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Dear Coach,


Breaking Muscle Shop

Hi, I'm 58 and have been doing a variety of classes for a long time. At the moment I'm doing kettlebells, BodyPump, BodyCombat, SpinFit, and just begun Bokwa. I'm retired so I love going every day. My main problem is not being able to tone my waist and tummy muscles. Can you help please?



Actively Retired


Dear Actively Retired -


Wow, first off, congratulations on your active lifestyle! A few things come to mind for me in reading your question and with the bit of background that you've given.


First, I am curious what your nutrition looks like. Frustratingly, as we get older we need to be more and more diligent with our nutrition. We just don't have the leeway we had when we were younger. For a lot of us this means we have to be very careful in limiting our starchy carbohydrates and sugars. Do you eat a lot of starchy vegetables or fruits? Do you include grains in your diet? I would consider removing those if you are intent on toning your midsection. Also, consider eliminating dairy as in many people it can cause bloating. A paleo approach to nutrition might help you reach your goals.


Second, I am concerned you may actually be overtraining. Overtraining can cause excessive levels of cortisol in our bodies. Excess cortisol means increased insulin, which decreases fat burning and increases fat storage. Belly fat is the typical place you will see fat storage in someone with chronic high levels of cortisol. Do you think you are allowing yourself proper rest between your exercise sessions? Do you sleep well at night? Listen to your body and if you think you are pushing too hard maybe it's time for a massage and extra sleep. This article can help you check for other signs of overtraining.


Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that you're active and I wish you decades more of an active life, but as we get older things that were always important, like rest and nutrition, become more and more critical to keeping up vital and healthy.


Coach Becca Borawski

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