Want to shift the belly fat? No amount of sit-ups is going to help.
Firstly, there are two different kinds of fat surrounding your belly. The subcutaneous is the fat we can pinch and hangs over the belt or you ‘love handles’.
The second is visceral fat which means “under the skin” fat. Visceral fat sticks to our internal organs and squashes your insides. It carries many health risks including heart disease and stroke. Visceral fat alters the way your body uses metabolic hormones.
Visceral fat also makes the body resistant to insulin allowing blood glucose levels to rise. It can also cause sleep disorders by pushing up your lungs while you sleep – similar to sleeping with a football inside your tummy.
Research shows males with a waistline measuring more than 94cm and females whose waists measure more than 80cm are at increased risk of developing these health complications.
You can assess your risk more accurately with this test:
1. Measure your waist and then your hips (around the largest point)
2. Divide the waist by the hip.
3. If the resulting number is more than one for men or 0.85 for women, then you may have too much tummy fat.
The Mid-Life Problem
An expanding waistline doesn’t have to be the price of getting older.
With age, muscle mass typically diminishes, while fat increases. Between 30 & 60 years of age, we lose about 1kg of muscle but gain about 2kg of weight each year. Working a desk job or sedentary job certainly doesn't help.
Muscle is a highly active tissue and it burns a lot of energy even when while you sit in meetings.
As we age, testosterone predisposes men to accumulate fat around their abdomen. For women, a drop in oestrogen during menopause makes us more prone to deposit fat around the middle.
The Mid-Life Solution
The good news is you can shift the weight (even in mid-life) with two simple strategies:
1. Eat less!
2. Exercise more!
Easier said than done for most of us! Exercise can help preserve lean muscle and increase metabolic rate.
Most experts agree we need:
150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise
at least two strength-training sessions each week
but that can be tricky to achieve with today’s modern demands.
Enlisting a Strategist
In business, if you were facing an issue you would enlist the support of a specialist to develop a targeted strategy.
In mid-life, we can’t just jump into some high intensity workouts. Ease into it and train your body to adapt.
The good news is that building muscle after 40 helps keep strong bones and healthy muscles and revs up your metabolism.
Make a Plan
Developing a plan with a personal trainer can be the trick to success with losing weight and getting fit after 40.
A well rounded action plan will help give you your best chance for success.
Keep it simple. The easier and more tailored to you the better.
Life stresses increase the risk of falling off the bandwagon and losing motivation.
A personal trainer or even training with a friend can help keep you on track.
If you do go off track, get back to your routine and don’t dwell on it.
Aerobics & Strength
A blend of aerobics and strength is the key to weight loss and fitness over 40.
Strength training helps build up and maintain your muscle mass. It is one of the best ways to get your metabolism revved up.
A well-developed fitness program will include strength training three to four times per week. That doesn’t mean you have to be pumping weights in a gym.
Squats and lunges and other body weight exercises can be performed without any special equipment and can be done in the outdoors.
A good program will be adapted to your lifestyle and time constraints.
Food for Life
While you can’t necessarily eat the same amount of food as you did in your 20s, you can still enjoy a delicious diet.
Instead of thinking about cutting out foods or even kilojoules, change your mindset and adapt your diet to include a wider variety of healthy food.
Your personal trainer may be able to help you adapt your diet to help combat cravings for carbohydrates and sugary foods as well as add in food choices that can rev up your metabolism.
Get Expert Help
Check with your doctor before increasing the intensity or nature of your workouts. Once you have clearance, talk to your Urban Fitness Solutions trainer about exercises and dietary changes that might help with your health.
It’s never too late to change your life. At Urban Fitness Solutions we empower you to achieve optimal health, vitality and personal fitness goals. Our qualified personal trainers specialise in creating one on one training programs that provide you with the motivation and support to be the healthiest you can be.