For many, exercise is the panacea for many health problems. Regular exercise may do more good than some of the medications taken everyday.

Here are some common myths that stop older people from exercising, along with advice to get you started working out.

Source: WebMD article by R. Morgan Griffin.

Myths About Exercise and Older Adults

Exercise improves more than your physical health. It can also boost memory and help prevent dementia. And it can help you maintain your independence and your way of life. If you stay strong and agile as you age, you'll be more able to keep doing the things you enjoy and less likely to need help.

In fact, studies show that exercise can reduce your chances of a fall. Exercise builds strength, balance, and agility. Exercises like tai chi may be especially helpful in improving balance. Worried about osteoporosis and weak bones? One of the best ways to strengthen them is with regular exercise.

On the contrary, if you have a chronic health problem - such as arthritis, diabetes, or heart disease - exercise is almost certainly a good idea. Check with a doctor first, but exercise will probably help.

We've all heard about people who had heart attacks while exercising. It can happen. However, the many health benefits of exercise far exceed the small risk.

It may seem too late to atone for a lifetime of not exercising. Studies have found that even in people in their nineties living in nursing homes, starting an exercise routine can boost muscle strength. Other research shows that starting exercise late in life can still cut the risk of health problems - such as diabetes -and improve symptoms. It really is never too late to start exercising and reaping the benefits.

If you're in chronic pain from arthritis, exercising may seem too painful. Here's a counterintuitive fact: studies show that exercising helps with arthritis pain. One study of people over age 60 with knee arthritis found that those who exercised more had less pain and better joint function.

This is a myth that's common in all age groups. Experts recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week. That might sound like a lot. Actually, it's only a little over 20 minutes a day. What's more, you don't have to do it all in one chunk. You can split it up. For instance, take a 10-minute walk in the morning and pedal on a stationary bike for 15 minutes in the evening - you're done.

A disability can make exercise challenging, Talk to a doctor or a physical therapist about ways you can modify exercises to work around your disability.

You can exercise for free. Walking doesn't cost anything. If you have a health problem, health insurance may cover a few sessions with a physical trainer or an occupational therapist. There are lots of ways to get fit at low or no cost.

LeisureFit offers an age-based subsidy to its memberships for City of Melville residents. These new discounts are available to residents over 70 years of age. Find out more at

Exercise doesn't have to feel like exercise. Remember that any physical activity counts. Whether it's catching up with a friend while you walk the mall, or taking a dance class, or chasing your grandchildren, or bowling, or raking, or gardening, or volunteering at your local school or park, it's physical activity. And the best exercise is the one that you actually do.

Have a look at the map below for exercise ideas and locations near you!


Keep Fit in the City

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How has exercise helped you overcome a challenge in life? What motivates you to exercise? What is your exercise routine? What would help you start your exercise journey? Share your exercise story here.

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