A FITNESS expert has revealed three bad habits at the gym that could actually age you faster.
While consistent exercise is recommended for everyone, you may be making mistakes that are hindering your fitness goals.
Most people should have variety in their training, including strength training and aerobic training.
However, the way you exercise can really affect your results.
For example, working out too often can actually be harmful to your health in the long run, according to fitness and nutrition coach Tim Liu.
“While you want to work hard and push your body to get the most out of weight training, don’t overdo it!” Liu said.
To get the most out of your workouts, you need to be able to fully recover.
“There are only so many muscle fibers and motor units you can recruit in a session, and anything more than that turns into ‘junk,’ which means you accumulate fatigue,” he said.
Not only could you be tired, but working too hard can even make you stressed.
“When you train too much, your body also produces more cortisol, which is something to avoid at all costs,” Liu said.
Cortisol can create more stress which in turn could speed up the aging process.
“If you’re strength training regularly, three to four work sets in most of your exercises should be enough, and you can include a day or two of rest.”
Another piece of advice Liu had for people on a fitness journey is to not overdo HIIT workouts.
“HIIT is a great form of exercise,” Liu said.
“You’ll burn calories at a faster rate compared to regular cardio, in addition to boosting your metabolism and working up a sweat.”
However, similar to Liu’s first tip, he said HIIT can be difficult to fully recover from.
“Just like strength training, you want to manage fatigue and not overdo it,” he said.
He said to limit HIIT workouts to just two days a week.
Finally, Liu said people should prioritize zone two training in their routine.
This is basically a low-impact cardio session that can include running, swimming, cycling or rowing.
“Engaging in aerobic work is important for improving your metabolic health, longevity, mitochondrial function and resting heart rate,” Liu said.
“When you’re not incorporating zone two training into your routine, you’re missing out on these key health benefits and can accelerate the aging process.
“Be sure to incorporate two to three sessions of zone two training into your routine, aiming for 30 to 45 minutes in each session.”