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There’s a form of movement that seems to be all over the net right now that is nirvana for the 40+.
There are books on it everywhere and some of my favourite doctors are talking about it.
So I decided to do my own investigations.
It’s HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training.
What I’ve learned is – Ageing is Optional. From Age 50 it’s time to rev up.
As my 40s and 50s have progressed, it’s been no mean feat trying to find the right form of movement for my ever thickening, ever expanding menopausal waistline. I was the aerobics queen back in my 20s and 30s, until children came along and hormones flew out of whack. A hysterectomy was added to the mix, menopausal symptoms took hold, knees began to ache, weight or at least my waistline doubled, insulin resistance came a knocking and general every day walking with a wasted gym membership didn’t quite cut it. Something was missing.
The books I was reading and the experts I was listening to were saying things like ‘Lack of movement is a death sentence’. ‘Stay fit and lean with these blah blah blah workouts’. Well, I was trying lots of it and my middle aged body wasn’t improving or feeling any better.
At the age of 53 Yoga came into my life. What a difference. But STILL not enough.
My flexibility was improved, pain in my knee eliminated, my strength increased massively, my body shape changed and I love what I can do now. I’m not running marathons, but simply getting up and down off the floor, moving, jumping, being able to run for a bus or skip and being able to walk without a sore knee is a big move. As a Yoga Instructor now for over 5 years, an avid student of Stretch Therapy, a Nutrition Coach and Diabetes Food Advisor I know there’s still one form of movement that we, over 50, really need to do. And I was avoiding it!
We can’t avoid it if we want to live a healthy second half or third third of life.
Yoga is great – but it needs one more element. Why? Because despite the massive body improvements I’ve seen, I was still noticing weight was creeping on and my waistline was thickening. And before you say ‘isn’t that just normal for a midlife body? No it is not’. After a battery of medical tests just to see what else I could be doing I was told I need to up my cardio work. OK, so what did that mean? Running? Sprinting? Cycling? None of which seemed terribly attractive to me.
I’m a researcher. I’ve found so much information about the one form of exercise that is being touted as THE MOVEMENT for the 40 and 50+ body.
HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training.
Did you check out the link above? If not, here it is again. If you’re game, there’s a pretty intense yoga workout on the front page.
My first reaction was – WTF High what? Say the words High Intensity to a menopausal woman and my inner voice was saying ‘I have enough high intensity from my hot flushes thankyou very much’. Any HIIT program I’ve ever tried in years gone by resulted in my feeling nauseous and I never wanted to go back.
But HIIT has been proven to reduce sugar load, increase human grown hormone, burn fat, improve cardiac performance, strengthen, tone, boost mood, improve fascia, alleviate depression, increase bone density and longevity. Whether we like it or not we may live til 90 so why not make it worth living that long.
My two favourite books targeted to the over 40 woman that helped me get my head around HIIT was ‘Younger Next Year for Women’ – best book for a woman of any age, so I’ll recommend you read it a few times. Thought provoking, powerful, held no punches.
You won’t like the message quite likely, but it’s the best kick in the proverbial ageing butt I’ve ever received.
Dr Christiane Northrup in ‘Goddesses Never Age’ also got me thinking about HIIT as she does it twice a week and has made a massive difference to her life. She says ‘It’s hard but gets easier and easier and it increases HGH by 1000% naturally’. HGH is what we DO want increasing as we age. Check out what Harvard says about HGH and ageing .
We can slow down dramatically as we age. From 40 onward there’s 2 roads to take ‘Growth or Decay’. I sure as heck don’t want to take the ‘decay’ road so I appreciate the advice from these authors above.
Ageing is Voluntary and Menopause is a time to change it up.
Isak Dinesan says ‘Women, when they’re old enough to have done with the business of being women, and can let loose their strength, may be the most powerful creatures in the world’.
The way we exercise after 50 should not follow that slow steady curve downward to death. This is the time we need to pick UP the pace, not slow it down. Nutrition and movement are the golden keys, but let’s talk about movement.
In the book ‘Younger Next Year’ Chris Crowley and Henry S Lodge MD says ‘we need to be constantly giving our bodies the signal to grow. You can keep your amazing strong fit body and brain forever. The movement choice is critical and needs to start today’.
It’s all about the signals we send to our body. If we exercise, the chemistry of our blood changes. The chronic inflammatory signals of a sedentary life get replaced by signals to grow, heal and recover. If you’re in your second half of life, or your third third, nothing is more important to you right now than how you move.
Back to HIIT – Read the book for the science, it’s totally worth it, but basically the human body craves bursts of speed. It took me a while to get this, but after trying it and proving it, they’re right. The body does love to be able to let loose. I also do get it however. If your first experience of HIIT made you throw up, as it did for me, you might want to think twice before you do it again. You’re over 40 or 50, you’re feeling the signs of ageing, the aches, pains and the slowing down and you probably think it’s out of your exercise spectrum. Rethink that thinking.
Here’s what I discovered……… The perfect movement combination for women over 40
YOGA HIIT – What makes MY YOGA HIIT so different and so incredibly suitable to the 40+ body?
YOGA for the balance, flexibility, shaping, toning, strength building and
HIIT for the blood sugar and fat burning, cardio capacity, lung strengthening and longevity
YOGA + HIIT = A younger looking face, figure, shape, a stronger and fitter body, a healthy and delicious fascia, a healthier fitter old age and a longer head turning capacity.
And you’ll love it!
Come on girls, surely that can’t be a bad thing. It feels good. It’s designed for the 40+ body. You’ll get the amazing benefits of both yoga and HIIT without getting nauseous and you’ll look forward to the next session. And unlike a lot of versions of HIIT out there, you won’t feel dreadful after it’s done. You’ll feel invigorated and vibrant.
If YOGA HIIT is not for you, go and find something that challenges you whether it’s cycling, hiking, running, latin dance, running or swimming. Of course – get a doctor’s check first before you take on something dramatically new.
But if it is something you’d like to come and try with me, here’s the schedule. Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to attend and how to pay details will be sent.