Workout Wednesday with Nikolett: Exercise for Anti-Aging

Woman Lifting Weight

Woman Lifting Weight

Who wants to reverse ageing?  I believe most of us do, since we live in a society obsessed with youth and beauty.  According to nutrition and fitness experts such as Bob Greene, Oprah Winfrey’s trainer, maintaining lean muscle mass may be the most important strategy for successful ageing.  He is right!

This is because maintaining lean muscle mass will:

  • Maintain basal metabolic rate (BMR), therefore helps decrease risk of obesity.
  • Keeps body fat low, which helps control blood cholesterol levels.
  • Increases insulin sensitivity, therefore helps to avoid onset of Type II Diabetes – but exercise has this positive effect on both normal and insulin resistant populations.  A single session can increase insulin sensitivity up to 16 hours post exercise.
  • Maintains body water, which decreases the risk of dehydration, and improves body temperature regulation.
  • Increases bone density, thus decrease your chance of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis happens when the bones lose their strength and density, become fragile and break more easily.  This unfortunately can happen for a few reasons, such Calcium or Vitamin D deficiency and ageing.  Especially women after menopause have to be particularly careful.  The good news is, your body is designed to adapt to anything you put it through.  The more weight baring exercise you do, the stronger your bones get because they have to keep up with the load.

The bad news is as we age, our muscle mass is decreasing (atrophy); therefore our BMR is decreasing, so we burn less calories day by day.

Your best way to slow down this ageing process is to hit the gym, and grab some weights!

A lot of women are afraid of weight lifting because of the fear of bulking up.  However most don’t realize to actually ‘bulk up’, you need to train a specific way, and have an eating plan designed to put on muscle.  Women have very low levels of testosterone (male hormone) needed to ‘get big’, so your chances of bulking up from a couple days of weight training sessions is minimal to none.  So all of you out there who have been staying away from the dumbbells and machines, get on them now!

To get started, aim for a 35-40-minute full body program including 3 sets of each exercise with 8-12 repetitions!  Make sure to incorporate both upper and lower body exercises.  Squats and lunges are my favorites!  I find doing them is the quickest and most effective way to increase your muscle mass and improve your lower physique.  Make sure you always warm up on a cardio machine for 5 minutes before your weight session, and always stretch after!  Rolling your hamstrings and thighs on a foam roller is a fantastic way to aid recovery, plus it feels like getting a massage.

If you have never lifted weights before, it is important to consult a certified personal trainer to teach you the correct postures and moves, to avoid injury and bad habits.

In addition to exercise you should always practice Nikolett’s Daily Essentials.

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Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My  copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time.  My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.

With kindest regards Samantha

I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.

When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.

I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.


Hey Jessica!
I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again

- Jacinta

I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!


Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.

– Sophie

Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!


I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).

– Helene

I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud

Michelle Curtis

My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.