Old Lady Arms: Can You Get Rid of Them? Yes! Here’s How

Aging toward senior years is never an easy process and becomes particularly frustrating when your appearance starts changing. For example, many seniors develop “old lady arms” as they get older and start to feel much older. What exactly is this problem and can you fix it?

Thankfully, it is very possible to manage this problem and look and feel younger. So, how do you get rid of old lady arms? Through a proper diet and exercise routine, you can tighten your skin and help tone your arms. Let’s take a deep look at this subject to learn more!

What are ‘Old Lady Arms’?

Old lady arms is a rather harsh term for the sagging and flabby skin that many people get as they age. While it is most commonly noticed in older women, it can occur on men as well. It’s a frustrating part of the aging process that is also completely natural. Few people don’t experience sagging skin as they age past their 50s and into their 60s. The problem here lies in your skin’s elasticity.

What is Skin Elasticity?

Skin elasticity refers to your skin’s ability to stretch and bounce back without losing its strength. As we age, we start losing elasticity because chemicals like collagen start to disappear. Collagen helps improve your skin’s elasticity and keeps you safe from wrinkles and sagging skin. Once your body is low on this item, you’ll start to notice sagging skin, particularly around your arms.

Are Old Lady Arms Permanent?

If you’re like most people with sagging skin, you’re probably wondering if there’s a good answer to the question “how do you get rid of old lady arms?” Thankfully, you can get rid of this sagging skin or at least minimize its appearance. Understand that this sagging skin is just a natural part of the aging process, but that by knowing why it occurs and how to reverse it you can minimize its impact.

What Causes Arms to Get Flabby As We Age?

A deep look at the causes of flabby arms can help you better understand what may have happened to cause your sagging skin. Many people with old lady arms experience one or more of these issues in their lives. Some of these problems are only likely to worsen as you age, making it important to understand them properly and to do what you can to reverse or minimize their impact on your skin health.

Collagen Loss

As mentioned previously, collagen loss is the biggest cause of old lady arms. It occurs as we age because our body starts producing less collagen. This problem is also heavily affected by your metabolic rate, which can change heavily as you age.

Understanding your metabolism is important because it can give you an idea of just how much it affects your old lady arms. Thankfully, the exercises and dietary changes suggested in the following section can give you more information on how to approach this process.

Changing Metabolism

Your body’s metabolism is the rate at which it processes and digests foods and uses the calories to fuel your life. As we age, our metabolic rate decreases, which means we burn fewer calories and gain more weight. That weight will stretch your skin and add more body fat to your frame.

That higher body fat will cause your skin to lose much of its firmness and elasticity and can trigger sagging skin that can be very unattractive and hard to eliminate. Unfortunately, extra fat may also cause metabolic changes that can further decrease your skin elasticity, such as a decreased digestive rate.

Losing Weight

While a changing metabolism and weight can cause saggy skin on your arms, losing weight can cause the same problem. If you lose a lot of weight quickly, you’re likely to have sagging skin around your arms, stomach, legs, and throughout the body.

This situation typically requires surgery to manage, though there are some steps you can take to tighten up your body. The exercises and dietary changes suggested below can help you lose weight more slowly while tightening up your skin, minimizing your risk of sagging arm skin.

Sun Damage

While being outside in the sun can be very rewarding and enjoyable, it is also potentially damaging to your skin. UV rays can break down collagen and other chemicals in your skin to cause wrinkles and sagging throughout your body, including your arms.

This means that people who spend time outdoors as they age, such as swimming or gardening, are more likely to get old lady arms than people who stay indoors. A very frustrating tradeoff for those who want to stay healthy by getting outside in the sun and exercising as they get older.

Best Exercises to Tone Your Arms

Now that you understand what causes old lady arms, it is important to know how to get rid of old lady arms effectively. There are two things you’re going to do here: change your exercise routine and your diet. These steps should tone your arms and minimize excessive and flabby skin.

Exercises to Try

The following exercises can help tone your skin and improve your old lady arms. They’re typically easy enough for just about anybody to do. Feel free to adjust them, as needed, to your abilities. We’ll include step-by-step instructions for each exercise to make it easier.

Arm Slide

  1. Kneel on the ground with a mat beneath your knees to avoid straining this joint
  2. Pull your belly button toward your spine to tighten your abs and work your core muscles
  3. Place exercise sliders in each hand and slide them forward to bring your chest toward the ground
  4. Pull your arms back in and keep your core engaged to work your body and your arms

Ball Slams

  1. Hold a medicine ball at chest height while standing with your feet hip-width apart
  2. Lift the ball above your head and push it slightly behind your head
  3. Bend your knees while bringing the ball down back over your head to the ground
  4. Bounce the ball on the ground and catch it before bringing it back up over your head
  5. Repeat these exercise several times until you feel your arm muscles working

Resistance Band Curls

  1. Place a resistance band underneath the arch of your feet
  2. Stand up and pull the band in your hand until you’re in a standing position
  3. Hold your elbows tight against your ribs and closely bring your arms up to your shoulders
  4. Lower your arms back to your sides slowly and repeat this exercise several times

Narrow Push-Up

  1. Get into a plank positions and slowly lower yourself down to the ground
  2. Keep your hips, knees, and shoulders in a straight line as you hold this position
  3. Push yourself back up to the starting position and keep your arms taut as you work

Food That May Help Tighten Your Skin

We’ve written extensively on how to get rid of old lady arms through dietary changes. The following foods may help tighten your skin and eliminate that flabby and unattractive look:

Wild Salmon: Can Rebuild Muscles and Skin

As you age, your muscles and skin deteriorate and can cause old lady arms. Wild salmon and other fish provide high-quality omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, and other nutrients that can help build muscle and tighten your skin. Try to eat no more than one or two servings of wild salmon a week because, like many fish, it has a potential risk of mercury poisoning that can be problematic.

Spinach: Filled With Protein

You’re probably old enough to remember reruns of Popeye on Saturday morning television. That moment when he popped the can of Spinach to fight Bluto was always thrilling, wasn’t it? Well, if you eat spinach, you’ll get high-quality protein, fiber, and other nutrients that can contribute to your muscle and skin health. You probably won’t grow Popeye arms, but you can tighten old lady skin.

Quinoa: A Wonder Grain Seniors Love

Quinoa is a very healthy grain that fits well into many seniors’ diets. It not only tastes really good and provides multiple uses, but provides fantastic protein, amino acids, and other important nutrients that can help with skin health. It can help give you the energy that you need to work out and tone your arms and may also help build muscles to minimize old lady arm energy.

Other Foods to Consider

If you’re still fighting to get rid of old lady arms and need some more dietary help, here are some other foods and meals that may help tighten your arms and help eliminate that sagging skin:

  • Slow-roasted nuts
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Coconut
  • Protein shakes

These items contain a high amount of protein and various other nutrients that can tighten your skin and, when combined with arm-focused exercises, get rid of your flabby arms.


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Stevie Compango, CNSC, CPT

Stevie is Certified Nutrition Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer for the past 10 years. He specializes in mobility and chronic pain management. His methods have helped thousands of clients improve the quality of their life through movement.

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