Bella Hadid's Nutritionist Wants You to Stop Working Out So Hard

How Often Should I Be Working Out
Photo: Getty/Gardiner Anderson/Bauer-Griffin

During a recent chat with a group of THE/THIRTY's contributors—all of whom are either fitness professionals, enthusiasts, or both—the conversation took an interesting turn. While discussing how our workout habits have changed, nearly every person noted that they had actually eased the intensity of their routines; rather than hit SoulCycle or Orangetheory several times a week, for example, they opted to go all-out just once a week and reserved the rest for more low-impact workouts like yoga or hiking.

The consensus behind this was that engaging in such consistently hardcore exercise was taking a toll on their bodies and even stressing them out—and by dialing it back, they not only felt better but actually saw better progress in their fitness goals.

It's certainly something to think about in an era where the sheer number of workout options has long since surpassed its saturation point. With such an expansive menu to choose from—not to mention the many ways social media has fueled the wellness craze—it's implied that we should be doing more, more, more. But working out too much is a real possibility—and aside from putting you at risk for burnout or injury, it can also actually hinder your fitness goals.

"The anatomy and physiology of humans is not designed for long-duration, frequent, high-intensity exercise," explains Charles Passler, DC, founder of Pure Change and Victoria's Secret Angel whisperer. (Bella Hadid, Adriana Lima, and Sara Sampaio are all clients.) Passler advises engaging in low-impact exercise instead—that includes walking, yoga, Pilates, rowing, swimming, and any other kind of activity that limits direct force on the body and allows the heart rate to consistently recover.