We are finishing our fitness myths busting series with one more myth that is becoming increasingly important to address (for me and my clients). Let’s discuss aging and exercise.
Myth: If you don’t exercise when you are young, it’s dangerous or ineffective to start when you are older
This one has remarkable staying power despite ample and clear evidence that it isn’t true. I think it’s more of rationalization by people who are getting older to let themselves off the hook for avoiding activity.
The fact is your body is a living, adaptive system. It adapts to the demands you place on it…regardless of age. Sure, there are some factors that must be considered when we age, but these are merely adjustments rather than barriers to activity, exercise, or results.
Examples include, someone who is 50 will take longer to warm up and recover than someone who is 20 years old. Additionally, often (but not always), a 50-year-old will have more aches, pains, injuries, medical conditions, and movement compensations to contend with.
That’s simply part of life, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t move regularly if you are getting older!
I can still remember learning about aging and exercise in university. We looked at studies where people in their 90s who had never exercised before were put on basic resistance training programs for 12 weeks.
The results were amazing. Health improved across the board. Blood pressure, injuries, falls, and medications decreased, while happiness, social interactions, function, strength, mobility, confidence, and quality of life increased. Oh yeah…and people who exercise as they age tend to live longer (and more vibrant) lives!
Keep in mind that this is for people who had never been active and were in their 90s!
So, if you’ve been using this excuse (sorry…believing this myth), then it’s time to let it go and start moving your body and exercising, regardless of your age or previous activity level. Better late than never!
If you do decide to get active, be sure to learn to move properly. Get expert help to teach you the right way, and be sure to start slowly, keep building gradually, and HAVE FUN!
Learn how to perform foundational movements correctly with our Movement Foundations Workshop to maximize the benefits of your workouts and daily activities.
If you would benefit from some guidance, please let me know.