Are you dealing with a large waistline that just doesn’t seem to budget? Aside from being pretty frustrated that your favorite outfit doesn’t fit like it used to, carrying around extra belly fat can become a major health issue as you age. So we chatted with Dr. Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM, the Director of Medical Content & Education at Ro and a certified personal trainer, who reveals the best-kept exercise secrets for a smaller waist at 50.
According to Dr. Bohl, “[Your] main focus should be on exercises that both burn calories while also strengthening the muscles and the bones. These include aerobic exercise and resistance training.” Needless to say, don’t get rid of that outfit yet! Gear up for these expert-backed tips that’ll help you seriously slim down that waistline.
Let’s get started by understanding what causes the waistline to expand as you age. Dr. Bohl tells us that as you get older, your muscles weaken and fat begins to accumulate in your belly. You can even lose height in your spine at this stage, which condenses the abdomen, thereby increasing the inches around your waist. So if it’s been difficult to achieve a trim waistline at 50, you’ll now understand why.
Now it’s time to learn how you can be proactive in fixing this weight loss struggle. Dr. Bohl explains, “One important kind of exercise to do is resistance training, like weightlifting. Resistance training burns a large [number] of calories, which can help keep fat off of the body.”
Most people are under the misconception you lose fat in the one particular area you’re targeting. However, if you spend time performing arm workouts, for example, you’re not going to lose fat in just your arms. Resistance training on any body part will result in overall fat loss. The good news is, you can perform the weightlifting exercises you enjoy most to help keep your belly in check.
Related: Every Thick Waistline Needs This Visceral Fat Reducer at 60, Trainer Says
The next best-kept secret for a smaller waist at 50 is to perform core exercises, which will maintain and build muscle strength in your abdomen, along with keeping your belly from expanding. Some examples of effective core exercises include mountain climbers, side planks, Russian twists, hollow holds, BOSU ball planks, and working out on a rowing machine.
Of course, core exercises should be done in conjunction with your strength training routine. It’s a great opportunity to switch things up throughout your week!
Related: The #1 Lower Belly Fat Workout To Do With a Resistance Band
Posture training is extremely beneficial to make your belly appear smaller. according to prevention, a major function of your abdomen is to hold your body up straight. Having poor posture can actually make these muscles inactive, which makes your belly look bigger.
Dr. Bohl tells us, “Sitting up straight and keeping the shoulders back expands the chest and abdomen area, creating more space for the internal organs.”
Last but not least, another secret serves a dual purpose. By performing low-impact aerobic training, you can burn calories and maintain bone mineral density at the same time, Dr. Bohl said. In doing so, you will protect your spine from losing height as you get older.
Need some inspiration for low-impact aerobic exercises? Activities such as jogging, walking, swimming, and stationary cycling are all solid choices.
Whenever you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to stick to a calorie deficit, as the diet part of the equation is key to your success. Dr. Bohl suggests, “A good idea would be to follow a diet that provides other benefits in addition to a calorie deficit, so you’re helping prevent other diseases as well. One example would be to follow a heart-healthy diet like the Mediterranean diet . Heart-healthy diets are heavy in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats (like olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados), and lean proteins while avoiding overly processed foods and excess sodium.”
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa