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Are you too old to exercise?

January 19, 2009

Absolutely not.  No matter what age you are or shape you are in, there is always room to improve.  Exercise, especially as we age becomes more and more important.  Keeping the muscles strong, bone density up, the heart and lungs working at a high level and keeping the joints moving are crucial to a long healthy life.

So many diseases are arrested or assisted in their treatment when accompanied by an exercise routine.  With the addtion of  a good diet and proper nutrition the benefits of exercise are multiplied many times over.

I hear the comment, I am too old to exercise. It is too late for me to start, so I’ll just suffer with the way I am”,  from far too many people.  I ask why they think this is true and the normal response is that they can no longer do the things they used to. They get depressed or frustrated and just give up.

And this is from people in their late 40’s and early 50’s. You have no idea how that irks me.   

Come on now, you have to admit this is just wrong. You mean to tell me that at 50, with at least 30 to 40 years left to their lives that people are just going to stop being active, allow themselves to steadily decline just like that?

When I hear  “I cannot do what I used to do”, I tell them, stop looking back and look instead at what you can do, and will be able to do with just a little effort.  I’ve said this before on this site and will again,  the more you do,  the more you will be able to do. 

People  with this attitude need to accompany me to a class at an assisted living center and see people in their 80’s and 90’s working at getting fit. Gaining information on how exercise fights off dementia, osteoporosis, arthritis,  decreases fall, increases mobility and improves attitude are just a few of the factors that keep seniors working out. Determined to maintain or regain their fitness, exercise has become a priority. They have discovered that life without the ability to keep moving is not how they want to spend out their years.

Do you have a relative or friend that could use to get involved in a movement training program? How do you think you would approach them about  improving the quality of their life through exercise?

One Comment
  1. I agree. I have worked in fitness for many years and I hear it all the time.
    “I can’t play tennis-(or hockey, squash etc) the way I used to, so that’s it for me.” Or they say “tai chi is too slow, and I don’t see the point.”
    Well maybe the point is that no one likes to get older or to lose the ability to enjoy the sports and activities they did as young adults. But more to the point is that education is needed to show these people the benefits of staying active, and that there are many ways to stay active even at 50,60,70 and yes even 80 and 90.
    Write on!


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