8 fitness mistakes women over 40 must avoid to increase longevity


As we enter our 40s, prioritizing fitness becomes all the more crucial to maintain our overall well-being and longevity. However, not all of your fitness practices are correct. Some of them may have detrimental effects on your health, particularly after that age. In order to live longer and healthier, it is essential to be aware of these pitfalls and avoid the fitness mistakes.

Fitness mistakes to avoid

Many people may tend to ask, “How can a woman get fit after 40?” While maintaining a basic workout regime is essential, it is also important to know what not to do. Health Shots spoke to yoga expert Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, founder of Akshar Yoga Research and Development Centre, to find out which fitness mistakes can hamper health after 40.

Akshar says, “Many people frequently make common mistakes when it comes to their fitness journey, especially after age 40. These mistakes not only cause you physical harm but reduce the benefits of exercising as well.”

Here are 8 fitness mistakes you should avoid for longevity:

1. Overtraining and ignoring rest

One common mistake is overtraining without giving your body sufficient time to recover. Pushing yourself too hard and neglecting rest days can lead to injuries, chronic fatigue, and compromised immune function. Instead, focus on incorporating rest and recovery into your routine, allowing your body to repair and rebuild.

Overexercising can put you at risk of injuries. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Neglecting strength training

As we age, muscle mass naturally declines, resulting in reduced strength and increased risk of injury. Relying solely on cardiovascular exercises and ignoring strength training can exacerbate this issue. Incorporate resistance training exercises into your routine to build and maintain muscle mass, improve bone density, and support overall joint health.

3. Lack of flexibility and mobility work

With the passage of time and wear and tear, our muscles and joints tend to become stiffer. Moreover, neglecting flexibility and mobility exercises can lead to decreased range of motion, stiffness, and an increased likelihood of muscle imbalances. To avoid it, include activities like yoga, pilates or regular stretching to improve flexibility, enhance joint mobility and prevent injuries related to tight muscles.

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4. Skipping warm-up and cool down

As tempting as it may be to jump straight into your workout, skipping warm-up exercises can increase the risk of injuries. Cold muscles are more prone to strains and sprains. Similarly, neglecting to cool down properly after exercise can lead to muscle soreness and stiffness. So, ease out the stiffness in your muscles and joints if you want to not only enjoy the benefits of a good workout but also protect yourself from any fitness-related injury. Dedicate a few minutes to both warm-ups and cool-downs to prepare your body and aid in recovery.

exercise for weight loss
Never skip the warm-up and cool-down sessions. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

5. High-impact exercises without proper form

Engaging in high-impact exercises such as running or jumping, without paying attention to proper form can put excessive strain on joints, leading to injuries like sprains or strains. It is crucial to learn the correct techniques, use proper footwear, and gradually increase the intensity to prevent unnecessary stress on your body.

Also read: 6 common health issues in women over 40s

6. Ignoring the importance of proper nutrition

Regardless of age, nutrition plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy body. After 40, the body’s metabolism tends to slow down, making it crucial to focus on a well-balanced diet. Avoid crash diets and excessive consumption of processed foods, refined sugars, and saturated fats, as they can contribute to weight gain, inflammation and chronic diseases. Instead, opt for nutrient-dense meals rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. Stay adequately hydrated and consider consulting a nutritionist to tailor your diet to your specific needs.

7. Ignoring the importance of cardiovascular exercise

Cardiovascular exercise is vital for maintaining a healthy heart and lungs, managing weight and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. Failing to include regular aerobic activities like walking, jogging, swimming or cycling in your fitness regimen can affect overall health.

cardio exercise
Cardio workout benefits for your health. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

8. Not listening to your body

As we get older, our bodies may not be as resilient as they once were. Ignoring warning signs and pushing through pain can have serious consequences. It is essential to listen to your body and adjust your workout intensity and routine accordingly. If something doesn’t feel right or causes discomfort, consult a healthcare professional to prevent further injury.


Maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle is crucial, especially after the age of 40. By avoiding these common fitness mistakes and adopting a well-rounded approach to exercise, you can safeguard your health, promote longevity, and enjoy a higher quality of life as you age. Remember, it’s never too late to start prioritizing your health and well-being.


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