There is no shortage of myths about fitness and aging to stop you from getting off the couch and exercising. However, you’ll find that most of these myths are nothing more than excuses that people prove wrong every day. Here are a few that could be holding you back.
1. There’s an Age Limit
Okay, so nobody actually seems to know at what age people are too old to exercise, but one of the most common myths about fitness occurs when people decide they are simply too old to work out anymore. This is a total fallacy!
You are absolutely never too old to exercise and practice some level of physical fitness. In 2015, Harriette Thompson, a 92-year-old grandmother of 10 became the oldest person to complete a marathon, which she did in less than 7.5 hours.
If a nonagenarian can go over 26 miles in under 7 hours, you have absolutely no excuse not to perform some level of fitness activity. Naturally, everyone has their limits, and you’ll need to work around yours at any age. But never make the mistake of thinking you’re too old to work out.
2. My Disability Prevents Me form Exercising
This is nothing more than an excuse we use to limit ourselves. “I can’t because my [fill in the blank with physical disability] prevents me”. This is one of the most prevalent myths about fitness that people develop with age.
Here’s the thing, though. Have you heard of the Special Olympics? All kinds of disabled people are getting fit, at an Olympic level. There are people with arthritis, people in wheelchairs, people fighting cancer – all of them finding ways to exercise and stay as fit as possible despite whatever physical limitations they’re coping with.
We all suffer some amount of deterioration as we age, but citing a physical disability or illness as a reason for avoiding fitness is, sorry to say, nothing but a cop out.
3. I’ll Hurt Myself
Any time you start a new exercise regimen there’s a possibility of injury. This is true at any age. However, people seem to think that as they get older this becomes unavoidable.
In truth, maintaining health and fitness throughout your lifetime can help you to avoid serious injury in most cases, making this one of those myths about fitness that you should discount. Just make sure to speak with your physician to get the green light before starting a new routine and consult with a trainer, physical therapist, or other expert to make sure you’re doing it right.
4. It’s Too Late
If you’ve never been particularly fit, you might not know where to get started now that you’ve entered middle age or your twilight years. Don’t get caught up in such common myths about fitness, though. It turns out you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.
Here’s something to consider. Can you walk? Then you can work out. Even people in wheelchairs roll themselves from point A to point B. Guess what? This is physical activity.
Granted, you will have to put in a little more effort than your average daily stroll to enjoy the fitness benefits, but once you admit what you are capable of, you’ll find that it’s never too late to start a fitness routine, try new activities, and potentially discover a new pastime that helps you to remain fit and healthy.
5. I Can’t Do the Same Things I Did When I Was Young
This is one of those myths about fitness that has an element of truth to it. If you were a marathon runner for many years and gave it up, you’re in a better position to return to jogging than, say, someone who’s been a couch potato for the last 50 years.
However, our bodies do have limits and these can increase with age. Even though you may be able to take up some of the activities you enjoyed when you were younger, do so with the caveat that your performance may not be the same and take proper precautions to avoid injury.
6. It’s Too Expensive
To be fair, some retired persons are on fixed incomes that limits their ability to join an expensive gym. However, physical fitness doesn’t have to cost you anything.
As myths about fitness go, this one could hold some water depending on the activity you choose. Still, you can definitely avoid the most expensive options and focus on low-cost activities like walking, hiking, or swimming, just for example, that require little more than your regular wardrobe and the great outdoors to enjoy.