Her Spirit Podcast

Less Is More When It Comes To Menopause - With Dr Stacy Sims

July 04, 2022 Her Spirit Season 5 Episode 5
Her Spirit Podcast
Less Is More When It Comes To Menopause - With Dr Stacy Sims
Show Notes Transcript

This episode is all about the exercising through the menopause. Host Louise Minchin speaks to female athlete performance expert, Dr. Stacy Sims, NHS GP and women's health specialist, Dr. Nighat Arif and Her Spirit Co-founder Mel Berry. In this episode we discuss:

  • What the menopause is.
  • Why less time exercising is more beneficial.
  • How to prioritise your exercise.
  • Why strength training really is the number one priority.

Couch2Kilos is a free strength challenge designed to help EVERY women get stronger in 6-weeks.

With four levels Couch2Kilos is suitable for women of all abilities from just starting out to those who are already active. Just go to the "Challenges" section on the app and start the level you feel appropriate to you.

It is totally flexible, you can do it anytime, from anywhere, at the gym or home and on any device. You can start with zero equipment and work up the levels and learn how use a variety of weights.

Her Spirit is a global community of like-minded women all getting fitter, stronger and healthier together. We believe your mind, body and fuel are intrinsically linked and taking small achievable steps will lead to big changes.

Regardless of your ability, location or stage of life Her Spirit has something for everyone. We are an inclusive bunch of women who believe that being fit and healthy shouldn't be a chore but something you love to do. Our mantra is 'Together We've Got This' and together we support each other to live life to the full and achieve mind, body and fuel goals we never thought possible.

Her Spirit mission - INSPIRING EVERY WOMAN TO BECOME FITTER, STRONGER AND HEALTHIER for more information go to http://www.herspirit.co.uk 

Hear from mum-of-two Sarah about how running changed her life in her fifties and how much the Her Spirit community means to her.
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Her Spirit Season 5 Episode 5 - Menopause

Louise Minchin:

Hello and once again, a very warm welcome to the Her Spirit podcast. I'm Louise Minchin and every month we sit down together, talk about small changes we can all make to our lives that can lead to big results. If you are new to the podcast, very warm welcome to Her Spirit. Just so you know, it's a community of women just like you. We come together to help and encourage each other to get more active, feel stronger, happier, and healthier. Now you might, I don't know, be nervous because you haven't been on your bike for 20 years or perhaps you haven't run since school sports day and that's probably happening right now, isn’t it? It doesn't matter. You are part of our community and at herspirit.co.uk you'll find lots of inspiration and support, no judgment at all. Together, we have got this. Now we have got a fascinating podcast as ever coming up today. If anybody knows anything about me, you'll probably know two things, maybe three things. First of all I was BBC breakfast presenter. Number two, I absolutely love exercise. I'm an endurance athlete. I'm a triathlete, I’m able to say that again cause I recently completed a half Ironman distance triathlon, but if you've been listening to the podcast over the last few months, you'll know I've got a me knee injury. So in fact I walked the half marathon so anything is possible. Also the other subject I do talk about a lot is menopause. So today we are mixing both of those, exercise and the menopause. What should we be doing? How it changes us, how menopause changes us and what really can help us. We've got some brilliant guests as ever alongside us is Mel Berry who's co-founder and also of course, very much an active part of the Her Spirit community. We've got our favourite, I can say that. Dr., can't I? Dr. Nighat Arif who is like my best Dr. friend. She's been on the podcast so many times before, Nighat so lovely to see you. Thank you so much for joining us. And we have been after our next guest, I don't know if she's aware of this for like a year and a half. We have Dr. Stacy Sims on the line. She's joining me from America today and she's a female athlete performance physiologist. I think I'm gonna put that in simple terms. I read her book, it's called Raw and it's all about how to be strong as a woman. Isn't it Stacy? So warm welcome to you all. Stacy, is that a fair summary of what you do and your book as well? 

