Your heart is the fastest responding muscle in your body. When you work out cardiovascularly (heart rate increases, you breathe heavily, and your whole body is involved in the movement), the heart adapts upwards within 24 hours. Aaaaand, if you dodge exercise more than you dodge taxes, then your heart adapts down, down, down.Your heart is the fastest responding muscle in your body Click To Tweet
Do you want your midlife body to stay as vital, youthful, and cooperative as long as possible? As Dr Michael Roizen MD, co-founder of RealAge and chair of its Scientific Advisory Board puts it: “Physical activity decreases the greatest causes of arterial aging, including stress, the greatest ager of all.” Good news: you can combine strategies to achieve the youngest, most stress proof, physiological body possible. No heart stopping shocks coming, but the secret to a Strong, Age Defying Hearty Har Har is ……….One of the biggest causes of arterial aging is ... (click to find out, especially if you want a young heart) Click To Tweet
… to exercise and eat well. Did you see that coming? But what does “eat well” for heart health mean in practical terms, especially for baby boomer women? We wondered ourselves so checked in with Registered Dietitian and celebrity, best-selling author Frances Largeman-Roth. Based on her input, we offer you the following juicy tips:
1. Vitamin C is a heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory nutrient that helps repair and produce body tissues. Add oranges or grapefruit to your snack routine to get your daily dose. Other vitamin C-rich foods include strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, papayas, mangoes, kiwi and bell peppers. Basically, eat fruity stuff aka “fruit.”
2. Limit high-calorie, sugary drinks such as soft drinks, and sweetened iced tea and coffee drinks. Instead, drink lots of water – at least 2 liters per day. Water, water everywhere. Alcohol isn’t so great for you either. Yes, we know about the studies that tout the benefits of red wine, and Mayo Clinic simply says that it MIGHT be healthy in MODERATION. They theorize that flavonoids or resveratrol may be the beneficial substances.
3. Support your circulation. First, read our post on how to improve your circulation. Then, add a guaranteed source of cocoa flavanols, like CocoaVia® cocoa extract supplement, to your breakfast every morning. What’s not to like about cocoa that’s clinically proven to help maintain healthy circulation? (Disclosure: Nothing to disclose as we were not paid to add the above mention. We simply believe in the product and company).
4. Fight inflammation. Eat foods that contain high amounts of anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant that fights inflammation and may help reduce the risk of heart disease. You can find it in blueberries, blackberries, plums, cherries, Mission figs and eggplant. (note from Alexandra: Figs – ewwww)
5. Instead of cooking spray or butter, use olive oil. Olive oil is a great heart-healthy ingredient; the Mediterranean diet has long been linked to heart health and longevity. Try drizzling extra virgin olive oil on top of pasta and using it as a salad dressing or as a substitute for butter on bread.
ACTION: Improve your heart when you subscribe (and then read and follow our tips). Enter your email in any of the subscription boxes and claim your bonus while you’re at it.
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
I’m not a professional baker, and definitely not a pro photographer, so how did I beat out everyone else for the chance to donate $5000 to the foodbank of my choice?
1. I followed the rules. Really, that counts. I saw some of the other entries, and they didn’t follow the rules (Create and post an original photograph that features the Pompeian Grapeseed Oil Spray bottle using the #Bake4Better hashtag and tagging @Pompeian). There were other criteria, such as ownership of the photo, using other brands in the photo, inappropriate themes, and so on, but nothing difficult.
2. We were judged in three categories: Originality/Creativity, Use of the Pompeian Grapeseed Oil Spray in the photograph, and Quality of photograph. I am pretty certain I won based on the first two. What do you think – creative or no?
3. Fewer than 50 people entered. I know. Sad, isn’t it? So few entries for such an amazing prize. And of those 50, take a look and you’ll see how few actually had the oil in the picture (one of the rules).
Enough about me; let’s talk about the foodbank. I happen to be in Santa Barbara, which is one of the loveliest towns in the U.S. (and most expensive, I think). This means a lot of people might assume we are all rich. Hahahahahahahahahah. Okay, let me stop laughing while I go weep over my property tax bill. I actually think S.B. is like many towns in that hunger is invisible to many.
