Running can be beneficial to both your physical and mental health irrespective of age. The exercise not only helps improve your cardiovascular system, but also helps staying in great shape as you grow old. Though the benefits of running for seniors are well-known, still individuals become apprehensive about beginning or reintroducing the sport with each passing birthday. But you have to start somewhere no matter your age since moving your body is especially important as you grow older, and running is good for your muscles and joints provided you tailor the running program by your body’s abilities. You’d get accustomed to it (your new way of life) with consistency and effort on your end.
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Here’s some advice on how to begin running as an aging adult:
Consult With Your Doctor– This is the most important step before you embark on a running spree. Make sure to check with your doctor for medical clearance before starting your exercise program. It is important to get their stamp of approval especially if there has been a lengthy separation from sport, you are new to running, or managing a health condition, they’ll assess if your body can adapt to any form of increased ability. You’d be able to make your own running plan over time since you’ll be in tune with your health and your stamina levels.
Do Stretches Before Running– The pre-running stretch is a very important step of your run since it can significantly lower your chances of injury. This aspect should never be overlooked, especially if you are older. Like pre-running stretch, post-running stretches are as important to reduce muscle soreness.
Arm circles, leg raises, hip rotations and yoga poses are some dynamic stretches. Remember, stretching cold muscles is dangerous and may not be productive, which means you need to warm up for approximately 5-10 minutes to get the blood and oxygen flowing to warm the muscles. Light jogging, brisk walking, etc. are common warm-up methods.
Allow To Rest– It is important to allow your body the rest it needs for proper recovery. Not only does rest give your body the chance to heal itself, but also continuously adapt to the physical movements. Resting becomes the most important activity in your life as you age. This also holds true for running. It’s no news that the best way to rest is to sleep. Light yoga sessions in between your running days can be beneficial, cycling and walking are also great exercises for the no-run days.
Role Of Diet– Besides being a huge influence on an individual’s athletic performance, the right foods at the right time can boost your overall health. Nutritionists recommend consumption of fiber and carbs for runners since carbs are the primary source of fuel for the body while running. Additionally, maintaining hydration is paramount for overall health and physical performance. Reduce intake of dairy and red meat because they can cause inflammation in the body. It’s vital for seniors to include lots of healthy fats in their diet.