Most of us tend to be more active in our younger years. However, experts agree that the need for exercise, both strength and cardio, only increases as we age. The idea that you shouldn’t do certain activities, such as running or high-intensity workouts, is simply not true. Below are 6 myths about fitness after age 50.
MYTH: You can’t build muscle after 50. While you may not be able to build muscle as quickly and as easily as you could when you were younger, you can still build it. In addition to strength training, you should maintain a healthy diet with adequate protein intake.
MYTH: You can’t lift heavy weight. Heavier weights help improve bone density and reduce muscle loss. It is, however, important to be mindful of any injuries or limitations in range of movement. If you are just starting your weight lifting routine, start with low weights and gradually work your way up. This will strengthen the muscles while preventing fatigue and injury.
MYTH: You should exercise slowly. As we age, we tend to lose fast twitch muscle fibers, which help generate short bursts of strength or speed. This is typically due to inactivity. It is important to move slowly at first to master the proper form of any work out, but it should be a goal to add speed. Moving faster helps improve agility and boost your reaction time.
MYTH: Your joints can’t support workouts. You should be mindful of your physical limitations but, often times, small stretches and building up strength over time can actually help improve your joint health.
MYTH: You’re less flexible. Regardless of age, when you stop stretching and exercising, you become less flexible. By incorporating regular stretching and yoga, you can improve your flexibility, strengthen your core, and improve balance.
MYTH: You can’t lose weight. While your metabolism is slower, staying active and maintaining a healthy diet can help you lose weight over time.
As we age, it is important to stay active and healthy and be sure to consult with your doctor before starting any fitness routine.