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, food is a basic necessity; without it we cannot grow and develop. This is both metaphorical and literal, especially for children. I think we adults have a moral obligation to ensure that all children get a fair crack at growing and developing.
The mission of the Santa Barbara Foodbank is “to provide nourishment to those in need by acquiring and distributing safe nutritious foods via local agencies and providing education to solve hunger and nutrition problems in Santa Barbara County.” This is probably similar to the mission statement of your local foodbank.
When I saw the contest, I thought, “I probably won’t win because I’m not a good photographer, but I might as well try because I might get lucky.” Not only did I get lucky, it turns out the $5000 has some excellent math behind it. According to the letter I received from the foodbank’s development coordinator, “Every dollar we receive is leveraged into $17 worth of nutritious food to build strong, healthy kids and families in our community. So the $5,000 that Hunter Publication (Pompeian Oil) awarded the Foodbank translates into $85,000 worth of food. Just incredible!”
And incredible is how I feel. If I had donated from my own money, it would have been about $20. For spending about 20 minutes of my time taking pictures, making the collage, and submitting my entry, I got $85,000 worth of “good feeling.”
The point of my tale? To encourage you to enter these types of contests. Whether you’re a blogger, baker, Instagrammer, photographer, or even Google+ lover, give it a go. Even if you don’t win, you’ll feel good inside. Altruism has so many benefits, with research indicating that for the donor, “giving help was more significantly associated with better mental health than was receiving help.”
As a friend of mine from church loves to say, “Give till it helps.”
Pick up the phone or email us to book us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
We are part of a Vibrant Influencer Network campaign for Depend. While we are receiving a fee for this post, you are getting our honest opinions — the truth, nothing but the truth, so help you stay dry! The opinions expressed in this post are our own. We are not affiliated with Depend and do not earn a commission or percent of sales. Darn it anyway.
Kymberly: Two age related items arrived in my mailbox the other day: my AARP magazine and a sample bag of Depend underwear with their new Fit-Flex protection. Potential oldster moment! And here I fancy myself a youngish and vibrant baby boomer who wears thong undies to exercise class and reads “Outside” adventure magazine. To quote an article headline in the Feb/March 2014 issue of AARP: “You’re Old, I’m Not.” Like most people over 50, I think I am NOT like most people over 50. Except that like millions of US midlifers, I face leakage problems once in a while. As in whenever I jump, hop, skip, laugh hard, or cough big. What about you?
Incontinence: one of the biggest known secrets of the midlife world — especially for women who have given birth and for men who have been treated for prostate cancer. So let’s talk about this issue for a wee second. (Yeah, I had to go there). What activities do you refrain from because you are worried about an embarrassing pee moment?
In my fortunate case, I am hard to embarrass even when teaching group fitness classes on stage, in leggings, while laughing and moving about … and sometimes mixing pee with sweat. However, I do have times when I hold back from a hearty laugh or take impact moves out of my workouts because I really don’t like dealing with the consequences. That leads me to a few tips to manage leakage:
By the way, if you leak a secret is it called a “leakcret”? I am cracking myself up here people. (If I am peeing my pants laughing at my own joke, you’ll never know as I am still wearing my Depend Fit-Flex).
Alexandra: I gave birth to two boys, both of whom were classified as “LGA – Large for Gestational Age.” I laugh now because they are the opposite of large. They owe me big for being so big! I taught exercise classes before, during, and after both pregnancies. That was 17 years ago. I have been doing Kegels for about 20 years, and have a few comments to add to Kymberly’s tips.
1) Order your free Depend sample pack now while you are thinking of it. Click the link; select your product preference; fill out the short form; move along!
3) Pick up the phone or email us to book us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email email@example.com.
Valentine’s Day just passed, and I am glad to see it go. Not for myself, but for those who feel sad. Sometimes it’s from being single; though it can also come from being lonely in a relationship. But I think it’s most sad when it’s a case of feeling unlovable, which is totally different from unloved. In high school I thought I was ugly (I wasn’t – see that pic of me? Nothing to run from), which to me equalled unlovable. My high school experience was so unpleasant that I found a way to graduate a year early. I feel so lucky and grateful to have found confidence in my mid-20s.
