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3 Myths About Exercise and Aging

Posted on June 8, 2022 by Larry Johnson

Qualified Medicare Advantage plans can help you with exercise and aging gracefully through the SilverSneakers program. Give our experienced, licensed agents a call today at (800) 950-0608 to find a Medicare Advantage plan that offers this program in your area today.

Exercise is a Key Part of Any Health and Wellness Routine

As we age, staying active becomes more and more of a test of willpower. Aching joints, softening muscles, and even onsets of certain types of illness can keep you from following an exercise routine. The biggest factor, believe it or not, that may be keeping you from taking on a senior exercise routine is fear of injury, even if you’re relatively healthy.

Exercise and aging in a healthy way go hand in hand. Fitness exercise for seniors is a great way to:

  • Keep in good shape
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Maintain a sense of mental clarity
  • Maintain a good level of mobility

Even though you may know of these benefits, there are many myths about exercising for seniors that may be keeping you from engaging in a senior exercise program. Today, we’re going to bust 3 myths about exercise and aging.

Myth #1: “All I Really Need to Do is Walk”

Walking can be a crucial part of any senior exercise routine, as it has the following benefits:

  • Is relatively low impact on your joints
  • Can be a great social activity
  • Works all parts of the body
  • Helps you maintain cardiovascular health and endurance

However, this doesn’t mean that walking is the only exercise that you should be doing. Walking is a wonderful exercise, but walking alone isn’t always enough to help you keep yourself in peak physical shape. Walking should be a key part of your cardio in any well-rounded senior exercise routine.

Fitness exercise for seniors should include exercises and activities that are varied and give you a good physical challenge. For example, a quality senior exercise routine might include:

  • Two 30-minute walks each day
  • 15 minutes of stretching every morning
  • Swimming or water aerobics two to three times a week
  • Light to moderate activity with kettlebells or other weights
  • Balance exercises, such as Tai Chi

By no means is this a comprehensive routine or list, but it can be enough to get you started on a balanced exercise routine that meets your needs.

Myth #2: “I’ll Hurt Myself if I Lift Weights”

Is there a possibility that you might be injured lifting weights at an advanced age? Certainly. However, weightlifting can be risky at any age. If you want to avoid common injuries that may arise when lifting weights as a senior adult, you need to consider your own personal limitations.

Before you tackle the weights – or any senior exercise program, for that matter – it’s a good idea to take stock of any underlying medical issues you may have. In most cases, before you start a program, it’s best to consult with your doctor to see what types of exercises may work best for you. You may be relatively healthy compared to other individuals your age, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can tackle a Herculean weight training regimen with no problems! Consulting your doctor before starting an exercise program can help you achieve maximum health results without the risk of sustaining severe injury.

Once your doctor works with you to create a regimen that works, it’s time to hit the weights. Lifting weights on a regular basis in your golden years can help you maintain the strength you need to tackle everyday tasks. For instance, things that weren’t so heavy to you at one point – like a gallon of milk or a large bottle of laundry detergent – can become tougher to carry as you age — so can simply standing up from a chair or climbing the stairs. Lifting weights to maintain strength can help you continue to handle these tasks with relative ease.

Myth #3: “I Can’t Afford to Work Out - I’m On a Fixed Income”

To most, working out effectively means buying a pricey membership to a gym. If you’re on a fixed income, a gym membership is definitely out of reach, right?

Not necessarily. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, there’s a program that can help you gain access to a local fitness facility and all that it offers. It’s called the SilverSneakers program, and it’s available at no extra cost to beneficiaries of Medicare Advantage plans that include it.

The SilverSneakers program is designed to encourage increased activity in seniors at all activity levels. You can take classes in person at over 15,000 fitness locations across the nation, or if you prefer to work out at home, they offer online classes as well. SilverSneakers also gives you access to discounts on plenty of health and wellness services and products.

Determining your eligibility for the SilverSneakers program is easy. All you need is:

  • Your full legal name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your current location
  • Your contact information

Enter these things into the SilverSneakers eligibility plug-in, and you’ll know in a matter of minutes whether or not your Medicare Advantage plan includes the SilverSneakers program.

If you’re not eligible for the SilverSneakers program, you can still create your own free senior exercise program. Many local parks offer community exercise equipment alongside walking trails. These valuable resources can help you incorporate resistance and weight training into any type of senior exercise regimen at no cost to you.

Exercise and Aging Gracefully Go Hand-in-Hand

Maintaining your health is very important in your golden years. Eating right, taking care of your mental health, and maintaining your physical health with exercise are crucial. Many will tell you that exercise and aging gracefully go hand-in-hand. Those who tell you this are correct.

If your only worry about starting an exercise program is having the funds to do it the right way, remember that a qualifying Medicare Advantage plan can help. All you have to do is find a plan in your area that carries the SilverSneakers program, and you’ll be on your way. However, there are plenty of exercises you can do for free each and every day, even if you can’t get access to a local gym.

About the Author

Larry Johnson

Larry is a content writer with several years of experience in creating informative content for a variety of industries on topics that matter. He is a 2009 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

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