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"Unhealthy" Exercise Habits That Can Actually Shorten Your Life, Expert Says

Ditch these counterproductive habits—your life may depend on it.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

There are likely many habits you incorporate into your routine with the intent of increasing your longevity. Of course, as much as you can hope and wish for it, there is no magical fountain of youth kind of drink you can casually sip with your breakfast on a daily basis. But there are little tweaks you can make in your diet, improvements you can make in your wellness routine, positive mantras you can adapt, and unhealthy exercise habits you should absolutely avoid in order to increase your chances of living longer.

According to StudyFinds, a study in Japan reveals working out too much each day won't naturally promote longevity—it can actually cut your life short. Yes, you read that right! It's important to re-assess and learn what you're doing wrong. It all starts with a few simple things: eating a diet that's high in lean protein, vegetables, and fruit; strength training; minimizing daily stress; getting your cardio on.

When it comes to improving your daily activity, you should strength train at least two to three times a week while focusing on improving your performance each week. This means lifting heavier weights, performing more reps, or both. Now, let's talk about your cardio workouts. It's just as effective to perform them either after your strength sessions or on a separate day altogether. The most important thing is that you get them done regularly, because they're an essential part of your workout schedule.

Consistency is key when it comes down to staying fit. There are, however, a few training habits you don't want to have. It's quite easy to start doing things along the way that are actually counterproductive. So much so, that they may even shorten your life or decrease the quality of life that you live.

Below are three unhealthy exercise habits that are pretty common, and you may not even be aware that you're doing them. It's always a great idea to take a solid look at your fitness routine and see if you're doing any of the following things. Read on to learn more about these unhealthy exercise habits, and next up, check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

1

Ignoring Zone 2 cardio training

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Although strength training and performing HIIT-style cardio is fantastic for building muscle and burning fat, many fitness enthusiasts make the mistake of neglecting steady-state cardio, particularly Zone 2 training. Why is it a blunder? Well, by training in Zone 2, you can build an aerobic base, enhance your mitochondrial function and resting heart rate, and also lower your blood pressure.

Add some steady-state cardio to your weekly rotation immediately, specifically Zone 2 training. You can easily get into the routine—simply start with two cardio sessions for 30 to 45 minutes.

Related: Shrink Belly Fat Faster In Your 40s With These Free Weight Exercises, Trainer Says

2

Skipping recovery days

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If you're constantly redlining it in your workouts and trying to destroy yourself with each training session, you're truly doing more harm than good to your body. Many individuals go down this path, but it's a quick route to overtraining. In doing so, you can beat up your nervous system and your joints.

That brings me to this next point. If you feel as though you're not making any progress lately with your workouts, it's possible the reason is you're increasing the intensity and/or the volume by too much and under-recovering. You have to schedule a balance. What you really need to do is gradually build up your intensity and volume, and plan a day or two where you just focus on stretching/mobility or a lighter session to give your body a break.

Related: To Shrink Belly Fat, Avoid These Exercise Habits After 50

3

Performing an excessive amount of endurance work

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The next bad habit to address fortunately does not apply to many people, but it's still one that needs to be broken ASAP. Similar to performing excessive strength training, overdoing it with too much cardio can bring more harm than good to your heart.

If you're performing several hours of cardio each day, you're right up there doing the same amount of work as extreme endurance athletes. This, unfortunately, can lead to atrial fibrillation and other issues with your heart. As discussed earlier, assess your threshold without overtraining, and stick to that amount of work in your workout routine.

For more…

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For more mind and body news, check out Get Rid Of Belly Creases Fast With These Toning Exercises, Trainer Says and The 4 Most Effective Exercises To Shrink Your Waistline After 60.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more
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