One of the unfortunate truths about getting older, is that our bodies change. Where when we were in our 20’s and 30’s, it seemed like we could eat anything and not gain weight, now – fat seems to appear out of nowhere! And, it seems so much harder to loose weight than it used to be as well. Here’s some ways to can accomplish weight loss after 50.
Take Up Weight Training
One of the main reasons you gain more weight as you get older, your metabolism slows down. Part of the reason for this is that we start to loose muscle as we get older, which drops our resting metabolic rate an average of 1-2% per decade. By the time you’re 50, you have about 20% less muscle than you did when you were 20. And, you may weigh more because you replaced that muscle with fat. One of the best ways to reverse this is weight training. Weight training can help you increase your muscle mass again, which picks up your metabolism. More muscle means you’ll burn fat. And since muscle takes up less room than fat, as that fat burns away, what’s left is a toned, fit body!
Do Cardio That’s Easy On Your Joints
Years of being sedentary, either at home or the office, means that your tendons, ligaments, and muscles themselves aren’t as flexible as they used to be. And, you’re joints may be tired as well, causing aches and pains that make it hard to workout. Avoid injury by starting out your cardio with walking, cycling, or kayaking. As your muscles and joints get used to stress again, you can pick up your cardio into running. A great solution is an exercise bike, rowing machine, or treadmill, as these allow you to work out at home indoors.
Make Sure You Actually “Work” Your Workouts
Getting on a treadmill and going for a slow walk is great if you’re just starting out. But, you can’t “phone in” your workouts. If you’re not breaking a sweat, completing a full range of motion in your exercise – if you’re not pushing yourself, you’re not going to benefit from your workouts. That can get you discouraged over time, when the problem is really a lack of focus on your goals. If you’re not sure the best way to do this, you may want to hire a personal trainer for a few training sessions to help you learn how best to put together an effective workout plan.
Weight Loss Is About Exercise – And Diet!
Getting your diet in check is also important. The simple rule for loosing weight is – if your body requires a certain number of calories per day, and you take in less calories than you burn, your body will make up for that deficit from your stores of body fat. If you also pick up the amount of calories needed through exercise, you’ll burn fat even faster. Replacing carbs (which are fast and easy for your body to digest) with fruits, vegetables, and lean protein (which your body actually burns some calories processing) – not only gives your body the nutrients it needs, it can help making calorie cutting a bit less painful!
Watch Your Stress Levels
In your 50’s, you may be dealing with job stress, kids in college, and facing retirement, along with parents that may need some care as well. All this stress can not only spike your cortisol levels (which causes your body to retain fat), it may also cause emotional eating, which also adds pounds to your frame. Next time you’re stressed, avoid that beer – grab a bottle of water and exercise. Exercise can help you burn off stress (and cortisone), as well as burn fat. And, one of the by-products of exercise when stressed is your body releases endorphins – a feel-good hormone that may actually make you feel better, and put you in a better frame of mind to deal with the stress in your life!