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Best Exercises For Seniors To Burn Fat (No Injuries Risk)

Anthony Diaz
Published by Anthony Diaz
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: July 31, 2022

As a personal fitness trainer, I work with people of all ages. And most seniors I work with generally want to make sure that they keep up their strength levels and do enough weight loss exercises to avoid building up too much flabby stuff.

The problem is that older people have very different metabolic rates and their hormone levels change enough to require a different low-impact fitness approach.

To help my readers better understand how to lose weight in their golden years, I got together with a physiotherapist to find the right balance of exercises based on scientific studies.

Quick Summary

  • Achieving weight loss when you’re over 65 requires the right combination of effectiveness and lower physical strain to avoid unnecessary injuries.
  • Building muscle strength is vital for seniors, and these types of strength exercises can also impact your fat reserves.
  • A simple workout routine that includes some chair yoga, pilates, and water activities can make a big difference when you do them the right way.

What Exercise Burns The Most Belly Fat For Seniors?

Old people doing high fives

Aerobic exercises that have a low impact level on bones and joints burn the most belly fat for seniors.

With aerobic exercises, the body is more likely to use up blood sugar and be forced to resort to burning fat for fuel [1].

The important thing to keep in mind here is that older people need to make sure they apply less stress on joints, bones, and muscles.

Even if they don’t have osteoporosis and regularly exercise, natural aging will weaken bones and joints [2].

While quality nutrition can deliver the right micronutrients to counteract such problems, it’s still important that seniors don’t do the same exercises as a 20-year-old.

That being said, there are plenty of different exercises that will burn lots of calories with less stress on the body and still achieve weight loss.

Let me give you some examples.

6 Sample Exercises For Seniors

Different exercises for seniors

These are the best exercises that seniors should focus on to burn more calories and gain higher fitness levels.

1. Yoga

Yoga is one of the ultimate low-impact exercise forms available.

While you might have watched some highly skilled and flexible 25-year-olds get into extreme yoga poses, there are plenty of yoga techniques and poses with great benefits for seniors [3].

For the elderly with joint issues and osteoporosis, there are even chair yoga exercises that further reduce the risk of losing balance and getting injured [4].

It’s a great way to stretch and exercise at the same time, and you’ll be surprised how much of an impact it has on your weight.

My advice here is to get in touch with a local yoga instructor and ask if they have classes and services for seniors.

2. Pilates

An old woman doing pilates pose

This is another low-impact exercise with great flexibility for the elderly to improve their fitness, reduce their weight, and avoid straining muscles, joints, and bones too much.

Pilates also allows you to target the entire body with just a few different exercises, and there are plenty of them that you can do on a mat or chair [5].

By gradually holding different positions for longer, you can also build up muscle strength while lowering your belly fat reserves.

How many calories you burn in each exercise will depend on the intensity, but this is something that you’ll gradually be able to improve.

3. Water Aerobics

The ultimate low-impact weight loss exercises involve getting in the water. You can either go for a swim or do some water aerobics that has a very limited impact on leg joints [6]. You target the entire body by doing squats, jumping jacks, and even standing water push-ups.

Standing water push-ups are also a great way to warm up for a swim, and all you need to do is stand at the shallow end and lean forward against the edge of the pool. Then lower your body down by flexing your elbows and push yourself back up.

“The buoyancy of the water is easy on your joints. That makes water aerobics a good choice if you have joint problems, chronic pain, or are recovering from injury.”

- Tyler Wheeler, MD, WebMD.com.

4. Dancing

Old couple dancing inside their home

Yes, it dancing a huge impact on your weight loss. Now, you might want to do more than shuffle from side to side like an awkward teenager, but you also don’t need to resort to breakdancing.

Try to join some dance classes for the elderly and have that as a regular exercise routine to add to your calendar.

5. Strength Training

You should also consider doing at least some strength training and ideally use the cable machine at the gym to avoid holding free weights and struggling with balance.

A significant issue for people over 60 is that natural aging will also reduce muscle mass [7]. But with some targeted exercises to strengthen muscles, you can counteract some of those issues.

The important thing is that you need to work with a personal trainer to pick the right exercise combination using the right machines. But this can have a big impact on your shape and physique.

Related: Best Exercises For Losing Weight

6. Cardio Machines

I would suggest avoiding the treadmill and instead focusing on ellipticals, rowers, and stationary bikes.

Low-impact cardio is a great tool for weight loss.

And also, these machines don’t cause stress on joints, and you can easily adapt the intensity settings for your exercises as you gain more fitness and mobility.

Are There Certain Exercises To Avoid?

An old person using light dumb bells while sitting

Yes, there are certain exercises that people of 65 or above should avoid.

These are mainly exercises that have a significant impact on joints and bones, even when people aren’t struggling with mobility or bone density issues.

What I would recommend avoiding is things like free weights and plyometrics, which is a form of exercise where you get airborne a lot through jumping [8].

People also do floor exercises for their abs, like flutter kicks.

You can check out flutter kicks on YouTube, but they can put a lot of strain and stress on your lower back and hip joints.

Stick with the best exercises recommended above and avoid doing damage rather than good, and you’ll still experience weight loss.

FAQs

Can You Get A Flat Stomach At 65?

Yes, you can get a flat stomach at 65. It might take some more effort due to generally slower metabolic rates, but sticking with healthy nutrition and a calorie deficit diet, you’ll still be able to flatten your abdomen.

Is It Possible To Lose Fat After 70?

Yes, it is possible to lose fat after 70. You’ll need to burn more calories than you consume and stay physically active every day.

Work On Your Weight No Matter What Age You Are

The above workout routine recommendations should be a great starting point for anyone over 65 to strengthen their body and lose some unwanted weight.

They also reduce the risk of too much strain and injury while still allowing you to gain more aerobic fitness.

And if you want to achieve some added fat-burning effect, then try adding a metabolic booster to your supplements. Check our reviews where we reveal our top picks.

These contain natural ingredients that can trigger a faster metabolism and help you to achieve and maintain your ideal weight.


References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/top-exercises-belly-fat#1
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/004015.htm
  3. https://www.doyou.com/7-yoga-poses-for-seniors-49052/
  4. https://www.seniorlifestyle.com/resources/blog/infographic-top-10-chair-yoga-positions-for-seniors/
  5. https://www.performancehealth.com/articles/8-pilates-exercises-to-help-improve-senior-health
  6. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/a-z/water-aerobics
  7. https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/guide/sarcopenia-with-aging
  8. https://www.self.com/story/a-10-minute-fat-burning-plyometric-workout-you-can-do-at-home

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