High Intensity Exercise

Are you confused as to what type of cardiovascular exercise to do now that you are in your peri-menopausal years?  You are not alone.  Most women are not sure what to do when they finally get time to go to exercise.

Exercise has numerous benefits one of which is menopausal relief from hassling symptoms. As I tell every women, exercise is not an option it is a requirement at this time of your life.

In this video, learn about the latest research and how you can jump start your cardiovascular workout.  If you would like more information on menopause go to Menopause Support or http://www.360Menopause.com/articles.

Menopause and Injuries: Can you Really Avoid Them?

Expert’s Name: Gail Edgell
Muscle strains and sprains – two techniques that work

As we approach the age of 40, your body “operates” a little differently. Imagine this….you go out and play a round of tennis with your friend and the next thing you know your elbow hurts for days. This is not uncommon since muscles, tendons and ligaments tend to weaken as we age and most likely are more rigid.

Two great exercises to do during your menopausal years are yoga and strength training which help to combat the above issues.

In this video, I discuss two techniques that I have found to be a life saver when I get injured. I do focus on a few typical injuries in the video, however these techniques can be used for just about any strain or sprain.

THE KEY TO STAYING INJURY FREE IS TO ADDRESS IT EARLY! Do NOT wait six months before taking care of the problem.

To learn more great information go to Menopause Education

Holiday Weight – Get Results in No Time at All

Expert’s Name: Gail Edgell
Lazy or too busy won’t work any more!


Are you too busy to even think about exercise? All too often we put ourselves last on the list.

But fear no more, you can get results in no time at all. Many of you know I am a strong advocate of interval training and Dr. Ron Grisanti sites several studies that support this in his latest press release.

No longer do you have to walk, run or swim for hours on end. In fact, one study at Stanford University found that 10 minutes is all you need.

So what am I am talking about. Exercising for no more than 15-20 minutes at a time but at a high intensity. Nope, you will not be able to read the romance novel on the treadmill.

The results of the studies indicate that exercising more causes your body to retain fat, the opposite of what we have been told. I will tell you from personal experience it works.

But before you start running at 10 mph get clearance from your physician. This is not suited for the faint of heart.

What do you do?

Listen up, it is really simple. Increase your intensity for approximately 30 seconds at as high of intensity as you can go, then rest for by decreasing the intensity for about 2 minutes or until you feel you have recovered. The goal is to continue to do rounds of this until you reach 15-20 minutes.

So get your ______ moving! The last interval you should feel exhausted and can’t wait to be done.

The studies were conducted at Stanford University, Laval University and Colorado State University.

Reference:  benzinga.com/press-releases/10/12/e678175/to-lose-body-fat-forget-about-endurance-training-according-to-functiona

The Sure Fire Way to Prevent Bone Loss

The Sure Fire Way to Prevent Bone Loss

Expert’s Name: Gail Edgell
Menopause Education: Osteoporosis and Post Menopausal Women


You’re not alone if you are approaching menopause and have been told your bone density could be problem. Perhaps you’re even taking a prescription medication for osteopenia or osteoporosis.

But here’s an easy solution that virtually has no side effects. A five year study conducted at Oregon State University has shown that women can maintain, if not increase their bone density by doing one simple thing.

What you might ask?

It’s simple. The women completed low impact exercises of plyometric exercises while wearing a weight vest. Yes, a weight vest! In the hip and neck areas, the exercise group increased bone density by 1.5 percent compared to the 4.4 percent loss in the control group.

If you don’t have bone loss as of yet, this is a great way to prevent it.

These results are even better than some of the studies that have examined Fosamax or even estrogen. Beside the fact that prescription drugs have numerous side effects.

A simple rule of thumb, find a weight vest that fits you well and that you can adjust the weights as you get fit. Here is a great resource. http://www.gofit.net/

Remember this is a cardiovascular workout also, so you’re “feed two birds with one seed.”

Source: osteoporosissolution.org/how-to-prevent-bone-density-loss-with-weight-vest-exercises

Osteoporosis Exercise

Interviewer: Gail Edgell

Gail Edgell: What exactly is osteoporosis?

Joan Pagano: Osteoporosis literally means “porous bones,” a bone-thinning disease caused by a loss of minerals — primarily calcium — that weakens the bone structure. The bone       becomes vulnerable to fracture, especially the bones of the hip, spine and wrist. Being female and menopausal are two risk factors that women over 40 share for osteoporosis. It is a silent disease with no apparent symptoms until a fracture occurs. Because of this, many women are not being diagnosed in the early stages of the disease, when therapy can be effective in both preventing and treating it. Therapy consists of exercise, calcium and, if necessary, medication.


Gail Edgell: How do you know if you have an issue with osteoporosis?

Joan Pagano: That’s a good question because it is a silent disease with no apparent symptoms.
A bone-density test will tell you how strong your bones are by measuring the amount of minerals in them. Your results are then compared to those of a young woman at the time of her peak bone mass, around the age of 30. The young woman’s bones provide a gold standard against which we measure future bone loss.
Test results are expressed in a number called a T-score. Your T-score will tell you if you have normal bone density, low bone density, called osteopenia, or osteoporosis.

