You shouldn’t do… #whatever… At your age

Last week I had to have a stress test, sigh.  When I run (usually within the first quarter mile), my heart rate will sometimes shoot up in the 180s (per my Garmin running watch).  This doesn’t happen every time, but enough to raise a concern to have it checked and rule out that it is not a-fib. Appointments made and off to the cardiologist for an ECHO and Stress Test.

While I was on the treadmill, the technician (who by the way was my age) said, “you shouldn’t be running at your age” – I said “really, why?”  She replied that there was a large study in the NEJM that showed runners developed a-fib when they were older. She said again – “you really should not be running”.

So I said, “well – I’m going to keep running, I need to keep my fitness level up and my stress test looks fine (couldn’t get my heartrate to go above 160) and I’ll just need to keep an eye on it…” Her response to me was “see you for your pacemaker or more workups for you’re a-fib”.    Nice…

That led me to ponder why our own age group would think not exercising is OK, AND especially someone who works in the medical field.  Lucky for me, I am knowledgeable and well read on exercise, aging and physiology.  Many in the general public are not and would have taken this advice and stopped exercising.  That is quite dismaying.  I haven’t even seen the cardiologist yet.

Amazing that people use a comment as an excuse to just stop what should be healthy because someone said so.  We are our own health advocates and need to read, research and question – that’s why this blog exists.  What has been your experience – share with the rest!

Below was a fun link for exercises for aging muscles.


Author: turning60andbeyond

Sandi Feaster is a registered nurse and health educator. She has worked in the corporate world as well as taken care of people with chronic health conditions. Sandi is convinced that we can improve our lives by educating ourselves and learning how we can curate the life we want. It may seem simple, but exercise and eating healthy food is the foundation of a longer, healthier and engaged life.

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