One of the most common goals that we see with men attending Active Seniors is the desire to shed weight around their midline. This is a great goal as more than 60% of Australian adults are overweight, and the fat surrounding the abdominal area is the most dangerous because it surrounds important internal organs.
It is important when looking at your weight to also measure your waistline.
As we age muscle mass and fat tend to be unequally distributed around the body, so though you may weigh the same overall as you did before a large waistline from fat buildup can be balanced against, for example, reduced upper body muscle mass and result in a higher risk for metabolic disease. When looking at your waist measurement, anything greater than 94cm for men and 80cm for women puts you at an increased risk of this.
What can we do to minimise our waistline?
Well obviously a healthy diet is essential but exercise is also extremely important in trying to combat this decrease in muscle mass and increase in fat.
A recently published study (1) analysed data from more than 10,500 men over the age of 40 over 12 years to see what type of exercise is best for minimisation of waist line gain. They found that those men who were completing a strengthening program alone showed less of an increase in waistline measurement then those solely completing an aerobic program. Of course, the greatest impact was had when completing a combination of both aerobic and strengthening exercises.
So if you want to trim down your waistline, make sure you are including strengthening exercises in your program. Not only does strength training help with a slimmer waist line but also has added benefits of increased strength, better bone health, reduced risk of falls, improved glucose control and of course the ability to get involved in activities that you enjoy!
1. Mekary, R. A., Grøntved, A., Despres, J.-P., De Moura, L. P., Asgarzadeh, M., Willett, W. C., Rimm, E. B., Giovannucci, E. and Hu, F. B. (2014), Weight training, aerobic physical activities, and long-term waist circumference change in men. Obesity. doi: 10.1002/oby.20949