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Growing older and exercise debunking 5 common myths

Growing older shouldn’t mean a sedentary lifestyle; in fact, regular exercise is as important now as it has always been. It can help you maintain your energy, help you stay independent, and if you are sick or have a debilitating illness, it can help you manage your symptoms. Not to mention, exercise can be good for your confidence and body image.

But how many of us have recently bounced on a trampoline or sled down a hill and started to wonder why activities from our youth seemed a little less fun and a little more dangerous? Just because you cannot do everything you could when you were 16 doesn’t mean you should stop exercising all together.

According to a recent article in about growing older doesn't mean you should stop moving. “Exercise can energize your mood, relieve stress, help you manage symptoms of illness and pain, and improve your overall sense of well-being. In fact, exercise is the key to staying strong, energetic, and healthy as you get older.”

Growing older and adding exercise and movement into your life

So what if you cannot make it to the gym for multiple weekly workouts? The key is to keep moving and add movement into your daily activity: take an after dinner walk, park further away in your car, and take the stairs. Small additions in movement can add up to big calories and a healthy heart.

Growing older and Debunking the Myths- 5 excuses we use to stop moving

1. I am growing older and exercise doesn’t matter.

You may be growing older but exercise may make you feel younger. Not to mention it can reduce the risk of some very severe health conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and obesity.

2. I am growing older. It’s time to rest.

The truth is actually the opposite. You may be getting older but research indicates a sedentary lifestyle can be detrimental to your health. Stop exercising and you will find you can do even less things on your own. We all know someone who sat down and didn’t move enough and eventually couldn’t walk at all.

3. Exercise increases my risk of falling.

You may be scared to exercise because you believe it will increase your risk of falling. Exercise can actually decrease your risk of falling. Exercise will strengthen your bones, prevent bone loss and improve your balance. If you build muscle strength and stamina you will actually lower your risk of falling.

4. I have never exercised and I am too old to start now.

It’s kind of like the smoker who smokes 30 years and decides to stop. It’s never too late to start doing the right thing. In this case, it’s never too late to start doing physical activity. Talk to your doctor before starting a fitness routine and start slow.

5. I am disabled and cannot exercise.

While some individuals with a disability may have very limited range of motion, many people who are disabled will benefit from various exercises such as stretching and using light weights. Talk to your doctor about any activities you can do to increase your range of motion, improve muscle tone, and promote your cardiovascular health.
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