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Debunking Myths About Exercising Among Older People

07 June 2021

The aging population is dramatically increasing. It is reported that at present, 617 million or 8.5 percent of individuals have an age of 65 or over. 8.5 percent of people and it is calculated to increase to about 17 percent of the worldwide population by 2050.

The elderly today also have been in the workforce working their way to sustain themselves by earning their own money and not being dependent on their families. It is also reported that from 2015 to 2019, 6.8 percent of Americans who are 75 or older were workers and the rate has been increasing. We can ask why they are still in the workforce in their old age aside from making a living for themselves. Others reasons were enumerated as: 

  • They want to keep working to be able to have a comfortable retirement in the future
  • They are bored in doing nothing
  • They want to be productive and keep the job which they think is fun and gives them enjoyment
  • Older people also want to communicate or interact with other individuals
  • They also want to be physically and mentally healthy by working
  • Older people want to learn new things notwithstanding their age
  • They also need health insurance that a company could offer or they can get their insurance as they still working and earning money
  • Older people want to pursue their dreams. They don’t stop dreaming.

In my case, as an old individual, my personal reason for working still is to make my brain work and to stave off forgetfulness which could possibly lead to dementia. I also have similar ideas such as the aforementioned reasons. Aside from these, I felt that working even when you’re old makes you proud of yourself because you can still contribute to the community you are in.

With the earnings I got, I could make my life more fulfilling by donating in cash or kind to whoever needs it. I think this is giving back to society for the good things you’re receiving such as the privilege to work even with my old age. Sometimes the only setback for an old person like me is to be able to learn quickly especially with computer literacy and computer programs that I need to know to be able to keep my job.

Luckily, I was able to pass the training with software programs that we need to use for our work and assigned tasks. I saw that as a drawback to working in a faster way and thinking faster to resolve issues in my work. The good thing was that my co-workers were very supportive and understanding that they usually mentored me in the first few months of my job. They gave more advice and encouragement that I could do the work efficiently in the long run. I was really grateful for their kind gestures and motivation. 

Another reason that I still want to work just like other senior workers, is that commuting to work is a kind of exercise for me. I don’t usually ride a car. I walk and go to the bus station to commute to work. This physical activity makes me active and strong as I do some short strides on the way to my office building. When there are chances to walk, I do it for the sake of my physical health.

Still, I can feel a slight discrimination especially about exercising, that older people can no longer do exercises because they are already weak, pale, and sickly. To debunk those myths, there are already studies about the physical ability of older people to exercise. Other common myths about exercising among old people were reported in an online article (https://www.hofstra.edu/pdf/) such as:

  1. Older people should exercise with the supervision from a physician - based on an online article, it was written that based on the "American College of Sports Medicine, older people who do not have a diagnosed condition or symptoms of a condition, do not need approval from a physician or healthcare provider before the beginning of an exercise program.
  2. Water-based exercise is the most suitable form of exercise for older people - aside from swimming it is found that most older adults are capable of engaging themselves with aerobic or muscle-strengthening activities
  3. Older adults are too weak to join a regular resistance exercise - older individuals are also capable of doing activities such as "heavy gardening, " weightlifting, calisthenics, tai-chi, among others.
  4. There is least physical or health benefits for older people exercising or doing physical activities - on the contrary, it is reported that regular and appropriate exercise can help increase their muscular strength and endurance.
  5. Older people should not engage in the same physical activity or follow exercise rules as younger adults - guidelines suggested that older adults 65 years old or older should engage in at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity."

Debunking these myths enables us, seniors, to be positive about exercising to help us keep our body fit and strong so as our immune system. Even if we are still working, we can still do some physical activities and exercises at home or in the office.

At FlexiSpot, there are several physical fitness equipments and machines we can buy so we can exercise regularly at home or in the office. There are some that are compact and handy that we can bring to the office.  

One of them is the Adjustable Dumbbell LCL. Both men and women cause this to tone your arm muscles and make them stronger. The resistance levels also can be changed according to the user’s level of intensity. The handgrip does not slip so it is safe to use and the dumbbells are made of premium quality materials.

I would also love to have that dumbbell because my arms are already sagging with my muscles emaciated due to old age. So it is really necessary to do exercises beginning with this dumbbell. I am sure this will help me a lot to achieve my physical fitness goals. I am sure that you also do.