Fitness myths you should not believe after the age of 50

Being over 50 isn't too late to get in shape. Here's a look at myths you should never believe about fitness at mid-life.

Myth: I'm injured—I should wait to start working out

Doctors encourage people with knee or hip replacements to start moving as soon as possible; the reason is that keeping circulation strong and active can help speed healing. So if you have an injury, talk to your doctor or work with a trained professional to get back on your feet. There is plenty of research that indicates a substantial pain benefit from starting a basic exercise program. Improving strength and flexibility helps reduce joint irritability and improve joint lubrication. He points to research demonstrating that exercise can reduce the psychological and emotional stress that can exacerbate pain.

Myth: High-intensity interval training is dangerous

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has even shown to be helpful for people that have heart disease and diabetes. Time and time again, research has demonstrated that HIIT is one of the most effective ways to get in shape. If you're uncertain about this technique, sign up with a fitness professional to ensure success, but that it's a form of training that can be effective for people of all ages.

Myth: Squats will wreck my knees

There's a reason so many trainers say their favorite exercise is a squat. Properly performed squats will not result in knee pain or injury—they're one of the staples of a well-rounded exercise program that can help you get a stronger lower body. Myth: I haven't exercised my whole life—it's too late to start The one thing to remember is that you're never too old to start exercising. There is no expiration date on our body's ability to benefit from physical activity. Studies show that individuals who adopt an active lifestyle at any age can demonstrate improvements in strength, endurance, balance, and cognitive performance. Plus, you might soon come to love fitness.

Myth: I shouldn't run anymore

A sedentary person shouldn't attempt a marathon overnight. But regular runners don't have to stop just because they're getting older. Running is fantastic for cardiovascular health and mental clarity. People say that running is too hard on your joints and should be avoided, particularly as you age, however, there are many people who run well into their older age and continue to see benefit without issues.

Myth: Walking is enough

Walking is great. Even fitness powerhouse Kayla Itsines swears by it, but your body needs more. The greatest long-term benefits of exercise stem from working your body into overload, meaning pushing strength, flexibility, and cardio conditioning to force your body to adapt to more stressful requirements. While there is research connecting some walking to basic heart health, walking alone does not stress your heart enough to create true cardiovascular improvement.

Myth: Lifting weights is bad for my joints

You don't need to stick to two-pound weights just because you're 50, 60, or even 70. It's all about knowing your body and proper form. Weight-lifting can be a very daunting form of exercise—some people are concerned that it will actually produce more harm than good. However, lifting with good form and appropriate weights has been proven to be safe and effective for strength development for all ages. In addition, weight-lifting is critical for long-term bone health and general strength can be a good indicator of long-term independence.

Myth: You can't fix poor balance

Balance is just like all other forms of fitness—the more you work on it, the better it gets. More to the point, being steady on your feet will help you avoid falls and stay healthy. “It's another solid predictor of lifelong independence and shouldn't be ignored in any fitness regimen.” Here are some ways you can work on balance at home.

Myth: I'm inflexible, and I have to accept that

Many people say they're inflexible, but what they really mean is that their body is tight. Although genetics play a role in how well your body can bend and stretch, you can improve on what you've inherited by adding regular stretching or yoga to your routine. Need more convincing? Here are some more compelling reasons for stretching at least once a day.

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