Dr. Stacy Sims:

Yeah, Raw, the first book is kind of about women through the lifespan and how to train and eat and everything just to be healthy. And then the new book is all about peri and post-menopause in the same vein. Yeah. 

Louise Minchin:

Well you literally couldn't be a better person to speak to obviously. Just quickly before we start, I want to do a few thoughts of my own about exercise and menopause because I think I started my exercise journey and also my menopause journey at a very similar time. And what's really key to me and I'm just me, you know, you will all be different. You'll all have your own things going on. And lots of you have been in touch and Mel can talk about that. But from my point of view, it's massively helpful. Exercise helps me feel strong, be strong. And also it's not just that. It's about the head space it gives me as well. And I've really missed running actually, and I'm not running at the moment, but for me, the exercise with all those things kind of psychological things around menopause exercise, lets me press the pause button for the 40 minutes or the hour, whatever I've done it for. So that's my journey. We're not gonna talk about my journey so much today, but I just wanted to kind of put that thought out there and thank you so much, everybody for getting in touch. Mel, before we talk to our guests, what kind of things are people talking about in the community? 

Mel Berry:

It's been really interesting Louise and one of the things that's been beautiful to see is a lot of women that are perimenopause or in that kind of early stage, want to know more. So I think what's happened is we've ignited, I guess the next generation that wants to be able to be ready and embrace that. It's about also the community and we've gone out through our social channels @HerSpiritUK and said, look, sleeping without exercise if I didn't do that, I wouldn't be able to sleep. And ultimately, without being active, I wouldn't be the person that I am. And you know, they echo the thoughts that you just talked about as I do. Definitely.

Louise Minchin:

So Nighat actually, we talk about first of all and I know we've talked about this before, but there'll be lots of people who are new to this and also to our podcast and what is menopause doing to our bodies? Because for example, Lena got in touch with me. She says, my body shapes changed. I'm putting on weight in areas I never used to my tummy, my waist, I exercise three times a week. It doesn't help.

Dr. Nighat Arif:

Yeah so the menopause is a natural transition that all women go through. Menopause by definition is when you've not had a period for 12 months. A decade before that was comes a period of a phase in your life called the perimenopause where you are still having periods, but you are having menopausal symptoms. And so you're fluctuating between your oestrogen and your progesterone hormone and a little bit of a testosterone hormone. And when that fluctuation happens, it's not unusual for your body shape to change. And you're probably thinking, well, how does that happen? Well, the reason is because as your oestrogen drops and your progesterone drops, it impacts you physically. So you might get hot flushes night sweats, palpitations, headaches, aches and pains that you never had before. Your libido might not be great. Your fatigue level set in and you might have digestive issues that you didn't have before. 

And suddenly they start getting itchy skin, your hair isn't so great and sleep disturbances as Mel was saying earlier. Some people find that their sleep becomes affected, but also you get psychological symptoms. So for example, if you're not sleeping well, you're feeling absolutely exhausted the next day. You're not going to have energy to exercise. Your diet might go out the window as well because you can't concentrate on what you need to do to look after yourself because you're literally surviving day to day. And for some women, they get a real lack of confidence, a lack of self esteem. So it's not unusual at this phase to feel anxious, to feel on edge, to feel that you aren't exercising enough, or if you are exercising, you're not able to shift the weight. And there's a great analysis that was done by a gynaecologist in America and she was saying, look, our bodies are made for survival in the most simplest form. When we start to reduce an oestrogen and progesterone, the brain goes, hang on, I need some of these oestrogen because if we think about it, it's like this lubricating hormone that lubricates all our blood vessels and then, you know, gets our metabolism going. It's an immune modulator. It gets our gut going, our digestive system going as well. And so when that isn't happening because you are reducing now you're in the midlife of your years. Your brain takes over that function and says, well, I'll produce a little bit. And then it tells your fat cells because that's the other place where we produce oestrogen. Remember we don't just produce oestrogen in our ovaries. So it tells your fat cells, okay, I need oestrogen. So you start having increased size in your fat cells. So we get that mid-age weight gain. And on top of that, if you are not exercising, your lifestyle is not so great, you’re drinking possibly a bit more alcohol to cope with the hot flashes or eating a bit more sugary stuff or processed foods a bit more because they're easy and convenient. It's so easy to see how in the midlife you find that your body shape changes and your fatigue levels are playing an impact because you're going through the change. 

