Yoga and Meditation Can Slow Aging: Here’s How to Get Started

It’s well known that yoga can help you improve flexibility, increase strength, and find mental clarity. But many people don’t know that yoga can also slow down and even reverse the harmful effects of accelerated aging and stress on the body and mind.

In a study published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, researchers found that 12 weeks of yoga slowed cellular aging. The program consisted of 90 minutes of yoga that included physical postures, breathing, and meditation for five days a week over 12 weeks. 

Researchers measured biomarkers of cellular aging and stress before and after the 12-week yoga program and found that yoga slowed down markers of cellular aging and lowered measures of inflammation in the body.

How Yoga Slows the Aging Process

Yoga has been around for thousands of years, and people of all ages, gender, ethnicities, and body types can (and do) do it. Its accessibility, inclusivity, and effectiveness are what have made yoga remain in popularity.

The two core principles of yoga are strength and relaxation:

  • Yoga keeps you strong and limber
  • Yoga contributes to healthy joints
  • Yoga calms and trains your breathing
  • Yoga calms your mind

Strength and relaxation are the keys that will help you slow the aging process and potentially reverse muscle loss.

The Different Types of Yoga

There are many different types of yoga and all are beneficial. The type of yoga you choose will depend on your interests, abilities, and goals. 

  • Hatha yoga is slow moving and best for beginners.
  • Vinyasa yoga is considered the most athletic. The movement is coordinated with your breath and you flow from one pose to another.
  • Ashtanga yoga is a very physically demanding sequence of postures and designed for an experienced yogi.
  • Yin yoga is more meditative. It’s slow paced with seated postures that are held for longer periods of time.
  • Restorative yoga focuses on winding down from a long day and relaxing your mind.

There’s also power yoga for strength training, hot yoga for a sweaty, intense practice, and even prenatal yoga for expectant mothers!

As long as you go to yoga classes regularly and eat a balanced diet, you can know you’re doing your best to slow down the aging process for your health, mind, and muscles.

Yoga Classes for Anti-Aging

With yoga’s popularity, there’s really an endless number of ways you can get started: taking classes online in the comfort of your home, perusing a book before getting started, or joining a class in your community. Below are a few suggestions to help you on your wellness journey.

As with any physical regimen, we recommend consulting with your general practitioner first to evaluate your physical condition. Remember to ease into it and don’t hesitate to modify poses or use props like straps, blocks, walls, or chairs for additional support.

For readers

Yoga for Healthy Aging: A Guide to Lifelong Well-Being by Baxter Bell and Nina Zolotow

Authored by the cofounders of the Yoga for Healthy Aging blog, this book offers information about how yoga can help older adults improve their flexibility, strength, agility, balance, and more. It outlines a variety of safe, easy-to-follow sequences and includes multiple variations of each pose.

For practicing in the comfort of your home

Chair Yoga Stretch for Beginners, Seniors, and Everyone by SeniorShape Fitness

YouTube has a wide collection of yoga videos specifically for seniors. Here’s one by SeniorShape with Lauran, an ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified fitness instructor with a specialization in senior fitness.

For joining in your local community

Super Seniors with Judy Pearson at Germantown United Methodist Church

Germantown United Methodist Church offers a variety of yoga classes at their Owings Life Enrichment Center on West Street. On Thursdays at 10:00am, they offer a yoga class specifically for seniors. You can call (901) 753-3100 to learn more.


If you feel like you’ve lost your vitality, spark, or the drive that sustains you, Exceed Hormone Specialists is here to help. Contact us today to schedule your one-on-one consultation.

How to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor in 10 Minutes a Day

Do you leak a little urine when you sneeze, laugh, or cough? Don’t worry, you’re in good company.

Pelvic floor dysfunction is common and can happen to anyone. In fact, it’s estimated that about 1 in 4 women experience pelvic floor disorders, and that number doubles by the time women are over 80 years old! 

Men, on the other hand, are less affected (only about 16% of men may suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction), but it can still happen to them too.

The good news? There are quick, at-home ways you can strengthen your pelvic floor and find relief from pain or discomfort. 

