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Kittle: Fitness myths about seniors
“We do not stop exercising because we grow old—we grow old because we stop exercising.”
—Dr. Kenneth Coope
Perhaps you’ve heard negative reports about why seniors shouldn’t exercise at their age.
Don’t believe that kind of talk—just because you are older doesn’t mean it’s time to resign yourself to a rocking chair.
Fitness is important for everyone, but even more so as we age.
As a senior, you can improve the quality of your life with exercise and reduce the aging process.
Staying physically active and exercising regularly can help prevent, diminish, or delay the onset of many diseases and disabilities, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and osteoporosis.
Don’t fall prey to some exercise myths you may have heard.
Let’s shed some truth on these myths and get active.
Here are some of the more common exercise and diet myths for seniors, courtesy of the website Revera.com
I’m too old to start exercising.
This is simply not true. You can start a fitness routine at any age. Exercise can’t reverse aging, but it can make you feel stronger and healthier.
Exercise is too difficult and I may break bones.
Most fractures in the elderly are due to falls not exercise-related.
Some of the best exercises you can do are those to strengthen the core and exercises to improve your balance.
By improving your balance, strengthening your muscles and joints, and limiting the loss of muscles and bone mass, exercise reduces your risk of falling.
Cardiovascular exercise doesn’t have to be high impact. There are many options for low impact exercise including walking, cycling, swimming, water aerobics, low impact aerobic fitness classes for seniors.
Exercising will cause a heart attack.
Exercise can actually reduce your risk of heart disease, but it’s definitely important to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program if you have concerns.
Make sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations and you are more likely to succeed.
I weigh too much to exercise.
For many overweight individuals just the thought of exercise might seem challenging.
However, being extremely overweight is one of the best reasons to exercise.
As we age our metabolism slows down so you may have put on extra weight that makes it seem more difficult to get up and get active.
If you exercise you can actually increase that slowing metabolism and start shedding those extra and unwanted pounds.
I will get hurt if I lift weights.
Strength training is the best way to increase your metabolism, strengthen your bones and build muscle.
You can start with body weight exercises or dumbbells weighing as little as two pounds each and do simple exercises that will result in toned muscles and strengthened bones.
Put aside your fears, check with your doctor on limitations and recommendations and get moving—if you don’t move it, you will lose it!