Exercise is an incredibly important part of our daily living. It should be seen as a tool to help make your body more efficient with movement. As you age, exercises should be modified slightly to fit what the body can handle. There are many myths and misconceptions around exercise and ageing.
1. I am too old to start exercising
This is absolutely false. Age doesn’t play any role in your ability to exercise. Research on healthy ageing has shown that exercise for ageing adults is not only safe but beneficial.
You can start exercising at 70s, 80s and beyond, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never exercised before. Exercises are such an important part of ageing that WHO recommends 150 to 300 minutes of physical activity per week for all ages.
2. Walking is enough
When I ask most of my clients whether they exercise, the common answer is “I walk”. Walking is good but is it enough? The answer is no. The reason being, as long as walking improves your endurance, it doesn’t address effectively the other areas of fitness which are strength, balance, posture and flexibility. The exercise programme should address the five fitness areas. It’s important to choose an exercise programme, which is challenging enough to make a positive change in each area of fitness
3. If I lift heavy weights I might hurt myself
Weight lifting can be intimidating to people who haven’t tried. We lift heavy objects in our daily life. We need strength and knowledge on how to align our bodies to avoid hurting ourselves.
4. Exercise will make my arthritis worse
This is false. It may seem logical when the exercise programme doesn’t suit the arthritic joint. Arthritis foundation supports exercise as a way to manage arthritic pain without use of drugs or surgery.
5. It is not safe for me to exercise due to my current health condition
This is false. These health conditions: high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s can be improved by a well-prescribed exercise program, diet and stress management There is no reason you can’t start moving more now. Exercise is truly the key to work and play even at our old age.