One of the most common healthcare myths is that older people are no longer able to exercise because they up their risk of other, more serious health problems. According to experts, that is one of the biggest lies in the medical world. In fact, regular physical activity, including exercises of medium difficulty like aerobic and muscle-strengthening workouts are highly recommended when you are over 60 years old.
If your doctor gives you the green light, then start exercising as soon as possible as there are many health benefits tied to physical activity even for older people, such as preventing or keeping in check chronic diseases like arthritis, diabetes, or a high blood pressure, and keeping a sharp mind and better memory well into old age. According to experts, it is never too late to change a sedentary lifestyle. In this article, we will debunk six myths about exercise and aging.
1. Exercise will make me more vulnerable to injury!
This is one of the most popular excuses that older people find when it comes to not exercising. The claim is false! In fact, physical activity prevents your body from becoming frail as you age. Accidents can happen, so seniors should take it easy at first and start with some flexibility and balance routines before moving forward to more difficult tasks.
It is worth noting that falling is the number one cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in older people. But exercise can change that by improving your balance, strength, and coordination. Lifting weights is also important because it makes the muscles stronger. If you are still undecided over which gym in your area is the best for you, you can click here for membership info, prices, and reviews of dozens of gyms and health clubs in the U.S. There you can also find some of the hottest gym deals to help you get started.
2. I’m simply too old for physical exercise!
This is yet another excuse to avoid exercise at old age. It is a common misconception that with old age comes a severe loss of strength and physical ability. Of course, in some serious cases, rare conditions such as sarcopenia can leave seniors severely impaired. However, experts note that regularly working out can prevent your body from losing its strength. It would be a good idea to start earlier, especially if you have a sedentary lifestyle. Science has found that the hardest part is to stick to a regular workout program or a diet, but fortunately there are remedies to keep you motivated.
3. Arthritis and joint pain don’t let me exercise!
Having arthritis or any other kind of chronic condition shouldn’t prevent you from exercising. In fact, numerous studies have shown that regular exercise can help reduce the pain from arthritis. The only time that an older person should avoid exercising is during a painful flare-up from arthritis. Besides, physical activity can improve the symptoms of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
4. It’s dangerous to exercise at an old age after a sedentary life!
Being an older person doesn’t prevent you from also being active and fresh. So, after having led a sedentary life, nothing should stop you from exercising when you are 80-years-old. However, having a talk with your doctor first would be a good idea. You should also seek some guidance from a personal trainer that can help you begin a workout routine that is fit for you.
5. How does exercise count at my age? It won’t benefit me anymore!
Age is just a number and shouldn’t significantly influence how you live your life. According to studies, exercising into old age, can have incredible benefits for both your body and your mind. Moreover, physical activity has been shown to make a big difference even in 90-year-olds living in nursing homes. Generally, activities like cycling or daily walking are strongly recommended for older adults as they can improve the overall wellbeing, muscle strength, and fight problems like dementia and depression.
6. Exercise is only good for the body.
This is one of the oldest myths around and it’s completely false! Regular physical exercise can fight off cognitive impairement that is a common issue among older adults. Unfortunately, there are many people who think that workouts are only good for the body. In fact, they can help fight depression by strengthening the neural connections in the brain and decreasing the impact of daily stress.
All in all, it is very important for seniors to stay active into old age, but they should consult with their doctor about the types of exercise and frequency of working out first. For healthy adults who are 65-years old or older, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends about two hours and a half of moderate physical activity each week. Also, muscle-strengthening workouts should be done at least twice a week. A workout routine can make the body and mind feel refreshed and young again.
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