To Reduce Belly Fat, Avoid These Exercise Habits After 50 – Eat This, Not That

Let’s talk about something incredibly frustrating, but so relatable. One of the hardest fitness goals to achieve when you’re 50+ is losing belly fat. This is because as you age, your body goes through hormonal changes, such as a decrease in testosterone, estrogen, or growth hormone. Not only that, but your metabolism goes down and you lose lean muscle mass if you’re not proactive. Many also become more sedentary as they age, due to fewer obligations or not maintaining healthy habits. If you are in this age group and want to reduce belly fat, we have some helpful tips and tricks for you to start following as soon as possible.

First, it’s important to focus on three key areas: eating a healthy diet while in a calorie deficit, weight training regularly, and aerobic exercise. When you practice these habits consistently, your belly fat will decrease and you will achieve your desired workout goals. But if you’re already eating well, exercising regularly, and not seeing results, you may be making common fitness mistakes.

Worry not, because we are going to discuss these exercise mistakes that people make and exactly how to fix them. Read on to learn more, and then check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong, Tone Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

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While cardio is essential for keeping your heart healthy, improving your aerobic capacity, and burning calories, it shouldn’t be the only form of exercise you focus on. If your goal is to reduce belly fat and get in shape, you need to incorporate and prioritize strength training. Strength exercises help build muscle, elevate your metabolism, and tone you up faster than if you were just doing cardio. This is because strength training increases excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) – this is the afterburn effect of your body requiring more oxygen to get back to baseline. This will prompt your body to burn more calories.

Related: The 4 Most Effective Exercises To Reduce Your Waistline After 60

man running in central park to improve his gut health
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Plus, when it comes to cardio, switch things up! It is important to work regularly in steady state for at least 30 minutes. However, you should also mix up interval work or go for a higher intensity.

If you consistently perform the same cardio exercises at the same duration and intensity, your body adapts to it. This will cause you to burn fewer calories doing the same amount of work over time, and it will make your fat loss journey that much harder. Not only that, but as you get older you lose anaerobic power and performance, so it would be a good idea to sprinkle intervals into your cardio routine.

If you do steady-state cardio 2-3 times a week, replace one of those sessions with a 15-20 minute HIIT workout.

Related: Reduce Belly Fat Faster In Your 40s With These Free Weight Exercises, Trainer Says

man working out with dumbbells at home in a bright room
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If you already do strength training, great! Just make sure you choose the right exercises and the right number of sets/reps.

When it comes to selecting exercises, the majority of your workouts should consist of compound movements. These recruit more muscle fibers and will help you burn even more calories than if you focused on single joint movements such as curls, triceps and lateral raises. Make sure you perform variations of the squat, hinge, presses, and pull-ups in your routine.

There’s also a common myth that lifting heavy weights is great for bulking up, and if you’re trying to lose fat, you need to switch to higher rep work to tone muscles and lean. On the contrary, depending on your exercises, you need a combination of lower and higher rep work. No matter how many reps you do, choose a weight that will be challenging throughout the set.

woman doing crunches at home on yoga mat to reduce belly fat
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Another bad exercise habit to quit ASAP is performing a ton of crunches, sit-ups, and side bends in hopes of reducing belly fat. While you may have a good burn and feel like you’re toning your stomach, doing abdominal exercises alone won’t help you reduce belly fat.

Plus, you don’t have to perform a ton of different abdominal exercises and high reps in every workout. One to 2 abdominal exercises should do the trick.

Ultimately, if you don’t stick to your eating habits and stay active with your cardio and strength training, you won’t lose that excess fat. Focus on your nutrition and your workouts, and belly fat will begin to decrease.

Tim Liu, CSCS

Tim Liu, CSCS, is a Los Angeles-based online fitness and nutrition coach Learn More

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