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6 Daily Habits That Destroy Your Arms After 40

Avoid these mistakes and build lean, strong, and healthy arms!
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Many people think that once they hit 40, everything changes. Sure, there are some minor differences, but to me, the biggest change is that people can't get away with the same stuff they did when they were younger. Your body doesn't recover as quickly, you lose muscle mass if you don't do anything to maintain it, and the wear and tear of years of misuse finally catch up. (When you hear people say, "I've done XYZ for years and nothing ever happened to me," well, after they turn 40 is when stuff happens.) One common trouble area is your arms. As a matter of fact, there are some daily habits that destroy your arms after 40 that you should definitely be aware of.

There are a ton of things you do on a daily basis that can cause pain, result in injuries, and make your arms not look their absolute best. Considering how crucial your arms are to everyday life—from playing sports and exercising to lifting items and completing yardwork/household chores—they deserve all the TLC you can give them as you grow older. In this article, we'll break down six of the worst daily habits that destroy your arms and what to do instead. Trust us—your arms will seriously thank you!

Keep reading to learn more, and when you're finished, be sure to check out the 5 Fitness Habits That Are Destroying Your Body After 40.

Sitting at a bad desk setup

man typing on laptop at table, desk setup

Sitting at a desk all day is bad enough for your health. But if you spend that time in bad positions, you put a ton of strain on the fragile joints and ligaments in your elbows, wrists, and fingers. Pretty soon, you'll come to work looking like you had a cage fight the previous night.

Always use good ergonomics. Keep your keyboard, monitor, mouse, etc. in good positions, and consider getting some helpful ergonomic gear.

Using your phone too much

middle-aged woman texting

Be honest: What was your screen time last week? A phone isn't super heavy, but when you're holding it in bad positions for hours and overusing the tiny muscles in your wrists and fingers, you're putting a lot of wear on your arms.

Avoid excessive phone usage or, at the very least, spread out your screen time. It's not only good for your arms, but it's also good for your life.

RELATED: 7 Mistakes Men Make at the Gym That Kill Their Progress

Exercising with bad technique

dumbbell shoulder press woman at gym

When training in the gym, bad technique can hurt your elbows, wrists, and more. For example, benching improperly can shift the load from the big muscles in your chest to the smaller muscles in your shoulders, which can cause pain.

But it's not only in the gym: From golf to tennis, the wrong technique can put stress where it doesn't belong. Always use good technique and get coaching if you need it.

Over-using arm machines

woman using arm workout machine at gym

Some people train their arms every time they work out, which is unnecessary and strenuous. Your arms, just like any muscle group, repair and grow while at rest. Also, you work your arms with other exercises (like chin-ups or deadlifts) so there's no need to constantly blast them with isolation movements (like curls and skull crushers). If you're training correctly, isolate your arms once or twice a week.

RELATED: 5 Bad Exercise Habits That Are Destroying Your Leg Strength

Not stretching

middle-aged woman doing Pilates mermaid side stretch

As you age, your muscles gradually lose flexibility. But when you're stuck in one position for hours on end—like at work, in the car, on your phone, etc.—you're only getting tighter, faster. That's why it's important to counteract that.

Not stretching is a major no-no. So stretch your wrists, biceps, and triceps throughout the day. Also, take little breaks to move your body. The best posture is one that's moving.

Consuming too much junk food

fried chicken and french fries

Want to avoid flabby arms? Well, take a look at the rest of your body first. The last of these daily habits that destroy your arms after 40 is eating too much junk food. Ultimately, there's no such thing as "spot reduction." If you want to cut the fat around your arms, you need to cut the fat all over.

The best way to do that is to eat a healthy diet in line with your caloric needs. Avoid overly fatty or processed foods full of artificial ingredients and watch your "bingo wings" (and waistline) reduce.

Anthony J. Yeung
Anthony J. Yeung, 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 the free 5-day course to burn fat and build muscle for the big day! Read more about Anthony
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