The older we get, the more restrictions we seem to have. Do this. Don’t do that. Eat this. Don’t eat that. So, what is the final word on exercise? Is it something that, as an older person, we should be avoiding or embracing?
Fortunately (or unfortunately depending upon the answer you hoped to find), you are never too old to enjoy the benefits of exercise. In fact, getting in regular physical activity even helps you age more gracefully as your bones and muscles will become more resilient because of it.
The basic thing to remember, no matter what age you are, is that you should push your body enough to make it stronger, but not so hard that you do damage to it. This means, first and foremost, talking to your doctor about any exercise program before starting it to make sure you don’t have any conditions that may be aggravated by that particular regimen.
Secondly, start slowly. Your body didn’t get out of shape overnight and it isn’t going to get in shape that quickly either. Besides, if you try to jump in too quickly, you will likely do damage to your muscles and bones, which isn’t going to help you reach your fitness goals.
Third, listen to your body. You know when something doesn’t feel right, so pay attention to any cues that may suggest that there is something wrong. The old adage of “no pain, no gain” really doesn’t apply because exercise shouldn’t be painful. It may be taxing, but pain signals that there is a potential problem.
Finally, if you’re new to exercise, it may help to hire a personal trainer. That way, you’ll learn exactly what exercises are good for your body, which ones will help you reach your goals, and you’ll know for sure how to properly execute them to avoid injury.
So, are you too old to exercise? No. There is no such thing.