optimal recovery. Imagine yourself doing a Monday, Wednesday, Friday strength training schedule. Fitness happens between sessions not.
  • Under kill in that if you know you’re doing it again… and this is also true of sets… which I’ll explain… you don’t really achieve the intensity or overload you need.

Here’s a perfect example you may be relate to: I’ve trained fitness clients for 34 years. I began training and teaching on a college campus in what we call the Exercise Clinic that serves faculty, staff, and community members on the University campus. Sixty percent of those participants were over 50 and many of the others were heading that direction in the near future. When I began 3 sets of 10 was enough.

What hasn’t changed is many older adults were students like me who learned this, kept teaching it and training their clients this way… and we’ve not

  1. “The Best Time of Day to Exercise is whenever you’ll do it”

Hormone balance may dictate that working with your hormones – exercising high intensity early and doing calming exercise later in the day supports you best.

If you’re waking feeling hungover- without having had the fun… trying to exercise – or spending time feeling guilty about not exercise – can sabotage you. Exercise lightly and for short stints outdoors if possible. Restore and recharge your batteries before you can get stronger.

The weight you have been struggling may fall off you when you put down some stress and truly rest.

  1. “Do I have to continue to increase the weight or get to a maintenance spot?”

Reach a point of maintenance with the weight but then other variables have to change.

  • Tempo..
  • Sequence…
  • Variations …
  • Single leg exercise.. when heavier sets aren’t possible

Fitness myths sometimes cause a progam-hopping syndrome. You look for the program for you now. It’s hard to have progression when you do that frequently. You make lateral moves but don’t climb up to the next step.

  1. “Protein needs increase with activity and decrease with age.”

“High protein diets are for body builders and are hard on kidneys.”

Protein increase is not “high protein” it’s simply higher than you’ve been taking in. Your need for protein changes. You don’t synthesize protein as well as you did 20 and 10 years ago. You can overcome that. By changing the amount, the type, and the timing of protein.

You’re not doomed unless you keep doing what worked when you were 20 or 30. When your metabolism and body composition were governed more by hormones. Now that they’re (hormones) not doing the same kind of job has moved into the metabolism control spotlight.

Among the fitness myths that hold older adults back this nutrition-related myth is a big one. Protein is the building block of muscle. Essential amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There’s no research showing risk to kidneys in healthy adults and in fact as an upcoming podcast reveals it can improve kidney function.

Timing after exercise matters. Wait at least 60 and have a high protein meal within 60-120 minutes. Bump to 30 grams per three meals on a daily basis. The quality of that protein matters. I’ll link to an upcoming podcast here with Dr. Gabrielle Lyon where we talk about quality and essential amino acid.

20-30 gram range is not intuitive. You need more if you are sedentary and less if you are active.

In regards to recovery from exercise for older adults, or for slow-gainers who can’t get toned no matter what they’re doing, even more protein – 35-40 grams post exercise has been shown to boost lean muscle repair so that 70-year old men had results comparable to what happens in 20 year olds.

  1. “I exercise all the time, I’m doing more and working harder, and I can’t lose weight.”

The myth in this statement is the More exercise = more weight loss.

If you spike cortisol and flirt with adrenal fatigue, whether with long endurance exercise, high intensity exercise too frequently or both your efforts will backfire. In fact, you may gain weight and belly fat. Less exercise, like restorative yoga, or walking can actually help you drop weight.

I get 5 emails or Flipping 50 TV applications a week from women who share a statement like this almost verbatim. What they don’t realize – or you don’t if you’re saying this – is exactly why you’re not losing weight. You’re causing the problem. It’s quite unintuitive but this is one of the most common fitness myths.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this podcast on fitness myths. Got others you’ve heard? Share them with me and I’ll address them in an upcoming episode.

It’s Arthritis awareness month and we’re releasing the Knee-Friendly 5 Day Flip this month! Our subscribers are the first to get access and notifications.

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=>Contest going on right now with Nutribulletand we want to show off your inspiring pictures!

Exercise is all about what happens outside the gym… not about getting better at exercise.

We want to see your pictures…of cartwheels on the beach, ziplining in Costa Rica, running hometown races, standing on a podium…Or swinging a golf club or grandchildren!

Need help with Hormones and Testing so you can get your exercise right? 

Join us for a special Flipping 50 webinar with Dr Alan Hopkins, anti-aging expert (I’ve yet to tell him we’re PRO aging!)

Register HERE

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Which Myths Have Trapped You?

You’re smart. You’re logical. You nod. It makes sense. Then, faced with a decision, a choice, it’s just so easy to fall back on old patterns. They run deep those old thoughts and habits. Here are a few myths presented side-ways, backwards, and upside-down, since that’s reall the way they appear next to the real truth of what works.

#1. You have to eliminate your favorite foods.

The reality is that, unless you’ve got a food sensitivity or outright allergy, your favorite foods should be a regular part of your routine. If chocolate has power over you, a small piece a day may be the best thing you can do. If you crave peanut butter or pizza, find a way to include them. Have the peanut butter with apple or celery. Drop it into a smoothie. The more you cut a food out, the more power you give it over you.


#2. You have to exercise to burn tons of calories in order to lose weight.

You do need to move…for your health, for your enjoyment, and happiness. But you won’t lose weight simply by exercising without changing your nutrition habits. And you could change your nutrition habits to boost metabolism without increasing exercise and lose weight. It wouldn’t be ideal: you need both the movement to use and strengthen muscles and the nutrition to fuel them. Ultimately, you make far more decisions about your food daily than you do about exercise. If you get that side of the equation right, the rest is easier.

Too much exercise in fact, particularly cardio that women tend to love more (until they see the results from weight training), can burn out your adrenals. That’s not going the right direction if you want more energy or weight loss.


#3. If you’re thin you don’t need to exercise or watch what you eat. If you’re a larger size person you’re lazy and out of shape.

This one I can personally share is completely false. Heart disease for one does not discriminate. A good friend, a size 2 on a bad day, had a heart attack in her early 40s. Stress doesn’t discriminate by size or weight. Likewise, I have some clients who are extremely fit even while they’d like to be down another 40 lbs easily. Keep your eyes on the habits that create health and count their frequency if you must count.


#4. You should follow a chart that tells you for your height you should weigh within a specific weight range.

This one is ridiculous if you’re a fit person. Especially if you’re a woman who weight trains. You may be underweight, over the ideal weight or within the weight and as long as you’re getting sufficient nutrients, exercise, and have healthy habits, you’re doing all that’s within your control.


#5. Losing weight is about dieting, deprivation, being hungry and discipline.

You absolutely don’t have to suffer. This post is completely and utterly BUSTED. If this is still your approach you need to explore more. The right way is so much easier. The hardest part is eliminating the old thoughts you still hold.


What myth did I miss that’s true of you or friends?

Share your thoughts in comments and thanks for being here!



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