Louise Minchin:

So I mean you've kind of laid it out there. That explains very, very clearly for Leno and everybody else why things start to change. So Stacy to you, I mean, if there was a magic thing, we'd all be doing it. There are some things that really do help, but exercise, why might it help and how might it help? 

Dr. Stacy Sims:

It's not just exercise. It's the kind of exercise that you're doing. And this is where the general recommendations of 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity is not appropriate for women who are going through the menopause transition because not only does oestrogen, progesterone, you know, affect every cell of the body in system of the body, part of their physiological function is to affect something. So we have actin and myosin for muscle contraction. Oestrogen is tightly tied to the satellite cell and the development in myosin. So as we get older, when we lose oestrogen, we start to lose the integrity of that myosin. So we need to look for external stressors that are going to support our body how these hormones used to. So what I mean by that is if we want to stimulate the myosin protein to have an actual contraction of the muscle and have a very strong contraction, we need to have a neuromuscular stimulus. So this is lifting resistance training, but heavy because we don't want it to be cardiovascular. We don't want it to be hypertrophy where it rips the muscle and then says, okay, let's rebuild that muscle. We want something that's going to get the nerve firing to the muscle to recruit more fibres for that contraction to maintain myosin and stimulate the body's response to keep that myosin intact as well as develop more lean mass. So when we're looking at resistance training, it's not body weight, it's not eight to 15 reps. We're looking at what we call the three to five. So it's three to five sets of three to five exercises with three to five minutes recovery between. And it might be a lot of sitting around time but this is how we let the central nervous system and that neuromuscular aspect regenerate and get rid of the fatigue to be able to go hard again. When we look at what kind of cardiovascular exercise that we want to do, it's not that moderate intensity, let's go for a walk for an hour. We're looking at polarising. We want to go as hard as we can for a very, very short period of time. So we call it sprint interval training. We talk about high intensity interval training. We're not talking about a 45 minute boot camp or orange theory or Peloton because that puts you square in the middle of that moderate intensity, we're talking a whole workout might be 15 minutes where you have a five minute warmup and then you have five by five, 20 second bursts. And you're going as hard as you can, full gas so that you look forward to that recovery time, that recovery time is full recovery and then you hit it again. When you're doing that kind of high intensity work, it causes an epigenetic change within the muscle to allow more what we call glue proteins to be expressed. And we want that because then this means that more blood sugar can come into the muscle as well as the liver, without using insulin because we become more insulin resistant and this can also contributes to that belly fat gain. So when we're looking at the kinds of training that we're doing again, we want to revisit the physiological aspects of these different types of training and how they can create a stress within the body that causes signalling to overcome that stress the way those hormones used to support us. 

Louise Minchin:

Okay I'm listening to that. I'm absolutely fascinated on so many levels because you know, I'm an endurance athlete. So from what you've said, that's probably not helping me at all. 

Dr. Stacy Sims:

So this is a thing I come from a very, very long endurance background as well. I've done professional bike racing, Ironman, Ultra running and I'm not gonna give up my soul food of going out for a ride because I still love riding my bike, but it's the bulk of what you're doing. The quality work you want to be short and sharp and not volume. I work with a lot of ultra runners. I work with Ironman athletes, half Ironman athletes, marathoners. And it's all about dialling that volume back and putting in that quality work and having faith in the process because our bodies as women are more enduring anyway, from sex differences at birth, our bodies have more slow twitch fibres. We have the ability to hold onto the energy and the rebound for slow twitch work. We also have more protein within our muscle mitochondria that uses and requires fatty acids. So when we lose oestrogen, progesterone, we don't need to do the training to keep that going, because we already have it. What we lose when we lose oestrogen, progesterone is the power, the speed, the strength, and those are the things we need to work on. So as an endurance athlete, we look during the week, so you do some heavy lifting and then you hop on the treadmill and you do some intervals. So you're taking the fatigue of the heavy lifting into your running modality, or you do a really easy, easy spin to the gym or wherever you're gonna do your plyometrics or your heavy lifting. You do that. And then on the way home, you're putting in some bursts. So the volume of your training is smaller, especially during the week when we're compressed for time. And then every two weeks we have what we call a de-load week and this is where we go super, super easy and we do our longer stuff. 