Now here we are, many years past high school, and many of us are so self-denigrating about those extra pounds we’ve put on since high school that we don’t even know it. It’s habit. Automatic. “I’d be happy if I just lost 20 pounds.” “I’d love to date, but who’d want me at this weight?” I’ve been paying attention to my habitual thoughts about my weight as I lose the few pounds I gained over the holidays, and mine are definitely tied into looks and self-acceptance.
Those of us who are moms are so good about showing our kids unconditional love, yet we let them see us denigrate ourselves. Worse, they see us defining ourselves by external, non-achievable goals and measures.
Time to rethink and reframe, dear Boom-Chicka-Boomers. We need to separate health from aesthetics. I’ll use myself as an example. Do my extra 5-10 extra pounds (I picked this number, not the government charts, which means the numbers are flawed from the start) affect my health? Truly, not in the least. I have no trouble going uphill or exercising or doing anything, except for playing soccer, which is due to a reconstructed knee, not an inability to have running stamina. And all my health and medical tests say that I’m secretly in the body of a 29-year-old (insert joke here!!). Which leaves aesthetics. Beauty. Looks. Which is a slippery ideal, as the definition changes from culture to culture, and person to person.
Am I saying we should give up on looking our best? Not at all. I’m totally vain and wouldn’t dream of going in public without at least lipstick! I’m saying:
A. Health is measurable. We can know if we’ve achieved it. Beauty is not measurable. The beholder really does have all the power.
B. We need to love ourselves for the things we accomplish that matter. We need to recognize the limits we place on loving ourselves, ESPECIALLY when those limits are based on ever-shifting criteria.
Picture yourself 20 years ago. Don’t you wish you looked like that now? But back then you were too busy unloving yourself to appreciate what you had. Picture yourself now. Flaw, flaw, flaw, comparison, comparison, disapproval, disappointment. Picture yourself 20 years from now, wishing you looked like you do now. Why wait 20 years to know how great you looked in 2014?
Just so you know – when you exercise and eat well for health reasons, you gain confidence. When you gain confidence, you look happier. When you look happy, people are attracted to you. Ka-Ching. Definition of “attractive.” Along the way, the weight will fall off. But I know that when I’m 75 and still teaching group fitness, I’ll feel good about myself. And people will be attracted to me. Good health includes self-love. Health leads to Beauty. Beauty doesn’t necessarily lead to Health.
Watch this video and watch how happy this talented woman is at dancing. How can you not help but love her? And her wild abandon!
While you’re at it, view this video of four “regular” women who got the looks of their dreams. Did it make them happy?
I’ll probably never care for the artificially created Valentine’s holiday. And l’ll still lose those last few pounds. With friends to support me. I am one of those friends.
Photo credits: Woman on Scale: Chelsea3883
Want to love us as much as we love ourselves? Here ya go:
2) Pick up the phone or email us to book us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hi Elena aka Tofu Tumbler: We are so glad you got value from our post. Whether you are in your 20s or 60s, back pain is hard to stomach. Ok, that was a bad word play. However, our answer is good! For sure it’s better than that beer that stalked you so mercilessly.
It is hard for us to know whether your form is the cause of your back pain since we have not seen you work out. However, we can say that it is likely that attacking a 70 pound bag with anything less than fantastic form can aggravate backs, knees, and joints. Your complaint is quite common, unfortunately.
Meantime, let’s try to figure out what might be going on. How strong are your abs and how much do you train them? Not how good do they look, but how functionally strong is your midsection? Next time you kickbox or punch bags pay good attention to how much you engage your abs as you strike. The more the abs take on the load, the less the back does so. Basically, your major muscles come in pairs (fancy term you can throw out at the party punch bowl is agonist/ antagonist). If your ab muscles are not helping out, then their buddy, the back muscles are picking up the work slack. Two employees, but only one is working. Overtime. And peeved about it!
