As people age, exercise becomes increasingly important for maintaining mobility as well as overall health. However, some forms of exercise may actually be doing more harm than good, especially when it comes to older exercisers.
Here are some bad exercise habits everyone over 60 should quit in order to stay healthy and injury-free.
- Lifting Too Much Weight
If you’ve been working out for many years, you might still be trying to lift the same amount of weight on your favorite machines or free weights as you did when you were in your 20s, 30s or 40s. But aging often affects our strength and muscle mass, so it’s best to adjust accordingly by dropping the weight a little bit.
- Skipping the Warm-Up
At any age, you need to warm up before starting an exercise routine. If you skip the warm-up in your 50s or 60s, you are putting yourself at risk for injury or muscle strain. Even if you only plan on walking around the block, limbering up will get your heart rate going and make your muscles less likely to be strained when you start moving.
- Using Bad Form
Many people ignore form when exercising because they do not realize how important it is for preventing injury. When lifting weights, keep your back straight and do not arch it as you lift weights above your head. When running or jogging, stand straight so that your shoulders are not hunched over and your body can move freely without pain. Bad form can cause serious problems in your neck, shoulder, and back joints as well as in your knees and ankles.
If you do the same workouts day after day without giving your body any time to rest, you’ll likely hit a plateau or worse — develop an injury. Even athletes need to take days off to recover and give their bodies time to build muscle and repair tissue damage caused by intense training. Make sure to take at least two days off per week from training; if you’re new to exercise, start with three days until you build up more endurance