At a certain age, standard fat loss techniques aren’t as effective in fighting stubborn belly flab. The older you get, the harder it is to maintain a trim and tight midsection. But it’s important to whip your stomach into shape, as core strength and stability are vital for performing everyday chores like carrying groceries and using the stairs. Maintaining a flat stomach is also key for avoiding serious diseases. Research indicates that excess stomach fat is linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer and much more.
While there’s no one, magic solution for removing stomach fat, there are some simple lifestyle changes and exercises you can adopt to flatten your stomach, strengthen your core and subsequently lower your risk of disease.
Regular chair exercises provide safe, effective ways to flatten your stomach and strengthen your core. With these seated movements, you can work your midsection from the comfort of your dining room:
- Seated squats: sit up straight in your chair with feet planted firmly, hips distance apart. Stretch your arms out in front of you and lift yourself out of your chair and into a squat. Hold for a few breaths, and repeat.
- Chair planks: push your chair against the wall and stand to face it. Place your palms on the seat of the chair and walk your feet back until your body is in a straight line. Your shoulders should be above your hands. Hold for a few breaths and repeat.
- Knee lifts: sit up straight in your chair with feet planted firmly in front of you. Engage your abdominals and lift one of your knees up about 4 inches. Hold for a few breaths and repeat on both sides.
These exercises use your core and can be done without the chair for greater resistance and strength.
Aerobic exercises like running, dancing, hiking, swimming, biking and walking can help flatten your stomach. These low-impact exercises naturally engage your core muscles to burn excess belly fat and improve your balance. It’s worth mentioning that these types of exercises are fun and easy to integrate into any lifestyle. Grab a friend and go for a long walk, or take your bike out on a nice, sunny day! It takes over 30 minutes to burn glycogen stores and to start burning fat, therefore perform aerobic activity of over 45 minutes for fat burning.
A Healthy Diet
Your body doesn’t break down food the same way it did when you were in your twenties. Your metabolic rate slows down with age, so it’s best to avoid fried, sugary and high-fat foods. Limit your alcohol consumption and steer clear of high-saturated fat meat and dairy products that will likely increase your belly fat. Simple sugars, starch and processed foods raise blood sugar fast. This raises insulin which will store the glucose as fat in your belly. Instead, incorporate fruits, veggies and grains into your diet. Whole grains will improve digestion while proteins will fill you up and prevent you from overloading on calories.
Strength Training Exercises
Strength training with manageable weights will help you build muscle and burn stomach fat. Use 2 to 5 pound weights to perform bicep curls, shoulder presses, squats and lunges. Lighter weights provide just enough tension to activate and discipline your stomach muscles without straining your joints or back.
Kneeling Leg Raises
Start by getting on all fours and make sure your weight is evenly distributed through your hands and knees. Brace your core and extend one of your legs back in a straight line from your hip. Point your toes towards the wall behind you. Breath, hold and gently lower your leg. Repeat on both sides. This balance exercise will subtly activate your core to burn fat and flatten your stomach.
Time to Tighten Your Belt!
The older you get, the more critical your core strength is to carry out basic chores, prevent injury and decrease your risk of various diseases. Excess belly fat can lead to diabetes, heart disease, a greater risk of stroke, sleeping difficulties, cancer and more. Simple daily exercises and dietary modifications can improve the look and feel of your midsection so you can carry out your day-to-day with ease and confidence.
Dr. Lorraine Maita is a recognized and award-winning holistic, functional, and anti-aging physician and author. She transforms people’s lives by getting to the root cause of illness using the best of science and nature. Her approach is personalized, precision medicine where you are treated as the unique individual you are. If you’re ready to start your journey to a healthier, happier life, schedule your visit today!