Of course, we always believe consulting with your gynecologist (or speaking with a pelvic floor therapist) is a good place to start. However, go ahead and keep reading to learn more about pelvic floor dysfunction and how you can strengthen yours in only 10 minutes a day!

What is the Pelvic Floor?

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and connective tissues located between the pubic bone and tailbone. In all people, the pelvic floor supports and stabilizes the pelvic organs, which include the bladder, urethra, intestines, and rectum. In women, the pelvic floor also consists of the uterus, cervix, and vagina.

What Does Your Pelvic Floor Do?

The pelvic floor is composed of several muscles that work together to support your bladder, urethra, rectum, anus, prostate, uterus, cervix, vagina, and intestines. It has many important jobs, including:

  • Squeezing and relaxing so you can control when you pee, poop or pass gas
  • Helping with blood flow and vaginal contractions during sex and orgasm
  • Supporting vaginal delivery during childbirth
  • Helping you get an erection and ejaculate during sex
  • Stabilizing your hips and trunk
  • As you can imagine, the strength and flexibility of your pelvic floor can affect not only your health but also your quality of life.

What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (and is it common)?

Pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) is a broad term that describes any condition that affects the muscles and nerves of the pelvic floor. 

Pelvic floor dysfunction can occur with pregnancy, vaginal delivery, menopause, surgery, repeated heavy lifting, prolonged sitting, chronic coughing, constipation or diarrhea, excessive weight gain, or other conditions that create pressure on the abdomen.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Frequent urination
  • Constipation
  • Leaking stool or urine (incontinence)
  • Painful urination
  • Painful intercourse
  • Feeling pain in your lower back with no other cause.
  • Feeling ongoing pain in your pelvic region, genitals or rectum — with or without a bowel movement.
  • Prolapse (sagging) of the uterus or vagina
  • Rectal prolapse (sagging) for men

Benefits of Strengthening Your Pelvic Floor

Like any other muscle in your body, when your pelvic floor muscles are strong, they’ll be able to better support your pelvic floor organs. Plus, researchers have found that improved pelvic floor function improves quality of life. 

Here are some of the many benefits to strengthening your pelvic floor:

  • Improved bladder control
  • Reduced lower back pain
  • Improved sexual function
  • Increased core stability
  • Improved posture
  • Prevent prolapse as you age
  • Reduced risk of stress incontinence (when urine leaks out when you cough, sneeze or laugh) or overactive bladder (the need to go to the toilet frequently)
  • Better muscle tone in your bottom, hips, and thighs

Exercises You Can Do to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor in 10 Minutes Per Day

If you’re like most women, you’ve probably heard of Kegel exercises. You perform them by lifting and holding and then relaxing your pelvic floor muscles.

You can activate your pelvic floor anytime, anywhere. You don’t need equipment or a gym membership. But, the exercises can take a little time to learn properly, so we recommend setting aside some time each day in the privacy of your home to practice your pelvic floor exercises.

Kegels are safe, but we do recommend talking with your doctor if you’re having trouble doing these exercises, aren’t seeing results, or feel any discomfort. 

Also, it’s important to know that Kegels aren’t for everyone. If your muscles are already tight, then these exercises can do more harm than good. Please speak with your gynecologist or a pelvic floor therapist for evaluation and treatment.

This quick, 10-minute routine includes three different sets of exercises to help you strengthen your pelvic floor:

Basic Kegels
Position yourself comfortably, whether sitting or standing and be sure to maintain the normal inward curve of your lower spine. Identify and then activate your pelvic floor muscles with a lift and squeeze motion. Do 10 repetitions. Breathe normally and completely relax your pelvic muscles between each set.

The bridge exercise is great for your glutes, but can also help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Lie on the floor with your back flat against the ground and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Your feet should be flat on the floor and place your arms at your side, palms facing down. Pushing through your heels, raise your hips off the ground by squeezing your glutes, pelvic, floor, and hamstrings. Pause for a few seconds and return to the starting position. Do 10 repetitions. 

Bird Dog
Get on your hands and knees, positioning your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Ensure your back is as straight as possible. Brace your core muscles and draw your shoulder blades back down toward your hips.

