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5 Tips to Help You Start Running After 60

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.

Here is our list of things to do to help you get started running:

  1. Buy good shoes
  2. Have a plan and a route
  3. Try the walk/run approach
  4. Get a friend to join you
  5. Listen to music

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:

Getting 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.

Buy Good Shoes

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!

Have a Plan and a Route

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.

Life360 Family location tracker app
Life360 Family location tracker app

There are also several apps that you can download on your phone  to track your running program and progress. 

Pacer app
Pacer

Pacer is a user-friendly app that is great for beginners. You can get personalized fitness plans and guided video workouts. You can also join the community and set fitness goals with others. 

Strava app

Strava is another very popular mobile app for runners and cyclists. This app tracks your running course and you can share your results on your social media accounts. 

Try the Walk/Run Approach

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 for Seniors

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!

Get a Friend to Join You

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.

Extra Tip to Keep It Fun!

Music! Listening to energetic music while running can keep you motivated and paced. Invest in some good headphones designed for running. 

Also, download and create an account on the Spotify app for easy access to thousands of playlists. 

Spotify
Spotify

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.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at margaret@sixtyandme.com

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