Exercises to Flatten the Belly for Over 55 Years of Age
Waist measurement is an important indicator of potential health problems. Those with a larger waistline have a greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. People over 55 should minimize their health risks by keeping their stomach trim and not developing a pot belly. This is best achieved through a healthy diet and a combination of cardiovascular exercise like brisk walking and strength training at least twice a week. Spot training alone will not reduce the belly, but there are several exercises that will tone the abdominal muscles and require no equipment.
These are simple low-impact exercises that are a good warm up. Sit upright on a chair with your feet slightly apart. Bend your elbows and bring your hands up and touch the top of your shoulders with your fingertips. Move your arms shoulders and head together to twist to the left as if you are looking over your left shoulder. Tense your stomach muscles as you do this. Once you have turned as far as you can, rotate to the right side and then return to the start. Repeat this five to six times.
Lie down on the floor or exercise mat so that you are on your back. Bend your knees slightly but have your feet flat on the floor. Put your hands beneath your head with the elbows pointing out to the side. Slowly raise your shoulders and upper back using your stomach muscles. Pause for a count of two then slowly lower your shoulders back down. Repeat 10 times.
Lie down on your back on the floor or exercise mat. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows pointing outwards. Bring your legs up to about a 45-degree angle and mimic the motion you would make pedalling a bicycle. Move your elbows diagonally across your body to touch your right elbow to your left knee as it comes forward, then your left elbow to your right knee. Repeat 15 to 20 times, being careful not to pull on your neck.
Lie on the floor or exercise mat on your back with your arms by your side and palms pushing the ground. Bend your knees slightly then pull your legs and hips up so that your knees are above your chest. Move slowly so that the work is done by the abdominal muscles and not by momentum of the legs swinging. Initially this maybe challenging until your fitness increases.
- Centres for Disease Control and Prevention: Healthy Weight – it’s Not a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle
- Fitness-After-50: What's the Big Deal About Abdominal Exercises?
- Shape Fit: Losing Weight - What is The Best Way?
- Centers for Disease Control And Prevention: Growing Stronger - Strength Training for Older Adults
- Fitness: Abs Exercises
- Body Building: A Streamline Waist
- MayoClinic.com: Belly fat in women-Taking, and keeping, it off
- MayoClinic.com: Belly Fat in Men – Why Weight Loss Matters
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity do Older Adults Need:?
- Harvard Health Publications: Abdominal Fat and What to Do About It