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Effective Weight Loss Exercises for Seniors

6 min read

By Clarissa Vanner

Are you finding it harder to lose weight now compared to your younger years? Know you’re not alone. Many people find it harder to lose weight as they get older and this can be due to several factors such as metabolic changes, or poor lifestyle habits. The good news is that you can lose weight at any age by making a few simple adjustments.

First, we’d like to point out that we should never obsess over weight loss and let it control our lives. That said, shedding a few pounds is sometimes necessary to improve our overall health. Losing weight will require healthy lifestyle choices like eating a well-balanced diet, and getting enough exercise. If you’re ready to shed a few pounds check out these effective weight loss exercises!

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Why Is It Harder to Lose Weight After 50?

The reasons why it’s hard to lose weight after 50 will vary from person to person. For starters, genetics can play a role in how easy or hard it is to lose weight. Our metabolism slows down as we get older too, and there are other factors such as hormone changes, specifically in women going through menopause.

There are a few weight loss tips you’ll want to be mindful of. For starters, your lifestyle habits will play a role in how you lose weight. If you have unhealthy eating habits and are less physically active than you used to be, then you may also find losing weight to be hard. The good news is that it’s not impossible to lose weight in your later years. Eating well and enjoying the right exercises can help you lose weight. Let’s take a look at these exercises next.


Yoga is a great form of exercise for older adults because it’s low-impact and offers plenty of benefits. For starters, it can help increase flexibility, strength, and balance, all of which are important for preventing falls and maintaining your independence.

Further, yoga also forces you to focus on your breathing which helps you relax and may even help reduce stress which in turn, can help you lose weight. It may also help improve your metabolism. Yoga is also known to help strengthen not only your muscles but your bones too. If you’re not sure how to get started, then check out these easy yoga exercises for seniors!

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a graceful form of exercise that has ancient Chinese origins. Mayo Clinic explains, “It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing.” It also has plenty of health benefits.

Regularly practicing tai chi can help you lose weight. But that isn’t the only benefit you’ll gain. Tai chi can also help improve your balance, posture, sleep, and mood. It can also help reduce your risk of falling which is a major concern for many seniors. Check out these benefits of tai chi and how to get started!


Walking is a great form of exercise because it’s free to do and doesn’t require any fancy gym equipment. It’s also a great form of exercise for older adults because it’s low-impact. Better yet, walking every day can help you lose weight.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, a 155-pound person can burn 149 calories when walking at a slow pace for half an hour. That same person can burn up to 167 calories just by increasing that pace from 3.5 mph to 4mph. Of course, the faster and longer you walk the more calories you can burn. Before you get started, check out these tips for a better walking workout!


If you have the endurance and muscle strength, you should also consider jogging instead of or in addition to walking. Jogging can burn more calories than walking, however, it’s not as low-impact. You might want to speak with your medical professional before starting, to make sure it’s safe to do.

Not only can you lose weight from jogging, but studies have found that those who run for at least 30-minutes, three times per week were less likely to experience any age-related physical decline in walking efficiency.

Water Aerobics

If you’re looking for another low-impact exercise that will help you lose weight then you should consider trying water aerobics. The water forces your muscles to work with more resistance but the buoyancy of the water will help provide extra support for your joints and muscles. This allows you to work harder than you would be able to on land.

Water aerobics is a great way to burn calories, burn body fat, and in turn lose weight. In addition to these benefits, you’ll also be increasing your muscle strength, endurance, and flexibility too!

Strength Training

Strength training is a great way to build muscle strength, improve bone health, and lose weight. Lifting weights is also an important part of maintaining your ability to perform daily tasks like carrying groceries, climbing stairs as well as other chores around the house.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you spend two or more days a week focusing on muscle-strengthening activities. Consider targeting major muscle groups like the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.

To get started check out these strength-building exercises! If you’re a beginner or need modifications you may also enjoy this seated strength training workout where our senior fitness expert, Meredith Chen shares a video for you to follow along.

HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)

HIIT workouts, also known as high-intensity interval training, is a workout where you alternate between bursts of intense effort movements with short rest periods or active rests. While these types of workouts can be intimidating for many seniors, know you can do them. Better yet, there are many different variations of doing one.

Seniors can benefit a lot from HIIT workouts. From improving muscle strength to improving memory and cardiovascular health. It also helps you burn more calories and is one of the most effective ways to lose weight. Just make sure you speak to your doctor before starting.

When you’re ready to give it a try check out this beginner HIIT workout for seniors. Meredith Chen, our senior fitness expert shares the ins and outs of this type of workout and also includes a workout video for you to follow along!

Rest and Sleep

Did you know proper rest and sleep is just as important as exercise and eating a well-balanced diet? This is because poor sleep can alter the way your body responds to food. Not getting enough sleep can increase your appetite and may even make it harder for you to resist temptation.

With all of this in mind, make sure you take proper rest days in between exercising and focus on getting a good night’s rest every night. Seniors should try to get about seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you need help, check out these sleeping tips for seniors!

Additional Weight Loss Tips for Seniors

In addition to weight loss exercises and getting proper sleep, there are a few other weight loss tips you’ll want to be mindful of. For starters, try your best to limit empty calories. This includes foods that don’t offer any nutritional value like fried foods, chips, candy, as well as many other processed foods.

It’s also important to stay hydrated. Sometimes when you feel like you’re hungry, you might actually be thirsty! Another thing you can do is outsmart your metabolism. Your metabolism is already slowing down, and if you starve yourself with dieting you’ll just make it slower. Instead, make sure you eat at least every three hours and enjoy smaller meals and more healthy snacks. All of these best practices will help you achieve the weight you desire!

Junior Managing Editor

Clarissa is the Junior Managing Editor of ActiveBeat. She aspires to live a healthy lifestyle by staying active and eating foods that nourish her body, but she isn't afraid to indulge in a little chocolate here and there! Clarissa loves cooking, being outdoors, and spending time with her dog. In her free time, you'll find her relaxing in her hammock or curled up on the couch reading a book.



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