Menopause: A Time to Train Wisely – @fsnmagazine

An excerpt from my @fsnmagazine article…

“My friends, family and clients who are going through menopause or have finished say they don’t care about the science. “Just tell me how to get out of this hot mess that is me, a me I no longer recognize.”, said one friend when I told her about this article. A new client said, “I’m really struggling to concentrate and focus at work and the last thing I want to do is exercise because I have no energy. Can you help me?”

The realities of menopause can be frustrating and messy: hot flashes coming on at just the wrong time; night sweats; interrupted sleep; weight gain; anxiety; depression; reduced libido; difficulty concentrating and memory problems….”

Press here to read on about how exercise can help you feel better through menopause.

How to change our beliefs & language about aging so we feel healthy & fit at any age!

Are you over the age of 50? How do you feel about aging? Do you fight against it or do you roll with it? Do you take proactive steps to feel healthy & well each day?

I am passionate about shifting our beliefs about aging because really, how we feel in our daily lives depends on it! Why do I feel this way? Because I have seen people turn their lives around, turn their limiting beliefs on their heads and because the science shows us we can be health and fit at any age.

I want to positively shift and change how we talk and feel about aging. Let’s start with the language we use. To me much of it feels negative…Elderly. OAP (Old Age Pensioner). Anti-Aging. Anti…..anything. Middle age (I really dislike this one, it sits in my craw!) – What positive words or statements can we use instead? Share yours in the comments on my Instagram post here…

And then there are our limiting beliefs. “I am past it now.”, “I am too old for that.”, “I can’t make a difference.”, “I can’t lift weights, I might hurt myself.”

These can be changed to positive affirmations. “I am fit and healthy.”, “I can make a difference to my health.”, “I am strong and capable.”, “I can do and try anything.”

I have worked with people in this third age of life since the late 1990s. In my experience those who feel healthy and fit have a few common elements.

  1. They belief they can feel healthy and fit. (Positive mindset)
  2. They choose activities they enjoy. (Check out the research of Michelle Segar at the University of Michigan to see how important this is to motivation.)
  3. They stay active in their minds — choosing to keep running their businesses or do work for others, volunteer, take an active role in their families or choose interesting hobbies.

Here is the reality. Science shows us that our bodies do start changing as we age but this does not mean we have to go silently into the night because on the flip side science proves we can make positive impacts. We can make differences to how we feel each and every day by choosing to move more often, eat nurturing, building food, keep stress levels down, taking rest and recovery time, drinking enough water etc. It is never too late to start getting and feeling fit and healthy.  We can positively impact our bone health, muscle size and strength, balance, energy levels, sleep etc through exercise.

Here are some steps for you:

  1. Know that your body is changing but be willing to make minor course corrections as you go along. Be flexible & open to change.
  2. Have goals and a vision of how you want to feel each day.
  3. Believe you can! – I have found some of my most successful clients in their 70s are those who simply believe they can be fit, healthy people. This leads them to take action more often.
  4. Take action. If you want to just get started, walk. It is free, simple and accessible. If you are unsure what to do have a session with a professional who can guide you through your goals and vision to then give you a safe, effective programme to start. From there, once you are inspired you can start really creating an approach that fits with your lifestyle and desires.

I leave you with this story…One of my most successful clients was an 85 year old woman whose husband came to me to say she wanted to be able to lift herself out of the bathtub on her own. (a common goal I see more and more) I tailored a weight training programme for her which he lead her through 3 days/week for 3 months. At the end, they came to me and said, “Thank you so much. This week Grace got herself out of the bathtub on her own.”

Goal – Vision – Belief – Action —- Result!!!!

#aging #positivity #agewell #belief #loveyourbody #fitspo #fitness #health #healthtips #vision #believeyoucan #getfit #keepfit #weighttraining #fitat50 #fitat60 #fitat70 #fitat80 #fitat90 #fitatanyage #fitspiration

7 Sure Strategies for Women to Increase and Cultivate Their Energy and Focus in Their Forties and Fifties.

What the heck is going on with my energy?

Do you often wonder where your energy has gone? I have been pondering that with great frustration throughout most of my 40s but recently have been reflecting and brain storming on the positive possibilities.

I was up early yet again today, brain on, thinking of you and how I could best share my thoughts and learnings….Here is the brain dump for you….

Last night I had a fleeting visit with a friend (we don’t see each other nearly enough & perhaps we should!), she was on her way to work and I was off to bed.

Our conversation is one I have more than you may think with women like us in our forties and fifties.

The Conversation…

Here is the stream of our chat with my thoughts in brackets.


