SIX MYTHS ABOUT AGING AND EXERCISE
If you were to take a quick survey of things people don’t look forward to, it wouldn’t be a surprise to find “aging” or “exercise” somewhere on the list. After all, both seem to be inseparably tied to enough exhausting side effects that even the most active among us is guilty of bellowing the occasional sigh of contempt from time to time.
Undesirable side effects aside, there are still plenty of reasons why aging and exercise go so well together. We just need a little help debunking some of the more popular misconceptions (or excuses, depending on your point of view) in order to make the most of the years we have—and the health we enjoy. Here are six common myths about aging and exercise.
Aging and Exercise Myth 1: There’s no point to exercise; I’m going to get old anyway.
Fact: It’s been well researched that regular physical activity not only helps you look and feel younger, it also has the power to help you stay independent for longer. Exercise also reduces your risk for a variety of health conditions, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure, obesity, and more. And that doesn’t even begin to include any of the mood and mental benefits that exist.
Aging and Exercise Myth 2: Exercise isn’t safe at my age and puts me at risk of falling down.
Fact: While falling down is a genuine concern, regular exercise, when done properly, is safe and has the power to build strength and stamina, as well as prevent loss of bone mass. As a result, you’ll notice improved balance and stability. And that means a reduced risk of falling.
Aging and Exercise Myth 3: It’s too frustrating. I’ll never be the athlete I once was.
Fact: Age related changes in hormones, metabolism, bone density, and muscle mass unavoidably mean strength and performance levels will change, as well. But that doesn’t mean you can no longer find enjoyment in physical activity or a sense of achievement in health improvement. The key is to set realistic goals that are appropriate for your age and your lifestyle.
Aging and Exercise Myth 4: I’m too old to start exercising.
Fact: You’re never too old to get moving and improve your health. In fact, adults who become active later in life often show greater physical and mental improvements than younger people. If you’ve never exercised, or if it’s been a while, chances are you won’t be impeded by old, lingering sports injuries. In other words, you’ll be able to start reaping immediate rewards. Just remember to go at your pace and build from there.
Aging and Exercise Myth 5: I can’t exercise because I have a disability.
Fact: Those who are chair-bound or impeded by a physical disability may face unique challenges that limit what they are able to do, but there are still plenty of options specifically designed to increase range of motion or improve muscle tone and flexibility in spite of limitations, such as chair aerobics, chair yoga, chair Tai Chi, lifting weights, stretches, etc.
Aging and Exercise Myth 6: I don’t have enough energy or have too many aches and pains.
Fact: Getting started is often the hardest part of implementing a regular exercise routine—and chances are it will come with some initial discomfort. But most people are surprised at how quickly their mind and bodies respond. You’ll find that regular activity not only counters the age-related decline in strength and vitality, but actually improves it. It will also help you manage pain and improve strength, as well as build self-confidence.
At Summit Vista, our entire community is centered around the concept of healthy aging in all its many forms. After all, achieving a happier, healthier life at any age isn’t just possible, it’s encouraged. For more information about the benefits of moving into a Life Plan Community, speak with your retirement counselor, or call 866-208-4212 today.