You're never too old to become physically fit. The aging process can make fitness more challenging, though, because your metabolism slows down and you may lose calorie-burning muscle mass. You can't spot-reduce a pot belly or man boobs, but you can embark on a full-body fitness program that will help you slim your entire frame.
Controlling Your Diet
Diet plays a key role in weight-loss because the more calories you eliminate through diet, the faster you'll be able to lose weight with exercise. Start with the basics: eliminating empty calories such as alcohol and sugary drinks. Then replace high-calorie foods with healthier alternatives such as nuts, fruit, fish and other lean protein sources. If you can cut 500 calories from your diet each day, you'll lose a pound a week without even exercising.
Burning Calories Through Cardio
Cardiovascular exercise is the key to losing weight with exercise. You'll burn calories throughout your body, including along your chest and abs. If you're out of shape, start with easy exercises such as walking and water aerobics. For a more intense calorie-burning workout, try running, jumping on a trampoline or cycling. Aim for 300 minutes of cardio per week for the most weight-loss and health benefits.
Building Lean Muscle Mass
Building muscle can help your stomach and chest look more toned, and muscle burns more calories than fat, so strength-training can help rev up your metabolism. You need strength-training at least two days per week. The American Council on Exercise ranks the barbell bench press, pec deck machine and bent-over cable crossovers as the best chest exercises. ACE also found that exercises such as the bicycle crunch, captains chair, reverse crunch and crunch on an exercise ball were best for sculpting abs.
Issues for Older Men
There's no age limit on exercise, but if you haven't exercised in a while or you have chronic illnesses, talk to your doctor first. Sudden weight gain in older men can also indicate other health problems, such a hypothyroidism or Cushing syndrome. If you have any medical symptoms, log them and notify your doctor before you begin a workout plan.
- MedlinePlus: Weight Gain -- Unintentional
- American Council on Exercise: American Council on Exercise (ACE)-sponsored Study Reveals Best and Worst Abdominal Exercises
- American Council on Exercise: ACE-Sponsored Research: Top 3 Most Effective Chest Exercises
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do You Need?
- American Council on Exercise: Weight Loss -- Diet vs. Exercise