“It is what it is.” That’s what people say when a problem arises. It’s an excuse to avoid facing a difficult situation. Too often we just accept our conditions without looking at options that could actually benefit us. Many times we avoid exercise because of the way we think. Here is a list of some of the most common myths about exercise and aging:
Myth 1: There’s no point to exercising. I’m going to get old anyway.
Fact: Exercise and strength training help 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: Older people shouldn’t exercise. They should save their strength and rest.
Fact: Research shows that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy for adults over 50. Inactivity often causes older adults 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 down.
Fact: Regular exercise, by building strength and stamina, prevents loss of bone mass and improves balance, actually 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 disabled. 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.
At Kirby Pines we have options. We have a variety of exercise classes from chair yoga to water aerobics to strength training. Check our schedule and see what works for you. The Oasis has free weights and 10 different machines to build strength and endurance. Kim Roberts is available Monday and Friday at 8:00 am to help you learn how to use the equipment and start your own exercise program. The Nu-steps and treadmill are just waiting for you to give them a try. Our in-house Rehab Facility Ready for Rehab can also help with issues concerning balance and strength.
The Serenity Prayer [God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference] reminds me at times we really don’t have to accept, “It is, what it is.” Just maybe “what it is” isn’t what it could be.