Louise Minchin:

It's fascinating. I'm interested in Nighat from your point of view as a doctor, I know you, I can see you listening with interest. What are your thoughts?

Dr. Nighat Arif:

I think the thing that Stacy said really importantly, is that you're changing up your exercises. You're not just sticking to one and that is so important. So it's doing the resistance as well as your cardio and making sure that you're having the rests. Cause the thing that people think about is that either they go hard or go long or they don't do anything at all or they stop or they stick to one exercise and then that's it. The whole point is, is that you're changing it up because there's a really amazing observational study that was done that looked at physical exercise. They looked at, ladies in rural areas in Finland and they split them into two groups. So they were in the peri menopausal phase of their age and they said, right down the middle, we're gonna split these women into women that do the same exercise all the time, don't change and to ones that are going to change it up just like Stacy was saying and for 12 weeks we're gonna observe them and guess what? The results showed that the ones that were changing it up all the time had better mental health outcomes, better quality of life as well. They had less anxiety and stress during their perimenopausal phase. And then on another longitudinal study that was done, an Australian study in women's health that showed that physical activity, even if it's small, but you're changing it up constantly. So maybe a rubber band that you're doing at home stretches with your kids, yoga, maybe that you're doing. And also then a high intensity walk that you do with a friend later on will decrease your menopausal somatic symptoms. So what I mean by somatic symptoms are your physical symptoms like your flushes, your palpitations, your night sweats that you're getting. And that is where physical activity and menopause management marries up.

Louise Minchin:

Okay. Before we move on, Mel, let's go to you because there's so many things that the Her Spirit community have been doing with regards specifically, to do with strength and conditioning, actually. 

Mel Berry:

So as you know in January we launched an amazing program called Couch2Kilos and it was about busting the myths and it's really important. You know, so many women go, “I can't do it because I'm suddenly gonna become this really kind of bulky kind of person”. And we wanted to lay that educational groundwork to say, this is about strength for life. You wanna be able to pick your kids up as, as they grow older all the way through to your latter stages and go, “do you know what? I don't wanna be that person that there's debilitated by not being able to get out the chair”. So we had three levels and that was something that I know Louise you and Nighat did. And it was brilliant to then be able to do it with you. And it was about picking up on so much. We've talked about we're powerful, strong, wonderful women and having that power through strength, exercise, and as a swimmer, who's always done it. Yeah. Loved it. And yeah, being strong is a wonderful superpower.

Dr. Stacy Sims:

There was a study that was just released. It was a case controlled  study looking at resistance training in 70 plus year old women. And they put them into a power training program. So kind of like I was talking about, the three to fives and not only did they build lean mass, but it helped with all their functional tasks. So it improved balance coordination, all the things that we start to lose as we get older, because I always get pushback on the type of resistance training that I'm recommending. So as I always say, I'm not gonna throw someone in the gym and say ‘Hey, dead left a hundred kilos” if you've never seen a bar before, it's the phase-in approach. But when we look for longevity, we want to look more on that power based end of stuff, for that functionality to be able to have balance walk on the sidewalk, off the curb, back up the stairs, as we get older as well. 

