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21 Myths About Exercise And Aging.

21 Myths About Exercise And Aging.
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Debunking the myths about aging and exercise, research has shown that even seniors can benefit from physical activity. Though it’s important to take into account any health conditions you may have, staying active is a great way to stay healthy as you age. Here are 21 of the most common myths about aging and exercise debunked.

Myth 1: You can’t work out if you have high blood pressure or heart disease

Truth: It’s possible to slowly increase intensity levels with doctor supervision until you reach a level appropriate for your health status and aging. Talk to your doctor first before starting any new fitness program!

Myth 2: Exercise will make arthritis worse

Truth: Exercise does not worsen arthritis symptoms in adults aging with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip. According to a recent study from the American College of Rheumatology. In fact, for some individuals, it can actually help improve arthritis symptoms and decrease pain levels.

However, some forms of arthritis such as ankylosing spondylitis may worsen due to exercise. So you should always talk to your doctor first before starting a new fitness plan.

21 Myths About Exercise And Aging
Exercise will make arthritis worse.

Myth 3: All skinny people are healthy

Truth: Not all skinny people are healthy. Many fit people have just as many health problems, if not more, than overweight or obese individuals. Health problems may be less visible because of their body size, but this doesn’t mean they’re any healthier.

Therefore, you should always talk to your doctor first before starting a new fitness plan. Because you never know what might be lurking under the surface (for instance an undiagnosed chronic disease).

Myth 4: As You Get Older, It’s Harder To Lose Weight

Truth: The types of food that make up your meals change. But your metabolism shouldn’t slow down due to aging unless there is another underlying medical condition. This means that even when you’re 70. You should still be able to work the same number of calories off as a 20-year-old.

Myth 5: You can’t lift weights if you have arthritis

Truth: It is absolutely possible to continue doing strength training exercises even with arthritis. As long as your doctor gives their approval and recommends adaptations to make the exercise easier. (such as not locking your elbow on certain stretches or not holding your breath). It’s perfectly fine for people with arthritis to keep lifting!

Myth 6: Older adults shouldn’t run

Truth: There may be some age-related changes that occur in the body such as an increased risk of osteoarthritis. But this doesn’t mean that all older adults who want to start running should just give up. Fitness gurus suggest any modifications to running programs for older adults. Such as reducing speed to make it easier on the joints. However, if you’re healthy enough to run (and your doctor says that it’s okay), then there is nothing stopping you!

Myth 7: As You Get Older, Your Muscles Turn Into Fat

Truth: This previous proven false myth studies which have shown that there is no evidence of muscle change turning into fat. But this doesn’t mean that both muscle and fat are not lost as you age – they are. It simply means that your body composition changes rather than having one form of tissue turn into another. The good news here is that losing weight won’t necessarily cause loss of muscle mass or vice versa. Together they lost.

Myth 8: As You Get Older, You Lose Your Sex Drive

Truth: The myth that people experience a decline in sexual activity with age is not only false. But you might actually find yourself being more attracted to others as time goes on. Sexual peaks occur at different times throughout the lifespan for both genders, and it happens earlier for women than men.

This means that women tend to have their strongest desire during their highest fertility years (ages 16-26). Men seem to have a second wave of strong sexual desire during midlife. (age 36-45) which coincides with generally having an increase in testosterone levels. However, the decline in libido typically occurs after menopause in women. And this leads many researchers to believe there may be a biological explanation rather than a psychological explanation for this.

Myth 9: Lifting weights makes You Bulky

Truth: Weight training does not make women bulk up like men because women do not produce enough testosterone to do so (on average). The amount of muscle mass and strength that is gained from weight training depends on your genetics. Nutrition, and the intensity, frequency, duration and type of exercise performed. Men have been known to gain significantly more muscle mass after high-intensity resistance training. Because they produce much higher levels of testosterone which helps build lean body muscles.

Myth 10: You Can’t Drink Caffeine If You Have Arthritis

Truth: Caffeine may actually help reduce inflammation in those suffering from osteitis. Although it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor, before adding any new foods or beverages to your diet. You would be wise not to automatically rule out caffeine if osteoarthritis is your diagnosis.

You Can’t Drink Caffeine If You Have Arthritis

Myth 11: As You Get Older, Your Mind And Body Deteriorate And There’s Nothing You Can Do About It

Truth: While we may not live as long as we once did due to advances in modern medicine and medical technology. The quality of our lives is much better now thanks to a society that values wellness. In fact, life expectancy today has been documented by Census Bureau data to be longer than ever before. That is 78 years for men on average and 81 years for women on average. We are also healthier throughout most of our lives thanks to education about health-related issues. Such as diet, exercise, smoking cessation etc.

So while there may be some physiological changes that occur during older age. (mainly due to decreased activity and lifestyle habits), these changes can be minimized and offset by adopting a healthier lifestyle.

Myth 12: Once you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis, your symptoms will inevitably get worse over time

Truth: While your joints may experience some wear and tear as you age, the degenerative effects of osteoarthritis are often overstated. As there is tremendous potential for positive change in those living with RA. In fact, 80% of individuals report that they have very few or no problems at all! Not bad considering major organizations such as the CDC estimate that 47 million Americans suffer from this debilitating condition.

The key here is to be proactive about managing it before it progresses. Early diagnosis provides a host of treatment options. Who need it and most importantly, a greater chance of relieving symptoms.

21 Myths About Exercise And Aging

Myth 13: You have to give up all social activities

Truth: It may seem as though there is no hope for those living with arthritis. But the truth is that living your life is very possible. Even if you can’t do everything you used to be able to. While it’s true that some activities may exacerbate your condition. There are healthy alternatives available that can help keep you active and engaged. In things that matter most the most to you the most.

