Welcome friend! If you are looking for information on exercises for belly fat for seniors you’ve come to the right place. In this article, you will learn the most effective ways to lose excess belly fat.
Too much belly is one of the most common cosmetic problems people want to fix. But the thing with belly fat is that it isn’t just cosmetic. Too much belly fat is associated with many diseases since it’s usually indicative of being overweight.
Having a bit too much on the waist is extremely common, so common in fact that most people these days have some extra on the midsection that could be reduced.
As you get older, your metabolism and activity levels tend to decrease. If you are not careful with your diet it’s very easy to put on some pounds over the years.
It usually doesn’t happen overnight, people tend to gain weight and belly fat very slowly. But all it takes is a pound or two in a year for a decade or two for it to really show and add up.
When people want to get rid of excess belly fat they tend to look for special exercises for reducing fat in that area. The truth is that there are no special exercises for getting rid of belly fat, it’s all about weight loss.
To understand what’s effective for losing excess belly fat let’s start by looking at what belly fat is and why you can’t spot reduce it.
What Is Belly Fat
Let’s start by looking at what exactly is belly fat. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you that belly fat is adipose tissue, aka body fat.
Adipose tissue consists mainly of fat cells that store excess energy in the form of lipids for times of need. The adipose tissue is probably the most important tissue of the body for survival, so it kind of has a too bad of a reputation.
In nature, we were dependant on our fat stores to survive famines, to stay warm during the winter, and to have enough energy for reproduction and taking care of our infants.
As you probably know, that all changed with the industrialization of our society. We suddenly had more to eat than was good for us. Our bodies just do what nature intended when they store fat, it’s the environment we live in that has changed. Our bodies don’t know that famine is an unlikely event for most of us.
So belly fat is adipose tissue that is there to store energy for times of need. But there are two kinds of belly fat to be more specific: Visceral and subcutaneous.
Visceral belly fat is located within the abdominal cavity between your organs. It’s the really bad kind of body fat. Visceral belly fat is hormonally active and it’s associated with metabolic disorders and many diseases. So you really want to get rid of it.
When visualizing visceral fat think of a beer belly or a solid barrel type of abdomen where the muscles and other lean tissue are mainly on the surface but the belly is clearly distended from being overweight.
The other kind of belly fat is subcutaneous belly fat. Subcutaneous literally means under the skin and this is where subcutaneous fat lies, directly under the skin, above muscles. It’s the kind of fat you can grab a roll and jiggle. Think of love handles and a spare tire.
Subcutaneous fat isn’t as dangerous as visceral fat according to current scientific understanding but it also has metabolic effects like all body fat.
So what defines where you carry your belly fat, in or outside the abdominal cavity? Your genetics mostly, but also your exercise and diet habits likely play some role. Also, the amount of body fat you carry plays a big role, no one has just one kind of belly fat after all.
Why You Want To Get Rid Of Belly Fat
So why do people want to get rid of belly fat? Why do you want to get rid of belly fat? Is it actually something you should worry about?
Cosmetic reasons are probably the most common reason people want to get rid of belly fat with health coming as a second. Older people are likelier to be more concerned about health than looks and I hope you are mainly looking to lose the fat for health.
The truth is that most modern cultures appreciate a lean physique with no excess belly fat. But this has definitely not always been the case.
There are plenty of cultures in history that appreciated a nice thick midsection. Body fat was often seen as a sign of wealth, health, and stature that only the rich could afford.
But since in these days of abundance almost anyone can get overweight, being lean is seen as a sign of self-command, industriousness, and to some extent even intelligence.
Almost everyone would choose to be at least relatively lean instead of being significantly overweight if given the choice. I wanted to point out this has more to do with culture than biology for example. There is nothing inherently ugly or wrong about body fat, it’s just the current cultural paradigm that makes us appreciate being lean more.
For health reasons, there is extensive evidence that having too large of waist circumference and being overweight is associated with many metabolic diseases and even reduced life span.
But the key thing with weight loss is moderation. There is no need to starve yourself to be healthy and there is definitely no need to get sixpack abs as a senior. For health reasons, there is likely no benefit from losing more belly fat than a healthy weight and waist circumference for your size requires.
It’s good to keep in mind that there is evidence that suggests seniors can benefit from a little extra body fat and weight since they offer critical resources if you get sick or bedridden.
Now that we understand what belly fat is and why to get rid of it, let’s talk about how to actually reduce it.
