Workout: Can You Gain Without The Pain?

WorkoutWorkout? Spring has sprung and I’ve been getting those emails for a month or so asking for advice on how to get on and stay on an exercise program. I get questions about commitment, pushing one’s limits, pain, and quick results. I go a little crazy at this time of year because I’m at odds with a very vocal segment of my industry about how to get started on an exercise program. They’re sincere, well-educated trainers, but I don’t think they remember what it felt like to be de-conditioned. They expect beginners to do to much too soon. I’m beginning to think that over-vigorous exercise dulls one’s sense of empathy.

Workout?

I’ve seen it time and time again: determined beginners pushing so hard and either getting hurt and quitting or just quitting because they couldn’t take it any more. If this sounds like you, don’t feel bad. It’s not your fault. We’ve heard no pain no gain all our lives. We’ve watched contestants push themselves to the brink of disaster on television. We’re inundated with infomercial promises of big results in no time. It’s enough to make anyone think ” I’ve got to beat myself senseless immediately so I can hurry up, get fit, have the body of my dreams and live happily ever-after.”

By the way, I’m not against vigorous exercise. On the contrary, I love vigorous exercise. But I wouldn’t have loved it nor would I have been safe doing it as a beginner. In my experience, that approach only works for a few stoic types and sets the rest of us up to fail.

I believe in moderation, easing in, starting with a little and building up to a lot, staying in your comfort zone. You may get to super-vigorous exercise eventually, or maybe you’ll like moderate exercise better. And moderate may be just as good as vigorous, maybe better. Really.
Just so you know this isn’t some favorite rant of mine, there are people, scientists even, who actually agree with me. Here’s study conducted at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health

I think, the best way to get fit and make exercise a part of your life forever is to keep it pleasant. If you haven’t been exercising in a long time, don’t start lifting weights right away. Don’t try to jog or even walk for a half an hour right away. Do something easy. Do something pleasant. If you enjoy it today you’ll want to get up and do it again tomorrow. It’s the pleasure principal. I believe in it. This study published in the Journal of Health Psychology believes it, too

So, how do you get started? I suggest starting by standing up and doing about five minutes of gentle limbering movements. Do the same for a few days in a row. You may be surprised at how good this feels and what a wonderful state of mind these simple, natural movements put you in. You may find yourself exercising longer than five minutes after a few days because you like it. Don’t question it. Simply do it. You may find the more you do it the more you’ll want to do it, and the more you’ll do.

You may want to go for a little walk, then a brisk walk, then a half hour brisk walk. Don’t rush it. It doesn’t matter if it takes a couple of weeks, or a couple of months. Listen to you body. You’re on nobody’s schedule but your own.

Once you’re enjoying a half hour brisk walk most days of the week, try adding light weight training for your major muscle groups a couple of times a week. Increase the weight, number of reps and number of exercise days only when it feels too easy. Build up slowly to weight training about three days a week with a day off in between sessions.

Remember to keep it pleasant. If it’s too intense, it ceases to be fun and there’s a good chance you’ll quit. This approach takes longer. But I’ve found it to be much more sustainable than those quick fix pump you up methods. Most of those intense immersion exercise programs remind me of the guy who beats his head against a brick wall. When asked why on earth he does that, he says: “because it feels so good when I stop”

Ease-in. Invest in your body. It will pay you back in quality of life.

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Relieve Holiday Stress

Relieve holiday stressRelieve holiday Stress

When I think of the holiday season as joyous as it is, I can’t help thinking about stress.

Feeling the stress of the season? Me too!

Stress has been around since the beginning of time.

It started as the flight-or-fight reflex when early humans confronted a life-threatening situation, and now, stress itself has become a life-threatening situation.

Well, if we can’t eliminate all causes of stress, which is the way to go if you can do it, but good luck with that, what CAN we do about it?

Relieve holiday stress starting with my personal favorite.

  Relieve holiday stressSnuggle with a dog or cuddle with a cat.

Relax. No really, conscious relaxation is a form of Yoga or Meditation. Sometimes you only need a few seconds and you feel a lot better.

Try this at home or at work:

Sit down and close your eyes (if you’re on the street, duck into a doorway and keep your eyes open and one hand on your purse)

Let your muscles relax

Concentrate on your breathing

Breathe in and hold your breath for 1 second – 1 one hundred thousand, Breathe out

Breathe in again a little deeper and hold for 2 seconds – 1 one hundred thousand, 2 one hundred thousand – Breathe out

Breathe in deeper and hold for three, then four, then 5 seconds

When you get to around 3 seconds of breath holding your stress level should start to drop and your mind should to clear itself for thoughts.

After 5, you should feel pretty good. This actually works and can relieve holiday stress.

