As we age, our body undergoes several changes that can make it difficult for us to maintain a healthy weight. One of the most common issues people face after age 40 is the accumulation of belly fat. Looking to shed belly fat after 40? Check out our article “4 Best Exercises to Lose Belly Fat After 40” for expert tips & advice. Start your fitness journey today!
Belly fat affects our appearance and increases the risk of chronic health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
In this article, I’ll share the best exercises to lose belly fat after 40, the benefits of losing belly fat, the reason behind increased stomach fat, and other effective tips that help you get results faster.
Why Belly Fat Increases After 40
Hormonal changes are one of the main reasons why belly fat increases in older adults. As we age, our body undergoes several hormonal changes that can affect our metabolism.
For example, testosterone levels in men and estrogen in women decrease, leading to a decrease in muscle mass and an increase in fat storage.
Another reason for the increase in belly fat after 40 is a sedentary lifestyle. Many people lead a sedentary lifestyle as they age, resulting in decreased muscle mass and increased belly fat.
A diet high in sugar and unhealthy fats can also contribute to the accumulation of belly fat.
The Best Exercises to Lose Belly Fat After 40
1. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a type of exercise involving short bursts of intense activity followed by rest periods. HIIT is effective in reducing belly fat in people of all ages. HIIT increases your body’s metabolic rate, which increases calorie burning, even after your workout.
Owning a running machine or exercise bike can be an effective strategy to burn calories without leaving the comfort of your home.
Sample HIIT exercises that can help you reduce belly fat after 40 include:
- Mountain climbers
- Jumping jacks
- Squat jumps
- Running on the spot
2. Resistance Training – Best Exercise to Lose Belly Fat
Resistance training involves using weights or resistance bands to build and maintain muscle mass, which is especially important for older adults.
This type of training also is great for reducing belly fat after 40. The reason is that building muscle mass increases the body’s metabolic rate, increasing calorie burning even when you are at rest.
Here’re the best resistance training exercises that can help reduce belly fat after 40:
- Dumbbell lunges
- Bench press
Yoga involves stretching and holding different poses. It can also contribute to burning belly fat after 40. Yoga helps you reduce stress, which prevents the accumulation of belly fat. Yoga can be one of the best exercises to lose belly fat as it engages the core muscles and helps to improve overall body flexibility and strength.
Additionally, many yoga poses engage your core muscles, can help you tone your abdominal muscles, and get six-pack abs.
Sample yoga poses that can help reduce belly fat are:
- Boat pose
- Plank pose
- Downward-facing dog pose
- Warrior pose
- Bridge pose
This type of exercise focuses on strengthening the core muscles, and it’s shown to be effective in reducing abdominal fat in older adults. Pilates exercises engage the deep abdominal muscles (i.e., transversus abdominis, the muscles of the pelvic floor, and the oblique muscles), which help tone your abdominal muscles and get a flat shape in the lower belly.
Pilates is known for being one of the best exercises to lose belly fat, as it focuses on strengthening the core muscles and improving posture.
Here’re Pilates exercises you can do to reduce belly fat after 40:
- Single-leg stretch
- Double-leg stretch
Other Factors That Can Help Reduce Belly Fat After 40
Exercise alone is just one-third of the puzzle of losing fat. You must adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and getting enough sleep to achieve any fitness goal.
1. Balanced diet
A healthy diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is essential for reducing belly fat. You should also minimize the consumption of processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats.
Sleeping is crucial whether you want to lose belly fat or maintain a healthy body. Lack of sleep can disrupt the body’s hormonal balance, accumulating belly fat and stress. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night to allow your body to drive positive results.
3. Stress management
It is also important for reducing belly fat after 40. When stressed, our body releases the hormone cortisol, which can contribute to the accumulation of belly fat and may disrupt your overall health. Incorporating stress-reducing activities like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga can help lower cortisol levels and reduce belly fat.
So, whether your goal is to lose fat or maintain overall health, exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep are the three pillars of success.
Benefits of Losing Belly Fat After 40
Beyond just looking good in your clothes, the benefits of losing belly fat after 40 are numerous. Check out some of the key benefits:
Reduce the risk of heart diseases
Increased belly fat is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, one of the leading causes of death worldwide. By losing belly fat and reducing your waist circumference, you can minimize your risk of heart disease and improve your overall cardiovascular health.
Lower risk of diabetes
Belly fat is also linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Regular exercising and losing belly fat can help to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
Improve confidence and self-esteem
Carrying excess belly fat can negatively impact your self-image and confidence. Losing belly fat and getting fit can enhance your self-esteem and make you feel good about your body.
Increase energy levels
It’s evident that carrying excess belly fat likely to make us feel sluggish and tired. Reducing your body fat percentage can increase your energy levels and improve your overall quality of life.
Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders are more common in people with excess belly fat, especially older adults. By losing belly fat, you can improve your sleep quality and reduce the risk of developing sleep disorders.
Reduce the risk of certain cancers
Belly fat has been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers, such as breast and colon cancer. You can minimize the risk of developing these cancers by losing belly fat.
Improve mobility and flexibility
Generally, our mobility and flexibility become limited as we age, and carrying excess body fat can make things more challenging and increase the risk of injury. Regular exercise can improve mobility and flexibility by reducing body fat levels, making it easier to do everyday activities and more complex exercises.
Bottom Line: Losing belly fat after 40 can significantly impact your health and well-being. It is important to prioritize a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and a balanced diet to reap these benefits.
Reducing belly fat after 40 can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Incorporating the exercises discussed above with a healthy diet and adequate sleep can help you lose belly fat. To sum up, the best exercises to lose belly fat are those that focus on the abdominal muscles and engage the entire body, such as crunches, planks, running, and cycling.
By making these changes, you can reduce belly fat and improve your overall health and well-being.
As I always recommend, consult with your doctor or certified personal trainer before starting a new exercise regimen, especially if you have any medical conditions or concerns.