February 13

How to Do High Intensity Intervals for Women Over 40


If you don't know How to Do High Intensity Intervals for Women Over 40, you could be wasting time and adding unwanted stress that causes fat storage.
High intensity interval training can reduce your exercise time and still improve your fitness. They can prevent cortisol elevation (stress hormone) if they're done correctly. BUT… they can backfire if you don't recover or you go too long in work intervals or the session. Here's how women over 40 can get keep it safe, sane, and enjoy better results.


Are you tired of settling for weight gain and fatigue just because you’re approaching or have already passed age 50? You can still get in the best shape of your life, no matter your age!

Debra Atkinson – a 39-year fitness veteran and international fitness presenter, Master trainer to personal trainers, and a former (15-year) University Senior Lecturer in Kinesiology – created this channel to share weekly videos for women to help with hormonal changes in menopause, pro aging nutrition, and strength training for women over 50.

Debra is the bestselling author of Hot, Not Bothered; You Still Got It, Girl! The After 50 Fitness Formula For Women, and Navigating Fitness After 50: Your GPS For Choosing Programs and Professionals You Can Trust, and host of the Flipping 50 podcast and Flipping 50 TV. She is a frequent blogger for Huffington Post and an expert contributor on ShareCare.

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  • I enrolled in a 30 minute hit class and went for 3 months. It was exhausting & I actually gained weight! My body rebelled & I’ve gained weight since that. So weird. My body no longer will allow the intensity. I do better with walking, stationary bikes, but not spin class, and weights. It must be something about getting older.

  • This is very helpful. I’m peri menopausal at 53, taking estrogen/maca/femenessence. I’m at a 266 set point, hypothyroid, insulin resistant and my body is packing weight onto my middle. I walk often but it seems to be all I can handle. I tried T-tapp – low impact, high intensity but I did 4 workouts in a week and had very sore knees, complete adrenal fatigue and sore joints. My cortisol went nuts. So I’m glad to hear you say once a week. I’m working hard on my diet and macros – lots of fiber, 120+ g of protein, lower carb. But I’m doing a major hormone dance right now.
    I’m determined to work out and build muscle but keep getting knocked down by cortisol.

    Glad to hear your views!!

    • OMGosh, SD. I was 52 when I went into menopause in a malnourished state and severely poisoned myself (inadvertently ofc!) with lead which screwed me up Re: adrenals/thyroid. I gained 25-lbs, a lot for me, and it stayed for several years. Life changed, my son went off to the Naval Academy and instead of eating dinner at 7:30/8pm and staying up til 1am/getting up with him at 6 Instarted eating my dinner at 4pm/only soup after… and getting decent sleep. I was then 57 and the weight just melted off me. Then I felt like moving more with less joint pain! I wish you luck, SD. I hope you find your way out of this difficult time. I never thought I’d get myself out of the hole I’d dug re: my health. But now I believe the body wants to heal… sleep is when we heal. And the body can’t heal when it’s busy digesting food. Maybe eating earlier and sleeping more will work for you too!?

    • @Kindra Spector thanks for your reply and experience!

      Yes I am stopping eating around 4:30 now gearing up for intermittent fasting. I would prefer to eat 2-3 meals a day but I’m desperate so I will do IF if I need to as I hear it works. My concern is I want to have enough energy to do movement and to get through my day with my teen, dog and fam.

      Sadly I was really on my way last summer I was 236 and dropping – but then my doctor said I was on too much thyroid meds so she took a pill away. I was 52 and I think menopause hit then – perfect storm and I gained 30 lbs in 4 months! After that I went on hormone therapy and that was another thing to deal with. My cycle started back up w/that. But I’ve been so depressed over the weight. I feel like I’m in a prison in my body.

      So now I’m working on recording my food, seeing where movement fits and how much I can do. I’ve cut out sugar and flour and eat a lot of veggies, protein and fruits.

      Hopefully things even out soon. I’m 5’8 and 100 lbs over where I need to be. Right now my body is packing it in my middle and back for the first time ever – it’s ridiculous and frustrating.

      Thank you for your story it gives me hope!

    • @S D sounds like you are doing many positive things! One thing in hindsight that contributed to my sleeping better was listening to a YT channel called Progressive Hypnosis. Wonderful topics and different lengths to select from and her voice (Helen Ryan) is sooo soothing. The other thing I started was a breathwork practice and for that I do mornings w the Wim Hof Method app. You can try several sessions for free! Elsewhere during my day when stressed I employ either Andrew Weils 4-7-8 (4 seconds in/7 hold and 8 exhale) or the Navy SEAL 4-4-4-4 they train with (4 sec in/4 hold/4 exhale and 4 hold again). I always poo pood the importance of sleep/stress but learned more about through guys like YT Andrew Huberman/ Huberman Lab. Finally understood how to help my parasympathetic nervous system. I think many of us moms are so intent on taking care of our families we happily neglect ourselves. I know I did. My diet for years consisted of coffee, potato chips and goldfish, wine and whatever healthy dinner i made for my family. Hence the eventual malnutrition state 🤯
      I bet you’re a great mamma 🥰 I should’ve taken a lesson from my husband of 30 yrs who got up at 5am and did a hard workout each morning before his work for as long as I’ve known him and while Jack was growing up…he’d tell me he did it because he would be of no use to us if he were to go down. Only now do I embrace his message and not feel selfish taking care of myself! I try not to flog myself for my past mistakes /stupidity.
      I don’t know if you’re spiritual at all but asking for peace and guidance can’t hurt either!
      I’m visualizing you as a beacon of vibrant heath and at peace. And Helen Ryan can help you do that for yourself!

  • Terrific info, TU!
    As for me…I’ve been doing the stairs in my building. It’s 6 flights from garage level to top floor. It’s been about 9 months of tackling them now. At first I had no spring in my step. I’d walk up at a normal pace and plod up the last couple of flights. Now with 4 grocery bags I make it up slowly… but when I carry nothing I can spring up the first few flights like Tigger🎉 and do a couple more flights 2 steps at a time.
    Progress even though I’m not micromanaging the effort.
    Now I just do this when necessary (1-2x per week on grocery and/or gym bag day) and one other day when I spend 10 min going up and down repeatedly with however much exertion I can muster. I’m 61 and slender w osteopenia and some knee and ankle issues but they don’t seem to be impeding me😊 and after watching your bone density video (TU!!!) I figure the stairwell is probably a good means of training for me? 😊❤

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