Project Body Smart | Are You Too Old to Exercise?


Are You Too Old to Exercise?

More Common Questions about Fitness over 50

Here are more questions we’re often asked about exercise after age 50. Let us know of any other questions you have! We are happy to answer them.

Question: Older people don’t need to lift weights, right?

Answer: Wrong! Resistance training is ESSENTIAL for everyone as we age, for many reasons that are indisputable. Humans start to lose muscle mass regularly in our 30s, and if we don’t work to build muscle, we eventually become frail and weak. That leads to balance problems, falls, broken bones, and more. Plus, lifting weights helps to keep us lean, to sleep better, and to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol.

Q: Does muscle really weigh more than fat?

A: No. A pound is a pound is a pound. BUT muscle is denser than fat and takes up less space in our bodies – about 22% less space.

Q: Is the “no pain, no gain” idea for real?

A: No, it is not. Some discomfort might be normal when starting a new activity, but many types of pain are not – like joint pain and tendon strains. If you’re new to exercise, don’t ignore pain. Talk to a trainer or healthcare professional to help you distinguish between normal and concerning discomfort.

Q: Am I too old to get any benefits from starting to exercise now?

A: No. Research proves that we’re never too old to start exercising and enjoying its benefits.

Q: Are sit-ups the best way to lose belly fat?

A: Sadly, there’s no way to “spot reduce” body fat, in the belly or anywhere else. And sit-ups can cause strain on the neck and spine. Lowering body fat can be a slow process, achieved through resistance training, some cardio, and consistently eating right over time. Talk to us about which “belly” exercises are safe and effective for you.

Q: I’m over 50 and my weight is fine. Why should I work out regularly when I don’t have to?

A: So many reasons! Losing weight isn’t the only motivation for taking care of yourself. Staying fit after 50 also helps you enjoy sports and activities safely, including traveling, playing with grandkids, and putting away the groceries. We need strength, endurance, and flexibility, no matter what our weight is or what activities we enjoy! Health is certainly not just about your weight.

Q: Gyms are full of young people. Will I feel uncomfortable?

A: We want to help you get fit or stay fit. We are uniquely qualified in this area to work with people over 50. And your comfort level is of the utmost importance to us. Let us show you how safe, fun and effective we make it for you. Most of our clients have come to realize that being in our facility isn’t as scary as they made it up to be in their heads. We also have fitness and training studios that are removed from the general gym floor. This way you can acclimatize to being in a fitness facility if its new to you.

Q: Do I have to do a warmup before I exercise?

A: It’s always a good idea to start with 5 to 10 minutes of walking, jogging, or some other movement to get warmed up first. It prevents injury and improves the benefits of the coming workout. We have lots of equipment available for you to warm up on from treadmills to rowers and stair climbers. We will definitely show you how to use equipment or body weight to warm up prior to your workout.

>What question do you have? Feel free to reach out to us.

Gordon Palmer, CPT, Functional Aging Specialist, Brain Health Trainer

Project Body Smart at Global Fitness & Racquet Centre, Kelowna BC, Canada

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