Here is an email that is often received from men and women seeking to lose the "spare tire" or weight around their hips, help reducing their blood pressure, and overall just get healthier. It is a journey that can lead to many enjoyable future years if you can catch up with Mother Nature and Father Time before they catch you! Here are a few questions posed by a gentleman in his early fifties:
Stew - I do appreciate your time and your website it has been a huge help to me personally. I do have a few questions for you.
1) I need to shed belly fat! I am on blood pressure medications and I hate it. I have no restrictions from my docs but I would rather not lift free weights. (Bodyweight at my age (52) I feel is better for me.)
I understand and agree - bodyweight exercises can help tremendously and not temporarily spike blood pressure like weight lifting can. If you like body weight / calisthenics exercises, you came to the right place as I like to focus on physical fitness testing methods and most of them are calisthenics and some form of cardio vascular exercise. Both will help you with weight loss (fat loss) and blood pressure reduction. In fact, I have had many readers say that they were able to able to reduce the dose or completely get off prescription blood pressure medications (with Doctor's approval - of course) after a few months of starting the programs I am recommending to you below:
For some quick results which will help with water retention too, try the 10 Day Water Challenge. This usually works best for those who neglect adequate amounts of daily water intake and you will see noticeable weight loss within a week by simply "adding water".
2) Equipment wise I have the following: Sleds, rings, tires, sledge hammer, ropes, and a huge high school pool. Treadmills!
If your doctor recommends not lifting weights, I would not lift a tire, climb ropes, pull a sled, or even swing a sledgehammer until your blood pressure is really under control without medications, but ask your doctor to see if he agrees. The rings are another issue. I like them in TRX form but I would still avoid any position where your head is lower than your heart while exercising. The rings are gymnasts rings and if you are overweight / not in shape using them can be painful or potentially injurious. Just take a look at the average gymnast - they are usually lightweight, ripped, with a pound for pound muscle strength and endurance that is highly uncommon and requires years of practice to build. The rings CAN BE for beginners or those overweight, but you need to learn a few basic exercises with the rings or TRX that are great options to bodyweight exercises. (See video on TRX page for more info)
3) A suggestion on how to eat to lose body fat. I am up at 5:00 AM and in bed by 9:45PM. Any help you can give me is so very appreciated, My kids are having kids and I want to enjoy them.
You need to eat and drink through the day. Not just when you wake up eat breakfast, lunch, then dinner, but a good addition to your diet requires a snack about every 2-3 hours after a regular meal. This healthy snacking will help you with eating too much at meals and will keep your metabolism higher throughout the day. I would recommend this:
Eat carbohydrates ONLY in the morning (fruits / vegetables) after lunch limit carbs to only a salad - just eat protein rich foods in the PM like lean meat, fish, chicken, and nuts for snacks. Now the hard part - Eliminate sugar -If you can take out sweets, soda, white breads, and other processed foods, you will be amazed at how quickly the weight around the waist and hips recedes. Replace with nuts, fruits, vegetables that contain fiber to help with the insulin response that causes the sugar stored as fat in your torso area. Usually this is the "last stand" in the battle of the bulge as your torso is the last part of the body to lose the weight - so be patient and give this no sugar challenge 1-2 months for optimal results. In a few short days, your cravings for sugar will dissipate and it will not be that difficult to do.
Also check out this link:
Check out my food plan for more idea ideas with plenty of options available
As far as workout - depends on your fitness level - I usually have people start here:
45 Day Plan - If this FREE starter plan is too easy, just add repetitions and increase the sets or cardio time per workout to add to the intensity of this workout plan.
But there are other options like the 15 Day PFT challenge if you are an intermediate level and can handle some running and high repetition calisthenics.
Here are some other ideas for you to add to your daily fitness program
Lower Back Plan - Great for Torso Strength / Flexibility
Enjoy the next few months as they will be transformational if you can stick to the above recommendations. Good luck and let me know how you do or if you have any questions by emailing me at email@example.com.
Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Military.com Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at Military.com. To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.