THRValive: As part of Power Surge's GIGS Series - Getting Into Good Shape, we welcome Covert Bailey. "Fit or Fat" expert, Covert Bailey, joins Dearest and Thrive for a look at exercise and fitness for women at midlife and "in the pause." Covert's "Fit or FAT" books were on the NY Times Bestseller's List, and he had a 13-part series on PBS-TV. Dearest: Covert, welcome to this expanded version of Power Surge and Thrive in AOL Live's Auditorium. Your "Fit Or Fat" Program, best-selling books, videos, and audios are excellent, and many of us have enjoyed your wonderful PBS-TV series. CvrtBailey: Glad to be here. Dearest: Seeing as how Power Surge is a group for women at midlife and in the "Pause," let me begin by asking why exercise is especially beneficial to women at this time of life? CvrtBailey: Most important, exercise, especially aerobic exercise has a calming effect if the hormones are making a woman up and down too much exercise can help Dearest: Covert, the women who frequent Power Surge are generally over 40. Should our exercise routine be different from that of younger women? CvrtBailey: Yes Dearest: How so? CvrtBailey: With age and especially the stress of hormone change, the body recovers more slowly so that the period after exercise needs to be more carefully constructed you can't exercise hard and then be totally casual about what you do afterwards the way you could when you were young. Dearest: When you say "exercise needs to be more carefully constructed".. do you mean a cool down period or what? CvrtBailey: Well, yes, a cool down period is important but I was referring to the whole half day or even a half day after exercise if your life is full of stress of other kinds that is bad stress you won't recuperate as well and that becomes especially important. When you add the stress of age to the stress of the "pause" Dearest: Covert, it's a known fact that a woman's metabolism slows down during menopause. How can exercise effect/change our metabolism? CvrtBailey: Fit people find it much easier and more comfortable to exercise, so if you get fit you'll find that your exercise metabolism can be very high even if your resting metabolism is low. Dearest: Excellent... let's take a question from the audience. . . Question: Have been working out since August, lost 26lbs so far. I am having problems with hunger in the evening. Diet is low-fat eating, any suggestions to get over the hunger at night? CvrtBailey: Boy, do I understand that question. I have the same problem after a long day, it seems we all get the nibbles for me it is easier to get low fat nibble than to try not to nibble at all. Dearest: Covert, as women sojourn through the "pause," and lose estrogen, theybecome vulnerable to things like heart disease and osteoporosis. How can exercise and being fit reduce the risks to heart and bones? CvrtBailey: Well, we know that exercise helps to keep bones hard and so obviously you should exercise even more during the pause to keep your bones hard. Dearest: Terrific, Covert.. thanks... let's take another question from our audience :) Question: Hello Covert, you make the most sense of all who try to gain from weight loss. l've lost 37 lbs at Weight Watchers under their new Point System, You familiar? What is your take on Weight Watchers? CvrtBailey: Weight Watchers is one of the few diet programs that I completely endorse. Their diet is well balanced and complete. If I have any complaint it is that they do not push exercise hard enough. Dearest: Covert, your "Fit Or Fat" program includes "Telecoaching." Can you explain to those who don't know what telecoaching is? CvrtBailey: Telecoaching came about in my office as a result of all the questions we get and especially questions from people who wanted ongoing help. Believe me, in my office we have collectively experienced every exercise and diet problem you can have. So with Telecoaching, we are able to coach on an ongoing basis quite effectively. Dearest: Would telecoaching then effect better results for people wanting to get into a regular fitness program and lose weight? CvrtBailey: Yes, we can help some people our program is similar to personal trainers,except that we can coach people any time of the day or night and they do not have to go to a gym. Dearest: Great, Covert.. thanks for these wonderful answers... let's take some more audience questions... Question: Covert, What about trying to exercise with chronic fatigue. Exercise seems to make me feel worse for 2-3 days after. CvrtBailey: Unfortunalely, you have no choice if you do not exercise, your fitness level will go down and you become more suseptible to everything. Dearest: Another question from our audience, Covert . . . Question: When I was 40, in an exercise program I was able to get down to 130 lbs. Now I am 50, into same exercise program but cannot get below 135 lbs. Do you know why? CvrtBailey: Probably, especially, if you have passed through the pause your bone and muscle has decreased which decreases your ability to burn calories In other words, you have a smaller engine inside now.. and will put on weight more easily. Dearest: Covert, women come to Power Surge daily and ask, "Where do I begin a fitness program?" What do you recommend for women over 40 who want to begin an exercise and fitness regimen? CvrtBailey: The easiest thing is to start walking. After all.. it is the most natual thing we do and you don't really need some guru how to do it! Dearest: How about race walking, or brisk walking, rather than regular walking? Is that more helpful? CvrtBailey: Sure it is if you are up to it. The walking business is always confusing because we're all so very different in our fitness if you are really really over weight we are not going to urge you to race walk but if you can race walking will give you more exercise. Dearest: Thanks, Covert. Here's another audience question. . . Question: Do you believe that exercise and proper diet is enough for women at midlife, or do you also advocate hormonal replacement? CvrtBailey: That is a doctor question, and frankly, I'm