Flexibility After 40

Flexibility After 40

flexibility post 40

 

Are you one of those women who, despite years of dance and gymnastics lessons growing up, can no longer touch her toes?

You’re not alone.

Flexibility after 40 is a quality-of-life issue for women. While you may not think of it as such, flexibility contributes significantly to being comfortable in your own body.

And while we may not have a reason to show off our splits anymore, flexibility remains a key indicator of wellness.

Maintaining flexibility after 40 tracks with injury prevention as we age.

Flexibility allows our bodies to perform optimally in both sport-specific situations and everyday tasks.

I’m sure we can all think of a friend who has injured herself while doing some seemingly playful task. Maybe it’s a torn hamstring while kicking the soccer ball around with the kids. Or perhaps it’s a tweaked back from carrying groceries in from the car.

These are the types of injuries that when we were younger we swore we’d never get. And, yet, here we are.

Before you go thinking that I mean you have to be doing an hour of yoga every day, let me stop you right there.

Your flexibility routine can be quick and simple…

  • roll your shoulders back 5 times every time you sit down (take some deep breaths while you do it, just because it feels good)
  • wake up your ankles by drawing the alphabet in the air with your toes while you’re on a call at work
  • stretch the back of your body by tying your shoes standing up, bending your knees as necessary (this bend will decrease over time)
  • open your chest by draping your arms over the back of the couch as you’re bingeing on Netflix
  • sneak in a little body contact with your surly teenager by holding on to his shoulder so you can balance as you stretch your quad by bending a knee back and grabbing the top of the foot

What else contributes to flexibility after 40?

Hydration is a big contributor to flexibility. If your body isn’t well hydrated, your muscles aren’t going to move as smoothly. These are muscles that are prone to strain. When the muscles strain, you feel pain.

Being well hydrated keeps the muscles supple. Easy as that.

Finding new ways to move your body will improve your flexibility. Think about it: the movement patterns you use in swimming are different from those used in tennis and different again from those used in walking. Each of these movement patterns challenges your body in a new way, forcing it to adapt.

One of these adaptations is flexibility.

So rather than rushing through the end of your next workout, take a few minutes to enjoy some stretching….and all the benefits flexibility can offer.

Not sure where to start? Check out my favorite supine stretching sequence.

3 Reasons Survive & Thrive is Right for YOU

3 Reasons Survive & Thrive is Right for YOU

survive thrive right

If you’ve been riding the rollercoaster of hormones and are tired of it, listen up.

Survive & THRIVE Perimenopause is a six-week workshop that is absolutely packed with actionable tips to help you balance your hormones and regain your zest for life.

But I really only want you to take a look at all the information Survive & THRIVE will cover IF it’s the right fit for you.

How do I know if Survive & THRIVE Perimenopause is right for me?

Here are the questions I’ve been getting from other women…

I’m over 40, but I don’t really feel like I’m in menopause. Will I learn anything useful?

YES!! You are the ideal woman for this course. Survive & Thrive is targeted for women to educate them BEFORE they start suffering! Educate yourself NOW so that if and when you do have distressing symptoms, you know what to do about them. (Or who to ask for more information.)

You know how you always mean to get your a/c serviced, but then you forget, and then your a/c breaks when it’s 100 degrees outside?

This is kind of the same thing! Get informed NOW so you don’t have to go through the torture later.

(And if you’ve never lived through the a/c analogy, I AM JEALOUS.)

I’m already in menopause. Is it too late for any of this information to be useful to me?

It’s never too late! While Survive & Thrive was designed originally as a perimenopause education course, much of the content is about how to live fully in the Third Age—menopause!

That means the course content deals with what to expect in your menopausal years– physically, physiologically, socially, and mentally. There is so much to be excited about post-menopause.

I have a million other priorities and don’t even know what to expect from this course. Am I going to be overwhelmed with the material?

I sure do hope not!

The workshop is broken down into six weekly sessions each focused on a particular theme. While each week is packed with interesting and useful material, Survive & THRIVE is designed so that you can finish each session feeling fully prepared but without being overwhelmed.

The workbook that accompanies the sessions will help you tease out your personal reactions to each week’s theme. If you use the workbook each week, it will help you filter out what is most important for YOU. The workbook will remain as a resource for you to refer to long after Survive & THRIVE is finished.

(I am a former college professor, so I have real-world experience planning and executing curricula so that my students are successful. Who has time to waste?)

