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You're Never Too Old to Start Exercising!

You're Never Too Old to Start Exercising!

You’re Never Too Old to Start Exercising!

By Sue Arzillo, Personal Trainer and ACE Certified Senior Fitness Specialist

IN THE PAST it seemed that physical fitness was more of a concern of young people than of older people. Today that thought process has drastically changed —we are living longer and we want to be able to enjoy an active and independent lifestyle. As we age, we want to have the strength, endurance, flexibility, and mobility to remain active and unconstrained so we can take care of our own personal and household needs; do our own shopping; and participate in active, social, recreational, and even sport activities if that’s our choice.

Because of their sedentary lifestyle, many older adults are not able to do what came easily to them in their younger years. Climbing stairs or getting out of a chair, for example, often requires near-maximal efforts for older people who are not physically active. They are dangerously close to losing their independence and becoming disabled from any minor setback. On the other hand, if an older adult maintains a program of age-appropriate and ability-appropriate physical fitness, he or she will be much more likely to overcome and deal with any health-related setbacks they encounter and most importantly, retain their independence.

Research has shown that much of the usual age-related decline in physical fitness is not only preventable but can be reversed through proper attention to our physical activity and exercise levels. Once we identify our physical weaknesses, we can then work consistently to strengthen them. As we get stronger and more fit, many of us are able to eliminate some or all of the medications that we’ve been taking; we may lose unwanted pounds; our blood pressure and risk of stroke will usually decrease; and after a good workout we will leave the gym feeling strong and fit!

At Saint Mary’s Fitness Center, we have programs to fit everybody’s needs and abilities. Our health coaches will meet with you on your first and subsequent visits and get you oriented to everything available to you at the center. Those members with metabolic disorders have the option to join our Medical Exercise Program — a program where each participant is monitored closely — before, during, and after exercise.

There’s no time like the present to get started. . . at any age and at any fitness level. Nobody ever regrets the gifts of exercise — losing weight, gaining strength and feeling fit and healthy! Come visit us at Saint Mary’s Fitness Center and we’re sure you’ll find a program to fit your needs.

"There is strong scientific evidence that regular physical activity produces major and extensive health benefits in older adults... In addition, physical activity is associated with higher levels of functional health, a lower risk of falling, and better cognitive function."

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, 2010