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  • Writer's pictureKate Bradshaw

Staying Active

An active lifestyle is important at any age but particularly as we grow older. Regular exercise helps boost energy, maintain independence and manage symptoms of illness or pain. Not only is exercise good for your body—it’s also good for your mind, mood, and memory.

Whether you are generally healthy or managing an illness, there are plenty of ways to get more active, improve your confidence and boost your fitness. Starting a regular exercise routine can be challenging and you may feel discouraged by illness, ongoing health problems, 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 frail, or that exercise is boring or simply not for you.

Here are five myths that may prevent you from starting but as you can see by the facts, there is really no reason to start a program today;

Myth 1: There’s no point to exercising. I’m going to get old anyway.

FACT: Exercise and strength training helps you look and feel younger and stay active longer. Regular physical activity lowers your risk for a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and obesity. Myth 2: Elderly people shouldn’t exercise. They should save their strength and rest.

FACT: Research shows that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy for the elderly. Period. Inactivity often causes seniors to lose the ability to do things on their own and can lead to more hospitalizations, doctor visits, and use of medicines for illnesses. Myth 3: Exercise puts me at risk of falling.

FACT: Regular exercise, by building strength and stamina, prevents loss of bone mass and improves balance, reducing your risk of falling. Myth 4: It’s too late. I’m already too old to start exercising.

FACT: You’re never too old to exercise! If you’ve never exercised before, or it’s been a while, start with light walking and other gentle activities. Myth 5: I’m in a wheelchair and I can’t exercise sitting down.

FACT: Chair-bound people face special challenges but can lift light weights, stretch, and do chair aerobics to increase range of motion, improve muscle tone, and promote cardiovascular health.

If you are looking for more information on healthy ageing, contact our Community Care team today on 1300 527 464.

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