If you’re a woman 40+ who likes to be informed and take control of your health & wellness, Survive & THRIVE is for YOU!

In Austin? A local, LIVE series of Survive & THRIVE kicks off October 5th.

Interested in an ONLINE version of Survive & THRIVE kicking off in October? Drop your name & email here to be the first to know when it’s ready to go!

Survive & Thrive Perimenopause

Survive & Thrive Perimenopause

A few years, I started noticing there were little things going on with my body, and I wasn’t sure whether they were normal or not. Add to it that I was postpartum with my third baby, and I really wasn’t sure what my normal looked like anymore.

Because I am a total nerd, I started to research. As someone who has worked in women’s health and fitness for nearly a decade, I was lucky to have good mentors. I knew where to look to find quality research resources.

And what I found was that the symptoms I was experiencing weren’t related to my recent pregnancy.

They were related to menopause.

WHAT? I hadn’t even turned 40 yet!

What I learned (quickly!) is that perimenopause is the period of years—up to a decade—where the body prepares to end its fertility functions. During this time, many women experience noticeable changes in their cycle, moods, skin, sleep patterns, or energy levels as they enter perimenopause.

Boom. That was me.

I kept researching. I kept nodding along.

Soon I found myself talking with friends about this, and I realized that we were all woefully underinformed about this massive change.

Because of my inherent nerdiness and my love of teaching, I undertook an intensive education program and became a certified women’s wellness coach, specializing in women over age 40.

And for the past year, I’ve been sharing what I know about heart health, bone health, pelvic health, self-care, nutrition, and fitness to women just like you who want a better understanding of how their bodies work— and how they can live with great vitality.

If you want to be proactive about your health & wellness at 40+, Survive & THRIVE Perimenopause is for you!

I’m excited to announce the return of my six-week workshop series Survive & THRIVE! This course is designed for women who aren’t willing to “just deal with it” or “suffer through” the perimenopause years.

If you’re someone who likes to be well informed, wants to know what questions to ask and who the right people are to answer them, I can help!

Survive & THRIVE Perimenopause is offered LIVE if you’re in Austin, Texas. Get all the details by clicking HERE.

If you’re not in Austin, don’t despair! There’s an online version of Survive & THRIVE Perimenopause lauching in early October. Sign up here for more info.

Here’s hoping we all take responsibility for our bodies and learn how to care for them well!

The Taboo Talker

The Taboo Talker

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day, and she commented about how I speak so enthusiastically about so many topics that aren’t publicly acceptable.

I responded, jokingly: “Yep, that’s me…the taboo talker.”

And then I realized that, like most good jokes, there was a real nugget of truth there.

I’ve become The Taboo Talker.

In almost every personal training session or yoga class that I teach, there is at least one discussion that would not be appropriate in mixed company.

Or so people think….

But I see a big part of my job as making people comfortable talking about uncomfortable topics. Just because you and all your friends “have tears running down your legs” when you’re laughing doesn’t mean you have to live with that.

Just because generations of women who came before us saw perimenopause as a phase they had to suffer through in silence, we don’t have to!

By normalizing conversation around women’s health and wellness, we serve not just ourselves but our daughters and granddaughters. By refusing to accept the status quo, we raise the bar for how women perceive themselves and how women’s health is approached.

And I really think that’s work worth doing.

Just so you know I’m practicing what I preach, you can hear me in action as The Taboo Talker.

Lose the Cape, a podcast hosted by two superfun mamas Alexa and Aubrey, promotes the idea that we should free ourselves from the idea that perfection is a job requirement.

In my interview with the Lose the Cape gals, I share some of my favorite tips and tricks for busy mamas who struggle to fit in fitness. There’s also a fair number of funny stories shared.

Listen, I know that you know that you should exercise regularly. But I also know that it’s hard to find time to make it happen.

Check out the podcast to learn some strategies that work for real women, just like you, who are going 90-to-nothing just trying to make it through the day. What you’ll learn is the simple truth that we’re way overcomplicating this exercise thing. Let’s stop making it more difficult than it needs to be!

(I also reveal the somewhat ridiculous tidbit that I used to sew my sons’ underwear. I’m sure my high schooler is really psyched I shared that fun fact with the entire internet.)

I’ve also just recorded a session for the upcoming MamaCare online summit. If you’re pregnant (or planning to be pregnant soon), you’ll want to be a part of this!

