Aging and Exercise, Part 1
Should I exercise and is it beneficial to exercise between 50 (I’m 52) and 100+ years old?
I have many students in my Yoga classes who are in their 60s, 70s, 80s and one who is almost 92. The assisted living facilities I teach at have many in their 90s and a few over 100 that attend my classes because they they feel better.
“I’m to old” can never be used as an excuse for not exercising. I’ve read that older adults who take up exercise in their later years show quicker and greater improvements than younger adults. If you’ve never exercised or it’s been a long time, you should gain the benefits of exercise quickly. Approach your practice/exercise slow and gentle as you gain the benefits incrementally. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you notice a positive difference in your life. Most of my students feel good after beginning my Yoga class.
When you’re older and begin to lose your ability to be independent, it’s likely not because you’ve aged. It’s more likely because you’re no longer active and or exercising.
If you have a sedentary lifestyle, you will most likely become unhealthy, losing quality of life and the ability to do what you used to do. This could lead to more doctor visits, hospital stays, medicine and the use of walking aides such as canes, walkers or wheelchairs prematurely.
If you commit to a regular exercise program, whether it is yoga or some other exercise, you will build strength, stamina, bone mass and improve balance. This will help reduce your risk of falling. Gentle exercise will increase your circulation, improve digestion and is good for the respiratory system. Exercise helps make you feel and look younger and gives you better quality of life with less fatigue so you can be active for many more years to come. Regular exercise helps to manage stress, improves mood and how you see life. Movement also lubricates your joints for smoother movements and healthier joints. With the strength you gain and keep in your legs from exercise will help prevent you from loosing your ability to walk. The immediate feel good high after exercise helps or eliminates depression as it did for me when I was at my sickest point with my MS. Exercise will make you stronger physically and mentally and if something unfortunate happens that is out of your control you’ll have a better chance to fight through it.
Safety: Start slow, listen to your body and avoid pain. If you have not exercised before or it’s been a long time, then it will take some time to undue what has happened to your inactive body and mind. Be patient.
I recommend checking with your doctor before beginning your new exercise program.
We are all here for a limited time. A lot of things we have no control over, but exercise is one we are in control of that can make a positive difference in our lives. So why not take control of your life and transform your life so you are the best you can be and enjoy your independence as you age.
Should I exercise and is it beneficial to exercise between 50 and 100+ years old? YES
Happy & Healthy,