Here are a list of 5 Exercise Myths Every Senior Must know. This list came about because this is what I heard the most from the patients I treat daily…
“But I’m too old to exercise!”
That’s one of the primary myths when it comes to senior fitness. The truth of the matter is that you’re never too old to exercise. Health and fitness is just as important when you’re 75 as it is when you’re 25. Your body will benefit from exercise and movement, inside and out. You know the old saying, “Use it or lose it,” – it’s true. Whether it involves your brain or your joints, exercise and mobility is a valuable piece of ammunition when it comes to fighting the age battle. Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to get weaker, heavier, or less mobile. Sure, it might not be as easy as it used to be, but there’s no law that says you can’t strive for health and fitness as you age.
“I might fall down!”
Safety is always number one! You don’t have to engage in high intensity aerobics to gain the benefits of exercise. Exercise for older adults can include low impact exercises, water aerobics, tai chi, and chair aerobics; all are beneficial forms of exercises an individual can do to improve joint health, balance, stability, and coordination. You’re never too old to start. No matter what age you are, your body will benefit from movement. This will actually help to improve your balance and decrease your risk of falling.
“I’ll give myself a heart attack!”
We’re not suggesting that you get up from your chair and go run around the block. Start slow and easy. You have plenty of options for gentle, beneficial, and safe exercise methods. You don’t have to go to the gym and pump iron, run marathons, or be super- flexible or strong in order to benefit from movement. The truth is that even minimal exercise can improve cardiovascular health, joint strength, balance, coordination and stability. Of course, always discuss exercise and safe forms of senior fitness exercise based on your physical abilities.
“I’m too fat!”
Even if you’re overweight, you can still exercise. As we age, our metabolism slows down and it’s easier to put on weight. Sometimes, just the thought of exercise can make some of us cringe. However, as you exercise and increase mobility and stamina, you’ll notice a definite change in your weight and your capabilities. If you’re overweight, start with chair exercises to improve strength, flexibility, and endurance. Go for slow walks or check out your local Parks and Recreation schedule for water aerobics classes. Most gyms today have senior exercise programs. These are all excellent forms of exercise for those who are overweight and not use to exercise.
“I don’t want to pump iron!”
You don’t have to pump massive amounts of iron to benefit from strength training. Start with 1 to 2-pound dumbbells and perform seated exercises that will improve muscle tone, flexibility, and joint strength in your upper body. Combined with walking, you’ll be surprised the things you can accomplish. Bottom line is that you’re never too old to benefit from exercise for older adults. Talk to your doctor and physical therapist about starting an exercise regimen and follow their advice when it comes to types of exercise, duration, and resistance levels. Your body will thank you.
Until Next Time,
Stay Happy & Healthy,