The MamaCare online summit is a FREE event where about a dozen wellness practitioners share their best practices for a happy, healthy, holistic pregnancy.

As a certified perinatal fitness specialist, I was thrilled to be included in the MamaCare summit. I love to help my mamas-to-be learn what is normal and what is not regarding exercising while pregnant.

In addition to my interview, you’ll hear from a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, and a postpartum doula, all talking about the parts of pregnancy, birth, and recovery that most people don’t want to mention. I did mention all of this incredible information is FREE, right?!?

If you have a group or audience who would benefit from some straight up women’s fitness, health, or wellness info, I’d love to be your guest. As The Taboo Talker, I can deliver insightful, practical advice from someone who has been there. Contact me so we can discuss details!

Good health and great happiness to you!

It’s Recess Time!

It’s Recess Time!

One thing both my kids and I agree on is that the real bummer of going back to school is the lack of play time.

We’re an active family. We enjoy being outside (even in the Austin summer heat). We enjoy hiking and swimming and soccer and biking and playing at the park.

But school schedules just don’t allow much of that. The kids at our local elementary school have one recess time of 30 minutes per day. This is their main unstructured play time out of a seven-hour school day.

In addition to recess, our local elementary school also has a time where the kids run around a 1/3 mile path around the school grounds. That helps to get out a little extra energy, but it is a structured (some may say FORCED) activity.

Thankfully, our school board instituted a policy last year that forbids teachers from using “taking away recess” as a classroom disciplinary tool. I’ve always thought this was a bit backwards anyway, as most elementary kids NEED way more movement in their day to have focused classroom behavior.

There’s also the question of: Should middle schoolers have recess?

Not surprisingly, I say YES!

My kiddo is fortunate. At his school, lunch is 40 minutes. All kids go to the cafeteria at the start of the lunch period, but after 15 minutes, they are free to go outside.

I love that the principal calls this time “recess.” As an adult, I know the true meaning of the word is a break. But for kids, recess has a particular connotation.

Recess is a time of freedom and play.

Yes, it is a break from going to class, but it is so much more. And for middle schoolers, having an unstructured time to move around, form social groups, and play is important to their development.

Don’t let kids have all the fun!

If you’re headed to the playground with your kids, know that this time can be useful to you, too. While your kids are off playing, there are all kinds of ways you can use the playground as YOUR gym.

Need a little help to boost the creative juices?

Download my Playground Fitness overview with all kinds exercises and games you can play at the park. It’s a great way to fit in fitness for parents and caregivers who spend a lot more time thinking about how to get the kids some exercise than they do about themselves!

Here’s to a happy and healthy school year!

Top 7 Women’s Wellness Myths eBook

Top 7 Women’s Wellness Myths eBook

I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy.

That’s why I collected some of my hottest blog posts about women’s wellness and created a fabulous new ebook for you. Using the series I wrote during myth month as a basis, this ebook is packed with information to help you sort fact from fiction.

Did I mention that the ebook Top 7 Women’s Wellness Myths (And How to Break Through What’s Holding You Back) is FREE?

 

If you’re a woman who tries hard to take care of herself, but you sometimes get lost in the noise of all the expert voices, Top 7 Women’s Wellness Myths is just for you.

I thought about the stories I heard repeated most often from all of the women I’ve served in the last decade. These are real women. Women with families. Women with jobs. Women with a million competing priorities.

Women just like you.

And I took their stories and found the common themes related to health and wellness. The most common theme? I just don’t know what’s true and what isn’t about how I should feel.

In Top 7 Women’s Wellness Myths, I take a look at the ways patterns of belief and thinking can hold us back. I explain how a little knowledge– coupled with a desire to change– goes a long way in improving health and wellness.

The tips included in the ebook don’t require tons of time and a boatload of cash. In many cases, they use science to demonstrate how we can reinvent how we think about ourselves. With this mindshift and a few simple, practical strategies, you can walk on the path of wellness with confidence.

The topics covered in Top 7 Women’s Wellness Myths include:

  • the willpower myth
  • the mama martyr myth
  • the memory myth
  • the competition myth
  • the incontinence myth
  • the hydration myth
  • the sleep myth

If you’re looking to improve your overall health and wellness, fill out the form below so I can send you a FREE copy of Top 7 Women’s Wellness Myths– and you can start busting through what’s holding you back.

Good health & great happiness to you!