4 Myths Senior Hear About Exercise

Senior man weightlifting.

Updated 8/4/15 2:00pm | Alert1 recommends that seniors get active as exercise is a great way to decrease risks of developing medical problems. But still fewer people over the age of 65 consider exercise an option in their daily lives. Maintaining consistent exercise in our golden years is critical to combating bone-loss, frailty, arthritis, obesity and many other ailments that go along with aging. Even if you haven’t exercised consistently, it is never too late to start. New Years is a great time for seniors to set healthy goals and extend wellbeing.

 

Myth1: Exercising won't benefit seniors

Deterioration of vital body systems is attributed to a lack of physical activity accompanied by aging. Exercise—whether it be lifting small weights or taking brisk walks—will help you feel younger and stronger. It pumps up the production of endorphins which makes us feel good. These chemicals not only combat depression, they also make us feel and look young. Exercise is also shown to increase your self-esteem.  Consistent exercise over time can lower the risk for conditions like Alzheimer’s, dementia, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, and high blood pressure. 

senior excercise biking. alert1 medical alert systems

Myth 2: Seniors should limit strenuous movement.

As the saying goes, “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” Inactivity, whether it be mental or physical, can affect us negatively at any age. When we exercise, we stimulate ourselves both mentally and physically. Think of it as proper up-keep and maintenance. If we don’t maintain ourselves, we start to lose the ability to do the things we love, and eventually, we lose the ability to do even the simplest of things, and finally we lose our independence entirely. That being said, you should still consult your physician and exercise with caution by listening to your body. Don’t over do it! Over exercising can affect your body adversely as well.

lazy cat. alert1 medical alert systems

Myth 3: Seniors might fall while exercising.

Actually, it’s the other way around: By exercising regularly you will increase your muscle strength and balance. Find an acitivty that lets you practice balancing and reacting to things around you; Alert1 recommends Tai Chi for seniors. With increased balance and overall body strength you decrease your risk of falling—not only during exercise, but any time you move around. As you flex and stretch, regular exercise will reverse any natural breakdown of muscles accompanied by old age. Just make sure to start with a simple exercise routine and then moderately increase the difficulty level as you get stronger.

slip up. alert1 medical alert systems

Myth 4: Seniors are too frail for physical activity.

This is another misconception on exercise and the limitations of seniors. An active senior lifestyle will help your bones stay strong! For seniors with osteoporosis, you can increase bone strength with regular exercise. No need to become a professional body builder.  Even light activity can help your bones stay strong. Soaking up some sun (vitamin D) and consuming more calcium rich foods are also good for bone health. 

frail woman. alert1 medical alert systems

Schedule daily exercise time and invite a friend or neighbor to join you. Older adults should try a variety of exercises to prevent boredom. If you’re a senior starting a new exercise regimen, Alert1 can protect you in the instance of the unthinkable. A senior medical alert system with fall detection can protect you in the instance you’re harmed while exercising. When exercising, do not overexert yourself and of course, always consult a medical professional before you engage in more strenuous activity than you are accustomed to. 

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