Women in their 40’s have to work against nature to maintain their figure.
Our current lifestyle and Mother Nature has stacked the odds against us. Sailing smoothly through the fourth decade of our life without some extra baggage is difficult (literally, I’m talking about gobs of fat hanging off our waists like a muffin top – not a pretty sight).
Do we have to just accept the fact that with age our bodies will change into something less desirable? Absolutely not!
There are a few ‘MAGIC BULLETS’ that will help you turn back the hands of time and make you look and feel years younger. Read on…
I have some good news and bad news about what happens to a woman’s body as she ages. Let’s start with the ‘bad’ news:
We die a little each day…
Mother Nature has programmed our body to start to ‘decay’ a little every day. In fact both men and women’s bodies are pre-programmed to ‘decay’ in a similar way.
There are messenger molecules that send signals to the entire body to ‘decompose’ so to speak. There are also messenger molecules, called cytokines that tell the body to ‘grow’. The messenger molecule of growth is Cytokine 10 or C10 and that of decay is Cytokine 6 or C6. In youth, C10 is plentiful and is sending messages to all parts of the body to grow.
We get less and less C10 circulating as we get older and we get more C6 circulating. This is a SLOW TRAIN TO THE GRAVE, decay without growth. More on this later…
Help! Our metabolism is tanking…
About two thirds of women will gain between 10-15 lb during MENOPAUSE with the majority of this weight centered around the abdomen.
Many women develop “insulin resistance” which means their bodies tend to store fat instead of burning calories. Other factors that are of concern and are involved in creating a middle age spread include hormonal imbalances, lack of sleep, dietary concerns and nutritional imbalances, and stress.
So far, it’s not a pretty picture: My saggy butt and over flowing waistline hobbling to the refrigerator for a soda and chips while I watch my favourite TV show before bed. Then I’ll fall asleep and wake up in the middle of the night and toss and turn while sleep eludes me. I’ll get up exhausted the next day, creak and groan through the long day only to repeat this cycle of sedentary living feeling lethargic and looking lousy.
This is depressing and does NOT have to happen. Although both of the facts I previously mentioned are true: we are in a constant state of decay and have the potential to have sinking metabolisms and a middle aged spread, there IS good news. Let’s get on with it!
Magic Bullet #1
Remember those messenger molecules C6 and C10 I mentioned? What if we had some way of turning on that magic messenger of youth, C10 again? If we could only keep that juice coming, then we wouldn’t have to decay with the constant flow of C6 our body delivers as we age.
Would you believe that you can?
INTENSE EXERCISE is the magic bullet that will turn your body’s switch to open the flood gates of C10. You see your body has a slow leak of C6 as we age, but when you exercise, you break down tissue and you will experience a surge of C6. Your body, in its evolutionary wisdom of survival, will provide a surge of C10 to start repairs or growth in response.
DECAY turns to GROWTH, brilliant.
You need to add intense exercise to your daily routine in order to keep those surges of C6 and C10 going. Modern day sedentary living, stress, and poor diet only accentuate the slow leak of C6 to decay, it will not stop, but you can overcome many aging factors by telling your body to GROW instead of DECAY when you add intense exercise.
This is tremendously good news. C10 is literally the fountain of youth. There will always be a slow decline in performance with age and our skin will fall prey to the hands of time, but we will feel younger and our bodies will look younger and sexier.
Magic Bullet #2 – Muscle Magic
So, from a cellular level, we see the need for exercise, but I’m telling you that you need to choose an exercise that builds and maintains MUSCLE as this is the second fountain of youth that you can tap into.
Remember I said that most women gain 10-15 pounds at menopause?
Well, this is a bit of a lie. Those women that gained weight were slowly re-compositioning their bodies in the 10 years prior to menopause and menopause is taking the blame. Studies show that there isn’t any evidence to show that the metabolism slows with the change of life.
Lifestyle leading up to menopause is to blame for this weight gain and many of the other ailments that women complain about.
Most lifestyles are such that as we go from our 30’s to 40’s we become more sedentary.
Although life is full of career and possibly child rearing, we also have more time to relax and we often don’t pursue sport in the same way we may once have. At the very least, we aren’t chasing toddlers and we have possibly been promoted to a position where we can sit down a little more.
Less activity equals less muscle.
Even though your weight may show the same or only a few pounds more on the scale, you are likely ‘fatter’ now than you were in your twenties and thirties. You have TRADED MUSCLE FOR FAT by reducing your daily activity.
Muscle is metabolically active tissue that takes calories to maintain. Fat is basically dead weight that does nothing for you in terms of caloric demand.
Your desire is to build and maintain as much muscle as possible so you can maximize your calorie burning capacity. The MORE MUSCLE your body has, the MORE YOU CAN EAT. Period. Do you see the need to weight train now? Bring it on!
Now, if you’ve experienced any weight gain in your 40’s, I’m not saying that it’s YOUR FAULT! Absolutely not. There is clearly an abundance of misinformation out there concerning women in their 40’s regarding this issue.
Time for some clarity.
I’m telling you that you can beat Mother Nature at her own game and maintain your weight, your figure, your self confidence and feel healthy and sexy well into and beyond your forties.
Here are 3 NON-NEGOTIABLE STEPS that you can take today to improve your health: exercise, exercise, exercise!
1. Start resistance training immediately.
You’d be surprised to hear that body weight only training is one of the safest and most effective ways to increase and maintain muscle mass in women in this age category.
By adding some muscle and maintaining the muscle that you already have, you will preserve and even elevate your metabolism as you age. And don’t think for a minute that you’ll get that overly developed muscular look-if only adding muscle was that easy. Your hormonal make up is not such that this is even possible.
Lift weight and LIFT AS HEAVY AS YOU CAN and you’ll still only add modest amounts of this good stuff.
2. Ensure you add intense heart pounding exercise daily or almost daily.
You need to get that surge of C6 and corresponding surge of C10 to keep your body growing, so move it intensely DAILY if possible. This also doesn’t mean that you need to start to run; there are plenty of other aerobic exercises that are more effective than going for that long slow jog.
High intensity interval training is your answer to FAST and extremely effective workouts and fat loss.
3. Make exercise a habit like brushing your teeth.
Get a plan so that you just have to DO the work. It’s always easier to face a workout with a plan in hand.
did you think I’d forget to mention how your diet plays into this? Of course your nutritional plan plays a HUGE part into this picture. My one word of advice today: STOP DIETING.
ONE KEY to long lasting health and weight maintenance is to consistently apply the principles of nutrition that you may already know. Surprisingly, cutting out all junk food including all high glycemic carbohydrates and alcohol is a great start to gaining control of your eating and appetite.
Another pleasant surprise is that once you get past that first week of ‘withdrawal’ from the junk and sugar, your cravings won’t be as strong.
I’ve only scratched the surface of your action plan. You have some knowledge of the ‘’why’’ you need to move, time to find out the plan. As a woman in my mid-forties, I’m living proof that it is possible to fool Mother Nature. With my help, you can too.