They say it is never to late to start exercising and starting a workout like walking or running. Running has many health benefits that can benefit any age group including senior citizens. It helps your heart pump better, improves lung capacity, strengthens muscles, ligaments and more and can also be a good weight bearing exercise to strengthen your joints.
However, it is imperative that you as an older runner follow certain safety measures to ensure that they do not fall prey to running injuries that could lead to pain, sprains, joint problems and worse ones that lead to more drastic steps like hip or knee surgery.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can ensure a better transition into the extremely healthy habit of a beautiful run –
Ease into it – When you are over a certain age and haven’t been very physically active for a while, it is absolutely inadvisable to just get off the couch and break into a run that gets your heart pumping and body singing. Start by with walking or slower runs and jogs for a reasonable amount of time and distance. Experts advise alternating approximately half a minute of running with a few minutes of walking building on your stamina and getting your body used to the pace. You will have to slowly and steadily increase the intensity and time of your running workouts. This will help you build strength and endurance in a healthy and realistic manner and help you prevent injury. Those who are a little worried about running and the impact on your joints, start with simply walking; that in itself is great for you and helps ward off ailments like osteoporosis.
Wear the right gear – As you get older in the years it becomes far more important to protect what you got! Even minor injuries can severely affect mobility and cause major set backs. The time your body takes to heal also slows down as we get older and it impacts the blood circulation. When running make sure you wear the right gear to keep you well protected like supportive running shoes that take care of your feet and help you run more comfortably and better balanced. Also invest in quality pairs of athletic socks that keep your feet dry and free from moisture in order to ward off blisters and chafing. Inner thigh chafing is also a concern faced by regular runners and can be extremely uncomfortable and often painful; check for gels and topical lotions that you can apply to reduce it. If you plan to run outdoors always keep your skin well protected from the sun with the right clothing and liberal and regular sunscreen application.
Be smart during your runs –
- When starting out or on days when you are feeling unmotivated try and buddy up and find a running partner. Not only will this keep you safer but also give you the added incentive to keep going.
- One of the things you must always pay attention to is the signals your body is sending you. If you are feeling physically uncomfortable and feeling dizzy, out of breath or cramping stop and pick it up another day. Your body needs the rest and rehabilitation as much as it needs exercise. Pay attention to the cues your body is giving you.
- Another pro suggested tip is to always carry identification on you when out on outdoor runs listing your name, contact information and medical conditions if any.
Running and walking can be a great way to exercise so exercise caution and make it worth your time!