5 Flat-Belly Exercises To Look Younger & Fitter in Your 40s
Life has a way of taking over as you get up in age. In fact, looking back at photos of yourself in your late 20s and 30s may bring back many recollections of a more carefree, youthful you—with a smaller waistline. A ride down memory lane can be a great dose of motivation, and we have just the next step for you. We learned from an expert five exercises for a flat belly that'll help you look younger and fitter in your 40s. Now how's that for serious inspiration? You've got this! Wind back the clock, and get your belly back into shape.
Getting older and a bigger waistline typically go hand in hand, unless you do something about it. This is especially true with females who go through menopause, and their body fat moves right smack to the abdomen, according to the Mayo Clinic. This extra unwanted belly fat can bring on many health risks, but it can also make you frustrated with how your clothes look and fit. When you enter your 40s, it's essential to be mindful of the number of calories you eat and how many you burn by exercising.
Eat This, Not That! asked Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM, a member of our Medical Expert Board and a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach who has helped develop the Body Program at Ro, how to achieve a flat belly. Dr. Bohl explains, "There isn't any way to target fat loss to one area of the body, so getting a flat belly is about your overall diet and fitness routine, which leads to weight loss from everywhere in the body, including your stomach. That said, there are exercises that can specifically tone the belly that you can include in your routine."
So there you go! These exercises for a flat belly are extraordinary if you want a more youthful appearance in your 40s. Read on to learn more, and next, don't miss 5 Top Strength Training Exercises To Shrink Your 'Apron Belly'.
According to Dr. Bohl, "Any type of cardio is great for burning calories, and this is what's most important when you're trying to lose weight. No matter what your strength-training routine is, make sure you're getting some form of cardio in during the week as well."
Some great cardio exercises include swimming, biking, and running.
Don't forget the basics for a solid workout!
"Sit-ups and crunches are the stereotypical exercises to work out your abdominal muscles. Coupled with weight loss, they can lead to a flat belly or even a six-pack," Dr. Bohl tells us.
To perform a sit-up, lie down on the ground, place both hands at the back of your head, and bend your knees, according to Exercise.com. Position your feet on the ground, setting them apart the distance of your shoulder span. Breathe out, and use your core to bring your body up to a seated position. Remain in this position for a few seconds, and breathe out as you descend to the position you started in.
A great way to switch things up is with bicycle crunches. Dr. Bohl points out, "Bicycle crunches work out your abs like regular crunches, but the extra movement with your legs challenges more muscles and burns more calories."
To perform this exercise, lie flat on the floor with both legs extended, your lower back pushed down into the floor, and your fingers behind your head, Beachbody on Demand instructs. Both elbows should point outward. Use your core to bring your shoulders up while pulling your right knee up to your chest and turning your torso so that your left elbow is close to your right knee. Reverse the motion.
Many people dread planks, but as Dr. Bohl explains, "Planks also work out your abs but there's no motion required—instead, you're working the muscles out by keeping them isometrically contracted."
To perform planks, place both forearms on the ground, and extend your legs, Harvard Health Publishing instructs. Press into your arms to totally straighten out your body. Make sure your gaze remains down as you stay in position.
The mountain climber is a great bodyweight exercise to perform following planks. "While still facing the ground after doing a plank, switch to mountain climbers, which target many muscles throughout the body while burning calories," Dr. Bohl says.
According to PureGym, to properly set up for mountain climbers, be sure your core stays tight. Don't hunch your back, and elongate your spine so that it's tall. You'll begin in a high plank with both hands and feet on the ground. In a speedy fashion, bring your right knee up to your chest before returning that foot to the floor behind you. Do the same movement with your left knee. Keep repeating this motion until you perform all of the prescribed reps.