5 Exercises That Age You!?! And How To Prevent Them

Here’s a list of exercises that have the potential to age you if done too frequently or with poor form, but most importantly - how to prevent any long term damage.

No matter what your age or physical ability, exercising has plenty of health benefits. Be it reducing your risk of heart disease through weight management or improved mental health, getting the recommended amount of physical activity every day is really important to our long-term health.

That said, you can have too much of a good thing and as my mum always tells me, everything in moderation – exercise is no exception. 

Overexercising, putting lots of emphasis on one type of training, or overtraining can have a lasting negative impact on your body – particularly as you age.

So let’s explore the most common culprits that have the potential to age you if jot done properly or too frequently – and how to help prevent damage. Yeah 

Burpees

Yeah, I know, it’s controversial and if like me you have ever been to a cardio session run by anyone anywhere you have used it as part of a routine. “Burpees can be a great full-body exercise to get the heart rate up in your workout, however, the exercise can give a bit of wear and tear on your knees,” explains Caley Crawford, Director of Education for Row House, a national rowing-based fitness brand. 

“The wear and tear on your knees is typically caused by the downward ‘crouching’ motion before you pop your legs back behind you.” 

How to correct it?

If you lack the mobility to place your hands on the ground during your squat, Crawford recommends an option for a different exercise that spikes your heart rate the same way, such as rowing. If you don’t have access to a rowing machine, jumping jacks or jump squats can also serve as a great alternative.

Excessive Cardio

To build a healthy body, you need to diversify your workout. Now don’t get me wrong cardio workouts have enormous benefits – improved immune system, improved lung capacity, boosted energy, among others. But as marathon runner Rhys Jenkins explains, committing to a cardio-only exercise regimen can end up burning through muscle rather than building it. 

How to correct it?

“I ensure I do 2-3 weight sessions per week in addition to my runs, just to help maintain my muscle mass rather than increase it, as increased muscle would hamper my running efficiency and endurance,” says Jenkins. 

Lifting Excessive Weight

Like above, if your workout routine consists of only heavy lifting without a balance of cardio exercise, it can be detrimental. “Lifting weights that are too heavy strains the body (muscles & nervous system) which can cause injuries,” says fitness expert David McHugh, CEO and Founder of My Mixify.

How to correct it?

“It’s best to strive for variation in your workout routine,” says McHugh. “There’s no need to overwork yourself – exercising is meant to be fun! The best formula is focusing on low-impact workouts, stretching muscles during yoga, and increasing muscle mass with light lift-weighing.”

Heated Studio Workouts

“Everyone and their mother has heard of hot yoga,” says NSCA-certified personal trainer John Fawkes. “The thing is, working out in enclosed, heated conditions like a hot studio tend to exacerbate dehydration and muscle cramping.”

How to correct it?

Easy, opt for a traditional yoga workout two to three times per week to balance your cardio and weights routine. 

Running

“Running, sprinting, and even jogging can have an aging effect if you go too hard,” explains fitness expert Jonathan Frey, CMO of Urban Bikes Direct. “Once your glucose is exhausted, your body will start to burn muscle and other healthy tissue. Over time this can cause your skin to sag.”

How to correct it?

“Runners concerned about overdoing it might want to consider replacing just some of their workouts with bike rides,” says Frey. “Cycling is low impact and targets your glutes and just about all of the major running muscles in your legs.” If biking isn’t your thing, McHugh says you can still go for a run. “Just make sure to alternate between different types of exercises,” he recommends. “Run for 20 minutes on Monday, lift weights for 15 minutes on Wednesday and have regular stretching sessions for maximum health benefits!”

Credit: Danielle Page, Ladders

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