You’ve probably picked up some go-to habits in your workout routine over the years — good and bad. Today we’re going to talk about the absolute worst exercise habits that you probably didn’t know are making you age faster. This way, if you recognize any of them in your own regimen, you can get rid of them and fix them as soon as possible.
Regardless of your age, you should get regular exercise and activity. If you want to age gracefully, strength training is essential to build and maintain lean muscle, and cardio will improve heart health and fitness. Living a healthy, active lifestyle will improve your quality of life and extend longevity, but beware of the exercise habits below that can do more harm than good.
Here are three bad habits that make you age faster and what to do about them. Then don’t miss the 6 best exercises for strong and toned arms in 2022, Trainer says.
While you want to work hard and push your body to get the most out of your strength training sessions, don’t go overboard! Be careful not to train with excessive amounts of volume beyond your recovery capacity. There are only so many muscle fibers and motor units you can recruit in one session, and more than that turns into “junk volume,” meaning you’re building up fatigue.
Exercising too much also makes your body produce more cortisol, something you should avoid at all costs. Excessive cortisol = more stress, which makes you age faster. If you do strength training regularly, 3 to 4 work sets in most of your exercises should be enough, and you can include a rest day or two.
Related: The #1 Workout To Lose Your Beer Belly For Good, Trainer Says
HIIT is a great form of exercise. You burn calories faster compared to regular cardio, in addition to boosting your metabolism and sweating.
The downside of HIIT is that it can also be hard to recover from, especially if you’re pulling out all the stops on the other days of the week. As with strength training, you want to control fatigue and not overdo it. Limit HIIT in your routine to twice a week to help your body recover.
Related: These Flawless Exercises Will Shrink Your Visceral Fat Fast, Trainer Says
It’s easy to get into the habit of lifting alone and doing HIIT for exercise. For many people, this can help them build muscle, burn fat and get into great shape. However, Zone 2 training is something that you should not neglect as part of your fitness routine. Working aerobically is important to improve your metabolic health, longevity, mitochondrial function and resting heart rate.
If you don’t include zone 2 training in your routine, you’re missing out on these important health benefits and can speed up your aging process. Be sure to include two to three sessions of zone 2 training in your routine, aiming for 30 to 45 minutes per session.
For more mind-body news, be sure to check out the most effective calf exercises for getting rid of cankles, the trainer says, and great beach workouts that don’t feel like work at all, experts say.
Tim Liu, CSCS
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more