There are many myths about running; one myth is that it is not a safe sport to do as you become older. It is safe to run as you age, provided that you check with your doctor first and do not overexert yourself. It is very important to stay active as you get older and if you want to take up running, you can, but you need to keep some things in mind first.
Consult Your Doctor
It is normal to slow down as you age and your muscle strength and aerobic ability is likely to be far less when you are older compared to the younger days. It is crucial to check with your doctor before deciding to take up running, especially if you do have any health issues. You also need to realize that if you are on medication, this may impact your ability to run. Certainly, some medicine may make you too dizzy or lightheaded for running. For most people, running is fine, but your doctor can set your mind at ease and may also make suggestions if you are on medicine that affects your balance or makes you lightheaded or dizzy.
Recovery Time Changes
Once you are older, it may take longer to recover from a run. This, too, is normal, and you should consider spending some days not running but doing other activity, such as walking at a slow pace, on your off days. Don’t feel guilty about not running, since walking is still exercising. How long it takes you to recover will vary and, in some cases, may even be as long as a week, so don’t be concerned with this and do not overexert yourself.
Exercise to Improve
If you struggle to run, then consider doing exercises to increase your strength and balance. On average, people start to lose muscle mass after age 30; this means that by the time you are 70 years old you may have only 40% of the muscle mass you once had. It is important to have muscle strength and balance as you age, so it is worth doing exercise to work on improving both your strength and your balance. You can do a variety of different exercises including pushups and lunges as well as various poses and stretches, and why not try yoga to help improve your balance.
You need to stay flexible to prevent injuries. This means you should do a proper warm up before running and do not overdo it. Listen to your body and if it doesn’t feel right or you feel sore, then don’t run and risk further injury. Warm up exercises are perhaps the most important aspect of your regimen so don’t skip these elements if you want to stay injury free! Remember that just because you are older does not mean you cannot safely run. Running is a satisfying, safe sport if you follow some simple advice and build your strength sensibly. Above all else, developing a love for running, as with any sport, can foster well-being and open doors to new friendships and association that in itself promotes better well-being.