It is so great to see you! – You too….It has been too long! – How have you been feeling? – Ugh, ok, my creativity and focus seem to have gotten lost. – Yeah, I hear you, I am tired a lot and have so much on. – How do you spark your creativity? – (Wait….did I listen to her answer…..slow your brain down Char, listen, really listen, breathe) – I had this shoot I was on for several days, one of them from dusk until dawn and the day after I felt ill and had to be in bed. – Oh gosh, that sounds intense, I know how you feel as when I have a big day now, either on the computer, on my feet etc, my next day is like that too. I feel I have been hit by a truck. I find my body needs more days of rest and I recognize I can’t push through those longer days like I used to as there are consequences the following few days. I know sometimes there is a job we need to get through but maybe we can plan those tasks in better ways? Or accept that the rest we need will be longer. Our bodies do change in each of our decades of life. How are you doing saying no to things and people lately? – ‘friend makes a cringey face’ Well, not great but I am trying! – That is a great start!


We went on to discuss other things, some funny that I will share another time. As you can see even though I work in health and fitness I still struggle with things. I am by no means perfect! More and more lately I am realizing that life is a constantly shifting journey similar to how the ocean continually reshapes a beach and shoreline. We need to find ways to change and adjust with ourselves as our bodies change. Does that make sense? Each day our bodies change, grow, break down, rebuild. And excitingly we are learning more about the plasticity of our brains (how they can change over our lifetimes). The two are inextricably linked!


I wanted to share this with you to remind you that we do have choices in how we live our lives. There are ways we can fine tune each week, even minor adjustments that can help us to feel more rested and increase our energy, focus and creativity.


Small changes can have big impacts!


Here are a few things to try in the coming weeks and months to increase your energy, focus and concentration:

The 7 Strategies…

  • START SAYING NO to things that you know will zap your energy, or can be deferred to another time. Be kind to those you are saying no to and if you are comfortable go so far as to explain this is to help you keep your balance in your life for the moment.


  • SAY YES to things that nurture and build your energy. What are those things for you? A workout or activity of some kind? Eating the right foods for you? Taking micro rest breaks in a day? List some of your energy giving practices in the comments.


  • CONNECT WITH FRIENDS when you can. Like my story above you may find someone going through the same as you. I find sharing our experiences very empowering as we learn from and support one another and know we are not alone.


  • ACCEPT that as we get further into our lives that our bodies can take longer to recovery. Plan accordingly. I have several friends who recognize this and now slot in appropriate rest days after a big event, race, work day, presentation, family function etc. This to me is part of life and something we can embrace in a positive way. It took me awhile to see this and feel ok with it. It is just reality and using this knowledge can be used to our advantage and make us more powerful.


  • STOP…pushing yourself into the ground week after week! I give you permission….Using this all or nothing, on the go all the time approach will never allow you to top up your energy gas tank. Honestly you will continue feeling like crap, energy in the basement. Being clever about slipping in your own rest and recovery practices each week will help you to build your healthy reserves so your gas tank always has fuel to work with.


  • REFLECT on what practices in your life may be zapping your energy and have a break from those. My example is alcohol. As some of you know, I love a glass of wine but last year I found I needed a break. (More on the deeper reasons for this in another post soon.) I am now on day 122 alcohol free. This has helped me to feel refreshed most mornings, be a better listener (I hope), increase my fitness levels and feel stronger. What is something you know down deep is taking your energy? Time to shift or change it?


  • SEE AND ACKNOWLEDGE that our lives are a shifting journey and find ways to go with the flow. This is a tough one for me as I like being organized and in control but I am finding my way and I hope you will come on this journey with me.

What I know to be true and real…

What I know to be true through my experience with my clients, myself and with my knowledge of the human body is that we can live vibrant, fulfilling, fun lives filled with energy as we go through our chapters of life.

  • To make this happen I believe as we get into our forties and fifties we must be reflective (think and see what we feel and need), fine tune our practices accordingly and be consistent with these practices.


I look forward to your comments on the original IG post here with answers to some of the questions I have posed. If you prefer get in touch privately. Let’s live well together!

Email me at


Start feeling better with the 8 Week – Simple Healthy Living Programme Online!

Want to start increasing your energy, feel fabulous again in your body and learn how to take time for your own self-care?

Work with me through an enjoyable immersive programme all about you…

Work with me to discover your daily feel good practices, get comfy in your own body again, learn new healthy habits for you and so much more! 

Click here to learn about how the Simple Healthy Living Programme can help & guide you to feel better in your body again.

#braindump #truth #energy #howto #howtoincreasemyenergy #howtolivewell #womenintheir40s #womenintheir50s #agewell #livewell #areyouwithme #healthtips #fitspo #fitnesstips #rest #recovery #reflect #finetune #health #healthgram



21 Essential Sleep Practices to Help You Get a Better Night’s Rest

Reflect on your sleep quality & habits to reap the benefits!

Good quality sleep and enough of it for you is essential for recovery, rebuilding and regeneration over night. Sleep gives our minds and bodies time to replenish for you to come back stronger and more resilient the next day. You will benefit from better focus, energy, concentration, fitness and so much more.

