Too old to exercise? I think not

Let's look at Joe Rollino and Joy Johnson for motivation. I can’t tell you how often I've heard the plainly terrible excuse, “I'm too old to exercise,” as if there were truly an age limit for exercising. Mark my words: nobody is too old to exercise.

Take Brooklyn boxing great, the late Joe Rollino who passed away tragically this week at age 104. During his lifetime he was an accomplished strongman, boxed under the name Kid Dundee and swam in the ocean everyday (he may even hold a record for swimming everyday for eight years). It is not a question to me why he was able to live to 104. Simply put, he remained active and ate a healthy diet his entire life.
Or take Joy Johnson’s story. Ms. Johnson starting jogging in her late 50’s, right about the time most people think they're too old to exercise, and she continues to run in what is now her eighth decade. She's 81 and is a competitive marathoner for her age group. This past year she actually cut 1 hour off her marathon time by doing speed work, bleacher runs and hills. Bleacher runs! I remember doing bleacher runs in a 65,000 seat stadium as a college soccer player (usually, if I was late for practice). Joy Johnson's doing it and she's 81!

Studies on the physical benefits of exercise on the older population have revealed how it enhances muscular strength and muscular endurance, it increases aerobic endurance and improves joint flexibility, balance and coordination. It seems some of the older members of our generation would prefer to not listen to the facts, stubbornly thinking, “exercise is not for them.” Guess there's something to be said about teaching new tricks, but last I heard that cliche referred to dogs, not humans. Still not sold on the physical benefits of exercise? What about the psychological benefits, which include reduced stress, better mood and improved confidence? These benefits certainly contribute to a healthier and more independent lifestyle for people of all ages.
I'm not suggesting that everyone in their sunset years should go out a run a marathon or swim in the Atlantic all year long. I'm merely hoping to debunk the mindset which suggests people can be too old to exercise. Now what was that cliche about leading a horse to water?