August 16

13 Best calorie burners for women over 50

14  comments

When I look for topics to blog about, I first review things that happened in my life that week and try to make a connection to something useful I can discuss.  

It’s not always easy.

Here’s why: My life would hardly qualify for America’s Funniest Home Videos, The Amazing Race, The Real Housewives of Whatever, or any other action-packed lifestyle.

It’s more like the excitement level of the science channel, with bow-tie wearing researchers talking about little known, detergent-eating microbes lurking inside your dishwasher.

In reality most of my days consist of going to the gym, working in my home office, then around 3:00 I go to the grocery store, drugstore, pet shop, a combination of the aforementioned — or a hair appointment. 

Asleep yet? I nearly nodded off just writing that sentence.

Here’s what I had to choose from this week to kick off this post:

–A baby salamander made its way into our guest bathroom (it’s not the first time, either). We managed to scoop him up and release him back into the wild unharmed. Then he tried to re-enter the house through my office window, which got a little creepy.

–I had a conversation with a woman at my gym who complained she had to stop running because she “lost too much weight.”

–I’m preparing for two webinars today at 12:00 pm EST and at 7:00 pm EST (by the time you read this), a process I am never quite mentally prepared to tackle, even though I think I am.

By the way, there’s still time to sign up and attend my webinar, 7 Proven Ways to Lose Belly Fat After 50!

While none of these topics scream, “This would make a great subject!,” I had to make a choice.

I’m went with the second option/

Yes, some people lose weight this easily and it’s enough to make the rest of us run outside, shake a fist at the sky and shout, “If I can’t win Lotto at least make me able to lose weight at the drop of a dime!”

This never accomplishes anything except motivate your neighbors to call the police.

Again.

So we move on.

Or, in my case, nod politely as if I had any idea what she was talking about.

Because really, I don’t.

Sure, back when I was in my early teens I could lose weight by merely walking by an aerobics class.

Such is not the case any longer.

Menopause and all the wonderful accoutrements that go along with this event put the kibosh on that situation.

Now, it takes work, focus, consistency, and, sometimes, screaming into pillows before you see the fruits of your labor.

Regardless of what you eat or do for exercise or an activity, here’s the bottom line:

You must take in fewer calories than you’re expending. Period.

Cutting calories is the easiest way. Exercise helps, and it ensures you keep your muscle and lose mostly fat, but the combination is key.

Losing weight by cutting calories on its own can leave you “skinny fat,” a.k.a. thinner but flabby due to muscle loss.

Muscle gives you shape and it burns a lot more calories at rest than fat. In other words, more muscle increases your metabolism.

But choosing an activity that burns the most calories helps speed things along, most certainly.

So here are a few guidelines when deciding on a calorie-burning exercise:

1.Choose one that uses both arms and legs, such as an elliptical with arms. The more muscles you use, the more calories you’ll burn.

  1. Practice intervals once or twice a week alongside longer, endurance type workouts. Intervals consist of going “all out” alternating with “rest” periods of average intensity. This increases the calories you burn AFTER you’re done with your workout through a process called EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption).
  2. Work hard. You can take an aggressive cycling class and barely break a sweat if you keep the gears low and check your phone the whole time. No cheating!

As for the highest burn rates of exercises, whatever you do most consistently will work best for you, but here are the highest… calories based on a 150 lb. woman for 30 minutes (according to the American College of Sports Medicine).

Rowing, moderate effort 251
Aerobics class 233
Yard work (digging, spading, composting) 179
Running 5 mph (12 min/mile) 286
Machine circuit training 215
Tennis, doubles 179
Tennis, singles 286
Backpacking 251
Hiking 215
Walking briskly (4 mph) 170
Walking on a treadmill at 3% incline 205
Swimming laps 251
Elliptical trainer 160

From walking to gardening to swimming laps, it all adds up fast to burn off last night’s dinner!

NOW YOU… What’s YOUR favorite calorie-burning activity? Let me know in the comments section below! And please share and forward this post to all your gorgeous ageless friends! They will love you for it… and so will I ♥.

Other posts you may enjoy:

Best core exercises for women over 50

Best exercise routine for ageless muscles

5 Best stretches for women over 50

Your Ageless Body Coach,


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  1. First of all, I never lost weight easily so I should go to the front of the line at age 53. : ) Second, thanks for the info on what burns the most calories. Also, thanks for the reminder on intervals, or HIIT as usually call it. Good info!