Over the years I have worked with many clients who struggle to sleep. In our time together we explored many options to find best sleep practices for them. I am pleased to share this well rounded list of tips & practices for you to explore & use from our experience and current research.

The Sleep Practices, Tips & Tools

  1. Reflect on your optimal range of hours of sleep. After what amount of time do you wake feeling refreshed and ready to go? Research shows that 7-9 hours sleep helps humans function well cognitively the next day. Remember you may be an outlier at either end of this range. The important information here comes from you and your body knowledge. 
  2. Set an earlier bed time.
  3. Develop a pre-bed routine. Pack your morning bag & lunch, brush & floss your teeth, prepare your bedroom (pull blinds, switch on the bedside lamp, generally make the room feel cozy – make this a ritual).
  4. Stop refined sugar & caffeine well before 4pm. These are both stimulants so can keep you awake.
  5. Exercise earlier in the day, especially high to medium intensity sessions. 
  6. Use gentle forms of pilates, yoga or stretch sessions to help you relax & prepare for sleep. (As long as these calm rather than stimulate you. 
  7. Use meditation, breathing or visualisation techniques in the evening.
  8. Shut off emails & technology 2-3 hours before bed. A tough one but I have heard clients sense of relief on this one over and over. I always say…”The work will still be there in the morning.”
  9. Get an old fashioned alarm clock.
  10. Keep phones in kitchen or living room shut off overnight.
  11. Switch off WiFi overnight.
  12. Understand what is the best temperature range in your bedroom for you to sleep comfortably.
  13. Choose covers & sheets to help you sleep comfortably.
  14. Put up black out blinds.
  15. Try a better pillow. Consult with a doctor or physio here on what you need. 
  16. If drinking a lot of liquid in the evening stimulates you needing a pee overnight, drink your fluid intake earlier in the day.
  17. Enjoy a camomile or valerian tea in the evening. (If these don’t stimulate you needing a pee overnight! 😀)
  18. Save serious conversations for the next day. 
  19. Have a notepad beside your bed in case you wake up in the night with an idea you want to save. 
  20. Take a magnesium tablet before bed. This is an essential mineral which has a calming effect amongst other great benefits! You can also add magnesium rich foods to your daily food intake. Check in with your nutritionist, nutritional therapist or dietician before taking any supplements. Dark leafy greens. Seeds and nuts (almonds, cashews, sesame & sunflower seeds). Squash, brocolli. Legumes. Unprocessed whole grains 
  21. Deal with stress in your life.  

Try one or two of these this week…

Mix and match these practices until you find what works best for you.I would love to know which of these practices work for you or if you have any not listed you feel would benefit others. Share them with me in a tweet @positivelyslim

Sleep well my friends.


Mindful Visualisations & Breathing to Help You Rest & Relax

Mindful visualisations…

Lovingly made at request of my community

This compilation has been made to guide individuals or groups to a more relaxed state. Breathing and visualization techniques can be used together or alone to meditate or fall asleep. Written by Charlene at the request of many clients throughout the years for relaxation techniques to be used at home, work or on holiday.

Reduce stress

Did you know… Relaxation & meditation are now proven to reduce stress & improve learning, memory & self-awareness.

Great for your heart

Practised breathing has many benefits including lowered heart rate & blood pressure.

Start feeling fit & fabulous in just 8 weeks!



Online Fitness Made Easy! Want to feel better, increase your energy and be that fit, healthy person you have always wanted to be? This ultimate guide contains obvious and not-so-obvious best practices to start moving more, eat healthy and rest enough. Think of this guide as your key to creating a new healthy skillset!
Become the hero in your own healthy story.

Exercise Addiction – The Why’s & Solutions with @loulebentz

Speaker & Therapist Lou Lebentz & I discuss some of the why’s of exercise addiction & ways you can move through to a healthier place.

Watch the video here…

Kinesis Back, Arms & Core Workout

Use this Kinesis (or cable machine) back, arms & core workout for a snappy workout which will also enhance your posture.
You can use a regular cable machine with a rope attachment if your gym doesn’t have a Kinesis.

Easing Stress at The Shoulders – How to Relax at Your Desk

This bonus length Charlene’s Wellness Bite features @CJMindBody yoga & meditation teacher taking us through four movements and stretches to ease stress around our shoulders and neck.
Plus…a simple breathing technique to help us calm our minds and bodies.

Easing stress at the shoulders from Charlene Hutsebaut on Vimeo.

See more from Chris at

Also find Chris on twitter & facebook – @CJMindBody

4 Top Tips to Run & Organise a Walking Group

Have you ever thought of starting a walking group for your friends and family? It is easier than you think.
Tune in as Clare Ross and I discuss her Top 4 Tips to Run & Organise a Walking Group.