Gail Edgell: How can fitness training really help maintain healthy bones and a healthy skeleton during menopause?

Joan Pagano: Exercise is part of the three-pronged approach to both prevention and treatment. Exercise has the most dramatic impact on the growing skeleton, which is why we must encourage activity in childhood, adolescence and early adulthood to build a healthy peak bone mass. In our 30s, a subtle decline in bone mass begins. It accelerates in the first few years after menopause due to the loss of estrogen. After age 40, the goal is to maintain bone mass, reduce bone loss and prevent falls by improving coordination and balance. Your fitness-training program should include four types of exercise: weight-bearing cardio, strength training, stretching and balance.

Gail Edgell: What do you mean by weight-bearing cardio?

Joan Pagano: In a standing position, the skeleton maintains its upright posture against the pull of gravity. This exerts a healthy resistance on the bones and strengthens them. Activities such as walking, jogging, stair climbing, dancing, etc. are all examples of weight-bearing aerobic exercise. Weight-supported exercise like cycling and swimming offer many health benefits but are not optimal for strengthening the bones.

Gail Edgell: I have heard that when you are walking, it’s about 3 1/2 to 4 times your body weight. When you are running, obviously it’s much higher. But all of this contributes to that bone density.

What about strength training?
Joan Pagano: Strength training is also very important. Research has been focused on this recently. It’s also called weight lifting or resistance training.
As you lift weights or lift your own body weight against gravity, as in a push-up or squat, the pull of the muscle on the bone strengthens it. The benefits are site-specific, meaning that you need to do exercises for all the major muscle groups of the body. Be sure to include exercises for the sites that are most vulnerable to fracture: the wrist, spine and hip. To prevent osteoporosis, you should lift the heaviest weight that you can in good form. The last few repetitions should be somewhat difficult. If you already have osteoporosis, use lighter weights so as not to overload the fragile bones.

Gail Edgell: You almost have to laugh at people in the gym who are lifting a weight of about 4 pounds for a bicep curl and could do about 300 of them. Why aren’t you overloading your muscles a little bit more? Really, encourage women to actually go to a number that is fatiguing to them.

One thing that you did mention was stretching and posture. Could you tell us a little bit about that?
Joan Pagano: Over time, the natural curves of the spine may become exaggerated by daily routines. It is common, for instance, to develop a forward slouch from all the activities we perform to the front, like bending over baby carriages, computers and steering wheels. It is important to stretch the front of the chest and shoulders to counteract these habitual postures and prevent excessive rounding of the upper back. If the spine has become weakened by osteoporosis, stretching can help decrease the risk of vertebral fractures.

Gail Edgell: The last thing, which I think is very important, is balance exercise, especially during a women’s menopausal years.

Joan Pagano: Right. The ultimate goal of exercise for osteoporosis is to reduce the risk of falls and fractures. A hip fracture is a really debilitating injury. Strengthening the large muscles of the legs improves overall stability and walking ability. Adding balance training will also help. Practice standing on one leg or in a tandem stance, with one foot in front of the other, as if you were on a tightrope.

Gail Edgell: Could you just recap what we’ve been talking about today regarding exercise and osteoporosis and what you can do to prevent it when establishing an exercise program?

Joan Pagano: Exercise is part of the three-pronged approach to preventing and treating osteoporosis, the other two prongs being calcium and, if necessary, medication. In the field of exercise, a well-rounded program of prevention and treatment consists of weight-bearing cardio activities — where you actually are standing on your own two feet and moving across the ground — as well as strength training, stretching and balance exercises.

Note: This article is an edited transcript of an audio interview. Changes have been made.

Yoga for Stress – What to Look for

Yoga for Stress – What to Look for

Interviewer: Gail Edgell
Gail Edgell: A lot of people are hearing more about yoga. First of all, what is yoga?

Amy Friese:   It is simply a way to live your life. I think that there is a big misconception out there that yoga is a religion. Yoga is not a religion. There are different “limbs” of yoga, so to speak. The two on which we spend most of our time here in Western society are the poses, which are called asana, and the breath work, which is called Ramayana. These two parallel each other. They’re a way to calm yourself down, to get yourself stronger and more flexible, and to be present. This is kind of challenging in our culture these days.

Gail Edgell: Could you tell me what yoga is not?

Amy Friese: Like I had mentioned, yoga is definitely not a religion. It’s not a cult. It’s not something that you have to do all of the time. But yoga is not something that you can do one day and then get back to it a week or month or year later and forget everything you’ve learned. Your spirit, which is something we talk about in yoga in general, is always there. But when you start to move and breathe, you become more in touch with that, especially when your body is changing in all of these different stages of life.

Gail Edgell: Why is it important for perimenopausal and menopausal women to concentrate on yoga at this time in their lives?

Amy Friese: As your body changes, you rediscover it in different ways. When you are able to stop, breathe and really be present in how your body is moving, then you can better appreciate and re-educate yourself, rediscover what is truly going on. When you were active back in your teens, 20s, 30s and 40s, you were able to do many different things. Yoga allows you that time to stop and really pay attention to how your body has been changing over your lifetime.

