5 Everyday Habits To Get Rid of Your 'Moobs' After 50, Expert Says
Secret time: Staying in shape the older you get isn't easy. Once you reach 50, it can feel like it requires double the time and four times the effort to maintain a healthy weight as it did in your 20s. That's why many men have belly fat where a flat tummy once effortlessly existed, or man boobs—"moobs" for short—where firm pecs used to make T-shirts bulge. The good news, though, is that despite Father Time's relentless pursuit to wear down your body, you can fight back and build a physique that's fit and healthy, even after 50. To help you get started, we spoke with celebrity fitness trainer and founder of Power Life, Tony Horton, CPT, who dishes out some nuggets of wisdom on the best habits you can implement into your daily life to help you get in shape and get rid of your moobs.
While there's no one-size-fits-all approach to health and fitness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that healthy adults accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity—or any combination of these recommendations — every week. Also, the CDC recommends including a minimum of two days of strength training in your weekly routine. If these recommendations sound like a lot, consider breaking down your exercise into more manageable chunks. For example, do a half-hour cardio session five days a week and 35 to 40 minutes of strength training two days a week. These goals are attainable for most people and will ensure you meet the guidelines for staying healthy and active.
If you're unsure where to begin, here are Horton's top daily habits to help get rid of your moobs and build muscular pecs. Check them out below!
Target your pecs.
If you want to make your moobs disappear forever, it's essential to do strength training exercises that build your chest's pectoral muscles. "Exercises that target the pectoral muscles, especially when done with heavy weights (anywhere from 50 to 75 pounds for men), are effective for sculpting the chest," says Horton, adding, "Combine a variety of moves like incline dumbbell bench presses, close-grip barbell presses, and chest flyes."
Incorporate bodyweight exercises.
A surefire way to transform your moobs into pecs is to include bodyweight exercises in your daily routine. Horton recommends a variation of pushups—including traditional, decline, and plyometric push-ups—to most efficiently target the pectoral muscles. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that performing pushups with varying hand widths and positions resulted in more significant muscle growth than simply doing traditional pushups.
Get your Vitamin B12.
Getting enough specific vitamins can help you sculpt more muscular pecs. One of these is vitamin B12, an essential nutrient touted for its health benefits related to endurance, athletic performance, and energy, according to the National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements.
"After 50, people tend to become more vitamin B12 deficient, which leads to lack of energy, and sometimes even lethargy," Horton explains. "Vitamin B12 can be found in foods like fish, eggs, and grass-fed beef. However, B12 supplementation is the key to ensuring optimal energy levels and your ability to exercise without extreme fatigue."
Consume more protein.
You've likely heard that protein is critical for building muscle, but this macronutrient is also essential to healthy aging. "Increasing your protein intake can also help build muscle and weight loss, as protein helps with satiety and balances blood sugar levels, helping you avoid overeating or making poor food choices," explains Horton.
While the recommended daily protein intake for healthy adults is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, to learn your specific needs, Harvard Health Publishing recommends multiplying how many pounds you weigh by 0.36. An example is a female who is 50 years of age, weighs in at 140 pounds, and doesn't work out, would require 53 grams of protein each day.
Do regular cardio.
While building stronger pecs and staying on top of your nutrition are effective methods to get rid of moobs, doing regular aerobic exercise is fundamental for shedding excess fat and torching calories. "Incorporating cardio into your daily life through high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, [including] running, walking, cycling, or rowing, is effective for calorie burn, which leads to weight loss when combined with proper nutrition," states Horton.