Dr. Nighat Arif:

And that's really interesting what Stacy's saying because actually when postmenopausal women, the higher rates that we have is osteoporosis or decrease in bone density and muscle mass and the studies have shown and we've got decades and decades of these studies that show that doing resistant training helps. So as Stacy was saying, not dead lifting a hundred kilos, but just starting with a bar that's resistant training for you. And then gradually building up actually improves bone density in the future. So all those women, we spend £1.2 billion in the UK on the NHS on osteoporotic fractures, we can look at reducing just by making sure that women are doing resistant training. And the myth is that, if I start lifting weights in the gym because mostly they're male dominated areas, parts of the gym and they can be really intimidating that I'll just end up getting muscles but Stacy you'll back me up on this. That isn't what happens. 

Dr. Stacy Sims:

It's impossible. It's impossible to get bulky, especially at this point because we've lost oestrogen, which is a women's anabolic hormone. And in order to get bulky from lean mass, you have to eat a lot in order to build lean mass, you have to eat a lot and not do cardio. And I'm pretty sure that most women are not in that mentality unless there's specifically focused for body building or physique building. 

Louise Minchin:

I mean you're talking sort of two chickens a day or something, aren't you? I mean, an enormous amounts of eggs?

Dr. Stacy Sims:

Something like that.

Louise Minchin:

OK, actually to your point, just before we move on, to your point about falling off the curb or whatever you said, I had an absolutely key moment for me the other day where, I was caving, it's all to do with the book I'm writing at the moment. It’s my least favourite thing I've possibly ever done in my life, but I was in the cave and I was climbing up a sort of small incline and actually my feet slipped. Right. I was falling down and I held on and because I was strong, you know, from all this stuff that we've all done over the last few months actually suddenly my whole body just like went tight and I managed to save myself from falling. So it's actually, when you least expect it, you need it.

Dr. Stacy Sims:

Exactly. Exactly. And then you have it cause you've been doing it. 

Louise Minchin:

It's a bit of an extreme example. So Mel, with Couch2Kilos, it's starting again, isn't it? 

Mel Berry:

Yeah. So we're back week of the 4th of July for six weeks. And through our partnership with the wonderful team at British weight-lifting, we are doing a live solution. So it's about accessibility for all, which is a great digital concept and working with some great leisure partners that we’ll announce, in the next couple of weeks in person. So if you don't have the ability to do something at home, cuz you might not have the kit, then there's gonna be loads of places that you can, uh, do it. And it's about inspiring women everywhere to think that strength training I is a brilliant thing to do. So I got no excuse the week of the 4th of July. So Louise, Nighat back in the gym, the week of the 4th of July.

Louise Minchin:

I'm in it. So Stacy just to pick up a few points that people were making to me. Cause I put this question as we did on the Hers Spirit community, I also put it out on my Instagram and my Twitter as well. So Joe says “seriously with all the training I do and Pilates, I don't have time to fit in weights, but that's all I hear about menopause and fitness.” So I'm gonna get you to ask about time. And then also Jay said, when we feel shattered, should we still push ourselves to train? So let's go for the time poor, which I imagine many people like me listening to this podcast. That's probably the biggest problem. 

Dr. Stacy Sims:

Yeah. I mean it is the biggest thing, but the big rock for peri and post-menopause is resistance training across the board. It's dropping the volume of the stuff that you're doing. It doesn't have to be 90 minutes in the gym. People have this idea that they have to go to the gym and spend hours and hours there. It can be 20 to 30 minutes max. And you know, it's going with a plan, it's knowing that you have three specific exercises that you're going to do and you're gonna do them well with really good form, cool down and get out. And it could be just a series of posterior chain work. So you're doing single leg squats and deadlifts and then you get out. So it, it is definitely a plan and it's not easy. So if you're spending hours in the gym, you're not doing it right. You should be fully taxed out within that short amount of time. And this is where we know that women don't push themselves enough in the gym, like from a resistance training standpoint. So this is why we always want that phase in. So we're looking at a time thing. It's like, let's look at that week of training that you're doing. Are you going? And you're doing 45 to 60 minute runs almost every day and then some Pilates, well let's back those runs down, let's do a, a 20 minute run or let's do 20 to 30 minutes of specific resistance training and follow it up with 10 to 15 minutes of some sprints. And there's less time there than you would've spent for that 45 minute run. It's creating a plan and making a priority and rearranging.