Gail Edgell: I think that one of the biggest questions women are going to have is, “What if I am inflexible? Can I still do yoga?”

Amy Friese: That is by far the most common question that I get. If you are inflexible, yoga is exactly what you need. We start from a very basic level. Some people have a hard time sitting tall. For example, as women get older, they have a tendency to hunch over. We work on sitting and standing taller. We do simple things like side bends or folding forward from the hips, very easy poses — sometimes just as easy as sitting in a chair. Those are very basic things. But when muscles lengthen and become more flexible, that allows for more circulation. In becoming more flexible, regardless of where you are in that whole spectrum, you ultimately are becoming healthier.

Gail Edgell: There is one thing I’d like to say. I do take yoga myself. If you are taking yoga practice with a group of individuals, do not compare yourself to the person on the left, right or in front of you. There is always someone in the classroom who can literally turn themselves inside out. You’re looking at them and saying, “Oh, my gosh! Am I supposed to be like them?” Really, you’re just growing from the point where you started and saying, “Hey, can I do better today than I did last time I was practicing?”

Amy Friese:   Absolutely. Every day that you do your yoga practice is different. It’s much like waking up on a Tuesday morning — it’s going to be different from a Thursday morning, although some things are going to be the same. Even when I teach the most basic poses to a person who has been practicing yoga for years and years, I always come back to this fact. Remember, it’s just as basic or complicated as you want it to be. It’s such a personal, personal practice. Your brain, heart and spirit are in different places than those of the person next to you. You have to give yourself that freedom and ability to do it for what you need that day and not compare. You will never be that person next to you.

Gail Edgell: How does someone begin practicing yoga if they’ve never done it before?

Amy Friese: Everyone is different. If you are a person who gets more energy from other people, or you enjoy being in a group, find a group and try a couple of different classes. There are a lot of studios around the country that offer a free session or some sort of promotion. Maybe you can get a couple of friends to take a class together. You can call and ask questions as well.

For those of you who are a little bit shy and would like to try something on your own at home, simply buy a tape or a book. You can experiment at your own pace. This tends to lead you to that studio or gym. You may even want to seek the advice of a professional yoga instructor and, if you’re fortunate enough, have him or her come to your home.

The important aspect is your posture. Seriously, if you can sit tall, lift from the sternum or the top of your head — imagine you have a crown on your head — and practice your breathing, you’re essentially practicing yoga. It’s building upon that very basic beginning.

Gail: When can instructors begin practicing? I know we talked about studios. The biggest question I would have going to a yoga studio, or even looking for a videotape, is regarding the qualifications or experience these instructors should have.

Amy Friese: That is a very good question. There are certifications that require a licensed yoga instructor to study and teach classes for 200 hours. There are licensures above that, for 500 hours and so forth.

You want to look for someone who is a registered yoga instructor or yoga teacher. Simply make that phone call to the studio. The majority of yoga studios require their instructors to have that licensure. At some health clubs, they will have to go through a certain number of hours of training, depending on the requirements. But they don’t always have to be registered yoga instructors.

It’s always about asking questions and continuing to ask questions. We owe it to ourselves to make sure that we are getting guidance from someone who truly knows what he or she is doing. In our self-discovery, in learning how our bodies move, we want to work with someone who has experience in working with people like ourselves — for example, perimenopausal and menopausal women. Our bodies are changing. We want someone who is knowledgeable, but also someone we can connect with and appreciate, someone we can really respect and trust. Trust is very important as well — that gets you into a different realm of trying different instructors. It’s not always going to be the best fit the first time through. Give yourself that freedom and that time to really find a good match.

Gail Edgell: Just to clarify, a licensed yoga instructor has at least 200 hours of training. Is that correct?

Amy Friese: Correct.

Gail Edgell: Is there anything else that you would like to add regarding yoga?

Amy Friese: I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and say, “I’m inflexible” or “I’ve always been afraid to try yoga. What do you recommend?” I just say, “You know what? You just have to give it a whirl.” Pick up an issue of Yoga Journal. That is a great, great place to start. The articles in that magazine are absolutely fantastic. I get it every month, and I always find something that is interesting.

Step outside of your comfort zone; that is another opportunity to grow. Try something new; try yoga. You’ll be reminded of how simple it is to breathe.

Gail Edgell: I know that there are different types of yoga, hot yoga or cool yoga. How do people know which one is better for them?

Amy Friese: That’s a good question. The hot yoga, which we sometimes call Bikram yoga, is a 90-minute class. Instructors have to go through very specific, strict training. For example, I am not trained in Bikram; therefore, I could not teach a Bikram class. This class is taught in a room that is 105 degrees Fahrenheit, which sounds kind of scary. But my experience was incredibly cleansing and very interesting.

For the most part, Hatha yoga is practiced in the United States. Hatha yoga is your basic yoga. Again, when you are making those phone calls or doing research online, make sure you are asking those questions and finding those answers.

Note: This article is an edited transcript of an audio interview. Changes have been made.