May 19, 2020
For the women in midlife who listen to this podcast and I’ve worked with for more than three and a half decades fitness is sometimes illusive. But success leaves signs. Four times in my life when I’ve made significant changes in my fitness level it was by doing LESS, not more.
In My Late Teens
Beginning exercise…. Back in 1982. From walking a half mile to a mile to a mile and an half… to jogging parts …
And if I added something I added water jogging or a bit of lap swimming while at the pool where I was lifeguarding.
In My 20s
Then just before grad school I was injured riding a horse. I spent the summer again back to fundamentals. Walking around the block if I made it that far. Swimming. Starting to kick when that didn’t hurt as much. It was very light and very low. And by the end of summer I again… had made progress not slid back.
My Late 40s
Then at 49 I quit every stable, secure paycheck to take a risk and build a business from scratch. I barely let myself away from the keyboard. I was sitting and coaching fitness professionals on how to sell their services, and building online courses, and focusing on working with women in midlife myself when I accidentally discovered the After 50 Fitness Formula for Women – that became the signature course from You Still Got It, Girl! the book.
I spent 20 minutes at a time pulling myself away from the computer to walk the dog, do intervals, or weights or a short yoga stretch. Some days I would do two or three of those at different times of day. But what I never did… was endurance training. I didn’t do any 45 or 60-minute runs that had been my habit for decades. I wasn’t teaching hour-long classes any more and then often jumping on a piece of cardio equipment afterwards.
Fitness for Women Is Easier Than We Make It
I got very efficient and focused knowing it’s all I was going to do. Walking the dog was sometimes brisk and sometimes… smelling the fire hydrants. Twenty minutes mid day was literally doing one move a minute playing music on my TV – just dancing.
In My 50s
Then again just recently in the beginning of 2020 I cut back… and have kept that limited time of exercise because of COVID19 and the need for focus on Immune-supportive exercise not MORE, but LESS, and more often. I’ve dug into and shared with you in many places ….
The science of how and what kind of exercise supports your strong immune response – and what doesn’t.
And here’s this.
I also have shared the integrative nature of your endocrine or hormone system with your immune response.
The Less Exercise More Results Evidence
Every time I’ve reduced my exercise or done a low intense or low volume of exercise I’ve made the fastest and most rapid progress in my fitness. It happened when I was 18, when I was 25, when I was 49 and now when I’m 56 I’m experiencing it all over again.
This, girlfriends is not a coincidence. Though if we look at just me… I’m a study of 1… and that is truly not a good thing to build your fitness plan on. However, I’ve done the research. I continue to read 3-5 new studies every week – or a dozen a month. The science is STILL telling me the same thing as when I was shocked at 49 to look stronger, leaner, and look healthier after 14 months of less exercise.
What About You?
I want you to take a few moments and look back on your life and your exercise habits.
Let go for a minute of that feeling behind or overwhelmed that you may have let yourself get out of shape and there’s so much to do.
Let go of that thought that your hormones suddenly changed the rules. Because yes, yes they may have.
However, it may be more true that what you were doing wasn’t enough or was too much and or not of the right kind even when you weren’t seeing that it wasn’t working.
A dramatic change in hormones when you’re at that latter part of perimenopause, or menopause hits, continuing into post menopause - can make you feel as if you suddenly gained that 10 pounds. Yet the habits were there all along and you were getting by with them.
You can’t self-select whether you love Pilates, or Yoga, or Barre or instead intervals or strength training or long distance running. You’ve got muscles, bones, and a needs for strength, endurance, bone density, mobility that no one of them can give you.
Can you emphasis one you love more than others? Certainly. Can you ignore it and be truly “healthy” in every way that will lead to longevity? Absolutely not.
If you forfeit your fitness at 80 and 90 for your skinny jeans now, you don’t get these years back. You can make strength gains in your 80s but not as easily.
The Signs of Success
So I encourage you to:
If you are just “starting” or restarting and you truly need support beginning. I’ll link to a beginner’s program that is exercise- only.