Experiencing your body change and become stronger is one of the most rewarding feelings for someone when exercising. Pushing yourself to go a little farther than the last time motivates many people to remain active and continually challenge themselves. Past studies have emphasized the importance of activity for the body, especially as we age.
It is not an easy task to incorporate daily physical activity as we age, but it is essential. So what does activity mean? Moving to the extent your body will allow. According to Valerie Hopson-Bell, a geriatric care adviser at ElderCare Connections LLC, age is no excuse for not staying active. For example, if you are not able to walk for long periods of time, walk inside your home and then eventually try to walk outside of your home. The more you walk over a period of time, the longer you will be able to go and your body will become stronger. Exercise has been proven to improve energy levels and independence along with managing and even preventing symptoms of aging.
Unfortunately, many let age prevent them from engaging in activity. Below are some of the myths of aging that Bell addresses:
*Age is inevitable: Some believe that there simply is no point in exercising when aging is inevitable. In actuality, exercise causes you to not only look and feel younger, but it can also actually prevent your chances for developing Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure and obesity. So before calling it quits, remember the benefits that simple exercises and movements can have on your body and mind.
*Exercise puts me at risk: On the contrary! Exercise can help reduce your risk of falls by building strength, balance and agility. Maintaining bone strength is essential to overall physical health, especially as we age.
*I have a chronic health issue: In actuality, if you do suffer from a chronic condition such as arthritis, diabetes or heart disease, you should have more reason to exercise. Don’t let your condition dictate your lifestyle. Physical activity can actually lessen the amount of medication you use and can ultimately cause you to feel better.
*I’m just too old to make a difference in my health: Don’t hide behind your age. The fact is that you are never too old to begin exercising! Building muscle and bone strength can reduce health problems and improve symptoms.
Bell discusses how one of her clients went from being in a wheelchair to walking with a walker with the help of a personal trainer. Not only has she gotten stronger, but she has also opened the door for more independence. Challenge yourself and start moving your body. Be it walking, dancing, gardening or cycling, just get moving! Do not let your age or health conditions dictate how you will live your life. Instead, take ownership and make the healthiest decisions you can for a long and happy life.