Which exercises should I avoid after 50?
You probably were hoping to find some inherently dangerous exercises to avoid as you age here. Well, you won’t. The exercises you have to avoid as you age past 40 are…
NONE OF THEM!
That’s it… there are not really any exercises that suddenly become ‘dangerous’ as we get older. Getting older does not necessarily make us more ‘fragile,’ either.
What about deep squats? Aren’t they terrible for our knees?
Tell that to this man and millions others like him. In many countries outside of the US, squatting is a ‘rest’ position and people of all ages squat for long periods of time. Interestingly, there are nowhere close to the rates of disability from things like arthritis and pain in those places as there are in the US and other developed countries.
What about running? Isn’t that bad for knees and hips?
Absolutely not… in fact, there is research that shows recreational running is protective to our knees and people who run actually have LESS ARTHRITIS in their knees than people who were sedentary. Bonus, endurance athletes tend to peak in their abilities later than power athletes.
What about deadlifts? Can’t they cause back injuries?
Sure, deadlifts can cause back pain and injuries, but only when they are done incorrectly. They actually are a great exercise to strengthen the back and PREVENT injuries and pain!
Well, how about heavier overhead tasks? Won’t they tear up our shoulders?
I know so many rock climbers over 50 or 60 that it’s not even funny. When I was in my early 20s and climbing strong, my best climbing partner was in his mid to late 60’s. Now, he’s actually CRUSHING IT racing mountain bikes and he’s fitter than ever IN HIS 60s!
Look, our bodies are not like cars, with ‘wear and tear’ causing us to ‘break down’ over time.
Our bodies have this wonderful ability to heal and to react to stresses put on them.
And we keep this ability until we die.
Ok, I will admit that the healing and building processes slow down a bit as we age, but this doesn’t mean we can’t continue improving our strength, flexibility, balance, and overall ability to live our lives better.
It simply means we need a little more rest for the repair and building-up processes to occur.
Also, there are some exercises to avoid if you have specific diagnoses, but there aren’t nearly as many as some would like you to believe. If you have any diagnoses concerning you and you think you may need to avoid certain exercises, you simply need to see your Physical Therapist, as that is exactly what we our expertise lies.
Finally, if you are getting a little older and are concerned about losing your ability to keep doing the things you need, want, and love to do (golfing, jogging/running, getting on the floor to play with the grandkids, even keeping up with your ability to do housework or keep living in your own home)…