Exercise And Aging: 3 Myths You Should Know About
Posted By: Becky Davis - 5/24/2018 12:00:00 AM

One in four Americans aged 50 and older are sedentary most of the time. Many of these adults choose to live a physically inactive lifestyle for a variety of reasons, but some of these reasons may be based on myths. Here are three incorrect beliefs about age and exercise, and actual benefits of physical activity for seniors.

Myth #1: You do not have enough energy to exercise as you age

This claim is incorrect because energy levels depend on many factors. The more active you are, the more you will be able to accomplish throughout the day, and your tolerance for exercise will actually increase. A study done at the University of Georgia found that subjects who exercised for twenty minutes, three times a week for six weeks, had a sixty-five percent decrease in fatigue levels.

Research targeting those who participate in exercise and sports shows a positive effect on energy levels and general physical activity. Some benefits of staying active include improving blood pressure, lowering resting heart rate, and increasing metabolic rate. Blood flow increases in the body when you exercise, which delivers more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and improves energy production.

Myth #2: Seniors are too old to exercise

The world's oldest marathon runner, Fauja Singh, ran his last race in 2013 when he was 101 years old. He proved that your age is only a number and that it does not determine your ability to exercise. Of the runners who completed a marathon in the U.S. in 2015, forty-nine percent of them were in the 40 years or older "masters" classification.

One study looked at the effects of at home exercise programs in two hundred people aged 60 years and older. Once the program was completed, strength, balance, and disability improvement ratings were measured. The results showed that there were no negative health effects experienced by anyone who participated in this study.

Myth #3: The older you are, the easier it is to get exercise injuries

Gradually increasing physical activity levels with proper form can reduce your risk of injury. All age groups have a risk of injury during strenuous exercise. However, it is a common false stereotype that elderly people are weak and frail, and will become injured more easily.

Preventing exercise-related injuries is key for people of all ages. Muscle strains and tendonitis are two common injuries that can happen when you exercise. Warming up properly, stretching, and slowly increasing the frequency and intensity of workout sessions can help you lower your risk of injury.

Rehab, recovery, and exercise at Bivins Pointe