At the same time, straighten and lift your left leg and right arm, keeping the rest of your body in a neutral position. Hold for a few seconds.

Lower your arm and leg back down to their original position. Repeat the move with the opposite extremities. Do 10 repetitions per leg.


Worried about your pelvic floor? If you feel you are suffering from PFD symptoms reach out to your gynecologist. This is becoming a common need and many gynecological practices have  Pelvic Floor Therapists in their offices for you to schedule with. We believe this type of education helps you get back to living fully again!

Yes, Menopause Can Affect Your Mental Health But You Can Improve it

Have you ever thought, “I feel crazy because I’m going through menopause. And that’s just how it goes.”

When going through menopause, you may start to believe your feelings of anxiety, sadness, irritability, and even constant fatigue is normal.

But that could not be further from the truth! More importantly, there are solutions for improving the symptoms you experience during perimenopause and menopause.

Today, we’re sharing tips for how you can improve your mental health during menopause.

Ways that menopause affects your mental health

If you’re going through menopause, you probably know hot flashes, weight gain, and low libido are all common symptoms, but did you know you can also experience mood changes? Here are a few examples:

Anxiety during menopause occurs when your body’s fight, flight, freeze, or fawn defense works continuously. When you start menopause, your estrogen levels decline and fluctuate, and your body produces less progesterone. These hormones influence the production of serotonin, which is a mood-regulating transmitter. Because of this, you could feel more worn out, frustrated, and anxious.

Because of the sudden hormonal changes associated with menopause, women are at a higher risk of depression. Falling levels of estrogen and progesterone can often trigger mood swings, and like with anxiety, hormones and serotonin are closely linked, so when hormone levels drop, so do serotonin levels, resulting in feelings of sadness or depression.

Stress isn’t uncommon amongst women during midlife, but it may worsen around menopause. Between hot flashes, poor sleep, weight gain, and vaginal dryness, it’s no surprise women might experience feelings of stress. Progesterone has a calming effect and a drop in the hormone could impact a body’s ability to reduce stress.

Mood swings
Rapid mood swings is also a common problem associated with menopause. One could move from sadness to happiness to anger and back again within a few hours. That can take a pretty big toll on mental health!

Lack of motivation
As menopause causes a hormonal imbalance in the body, levels of estrogen dip. This has an effect on those happiness hormones, dopamine, and serotonin. Women may find themselves feeling like they can’t be bothered to do the things they used to do – or climbing into bed more often.

There’s a lot to be irritable about when going through menopause, but those feelings can also be due to hormonal imbalance. When symptoms of perimenopause start, estrogen becomes the dominant hormone, which can lead to irritability and depression.

Brain fog
Struggling to concentrate? Feeling confused or forgetful? Estrogen and testosterone play an important role in memory and cognition. When these levels drop, your brain could feel fuzzy or cloudy.

How to improve your mental health (during perimenopause and menopause)

Seek support
First, seek the right support. Start with your general practitioner who may recommend treatment for perimenopause and menopause symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy comes in many forms: pellet implants, patches, tablets, and gels, and can stop hormone levels from fluctuating. This can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

At Exceed Hormone Specialists we offer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in the form of pellet implants. Made from soy and yams, they are exactly the same molecular structure and perform exactly the same functions as your body’s own natural hormones. The body recognizes bio-identicals and uses them perfectly, restoring your natural hormone balance and revitalizing your life.

Make lifestyle changes
While some women may need medical intervention, it can be worth exploring if other factors are contributing to your anxiety and depression. Consider whether alcohol or caffeine is affecting your sleep, triggering hot flashes, or increasing your anxiety. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive affect on your mental health too.

You’re experiencing some big changes, both physically and emotionally. We recommend speaking to a mental health professional to help you navigate what you’re going through and the feelings that come along with it.


Would you like to get your hormone levels tested? Or have one of our specialists review previous test results? Connect with us online or give us a call (901) 312-7899.



