Fitness Myths, Busted

June 9, 2014

Do you feel intimidated about joining a wellness program?
Hopefully, this will help clear up some stereotypes.

Myth: Gyms are for young people.
Fact: Seniors should exercise even more than younger people to counteract the natural decline in muscle strength associated with aging.

Myth: It takes too much time.
Fact: Regular exercises like walking on a treadmill or using a nu-step for 20-30 minutes two to three times a week benefit your heart, lungs, muscles and bones.

Myth: Gyms are only for men.
Fact: Women benefit from regular exercise. Light weights can help counteract osteoporosis.

Myth: It’s for body builders only.
Fact: A light program doesn’t build huge muscles but can help reduce body fat and increase bone mass.

Myth: Women shouldn’t lift weights.
Fact: Exercise programs at Helen Hayes Hospital’s Wellness Center are designed for your diagnosis, body size and level of strength, not for your gender.

Myth: If you lift weights, that’s all the exercise you need.
Fact: You still need to do aerobic exercise. One can’t substitute for the other. Doing both takes care of your entire body.

Myth: I don’t need any help or advice to do exercises.
Fact: While doing aerobic exercise and using light weights is safe, if you’re over 40 or have heart disease or another medical condition, you should always check with your physician before starting an exercise program.

-Eileen Andreassi, CTRS
Director, Therapeutic Recreation & Wellness Programs