The battle against your belly fat begins. Not only does belly fat cramp your vibe when you pull out a form-fitting outfit to wear, but too much of it is toxic to your health. According to UT Southwestern Medical Center, extra abdominal fat encompasses your internal organs, putting you at an extremely high risk of developing various health issues like diabetes and heart disease. Excess fat in your waistline can even heighten your risk of suffering from early mortality. To get on the road to success, we’ve done the hard work for you and rounded up nine of the best exercises to lose belly fat after 50. It’s your battle to win, so let’s get started!
According to the Mayo Clinic, three key things can contribute to your weight. They include your age, the number of daily calories you consume, and the number of daily calories you torch through physical activity. An increasing waistline is pretty common as you grow older, as you may adopt more sedentary habits and become less active. By taking action and getting your midsection into shape, though, you’ll not only look better, but your overall well-being will receive a major boost.
The Mayo Clinic recommends sticking to a healthy diet full of plant-based foods, opting for lean protein, ditching foods with saturated fat and added sugars, being mindful of your portion sizes, and making exercise a part of your daily routine. If you’re not sure where to begin with the fitness part of the equation, you’ve certainly come to the right place. Keep reading for nine solid exercises to lose belly fat after 50.
For this first exercise, put a kettlebell just behind you, and position your feet slightly outside shoulder width. Push your hips back, and squat down to pick up the kettlebell. Keep your torso straight and your shoulders parallel to the kettlebell’s handle. Grab the weight, and press yourself back up through your heels. Stand tall, flexing your glutes at the top of the motion. Go through the motion to lower the weight back down. Perform three to four sets of 10 reps.
This next movement will have you sitting down with your chest against the machine’s pad. Grab the handles, and lead with your elbows, pulling the weight toward your hips and squeezing your shoulder blades at the end. Straighten out your arms until you feel a solid stretch in your upper back. Perform three to four sets of 10 reps.
Dumbbell Split Squats begin with you holding a set of dumbbells. Assume a staggered stance, placing one foot in front of you and one foot behind you to set up for the split squat. Keep your chest tall as you slowly lower down. Once your knee touches the floor, press your weight back up through your front heel, flexing your quad and glutes to finish. Perform three to four sets of 10 reps for each leg.
Begin this exercise by holding a set of dumbbells just above your shoulders, next to your face. Maintain a tight core as you hinge your hips back and squat down until your quads are parallel to the floor. Then, drive through your heels and hips to stand back up, flexing your quads and glutes to finish. Complete three sets of 10 reps.
Next up, we have the Dumbbell Shoulder Press. Start by holding two dumbbells up next to your shoulders with your palms facing each other. Keep your core tight and glutes squeezed, and press the dumbbells up toward to sky, flexing your shoulders and triceps at the top. Lower the weights under control before performing another rep. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
Grab the wide grip attachment on a seated row machine, and place your feet firmly on the footpad. Pull the handle out, then straighten your legs fully. Keep your chest tall, and drive your elbows back towards your hips, squeezing your back and lats hard to finish. Straighten your arms fully, and get a good stretch in your shoulder blades before performing another rep. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
Get into the proper position by stepping one leg back and the other one forward. With your chest tall and core tight, lower yourself under control until your back knee touches the ground, getting a nice stretch at the bottom. Push through the heel of the front leg to come back up, flexing your quad and glute to finish. Perform all reps on one side before switching legs. If your body weight alone is too easy, you can do this movement with a pair of dumbbells. Complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps for each leg.
Hop on an air bike at your gym, and grab the handles. You have two choices here: You can aim for 25 to 30 minutes of steady-state cardio at a pace you can maintain. Or, you can perform intervals by sprinting for 10 to 15 seconds, then cruising at a lower intensity for 30 to 40 seconds, repeating for a total of 10 to 15 minutes.
Set your treadmill at the highest incline (usually 15 degrees), and set the speed at 2.5 to 3.0 mph. Walk at this pace up the incline for 15 to 20 minutes, and watch your heart rate go up! If that’s too easy, feel free to bump it up to 3.5 mph.
A version of this story was originally published in April 2022. It has been updated to include even more exercises to lose belly fat after 50.