There could be many reasons why seniors slow down and become sedentary with age; however, if the reason is due to some half-baked notion about exercise not being good for the aging body – then this couldn’t be further from the truth.
An active lifestyle is absolutely essential, especially as people grow older. Therefore, the following five reasons should not prevent older adults from staying fit, because they are what they are – myths!
1. No Point in Exercising When Old Age Is Inevitable
Old age may be inevitable as a number, but aging is not. Exercising keeps the body, physical appearance and mind young and healthy, thereby keeping aging at bay. Being physically fit also lowers the risk of various health conditions for seniors such as obesity, high blood pressure, certain types of cancers, diabetes, heart diseases, dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Taking part in fitness activities can also uplift the mood, something that can be as good for a person in their 70s and 80s as it is for those in their 20s or 30s.
2. Too Late to Start Exercising as Age Has Caught Up
An individual is never too old to start exercising, and equally it is not too late to get working on physical fitness and health. Active seniors who start later in life often exhibit greater physical and mental improvements than a younger counterpart. In addition, there is the benefit of the body not having been encumbered by sports injuries accumulated during youth-related fanatic fitness sessions.
In fact, one should take inspiration from this 78-year-old weightlifting grandma, who started on her fitness journey only two years ago. Shirley Webb, of East Alton, Illinois, has gone from not being able to get up from the ground unaided, to now being able to deadlift a 225-pound barbell.
3. Exercise Could Put Seniors at Risk of Falling Down
Exercising regularly can actually build stamina and strength which prevents loss of bone mass. Consequently, fitness activities improve seniors’ ability to balance and thereby reduce the risk of falling down, and getting hurt in the process.
4. Older Adults with Disabilities Cannot Exercise
When there is a will, there is always a way. Older wheelchair users, for example, do face challenges. However, they can do chair Tai Chi, chair yoga, chair aerobics as well as stretch and lift weights to promote cardiovascular activity, improve flexibility and muscle tone and increase range of motion.
5. An Aging Body Has Too Many Pains, Aches and Is Weak
On the contrary, exercising and doing physical activities for fitness can help in managing pains and aches. Regular exercises help seniors to improve their strength and vitality, as well as boost the confidence of older adults to aim for a higher level of fitness.
The key to older adults staying fit is to ditch the myths, consult a doctor and start exercising gently. Even a 20-minute exercise session, 5 days a week can go a long way to keeping the body fit.
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