Welcome to Exceed – Presley Pulse

You may recognize Presley from your recent visits to Exceed. Her cheerful and knowledgeable presence has brightened up patient visits since she joined us as a Registered Nurse in August of 2021.

Presley is most looking forward to educating patients about many of the lesser-known health benefits of hormone therapy.

Prior to her time with EHS, Presley worked extensively in urologic nursing and also has experience in intensive care and post-intensive care units. Traveling nursing is another part of her medical practice history.

Presley studied nursing at Northeast Mississippi Community College and graduated in 2015. She received her B.S in Nursing in 2021 and recently earned her Master’s in Nursing, both from Walden University. She completed her Nurse Practitioner and full-practice licensing as of March 2022.

When she’s not at work, Presley can be found spending time with her dog, Grayton, enjoying time with her family, or working out.

Please help us welcome Presley to the Exceed Hormone Specialists family next time you are in the office.


Is it your hormones or depression?

Are you struggling to focus on work? Don’t have the energy to get off the couch? Can’t shake the sadness?

These are all common signs of depression, and often, when you discuss symptoms with your doctor, you’ll walk out the door with an antidepressant. For some people, that’s what they’ll need to feel like themselves again.

But for others, antidepressants may not help.


Because you could have a hormonal imbalance that can lead to symptoms of depression. Here’s what you need to know to determine the path forward for you.

How hormonal imbalance affects your mental health

Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues and organs, working to affect many different processes, including:

  • Growth and development
  • Metabolism
  • Sexual Function
  • Reproduction
  • Mood

Hormones are powerful. It only takes a tiny imbalance to cause a big change in your cells, body, and mind.

When your hormones are balanced, you feel energetic, sharp, and motivated. On the flip side, when you have a hormonal imbalance, you could experience symptoms often associated with mental illnesses, such as:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Insomnia
  • Panic attacks
  • Mood swings
  • Brain fog
  • Low libido

Here are the common hormonal imbalances that can cause symptoms of depression

Your thyroid is a small gland located in your neck and is involved in the production of many neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, and GABA—all of which are involved in mood regulation. It’s estimated around 12% of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime, and 60% of people with a thyroid problem are unaware of their condition.

In fact, thyroid dysfunction is directly linked to one-third of all depression.

Like your thyroid, estrogen also plays a role in the production of dopamine, serotonin, and GABA. Too much or too little can alter those levels, leading to feelings of depression.

Progesterone is also called the “relaxation” hormone because it has a calming effect when it’s produced at optimal levels. However, when it’s in low supply, it can lead to depression, as well as irritability, anxiety, sleepless nights, and brain fog.

Testosterone is found in both men and women and helps ward off depression, cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. You may experience symptoms of depression or anxiety when you have low levels.

How to get your hormone levels tested

If you’re dealing with a hormone imbalance rather than a mental illness, antidepressants won’t get you back to feeling yourself again. You may jump from medication to medication wondering why nothing is working.

That’s why it’s important to visit a healthcare professional who can test your hormone levels as part of your evaluation. Your primary care physician (PCP) or OB GYN can do this for you. However, if your results come back within the “normal range”, we recommend having a hormone specialist compare your numbers within that range. 

A number on the higher or lower end of normal could be the reason you’re experiencing health issues but may not alarm your PCP to trigger a medication prescription.

The good news of falling in the high or low ranges of normal, though, is you can start treatment to avoid worsening symptoms or crossing into that threshold of abnormality.


Would you like to get your hormone levels tested? Or have one of our specialists review previous test results? Connect with us online or give us a call at (901) 312-7899.

Spring Allergy Remedies

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you’re no stranger to a runny nose, frequent sneezing, or congestion. It’s difficult to enjoy the spring weather when you’re tied to a tissue box all day. In fact, millions of people in the United States are doing just that. Fortunately, you can manage many of the symptoms from the comfort of your own home simply by adjusting your lifestyle.

Keep your home clean

This time of year, various factors — including trees, grass, pollen — can contribute to your experience with allergies. While it may seem counterintuitive, closing the windows and staying indoors won’t provide as much relief as you think. Circulation throughout your home is important, so the best way to keep the toxins away is to vacuum and dust regularly. Another easy tip is to remove your shoes when you get inside. You could unknowingly be bringing pesticides in with you. Leave a comfy pair of slippers by the door so you can easily change and keep the allergy triggers at the door, or better yet, outside.

