The Top 6 Myths About Exercise and Aging
Fitness is vital to your health, but it becomes even more important as you grow older.
As we age, our bodies need exercise more than ever before.
It's also one way to fight back against some of the effects that come with aging, like weight gain or a higher blood pressure.
You'll be surprised at how much better exercising makes you feel!
A benefit of working out regardless of your age is that it has been proven to make us healthier and happier.
But some people find exercise demoralizing even in the best cases, so what can we do about it?
Get the facts, so you can get back with your fitness routine
01: You're too old
In reality, not engaging in any physical activity accelerates the aging process and is much more life-threatening than exercise.
Active people are less likely to develop heart disease, and they also have fewer doctor visits and take less medication.
If you’ve been inactive for a long time, start slowly. Begin with low-impact activities that raise your heart rate like walking or swimming.
Aerobic activity is important for everyone, and with age it becomes more necessary.
The American Heart Association suggests 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day, 5 days per week and 2 days per week of strength training on alternate days.
Keep in mind that even if you don't have time to commit more than 10-minutes a day to an activity, any progress towards the greater goal will contribute to your heart health.
Exercise should not be strictly defined as just one thing. But if you have a certain sport in mind, take the steps to get back into it so that you can still enjoy it like you did when you were younger.
02: You don't want to do more harm than good
Beyond knowing the right facts, you need to know and respect your limits.
The first step is to speak with your doctor about any limitations you may have, and which type of exercise regime would be best suited for your individual needs.
When you first start exercising, work with a professional to get yourself set up properly; ask any questions prepare yourself for any(most) eventualities.
The stronger and more physically fit you are, the less likely you are to injure yourself in day-to-day life.
Increasing your balance by doing things like yoga or tai chi may also help you avoid falls in your everyday life So will strength training.
This can be done with some hand weights, free weights at a gym (usually reserved for bodybuilding), or using just your own body weight by lifting heavy objects like bottles of water, cans of beans (you get the idea).
03: You're worried about your health
Regular exercise actually helps strengthen your heart rather than put it at risk.
If you’re not in a position to commit to vigorous exercises, simple activities like taking a brisk walk can be enough for you.
This is because it helps with cholesterol levels and circulation in your system. That alone can boost mood and energy levels, which can in turn boost your immune system.
If you're hesitant to exercise because of a past heart condition like angina or congestive heart failure, then talk with your doctor first to find out what's the best exercise for you and how much is too much.
We've all experienced days when we just don't want to exercise - but it doesn't have to be that way!
You do not need any special equipment, clothing or space; all you really need are some good tunes and a glass of water!
Plus exercise has been proven time and again as one of the most effective ways to fight chronic stress-related conditions such as depression.
In fact, many people who exercise regularly report feeling more relaxed than ever before.
04: You don't think you can afford it
OK, so it wouldn't be much of a stretch to imagine spending the GDP of a small country to set yourself up with a gym membership/exercise gear, snazzy outfits and fancy supplements before taking even a single step on a treadmill... In reality, you do not have to spend a penny to get moving and get fit.
One way to exercise is running or going for a walk. Another option is spending an hour gardening in the backyard.
Don’t let the weather get in the way of a workout: canned goods, free weights, an exercise bike, and more can provide you with opportunities to stay active indoors.
There's also the option of using your own body weight to start (for plank or pushups), or walk up and down the stairs.
If you want to invest in a machine, check at the usual suspects (car boot sales, Gumtree, eBay, Facebook Marketplace - pick your poison) for lightly used exercise equipment.
If you’re looking to supplement your solo workout routine, try group fitness classes.
Many gyms offer discounts for seniors and some health plans cover membership fees for certain fitness programs.
If you don’t know of any local opportunities, then also check out your community resources.
Some parks may have makeshift exercise equipment and religious institutions may offer free fitness classes.
05: You don't move as well as you use to
Think about what you want to do tomorrow; not what your were able to do yesterday
Even though we're all getting older, it doesn't mean you have to stop exercising.
Even if you can't keep up your old pace from high school days or when you were in your twenties, that's okay!
Instead of examining your past, look ahead to what's on the horizon and realise that your mental and physical fitness may look different now but it is still vital for your survival.
06: You don't wan to exercise alone
There are lots of ways to find someone to work out with.
Try signing up for a walking or gardening group, check online or your local community center's board to see what is offered as free and affordable exercise classes, then attend the class along with others who enjoy the activity you do most!
When you start discussing your active lifestyle, you may be surprised to learn that there are others in your life who share this passion and who work at staying fit.
Or maybe by talking about it with someone in your life, they will find the motivation to get moving and exercise alongside you.
The truth is that you can't stop the aging process. You're never going to be as strong and flexible as you were in your 20s, nor will it happen overnight.
But with these tips, even if you don't work out for a month or two, odds are good that when you come back to it, there'll be some improvements (not huge ones) but enough movement-wise to keep people from noticing how much time has passed without exercise. It's never too late!