    1. Thanks, DeeDee! Yes, intervals definitely are where it’s at :).

  2. Linda-
    I love your website- and I’ve been in the “Menopause Club” for 12 years now- started at age 39- for no apparent reason- and it’s been downhill since then. I’m having so many different medical issues- ( shoulder impingements, collapsing disc in neck, cartilage blowouts in left knee, severe heel spur right foot)- that I’m running out of ideas on what to do for exercises that won’t leave me in complete agony, or that I can do for more than 2 minutes without having to quit, because of the pain in the various regions. I can’t afford a trainer or a gym, so I’m walking when the foot pain allows- but any ideas on other things I can do to try and lose this %^&$^&*** menopot- as they call it. I’m a receptionist that is tied to the desk, so I can only get up and walk around a couple of times a day, and I love to exercise but with all the different issues going on with the different body parts, I’m at a complete loss. Tried swimming which aggravated the shoulder and neck that I had to quit that, the walking I try to do everyday as much as possible until the railroad spike in my foot goes crazy and left knee blows up on me. Thank goodness for your humor with your posts- (I have the same type of humor)-in the way you have to keep a sense of humor during this time or kill someone- or go to jail because of the frustration of NOT being able to move and lose the weight like you could when you were younger. I’m a poster child for what heels will do your feet and knees if you wear them long enough. Anyway thanks for all your advice- and keeping me laughing- I know we are an exclusive club- for those of us dealing with the Menopausal Monster-( I have other names that I call it that I won’t use on here). But thank you for your REAL advice, for REAL women who are not fitness models that eat REAL food, and have normal jobs and lives-and don’t have a personal trainer named Sergio that is gorgeous and is coming to my house to motivate me to eat healthy and do my workout perfectly. (Sorry I was daydreaming for a moment…) So thank you for all your wonderful real advice and keeping me motivated to not give up-and to try and keep moving!!

    1. lol! Yes, Sergio is busy these days, peeling grapes for clients he’s training on the beach :). It’s not all fun and games, which is why I try to take things lightly. You can only do what you can do! I hope you had a chance to sign up for today’s webinar(s). Even if you can’t make it live, you will receive a replay. I’ll be addressing many of the issues you talk about here. In the meantime, move as much as you can and really pay attention to what you’re eating. The latter makes all the difference in the world. xo

  3. My favorite calorie-burning exercise is bicycling. I’ve been riding with my husband (who is a serious cyclist) 2-3 times/week. I’ve been logging 40-60 miles/week and I’m having so much fun with it!

  4. I enjoy hiking and recreational kayaking on weekends. U fortunately i have a sedentary job and with the days getting shorter it’s harder to get outside.

    1. I’ve always wanted to try kayaking. Sounds like fun when you have time to do it :).

  5. I’m 53, in menopause and overwhelmed by plantar fasciitis and intermittent back pain due to a 30 lb weight gain and some inactivity over the past 2 years. This last spring I couldn’t just sit on the sidelines any longer complaining about why I couldn’t exercise. So I said to myself, just do something! I got my bike out, started with short rides gradually increasing my distance and time. Turns out I could do this! I have been LOVING it! I ride about 4x week, sometimes for 15 minutes, and other times for an hour or more. It doesn’t bother my foot and in fact I’m getting stronger and my foot is feeling better. My back too. IS that a thigh gap I am starting to see???? Now I’m into hill climbing with my bike and I feel FANTASTIC, in spite of the minor aches and pains that come with my age. My weight loss has been minimal. But this article has inspired me. I’m hoping to continue this trend and recover my fit self. Linda, you are my favorite fitness blogger. Truly you are an inspiration. Your candid style really helps us relate. We are not alone. You show us that. Thank you!

    1. Thank you SO much, Carmel! Your comment made my week :). I’m so happy you found something you enjoy and that helped you overcome the pains you’re experiencing. Big hugs to you! xo

  6. I am diabetic weigh 290. (Will be 5i at end of September.I go to gym 2x a week due roughly (depending on pain level in lower back and hip) 30 to 45 minutes on treadmill or recumbent bike. Then on Tuesday light weights for triceps and the like Thursday biceps and the like. And four times a week take dog on “sniff adventure” down along river and or canal for about 3 to 5 miles, again depending on pain levels. And some basic weight lifting at home. Old PTL exercises from car accident.
    I love walking the dog on the trail.

    1. Sounds like you’re pretty active, Donna! Keep it up. 🙂

  7. Hi Linda
    I am a walker, I love to walk. However the weight is just not coming off. And so I might be at the point of getting a little discouraged. I just came across this information today and so I am really seeking some good coaching to assist me in losing at least 30 pounds. However I would really like to lose about 50.

    1. Hi Joanie! I’m glad you found me :). When weight isn’t coming off, it’s more than likely due to dietary issues. Feel free to send me a note at linda@lindamelone.com and I’ll let you know how I may be able to help.

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