DEBUNKING TWO AGE-RELATED MYTHS
Myth 1: It’s too late to start exercising when you’re middle-aged, if you weren’t active throughout your life.
The truth is that it’s never too late for ANYONE.
Here’s the science to back it up: in a frequent cited study, 50 men and women with an average age of 87 worked out with weights for 10 weeks and increased their muscle strength by 113%. Even more importantly, they also increased their walking speed. As you know, that’s a valuable indicator of overall physical health for everyone, including the elderly.
Myth 2: The pain and disability caused by arthritis is inevitable as you get older.
That’s not true because age itself doesn’t cause arthritis. Arthritis is more common as you age since, in time, the cushiony cartilage that prevents joints and bone from rubbing against one another degrades.
Nevertheless, there are steps you can take to prevent arthritis, such as:
STAYING AT A HEALTHY WEIGHT.
Wearing comfortable, supportive shoes (as opposed to three-inch high heels).
Take it easy with high-impact exercise like running. Do not push over your own limit!
One study found that women who exercised at least once every two weeks for at least 20 minutes were much less likely to develop arthritis of the knee (the most common location for the disease) than women who exercised less.
THE ACTUAL CHANGES
The aging process is something we all go through. The changes that come along with aging fall into three categories: physical, psychological and social.Not everyone ages is the same way, but the changes that occur are pretty common for everyone. However, our biological age isn’t the same as our chronological age. How we age is influenced by diet, exercise, personal habits and psychosocial factors.
Below are the most important physical changes that come with age:
We Have Less Physical Strength, Endurance, and Flexibility
Muscle strength and flexibility decrease with age. A major reason our muscles tend to become weaker is that we have less lean muscle mass, since they shrink from lack of use. Conditioning is the dominant factor influencing this rate of decline.
Our Inner Organs Work Harder
For example, our heart becomes a less efficient pump. This means it requires more oxygen to do the same work it used to. When we reach our 50s, our arteries also become more thick and hardened. That causes our blood-pressure to rise slightly and then level off.
We Lose Bone Mass
The loss of bone mass caused by age takes place gradually. This is true for both men and women alike. The bone resorbs itself, which lowers the bone mineral density. This rapid loss of bone mineral density is a result of osteoporosis. Besides, the more we age, the less bone formation takes place.
ACTIVELY CONTROLLING THESE CHANGES
Our physical aging process can be influenced in a variety of ways. The majority of changes that take place over the years can be strongly affected by exercise levels and other lifestyle choices.
As we age, falls become a very common reason for our injuries. Falls can come as a result of some changes in the body:
That’s why an active lifestyle and a regular physical training can be very beneficial to prevent falls. Mild exercise can reduce the risk of falls by improving strength, balance, coordination and flexibility. We advise you to try these exercises:
Tai Chi — a gentle exercise that involves slow and graceful dance-like movements.
If you or your elders at home aren’t feeling well and tend to lose balance, it’s important to seek help from a physiotherapist for a detailed assessment. They’ll help you get back to better physical performance and lower the risk of falls.
That being said, here’s what you can do to slow down the changes that come with age:
Get regular exercise.
Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and the necessary amounts of healthy fats
Take supplements rich in fruits and vegetable nutrients.
Limit your alcohol intake.
Avoid tobacco products and illicit drugs.
THE CHOICE OF AGING GRACEFULLY
Aging gracefully is something we can control. The key is to stay active and positive. By staying active, you are able to:
Keep and improve your strength, so you can remain independent.
Have more energy to do the things you want to do.
Improve your balance.
Prevent or delay some diseases like heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.
Improve your mood and reduce the chances of depression.
At Balance Core Pte Ltd, we tailor-made a simple and fun exercise routine. The program is named LIFE ENERGY EXERCISE, and it aims to help people enjoy the 4 benefits of exercise without needing to step out of their home: