Many people think that once you hit 40, everything changes. Sure, there are some small differences, but for me the biggest change is that people can’t get away with the same things they did when they were younger. Your body doesn’t recover as quickly, you lose muscle mass if you do nothing to maintain it, and the wear and tear of years of misuse finally makes up for it. (When you hear people say, “I’ve been doing XYZ for years and nothing ever happened to me,” well, after I turn 40 that’s when something happens.) A common problem area is your arms. In fact, there are some daily habits that destroy your arms after 40 that you should definitely be aware of.
There are a lot of things you do on a daily basis that can cause pain, lead to injury, and make your arms not quite the best. Considering how crucial your arms are in everyday life, from sports and exercise to lifting things and completing yard/household chores, they deserve all the TLC you can give them as you get older. In this article, we’ll break down six of the worst daily habits that destroy your arms and what to do instead. Trust us, your arms will seriously thank you!
Read on for more, and when you’re done, be sure to check out the 5 Fitness Habits That Are Destroying Your Body After 40.
Sitting at a desk all day is already bad for your health. But if you spend that time in bad positions, you put a strain on the fragile joints and ligaments in your elbows, wrists and fingers. Pretty soon, you’ll be coming to work looking like you had a cage fight the night before.
Always use good ergonomics. Keep your keyboard, monitor, mouse, etc. In good locations and consider getting some useful ergonomic gear.
Be honest: What was your screen time last week? A phone isn’t very heavy, but when you hold it in the wrong positions for hours and overuse the tiny muscles in your wrists and fingers, you’re wearing out your arms a lot.
Avoid excessive phone use, or at the very least, spread out your screen time. It’s not only good for your arms, but it’s also good for your waist.
When you’re working out at the gym, bad technique can injure your elbows, wrists, and more. For example, benching improperly can shift the load from the large muscles in the chest to the smaller muscles in the shoulders, which can lead to pain.
But it’s not just in the gym: from golf to tennis, the wrong technique can put stress where it shouldn’t. Always use good technique and get coaching if you need it.
Some people train their arms every time they exercise which is unnecessary and tiring. Your arms, just like any muscle group, repair and grow when you rest. You also train your arms with other exercises (like chin-ups or deadlifts), so you don’t need to constantly blast them with isolation moves (like curls and skull crushes). If you’re exercising properly, isolate your arms once or twice a week.
As we age, muscles gradually lose flexibility. But when you’re stuck in one position for hours on end, like at work, in the car, on the phone, etc., you just get tighter, faster. That is why it is important to counter it.
Not stretching is a big no-no. Then stretch your wrists, biceps and triceps throughout the day. Also, take small breaks to move your body. The best posture is the one in motion.
Want to avoid flabby arms? Well first take a look at the rest of your body. The latest of these daily habits that destroy your arms after 40 is eating too much junk food. Ultimately, there is no “spot reduction”. If you want to trim the fat around your arms, you have to trim the fat all over.
The best way to do this is to eat a healthy diet in line with your calorie needs. Avoid overly fatty or processed foods filled with artificial ingredients and watch your “bingo wings” (and waistline) shrink.
Anthony J. Young
Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, is a fitness expert featured on Esquire, GQ and Mens Health and the founder of GroomBuilder, the destination for men who want to transform their bodies for their weddings. He joins the free 5-day course to burn fat and build muscle for the big day! Read more about Anthony
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