Can You Spot Reduce Belly Fat
So how do you get rid of the spare tire? What are the perfect exercises for melting that fat on your waits? The truth is there are non like I said in the beginning.
Anyone who claims to have a perfect exercise or machine for spot reducing your belly fat is either lying to you or made a discovery that goes against the current understanding we have of the human body.
There is extensive evidence that so-called spot reduction is simply not possible. When you gain or lose weight it generally happens all around your body. Exactly where you carry body fat depends a lot on your genetics and hormones.
Most people gain weight on their waist and hips since this is where your body prefers to store it. It’s out of the way close to your center of gravity there offering some cushioning for your intestines and sitting bones.
Doing abdominal exercises like crunches and planks will not affect your belly fat any more than doing any other form of exercise just because they target the muscles around the belly fat. Muscles can not burn significant amounts of fat directly surrounding them, so don’t waste time trying to spot reduce.
Abdominal exercises can help you build muscles mass in your abdominals and tighten up your waist this way but it has nothing to do with losing fat.
So How Do You Get Rid Of Belly Fat?
So you can’t spot reduce belly fat by doing a ton of crunches. So how do you reduce belly fat then? It’s really simple, you just reduce your overall body fat and the belly fat will reduce as well.
I know people want to hear it is possible to magically just reduce on one are but that’s just not how things work unless you want to consider liposuction (which I definitely don’t recommend).
There are important things about fat loss to know. The first thing is that you will always need a caloric deficit for any kind of significant fat loss. You simply can’t lose body fat effectively if you are eating too much.
Exercise only adds a little to your daily caloric consumption that mainly consists of your body basic metabolism and your general activity levels.
This means that diet is the most important component for losing belly fat. A consistent slight calorie deficit is what will help you lose your belly fat.
Exercise plays a lot smaller role, but it has two important functions. Resistance training will help you maintain muscle mass and the second benefit is that the increased caloric expenditure will allow you to eat a bit more and not feel so deprived of your favorite foods.
When you lose weight, you will always lose lean mass alongside body fat. This basically means you will lose muscle, which most seniors can’t really afford to do since muscle mass is very important for your health and ability to function independently.
But fortunately, resistance training and eating enough protein can reduce muscle loss to close to zero, especially if you lose the weight patiently and don’t starve yourself.
Exercises For Belly Fat For Seniors
So do I have any exercises to recommend for belly fat for seniors since you can’t spot reduce? Sure I do! There are two forms of exercise that are just perfect for fat loss. But remember that your weight loss diet is the most important thing in losing belly fat.
Strength training will help you maintain your muscle mass as I mentioned. It will also increase your metabolism and it can offer beneficial hormonal adaptations that can aid a bit in your fat loss process.
The key thing with strength training when losing fat is to not overdo it. When you are in a caloric deficit, i.e. eating too little, your recovery is compromised.
So it’s better to do less than too much. Two to three times a week full-body training with relatively high intensity and low volume is perfect for maintaining muscle mass during weight loss.
You can learn more about strength training here.
Walking is a great form of exercise that offers a ton of benefits for your health. More importantly, you can do it almost indefinitely without over-exerting yourself because walking is a relatively low-stress activity.
While walking doesn’t burn that many calories per hour, it’s very easy to compound this additional expenditure over time. Walking keeps your metabolism up and helps with recovery from harder exercise.
Having a daily walking routine is great for both losing belly fat and preventing from gaining weight. While an hour-long stroll might not seem like much exercise, when you do it every day it adds up big time.
More importantly, many seniors have joint issues or disabilities that prevent harder cardiovascular exercise like jogging, running, cycling, etc. Walking is something most people can do and it doesn’t require any special equipment, just a pair of decent walking shoes.
Our bodies are simply made to walk. Walking has been shown to help with cognitive abilities, stress, and blood pressure. Your body and mind will thank you for daily walks.
Nordic walking is also a great option!
I hope you found this post about exercise for belly fat for seniors useful. If you have any comments or questions you can leave them below and I’ll get back to you.
As a recap: Belly fat can affect your health negatively if there’s too much of it, so losing some can be beneficial. Spot reducing belly fat is not possible, so you simply need to lose weight.
To make weight loss effective, your diet is the most important factor. Exercise will help but the effect is relatively small compared to diet.
That said, strength training is important during weight loss to maintain muscle mass. Strength training and walking are also a great combination for fat loss because one helps you maintain muscle mass and the other helps with recovery and fat loss without adding additional stress to your body.
Thanks for reading and see you next time!
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