A regular exercise routine can be a challenge at any age—and it doesn’t get any easier as you get older. You may feel discouraged by health problems, aches and pains, or concerns about injuries or falls. Or, if you've never exercised before, you may not know where to begin. Or perhaps you think you're too old, or that exercise is boring.
While these may seem like good reasons to slow down and take it easy, they're even better reasons to get moving. No matter your age or physical condition, it’s never too late to get active and improve your health and outlook.
Myth 1: There’s no point to exercising. I’m going to get old anyway.
Fact: Regular physical activity helps you look and feel younger and stay independent longer. It also lowers your risk for a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Myth 2: Exercise puts me at risk of falling down.
Fact: Regular exercise, by building strength and stamina, prevents loss of bone mass and improves balance, actually reducing your risk of falling.
Myth 3: It’s too frustrating: I’ll never be the athlete I once was.
Fact: Changes in our bodies as we age mean that strength and performance levels inevitably decline, but that doesn’t mean you can no longer feel a sense of achievement from physical activity or improve your health. The key is to set lifestyle goals that are appropriate to your age. And remember: a sedentary lifestyle takes a much greater toll on athletic ability than biological aging.
Myth 4: I’m too old to start exercising.
Fact: You’re never too old to get moving and improve your health! In fact, adults who become active later in life often show greater physical and mental improvements than their younger counterparts.
Myth 5: I'm too weak or have too many aches and pains.
Fact: Getting moving can help you manage pain and improve your strength and self-confidence. Many of us find that regular activity not only helps slow down the decline in strength and vitality that comes with age, but actually improves it. The key is to start off gently.