Louise Minchin:

All really good messages. Okay. What about pushing ourselves when we're tired? 

Dr. Stacy Sims:

So if we're looking from a cardiovascular standpoint and trying to push when we're tired and we're not fed well, then we just increase that cortisol, which we don't wanna do. The way to mitigate it is you may do a couple of 20 second bursts and see how you feel through that. And if you still feel completely shattered, then take a day off from a resistance training standpoint. It is easier when you are tired because it's not cardiovascular taxing. And if you get to the gym and you feel like you can't make that lift, you still have the opportunity to work on mobility, which also helps. So again, it comes back to what's the plan of the day. If you wake up and you have an interval session and you're really tired, then you're probably better off not doing that interval session. If you have something planned at the gym, go, it might be more just moving the body and working on technique, working on mobility. And then maybe you feel better and can do a couple of heavy lifts. But when we're talking about cortisol and poor sleep, it's better to air on the side of recovery rather than air on the side of pushing ourselves. 

Dr. Nighat Arif:

As a mum of three, you know, working GP and doctor and all the other commitments that I have, and time is the biggest issue that I find with my patients and myself as well. When do I fit this in to do exercise? And it's really refreshing for Stacy to actually say that doing smaller amounts is better. There are a couple of studies and there are really good, actually robust and a meta-analysis study that was done that showed that doing high intensity training in shorter bursts. So even 15 minutes. So if you do sort of lifts or band resistance or if you do something against resistance that could be lifting a sugar bag in your kitchen while the kettle boils and you do that in burst of 15 minutes, there's actually really particularly good in the menopausal transition for one, it improves insulin sensitivity and it lowers fasting blood sugar levels, which is really good for your overall cardiovascular and metabolic health. And that's really important because when you are transitioning and your oestrogen and progesterone is fluctuating, your blood sugars are harder to manage. So it's not about doing 30 minutes. If you can, anyone listening to this podcast, I challenge you. If you just find 15 minutes to do resistance in your day, you are gonna be lowering your insulin. You are improving your insulin sensitivity and lowering your blood sugar levels. That is madness. Isn't it? It's literally, it's 15 minutes. 

Louise Minchin:

It's a good challenge. So Stacy, as I say, this feels like such an introduction, doesn't it? It's been absolutely fascinating. So for people listening, what are the three things they should take away from this podcast? Or maybe just one thing you think they should take away? 

Dr. Stacy Sims:

It is resistance training, super important, dropping volume, super important and what we didn't touch on, but I'm gonna put it out there anyway is not following the trendy diets of intermittent fasting, ketogenic, low carb, high fat, any of those things because it's based on male data and women do better in a fed state. So I'm not saying a full meal before anything, but having something small ,could be a half a banana. It could be a piece of toast before you do training because it's super important to have circulating calorie sensitivity going on in the body when you are gonna be doing some training. 

Louise Minchin:

Can I just take you back? Because I'm at the risk of sounding really stupid here. But that's okay because sometimes I am, resistance training. I mean that is, you've said it so many times. It's training with weights, it's lifting weights, isn't it? 

Dr. Stacy Sims:

Yes. Lifting weights.

Louise Minchin:

And as Nighat said, it could be your sugar, your one kilo sugar, but we'd hope to move on from that. Mel go on your point.

Mel Berry:

Muscle atrophy. So for me personally, and I know talked about this is I had an identity as a swimmer. I was strong. I was powerful. And when I started to go into my perimenopausal phase, I lost muscle mass and I lost identity because I became less capable of doing it. And I really struggled with that. And as somebody that had done huge amounts of strength training went back and again, it's really empowered me, but I wanted to pick up on your point, Stacy, around food and I've gone and done a week's food diary because I'm doing a crazy challenge that we'll talk about on the next podcast and was just, I was really shocked how much under fuelling I was doing, I mean, I'm talking about 1500 calories a day and I don't think that I eat less. But my question for you is women that are listening that are seeing a decline in muscle and active again, it's massively important isn't it to again, do that strength training and look at what you're eating and how you're fuelling and how you feel differently in life. 

