Tips for Women Over 50

Tips for Women Over 50

Here are 6 Tip for Women Over 50. I’m sharing this post today in honor of Mother’s Day. I’m especially excited to honor my mom, who is a healthy, fit, and happy mom and grandma at the age of 57. 

Here are 6 Tip for Women Over 50:

  • Menopause Increases Fat Storage Around Your Middle: Even women who do not gain much weight during menopause notice increased fat storage around the middle and/or a more difficult time getting rid of menopausal belly fat. The reason comes down to hormones: estrogen causes your body to be more insulin sensitive, but as estrogen levels drop, insulin levels rise and insulin resistance becomes more common. In addition to this shift in insulin (which often leads to increased fat storage) cortisol hormones also rise during menopause. As estrogen and progesterone drop, women going through menopause become increasingly more sensitive to stress. To combat this increase in belly fat storage, you need proper exercise, proper nutrition, and proper hormonal balance.
  • Brain Chemistry Shifts: As women go through menopause, the levels of dopamine, serotonin and GABA in their brain changes. These chemicals have an impact on your mood, energy, hunger and cravings. That means menopausal women are likely to feel more hungry and less satisfied during meals, causing them to eat more calories than their body needs, and thus store these extra calories as fat. The best thing you can do to work on keeping brain chemistry balanced is to reduce stress, eat a proper diet full of lean protein and plenty of fibrous veggies and healthy fats, and consider supplements when needed. Many women benefit from fish oil supplement due to the fact that our brains need healthy fats from the Omega-3s in plant and vegetable sources in order to synthesize enough neurotransmitters to send messages effectively. BCAA supplements also help to balance brain chemistry, as BCAAs are precursors to our brain’s stimulating chemical glutamate, as well as our brain’s number one relaxing chemical (GABA). By balancing these stimulating and relaxing responses in the brain at a chemical level, we can stop cravings before they even start. BCAAs also help to control hunger. In addition to balancing blood sugar, the BCAA leucine activates hunger controlling molecules (mTOR and AMPK) in the brain.
  • Carbs Matter: Because of the insulin resistance mentioned above, paying close attention to carbohydrate intake is key for women over 50. Too little carbs and your body can’t function. Too many carbs and your body will store excess fat around your middle. The key is to find your own unique balance somewhere in the middle. The right amount of carbs at the right time (post workout) is key. Many women fall into the trap of thinking that if low carb was good, then lower carb is BETTER and they’re terrified to eat anything with carbs. This is a mistake and can actually do menopausal women more harm than good. When you eat carbohydrates your body releases the storage hormone insulin in order to break down the carbs and deliver them as fuel to your muscles. The problem is that excess carbs that are not stored in the muscle will be stored as fat. Carbohydrates are beneficial as they help promote muscle growth and replenish the glycogen stores that fuel your muscles. This is extremely important for women who are engaging in high intensity weight training workouts and want to preserve muscle mass. Carbohydrates also work to minimize muscle breakdown (catabolism) and reset the hormones leptin, cortisol and serotonin to help burn fat, boost mood and hinder cravings. But at the same point, lowering carb intake helps to signal your body to burn fat for fuel instead of burning the carbs that it normally eats as it’s fuel for the day. Low carb diets also improve insulin sensitivity, which is beneficial for both fat loss and muscle building. So a proper balance between the two is key. Want more help? Work with me one-on-one to set up a carb cycling plan that’s right for you! 
  • Rest is Important: Cortisol is a stress hormone that can intensify insulin resistance. When you are going through menopause and your body becomes more insulin resistant, your body is working harder than most just to maintain balance. With blood sugar and blood fat levels all over the place, the body of a menopausal women is working in overtime and is extremely stressed. Add to this decreased uptake of fuel for the cells, likely deficiencies in important vitamins and minerals, and overall metabolic stress and you will find that a menopausal woman, whether she feels it or not, is simply worn out. This makes REST (through the form of sleep as well as low intensity, leisurely activities like walking and yoga) key as it serves to lower cortisol and help maintain metabolic balance. 
  • You Need to Lift Weights: As women age, they lose muscle. Lean muscle mass generally contributes up to approximately 50 percent of total body weight in young women but declines with aging to be 25 percent at 75–80 years old. Women who are physically inactive can lose as much as 3-5 percent of their muscle mass per decade after age 30! If you want to change your body shape and keep your muscle loss at bay, you absolutely have to lift weights. Cardiovascular exercise may get you bigger or smaller, but you will stay the same shape– weight training is the #1 way to change the shape of your body at any age. For menopausal women, strength training 3 times a week for 30 minutes is absolutely crucial. This will increase hormones that help keep your muscle, burn fat and will go will a long way toward speeding up your metabolism, tightening and toning your body as you age.
  • Compound Movements are Best: Now that you understand WHY you need to lift weights, let’s talk about HOW to lift weights. Compound movements are not just exercises for bodybuilders or big men in the gym. Compound movements and hybrid exercises should be the priority in every workout. These exercises recruit a higher number of muscle fibers at one time which helps you get MORE results in LESS time! Start your workout with your most difficult compound movements first and always make sure to include at least one in each workout. Compound movement examples: Squats, deadlifts, rows, chest press, push-ups, pull-ups, etc. Hybrid exercise examples: Lunge/Curl, Squat/Press, Step Up/Side Raise, Tricep Dip/Squat Jump  


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