Whether you’ve been a regular at the gym for years or you’re just starting to up the workout ante now, exercising after 40 can help you fight off age-related weight gain and reduce your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The downside: You're more apt to walk away with aches, pains, and even serious injuries than you were when you were in your 20s and 30s.

As you get older, your body just can't bounce back as quickly as it once did, so recovery takes longer. You may also have to contend with the cumulative effects of being very active for many years. Long-time runners, for instance, may find that their knees have endured some serious wear-and-tear. But those new to working out are also at risk, especially if they push too far too fast or don't learn proper form.

“The fact is that exercise-related injuries are more common after age 40, so it’s important to moderate your physical activity—and build up to your optimum workout intensity—if you’re in this demo,” says Liam Champion, a physical therapist. It’s also helpful to understand which injuries are most common, so you can make an extra effort to avoid them. Here, doctors, physical therapists, and personal trainers share the most common exercise-related injuries they see in their patients and clients who are over 40.

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