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bear sit upsIf you’re a woman over 50, you’ve probably realized it’s hard to maintain a flat stomach. Whether you affectionately refer to your paunch as the middle-aged spread, a flat-tire or a cuter version of your husband’s beer gut, it’s hard to deny that keeping a trim waist is next to impossible after a certain age. The hormonal changes in your body during menopause do more than just cause hot flashes, headaches, irritability and low libido- the fluctuations can actually move stored fat to your stomach instead of your thighs and hips.

For many, losing belly fat is more than just a cosmetic concern. Belly fat can be linked to diabetes, heart disease, and can even add fat to bone marrow and reduce bone mineral density.  Basically, flatter stomachs usually equate to a healthier lifestyle and better overall health. The following are a few exercises that can help you not only maintain a trimmer figure, but positively affect your overall happiness and well-being.

Lifting Weights & Resistance Training

A few hours of weight lifting a week can help build muscle elsewhere in your body and keep your waist trim. Some women worry about bulking up and looking like a bodybuilder but, the truth is, not even female bodybuilders can achieve the same amount of muscle mass as men can. For lifting, be sure to perfect your form before moving onto a heavier weight. Most trainers recommend starting with three sets of eight repetitions, alternating lower body and upper body workouts to avoid soreness and fatigue.

Yoga

For women worried about high-impact exercises, yoga may be the answer. While most assume yoga is a mental exercise that does very little for the body, power yoga does in fact promote weight loss while mentally relaxing you and relieving stress. For beginners, three one-and-a-half hour sessions of power yoga a week is a great place to start. To avoid monotony, alternate the days in which you practice yoga and, once comfortable with the basics, be sure to add new poses to your routine.

Cardio

While lifting weights and power yoga can build muscle strength, a cardio workout increases stamina and burns extra fat, including that pesky layer around your midsection. Walking, jogging, cycling and swimming are all great cardio workouts – as long as you do they long enough to elevate your heart rate.  A good workout should leave you breathing deeply, but not out of breath. If cardio is your chosen form of exercise, the sky is the limit. Be as creative as you’d like: power-walking through a mall or playing with your grandkids can be fun and productive ways of elevating your heart rate.

Before starting any exercise routine, be sure to talk to your doctor about your overall health. Your physician can give you the best recommendations on workout programs that are suitable for your fitness level and weight loss goals.

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Best Exercises for Menopausal Belly Fat was last modified: by