There are many advantages to being 40 years old. They are likely to be more sedentary, more confident, and endowed with lots of life skills and wisdom. But there’s one frustrating downside to aging: it becomes a lot harder to lose stubborn body fat and get lean.
“As you get older, you lose muscle and gain excess body fat due to changes in your hormones and lack of physical activity,” said Vanessa Johnson, NCPT and director of training for Club Pilates. This is especially true for women during perimenopause (which can start around your 40th year of age) and menopause (which is usually reached around 50 or 51 years of age). The hormonal fluctuations in these phases can make healthy weight management difficult.
Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom. “Exercise, any form of exercise, will help you lose weight provided you stay in a calorie deficit,” says Johnson. “Exercise naturally burns more calories and increases muscle mass, which helps you lose body fat, even in your 40s and beyond, and you don’t have to do highly effective complex activities to get it done,” she adds. Translation: HIIT isn’t necessary to get lean after 40 if it upsets your bones or joints (although it can be an incredibly effective fat blaster).
So what are good exercises to burn stubborn body fat and get lean when you are over 40? Here are some great places to get started, according to expert opinion. And for more information on age-appropriate exercise, read: Underrated Exercises Everyone Over 40 Should Do, Says Trainer.
Swimming is a great option for many people, especially those who are overweight or who are struggling with joint pain. “While it seems so simple, swimming is perfect for rehabilitation, but it can also help you burn tons of calories without over-exerting your body as it targets almost every muscle group – the legs, upper body and core,” says Johnson. Take that stubborn body fat!
The improvement in strength through regular swimming is practically guaranteed. “Besides swimming in the pool, you can try different exercises like jogging on the spot, squats, leg raises and side jumps,” she adds. Are you looking for other exercises to try out? Don’t Miss: The Best Exercises You Can Do After Menopause, Experts Say.
This modality is an incredible way to get lean as it helps you maintain muscle mass while improving your overall physical fitness. “Pilates is best known for its ability to improve posture, which means it’s very effective in building core strength and adding extra muscle to help burn more calories after you exercise,” says Johnson. (This is because muscles usually burn more calories than fat.) In addition, the gentle exercise is perfect for anyone who is 40 and over with joint pain.
Any movements that are great for core work (which are the focus of Pilates) are especially helpful in getting lean, especially in the abdominal area. “Over time, Pilates will increase your muscle mass and continually contribute to your fat loss and emaciation,” she says. So be patient! Do you want more fitness information? Take a look: These are the workouts you should never do alone, experts say.
Every little activity you can add to your day counts for something. Because of this, walking is a great option for those who want to put less stress on their fitness and still get lean.
“Try to make your day about short walks so that your muscles are regularly exercised, “says Jessica Cifelli, MS, CPT, Senior Master Instructor for CycleBar. Make it more intense by carrying weights, including hills or inclines, or short, Perform small intensities Work with body weight throughout the walk, such as a few squats, jumps, or squats.
“As you get older, staying motivated and staying motivated can be difficult. So try to find someone you can walk with, who can hold you accountable, ”adds Cifelli – something that goes with pretty much any workout. Would you like some pointers to help you maximize your walking exercise? Check out: These walking workouts will help you get lean, the trainer says.
This is another great, gentle cardio option for people over 40. “Cycling allows you to adjust intensity levels based on experience and current health,” says Cifelli. You can increase the intensity slightly as you become more fit, have better joints, and have more stamina to burn even more calories.
“The increased exertion of cycling can increase your metabolism throughout the day, an ideal scenario for burning calories even after the activity is over,” says Cifelli. So you burn more naturally for the afterburn afterwards – win-win.
“While yoga isn’t exactly known for its high calorie burning effects, it can be an incredible tool [for getting lean] because of its ability to move your body more, cope better with stress, and lower cortisol levels, “says Zac Armstrong, NASM-CPT and Master Instructor for YogaSix. According to the Mayo Clinic, chronic stress can contribute to unwanted weight gain, and can aid stress management Your efforts to stay slim and healthy.
“It is recommended that you exercise three to five times a week for best results,” recommends Armstrong. “It keeps you active, improves stress and mobility, and because yoga has so little effect, it’s also great for anyone struggling with joint pain.” You can also take a “sculpt” style yoga class with weights to increase calorie consumption. Would you like to learn more about all the benefits of yoga? Check Out: An Incredible Side Effect Of Yoga, Says A New Study.
Weights are good for building bone density, which is important for older women to manage the risk of osteoporosis. Also, weight training of any kind is an essential part of fat loss as it helps build muscle and burn calories.
Grab a dumbbell or kettlebell and do Russian twists, sit-ups, renegade rows (you get an arm boost too!), Or “manmakers”. All of these moves are great for improving core strength, especially for fighting belly fat Don’t Miss Out: Secret Weight Lifting Side Effects You Never Knew About, Science Says.