embarrassed that you had to ask it. Obviously, I can not know what your personal hormone replacement need are. But your doctor should know. You know, all of us, men and women produce very different levels of different hormones so that two women going through the pause may have very different hormone changes because they started at different levels before the pause started. Dearest: Covert, I understand your reluctance to recommend hormone replacement therapy, not being a doctor, but I believe the person asking the question was wondering what your particular views are, having such regard for your knowledge about health in general, regarding hormone replacement therapy for women in menopause. Would you care to elaborate? CvrtBailey: There are only 4 ways to keep your bone ... diet, exercise, less phosphates and hormones. Hormones are about 5 times as effective at bone retention as the other three. Dearest: Thank you, Covert.. another audience question now :) Question: What do you think of weight lifting for woman over 40? CvrtBailey: It becomes more important with age and especially in women because exercise hardens bones which we have already discussed but it also keeps metabolism up....that is ... more muscle equals more metabolism. Dearest: Would you recommend weight lifting over aerobic exercise, or a combination of both and, if so, why? CvrtBailey: Definitely a combination. Both are essential! Dearest: Covert, can you share what new projects you may be working on? CvrtBailey: Yes, I'm working on a new book. I'm a baby boomer, so You guessed it... The Fit or Fat Baby Boomer is on the way. Dearest: Sounds great, Covert :) We'll all look forward to another best-selling book from you :) Tell me, how important is it to know our percent body fat? CvrtBailey: To me, almost every question that people ask me, especially women can't be answered properly until I know the person's percent body fat. For example, the woman sho asked "how do I lose the last ten pounds" I can't tell her, because I don't know how fat she is maybe, she is 16% body fat, so that losing 10 more # of fat is not only unrealist but dangerous. Dearest: Thanks.. let's go to the audience for another question... Question: How much exercise should a woman in her mid 40s do, Covert? What's the minimum per week and what types? CvrtBailey: Well, minimum exercise probably means 3 half hour bouts of aerobics and 20 minutes of weight lifting per week. Question: Any good ideas about how to stay motivated to continue an exercise program? CvrtBailey: Yes, I do. Make it fun! If it isn't fun, you wont do it. At least not for long. Too many people want an exercise guru to tell them how to exercise instead of going to their friends and saying "lets do something fun." Dearest: Covert, how does being on hormone replacement therapy effect fitness - weight loss and/or metabolism? CvrtBailey: Everybody is going to have a different response to HRT. But the best thing we hear is that it makes women feel more like doing things so it is some what uplifting and it keeps you going. Dearest: Covert, I often recommend to the women of Power Surge that exercise is great for depression and anxiety associated with menopause. What are your thoughts, please? CvrtBailey: It is certainly true that those who are fit enough to do 45 minutes or more of sustained exercise get mellow. I think that is why you associate a decrease in depression and anxiety, but we have to be careful women who are not fit to start with will not experience this instead it may increase their depression. Let's be really careful, us fitness people, not to cram our ideas down the throats of those who will not benefit. Dearest: Are 45 minutes a day necessary, or can't you get some good benefits from, say, only 20 minutes as long as it's consistent? CvrtBailey: Absolutely not. Mellow does not come from 20 minutes for most people. That doesn't mean 20 minutes is bad. Dearest: Audience question . . . Question: Physiologically, is it better to exercise in the morning, noon or night? CvrtBailey: There is no physiological difference. The only difference is in how you feel. If you are a morning person exercise in the morning. And don't try to push your ideas onto others. Dearest: Can we be so bold as to say that exercise can make menopause an easier passage? CvrtBailey: For some people, yes. But we'll need a lot more research before we can suggest if for everyone. Dearest: A question from our audience? Question: What does Covert think about the "Zone" diet that's been going around lately? CvrtBailey: Most of what Sears says is okay. Unfortunately, most of it is not new. If you look into Fit or Fat, published 18 years ago, you'll find reference to carboshydrates and getting fat specifically, fat people are insulin insensitive so that carbs blow them up. Not so for fit people. In fact for us fit types, sugars are sometimes the best nutrition. Question: Thank you for 20 years of fitness! At 45, your work is more important than ever. All things being equal, is there one best bone building exercise? CvrtBailey: If you use lots of muscle it puts stress on lots of bone. So, harder exercises using bigger muscles maintain bone. Dearest: Covert, thanks ever so much for joining Power Surge and Thrive in this expanded AOL Live Auditorium. This was a stimulating and informative evening about fitness and exercise, especially for women at midlife and in "the pause." Dearest: Everyone, be sure to visit Covert Bailey's Web site for terrific information about fitness, and don't forget to stop by Power Surge in THRIVE's Thrive@health forum - AOL keyword: powersurge@thrive and stop by Power Surge's Web site for more information on menopause. Dearest: Thanks, Covert, and goodnight, everyone! OnlineHost: Copyright 1997 America Online, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 1997 Power Surge. All Rights Reserved. End Of Log Of Covert Bailey's Auditorium With Power Surge Dearest aka Alice Stamm Power Surge Founder, Host, Facilitator Power Surge E-mail Dearest Copyright©1994-1997 by Power Surge. All Rights Reserved.