Dr. Stacy Sims:

Absolutely. And the biggest thing about that is when we have oestrogen working for us. So in our, our premenopausal years, we have three primary pathways for muscle protein, synthesis and development. When we lose oestrogen, we lose one of those pathways. We lose the IGF one oestestradiol stimulus. So now we have two and those two pathways is mechanical, which is resistance training and amino acids. So protein is super, super important. If we don't eat enough, then the first thing to go is our lean mass. Our body uses those amino acids, breaks down the very high, energetic muscle mass to be used for other things. So if you're not eating enough and you're not fuelling for your training, you're not going to build lean mass, you're going to lose it. 

Mel Berry:

Yeah. And I, and I think your point and I know Louise, you obviously have that endurance background is it's really hard to change behaviours. It's like, what do you mean? I'm not gonna go out for my bike for four hours, but that's me, that's, that's my kind of DNA and it's being okay to change. And I know one of the comments that we had on social is I can't do what I used to do. I have to change that and have to be okay. That it's different to do that. 

Louise Minchin:

Okay. Well, listen, we're gonna have to wrap it up. I'm gonna have to take that thought, Mel, and sort of maybe open that up a bit more, in another podcast because I do think there is the whole thing that we've all talked about here. And it may be, you don't look like your younger self. It may be that you don't feel like your younger self right now. I can't run. You know what I mean? You do go through these periods in your life where it's a, I mean I'm kind of belittling it. I'm not really, it's kind of just intensely irritating, isn't it Stacy that you're, you're just not what you were, but maybe with a better version.

Dr. Stacy Sims:

 A new better version. Let’s put it that way. 

Louise Minchin:

Oh, thank you so much. I mean, it's been absolutely fascinating. So I'm gonna take away from it. Go strength, get into that heavy section of the gym. I know you go in there Nighat, already don't you?

Dr. Nighat Arif:

I'm trying to, that's mainly because Mel said that I have really good core strength, but my abs can't be found just yet. Let's put it that way. <laugh> 

Louise Minchin:

And Mel, you know, there's, there's so much help out there, isn't it? Because you know, we've talked about it before. It can be intimidating, but you know, with Couch2Kilos you are really trying to help people aren't you? Make it something that they want to do feel comfortable doing? 

Mel Berry:

Look, it's about giving the support for women and it's around feeling intimidated. A lot of women feel that it's not the place for them. Do it at home, get strong together and come and join us for Couch2Kilos and just let's get strong together. And as we say together, we've got this and it's a great fun doing it and smiling isn't it? 

Louise Minchin:

Yeah. I mean, it's definitely, it's definitely saved me in the cave anyway. So if that could be just the message from this podcast, I didn't slip because I've been doing my strength and conditioning. Listen, thank you very much. Indeed. Dr. Stacy Sims, absolute pleasure to speak to you. I knew you we'd have so much information that we'd really enjoy you giving to us. I look forward to the other book being on this bookshelf over there. Nighat, one day we’ll be in the gym together. I shall look forward to that. Mel, thank you very much, indeed. Thank you all. And this has been the Her Spirit podcast. Don't forget, you can follow everybody's progress. And Mel has got a massive challenge coming up. Am I allowed to say what it is Mel? 

Mel Berry:

Why not? Go for it.

Louise Minchin:

It's called Lakes to London. I think I was there when we/you and Holly came up with this incredible idea. It's gonna involve a very long swim, a very long bike ride and the London marathon. And you want us all to do it virtually, but we'll tell you more about that, either on the app on hersspirit.co.uk or on the next podcast. I will have to do it virtually. Listen. It's been a real pleasure. Thank you very much, indeed all. That's it. See you next month, everybody. Thank you very much. Bye.