When trying to perfect your anti-aging fitness plan, have you ever ordered one of those abdominal machines that promise to give you the perfect six-pack you’ve always dreamed of, or ordered fancy equipment to get rid of the fat around your buttocks, hips, or under your arms? Have you ever bought one of the many at-home anti-aging fitness workout DVDs that promise to perfectly tone and sculpt particular problem areas of your body?
Did they work? If the answer is no, there’s a good reason why.
Managing your weight is essential for aging well, but if you’re trying to lose weight by only targeting certain areas, you’re setting yourself up for failure. In order for your anti-aging fitness plan to be successful for weight loss, you need to understand how body fat works.
Your body accumulates fat and stores it in various places. The amounts of body fat you accumulate and the location that it is stored is based upon three principle factors: lifestyle dynamics, genetics, and gender. There are also two kinds of body fat, subcutaneous and visceral—both of these play a hand in the effectiveness of your anti-aging fitness plan.
Subcutaneous body fat is evenly distributed around your body and found just under the skin. Visceral body fat accumulates around your waist and inside your abdominal cavity—it’s the dangerous fat that surrounds your organs and poses a rather serious health risk. What you’re seeing in your midsection is a combination of both subcutaneous and visceral body fat.
Some women find that most of their body fat accumulates on their hips, upper arms, legs, mid-back, and buttocks, while others experience body fat that is more centered on their waist and trunk. This is where the question of spot-treatment in your anti-aging fitness plan comes up. With a spot treatment, your anti-aging fitness plan is only focusing on one or two problem areas where there appears to be more fat.
So, can you use your anti-aging fitness plan to selectively reduce body fat accumulation on your abdomen by doing exercises that are designed to target your stomach? The correct answer is no. If you perform abdominal crunches, regardless of the technique or equipment used, this will only strengthen the abdominal muscles under the stored body fat. In other words, your anti-aging fitness regimen is only doing half the job.
In order to use your anti-aging fitness routine to get rid of stored body fat, there are two things you must do. First, stop the process of body fat storage. You can do this by modifying your anti-aging diet and consuming healthy foods like vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean protein (poultry, fish, eggs, and yogurt), nuts, seeds, avocado, and good fats like extra-virgin olive oil. Also try to limit the consumption of foods like bread, pasta, potatoes, sugar, desserts, takeout foods, frozen entrées, breakfast cereals, fruit juices, and other processed snack foods in your anti-aging fitness diet. These foods will only increase blood sugar levels, which will encourage body fat storage.
The second thing you have to do is create an anti-aging fitness plan that works on burning the stored body fat as a fuel source. Although your body does not selectively do this, you can encourage it by regularly getting active. Your anti-aging fitness routine should include cardio exercises completed at 50%-60% of maximum heart rate, performed at least 30 to 40 minutes per day. An optimal anti-aging fitness plan will combine that with a whole body circuit weight-training regimen for 30 minutes at least three times per week, which will greatly improve the way your body uses its fuel. The anti-aging fitness goal here is to change your body from a fat-storage machine to a fat-burning machine.
The point I’m trying to make here is that trying to do a spot treatment for body fat, or only using anti-aging fitness to focus on getting rid of fat in one particular area of your body, isn’t going to work because you’re not targeting the underlying problem, which is the stored body fat. The best way to really achieve your weight loss goals as you get older and to really see success in your anti-aging fitness plan is to incorporate both fitness and diet to minimize body fat.