Elizabeth Halfpapp: The “Gold Standard” for Fitness, Health & Wellness!
For women over 50, getting fit isn’t just a good idea – it’s critical. Elisabeth Halfpapp, founder of the renowned exhale spas and studios and the Core Fusion fitness program, is living proof that there are significant rewards that result from combining a fitness program with a wellness philosophy for a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
With a string of successful upscale spas, studios and an A-list of clients, Halfpapp remains warm, accessible, and completely committed to sharing and teaching her method. The success of Core Fusion is most likely due in part to it’s amazing walking, talking advertising program. Elisabeth Halfpapp is – hold for this one…52!
Halfpapp shared with us how her program can promote health and fitness for baby boomer women – or anyone – looking for the right exercise regime.. Browse our interview, and be sure to check out our review on her dvd: 10 Reasons To Choose Core Fusion!
Q. Many prominent and beautiful women swear by “Core Fusion”! How is it different from other exercise programs?
A. We combine strengthening, stretching, and cardio in one hour to create long, lean functional anti aging muscular tone through safe and effective exercises that are based on alignment and positioning. First we focus on position, then alignment, and then how many repetitions you can do. Thus you avoid strain on the joints, ligaments, and tendons, and reshape the body. It is like classical ballet training…you have the classic background, then you have the body balance to engage in your sports or life itself, plus have a dancer’s posture. We also work on spinal/back flexibility….one of Joseph Pilates’ infamous quotes…”supple spine, youthful body“. Also, core fusion has an intensive 275 hour teacher training program based on over 30 years in the fitness industry! It is intelligent exercise because we avoid mindless repetition of movement working from the inside out!
Q. You look absolutely incredible…do you ever find it difficult to be wife, executive, instructor, and still maintain what must be a rigorous physical schedule?
A. Thank you so much for your kind words…Yes, it is a challenge to find balance of all of the above, but maintaining my physical schedule is the most important, because keeping in physical and mental condition enables me to organize my life. My own physical practice is my priority, because then I am better able to be a wife, executive, and instructor. I always think how much better I will feel after class and at 52, you are also maintaining your health! Live by philosophy “move a muscle, change a thought”…..
Q. You and your husband are incredibly successful, and you have an impressive group of students: Heidi Klum, Cameron Diaz, and Julia Roberts, among others, all of whom look incredibly lean and fit! Do you ever pinch yourself?
A. Yes, we both feel blessed every day that we are able to work together and be married for 28 years (I was my husband’s senior prom date!)…but most of all, seeing our guests’ lives change not only physically, but more balanced mentally. So funny, sometimes I have these impressive students call me on their way to an award ceremony in the car, asking “what can I do for my arms before I go on stage”….and it usually comes down to just posture most of the time!
Q. It seems once we hit 50, our bodies begin to change shape almost overnight – much to our dismay! How difficult is it for women over fifty to really sculpt their bodies?
A. Even though our muscle strength declines about 10% every decade of our adult life, continual balanced safe weight bearing exercises can enhance this strength by 10%. Weight bearing meaning using light weights and your own body weight as our core fusion program promotes. We do a lot of leg and gluteal work standing on one leg, thus increasing muscle density on the standing leg. Once the muscles get strong, it is also important to balance them with stretching. As we age, our flexibility declines. Also when you lift too heavy weights, it is easier to get injured, and then you stop exercising. So it is not difficult to sculpt your bodies over fifty, you just need to be consistent with your balanced strengthening program at least 3x/week.
Q. Any tips for women trying the Core Fusion DVD’s at home for the first time?
A. Consistency! Even if you only do 10 minutes a day (our DVDs are broken up in 10 min segments, so you can choose the amount of time that works with your schedule). Also begin with the more basic variations that are mentioned in the sections. Our exercises work on a progression from basic set up cues to advanced variations and you can stop any way on this path. It is important that after your first time, you exercise the second day. Your muscles will be sore and stiff, and you need to get new blood flow into these sore muscles to help break up the lactic acid (this causes the soreness). Plus variety, we have currently 8 DVDs on the market, with a ninth one releasing end of this year.
Q. Your programs promote overall wellness and wellbeing…can you expand on that a bit in terms of how the health of body and mind fit together?
A. My husband, Fred DeVito and I co created Core Fusion exclusively for exhale along with being on the founding team of exhale. So all our Core Fusion, yoga, healing, and spa programs focus on the breath. The breath connects the mind to the body. As a principal life force of the body, the breath is the center of our thoughts, our emotions, and our physical life. Breathing molds our existence and helps to bring wellness and positive change in ourselves. We use the breath to surrender to a spa therapy, find balance in a yoga posture, increase our flexibility, find the strength in a core fusion posture, and to help quiet the mind. The mind needs to be present when you work the body physically to obtain the best results both mentally and physically. We believe in a life style at exhale, thus we have all these programs that merge well together to create an overall wellbeing.
Q. Gotta ask…what’s the best part of your job?
A. Being able to help people see their lives change and become more balanced….spreading health and well being..and yes working with my husband and staying in shape! I hope to be teaching until my 90s!
(Browse our articles and interviews with a number of other amazing, inspiring baby boomer women!)