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7 Cardiovascular Habits That Are Destroying Your Body After 50

7 Cardiovascular Habits That Are Destroying Your Body After 50

Cardiovascular training is one of the best things you can do as you get older: It increases your mobility and flexibility, improves your stamina, and helps you sleep better, according to WebMD. Plus, doing some cardio can even prolong your life! But with the good, there is also the bad. Over time, cardiovascular exercise can limit your progress, put unnecessary strain on your joints, and can even make you feel worse. We’ve rounded up some of the worst cardiovascular habits that destroy your body after 50, so read on to learn about them and how to avoid them to thrive in your 50s.

1. You are training with pain or injury.

mature woman suffering from knee pain while doing cardio, on a run

This is a big no-no. While it’s admirable to exercise “no matter what,” always play the long game with fitness. If you have pain or injury, take a step back so you can take two steps forward resting and rehabbing. However, if you get past the problems, you could make them much worse, which could lead to an even longer absence from training and poorer fitness.

RELATED: 5 Exercise Habits That Are Destroying Your Body After 50

2. You’re not adding low-impact cardio.

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Running, for example, is a great cardio workout, but if you only run on pavement, it can be hard on your joints and tendons, especially if you’re untrained and have poor technique.

Instead, it’s much better for your muscles, joints, and overall progress to use a variety of methods to give your body an occasional break while improving your conditioning. Add methods like biking, swimming, walking or rowing to your weekly routine and you’ll notice a difference.

3. You are training too often.

man running outdoors in the snow, healthy vacation habits to lose weight

It’s great to exercise several times a week, but if you push yourself every day, or sometimes twice a day, you’re putting too much stress on your body. As you age, your body recovers more slowly, so you need to manage your training frequency so that your muscles, joints, and ligaments have a chance to recover and rebuild so you can get back to feeling 100%.

RELATED: 9 Exercise Habits That Are Wrecking Your Back After 50

4. Too often you push yourself to exhaustion.

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You shouldn’t push yourself to exhaustion every time you train. Sure, it’s okay to feel fatigued after a long workout, but if you do it every time, you’re putting a lot more stress on your body than it can recover from.

5. You skip warm-ups and cool-downs.

mature runner stretching outdoors

When it comes to cardio, many people skip warming up and go straight to training. The problem, however, is that it won’t prepare your body to handle physical activity, increasing your chance of injury, pain, or just poor overall performance.

Always do a full warm up, especially if you are older. Then, when you’re done training, stretch your muscles to improve your flexibility, which is essential after age 50.

6. You are always using the highest intensity.

High-intensity training—pushing toward the higher end of your heart rate—has its value, but if you always train that way, you’ll miss out on a lot more benefits. Low-intensity, long-duration training does wonders for your cardiovascular health without the strain of pushing yourself to the max.

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However, high-intensity cardio can also be very demanding. Just do it once or twice a week and mix in a lower intensity workout so you can improve your full spectrum of conditioning.

7. You are using bad technique.

Always use proper technique when doing cardio. Whether you’re running or swimming, poor form exercise can cause overuse injuries because you’re putting a great deal of repetitive stress on the wrong muscles and joints.

For example, running is not simply “walking very fast”; requires correct footing, posture, footwear, cadence and more. When in doubt, ask a trainer to oversee his form so he can feel amazing for years to come.

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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