Celebrity trainers Andrea Orbeck and Nicole Stuart joined us to talk about all things fitness journeys, which not only include physically looking your best, but also maintaining healthy fitness and a healthy mindset above it all. Together — along with fellow health and wellness trainer Desi Bartlett — they wrote the book Total Body Beautiful: Secrets to Looking and Feeling Your Best After Age 35, combining decades of experience (and the three’s friendship) to share expert advice for women to improve different aspects of their lives. Here are some of their tips for women who either want to continue or start feeling their best in healthy living, particularly those who have surpassed their mid-30s!
Andrea & Nicole’s Guide to Healthy Fitness
1. Address your inner voice
People often have a hard time getting motivated to exercise or move their bodies in any way, let alone trying something new. Nicole advises to get out of your own way and change it up, get out of your comfort zone, not just for your mental health, but also your physical health. The voice inside your head can be controlling in a way that makes you stay inside all day, watching TV, and not wanting to get out of bed. This keeps us back from experiencing the things we desire and want from life. So, instead of ignoring this inner voice, address it like Nicole says, “Ok, I hear you, but you’re keeping me stuck here today. I am not going to listen to you. I thank you for visiting me, but now I’m going to get out of bed and walk around the block. You’re not really my friend.”
2. Find a pattern that works for you
Knowing your individualistic pattern of routine will help you develop a system around that. As women, there’s so many variables in life that don’t go away that keep you from possibly pursuing what you want — agreements like your career, children, marriage, the schedules that are all consuming. Once you know what these are, you can find the time and create a system that works for you. Based on your goals, you have to be aligned with your agreements of who you are, and if certain things are really what you want, you have to be willing to make some sacrifices in your lifestyle and time in order to achieve the things you need to do. Then, by creating these habits that fit into a healthy scheduled routine, we build pathways through our brain to achieve the things we want, continuing to do so until it becomes an organic thing in our lives. You won’t regret not doing something at night if you’re able to wake up well-rested in the morning and fulfill parts of the things you want on your destiny to wellness.
3. Set boundaries for yourself
It’s important to remember that you can still be a strong badass and rebel of a woman if you abstain from toxicity around you. It’s okay to be an outlier and go against the norm of societal trends and peer pressure. Once you reach that 35 and older stage, you need to be able to reflect on your own goals and disagree with things that don’t serve you, otherwise, you have a lot of areas of life that you need to work on to improve other than just fitness. In their book, Desi talks about time vampires, similar to energy vampires in which it’s a succubus that takes from you and doesn’t give back. Making agreements with this phenomenon depletes you while the thing you make agreements with is nourished. You’re supposed to let that go as you go through life, with the proverbial garlic being the ability to say no and not agree. Andrea and Nicole stress the importance of setting strong boundaries, giving certain people or things a specific time allotment of your day, which you then move on from. “Say yes on your own terms rather than no to yourself on someone else’s” Andrea says. Remember that it’s a continuous work in progress.
4. Consider the science of your body when forming an individualistic workout
The patterns that we’ve established don’t serve us will get much harder as we start to change physiologically. As women in their 40s start to feel early or full menopause, symptoms manifest differently in everyone — fatigue, weight gain, irritability, hair loss, sexual health, vaginal atrophy — and it can be frustrating to start to deal with when it affects things such as certain phases of exercise. Having chronic fatigue and toxicity in your life only makes things harder. Encouraging women who are in any stage of this is so important in order for them to get healthy where they are. As Andrea says, “It’s ok to be in those stages, but be the best you can be in those stages.” Finding the right time to workout comes down to the individual as it’s significant for them to decide when it fits in for their body. While research supports early workout routines, people may not be a morning person and can ultimately find advantages at night when it comes to helping them fall asleep. It’s crucial to include enough sleep into your patterns because the whole idea of exercise is to tear down the body structure at a cellular level and repair it, which needs proper rest and nutrition. Additionally, it depends on a person’s eating style and meal cadences. Being well-nourished enough is important to have the necessary physiological capabilities to properly exercise. It’s very dependent on a person’s own lifestyle, so Nicole emphasizes the importance of not beating yourself up over results as everyone gets there at their natural pace.
5. Understanding how hormones work
Hormones change over time, specifically in women with shifting progesterone, testosterone, estrone, thyroid, DHEA, and where you are in menopause. Muscle mass isn’t gained as quickly, causing your body to slow down metabolically, leaving visceral and subcutaneous fat more stubborn to burn off. Working out in your 20s is not the same as working out in your 40s as your caloric expenditure is much different. You need to be aware of your aging metabolism that won’t serve you in the same ways. Hormones are chemical messengers that communicate and adjust when they need to, so bioidenticals mimic these as a replacement and support. The book highlights the significance of going to your doctor with questions about this type of stuff, and if they’re not working out for you, find someone else that will get you the support you need instead of waiting around with results you’re not happy with. While taking inventory of how you feel and things you should or shouldn’t be doing is good, you need to consider the holistic aspect of things that are causing the way you feel. Taking your hormones and how you age into consideration will also help women who try to or become pregnant later in life — what is often considered “geriatric pregnancies,” as your uterus and placenta can age along with you. This continues well after you give birth as well, as you adapt to motherhood while you yourself are adapting to aging. It’s so important that as women, we are advocates for ourselves and take control of our own health and wellbeing.