I have heard several times in my profession someone citing old age as an excuse not to exercise. This is fallacious.
Fitness is timeless! At every age, it makes a huge difference in how you feel and move, helps you whittle down those numbers (like your weight, cholesterol, or blood pressure) that your doctor keeps bringing up, and even brightens your mood.
Inside and out, you win when you are active, no matter how old you are. What if actually you are getting those aches as a result of not exercising? What if that fall you had the other day could have been prevented by doing an exercise or two a day?
Actually, not moving is much riskier and can speed up the ageing process. Inactive people are twice as likely to develop heart diseases, have more doctor visits and generally take more medication.
If you have not exercised in a long while, start with gentle aerobic activity that raises your heart rate such as swimming. Even a 10 minute walk is a good start. Exercise does not have to mean taking up a new sport. But if there is an activity that you enjoyed doing when you were younger, look for a way to get back to it.
Sometimes if you have pain somewhere, you may be scared that you will hurt yourself even further hence the hesitation to exercise. When you know what you are doing and you work within your limits then hurting yourself is not a possibility.
However, your therapist can also guide you at the beginning of an exercise regime. She will be able to tell you which activities to try and which ones to avoid. That way you will stay safe. But also it is good to remember that you are less likely to get injured if you are more physically fit. Improving your balance and strength will help avoid falls in your everyday life.
For some of those who suffer from heart conditions, you may think that your heart is not strong enough. When you exercise regularly, it helps strengthen your heart rather than put it at risk. You do not have to sign up for a marathon.
Physical activity can be as simple as taking a brisk walk. That is enough to help your blood circulation and cholesterol levels and brighten your mood.
A study from Yale University found that seniors who walked 20 minutes a day had lower risk of mobility disability after two years than those who did not.
Embrace fitness as a tool to keep you mentally and physically sharp in the years ahead. If you just opt to do that walk or jog or an enjoyable activity that you like doing that means it will not cost you much in terms of money and the benefits are immense.
Getting someone or some people who are like minded would be a good motivation to exercise. Find opportunities to connect with people who enjoy the same activities like you do.
Once you get talking about your active lifestyle, you may be surprised to learn that there are already people around you who you can exercise with and who are working to get fit. Or maybe you will inspire someone in your life to get moving and the two of you can work out together.
I hope this motivates you to exercise the next time you think you are old.