Did you know that just one out of four people between the ages of 65 and 74 exercises regularly?
As the weather continues to warm, it’s the perfect time to shake off those winter blues and get back into shape!
Depending on your loved one’s overall health, getting him or her to be more active can seem like a struggle, perhaps due to a lack of interest or fear of injury.
Today we’re going to debunk some of the most common myths often associated with the elderly and fitness.
Myth #1: I’m too old to exercise.
If your elderly relative holds this belief, it’s time for a change in thinking! Regular physical activity is vitally important to people of all ages, and can lower the risk for conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity.
Myth #2: I could be putting myself at risk for a fall or injury.
Through regular exercise, your loved one will build his or her strength and stamina, which helps prevent loss of bone mass while improving balance; the result could be a reduced risk of falling.
Myth #3: Exercise will make my joints hurt.
Exercising may be uncomfortable for your loved one if he or she is experiencing chronic pain. However, studies show that exercising can actually help with joint pain. In fact, one study of people over the age of 60 with knee arthritis discovered that, through exercise, they experienced less pain and better joint function.
Myth #4: I’m disabled. Exercising while sitting down is too difficult.
If your loved one is disabled, he or she can still exercise while sitting down. In fact, the use of light weights and resistance bands, as well as stretching and chair aerobics, can help increase his or her range of motion, build muscle and promote a healthy heart.
If an elderly family member has given up on exercise, take a look at these common myths that often serve as roadblocks. Remember, it’s always a good idea to talk with a doctor before your loved one embarks on a fitness program.
Check back next week as we discuss the physical and mental health benefits of fitness for older adults!