The important thing here is not what others think but finding a balance. Between lifestyle habits that cause harm vs those which provide benefit.

Myth 14: Your Diet Doesn’t As Much As Physical Activity when It Comes to Managing RA

Truth: Although it may be true that exercise is particularly important in the treatment of arthritis. You can’t discount diet when trying to manage this condition. In fact, studies have shown that obesity and its related health consequences. (e.g., increased risk for cardiovascular disease) can lead to more severe symptoms in those with osteoarthritis. While weight loss is certainly a goal which should be pursued by all individuals who are overweight or obese. Changes need to occur on both the consumption and expenditure side of things so as not to compromise your ability to perform daily life activities. Such as walking upstairs, getting out of bed, etc.

Myth 15: You Have To Take Expensive Medication

Truth: Although medications are typically the first line of defense in arthritis treatment. It’s important to note that they are meant to be used in combination with other therapies. Such as physical activity and dietary management. While some medications are very effective at treating symptoms through anti-inflammatory action. This doesn’t mean that these drugs should be seen as a cure-all for your condition.

There also needs to be careful consideration when taking these medications. Since many carry significant risks which may outweigh any benefits when taken long term. This is particularly true in the case of COX-2 inhibition which may increase cardiovascular risk. What’s most important here is finding a well-rounded treatment strategy that provides you with the most benefits most safely.

Myth 16: Physical therapy can’t help you

Truth: Many do not think of physical therapy as being an important part of their arthritis treatment plan. But it is an extremely helpful strategy in treating symptoms and improving activity levels. Physical therapists are trained specialists who have the knowledge, skills and abilities to design a customized program. That works to improve mobility, reduce pain, strengthen muscles and ultimately promote functional independence. It’s always best to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. So they can work together to find what is right for your needs.

Myth 17: Joint replacement surgery should be considered by all individuals affected by severe arthritis

Truth: Not all forms of arthritis need surgical intervention. In fact, only about 20% of all individuals who have osteoarthritis will consider surgery for treatment purposes. This is particularly true in the case of mild to moderate arthritis. Where treatment with physical activity, medication and dietary management may be just as effective. If not more so – than surgical intervention. As always, it’s important to discuss your personal situation with your doctor before trying any other therapies. It’s also important to note that while joint replacement surgery can lead to significant improvement in pain, function and mobility. It should only be used when other treatments are ineffective at providing relief.

Myth 18: Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (i.e., NSAIDs) will make you feel better

Truth: While NSAIDs do provide symptomatic relief for OA through pain relief. There is little evidence to suggest that NSAIDs are effective when taken over the long run. In fact, studies have shown that when compared with placebo medications. It doesn’t seem to reduce joint space narrowing or slow disease progression.

What’s more, serious risks may be associated with chronic use of these drugs. Include cardiovascular events, gastrointestinal bleeding and even an increased risk for diabetes.

Myth 19: There is no dietary therapy Option For Arthritis

Truth: One of the most powerful forms of dietary therapy for arthritis sufferers is weight loss for obese individuals. This alone can result in significant improvement in symptoms including decreased pain, improved function and activity levels, reduced morning stiffness and increase in energy levels. Losing just 10% of your body weight is enough to see a significant difference in your arthritis symptoms. In fact, studies have shown that losing as little as 10% of body weight can result in a 50-100% reduction in medication usage. Another dietary therapy for arthritis sufferers is known as the Paleolithic diet which is modelled after hunter-gatherer diets from our ancestral past. This type of eating plan has been found to improve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, decrease inflammation and disease progression.

Myth 20: There Are No Safe And Effective Treatments For arthritis

Truth: While every form of treatment carries some risk. It’s important to note that there are many remedies available that prove to be both safe and effective. For instance, glucosamine supplementation is widely used around the world to treat arthritic pain. And can be effective for those with mild to moderate forms of arthritis. Glucosamine is a natural extract derived from shellfish that helps stimulate the synthesis of glycosaminoglycan’s which are major molecules found in cartilage. The benefit here is that glucosamine stimulates the production of these important building blocks within your joints. As well as increases lubrication and enhances the elasticity of connective tissues, all without any side effects.

Myth 21: Arthritis Sufferers Should Avoid Physical Activity

Truth: While it’s true that excessive activity may exacerbate symptoms. It’s important to note that regular exercise and physical activity does not cause harm. And has been shown to improve quality of life. Reduce risk of falls and decrease long-term disability. More importantly, it’s essential for arthritis sufferers to follow the 55-75 rule. Which states that you should engage in at least thirty minutes of moderate-intensity activity five days per week. Or if this proves difficult, try adopting the 25-50 rule. Where you aim for fifteen minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise three times a week.

And remember, activities don’t have to be formal workouts or gym sessions. Engaging in activities that are fun and enjoyable can be just as beneficial!


Debunking the myths about aging and exercise, research has shown that even seniors can benefit from physical activity. As you get older, your metabolism shouldn’t slow down due to aging unless there is another underlying medical condition.

You should still be able to work the same number of calories off as a 20-year-old when you’re 70 years old as you age. Lifting weights does not make weight training up like men because women do not produce enough testosterone to do so (on average).


Conclusion paragraph: So there you have it, 21 myths that will hopefully help to dispel some of the uncertainty and fear surrounding exercise as we age. If you are an older person who has been hesitant about starting a fitness program for any reason, go ahead and try something new! You may be pleasantly surprised by what happens next. And if you need someone to walk with you on this journey, check out our blog post “10 Best Exercises For A Healthy Heart.” As always, feel free to reach out anytime by comemnting if you have questions or concerns about anything else related to aging well through movement.

2 thoughts on “21 Myths About Exercise And Aging.”

  1. Hmm is anyone else having problems with the images on this blog loading? I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

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