Try this back safe core move from our video series. Very little spinal flexion is needed and you get to leave your head on the ground![youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFM0_8JT8WA&feature=share&list=UU4CF2GiDg1QacnaUtY1OvGg&index=1[/youtube]
Have you tried videotaping yourself? Even a poor quality video might reveal habits you are unaware of. If you are locking out joints, the impact has to be absorbed somewhere. A look at yourself in motion might show if/ when you are hyperextending and where that impact is traveling. Use your phone camera and get footage from the front, back, and sides as you are working out. Zoom in for close ups of your torso as your hands and feet make contact with the bag.
Action: What doesn’t hurt and always helps? Why, subscribing to have us come to you, of course.
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Okay, Sandy, you get your wish, as we’ll run with your idea. Actually we will walk with your idea. Often, with vigor, and together!
Many studies have shown that women over 50 have a higher rate of exercise adherence when social support is in place. This support includes weight loss via social media. In plain terms, social media used for social support can lead to improved health and fitness and help you lose weight! Our post, 3 Ways to Lose Weight without Diet or Exercise may have some happy, helpful surprise tips for you as well.
Women over 50 have a higher rate of exercise adherence when social support is in place Click To Tweet
So let’s help each other, without reinventing the hamster wheel that none of us wants to run on! Well, actually, I would if I thought it would be fun. Whatever your goal, we challenge you to state it publicly, in the comments below. If you’re on Twitter, leave your name too, and we’ll follow each other. We are @AlexandraFunFit and @KymberlyFunFit. If you’re not on Twitter, you can post your progress, challenges, questions on our Facebook Fun and Fit page. We also encourage you to join the Facebook community, The Women of Midlife. You’ll find a super supportive, active group of middle aged women, who weigh in (get it?) on a range of topics, not just exercise, weight loss, or fitness.
Let’s all figure out what we CAN do, as well as what we’re WILLING to do, then help each other do those things. One way we try to help given we’re certified fitness professionals, is to offer solutions via our posts. For instance, if you are interested in losing weight, try one of the exercise programs we suggest in one of our most popular posts, Best Workouts to Burn Fat for Women Over 50.
If you really want to up your chances to succeed with your wellness goals, then see what other experts have to suggest. Our TransformAging summit rounded up the best of the best when it comes to active aging solutions specifically for our age group. Click this link to see if this Active Aging webinar program might be right for you.
For now we’ll give you a suggestion that’s so simple we know you can do it. And it actually helps! Start writing down what you eat. Notice we didn’t say, “Change what you eat,” we just said to write it down. Simply being more aware of your food choices can produce change.
Who’s in? The requirements are in the following LONG list:
* Encourage others
* Post about your goals & progress
Quiz at 11!
Go public with your health and fitness goals. Not only will you be more inclined to achieve your weight loss goals, but also you’ll have hooked up with wonderful, like-minded people. We’ll call them “friends.” Why not?
Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA
I find this “so called” inspirational quote so maddening and wrong. Wrong, I tell you! Stick and stones may break our bones, but words will always affect us!
Last weekend Alexandra and I attended the LA Fitness Expo, an event we suspected attracted few baby boomers, though lots of hard body youngsters. We love youngsters. Between us we have spawned three. Yet, we recognized that “Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore” as we looked at the words and messages plastered throughout. (We were at the Expo performing posture assessments on behalf of the attentive, service-oriented, and fun Sherpa company. Like us, they value midlifers).
As Alexandra and I cruised the trade show aisles, we noticed a trend in the key words on booths, marketing materials, t-shirts, and tattoos. (Yes, I read tattoos as there was a lot of bared skin at the expo). The text was so overpowering and thematic, I started a list of words that stood out:
punishment – beast – raw – fight – pound (as a verb, not noun) – brutal – challenge – ultimate – barbed wire (?!)
