Six-pack abs may seem like an elusive goal at any age, let alone past 40. While I won’t promise it’s easy, building and maintaining a chiseled midsection is achievable if you make it a priority. Here are my top 3 tips for six-pack abs after 40.

Think six-pack abs are a lost cause after 40? Think again. Follow these tips for a tighter midsection.
Think six-pack abs are a lost cause after 40? Think again. Follow these tips for a tighter midsection.
Photo credit: Unsplash

I remember being a kid and laughing at my dad as his spare tire appeared and grew as he got older.  Maybe I shouldn’t have laughed as hard.  Now I know his pain.   As we age, our bodies change (especially our abs!) but so does how we spend our days.

In school, we walk to class, study, and then walk again.  We play games of pickup frisbee in the quad and just move more in general, hitting that 10,000 step goal with ease.  Then we get the managerial position at the big company. Now we have to drive each day to the office, where it always seems to be someone’s birthday (celebrated with a cake, of course), and we spend most of our day sitting in a swivel chair. 

So what can we do to keep our figure?  Here are my top 3 tips for building and maintaining six-pack abs past 40.

3 Tips for Six-Pack Abs After 40

Six-Pack Abs Tip #1: Fuel is a key factor, but life is short. 

Diet is crucial when it comes to building six-pack abs, but becoming obsessive about it is counterproductive. I give myself six cheats per month.  Cheesecake? You betcha!  Ice cream on a hot summer day? Yeppers!  An ice-cold beer after a hard run? Sure thing… Just not every day.  I find six indulgences per month to be a good balance that allows me to maintain some definition in my abs.

Want six-pack abs? A post-run beer doesn't have to be problematic. Follow these tips.
Want six-pack abs? A post-run beer doesn’t have to be problematic. Follow these tips.
Photo credit: Flickr

Six-Pack Abs Tip #2: Use a yoga ball at work.

Most of us sit at work all day and if we are not sitting, we’re thinking about the next time we’ll be able to. News flash: your six-pack muscles are off-duty when you’re sitting. For many years I used a yoga ball in lieu of a swivel chair.  My brain worked better.  I was more productive at work and my core and abs were engaged.

Six-Pack Abs Tip #3: Man-powered commuting.

Whether by bike, foot, or a combination of the two—this is one of the best ways to keep your six-pack abs past 40. Why do we grow outwards as we age? It’s basic math.  We have greater responsibilities and more demands on our time but the same number of hours in which to get it all done.  It’s certainly not rocket science. 

Running or cycling as transportation saves you money, keeps you healthy, and burns calories so you can begin to see your six-pack. It also gives you part of your day back.  Work doesn’t start until you arrive and it ends the moment you leave.

Tips for six-pack abs after 40: Man-powered commuting.
Tips for six-pack abs after 40: Man-powered commuting.
Photo credit: Unsplash

Bonus Tips for Six-Pack Abs

Don’t bite off more than you can chew! Building and maintaining six-pack abs is a long-term process. Implementing these tips gradually will increase your chances of success.

Think of it like this: if you currently eat a candy bar or drink alcohol every day, cut back to every other day.  Visualizing the six-pack you’re trying to build will help with motivation.

If you have never used a yoga ball before, set a goal of using it for 10 minutes, four times a day.  Maintain an upright posture and feel those abs engaging.

You won’t get very far with these tips if you’re injured, so if you haven’t ridden a bike or run since high school, start with a trip to the doctor or REI for a shoe sizing or bike fit. Then, aim for one or two days a week until it catches on.  

I hope these tips for six-pack abs are helpful. If any of this is new to you, take it slowly at first. Life is short but time is long.