2000-11-11 / Columnists

Fitness Forum QUESTION Dear Shaun,

Fitness Forum
Dear Shaun,

I used to exercise when I was younger, and I think the advice you give in your columns really would have helped me then. I’m 74 years old now, and I don’t get much exercise at all. Maybe I’ll walk to the store or around the house, but that’s about it. Do you think it’s worth the effort for me to start exercising at my age? Should I even bother?




Everything in life is worth the effort if it’s something you truly desire. There’s enough negative factors that prevent people from achieving their goals, lets not allow age to be thought of as one of them, okay? Good.

Nevertheless, it’s more or less a fact that most people do become less physically active as they grow older. They just don’t feel the need to do the work, and I’ve heard all the different justifications and reasoning why. Some claim lack of time, others lack of interest, but I give credit to those who take the honest approach and blame it on good old fashion laziness. Now, before you simply identify with one of those horrible excuses and carelessly move on, keep in mind that all fitness can do is help you in the long run, as well as the short. You see, the older you become, the more important it is to include exercise in your life.

I always like to stress the concept that physical fitness improves not just your physical appearance, but also your ability to carry out everyday activities with less strain. It makes walking around the house or to the store a whole lot easier. Working out will also increase muscle strength, and can improve your balance and coordination. That in itself is a huge plus for all of us, because I don’t know about you, but it seems way to often that I’m helping an elderly person up off the floor after they took a stumble, my grandma especially. And speaking of falling, physical activity will help prevent bone loss, which in turn reduces the risk of bone fractures. So just in case you do happen to take a bit of a tumble, you’ll be able to get up unharmed and on your own. Seriously, there are so many wonderful benefits that are associated with exercise. Decreased incidence of heart disease, hypertension, colon cancer, and of course, anxiety and depression, you just can’t beat that.

Now, if for some reason you still don’t feel confident enough to pursue exercise on your own, there are senior classes that bring people together, just like kids joining a youth group or a gym. It really is great, being part of something inspiring while improving your body and health, is just…well fabulous.

If that’s not enough to sell you Flo, then I don’t know what is. Age is nothing more than a bunch of numbers. So whether you’re 18 or 80, it’s never too late to begin anything in life, exercise especially. Yes it’s worth the effort, and yes you should definitely bother. So do just that, enjoy yourself, and I’ll see you at the gym.


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