Exercise & weight loss for men over 50

Updated July 19, 2017

The weight loss equation for men over men over 50 is the same for a person of any age or gender. You need to burn more calories than you take in and create a net calorie deficit to lose weight. Your age and state of health may play a part in your choice of activity, but you should not consider any type of exercise or activity as out of bounds.


Remember to start slowly and build up to more intense exercise. For example, if you used to run marathons but have not run in a while, running coach Bruce Fordyce recommends making it easy to begin with. Run on flat, easy routes and keep runs relatively short. If you make your exercise routine too hard at the beginning you will make excuses to avoid working out.


Both cardiovascular exercise and resistance training provide health benefits at any age. Both forms of exercise will help you to lose weight if you are overweight and help you to maintain weight and optimal health if you are not.

According to the American Council on Exercise, after the age of 50 you lose ¼ pound of muscle mass each year if you do not work your muscles against resistance. This can cause you to gain weight because muscle is metabolically active tissue. If you have more muscle mass your body will burn more calories at rest. They also say that building muscle will help you to lose weight because muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue. The activity of weight training itself will also burn calories and help you to lose weight.


Choose activities you enjoy, as this is vital to your success in losing weight. Set a goal to compete in a running or cycle race and your motivation levels will stay high. You will lose weight through training, and the feeling of achievement will make you want to continue. If you are new to weight training or have not lifted in a while you should start slowly. Fitness coach Brian Mackenzie recommends circuit training before weight training. For balance you should include cardiovascular exercise as well, to keep your heart healthy and burn calories.

Expert insight

If you are less inclined towards high-intensity, weight bearing exercise then low-impact activity can help you lose weight. Robin Gargrave, the director of YMCAfit in the UK says on the NHS website that low-impact activity does not put your joints under excess stress. Walk, swim, cycle or use an elliptical trainer to burn calories, elevate your heart rate and get a dose of low-impact exercise.


If you are new to exercise or you have not been active for a while you should remember that it might not be possible to exercise at the intensity you managed when you were in your twenties or thirties. However, there is no reason not to do the sports or exercises you have previously enjoyed.

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About the Author

Graham Wilde began writing in 2009 and writes on a range of subjects, specializing in sports and fitness. Currently, he is a swimming and fitness coach based in Edinburgh, Scotland. He holds a Bachelor of Science in sport and exercise science. Wilde graduated with distinction from Napier University in 2006.