Eat better. Substituting good food like fruit for sugary snacks and drinking less caffeine and less alcohol can make a big difference

At home, put on some music and dance around for a song or two.

If you have the time, keep going, After a few minutes, as your heart rate goes up your mood will improve. This is because you’re now doing aerobic exercise, a great mood elevator, after about 20 minutes you’ll feel even better because the endorphins, your body’s natural anti-depressant drugs will kick in and all will be right with the world for a while.

By the way a half hour brisk walk or putting on an aerobics video also works great to relieve holiday stress.

Another great way to relieve holiday stress is to get a massage. Professional massage therapists are great, but for just plain stress, getting your significant other or a close friend to give you a massage works just as well, maybe better. Be sure to return the favor.

Hope you’ll try these and relieve holiday stress. Happier Holidays!

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Fab Over 40 Hosts Fashion Flash Blog

Fashion FlashFashion Flash is hosted this week by Fab Over 40.com. Creator Kari gives you the straight skinny on honest 40 plus beauty maintenance options without injectables or surgery.

The rest of our Fashion Flash bloggers are up to our necks in Fashion, Beauty Health & Fitness and Pre-Holiday Deals. Click in, Read up, Find out..

 

 

Menopause and Weight Gain: What You Can Do About It

hike-2006A study from the Mayo Clinic has revealed that menopause and weight gain are linked because proteins that store fat do it better when estrogen is lost after menopause.  They also cause fat to be burned by the body more slowly so weight gain after menopause is hard to fight. Something else happens too.  A study in the Journal of Obesity points out that post menopausal women gain about 12 pounds following menopause. And even women that don’t see weight gain after menopause experience a shift in body shape that expands their waistline.

That’s because lower estrogen levels cause fat to shift from hips and thighs to the belly. Belly fat has been linked to higher incidence of heart disease. So menopause and weight gain is a serious health issue, not just a cosmetic one.

So what does one do about menopause and weight gain?

The only way to get rid of that belly fat is to lose weight everywhere and sculpt your body with exercise. Let’s talk calories. 1lb of weight equals 3500 calories. So to lose 1lb a week exercise 200 calories off with about a half hour of moderate cardio a day and eat 300 calories less every day. That 500 hundred multiple by 7 days will get you on the track to lose one pound per week. What can make this process easier is combine cardio with strength exercises. Try this anti menopause and weight gain routine.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday do 30-60 minutes of moderate cardio exercises like Brisk walking, swimming, biking jogging, or dance exercise videos.

For more info on at home exercise programs for women over 40 visit www.mirabaiholland.com

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Triglycerides: Skinny On Your Hidden Fat

TriglyceridesTriglycerides Your Hidden Fat:

Triglycerides:  A too-thick waistline, plus high levels of a fat called triglycerides in the blood can greatly increase risk of coronary artery disease. Triglycerides are both produced by the body and ingested through the food you eat.

High triglyceride levels can increase your risk for heart disease and are more common among inactive people with larger waistlines. Normal triglyceride levels are below 150 mg/dL. The risk of developing coronary artery disease doubles when triglyceride levels are above 200 mg/dL.

Triglycerides are called the hidden fat because they are too often overshadowed by the highly publicized LDL bad cholesterol.

However triglycerides are above 200 mg/dL and “good” (HDL) cholesterol is below 40 mg/dL, a person is at four times the risk.

The good news is that a study at Duke University Medical Center has produced some surprising and encouraging results.

Triglycerides: How Aerobic Exercise Helps

Moderate aerobic exercise like walking a half hour at least five days a week can signicantly reduce the triglyceride levels in the blood as well as boost your HDL (good cholesterol). Burning 200 calories or so on that half hour walk doesn’t hurt either.

The study also showed that more intense exercise did help with belly fat but produced only half the triglyceride lowering results.

So my recommendation is: consult your doctor, find your triglycerides level and get clearance to exercise.

If it is elevated and belly fat is not an issue do moderate aerobic exercise like brisk walking or cardio dance. If you also have extra belly fat, consider adding strength training exercise every other day to raise your metabolism and help your body burn more fat.

Don’t over do it. Ease-in. Start with a few minutes a day of something fun. Pleasure is the key to sustainability.

Couple this with a low fat diet and moderate alcohol consumption and you’ve got a recipe for better quality of life and maybe even a longer one.

For more info visit www.mirabaiholland.com

 

 

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It’s Fashion Flash Monday

Fashion FlashToday’s Fashion Flash host is Cindy from Prime Beauty, the beauty blog for women 40 plus, your choice for everything skincare, make-up and beauty. Cindy is always ahead of the curve, scoping out the beauty’s best products and deals.

The rest of us Fashion Flash bloggers have been on the case seeking info, tips and bargains in fashion, fitness and beauty. Stay in touch; we love your feedback.

