Myths about activity and aging

Aging process often takes a toll on our bodies and energy levels, making exercise a little more difficult than during teens and twenties. But that's so not true. It is one of the popular myths keeping older people from getting the physical activity their bodies need.

Myth 1: 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 older people find that regular activity not only helps stem the decline in strength and vitality that comes with age, but actually improves it. The key is to start off gently.

Myth 2: I may fall down if I exercise

Fact: Exercising regularly prevents loss of bone mass and improves balance, actually reducing your risk of falling. It builds the body's strength and stamina.

Myth 3: I'm going to get old anyway. There's no point to exercising.

Fact: If your parents keep saying these words, you are supposed to make them understand that regular physical activity helps you look and feel younger and stay independent longer. In fact, 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 4: I can't be as fit as I was.

Fact: There's always a way to improve health and fitness. There are certain changes in hormones, metabolism, bone density, and muscle mass mean that strength and performance levels that decline with age, but that doesn't mean you can no longer derive a sense of achievement from physical activity or improve your health.

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