At age 40, although their metabolism is slowing down, most women remain upbeat about looking good and maintaining their fitness levels. But they often find that post 40, fat that would normally have gone to their hips or thighs has traveled to their middle. Staying fit after 40 can be easier than you think.
Beating that middle-age pile is tough, but not impossible as long as you put in the required diet and exercise. Here’s how:
Up your protein intake
Making positive changes to your diet can help you get rid of belly fat. Eat smaller meals throughout the day to stave off hunger and increase your metabolism. Try and eat before sundown. Most of your meals should be made up of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean meats. Increase your protein consumption, it will help your body burn more belly fat as you age. If you’re tempted to snack, sip on lemon water or herbal tea instead of solids. One cup of green tea a day is also a great way to burn fat.
Lengthening or boosting the intensity of cardio will help burn more calories per sweat session. Aerobic exercises like kickboxing, rowing, running and cycling will help you lose the outer layer of fat. Spend at least 45 minutes to an hour per day participating in one of these activities. Interval walking, easy and appropriate for all fitness levels, is another great cardio workout. Change the pace of your walk every two to four minutes, increasing your speed for a few minutes and then dropping back to a more moderate pace for a few minutes. Repeat that series for 30 minutes.
Work with weights
Since slowing down of metabolism is an issue for people over 40, lifting weights at least twice a week for 20 minutes each time or performing exercises using your own body weight will help trim your waist-line.
Target your abs
To tone your stomach, you will have to spend time working the muscles in the area so target your abs. Do double leg lifts to target your lower abs; boat pose in yoga and bicycle crunches for your obliques.
Double leg lifts
Lie face up, abs engaged. Place hands under the bottom of your spine. Lift head and extend legs over hips. Lower legs to the floor for 3 counts, lift up for 1. Repeat.
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Boat pose (yoga)
Sit on the floor with your legs straight ahead. Press your hands on the floor a little behind your hips, fingers pointing toward the feet, and lift yourself through the top of the sternum, leaning back slightly. Continue to lengthen the front of your torso between the pubis and top sternum without rounding your back.
Bend your knees, then lift your feet off the floor, so that the thighs are angled about 45-50 degrees relative to the floor. Lengthen your tailbone into the floor and lift your pubis toward your navel. If possible, slowly straighten your knees, raising the tips of your toes slightly above the level of your eyes. If you can’t, remain with your knees bent.
Stretch your arms alongside the legs, parallel to each other and the floor. Spread the shoulder blades across your back and reach strongly out through the fingers. If you can’t, keep your hands on the floor or hold on to the backs of your thighs. Try to keep the lower belly relatively flat.
Stay in the pose for 10-20 seconds. Release the legs with an exhalation and sit upright on an inhalation.
Lie flat on the floor with your hands beside your head. Now lift your shoulders into the crunch position. Bring your knees up, perpendicular to the floor. Your lower legs should remain parallel to the floor. Now slowly begin pedalling your legs, kicking forward with the right leg and bringing in the knee of the left leg. Simultaneously, bring your right elbow close to your left knee by crunching to the side, while breathing out. As you breathe in, go back to your original position. Repeat on the other side (left leg forward, right knee in, left side crunch). Continue alternating until all of the recommended repetitions for each side have been completed. Note – Be careful not to strain your neck.
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