Need help burning some of those extra holiday calories? USE THIS HOLIDAY COUPON CODE: FABEXERCISEDVDS 15% OFF ALL OF Mirabai Holland Videos at www.mirabaiholland.com

 

 

 

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In Home Exercise Program For Women Over 40

Looking for an in home exercise program? If you’re 40, or even 50 plus, you CAN get really fit. But your body is not the same as it was when you were 30. You need to slow down and build up gently over time. You can get really strong but it takes a progressive approach. Those beat-yourself-up workouts are simply not a sustainable lifestyle choice. Try this 5-minute Ease-in video to set the tone for your at home exercise routine. Getting fit shouldn’t feel like getting your teeth drilled.

For more info on in home workouts for women 40 plus visit www.mirabaiholland.com

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Fashion Flash: Exercise For Women Over 40

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This week’s Fashion Flash host is Deb Chase of NoNonsenseBeautyBlog the place to go for over-40 beauty information.

Deb researches all the beauty, skin care and health news and delivers honest reports you won’t find elsewhere. She’s on top of the latest ooh-la-la beauty solutions and lets you know which ones are worth the ooh-la-la price and your valuable time.

Join Deb and the rest of us Fashion Flash bloggers for all your Beauty Fashion and Fitness needs. This week we’re all about exercise for women over 40. Click in and share your thoughts.

Since we’re all about exercise this week, Here’s a quick Aqua Jog workout video to keep you cool and vital.


For more info on in home exercise programs for women, check me out at www.mirabaiholland.com

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Fashion Flash: For Women Over 40

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Fashion Flash

Today’s Fashion Flash is hosted by nationally recognized author  Barbara Hannah Grufferman. Her website and book The Best of Everything After 50 is filled with fabulous resources to help women make informed choices so we can continue to live a healthy and vital life.

This week’s Fashion Flash will give you the latest in beauty, fashion, well-being and fitness for women over 40. Let us know what you think!

Flab is one of those things we all really hate. What’s worse than wearing something that will reveal that little wiggle?

Studies show that if we do nothing we will steadily increase body fat as we get older.

So an inactive 25 year old woman may be at 23% (normal range of %body fat) but if she stays inactive by the time she is in her 60’s she can be as high as 43%.

The good news is this is completely reversible by adding some strength training exercises. And it doesn’t take much: just twice a week for 30 minutes or so.

Make sure you leave 24-48 hours in between for muscles to recover and grow.

half-squat-w-weight-demo_72

Modified Squat

Use your own body weight with push-ups (beginners can do them against a wall and modified squats or lunges. Start with a few and build up to 15 reps.

Or use resistance bands or hand and ankle weights. For this, you may need some professional help like purchasing an exercise video by a certified instructor, joining a gym or working with a certified personal trainer. Once you learn a simple routine, you can slowly increase the weight as you get stronger. Start with 8 reps for each exercise. If you can’t finish the set the weight is too heavy. And if you can do a few more, you need more resistance. The key is
to listen to your body!

For more information about fitness and health and at home exercise for women visit www.mirabaiholland.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fashion Flash: Beauty Wardrobe & Health For Women Over 40

FASHION FLASH BANNERThis week’s Fashion Flash host is Deb Chase from the No-Nonsense Beauty Blog. Anyone can say no-nonsense but Deb really walks the walk. Her research is through, sometimes trying stuff on herself, her insights are keen and her writing is pithy and straight up. Click in for the real deal on beauty, health and aging for women over 40.
While you’re at it, have a look at the latest summer ideas we Fashion Flashers have put together for you.

 

As for me, I’m on a project in Florida where it’s hot with a capital H! I’ve given up on trying to run or bike. I’ve taken my workouts to the pool where it’s cool.

SWIM-WEBI’m getting my cardio by swimming as fast as I can for 3 laps. Then doing 1 slow one.

I’ve built up to 60 laps now. Try it yourself. Remember to ease in, stop when you are tired and build up at your own pace. It’s a terrific workout to maintain health for women over 40.

 

 

 

 

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It’s Fashion Flash Monday, by Mirabai Holland © 2013

Our Fashion Flash host for this Memorial Day Monday May 28, 2013 is Cindy and her Prime Beauty Blog dedicated to the unique beauty needs of us 40 plus women. Join her and the rest of us Fashion Flashers in celebrating the service of our men and women in uniform, and learn a thing or two about beauty, health and maybe find a deal on something special.

As for me on this unofficial first day of summer, I’m close to home cooking a healthy meal for a long time friend. Have a happy healthy Memorial Day.

Yours in Health, Mirabai

Visit Mirabai at www.mirabaiholland.com

 

 

 

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