Exercise and Aging Myths
It makes a huge difference when you exercise at any age, but some people will find various reasons to not start. I have put together some of the most common reasons people have for not exercising as they get older.
“I’m too old”- People may think that they are too far past their prime to start exercising and that they just simply can not do it. In fact, the less movement that you do the faster we age. Our body needs the movement and inactive people are twice as likely to develop heart disease. For overall heart health the American Heart Association recommends that we do 30 minutes of aerobic activity 5 times a week and strength training 2 times per week. 5 days of exercise per week may sound intimidating to start but do what you can in the beginning and keep challenging yourself. Over time things will be easier and 5 days will be easier to achieve.
“I’ll hurt myself”- You will not get hurt doing your exercises as long as you get the right kind of help when you start. It is good to go see your doctor and make sure exercise is okay with the medical conditions that you may have and they can usually help steer you in the right direction to get started with an exercise professional. Once you find the right gym and trainer to work with they will make sure you are doing all of your exercises in a safe and efficient way. Exercise classes are also a great way to workout and get the proper exercise instruction to ensure that you are being safe. The more physically fit that you are the less likely you are to get injured, so balance and stretching classes should be in your weekly routine to keep your muscles and joints strong and loose.
“My heart isn’t strong enough”- No matter it’s strength every heart can benefit from safe exercise. If you have had heart issues in the past consult your doctor before starting strenuous exercise. Starting slow is always okay. Even just a few minutes of cardio every day can help build your heart health and endurance over time. If you are walking for your cardio make sure you pay attention to the surfaces that you walk on. If you’re walking on concrete it can really bother your knees and joints so try and find a softer surface like a walking track or a low resistance cardio machine like ArcTrainers or recumbent steppers.
“I can’t afford it”- It may seem expensive to belong to a gym, but if your health is at stake it always pays to invest in yourself. Gym memberships are usually equal to one dinner out a month. Making one simple sacrifice such as this can be as easy as it takes to cover your costs. Your body will get an immediate return on your exercise investment starting with improving your mood, making you feel more energized throughout the day, and also help to regulate your blood pressure, cholesterol and all other important internal functions that your body needs. There is nothing more valuable then your life or health so investing a little bit of money to improve your overall way of life is going to be well worth it.
“I don’t have anyone to exercise with”- A majority of people do not enjoy working out by themselves. The more people you can get involved in exercise with you the more motivated you will be to keep going. It might be a neighbor, coworker, friend, or a family member that needs to exercise as much as you do, but there is always someone that you share a common interest with that you could get to come with you. If you don’t have anybody to exercise with consider taking a group exercise class. This is a great way to meet new people and bond over the same exercises.
WellBound can help you with all of these barriers to exercise and make sure that you stay as safe as possible in everything that you do. Our members are all so great to each other and help everyone stay motivated the best they can. Hopefully we can continue to grow and add more members to our community that we have here. If you have any questions feel free to ask any of our staff and we would be glad to help.
Thank you for listening,
Nayana Ambardekar, MD . (2020). 6 Myths about Exercise and Aging: WebMD