Exercise myths about older adults

Welcome to Siel Bleu’s myth buster addition! Many people have fears, and speculations when it comes to working out, especially into an older age. In this blog, we are going to go over the common myths that surround this topic, and the actual truths behind them.

Myth: Exercise isn’t safe for someone my age

Actually, not moving is much riskier and can speed up the ageing process. When you are inactive, you start to lose strength, stamina, and balance. This in turn leads to issues like falls, which is the third leading cause of chronic disability, and loss independence. Yet, it has been shown that regular exercise, prevents loss of bone mass and improves balance, actually reducing your risk of falling.

In one particular study, they took 344 adults, 70 and older, who previously had three falls. The older adults took part in a simple resistance training programme over a 6 month period. The result?  The study showed that participants were less likely to experience repeat falls. Also, as a secondary benefit they improved in areas of cognitive function. Doctor Teresa Liu-Ambrose, who conducted this study adds, “Older adults who experience falls are medically complex and at high risk for both morbidity and mortality, and we demonstrated that exercise is a practical and cost-effective intervention that can improve older peoples’ outcomes after a significant fall.” Remember, the more physically fit you are, the less likely you are to get injured.

Myth: It’s too expensive

In all reality, exercise saves you money! By staying active, it has been shown that you will have less medications, hospital visits, and are able to stay independent longer, reducing the need for long term care. You don’t have to spend money to exercise, simply getting out of the house and going for a walk is beneficial. Or try some simple movement exercises while watching the TV.

Also, due to Siel Bleu being a nonprofit, our exercise classes are affordable, allowing most people to participate. In addition to the classes, many of our participants exercise at home, which in turn saves money from having to get a gym membership. Checkout our newsletter here, where you can sign up and receive 3 free at home exercise programmes: http://bit.ly/newslettersbi

Myth: I have never exercised before, it’s too late to make a difference in my health

Many people think that symptoms, such as weakness, or loss of balance, are strictly caused by old age. While it is true that as you get older, our body’s functionality can decline, physical activity helps to slow any further decline.

Yet, there is good news! It has been shown that even if someone decided to exercise after being physically inactive, the benefits of longevity would still be significant. For example, in a study in the UK, it was found that even people in their nineties living in a nursing home boosted muscle strength after starting an exercise routine! Another thing to keep in mind is that beginners see that most amount of progress when starting out, compared to those who are experienced. This demonstrates at any point in life being active is advantageous for your health.

Myth: I’m not fit enough to attend an exercise class

Most people who start an exercise class, have either no exercise experience, or very little. When you attend a Siel Bleu exercise class, you will see that everyone comes from diverse walks of life, and have different abilities. Also, our trainers are highly educated, having to obtain at least a Bachelors in Exercise Science, and are trained by Siel Bleu standards. Due to this, trainers will find modifications for you if you are unable to do an exercise, and each class is done at your own pace. On top of that, you get the added benefit of exercising with a group which is motivating, holds you accountable, and allows you to build relationships with the other participants. Also, as many of our I Can champions pointed out last week, you have to start somewhere!

Sources:

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/exercise-and-fitness-as-you-age.htm

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325610.php?fbclid=IwAR0tf4jebUWCXVQWDHCBHuCiCfdVm1Pp5p9qBHO9LsXkYiRFjerHPvYTFgk

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/exercise-as-you-get-older/

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-47331544

https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/exercise-and-aging-myths#1

https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/exercise-older-adults#2

http://aginginstride.enewsworks.com/en/10047/articles/2456/Top-10-Myths-About-Seniors-and-Exercise.htm

https://www.belmarrahealth.com/home-exercise-program-lowers-fall-risk-elderly/?fbclid=IwAR0qIJlMXb-aJ0JK1YFxtssBI23BWc6KflvREkdiFsK7x76YjNpMC-Y2XaA