The 5 big myths of aging and exercise

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Exercise Myth 1: There’s no point to exercising at my age

Fact: all the research shows that at whatever age you start to exercise regularly, you will lower your risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, dementia, and diabetes, it helps you look and feel younger and eases the everyday aches and pains that affect you as you age.

Exercise Myth 2: I am already wobbly, I feel I am more likely to fall over if I exercise.

Fact: all the research shows that exercise builds stamina, endurance, increases bone mass and flexibility and actually reduces your risk of falling.

Exercise Myth 3: It’s too frustrating to try and recover my old abilities.

Fact: all the research show that exercises suitable for older people offer you the greatest opportunity to reduce disability and improve the quality of life, and to extend the years of an independent life for middle-aged and older people.

Exercise Myth 4: I have too many aches and pains, even the thought of exercising is painful

Fact: all the research shows that slow mindful movements are less likely to cause pain, and help people manage their perception of pain, increasing confidence and allowing an incremental increase in pain-free movement.

Exercise Myth 5: I have tried to exercise before but it is so boring.

Fact: all the research shows that exercises which focus on low impact exercises, increases your self-efficacy, that is your belief and conviction that you can successfully engage in activities and encourages you to commit your time and energy in a regular practice.

Stiffness in your body?

However careful you are, you can’t prevent injury damage to your body, it’s part of being alive. This only becomes a  problem when it doesn’t resolve and then develops into a chronic problem, a personal weakness…  “I have weak back”, “my knee can be a problem when I run” or  “twisting like that pulls my back” ……..and it starts so young!

General wear and tear needs to be repaired, and when the repair doesn’t keep up, friction builds up resulting in stiffness. The body’s natural lubrication allows tissues to glide over one another smoothly so a limb doesn’t seize, however when this is not uniform then areas of relative stiffness develop, and lines of force contract into bands of tension.

Most people over 30, and many under 30 have stiff bodies, bodies that are bound up and unbalanced, it’s so common to have this low level of tightness, restriction, ache and pains that just don’t go away. Such damage to your body occurs from many things, childhood accidents, minor injury or surgery, damage from repetitive movements due to your type of work, the regular playing of types of sport, or often your personal “health” exercise routines.

Unlike older people who live with the reality of stiffness on a daily basis, most younger people believe their body will go on forever until that is, they move in a particular way and catch themselves, and it takes months to fully recover. The problem is that pain patterns can stay in the mind even when the physical damage has been repaired and emotional issues related to the impact damage become stuck into the body’s fascia restricting free and easy movement

No one teaches you the importance of feeling into your body, no one tells you that embracing a “stitch in time” approach is the key to staying mobile ****

How to move well and stay healthy as you age.

Keep walking! that’s the takeaway message, so you can stop reading if you want!

More precisely keeping moving is the most important way to stay healthy. Even more important is to learn how to move all of your body when you move, and not just move parts of your body.

Evolution has designed your body to move, the physical twisting, bending turning, squatting rising and walking motions are quite literally what keeps you alive and healthy. Watch older people when they begin to walk less and less, and see how their overall health declines rapidly. Walking less is the turning point which signals the slow process of closing down of their bodies.

Which comes first though, the lack of movement followed by the decline in health, or the decline in health followed reduced movement?  You can argue that the decline in health is first, resulting from say an accident, surgery, illness or injury, but more often than not, there is no traumatic event, people just slide into becoming older and less mobile.

Whether by the simple of ageing or a “first contact” point, it is the reduction of movement that follows, that affects the functioning of the internal organs, reducing the beneficial massage they receive from pressures of physical movement. We all know that you need to keep your heart and your lungs healthy by aerobic exercise, and keep our guts in good order, and that exercise is most definitely good for us. But what is not emphasised is that the pressure created by physical twisting, bending, turning, squatting rising and walking motions is vital in keeping your organs in good condition, by helping the exchange of nutrients and waste products through all your cells.

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