I coach some older clients, and the ones that are 60 and above tell me that as they continue to age, it gets harder and harder to lose body fat. This is because of the hormonal changes associated with aging, which include lower testosterone and growth hormones, as well as the loss of muscle mass, power, and anaerobic endurance.
Due to these bodily changes, you have to do everything you can to build and maintain your lean muscle and improve your conditioning as you age. The best exercises for those over 60 involve strength training and anaerobic activities that elevate your heart rate and can burn tons of calories. The weight training exercises should be movements that involve multiple muscle groups at a time. And the anaerobic cardio exercises should be easy on your joints, but also allow you to perform higher intensity intervals, which can torch calories and lead to weight loss.
With these points in mind, what follows are two strength exercises and two cardio conditioning tools that I recommend adding to your routine in order to lose weight if you’re 60 or older. And for more, check out The Best Workout Supplements to Take After Age 60.
Begin by holding a pair of dumbbells up to your shoulders. Keeping your core tight, push your hips back and squat down until your quads are parallel to the ground. Then, drive through your heels and hips to stand back up, flexing your quads and glutes to finish. Do 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps.
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Stand with a weight (a kettlebell, dumbbell, or even a trap bar works well for this) in front of you on the floor with your feet shoulder-width apart. Push your hips back and squat down low enough to grab the weight—making sure your shoulders are in line with the weight and your torso is straight when you get into position.
Keeping your core tight and shoulders down, pick up the weight by pushing through your heels and hips to stand up tall, squeezing your glutes at the top. Reverse the motion to put the weight back down before performing another rep. Do 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 10 reps.
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Hop on an air bike at your gym (Assault, Echo, Schwin, etc.) and grab the handles. You have two choices here: You can aim for 25-30 minutes of steady-state cardio at a pace you can maintain. Or, you can perform intervals by sprinting for 10-15 seconds, then cruising at a lower intensity for 30-40 seconds, and repeating for a total of 10 to 15 minutes.
Related: 5 Major Secrets to Getting a Lean Body for Good, Experts Say
Hop on a treadmill and set the incline anywhere from 7.5 to 15 degrees. If you’re not as conditioned, go ahead and set the speed to 2.0 to 3.0 mph and walk for 15-20 minutes. If you’ve got more cardio endurance in you, crank it to 3.5 mph or choose an interval setting of your choice, alternating between a fast pace and slower walk. Perform for 15 to 20 minutes total.
And there you have it, two strength training exercises and two cardio conditioning sequences that can help you lose weight over 60.
For more, check out Secret Effects of Lifting Weights Just Once Per Week, Science Says.