8 Habits of Highly Successful Women over 45: Part 1

What defines you and your wellness at 45 and older? After working with over 2,000 women over the past 16 years, there are common factors that lead to wellness success for women who want to feel better, have more energy, and accept their bodies. Those same factors also lead so many women down a spiraling and frustrating path constantly in search of feeling healthy.



Let’s take a look at how a woman can succeed:

How she approaches these lifestyle and biological factors anchor her. They are the reason she is highly successful in the pursuit of her own version of wellness. They define her wellness.

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The following are the first four lifestyle factors that secure her to her space of intrinsic confidence in her wellness. (The next four will be forthcoming in the next several weeks. Stay tuned!)


  • • Accepts peri-menopause and/or menopause and is keenly aware of her changing body.
  • • Insists on getting adequate and quality sleep.
  • • Has developed stress tolerance practices that work for her.
  • • Approaches exercise differently, consistently, and views it as a way to “play.”

So, while she identifies with the fact she’s lived (nearly) half of her life, she chooses to live the next half making choices that work for her and her new phase of womanhood.

Last, she has an increased awareness that her thoughts and actions have a lasting impact on her health and wellness. My friends, our thoughts and actions are the only things in our lives we control. Develop a growth mindset.

These eight habits lead her to create an always-evolving wellness journey.

Here are my first four. Stay tuned next week for the next three.

  • • Peri-menopause and/or menopause acceptance: It is a fact of life for every woman. None of us can escape it. If you are 45+, you are in it (like I was well into it at 35!) Like so many other topics of which I coach my clients, this is one rife with denial, embarrassment, and ignorance. Yet, trust me, it is happening. The women who accept this new phase, embrace the changes in their minds and bodies, and educate themselves about the best approaches to make significant progress in their wellness. Our bodies are not the same bodies we had at 20 and 30. So stop treating it like you are 20 years younger. Embrace peri-menopause and menopause and you will feel tons better.



  • • Get adequate and quality sleep: It is no shock that I’m, once again, talking sleep. I coach my clients to consider sleep as their top wellness priority. Its literally a matter of life and death, sickness or not, and happiness or chronic worry. Sleep is key to your energy, productivity, and ability to make decisions that will contribute to your wellness. Today, stop ignoring that a sleep issue is most likely the reason you crave the wrong foods, are more anxious than you’d wish, and why you can’t lose the extra weight around your mid-section. Get your sleep.



  • • Develop stress resilience practices and habits: Stress kills. It killed my sister. Stress is so bad for our brains, a brain on stress ages faster, doesn’t sleep well, and can lead to illnesses like Alzheimer’s Disease, diabetes, and cancer. When we don’t find time for calm, we are hurting our chances for achieving deep wellness because we crave more unhealthy foods and get crankier with those around us – and worse off – ourselves. Our bodies were not built for stress all day long. Finding stress resilience practices that stick and become a habit is crucial for your health, wellness, and happiness. Happiness is a habit. Make it yours!



  • • Exercise daily: Why do we have to workout? See how the word “work” is in workout? Why can’t we view the world, and our day, as a playground? Why not call it a “PLAYout”? Why have workout days and off days? Who here is an Olympic athlete who needs off days? Sweat daily, ladies. It is amazing for your hormones and waistline. We weren’t meant to sit all day. While I highly recommend exercise daily (we do have 16 waking hours each day and I can get you sweaty in just five minutes! Click here for my 5 Minute Flow), I invite you to stop trying to work “off” what you did the day before or the day before that. Instead, exercise smart, exercise daily, and move with quality.

If you are 45+, welcome to the club. Embrace it. Of these habits, the women who are crushing their wellness consider them all equally. None is more important than the other.

Happy Monday!


  • The latest from Adrien
Adrien founded Fitness on the Run in 2004 out of her home after a successful career in policy and public affairs communications. After spending 15 years developing her own personal definition of wellness and watching thousands struggle with theirs, in January 2019 Adrien founded Alexandria Wellness, the home for the Concierge Wellness Program and Corporate Wellness with Adrien Cotton. Over the course of 15 years, “FOR” was home to more than 2,000 clients, 30 instructors, and hundreds of inspirational success stories. Adrien is now, more-than-ever, passionate about helping women view their fitness as a journey, not a quick fix. Adrien’s recipe for success herself has evolved from a rigid training plan of sweaty and heart pumping workouts to some days getting in her 10,000 steps, consciously breathing, her 7.5 hours of sleep, and her beloved 5-Minute Flow. Adrien believes the most important ingredient is making small changes for big results, even if it’s one new habit formed each month. Still passionate about fitness, Adrien’s clients appreciate her ability to make sessions seriously challenging without a “beat down,” a healthy mix of strength and metabolic (cardio) work and ultimately helping her clients gain real strength in mind and body. She believes we all benefit from being curious about our bodies and that change, or improvement, is within reach despite what your “inner voice” or others may tell you. Adrien is bubbling with excitement to help women learn the importance of a comprehensive approach to wellness, weight loss, and contentedness with yourself, and that every person has the right to feel good about themselves. Most days, you can find her helping clients with their wellness, listening to success stories, and bragging about her twin 13-year-old children and “fittest man in Alexandria” Bill Cotton. Adrien prides herself on her practice of mindfulness, meditation, and putting it all into perspective.

Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.

Schedule your free 30 minute consult here!


Alexandria Wellness
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314




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