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“Being over 50 isn’t too late to get in shape. Here’s a look at myths you should never believe about fitness at mid-life.
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The one thing to remember is that you’re never too old to start exercising. “There is no expiration date on our body’s ability to benefit from physical activity,” says Alice Bell, PT, DPT, a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy, and American Physical Therapy Association spokeswoman. “Studies show that individuals who adopt an active lifestyle at any age can demonstrate improvements in strength, endurance, balance, and cognitive performance.” Plus, you might soon come to love fitness.
A sedentary person shouldn’t attempt a marathon overnight—or even a 5K. But regular runners don’t have to stop just because they’re getting older. Running is fantastic for cardiovascular health and mental clarity. “People say that running is too hard on your joints and should be avoided, particularly as you age, however, there are many people who run well into their older age and continue to see benefit without issues,” says Chad McCann, DPT, CSCS. “While the choice to run should be individual, there is little indication that running leads to arthritis or joint damage. Some people can continue to run successfully as they age, although their distances and intensity may change to promote health.” Wearing the right shoes is key to preventing injury—here’s how to choose the perfect pair.
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Walking is great. Even fitness powerhouse Kayla Itsines swears by it, but your body needs more. “The greatest long-term benefits of exercise stem from working your body into overload, meaning pushing strength, flexibility, and cardio conditioning to force your body to adapt to more stressful requirements,” explains McCann. “While there is research connecting some walking to basic heart health, walking alone does not stress your heart enough to create true cardiovascular improvement.” Try building in some intervals—short bursts of fast walking or jogging—into your walks, and make time for strength training as well, he says. If you’re not a fan of running, try these 10 calorie-busting exercises instead.
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You don’t need to stick to two-pound weights just because you’re 50, 60, or even 70. It’s all about knowing your body and proper form. “Weight-lifting can be a very daunting form of exercise—some people are concerned that it will actually produce more harm than good. However, lifting with good form and appropriate weights has been proven to be safe and effective for strength development for all ages,” says McCann. “In addition, weight-lifting is critical for long-term bone health and general strength can be a good indicator of long-term independence. There is little evidence that weight-lifting leads to arthritis or other joint issues.” Take a look at the 8 health problems that benefit from strength training.
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“Balance is just like all other forms of fitness—the more you work on it, the better it gets,” says McCann. More to the point, being steady on your feet will help you avoid falls and stay healthy: “It’s another solid predictor of lifelong independence and shouldn’t be ignored in any fitness regimen.” Here are some ways you can work on balance at home.
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Doctors encourage people with knee or hip replacements to start moving as soon as possible; the reason is that keeping circulation strong and active can help speed healing. So if you have an injury, talk to your doctor or work with a trained professional to get back on your feet. “There is plenty of research that indicates a substantial pain benefit from starting a basic exercise program,” says McCann. “Improving strength and flexibility helps reduce joint irritability and improve joint lubrication.” He points to research demonstrating that exercise can reduce the psychological and emotional stress that can exacerbate pain.
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According to Dustin Jones, PT, DPT, creator of the Senior Rehab Project, generally healthy people don’t need to consult with a doctor. “The American College of Sports Medicine has loosened its recommendations in order to get people moving! You should see a doctor before you start a program if you have any current symptoms or a history of cardiovascular, metabolic, or renal disease. Otherwise, just consider your current activity levels and gradually progress from there,” says Jones.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.rd.com/health/fitness/myths-shouldnt-believe-fitness-after-50/
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