There are several fallacies and myths about fitness for seniors, whether from the things we tell ourselves or from erroneous information shared in the media. But fitness is important for all of us, no matter what our age. Here are some of the top myths of fitness for seniors, along with the truth…
Myth: It’s too late for me to start exercising, after years of not doing so.
Fact: It’s never too late, and fitness provides several important benefits to seniors, including improved balance, memory, sleep patterns, mood. Additionally, a healthy and fit senior reduces their risk of conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and more.
Myth: Exercising may increase risk of falling.
Fact: Consistent physical activity actually strengthens muscles and improves balance, thus reducing the risk of falling.
Myth: Injury and aches and pains limit the exercise possible.
Fact: Movement (appropriate) can actually speed up the healing process and relieve a lot of the aches and pains associated with ailments such as arthritis and other pains. Meanwhile, inactivity weakens your muscles and causes more stress (and pain). Of course, your exercise should be moderate and careful so as not to cause sharp pain or greater injury.
Myth: Since seniors have less energy, they should save it instead of exerting themselves with exercise.
Fact: A sedentary lifestyle actually increases fatigue and frailty, while low-impact exercise improve energy and sleep.
Myth: A chair- or bedridden senior has no way to exercise.
Fact: Actually, there are lots of ways to stretch and exercise while sitting down. You can build both arm and core strength, which improves the strength of your back and other connected muscles. For instance, chair aerobics promote heart health, build muscle, and increase a person’s range of motion.
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