When you think of the life of a personal trainer, you probably assume they’re exercising constantly, right? Celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels believes, however, that over-working your body can do more harm than good. In fact, that’s why she only works out for two hours total every week — an amount that she says still slows signs of aging.
When it comes to changing the way your body functions as you get older, Michaels says that the secret is striking a balance of eating a healthy diet and exercising at the same time. “If your body is a car and health is akin to when your car is in ‘Drive,’ when we eat right and train, our body is in ‘Drive,’ as it’s actively getting [and] staying healthy,” she said to The Daily Star. And much like it’s easier to keep a car going once it’s already in motion, your body is able to see better and better results — and prevent signs of aging in the long run — if you build on the progress you’ve already made.
Keeping your body healthy and fit doesn’t have to mean spending hours exercising, either. Michaels says she trains for only four 30-minutes sessions each week, which might sound surprising for the celebrity fitness trainer! She believes that quality is more important than quantity and that adding variety to your workouts is important not just for boredom but also for health and injury prevention. Moreover, Michaels doesn’t think you need a fancy gym membership to see results. “From yoga to kickboxing, mat pilates to calisthenics, there literally is nothing you can’t accomplish fitness-wise in the comfort of your living room,” she explained.
Science backs up both of Michaels’ claims for slowing signs of aging: Exercise is critical for keeping our body strong and youthful and that you don’t need to do long, intense workouts every day to see results. Studies show that exercise can decrease blood pressure, manage weight gain, lower blood sugar levels, increase metabolic rate, and more. All of these changes can prevent health issues like heart disease and diabetes in the long run. And on the flip side, a recent 2021 study found that doing too much high-intensity training — or any single form of training — can lead to plateaus and burnout, which is all the more reason to try a few different exercises.
So the next time you’re considering adding endless hardcore cardio to your workout routine, consider taking the Jillian Michaels approach and mixing up what you’re doing. You could see similar results as you get older!
This story originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.