According to WebMD, cardiovascular training is one of the best things you can do as you age—it increases your mobility and flexibility, improves your endurance and helps you sleep better. Plus, doing some cardio may even age you! But with the good comes the bad. Over time, cardio can limit your progress, put unnecessary wear and tear on your joints, and even make you feel worse. We’ve gathered some of the worst cardio habits that destroy your body after 50, so read on to learn about them—and how to avoid them to thrive in your 50s and beyond.
1. You’re training through pain or injuries.
This is a big no-no. While it’s admirable to exercise “no matter what,” always play a long-term sport with fitness. If you have pain or an injury, take one step back so you can take two steps forward by resting and rehabilitating. However, if you let problems escalate, you can make them worse, which can lead to even longer absences from training and poor physical condition.
2. You’re not adding low-impact cardio.
For example, running is good cardio, but if you only run on pavement, it can be hard on your joints and tendons—especially if you’re untrained and have poor technique.
Instead, it’s better for your muscles, joints, and overall progress to use a variety of methods to give your body a rest occasionally while you improve your conditioning. Incorporate methods like biking, swimming, hiking or rowing into your weekly routine and you’ll feel the difference.
3. You’re training too often.
Exercising a few times a week is great, but if you’re exercising every day or sometimes twice a day, you’re putting too much stress on your body. As you age, your body recovers at a slower rate, so you need to manage your training frequency to give your muscles, joints and ligaments a chance to recover and rebuild so you’re back at 100%. Can come
4. You’re often pushing yourself to exhaustion.
You shouldn’t push yourself to exhaustion every time you train. Of course, it’s okay to feel tired after a long workout, but if you do this every time, you’re putting more stress on your body than it can handle.
5. You’re skipping the warm-up and cool-down.
When it comes to cardio, many people skip the warm-up and go straight to training. The problem, however, is that you won’t prepare your body to handle the physical activity, and you’ll increase your chances of injury, soreness, or simply substandard performance.
Always warm-up thoroughly – especially if you’re older. Then, when you’re finished training, stretch your muscles to improve your flexibility, which is important in your 50s and beyond.
6. You’re always using the highest intensity possible.
High-intensity training — pushing toward the highest end of your heart rate — has its value, but you miss out on a lot of benefits if you always train this way. Low-intensity, long-duration training does wonders for your cardiovascular health without any stress.
However, high-intensity cardio can also be very demanding. Do this just once or twice a week, and incorporate low-intensity training so you can improve the full spectrum of your conditioning.
7. You are using bad technique.
Always use the correct technique while doing cardio. Whether you’re running or swimming, exercising with poor form can lead to injury because you’re putting too much stress on the wrong muscles and joints.
For example, running isn’t just “walking really fast”; It requires correct foot-striking, posture, footwear, rhythm and more. When in doubt, ask a coach to monitor your form so you feel great for years to come.
Anthony J Young
Anthony J. Young, CSCS, is a fitness expert featured in Esquire, GQ, and Men’s Health and the founder of Groombuilder, the destination for men who want to transform their bodies for their weddings. Join a free 5-day course to burn fat and build muscle for this special day! Read more about Anthony
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