Ladies, today I am picking back up with Part 2 of my three tips on how to feel like yourself again.

Every week I talk with women in the 50s and beyond who just want to get “that feeling” back–that feeling of strength, of vitality, of youthful vibrancy. Their mind doesn’t match up to the woman they see in the mirror, and their brain tells them they should be able to do all of the things they once were, but their body has a very different story.

So what can you do about this??

Whether you are in your 50s now, you once were in your 50s, or you see your 50s quickly approaching, there are three things I recommend all women do regularly to protect their muscle strength, their bone density, and their physical freedom.

The first is what I covered in Part 1 of this series–Focused, Challenging, & Consistent Strength Training–which you can read here.

The second is what I will be covering in Part 2 today, and that is Muscle Activation Techniques®.

2. Muscle Activation Techniques®

One big problem I see a lot of women running into in their 50s and beyond that limits their ability to do what they want during their day is aches and pains in their muscles and joints.

Many women have shoulder issues, knee issues, and foot issues that prevent them from playing pickleball, going for walks, picking up grandkids, or working out as intensely as they’d like.

Frozen shoulder, shoulder impingements, plantar fasciitis, and sharp knee pains deter so many women from feeling confident and strong in their body.

But, while I have seen that these issues are very common, I have also seen them get completely resolved relatively quickly using a process called Muscle Activation Techniques®, or MAT®.

The MAT® process is specifically designed to assess your body for underactive and weak muscles and then improve the function and strength of those muscles.

When there are underactive and weak muscles, other muscles have to pick up the slack and compensate. This compensation can lead to the overactive muscles becoming stressed out, tight, and eventually painful. Fortunately, with MAT®, once the underactive muscles get working better, the overactive muscles can calm down and heal properly.

Not only that, but your full joint range of motion gets restored and muscle strength significantly increases.

Additionally, your muscles and joints become more protected from injury as your body isn’t having to rely on just a few muscles anymore–all of your muscles can participate and help out!

What I see often happening with women in their 50s is one of two things:

Scenario 1: They start feeling some aches and tightness throughout their body. It isn’t anything that is debilitating, but it is definitely noticeable from time to time.

Over the course of about 12 to 36 months, these aches and the tightness become stronger and longer lasting to the point where many women will go from feeling a low level ache every once in a while to a strong ache that is always there.

Then, over the next 12 to 24 months that chronic ache starts to get closer and to being a chronic pain, at which point they decide to do something about it and have it looked at.

Scenario 2: They feel perfectly fine one day and then wake up the next day feeling like they aged 20 years. They can’t pinpoint a specific trauma or injury related to the pain, but they can tell their body feels noticeably worse than it did even three weeks ago.

Sometimes they decide to do something about it right away. Other times they try to wait it out to see if it will get better on its own.

In my experience, it never gets better on its own.

But, what I have seen make significant changes to both the symptoms and the underlying issues in Scenario 1 and Scenario 2 is Muscle Activation Techniques®.

MAT® is something that needs to be done with a certified practitioner, but fortunately there are more and more people getting certified every year.

Getting your muscles working better with MAT® will be a game changer for how your body feels throughout the day and what you are able to do during your day. That youthful confidence of feeling like your body can handle anything can be restored, and MAT® is a huge piece of that puzzle.

If you are in the Chicago area and would like to try out MAT®, schedule your consultation and assessment with me online here.

This wraps up Part 2 of this series. In Part 3, I will discuss the third tip I have to help you start feeling like yourself again.

In the meantime, if you would like any help or guidance with this tip, you will love my new online fitness class – OsteoStrength For Her. You can find out all of the details about the class as well as get your first class for free when you join my weekly OsteoStrength For Her Newsletter here.

In health and strength,


Categories: Julie Cates

Julie Cates

Julie Cates is an experienced, certified, and insured National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Personal Trainer and mastery level Resistance Training Specialist® (RTSm). She is also a Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT®) Master Specialist (MATm). Julie specializes in training new exercisers that have never exercised before. As a personal trainer, she is excellent at communicating the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of each and every exercise in an effective and understandable manner. She also often works with individuals with chronic illnesses, joint issues, and muscle issues. Julie graduated cum laude from the University of Florida. She earned her degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology with a specialization in Exercise Physiology. In her free time, Julie loves to dance! Julie is still active in a dance company with yearly performances of tap , lyrical, jazz, and hip hop! Julie can be reached via e-mail at Follow her on Instagram at @julcates!