It does not matter what your age or your current physical condition is, anyone can reap the rewards of exercise.
In fact, exercise is even more important for older adults, and can help them boost their energy level, manage symptoms of illness and live independently for as long as possible. Listed here are myths that keep older people away from exercise, with the truth behind the fallacy.
Myth: “Why would I exercise if we were all going to get old anyway? “
Fact: People rank living independently and remaining active at the top when asked how can they maintain a good quality of life when they grow older. Exercise and good health will help you enjoy your prolonged and extended life and still attain what you want to accomplish even at that age. A good number of people in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s are out there running marathons, bodybuilding, and indulging in an active lifestyle. And not only does regular exercise improves your physical health, but it can also boost your memory and helps prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as well.
Myth: “I am old and have never exercised before. I think it’s too late for me to start even thinking about it.”
Fact: No one is too old to exercise though it may seem too late to expiate a lifetime of no exercise. Studies have shown that people in their 90’s gain muscle strength and overall functional ability when they started exercising. Another research finds exercising late can still cut the risk of health problems such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and arthritis.
Myth: “I easily get tired. Older people like me should just rest and conserve our energy and strength.”
Fact: Inactivity and the sedentary lifestyle will make you tired. You will probably experience some muscle soreness and fatigue in the initial stage of your exercise routine but you should be able to recover in no time. Regular exercise will give you the muscle strength, endurance, flexibility, mobility, and balance will get you through your daily living and sustain your independence.
Myth: “I don’t need to check with my doctor before I exercise.”
Fact: Whether you have not had any prescribed physical activity in a long time, or you have a medical condition, or you are perfectly okay and completely free of any symptoms of illness, it still advisable to see your doctor for precautionary measures. Whatever results you get from your lab tests and check-up with your doctor, exercise will definitely be included in the prescription. This is so minus the routines or movements that may be considered as contra-indicated and risky to certain health and medical conditions. Isn’t it exciting to compare the results of your medical check-up before and after embarking on a regular fitness program?
Myth: “Exercise hurt the joints.”
Fact: A lot of people think that exercise is harmful to their joints. On the contrary, exercise will make your bones and joints stronger, thus, resulting in better joint function. Just make sure to warm-up and cool-down, do stretching and wear a good pair of sneakers.
Myth: “I might have a heart attack while exercising.”
Fact: Though there are cases of heart attacks during and after exercise, people who avoid exercise are putting themselves more at risk than those who are active. In fact, a study would reveal that people who suffer cardiac arrest during exercise are three times likely to survive. Survival rates for exercisers were 45% compared with 15% of those that were not exercise-related. The benefits of exercise far exceed that small risk.
Myth: “I’m busy and I don’t have time to exercise.”
Fact: Older people are mostly retired and will have enough time to squeeze in 20-60 minutes of exercise 2-3 times a week. But this is an unacceptable excuse common in all age groups. People who say they do not have time to exercise just need to prioritize their time better. Maybe cutting down your TV time, signing off for a little while from the social media like Facebook and spending fewer cocktail hours, will do the trick. We must find time for the things we value. And isn’t our health and life more important than those activities we spend our time on?
Myth: “Exercise bores me.”
Fact: There are a lot of ways to beat boredom while exercising. Maybe you can listen to your favorite music, read a magazine while jogging in the treadmill, mix up your routine, put in more variations, among others. But this would not take long. You will get bored again unless you find something that you really love to do. But what if a specific exercise like strength training is what you really need and you are intuitively against it? How much determination and discipline are you willing to bear for you to realize and achieve your health and fitness goals? If you are willing to do what it takes, then you are on your way in achieving your goals, eventually killing the boredom and enjoying the whole process!
Myth: “Gyms are not for older people.”
Fact: Gyms are for everybody regardless of age and fitness level. It’s just a matter of you finding people of the same age whom you can work out with ease. If that does not work out, your home provides the best comfort you can ask for. It’s hassle-free. No gym membership. No crowd. No waiting in line for equipment. No traffic. No transportation needed. All you need is a good and credible professional personal trainer who has a passion for training older adults like you.