As we get a little older, we tend to lose our muscle strength, flexibility, and balance. This is a part of life. Fortunately, running after 60 is a terrific way to strengthen our bodies, while improving our cardiovascular health.
Running offers other great health benefits like reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, and dementia.
Here are a few insights and ideas to help you get started with running after 60:
Before you begin your new running program, visit your doctor to make sure that your body is in proper condition. Get a full physical exam in order to have a complete picture of your current health.
This is especially important if you have lived a sedentary lifestyle or are overweight or suffer from any chronic conditions. Osteoporosis, for instance, may interfere with running.
Be honest about your health – you don’t want to have old injuries flare up. Know your limitations – walking might be better and safer. You can always start slow and work your way up to running.
It’s very important to get properly fitted for running shoes. You might have imbalances in your feet and body that have developed over time. Visit a sportswear or running store near you to get help in picking out the right shoes. It’s worth spending a bit more money for the right shoes and the right fit!
Set goals. Decide how far you are going to run and find the best route that is safe and good for your body (smooth ground, not too many hills, etc.). Always let someone know where you run.
Carry a mobile phone and whistle if you’re concerned about safety. There are also mobile apps that you can use as emergency alerts if needed.
You have to crawl before you can walk, and you have to walk before you can run – and it’s no different for running after 50. This is one of the most effective ways for beginners to break into running.
Warm up with a brisk 5-minute walk, then run at a moderate pace for 2 to 3 minutes. Recover with a fast-paced walk for the next 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat the pattern for 25 to 35 minutes. Cool down with a 5-minute walk. Then slowly build up your endurance until you can run for your entire workout.
Big fitness goals can often be reached with just a small amount of time per day.
Couch to 5K (C25K) is a progressive running program that’s been designed to get just about anyone from the couch to running 5 kilometers in just 9 weeks.
The program is a gentle introduction to getting the body moving and running. You start off alternating between walking and running small distances and slowly build up over several weeks. This way you have less chance of feeling overwhelmed and quitting.
After only a few weeks, you’re ready to run 5 kilometers (or 30 minutes) non-stop!
Everything is easier with a friend. If you can make running into a social activity, you’ll be more likely to reach your goals. Join a running group, or start your own – check out this inspiring article from “Real Simple” about a group of women who started their own running group.
If you are not ready for running, start with gentle yoga and get the strength you need to take the next step.
Have you started running after 50? What has been helpful for you in becoming more physically active? Please add your thoughts in the comments section below.
Tags Fitness Over 60