Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

A great quote from Betty Frieden goes as; “Aging is not lost youth, but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” It can rightly be said that fitness is timeless and it makes a big difference in how you feel and move, at every stage of your life. Exercise can help you keep your weight, cholesterol and blood pressure balanced and even brighten your mood. However, there are some myths about exercise and aging among seniours/elders that one must know, so as to not give up on exercise because of growing age. Let us see them all in this post.

6 Myths About Exercise Among Seniors/Elderly

Myth-1: I Am Too Old To Exercise

Fact: This is one of the most common myths about exercise among seniours/elders. However, not moving is much riskier and inactivity can speed up the aging process. It is known that inactive people are twice as likely to develop heart diseases and also have more doctor visits and take more medications. So, go for exercising even if you are amongst the seniors. However, if you have not exercised for a long time, then start slowly with a low-impact aerobic activity like swimming, that increases your heart rate. Even a 10 minutes of walk can be a good start.

Myth-2: I Will Hurt Myself While Exercising

Fact: One of the most common fear most seniors/elders have about exercising is they would hurt themselves while exercises. However, you will not be hurt if you are doing exercise within your limits. At first, you must talk to your doctor before you begin any exercise program. He or she can tell you which activities to try and which moves to avoid. While beginning, start with an expert fitness trainer who can show you what exactly to do. This way you will be safe.

It must be mentioned that being physically fit, not matter what your age is, you have less chances of getting injured or hurt. Exercise would improve your balance and by doing things like yoga and tai chi, you may also help avoid falls in every day life. Even strength training will help in improving balance, strength and agility in old age.

Myth-3: I Cannot Afford to Exercise in Old Age

Fact: Not really true, as you can use your own body weight like planks, pushups, or walk up and down the stairs. In case you like to invest in a machine, then look for lightly used exercise equipment at ay local yard sales. Some gyms offer discounts to seniors and also some health plans cover membership for specific fitness programs. You can find out such gyms. Moreover, you can also check out the community resources. Some local parks, even have basic exercise equipments, so you can try these options to continue to exercise even in old age.

Myth-4: I Do Not Have A Strong Heart

Fact: It must be mentioned that when exercise is done regularly and in a proper manner, it helps in strengthening your heart rather than put it at any risk, no matter how old you are. You do not have to run a marathon. Physical activity can be as simple as a brisk walk which you can easily manage. That much is enough to help your blood circulation and cholesterol levels and also can help in brightening your mood. However, if you are suffering from any heart problem it is better to get a cardiac clearance from your doctor before starting on an exercise regime.

Myth-5: I Do Not Move Like Before

Fact: One of the most important things we say is;”One must not judge what he/she can do today by what he/she did in the past”. You do not have to run or exercise as fast or as vigourusly as you did during your high school. You can move at your own pace and still get the health benefits of exercise in old age. It is also about moving, not staying still! As per a study from Yale University, it was found that seniors who walked just 20 minutes every day, had lower risk of mobility disability after 2 years, than those who did not. So, instead of looking at your past at what you used to do, just embrace fitness as a tool so as to keep self physically and mentally sharp in the years ahead.

Myth-6: I Do Not Have Anyone To Exercise With

Fact: You can find out someone to exercise with, by joining a walking or a gardening club. You can find opportunities for connecting with people who enjoy the same activities as you do even in old age.

Conclusion

So, now that you know the myths of exercise and aging, if you or any of your aging loved one have made a fitness resolution to start with this new year, it is never too late to begin exercising. Maybe it is a regular walk around your block or workouts, following a regular exercise plan will help you improve your health and also make you feel better at any age.

“Don’t worry about getting old. Worry about thinking old”

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 22, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We'll help you live each day to the healthiest