Top Fitness Mistakes Part 4: What’s Sabotaging Your Fitness?

Your stress, your “tribe,” and your habits are sabotaging your fitness goals.

Stress, habits, and your friends…how could they possibly impact your 45+ fitness? Big time. Read on to find out, dear readers. 

In 2020, my wish for you is to make a conscious choice to approach the next decade of your life with a renewed sense of confidence and power. Ladies, it’s time to ditch thinking that what you did in your 20s and 30s will serve you now post 45. Here are the last three mistakes I see daily with prospects, Fitness+Foundations clients, and concierge clients. They have made a conscious decision to change. Will you? 



Mistake: You poo poo stress management as a weight loss tool

A lot of women tell me that they know it’s important, but don’t prioritize making changes to attack their stress. They ignore it, yet at 45 your body is going through lots of change. You’re may or may not be noticing changes in your cycle, your mood, your patience, and your memory. Trust me: it is happening. 

The top symptom of perimenopause is anxiety because your brain is confused. It becomes a stress-producing factory around this time of your life simply because of your changing cycle and all that brings with it. Combine the biggest change your body will experience since puberty with your demanding job/life, caring for kids, and parents, trying to keep up with the Joneses…and you have all-out stress. 

These demands in combination with the changes our body is going through physiologically impacts our stress hormone, cortisol. This hormone is essential for responding to stress, but also when it’s too high (or we don’t have enough) we store fat more easily. This is why even with dieting and exercising while still dealing with stress, you still can’t lose weight.

Stress is at an epidemic level. It leads to disease. It kills people. It killed my sister last year. It leads to more frequent injury and is what our society over the past 50 years has absorbed without a lot of consideration for its effect on our health. 

I’ve written extensively and speak to concierge and corporate clients about the dangers of chronic stress.  Here is just one of my pieces.

Between 60-80 percent of doctor’s visits in the U.S. are due to stress-related conditions.

So, it doesn’t get addressed. We continue our “busy” label, demand more out of our days than the generation previous to us. Women between 45-65 are stretched more now than ever. We are sandwiched between caring for kids and parents simultaneously.  Add to this, our bodies are changing more than they did during puberty. In my concierge and Fitness + Foundations program, my clients learn simple ways to build stress resilience into your daily life, including simple ten second to one minute meditations. 




Stop ignoring your stress and make stress resilience a top priority. 



Mistake: You don’t surround yourself with a wellness “tribe”

One landmark study showed that lack of a social connection is as big of a deterrent to health than smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity. The importance of social connection and support is real and can lead to total wellness and contentedness. In fact, those who have a tribe, or a deep connection to others, are healthier, fitter, live longer, and have less anxiety and depression. 

Fitness tribes are on the rise. Why? Because a tribe of others equally motivated to 1) run a marathon, 2) eat vegan and swing kettlebells 3) whatever your own preferred way of approaching your health and fitness, keeps you motivated, curious how to improve, accountable and its frankly fun to share your successes and find consolation when you slip up.




Spend the first quarter of 2020 finding your own wellness tribe. Join us at one of our education workshops, join us for a 3-month Fitness Foundations, or seek them among your already awesome friends and family. You can also schedule a free consultation with me here to figure out how I can support you.



Mistake: Your daily habits are keeping you dissatisfied with your body 

Let’s face it: willpower and discipline don’t work. If they did, we’d have a country of super fit people less obsessed with fitness models and the latest diet on Instagram. Habits work. The brain rewards small habit change and is built to fight your latest diet and fitness program. Big changes like going from no exercise to daily exercise or to a deprivation diet don’t work. Small changes win the day in habit change, though. 

Sipping chamomile tea at 9pm may be the best first step for a new fitness program instead of setting your alarm early to run 5 miles. Why? Because sipping tea will set the stage for bedtime, assuring you’ll get your sleep and awaken for a simple 5 Minute Flow just one morning a week. Once one morning a week is practiced for a period of time, it leads to another morning and another. All because of the chamomile tea! 




Take an accounting of your daily habits. Start with the first 5 in the morning and the last 5 at night. Dissect them and determine which will contribute to your wellness and work with me in our concierge program to learn how to replace those that are not with a lifetime of habits that will crush your 2020 wellness program!


As we wrap up this series on the Top Fitness Mistakes Women Make, I want you to reflect on what it is you’re doing now. Ask yourself: are you getting the results you want? And if not, which one of these mistakes could you be making that are getting in your way. We would love to hear more about your fitness and wellness goals for 2020. Fill out an application here to set up a free consult and figure out how our Concierge Program can help you reach them.


  • 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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