Getting enough exercise is important at any age, but maintaining a good fitness routine can be especially essential if you want to stay in shape over 40. As Alex Randall, fitness trainer and founder of Revel Sports points out, “Women over 40 often experience a gradual decrease in hormone levels that can lead to weight gain around the belly.” To combat this change, he says incorporating cardio training, strength training, and balance exercises into your daily routine can be a huge help. Not only will the right exercises help maintain and strengthen your abdominal muscles, but in addition, “increasing your daily activity level will help improve your cardiovascular health, which will also help reduce the fat around your waistline.”
To find out some of the best options out there that you can make from the comfort of your own home, we spoke to Randall, along with Hannah Shine, AFA of Hourglass Waist, and Josh Schlottman, CSCS. Read on to learn why they say planks, bungee jumping, and hula hoops are three exercises that should be on your over-40 radar.
As much as many of us are afraid of the plank part of our daily workouts, it is one of the best exercises to flatten your stomach faster. The plank is a basic strength and conditioning exercise
programs across various disciplines,” notes Randall. While he notes that there are a number of abdominal exercises to choose from to strengthen your core and slim your stomach, including sit-ups and leg raises, the good old plank is your go-to. In terms of endurance, however, the act itself is pretty simple: “While there are many variations of the plank, the basic version involves assuming a pushup position, but with your elbows and forearms on the floor instead of your hands. From this position, simply hold your body in a straight line. Once you’ve mastered this, you might want to consider trying a side plank – this will improve core strength and stability. Got it! Although your abs might burn, we know it’s worth it in the end.
2. Jump rope
Jumping rope isn’t just for kids on the playground! As it turns out, this super fun exercise can help you get in touch with your inner child And Slim your whole stomach at the same time. “Jumping rope is actually one of the best exercises for raising your heart rate and burning calories,” Schlottman tells us. To accentuate your technique, he recommends “finding a jump rope of an appropriate length so you don’t end up easily hitting your feet or shins while jumping.” Once you find the perfect rope, it’s pretty simple: “Jump off the ground until your feet are about 1 to 2 inches in the air. Swing the jump rope around you so your feet clean with each revolution around your body.” He also suggests jumping this way for a minute before taking a minute off to rest.
If you find skipping rope difficult, there’s an alternative option, too: You might want to go with a ropeless jump rope, Schlottmann tells us. We didn’t know this was a thing – but now we need our hands ASAP!
3. Hula hopping
On par with jumping rope, hula hooping is another exciting way to stay fit and burn belly fat from the comfort of home—especially when you choose a weighted option. Shine tells us this is a great way to target belly fat. Used in the same way as traditional hula hoops,
These heavier versions require additional energy in order to keep the rings spinning. In just 10 minutes, the core area is activated and with regular repetition, a slimmer belly is achieved,” she says. And you can do it all while watching your favorite TV shows!
This low-impact exercise may be especially beneficial for women over 40, because, as Shane notes, “For women in their 40s, the fear of injury is a real concern.” Little or no stress is applied to your body when hula hooping, so “women who still want aerobic exercise as they age can use dumbbell hoops as a way to keep their stomachs toned and slim.” Nice! Shine recommends exercising with the hoops for just ten minutes a day to see results.
At the end of the day, the right exercise routine for you is one that you enjoy and can keep up with consistently. As Randall concludes, “In the end, the best abdominal exercises are the ones you enjoy and stick with for the long haul.” However, if you’re not sure where to start, these recommendations are all great options!