Getting fit after 50 requires a bit more effort than it did in your 30s and 40s—especially if you haven’t been active in a while. The reason for this is as you get older, your body begins to change. It’s a time of life when you lose lean muscle mass, and your metabolism slows down as a result. What’s a 50-year-old supposed to do if the weight is simply not coming off? It’s important to know the right plan since there are fitness mistakes at 50 that can prevent you from losing weight.
It’s important to be active during your entire life to maintain your fitness and control your weight, but not everyone has been diligent over the years. Don’t stress, because it’s never too late to start a solid routine—just be sure it’s the right one. Whether you’re already working out or want to start an effective fat-loss routine, beware of the mistakes you may be making that will prevent you from losing fat. Read on to learn more, and next up, don’t miss The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
One of the biggest mistakes people at 50 make is thinking that performing cardio is the best way to lose weight. It’s also a common belief that lower intensity is the way to go since they’re older and they want to take it easy. The truth is, cardio is not the most effective tool for weight loss, and if you are doing cardio, it should be done at higher intensities in order to maximize your calorie burn.
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So many people think they should run miles and diet in order to burn fat. Simply put, if your goal is to drop pounds, you should make strength training the main focus of your training, aiming for at least 2 to 3 sessions per week. By strength training, you can lose approximately 1.4 percent of your body fat. In fact, studies indicate that by strength training properly, you can lose body fat without needing to go on a diet. So start pumping some iron—you will not be disappointed with the results.
Regardless of how hard you work at it, performing strength training isn’t a great segment of your workout if you’re not doing it properly. Many people believe that in order to lose fat, you have to use lighter weights and perform higher reps. Think again, because it’s exactly the opposite.
Since building and maintaining lean muscle is the biggest priority when you want to burn fat, you need to challenge your body to lift heavier weights. If you’re used to training in the 15+ rep range, it’s prime time to bump it down and play in the 6 to 10 zone instead.
Be sure that along with your strength training, you perform mostly compound exercises. Presses, rows, squats, and hinge movements are all great choices to add to your routine.
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Many people who are on their fitness journey enjoy tracking their stats on their smartwatches to see how many calories they’ve burned. It’s great to get data on your training and see where you’re going. Beware, however, that many calorie trackers overestimate the amount you burn.
Additionally, some individuals track their calories burned and have a false idea that they can eat that back. Just because your watch says you burned 300 calories, that doesn’t mean you should have 300 extra calories. Instead of looking at calories burned, focus on improving your workout performance and staying within your calorie deficit.
Tim Liu, CSCS
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more