Avoid quick fixes

Your body is likely releasing histamine as a reaction to various environmental triggers because it’s under the impression that they’re harmful. And while over-the-counter medications may suppress the symptoms today, they likely won’t provide long-term relief. Not to mention they can lead to side effects that are difficult to manage. What you can do is start your morning with a more natural approach. Many herbs can relieve allergy symptoms, so try incorporating some in your tea or smoothie.

Take care of your body

Did you know certain nutrients will help fight allergy symptoms? It’s not always easy to eat a balanced diet, so when you miss out on key vitamins, supplements are the way to go. But when possible, incorporate as much Vitamin D and Vitamin C into your day-to-day as they are key to helping you recover. Colorful foods like broccoli, strawberries, and lemons are a few things to add to your grocery list.

Ready to bring balance and vitality back into your life? Connect with us online or give us a call at 901-312-7899.

Combatting Low Energy and Fighting Fatigue

When we feel energized, we’re typically more productive, happier, and healthier — both physically and mentally. But when factors like menopause, andropause, thyroid issues, or nutrient deficiencies creep upon us, we can quickly feel depleted. Getting your energy back is possible. Here’s how:

Find balance

Exercise can help boost your energy levels, but did you know skipping rest days can lead to sleep issues? Similarly, while sleep is key to healthy aging, too much can lead to depression or cognitive impairment and actually increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. And while a protein-rich diet is encouraged — especially as a way to maintain muscle and bone health — too much can elevate cholesterol levels. Find a balance that works with your lifestyle and stick to it for the best results.

Stay hydrated

Many of us don’t drink enough water throughout the year, but with warmer months just around the corner, staying hydrated is even more important. Dehydration can leave you feeling drained and fatigued. If you’re having difficulty committing to a recommended 60+ ounces per day, try adding a handful of raspberries or splash of lemon juice and leaving the jug in the fridge overnight.

Hit the pause button

Trying to manage competing priorities at work or at home? You may even be tackling both. Aside from the mental fatigue, this can quickly bring to the table, you have to consider how much the stress plays a role in your physical health as well. Lighten your load when possible and find ways to cope with the everyday stressors you can anticipate. This may include relaxing habits like reading or meditation. Among the countless benefits, slowing your breathing can provide more oxygen to the blood — improving your energy levels.

Support your hormones

When our hormone levels are imbalanced, we often feel moody and less energized. In combination with the recommendations highlighted above, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) can be part of the solution.

Ready to bring balance and vitality back into your life? Connect with us online or give us a call 901-312-7899.

Your Guide to Aging Gracefully

Wrinkles are a normal part of the aging process, but aging gracefully requires more than just a hydrating skin care routine. As you grow older, you may experience additional roadblocks, including low libido, decreased memory, and mood swings. While these issues may initially feel insignificant, they can dramatically impact your day-to-day life. Here’s how to get ahead and bring vitality back into your life.

Increase your libido

Hormones play a key role in sexual health. While you may experience a decrease in estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels with age, that doesn’t mean you have to experience the potential side effects. Our hormones are responsible for regulating a myriad of things — sexual functioning being one of them. When these levels are imbalanced, low libido is often one of the symptoms. So how can you avoid this? Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is a good place to start. Some men have also found herbs and minerals like Maca, Korean Red Ginseng and Zinc to be helpful, natural supplements.

Improve your memory

We often talk about ways to improve your cardiovascular health through physical exercise, but what about stimulating your mind? It can feel simpler to sit down and watch a mindless television show, and sometimes after a long day, that’s what we need most. But it’s all about finding a balance. Challenging yourself to something that stimulates the mind — whether that be picking up an instrument, trying a crossword puzzle, or practicing a new language — can significantly stimulate new connections between nerve cells.

