How The 3 Common Myths About Exercise And The Elderly Affect Quality Life

exercise and the elderly

There are several commonly held myths and misconceptions about exercise and the elderly that can hinder progress and discourage individuals from pursuing a healthier lifestyle.

I ran across this post on social media last week and it triggered me. I have 4 boys aged 18, 16, 14, and 12. One day they will have kids and I will be a grandpa. 

It forced me to ask myself the questions:

What kind of grandpa will I be?  

How will my grandkids remember me?

Then I started to think about several of my patients who have told me they are afraid of slowing down their kids and grandkids while on vacation.  

Remember, age is not the barrier to achieving health and well-being, this is a myth. 

Let’s debunk these myths surrounding exercise and the elderly to empower you to embrace fitness at any age.

Here are the 3 common myths about exercise and the elderly:

Myth #1: It’s Too Late to Start Exercising After 50

One of the most prevalent myths is that it’s too late to start exercising after you’ve crossed the age of 50 (or 60, 70, or 80). This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s never too late to begin a fitness journey.

Remember the article from Harvard that showed people can improve their strength at any age?  (here it is again if you want to read it). 

Exercise can provide numerous benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, increased strength, enhanced flexibility, fat loss, improved balance, and faster gait speed regardless of when you start.  

Myth #2: You Should Avoid Strength Training to Prevent Injury

Strength training is often misunderstood as a risky endeavor for older adults. In reality, strength training is a game-changer when done safely. It helps you get from low seats with ease, climb stairs, and pick up items from the floor (like our grandbabies). 

It helps maintain muscle mass, bone density (osteopenia and osteoporosis), and metabolism (weight loss/management), reducing the risk of injury and falls. Properly supervised and tailored strength training programs are safe and effective for older individuals. 

This is where it gets scary, we certainly don’t want more injury trying to get or stay healthy.  

Myth #3: Cardio (Walking) is the Only Way to Stay Fit

While cardiovascular exercise is essential for heart health, it’s not the only fitness component. Balance, flexibility, and strength training are equally important, especially as we age. These elements contribute to overall well-being and can help prevent injuries and maintain independence. 

Being part of a walking group is not enough to stay fit and healthy. It’s been my experience that people who have a goal and a purpose for why they want to improve their strength always do their best at starting and maintaining exercise programs.


Exercise is essential for people of all ages, including the elderly. Regular physical activity can have numerous benefits for older adults, helping to maintain and improve their overall health and well-being.

By dispelling these myths and embracing a mindset of resilience and adaptability, you can embark on a fitness journey that defies age-related stereotypes. Becoming fit and healthy over 50 is not only achievable but also immensely rewarding, offering you the opportunity to live an active, pain-free, and fulfilling life.

Always remember that exercise and the elderly come hand-in-hand in achieving a better and healthier life.


If you want to get started on your Fitness Journey, join our Fitness Program now and stay active!

For more related and knowledgeable articles:

Read Our Blog: The Positive Side of Aging: How to deal with getting older

Read Our Blog: Should I Be Walking? How to Walk Without Causing Injuries

Watch our Physical Therapy success stories to learn more about how we helped our patients have a better life:

How Physical Therapy Helped With My Foot Pain – Kristen’s Success Story

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Nick Hunter, PT, DPT

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