Welcome to the first edition of The After 50 Fitness Formula For Women!
If this is your first visit and pass through my site, in your shoes, I’d be wondering who this chic is and how she has authority to deliver content. So here’s the dirt on me. No police record, no tabloid headlines, just a few speeding tickets. (It’s genetic).
The book by the same title as this blog, created based on success of my private coaching programs based on similar titles, is under construction. You could then call this procrastination. You would be right. You could call it excitement about the chest deep research I’m wading through on a daily basis and eagerness to share it with you now so you can see results…instead of waiting til later in the fall. You’d be right.
There’s so much information out there – some of it good, some not so much – that it’s just plain noisy. I see my job here as cutting through the crap and the too-good-to-be-true promises to give you both sides of the story. I’ve had 30 years to personally make a lot of mistakes, teach – train – and coach clients through change, and teach emerging personal trainers how to best work with clients for optimum results. I base the information I share on:
-Personal and professional experience with what’s worked and what’s failed
-Current research that is changing the way we think about exercise and nutrition
-The aging of America and our desire to stay fit and thrive in our second 50
So, with that long-winded introduction, let’s get to it.
I’m all about getting better results in less time. I wish I had the time to be outdoors and active for hours, but frankly right now I just don’t. For some it’s about getting started or restarted and finding motivation to do it. Less time is very attractive to a lot of us!
Here are three things with low exertion level and minimal time commitment that will help you – a second 50 exerciser – get the most from all the right moves.
1. Use a foam roller 2 or 3 times a week for a few minutes. Here’s what it does for you. It irons out bound up fibers that surround your muscles so that you feel less “tight.” If you say you’re “tight” frequently or you think you need stretching often, it may not be those muscles but the connective tissue on top that’s all wound up. Young, healthy (or old and rolled) connective tissue has “spring” to it. It’s got longer lines and it’s less intertwined.
If you’ve ever had a massage, even a shoulder rub, you know that feeling of getting up afterwards feeling lighter and longer. Yet, you haven’t actually stretched the muscle longer. You just got some of that connective tissue to compress and hydrate. It’s like squeezing a sponge. When you wring out the muscles with massage or foam rolling you compress and when you release new fluid rushes in. It’s like taking a tall cold drink (of water with lemon- I don’t know what you were thinking!) on a hot day.
More isn’t better. Two to three times a week and leave a couple days between. It isn’t instant. But results are cumulative. The more frequently and regularly you do it the better results you’ll have. Optimal results take 6-24 months. If you take a month off you’ll lose some ground. Of course, you’ll be better off if you’re doing yoga and keeping a good activity routine while you’re off.
If you haven’t any experience, ask a fitness professional, check out the foam rolling playlist on Allagesfitness in YouTube or email me for help.
2. Get plenty of sleep. Growth Hormone (GH) is your best training friend for a lean second fifty. It’s released in smaller doses as you age. And since we’re all aging, after about 25, it’s down hill for GH. You can optimize it with high quality strength training that is followed by good nutrition n (see #3) and sleep.
If you’re a skilled sleeper, you’re going to have an easier chance keeping your lean muscle and keeping fat away. GH is released in the largest doses during the deep stages of sleep. If you’re a light sleeper or have many waking periods at night, seek some solutions. It’s a beautifully passive way to optimize muscle and minimize breakdown.
3. Get adequate protein. The amount recommended to us for years and still by RDA standards is likely to be far below what we actually need. Intuitively, we’ve thought as we age we need less. As we get less active we need less. WRONG, WRONG. As we age we’re not quite as good at processing protein in our diet. As we age if in fact we do become less active, we are also less able to process (or synthesize) protein than our more active friends.
Twenty-five to 30 grams of protein per meal three times a day is minimum recommended by researchers. If you’re less active or frail you need the upper limit. If you’re more active and if you are trying to reduce weight on a lower calorie diet you need higher levels of protein in order to spare your muscle.
That’s a 4 oz serving of chicken, turkey, or salmon for example. Some protein sources are higher quality than others. If you don’t do animal protein it’s harder to get 25-30 grams of protein per meal that offers all the essential amino acids. Not impossible, but harder. Unless you’re consciously trying most clients fail to get this. When they do add protein to meals and to snacks (in smaller amounts) they often notice an added bonus: fewer cravings.
Most experts disagree on a lot of things but on recovery nutrition they agree. Within 30-60 minutes after exercise you’re ripe for replenishing glycogen and beginning to repair muscles. The smoothie to the right provides anti-oxidant rich healthy fats, and anti-inflammatory ingredients. Liquids often not only go down easier after a hard workout but blended the goodness is absorbed easier too. Get this in before too much cortisol is released and you’ll be forever young inside out.
If you lose muscle, you’re gaining fat. Motivated?
P.S. Please share a comment about your recovery strategies. Do you roll? Do you rest? Do you include enough protein? Share your biggest challenge and in a future post I’ll offer solutions.