Balance your mood

Just as our hormones impact our libido, they can also significantly help or hinder our mood.  Oftentimes, when our libido is low, we may also feel moody, have difficulty sleeping and experience low energy. There are several long-term practices you can start today to kick bad moods to the curb. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet with limited caffeine intake is your first step. You may also consult your doctor about vitamin supplements. And as always, exercise and proper sleep will help maintain healthy hormone levels and ultimately, improve your mood and reduce stress.

Ready to bring balance and vitality back into your life? Connect with us online or give us a call 901-312-7899.

Setting New Year Intentions

The start of a new year is often an exciting time and an opportunity for reflection as many of us look back on the year prior and evaluate what worked (and what may not have). However, it can potentially bring an overwhelming feeling of stress about how we can be better moving forward. Changing your lifestyle is about baby steps, so follow these tips to create healthy habits that last.

Recognize your achievements

Upon reflecting on the past year, it can be easy to look down on yourself for fallbacks. But it’s important to remember how far you’ve come already. Perhaps a year ago you didn’t drink as much water or take frequent enough walks. Take note of the achievements you’ve made — no matter how small. Doing so will empower you to take more steps towards your end goal. Remember: change is not possible overnight, so the progress you made in 2021 is important to acknowledge.

Be intentional

As you start setting goals for the new year, think short and long term. There are 365 days for you to get that much closer to the best version of yourself. You may try breaking the year into chunks — perhaps in three-month increments. This will help you see your goals more clearly and make them more attainable.

For example, from January to March, you may strive towards 8 cups of water each day. From April to June, introduce a new exercise routine 3-5 days per week. During the months of July through September, motivate yourself to improve your gut health. Then close out the year by practicing meditation or journaling every day before bed. There are plenty of fun ways to prioritize a healthy lifestyle, so don’t be afraid to get creative with your approach.

Give yourself some grace

There will be days when you don’t eat enough vegetables or skip a workout, but that doesn’t mean you’re not on your way to a better lifestyle. Several things can get in the way of our health journey, including lack of sleep, financial concerns, problems at work, or trouble at home. Occasional slip-ups are part of the process, so when they happen, give yourself some grace. It won’t take long for your consistent practices to become habits. And the healthier you become physically and mentally, the more resilient you are to handle life stressors.


Ready to bring balance and vitality back into your life? Connect with us online or give us a call 901-312-7899.

How to Have a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season

The holidays are a time for joy, love, and laughter. But unfortunately for many, these special occasions can cause a level of anxiety that’s only been heightened by the pandemic. Navigating the mental, financial, and food-related challenges around the holiday season can be tricky. No matter what your holiday looks like, these simple tips will help you through it. 

Stay present and engaged

Set boundaries — COVID-related or otherwise — for holiday parties ahead of time and check in with yourself periodically. This time of year can be chaotic. When you need a break — whether it be from the food, the people, or the shopping — take it. Even better, schedule time for self-care before the stress sets in. Your calendar is likely filling up quickly, so don’t be afraid to step back and recharge, even if that means politely declining party invites. 

Avoid food restriction

While it may seem counterintuitive, try not to restrict anything from your diet this season. Avoid putting foods on your plate because they’re “healthy” or choosing small portions out of guilt. This will likely leave you hungry and unsatisfied — potentially causing you to overindulge on dessert or leftovers later. Stick to a healthy lifestyle and your normal routine 80% of the time, and allow yourself to enjoy the other 20%. If you do end up overeating, take a walk and drink a glass of water to reset. Balance is key. 

Choose gratitude

When the holiday season gets hectic, it can be easy to forget about the simple pleasures life has to offer: family; friends; plenty of food; a place to call home. This feels particularly true when we’re running around the mall shopping for gifts. Setting aside time to focus on what you’re grateful for will help remind you what this time of year is truly about. 

Let go of expectations

This may be the first time you’re reuniting with distant family or friends after a holiday in lockdown last year. This may also still be a time of financial stress due to the pandemic. While a sense of “normalcy” may be a bit ambitious, allow yourself to celebrate the best way you can given the unique circumstances


Ready to bring balance and vitality back into your life? Connect with us online or give us a call 901-312-7899.