I took to instagram and I asked the people - what is your "why" behind wanting to focus on your health and wellness? I got some pretty amazing answers...
"I want to have energy for my kids so I can play with them."
"I want to feel like my younger self again!"
"I want to learn how to age gracefully and not use my age as an excuse."
I've heard that last one a few times in the past. And it's something that I say often in our podcast. The women that we work with are busy. And they have a lot going on. It's easy to put your personal health and fitness levels to the side while everything else seems like it's a priority. But what that can also do is leave you at 45 wondering where the time went. After 30, our bodies can start to change. Pretty drastically at that. And while it might not all happen at once, a busy life can get in the way of us noticing. And more importantly, it gets in the way of us taking action.
Here's what happens to our bodies as we age and what we can do to work with our changing physiology.
Declining Levels of HgH
As you lose muscle which happens quicker as you pass thirty, your natural calorie-burning ability slows even more. To add insult to injury, during your thirties, you aren’t producing as much human growth hormone as before (no more growth spurts for you!), which also leads to a dip in your metabolic rate, she says. However, strength training can help you build muscle and produce more human growth hormone, both of which keep your metabolism running as fast as (or faster than) it did when you were 20.
What to do about it? Get into the gym and hit the weights!
Women (in menopause especially) need to build muscle and improve bone density and this is achieved by weighted strength training such as jumps and lunges, that are multi-directional, and have impact. Achieving an anabolic state vs a catabolic state is what we're aiming for
Aiming for 3-4 workouts like this a week, alternating with a recovery day will help get us out of the catabolic state and allow for optimal recovery. After all, muscles are grown at rest.
Low Levels of Collagen
Collagen is the material that makes our skin more elastic — but, as our body ages, it stops producing so much of it, and you may notice changes in your body as a result. In your 30s, you'll likely notice that the skin of your breasts shifts and becomes less elastic. You might also notice your hair and nails aren't as strong, or skin in other areas of your body sit a little lower. This is normal. And this should be embraced!
The female body in its fourth decade is a pretty amazing place. Things are growing, changing, shifting and making moves. And, as in every other decade, your health should be a priority; your body deserves to be looked after.
What to do about it?
Adding a collagen supplement might be a good idea. There are many options out there like this one here that you can even add into your coffee.
SHOULD YOU CHECK YOUR THYROID?
Feeling a combination of symptoms, such a low energy, constipation, dry skin, dry hair, brittle nails, cold intolerance, muscle aches, or brain fog? It might be time to check your thyroid and adrenals.
Our Skin Might Look More Tired
Remember going for late night parties when you were in your 20s waking up with your makeup still on and your skill still looking pretty fresh? Well, that isn’t the case in your 30s. This could mean that any skin problems you get might take a bit longer to work through. Now that could mean anything from dry skin to sunburns!
What to do about it?
Making sure I have a proper skin care routine is one of the best things I've done for my face as I head into my 30s.
A good cleanser, toner, moisturizer and sunscreen are non-negotiables for everyone!
Our Body Responds Differently To Carbohydrates
A woman needs carbs for healthy functioning endocrine system, then when we enter peri-menopause and become more carb sensitive, the need for adequate carbs is more important than ever. This is a big reason why women don't respond well to intermittent fasting or low carb diets. They are just too extreme for our body to function in healthy manner.
What to do about it?
Menopausal women (and all women, really!) need to focus on low glycemic load foods, which are high in fibre such as fruit and veggies. High fibre helps feed the gut microbiome which is directly connected to our brain health, mood, immune system, depression and anxiety. So it is really important to foster a healthy gut. This is also where we see keto fail, with it’s low fibre intake.
We Need More Protein
Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) can really help women to keep amino acids circulating in the blood. One of those essential amino acids is leucine, which crosses blood brain barrier to help with brain fog and central nervous system fatigue. BCAA’s are a great addition to any tool box, especially if you're approach menopause
As we age, Unfortunately, both estrogen and progesterone decline through menopause we see ourselves in a greater catabolic state, almost all of the time (we can’t build muscle easily. This, in addition to our sensitivity to carbs, can cause a decrease in muscle protein synthesis (MPS) which might leads us to an increase in abdominal adipose fat.
What to do about this?
The antidote is to increase protein across the board, to keep that stimulus going. We know that older women don’t get enough protein, our appetites and thirst are muted, so we should really focus on protein intake through whole foods mainly, with supplements if required.
A decrease in proteins leads us to a loss of lean mass and muscle fibre integrity. An increase leads us to an increase in lean body mass, which then improves quality of life and menopause symptoms.
We Are Shit At Sleeping
Sleep issues are so pervasive in menopause, it can completely impact a woman’s quality of life. Sleep occurs when the body’s core temperature drops and melatonin is part of this process. Unfortunately for menopausers, estrogen impacts our natural melatonin production and we have less control over our system (think hot flashes and night sweats).
What to do about this?
One answer is to try tart cherry extract, which is a natural stimulate for melatonin production. It’s worth drinking it cold to help drop the core body temperature to get you into that sleep zone. Dr Sims suggests, 200ml of very cold tart cherry juice, or in capsules with ice-water. It’s her preference over melatonin tablets which are taken as a continuous dose and you can develop a tolerance, should always be cycled, tart cherry is a way to avoid this.
Although it might seem like the world is against you and there's every excuse to just let yourself gain weight, it doesn't have to be that way. Work with your changing body and allow yourself to thrive.
Looking for help with all of this? Let us coach you through the process of implementing all these into your daily routine. Apply for our coaching program today!