You’ve likely picked up some go-to habits in your workout routine over the years—good and bad. Today, we’re going to address the absolute worst exercise habits you likely didn’t know are aging you faster. This way, if you recognize any of them in your own regimen, you can ditch and fix them ASAP.
No matter your age, you should be getting in regular exercise and activity. If you want to age gracefully, strength training is essential to build and maintain lean muscle, and cardio will improve your heart health and conditioning. Living a healthy, active lifestyle will boost your quality of life and increase longevity, but beware of the below exercise habits that may be doing more harm than good.
Here are three bad habits that are aging you faster and what to do about them. And next up, don’t miss The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
Although you want to work hard and push your body to get the most out of your weight training sessions, don’t go overboard! Make sure you’re not training with excessive amounts of volume past your ability to recover. There are only so many muscle fibers and motor units you can recruit in a single session, and any more than that turns into “junk volume,” which means you’re accumulating fatigue.
When you train too much, your body also produces more cortisol, which is something to avoid at all costs. Excessive cortisol = more stress, which can age you faster. If you’re strength training regularly, 3 to 4 working sets in most of your exercises should suffice, and you can incorporate a rest day or two.
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HIIT is an awesome form of exercise. You’ll be burning calories at a higher rate when compared to regular cardio, in addition to boosting your metabolism and getting a solid sweat in.
The downside to HIIT is it can also be difficult to recover from—especially if you’re going all-out with your workouts on the other days of the week. Just like strength training, you want to manage fatigue, and don’t overdo it. Limit HIIT in your routine to twice a week to allow your body to recover.
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It’s easy to get into the habit of only lifting and doing HIIT for exercise. For many individuals, this can help them build muscle, burn fat, and get into great shape. However, zone 2 training is something you shouldn’t neglect as part of your fitness routine. Getting in aerobic work is important to improve your metabolic health, longevity, mitochondrial function, and resting heart rate.
When you’re not including zone 2 training into your routine, you miss these key health benefits and can speed up your aging process. Be sure to incorporate two to three sessions of zone 2 training into your routine, aiming for 30 to 45 minutes in each session.
For more mind and body news, be sure to check out The Most Effective Calf Exercises To Get Rid of Cankles, Trainer Says and Great Beach Workouts That Don’t Feel Like Work at All, Experts Say.
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.