The overwhelming message was that exercise is painful, should hurt, is hard core, and meaningful only if attacked with full force. Not really sure how the barbed wire fits into the equipment bag, but then I am still getting used to seeing large tires being flipped over as the way to fitness. No wonder our nation is leery of exercise. This journey into “land of the Ueberfit” appears daunting and so negative. “Be All in Or Get Out!” How enticing is that for the new or occasional exerciser who most needs support and motivation??!
I see the same sort of “admonition motivation” all over instagram and Facebook as well. Repeated postings warn us that:
Am I showing a baby boomer undies gap? None of these messages encouraged me to work out. All of them are negative with an aspect of alienation. They made me want to ice my knee joint, take a nap, and hide my menopot under layered workout wear with a lot of give. Or run away, but without the running.
If I felt excluded and overwhelmed — with a lifetime of being active as a former aerobics competition winner, athlete, and fitness professional with 33 years in gyms and clubs — how do most midlife women feel when bombarded with such messages? Exercise is not just for lean and fit hard bodies. It’s for every body. Especially the soft bodies.
As fitness professionals, my sister, many of our colleagues, fellow healthy living bloggers, and I hope to motivate you to move. Often. Consistently. With joy when possible. Age actively for all the positive reasons. Don’t “whip yourself into shape.” Instead acknowledge your progress. Celebrate your movement minutes. Find what you enjoy and do that. If we want to stay active for a lifetime, we have to enjoy the process. I am positive about that, you ultimate raw beasts!
Readers: What do you think of the perennial classic “No Pain, No Gain”? Do you have a favorite exercise quote?
This is a sponsored post for Socialstars by Crowdtap showcasing my super-delicious smoothie using Outshine frozen fruit bars. All opinions, sips, and resultant good health are mine!
I don’t know about you, but I’m always on the lookout for new, tasty and healthful ingredients to add to my morning smoothies, especially now that I’m trying to lose a mean ol’ menopausal ten pound weight gain. Grrr.
When I was invited to create a recipe using either the strawberry or coconut Outshine frozen fruit bars, I hesitated for ooooh, 3 seconds before raising my hand to volunteer a strawberry smoothie recipe. I even spent lots of time learning how to take and send photos using my new tablet so that I’d have pretty pictures to share.
The recipe is pretty
complex simple, so you might have to spend a few years at a cooking school seconds staring into your fridge before attempting to create what I’ve dubbed the “Red, White & Bluethie.” Feel free to print out scribble on a post-it note the recipe.
Red, White &
Blue Smoothie Bluethie
One fruit bar (be smart; remove the stick)
1/2 cup Blueberries
1/2 cup Strawberries
2 Tbsp Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp Flax
1/2 cup Almond milk
Squeeze of lime
You will now be
amazed bored by my mad cooking skills as I describe the mixing instructions:
Put ingredients into blender or juicer. Push Blend (my blender actually says, “Smoothie”). Pour. Drink. Gain Super Powers and Strength (maybe not the latter).
You don’t need ice cubes, as you have the frozen fruit bar. Every morning I bring my smoothie and hot chai into the car with me, as I drink them on the way to teaching. When my older son drives with me, he likes to hold the cold smoothie for me on the hot days. On the cold days, he holds my chai. And no matter whether it’s hot or cold, he hates to hold my bagel.
Bonus: If you usually use ice cubes, you need a special blender. I know this because I broke the blender blade. Now I have a magical blender with an ice-crushing blade. With the fruit bars, you do not have to think about these important, yet destructive, details.
P.S. Drinking the Red, White and Bluethie will make you more
patriotic, happy, healthy, full of Outshiny goodness.
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
It’s Super Bowl Sunday! Do you plan to plunk your hiney in front of the tv and take down some snacks? Is all that sitting around going to evoke guilt or anxiety that you aren’t moving? Then add watching our one minute video to your Seated Sunday plan. You can do simple exercises like biceps curls, triceps extensions, bent over rows, squats, and jumps from your comfy chair without missing a minute of the game.
When your team makes a touchdown, join the celebration and keep your energy high! Why be seated and sedentary when you can be seated and Super!
Drink credits: Beer courtesy of Kymberly’s hubster whom we hope does not notice that we shook those bottles. No beer was harmed long term in the making of this video.