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7 Fitness Habits That Are Destroying Your Body After 30

Avoid these common mistakes as you approach middle age.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Maintaining an active lifestyle is essential for good health, but when it comes to fitness, it's easy to get caught up in bad habits that can do more harm than good—especially as you get older. That's why we chatted with Rose McNulty, CPT, NASM-certified personal trainer and nutrition coach with Garage Gym Reviews, to compile a list of seven fitness habits that could destroy your body after 30. By avoiding these habits and incorporating alternative exercises into your routine, you'll skyrocket your chances of staying healthy and active well into your 30s, 40s, and beyond.

From overworking ourselves to neglecting proper warm-ups, many of us make several common mistakes when it comes to fitness. Here, we'll take a closer look at each habit, explain its potential risks, and provide practical tips for avoiding them. So read on to discover which fitness habits to avoid and the steps you can take to stay healthy, strong, and fit as you age. And after, be sure to check out the 7 Fitness Habits That Are Destroying Your Body Before You Reach 40.

You're pushing your body to the limit and over-working it.

man tired after workout, overtraining concept

Pushing your body too hard without adequate rest can lead to overtraining, which can cause injuries, fatigue, decreased motivation, digestive issues, burnout, and more, says the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). That's why finding a balance between challenging your body and giving it time to recover is essential.

"No matter your age, overtraining is a progress killer that can even lead to injuries," says McNulty. "If you don't build rest days and de-load periods into your training plan, you may feel overly tired or stop seeing progress despite working out just as hard—these can be signs of overtraining."

You're performing excessive high-impact workouts.

fit individuals sprinting in the rain

High-impact workouts can be tough on your joints, Rothman Orthopaedics explains—especially if you do them excessively. Instead, mix up your routine with low-impact activities like yoga, swimming, or cycling to reduce the strain on your body over time.

"High-impact activities like running and plyometrics tax your joints over time. Therefore, you want to make sure you get adequate rest between these types of workouts, pay close attention to form, and switch up your workouts frequently to make sure you don't overdo it with any one muscle group," advises McNulty.

RELATED: 7 Strength Training Habits That Are Destroying Your Body by 40

You're doing the same thing all the time.

fit woman rowing at gym, demonstrating alternatives to running

It's no secret that repeating the same exercises or workout routine day in and day out can lead to muscle imbalances and boredom. Instead, vary your workouts by trying new activities or switching up your routine every few weeks.

"Make a point to switch up your workouts at least every few weeks," McNulty recommends. "This goes for those with a penchant for endurance cardio like running or rowing, which can lead to overuse injuries if you do those repetitive motions day in and day out for long periods."

You're ignoring nutrition.

fitness nutrition concept

"You can't outwork a terrible diet. And whether your goal is visible abs or overall health, there's no denying that a bad diet, in the long run, has negative repercussions over time, including a higher risk of metabolic disorders and a host of other health conditions that could otherwise be avoided in many cases," says McNulty.

No matter how hard you work out, you must fuel your body with the proper nutrients, like protein and carbs, to see your desired results. That's why eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats is critical.

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

You're not warming up or cooling down.

jogging sneakers close-up

Research shows that skipping a proper warm-up or cool-down can increase injury risk and prolong recovery time. Therefore, spend a few minutes before and after your workout stretching and doing light cardio to prepare your body for exercise and help support recovery.

"Warming up and cooling down help gradually raise and lower your heart rate, which is a plus for your cardiovascular system. A well-planned warm-up also helps get the blood flowing to the specific muscles you'll be working, which may help mitigate soreness and lower your risk of getting injured," says McNulty.

You're not prioritizing sleep.

solid night's sleep concept

"Sleep is always a crucial part of overall health, and building good sleep habits in your 30s will help ensure you recover properly from your workouts and daily life," says McNulty. "Focusing on sleep during this time can also help curb the risk of sleep disorders in the long run and promote healthy aging."

By now, we've all heard ad nauseam about how essential sleep is for recovery and overall health. Without adequate sleep, your body won't have the energy it needs to perform at its best, and you may be more prone to injuries and illnesses, according to the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute.

You're not stretching.

close-up man stretching on boardwalk after workout

The last of these bad fitness habits that destroy your body after 30 is not taking the time to stretch. While the NASM states that stretching can help improve flexibility and mobility, it's an often overlooked aspect of a healthy fitness routine. Spend a few minutes after your workout stretching major muscle groups to reduce muscle soreness and prevent injuries, or include regular stretching sessions in your fitness routine.

"Stretching promotes flexibility and blood flow and can help reduce your risk of injury during workouts," explains McNulty. "Plus, it's excellent for building a better range of motion. However, ensure you don't stretch cold muscles. This means you should be warmed up before deep stretching to avoid injury."

Adam Meyer
Adam is a health writer, certified holistic nutritionist, and 100% plant-based athlete. Read more about Adam
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